Fuck Digital, Fuck Pitchfork. Quality Shit is Worth Waiting for

Okay so this is from a show that happened a few weeks ago. Pitchfork gets Mos Def up the next day. Well FUCK THEM AND THEIR SHITTY DIGITAL CRAP. All Film Baby. I fucking miss zines man. I wish I had time to make one. I fucking am so against the internet these days. Anyway, shit is fucking awesome. I hope you enjoy. Thanks for looking.

Erin Tobey – Pink Razors

Pink Razors

Pink Razors

Beck Levy – I am stoked on this photo. This photo happens when you sorta meet someone and know a little bit about them. I like taking photos of people I know. I expect my photos of the mighty Turboslut will get better as I see them more. You should check them out. Melvins, Sonic Youth, Bikini Kill (no really they have that chaos noise shit going on) mixed in with some cookie monster vocals. They are the sound of metal vibrating against electricity. Fucking Fierce.




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Music Consumption UP

So over the last two days I have consumed by several means a bunch of new music. First, for you gentle reader I will make a list. I am not a list person unless it has to do with music. Because I love music.

In no particular order:
Swervedriver – Mezecal Head
Bob Mould – District Line
Blond Redhead –Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons
Disfear – Live the Storm
The Dropkick Murphy’s – Warrior’s Code
A Tribe Called Quest – The Love Movement
Municipal Waste – Hazardous Mutations
De La Soul – Three Feet High and Rising
The Beastie Boys – License To Ill

This pretty much trumps last week (which I didn’t write about and won’t) and is one of my biggest music consumption weeks since new years. I buy albums at alarming rates fow someone who has constant money problems (ie I don’t have money) and this year I have dedicated myself to buying less new CD’s and buy used CD’s (cheaper, better for the environment), obtaining iTunes gift cards from friends (feels good, better for the environment) and other means (blogs and russian servers are a great thing for people like me). In fact I have only bought about five new CD’s this year and with a dreary new release schedule I should be able to obtain other albums upcoming (Billy Bragg and Del the Funky Homosapien)with relative ease either use or via iTunes. On the flip side of that I have made about five visits to the local used store where I have gotten some jems and some other stuff I either wanted to hear for the first time or replace old tapes (Beastie Boys and Tribe are good examples). So It’s been a good year. Oh yea and also there is trading. I believe in trading. My G/F signed up for this service called CDSWAP and we piled up some stuff we didn’t want anymore and are shipping it off. We have Elton John and Micheal Jackson on the way. So that’s pretty awesome and also enviromentally friendly.

Being enviromentally friendly is important in music consumption to me. When I look at my tower (and I do mean tower) of CD’s I think about the day when I pass from this earth and all this plastic becomes worthless to whom ever will be cleaning up the mess I leave behind. I hope there will be some way to perserve the collection in a library somehow, that would be my dream, to donate the whole lot to a public or private library where kids could study music, but who knows if CD’s will even be listenable in the future. We just don’t know. So that’s why things like swaps and downloads and buying used are so important. I think this should be the goal for people’s consumption. I think it is the only sustainable economic model. Infinite growth is bad for consumers, bad for the environment and imposible to maintain. If we recycle more in our buying, companies will be forced to produce less and then products will go down in price, CEO’s will make less or hopefully die out all together, and captial and wealth can be more evenly distributed. All while sustaining this beautiful planet we keep fucking up with our stupid shit. This is what is driving my music consumption this year – Buy Used, Swap with Strangers, Share with Friends, Buy on-line and only by new releases new if they are something I am REALLY excited about.

Anyway – on to the music. I wanted to give you lovely people some mini reviews of what I have listened to so far this weekend. Got some pretty good albums, so it should be a busy week for me. Come back soon and check out reviews for the new Paint It Black and Lemuria CD’s. Without Further Ado:

Swervedriver – Mezecal Head
I listened to this band a lot in highschool. I loved the hell out of them and they sort of faded into obscurity. However anyone who was into Jawbox or loves Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine would do well to check this album out. It is one of those endless rock albums that is both catchy and noisy and soulful. Having failed for the last two years to find a copy of this, I turned to iTunes after the receipt of some unexpected gift cards and picked this sucker up last night. I have been mellowing out to it this morning and it’s been glorious. Do your self a favor and track this one down.

Disfear – Live the Storm
It seems that Pitchfork is giving more real estate to metal these days and the coverage of it is excellent (I never thought I would say that about Pitchfork). So as I really trust the metal staff there I decided to hunt for this one online. I am pretty glad that I found it because it’s pretty fucking heavy. I guess I would classify this as more as hardcore rather then metal, but it deffinetly has some of that good Swedish Death Metal flavor. The guitarist from Entombed and the Singer from At the Gates have apparently made this passable band something of a rising star, and Live the Storm will certainly make this band a contender. Metal is getting faster, heavier and more brutal and bands like Disfear are keeping technical prowess at the forefront without looking like a bunch of ego stroking monkeys. Thrash hard to this one kids.

The Dropkick Murphy’s- Warrior’s Code
I really like the song “Shipping up to Boston” but this album is a basic punk rock effort. Its not bad, it’s kinda like Rancid in that it’s better then their recent output but no where near Lets Go or And Out Come the Wolves. I will always favor Murphy’s Law because they are from Boston and have that Irish color to them, which I dig, but there is no need to get excited about this one. It does what it came to do, and in the punk rock genre, sadly that is a great feat. Nothing to write home about. Mike Geary corrected my retardedness. It is the Dropkicks that did this song that was lyrics by Woodie Guthrie that he rightly guessed probably was why this song is more rad then their other songs. eventually I will respond to his email.

De La Soul – Three Feet High and Rising
I re-purchased three albums I owned growing up. The Beastie Boys were one of the first bands I ever got into as a kid. De La Soul was one of the first hip hop groups I ever heard that made me reconsider the genre as a youth, and A Tribe Called Quest are a favorite of mine. But any way Three Feet High and Rising has been grossly out of print for years in favor of the re-grouped trio’s more recent output. But some idiot in the Arlington, VA region let there copy go and now I am the better man for owning this once again. I rocked the shit out of this tape when I was in the 10th and 11th grade (along with Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet which I need a copy of if anyone wants to send it to me). I used to get made fun of by some black dudes in my Geometry class for singing “Me Myself and I”. They would ask me what the hell I knew about Hip Hop and at that time all I knew Was De La Soul, Public Enemy and Del the Funky Homosapien. I’d like to say I know a lot more about hip-hop, but the older I get I realize it’s a genre I can really love, but never fully be a part of. Either way this album is pretty much classic and really puts into perspective that the posi-hip hop movement was born from NYC. This album made me realize that while there was credence (a great deal of it) in gangsta rap, hip hop was more then just guns and swear words. While I have come to respect the origins of gangsta rap I must say I am sorry to see that the basest images of that part of hip hop prevailed for the wonderfully fun parts of hip hop like De La Soul. Anyway, it’s good to have this in my collection again. It’s a fun listen and should be in any collection of anyone who is serious about the history of rap music and hip hop.

Started With: Swervedriver – Duress

Ended With: Bob Mould – Old Highs, New Lows

Drawing the Lines – On Bob Mould, "The District Line" and Washington DC

Bob Mould
The District Line
Anti Records

Bob Mould recently stated in a recent interview with Spin magazine that he named his new album The District Line in part because when out in the District of Columbia he gets asked first and foremost by people who don’t know his work what he does for a living. It is no doubt that today in our Capitol City on the swamp that status is everything. How far up the ladder you climb is tantamount to worth where the free world is deliberated, disceted and conquered. Everyone here it seems is here to get their slice of the ideological, political, or economical pie. It is the center of government, the home of our symbolic idealism, the birth of modern politics that have given way to modern capitalism, globalism and imperialism. What you do in this city tells people alot about you. IT tells people if they can trust you, utilize you to move up, gain a contact or if they should avoid you. It is a cut throat, dirty town where people move very fast in a calculated moves to their chosen destination. In five years living here, Bob Mould couldn’t have said it any better about Washington DC.

The question of “what do you do” however, is most unfortunate. The question in Washington DC that matters most is really “where are you from?” Washington DC is not a place where people live, it is a city that people come to on their path to somewhere else. Rarely within in the city limits or even throughout the ever expanding suburbs
will you find a native of Washington. Through out much of the region you might often come across the children of civil servants who have toiled in the burracracy for large parts of their lives as they watch their commutes grow longer and longer. The sons and daughters of carreer military families make stops along the way, doing time while mom or most often dad does a stint at the pentagon. Often people who were born in the region have stories of time spent overseas when their parents worked in the state department and were deployed to some god awful war situation. But a true native is hard to come by.

For the native, the questions of “why are you here” could be posed to even Mr. Mould himself. What brought Mr. Mould to this city, the four-to-eight year stepping stone people trod upon looking for a leg up? This town is filled will special interest jockies looking to “serve the good of the public” so they can gain the “experience” and “expertise” before they move back home or onto some other city where they can exploit the “private sector”. These upwardly mobile, self sanctioned experts move in and out of craped studio appartments or into the ever expanding suburbs, creating false demand, driving up housing prices and placeing the ever increasing strain on the working poor that supports the infrastructure for people who don’t even take the time to recognize that Washington DC is more then just a stop gap. The reasons people come to live in this city have the greatest impact on Federal City. They leave their foot prints on top of foot prints but they never stay long enough to leave an impression.

Perhaps the question that should be asked is “what will you do?”. Dead City after all has no representative in congress, lacks the tax breaks of US territories, has a budget tied up in federal politics and very rarely has the ability to govern itself, fix itself or tend to the residents that are here. I would be surprised if one-forth of the people that live in DC are even registered voters during their stay in town. People bring their agendas, but they do not bring their help. They do not bring an open mind, they bring the knowledge that when their task is done they will return to their home town customs forgetting they have just lived in the birthplace of our country.

With all these questions it’s a wonder that anyone even survives their tenure in this town, no matter how short. Mr. Mould even says himself in the Spin article that “it takes a certain kind of person to move here to work in the industries of aggression and deception.” A truer statement has never been said. With Mould’s past work with the hyperactive Husker Du or the catchy-upbeat Sugar, his writing duties for the well loved WCW and least we forget his time as guitarist for the house band during Headwig and the Angry Inch’s initial run, give little room for doubt that he has what it takes to cut it here. After all, this schizophrenic region has inspired many people to make historical and powerful music. DC after all was the birthplace and launchhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifing pad for the Mighty Bad Brains who defined the energy of punk rock and twenty years later still challenge every white-bread (pun intended) conventional pop-culture punk has to offer. This is the home of Fugazi, the staunchly independent band that acted as a musical group, social movement, idea generator, debate topic and inspirational tool. We are the home of Go Go music, a regional music that thrives and strives to this very day despite a lack of interest or involvment from the major labels that have plauged every other home grown culture and musical movement for as long as they have existed.

And yet DC can’t hold on to it’s brightest stars. A look at the phone books of New York City will find the names of Craig Wedredn and Nathan Larson from Shudder to Think and Zack Barocas of Jawbox. As the cost of living goes up, the artisans move to where they can find work being creative to make a living. The constant change of population leaves little left over for any sustainable institutions to exist in the art world. As more and more people move in and out, the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia expand and grow and it becomes harder for musicians to connect with the youth of the region who are left without this important outlet and connection to the art of music. Washington DC is losing it’s musical identity as the years go on. Bob Mould claims Washington as his home (for now), but can the community of Washington continue to hang it’s hats of these icons of Punk Rock to be our representatives? No doubt Mould, along with Ian Mackaye, J Robbins, Brendan Canty, Ian Svenonious and other are still making music or contributing to punk rock culture in significant ways but the future of Washington DC can not be kept fresh and vital without the participation of new artists continuing the tradition of pushing the boundaries of musical expression.

I would argue strongly that District Line should be seen not as a product of Washington, but a portrait of our fair city. After all Bob is, by his own account, settled in Washington for now. Is he in it for the long haul, or is this where the artists finds himself now for inspiration? The Muse is aftera ll a fickle friend and has already carried our friend from his home state of New York to Minneapolis and New York City. Despite his impact on punk rock and his influence on thousands of bands, I am not sure I want this album to represent my city.

I remember seeing Bob Mould play on the stage of Fort Reno when he first moved to Washington DC some five years ago. His solo accoustic set of Husker Du, Sugar and solo songs was one of the greatest performances that hill top venue has ever seen. It is after all a stage of long and rich tradition that is perhaps the bridge from DC’s historic past to it’s unknown, but hopefully bright future. But even then, it was a surreal moment, seeing this icon of punk music and influence in my town where I cut my teeth. In fact, in the five years since, Mr. Mould has not given a repeat performance and that night becomes more dream-like each day. It’s hard to say if Bob Mould has had an impact on this city in a lasting way. Sure “Body of Song” is a fantastic piece of his own canon, but it’s hard to call it a part of the tradition of genre exploring music born here. Certainly he has created a popular, safe space for the gay and indie community to unite with his Blowoff parties, but I am not sure that adds much value to DC’s history.

Bob Mould’s music means a lot to me. His work with Husker DU is blisteringly honest, his work with Sugar is nothing short of pop perfection. I greatly admire his perspective on pop music, his desire to exist outside the potential vaccum of his legacy, and his continual out-put of fantastic music. But I also love the music of Washington DC very much and take it far too seriously as this rant is evidence of. The music of Washington DC has made me who I am, shaped my perspective on the world and my ear for music. The political fervor that I have expereinced at benefit shows has guided my world view and informed my personal politics. I take this shit dead fucking serious. I don’t play around with my words, thoughts and feelings on the city. And that is why I don’t want to rely on Bob Mould or District Line as a representative of my city. To do so would cast a cloud over the current activity that is struggling to find it’s place not only regionally, but nationally. There are kids making music in the nation’s capital that is nothing short of mind blowing. I am so greatful this confused town crossed between East Coast slick and southern town hospitality would attract one of my heros, but Washington DC needs to stand on it’s own two feet again, rising up mightily, ferociously and uniquely as it once did. This is the line that the District music community must re-draw and cross again and again.

About the Author:
The Good Governor is a 17 year resident of the ever expanding, undefined and grossly suburban region known as Northern Virginia. He has two (2) tattoo’s of the Washington DC City flag despite never oce residing with in the metropolis. He has see Fugazi a lot of times but maintains his favorite band from DC is The Most Secret Method. His upcomming EP will NOT be released on Dischord. But let’s face it, the best band on that label was from Baltimore.

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