More Slow Economy Music

Dan Padilla
As the Ox Plows
Paper+Plastick

Here at the korrupt yrself fbloggesphere we like to pride ourselves on giving our readers a little something extra. A little slap and tickle if you will (go watch Beer Fest right now). And so, as I know times are tough, the kids are cranky, pooping in the tub during bath time, husband wankin’ it to internet porn in the basement after he said he was “ironing”, and the in-laws are on their way up north 95 for a weekend visit while it’s hot, humid and stinky, I, your wonderful guide to the internet musics, am hooking you up once again with some raging, drunk punk rock.

There are a lot of bands like Dan Padilla. I mean, sometimes playing in a band is just about getting with yr bros or lady bros, playing CGE or some variant of that progression and singing about what bums you out. And then, cuz it’s awesome to get in a van and play for other drunken, bummed out, smelly dudes (a note here, dude, as far as I am concerned is a non-gender descriptive word for any person that you would want to hang out with, drink a beer or soda with, talk about comics,  skateboarding, video games, politics, music and unemployment, so lady readers, please include your self in this) you load yr shitty equipment in a van, drive a few hours, pouring water in the radiator just to make it to a cramped basement, where like ten people came and only three paid to see you because seven of them live in the house yr playing at.  That’s what Dan Padilla is for me. Just a band of dudes that I could probably hang out with that play songs I can tap my feet to and if drunk but still lucid enough would sing the one or two lyrics I kinda know loudly with the other drunk, sweaty people in the room.

As the Ox Plows is a perfect description of this album. It’s a hardworking, strong backed collection of songs, that doesn’t quit no matter the odds. It’s not flashy, there aren’t crazy riffs going on, the singer’s not some pavaratti of punk rock or anything and the recording is passable, but not sonically face punching. But none of that shit matters. It’s solid, fun song writing with enough subtle changes and songs that aren’t overbearingly long or complicated to not get boring.

Look, life sucks for a lot of Americans these days. Our government is totally out of control, doing idiotic, senseless things (lets bomb Pakistan instead of helping the flood victims, because in no way will that piss off even more disenfranchised youths who are being lured by radical assholes who are providing them food and shelter FOR FREE, yea, that shit will work. And I voted for you? Seriously? I am a moron), no one can find jobs in the cities they live in, families are torn apart because of this, houses aren’t worth shit, because lets face it the market is more important that having a homestead and hey, those poor banks need more money cuz those CEO’s got mouths to feed and hookers pay and bodies to get rid of. You need Dan Padilla in your life. They know you need them in your life, and like so many of their peers, they are giving away free music. You should check it out, just slap that spoiled child who is urinating on your leg. See, you didn’t even notice that a small human was peeing on you. Yr that preoccupied with the hardships and hard times. Let the punk rock ease yr mind.

New Bruises/The Measure [SA]
Split Release
Kiss of Death

Kiss of Death records is slowly becoming one of my favorite labels. Not only are they working to post ALL of their releases for free on the internet, they are putting out some sick fucking music. They totally fed my wanting desire for more music by No Friends (which incidentally you can also get for free right here) and for that I love then very dearly.

One of the other releases they offered up recently was the New Bruises/The Measure [SA] split release. I got into The Measure [SA] because I bought the double split 7″s they did with The Ergs on No Idea (my favorite record label). I honestly think they are perhaps a bit overhyped. When they cook, they are awesome, but for a punk band they have a tendency to make me very anxious. Now, having said that I am still looking forward to their new LP. On four songs, they get pretty crazy, even slapping out a shout out to Black Flag on “Ruby is A Punk” where they reapporpriate “Rise Above”.  It’s slick, fast paced, and moving music. I actually like the songs on this split more than the stuff on the Ergs. For a four song side, it’s a pretty concise whole. Splits have a tendency to just be a bunch of weird songs that were bashed out for the sole purpose of putting out a record with your bros and lady bros. This is not the case with The Measure [SA] side.

New Bruises, for their part are growing on me. I kind of feel like if I went into this split with an unbiased leaning towards either band I would have a higher interest in them. They certainly make for a good pairing. They are bit more aggressive and boy yelly, which you know, isn’t a bad thing. They just don’t give me a full on rager like the Measure [SA] side. They do exclaim that “you are the Metal in Metallica” on “More Metal (MCFNJ)”, so you know it can’t also be that bad. They also give a nod to Bomb The Music Industry, who gives away more free music than McDonald’s sells hamburgers (if only the world were that awesome) so you know, I would probably bro down with these dudes, take a couple photos at the shows, maybe check out another release. I’m not making any commitments here, but the initial make out session was nice, and I’m open-minded to further engagements.

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If You Aren’t Writing About Your Friends Music On The Internet You’re Not Doing Your Job

In part it is because there is so much more to Mike Law and Katy Otto then the music they make, though it is a great part of who they are and the bridge between me and them. But around that bridge I have been blessed with friends that are incredibly curious about the world, fervent in their beleifs and unwavering in their convictions.

Trophy Wife
Patience Fury
307 Knox Records

I think the best thing that punk rock has done for the world is seperate the wall between artist and observer. Any casual reader of this blog or my zine (issue #4 currently available, email yr address to goodgovernor@yahoo.com for a copy) is by now, well aware of a long and wonderful friendship between yours truly and the amazing Katy Otto. I’ve been watching this lady play drums since I was a teenager and for close to 15 years now, she is one of my absolute favorite musicians on this planet. It’s because of the nature of punk rock that I have been lucky enough to be friends with this incredible and inspiring woman. And so it is with great pleasure to once again hear her behind the drum kit. And what a sonic pleasure it is.

Along with her co-conspirator Diane Foglizzo, Trophy Wife creates a stuning and sharp sonic explosion. Being introducted to the guitar playing of Folizzo has been quite an adventure and treat. Her stunning, crisp and cutting chords are augmented by the most jagged riffs and scales, that walk with a vicousness across the fretboard. They are dangerous tones and they challenge you.

I have commented before about a style I have noticed amongst women guitar players that I have never heard from men. I think this is important because it’s a very individual approach, but has stunningly linked results. “Five” has a guitar mastery that is remenicent of the great Aimee Argote when she lays down the law. The attack and bight pays compliment to a blanket of sounds rarely heard or explored. And for a little DC post punk reminder, check out “Whitesburg, KY” it’s Hoover/Regulator Watts openersounds right at home to these ears. Album closer “Repetition” is equal parts Unwound and Refused, Diane’s choppy chord hits supported by a classic marchers beat from Katy.

For her part of the equation, Ms. Otto has never sounded better. She has developed an crushing mastery that is raw and powerful while mainting her distinct drumers voice, playing the instrument not as a time keeper but as a musician. She compliments and co-mingles within the tight spaces made by the guitar work and hits harder and louder then she has in the past. I love the new sound of sticks clashing against the skins of those drums. All the while Katy maintains the artful rolls and fills I have come to love from her, placing beats, hits and fills where they are not expected.

I would be reporached if I didn’t mention the vocals in this gushing review. While largely allowing their instruments to make their arguments, Trophy Wife are not ones to shy away from making a fantastic vocal statement. So much loud and aggressive music lacks a good, learned vocal approach and this is where Trophy Wife really does seperate themselves. There are actual vocal parts in these songs, where both Otto and Foglizzo combine their voices and much like the instruments, play off each other. Credit must be extended to Engineer Devin Ocampo for his masterful work in turning these performances into such a solid presentation.

Music crticism is supposed to be objective and I have always found that practice trite and boring. Pop music isn’t the study of music theory, it is the creation of passion and persistance. My relationship to the people in Trophy Wife does not predispose me to my passionate feelings about my love for this band. In fact, it enhances my experiences. To suggest that one has to have that kind of a relationship to the music is a bit of an unfair expectation I realize, but in no way am I going to appologize for that. I became friends with Katy because we have a shared love of music and music making and grew up in a music scene that we both loved and respected.  Even if I could take that out of the equation, I wouldn’t. I recomend for you dear reader, you slap down the cash, put on some headphones and get your head exploded.

New Idea Society
Somehow Disapperaing
Shiny Shoes

My musical taste lineage by way of the people introduced to me by the afformentioned Ms. Otto extends to a soft spoken, mild mannered, insanely tallented and grossly overlooked gentleman (in the New England sense of the word, which is important because, despite being born out west I consider myself a Southern Gentleman) by the name of Mike Law.  I love Mike Law. Like the best and most cherished of my friends, Mike Law has a special place in my cold heart, in no small part because his being and therefor the knowledge of his continued existance warms that dirty, brown ice sludged organ that begrudgingly beats in my chest.

Mike Law has a direct cosmic string to my soul that he plucks so beautifuly. When New Idea Society’s last album The World Is Bright and Lonely came of age I was totally blown away by it. It was a constructed, dirty and raw pop masterpiece. Like I am now, then I gushed over the album and begged everyone I knew to check it out, because the record was on top of the world. Law displayed a penchant for and an homge towards the great pop rock song. So Somehow Disappearing comes not as a suprise, for it’s catchy as hell, but it’s pop music in a totally reimagined and challenging way.

A full realized, full band effort, New Idea Society greatly benefited from this approach. Built not around Law’s Guthrie/McCartney/Robert Smith guitar songs, Somehow Disappearing instead puts Mike’s vocals at the forefront and is backed by glorious piano work, dark and rich bass and a drum sound that sets such a great and subtle foundation. All of this is done that lets Law’s voice be playful and dangerous, while keeping it the most consciece performances he has made to date.

And the music is so dark and dense, it’s hard to truly absorb it at the same time as Law’s sweet vocals soar with it. But the deep emotions in the lyrics, the grand delivery of the voice and the tremendous space afforded to the musicians playing comes together so spectacularly that the music is emotionally consuming. It’s hard to be aware of the world outside of this resonant territory. It’s a sad fucking record. Mike’s always had a flavor for the melancholy, and he’s always done it with such beauty and grace, but even his previous efforts had moments of  carefree jubilation and joy. The only reprieve we get here is with “Summer Lion” which is such a playful song, it’s already become one of my favorites.

Writing about the music of my friends is important to me. In part  it is because there is so much more to Mike Law and Katy Otto then the music they make, though it is a great part of who they are and the bridge between me and them. But around that bridge I have been blessed with friends that are incredibly curious about the world, fervent in their beleifs and unwavering in their convictions. Yes, it is the music that drew me to these people, but it is the people themselves that I love. I want the larger world to hear Trophy Wife and New Idea Society. They make music unlike anybody else I have heard, drawing on a large pallet of influences, but like any great artists, shaping in their own vision. I am, unabashedly, a champion and cheerleader for the music made by the people I love. Objectivity can jump out of the window for all I care. This is beautiful, emotional, evocative music. If they were as estranged to me as my rock star crushes, I wouldn’t care. I would crush just as hard and badger you all with my inane ramblings. I’m just really lucky that some of my favorite rock stars are my friends.

des_ark




des_ark

Originally uploaded by goodgovernor

Aimee Argote is pretty much a rock juggernaut and a goddess. And I am not trying to be all fan boy or butt kissy or coy here either. Pretty much every time I see Aimee the following happens: I laugh, I loose my breath, I get my face melted off by her guitar playing, I get terrified that it’s all a dream, I get lit up by her awesome smiles. The rock version of des_ark has been far too scarce in the DC area over the last year or so, so when Aimee came with her band of merry men (no joke) well DC went silent as they WRECKED THIS SWAMP TOWN. My camera and me were not on great terms last night (I was ready to break up and the camera seemed okay with that, but we reconciled a bit today) and I didn’t get to capture the brilliance as much as I would have liked, but I still got some shots that I approve of. So it wasn’t a bust.

I’m chatty as hell on this blog tonight. I don’t care. Aimee slays it. des_ark have a new album coming out soon. Oh yea, I shot the cover. So cram yr fan boy accusations, ultimate fan boy!

Bedroom Blogging On a Monday Night

When music makes me think about my favorite book (and thus one of my favorite works of art) you know I am gonna fall really hard for that song and band.

The Bomb
Speed is Everything
No Idea Records

If you are like me, and I am going out on a limb here and going to assume, that at least in this small way you are, because if you weren’t you wouldn’t be reading this, sometimes you just find yourself really surprised by music and how an album sort of comes to you from the cosmos and really moves you. The music geek in me tonight has caught a bit of a buzz. I decided to hole up in my room, headphones snug around my ears and listen to some music. I grabbed a couple of the LP’s I have bought so I could snuggle with them. My cat however, decided that she would occupy the space of the vinyl instead so I grabbed my computer because I just really wanted to talk about this album.

Speed is Everything is not a BRAND SPAKING NEW JUST STOLEN OFF THE INTERNET BLOG HYPE OVERKILL bullshit album that anyone is talking about. And I find this shameful. Not that my blog, here in the sea of blogs that’s all self referential and thus hardly “criticism” helps my argument (have I said this enough here yet?) but frankly, the fact that The Bomb isn’t more on the radar of the kids is kind of really fucked up. Especially considering that some of post punk and punk rocks best cheerleaders make appearances on the record itself.

First, I need to admit that I know nothing of Jeff Pezzati’s classic band Naked Raygun, and unfortunately this is one of those instances where I am gonna be scared to check them out, because this album is so fucking good. I kind of can’t stop listening to it. Right now as “A Song for the Helana’s” pours so crisp into my ears, the slinky bass popping all along, I have fucking chills. I can’t really take it. This music makes me so happy I want to cry. I haven’t felt like this since I heard Blood Sugar Sex Magic when I was 14 or the first time I heard London Calling. So I have no historical context for this album, it just swept me away. I can’t even say what inspired me to purchase it from No Idea. I think I heard one song on the internets and was like, oh that sounds cool and I just bought it. But my god, I am so glad that I did, because it’s beautiful.

The other thing that is really important to me in talking about this album (one other thing that is) is that Speed is Everything exemplifies what a producer can do for a band. J Robbins firmly had a hand in this album and The Bomb benefited greatly from this relationship. Before I even checked the liner notes I felt like this was really inspired by Jawbox and seeing Sir Robbins name as engineer did not come as a surprise. This is the kind of album Atlantic was probably looking for (not that I am complaining because For Your Own Special Sweetheart is a masterpiece) back in the nineties. My goodness though, the production is so crisp and clean and cutting. The vocal harmonies are so signature J Robbins and I have never heard him record drums that sound this good. They lay perfectly in the mix, cutting when they need to be, serving as a foundation to let the other parts breath. Also, I don’t know whose idea it was to get Dan Yemin and Bob Nanna to add their talents, but it was a beautiful idea. Punk rock rarely does the “guest vocals” stuff on albums, and their performances just make me wish people would do it more often, but you know, just as good.

The conflicting emotions on this album are also so great. Some songs are seriously serious, others are wanting for space travel, super heros and those greater then the defined human experience. I love songs that long for space travel, space fantasies and the like. They are hopeful and sad at the same time. It just cuts to the core. Nana makes his appearance on “Space Age Love Song” which is a fucking FLOCK OF SEAGULS cover, and yet it’s so beautiful. It sounds like it’s from fucking outerspace. It reminds me of that scene in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy where Arthur Dent is drunk on love when first seeing Trillian again, but realizes he kind of fucked up. So it’s not about space, but it sure invokes the universe. When music makes me think about my favorite book (and thus one of my favorite works of art) you know I am gonna fall really hard for that song and band.

I don’t really know what to do with myself after having heard this album. Speed is Everything is the kind of album that leaves everything else in the dust. It makes me forget about the history of music completely, feeling like this is the only album that is important. It’s smartly recorded, furiously executed, burning with passion, Pezzati’s voice just soaring and cool as fuck. The record has everything, hard and fast songs, carefree jams, quirky and witty ditties, touching melodic tearjerkers and it’s all held together in one cohesive piece. If you’re in a punk band, you should probably just give up, because you are not going to make a record as good as Speed is Everything.

Give




Give

Originally uploaded by goodgovernor

If I wasn’t exhausted as all hell, I would write about the two awesome shows that I went to yesterday. Instead, you can click on this photo and look at some other photos that I took and be psyched to remember that you were there, or bummed that you fucked up and missed it.

KYS 15

Is Not Currently Available. Sorry about that. Leave a comment for more information.

Peace

Introducing Allo Darlin’

Sometimes, co-workers are not bad people. Most of the time they are self indulgent, loud, swearing, insufferable pricks.

Sometimes, co-workers are not bad people. Most of the time they are self indulgent, loud, swearing, insufferable pricks (what me?) who annoy the fuck out of you, stand in your cube, slap you in the ass and talk shit about your two year olds. Sometimes they are dorky indie rock geeks too old to get down, but had the pleasure of living in England and already had a predisposition for that sad bastard music from that cold, dreary and shifty island that believes they invented everything cool. Sometimes they turn your on to some really cool music, even though they don’t like Sabbath. Such was the case with my introduction to Allo Darlin’.

My cube farm compatriot, longing for the days when we are free from this hell, was hanging out on the YouTube and played me this cute video of this cute band for this equally cute song called “Polaroid Song”. It’s one of those very simple, infectious, pop songs that really doesn’t make you all fucked up and crazy, which is good between doses of Black Sabbath and Devour (two posts from now). We also found the kitchy track “Henry Rollins Don’t Dance” which name drops both Hank and his best bud since he was little Ian MacKaye. It’s a doofus inspired song, but god damn it sometimes music doesn’t have to be so fucking serious. Sometimes it can just be silly and fun. When it’s actually done with a bit of care and craft too, it can be down right good.

So tonight, I am chilling out to the seven songs from the singles that are currently commercially available in iTunes thanks to my scruffy looking nerf herder of an office mate. You know, sometimes you just have to take a break from thrashing and moshing and just lightly pogo or even just kick your feet up and chill out. The ukulele really helps facilitate the latter, while the clean and crisp guitars and solidly tracked drums get the beginning going. Bands across the sea seem to have a knack for at least cracking the radar over hear. The British Isles and even beyond actually still recognize that pop music can be made by pop bands and not manufactured by corporations who just shove fake tits attached to pre-teen girls in our faces. Do your self a favor and check this shit out. It’s not going to kill you. Look, I even embedded a video below. Instant gratification with no work on your part. The internet loves you.