i hate the sound of guitars

an expat dc punk in massachusetts

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8 dec 2014

08 Dec 2014 · No Comments

  1. Hussalonia – belated realization that I didn’t spend as much time with last year’s Home Taping Is Killing Me as it deserved. In a world where Hussalonia was famous enough for people to write papers about the Nefarico conceit, this record would be minutely analyzed; in it the Hussalonia Founder begins to emerge from the shadow of Nefarico. It contrasts short, catchy, but uneasy, tunes in a more-or-less conventional rock format with totalitarian spoken word interludes. Straight up genius.
  2. Yo La Tengo – needs no explanation, but Extra Painful marks the occasion of this particular binge.
  3. Berri Txarrak – wide-ranging album — actually 3 themed mini-albums with 3 different producers — from the this terrific band. Tough, melodic punk, sometimes skirting hardcore, sometimes with an almost metallic swagger, atmospheric but potent post-punk indie — a veritable, variable feast. Yay. Year’s best shortlist in a quick minute.
  4. UFO – been reading Martin Popoff’s album-by-album (and collapsed tour-by-collapsed tour) history UFO: Shoot Out the Lights. And I think “Diesel in the Dust” is one of the most sadly overlooked noir tunes of all time.
  5. The Goodbye Party – Hermetic, intricate, meticulous one-man-in-pain show. RIYL Elliott Smith, or erstwhile labelmate Katie Crutchfield/Waxahatchee
  6. Chumped
  7. Candy Hearts – All the Ways You Let Me Down hasn’t quite grabbed me like their earlier stuff, but I keep trying. It’s probably me.
  8. Two Inch Astronaut – when I hear a record that sounds like Foulbrood I always half expect to see J. Robbins name on the credits. He has nothing to with this one, but if these guys didn’t love Burning Airlines, well, that’s a tall coincidence. Which I’m fine with.
  9. Martha – Somebody’s been reading from the book of “How to Make Summervillain Love Your Band” again. Jangle with a smidge of punk ‘tude, dual gender vocals that overlap as much as they harmonize, smart lyrics, catchy tunes, oh my yes. Plus a quote from a Rush song I might still admit to liking.
  10. Pellet Gun

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1 dec 2015

01 Dec 2014 · No Comments

  1. Hussalonia – slefless [sic] is a new album of instrumental compositions (with a couple spoken word elements). Continues alarming trend of Hussalonia founder doing nothing badly.
  2. Chumped
  3. Laureate – a week later and I can’t remember what made me want to hear it, or what it sounded like. (Runs off to relisten.) Emo flavored indie rock, unmemorably pleasant. From Vancouver, but don’t seem to be part of any of the pacific Northwest family trees I follow.
  4. Jill Olson – even less well known than Marlee Macleod, whose obscurity I was lamenting last week
  5. LVL UP
  6. The Dismemberment Plan
  7. Ratcat – I really wanted to listen to “That Ain’t Bad” from the Tingles EP, but I settled for what I could find on All Access.
  8. Loane – Really dug the tune from the Mood Indigo soundtrack, so I went after more. Not what you expect me to be listening to, probably: vocals with jazzy phrasing subtleties that dare me to find a better word than “sultry” (en français naturellement), key/piano-based beds, often over a light disco pulse. Nothing anchors these tracks to the current decade; you could play them alongside Nouvelle Vague or Holden, sure, but you could also play them alongside France Gall.
  9. Sam Cushion (Hunger Games soundtrack dude.)
  10. Fugazi – so, yeah, I did want to hear the First Demos. Not like I want to hear the follow-up to The Argument, but I won’t snub it or anything. Apparently it’s chic to say this is better than the released versions of these tunes; I say I’m glad Ian ditched the flanger, and the way “Joe #1″ just stops seems like a bug, not a feature.

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24 nov 2014

24 Nov 2014 · No Comments

  1. Go Betty Go – back after a too-long draught of new material with a tough, rockin’, catchy ep
  2. Marlee MacLeod – catalog revisit for an artist I think was sadly overlooked. Dry delivery of sardonic lyrics, veering between roots-rock and folk, some catchy tunes … at least as good as many superficially similar but better-known artists
  3. Kenickie
  4. Fellow Project – Sometime last year I stumbled on Rok Lok records, who’ve put out a metric buttload of the kind of indie/punk I like (and some stuff that’s too hazy/jammy for my taste). Somebody in this band used to be in Bridge and Tunnel
  5. Botanist
  6. Pellet Gun – I didn’t go to a great show recently — Survival Knife, Pink Avalanche, Hungry Ghost, coz I’m sad and old and it was on the wrong side of the river. But Pellet Gun woulda fit that bill perfectly. Came to my attention via the most amazing cover of Zep’s “Rock and Roll” you will ever hear (on the generally weird and wonderful “From the Land of Ice and Snow” tribute).
  7. The Skirts – I think the jokey/corny/racy album titles (”Look Up”, “Take Off”) underserve this pop-punk outfit.
  8. Pink Avalanche
  9. LVL UP – seem to get lumped in with the Captured Tracks-ish lo-fi/garage-y crew, but like Cloud Nothings, strike me as both a little sharper and somewhat more informed by the noisy post-punk than many under that umbrella
  10. Chumped – mix pop hooks and shoegazey guitar textures like Velocity Girl

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18 nov 2014

17 Nov 2014 · Comments Off

  1. Winterpills – lovely new album of eclectic covers led me to previous release I somehow missed. #oops.
  2. Blue Öyster Cult – almost exclusively Imaginos. Thumbs up to the 2012 re-master.
  3. Albert Bouchard – new album (more mellow than I expected, but not bad at all) and Imaginos demos.
  4. Allison Weiss – was in an icy crash that killed her tour van, and the blog post is titled “We are lucky. We are so lucky.” So, yeah, she’s my kind of people.
  5. Terry Malts – Buzzyfuzzypoppy, like the Primitives with a boy singer, or JAMC on sugarspeed
  6. Murder by Death – signing up for the new kickstarter; good time to listen to the fruits of the last one.
  7. SPC ECO
  8. Outside World – veers between jangly indie-pop (RIYL very early REM) and a more shoegazey sound. I like the former better.
  9. Azealia Banks
  10. Anaal Nathrakh – Name comes from a spell Merlin casts in Excalibur, quit snickering. Historically sounds like silt kicked up from the bottom of a foetid pond; new one Desideratum incorporates dubstep and (a few) improbably catchy vocal hooks into the black/death/grindustrial maelstrom. Sheer WTF factor keeps me listening.

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10 Nov 2014

10 Nov 2014 · No Comments

  1. Blue Öyster Cult
  2. Deerhoof
  3. Henry’s Dress
  4. Janice Whaley – project with the kind of formalism that really appeals to me: completely a cappella renditions of all the songs on all the Smiths albums (although some of the percussion, in particular, is tweaked to the point that it really might as well be drums).
  5. Stripmall Architecture
  6. Schoolyard Heroes – kinda an odd name for a horrorpunk band.
  7. Sundials
  8. Boyracer
  9. Babymetal
  10. Two Knights

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4 nov 2014

04 Nov 2014 · No Comments

I was looking over some of the weekly listening diary things, and found ‘em kinda handy. So maybe I’ll start up again, even though the Internets have moved on and blogs don’t matter any more.

  1. Thelonious Monk – When I first heard the 2 volumes of Genius of Modern Music I figured they were best-ofs. Not the man’s first sessions as leader.
  2. The Alter Boys – Soul Desire may be the album I love most that no one else seems to love. I think maybe people wanted it to be either jangle pop or sound more like (producer Andy Shernoff’s band) the Dictators. It’s more like a really angry version of The Feelies, and I still think side 2 is sublime.
  3. The Fall – new live album murky and unmemorable. Not a patch on Re-Mit (which I thought was shockingly good).
  4. Blut Aus Nord
  5. The Pillowfights – apparently, they broke up. Boo.
  6. JZ Barrell – Alter Boys dude released a solo album.
  7. Taylor Swift
  8. Whitey – the Whitey who released Great Shakes Volume 2, with the terrific moody/driving “Stay on the Outside,” as heard in Breaking Bad. Sat in my bookmarks for months before I pulled the trigger and bought it, God knows why.
  9. That’s That and the What’s What – kinda wears its love for Cheap Trick (and maybe early Kiss) on its sleeve — not that there’s anything wrong with that. “Enemy & Robot” was the one that really sold me on this.
  10. Goo Goo Dolls – nothing from anything after Superstar Car Wash, mind you, and mostly from the Metal Blade albums.
  11. Cold War Kids
  12. Helen Earth Band – San Diego, but sound like the mathier-side of DC post-hardcore punk, or a band that Hello Sir could’ve signed. (i.e., endorsed)

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28 oct 2014

28 Oct 2014 · No Comments

  1. Guided by Voices
  2. John Coltrane
  3. múm – We saw Ragnar Kjartansson’s “The Visitors” at ICA Boston. Really impressed. I think some of the featured musicians were/are in múm?
  4. Thundering Asteroids! – self consciously nerdy, poppy punk. I wish I liked this better — I love the attitude, but it’s musically less than completely satisfying
  5. King Tuff
  6. Au Revoir Simone
  7. Stars
  8. The Broken Family Band
  9. Sigur Rós
  10. Nude Beach

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21 oct 2014

21 Oct 2014 · No Comments

  1. Tuff Enuff Records – Don’t remember how I stumbled on I Know Why the Caged Grrl Sings, but it’s a punky comp series related to a DIY LGTBQ event. Lotta low fi, messy-in-a-good-way stuff. Kinda makes sense they don’t tag their files so well.
  2. Punch
  3. Jawbox – If I’m going to claim a new record sounds like DC punk, I better listen to some to substantiate my claim, right?
  4. Smart Went Crazy
  5. Pavement
  6. Yr Poetry – released the record I claim sounds like DC punk
  7. Bluetip
  8. Little Big League – I admit I’m having trouble keeping all the “league” bands straight, but I really like this one. Fast ‘n’ fuzzy, with jagged guitar lines and sweet-to-ragged vocals. Can slow it up and quiet down when they want to, too.
  9. The Dismemberment Plan
  10. Johnny Foreigner

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14 oct 2014

14 Oct 2014 · No Comments

  1. yr poetry – 2 dudes from Johnny Foreigner.
  2. Allo Darlin’ – new record unsurprisingly terrific
  3. The Dead Milkmen – new record surprisingly terrific
  4. Jonathan Coulton – new record surprisingly live
  5. Sia – how many different soundtracks have featured “Breathe?”
  6. Comet Gain
  7. The Shods
  8. Cannonhands – the pitch-perfect Smiths-album-cover parody of Lovely Things caught my eye. They don’t sound much like the Smiths, but they’re none too samey, veering from pretty twee to sorta rocking, which held keep my interest through the LP, although not everything connected with me.
  9. Tove Lo – I like “Timebomb”
  10. Hurry – Can’t listen to the title track of Everything/Nothing without wanting to queue up GBV’s “Exit Flagger” right after. But Hurry are a bit fonder of feedback squall and remind me of Capstan Shafts and Boyracer as much as GBV, only Hurry songs tend to be much longer. (I like the shortest ones best.)

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7 oct 2014

07 Oct 2014 · No Comments

  1. cloud rat – LOUD
  2. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – saw 20,000 Days on Earth. Terrific.
  3. Shriekback – long awaited reish of Jam Science has contemporaneous live disc. Not as awesome as the Swim Upstream tour show I saw, but then, what is?
  4. The Dead Milkmen – the problem with positioning the new record as a comeback is that it requires writing off The King in Yellow. Unacceptable.
  5. The Also-Rans
  6. Už jsme doma
  7. Cleopatra Degher -is going to get tired of being compared vocally to Neko Case
  8. Two Knights – indie rock with mathy/burbly hammer-on/pull-offs and more screaming than you would expect from the overall level of musical aggression
  9. REO Speedwagon – Deep cuts on Hi-Infidelity OK, and some of the singles too. Solid hooks and a surprising amount of genuine angst. I know it’s cool to hate on this, but I ain’t gonna claim my appreciation is only “ironic.” Solid songcraft.
  10. Escondido – heard this band on the I Saved Latin tribute and assumed it was Neko Case guesting on the track.

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