Saturday, May 12, 2007

Liquigas start of strong.

On a twisted course not so suited for time trial bikes, Liquigas take the first stage of the Giro and the pink Jersey. This is a hell of a season for Liquigas who got wins at Het Volk,Liege Bastogne Leige and ,GP Toscano. Grabbing the this stage is huge for them. This was the first suprise of what should be an amazing Giro. Astana and CSC took 2nd and 3rd. Several teams rode the course on their road bikes instead of time trial bikes. Tomorrow should be a showdown between Pettachi, Haedo, and McEwen. But who else will try and spoil the party?

Bone Awl 2x7"

Double seven inch from necro masters Bone Awl on Hospital Productions. 5 songs Graphics are killer-kind of off kilter primitive kind of cartoon meets wood cut or something.
Opens up with some feedback and than a brutal assault of over driven noise. Vocals are distorted and drown out a lot of the music. Guitar sound is not quite as brutal as I would have liked. The Production is pretty brutal-in a noise on noise necro four track way. The production is almost another instrument on "Vein" slathering noise onto the tracks and bleeding them all together. "Offering to Me" and "Black Kali Bride" are the 2 best tracks. "Offering..." has a nice breakdown to bass and drums that killer. This is not bad, but not up to the standard they set with the Meaningless Leaning Mess" LP. Hospital Productions threw this out in a limited run (300 and something?). Seems like a lot of non metal dudes are putting out metal records. I guess everyone was teenage metal head, but who knows.... The double 7" format is a pain in the ass as well, but no matter what this is a fucking great band who deliver a powerful style of raging, primitive black metal. These guys mine that Necro metal vein where at times the lines between Venom/Hellhammer and Punk or Crust get a little blury. That isn't a bad thing.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Zimmers My Generation

Thanks to Rich C for the tip on this one.

Coffins/Otesanek split LP

Nice gatefold lp on Parastic Records. Cover is some dark demented shit. Layout is good and the vinyl is heavy duty. Otesanek drop one side long track, "Narcotic Hues" that opens slow with some drones and low screaming. Once it kicks in, they drop some heavy Burning Witch/Grief type of slow sludge. 3 guys doing vocals so they're some grunts and screams. Tortured, slow heaviness that trudges along as if the band had to pull the weight of the world along with them as they played. If Aquarius was reviewing this there would be at least 10 "O"s in DOOOM. or extras "L"s in SLLLUDGE. A twisted journey, but not one I will take again soon or too often.

Coffins drop 3 tracks including a cover of Goatlord's "acid orgy". Doom mixed with Hellhammer worship from these Japanese "former members of" masters. Super heavy guitars, powerful production. Vocals are a gutteral shout-kind of crusty. These guys deliver. Check out their other cds.

US cycling battling in Europe

Both Navigators and Slipsteam are slugging it out at 4 Days of Dunkirk (a race that lasts 7 days. go figure). But news of the week is the BMC cycling team won the team time trial at the Giro del Friuli Venezia Giulia. This puts BMC's Jonathan Garcia in the overall lead. Nice! Some tough racing ahead if BMC hope to defend. Nice to see us mixing it up in these races.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Black Kali Ma "You Ride the Pony" LP

Track this down just to get "Wonderful" a pop punk anthem with Gary Floyd at the helm. Could be Fluf, could be Dino Jr. Just kicks ass. Post Dicks, Post Sister Double Happiness. He was making it happen when you were a kid and he still keeps it going solo. I grabbed a test press of this on ebay for 99 cents and it was money well spent. Bluesy hard rock probably sounds like a bum out, but fear not this shit rocks.
Bad news is you missed out on this band. Good news is you can probably find this disc for a buck or two at the used shop. Grab it.
And while you are getting this, keep an eye on what Gary Floyd is up to and support it.

Spoke too soon????

Tragic news at, my prediction for young rider revelation Wim Van Huffel is injured and not likely to finish. According to the report he is having back troubles and may have a hernia. He will start but it looks bleak for my dangerman. Damn you fates!c

Jim Jones Vocal Style

I can't lie, I have been a longtime hater of cam'ron and dipset. Cam's vocal styles remind me of a mentally challenged ghostface. Always sounded like a rambling crack baby to me and was evidence that Jonathan Kozol was right about how fucked up the education system is/was. I can't get down with people who keep "rhyming" the same word. My attitude has been changed over the last years, by the fully focused efforts of the Still Listen to Gangsta Music website.
Jim Jones and "We Fly High" was what got me and its the Capo's unique delivery that got me thinking. He is his own back up and hype man. He acts like a commentary track in a DVD on his own songs- or like footnotes. Now I am not trying to say he is on some TS Eliot shit with the footnotes in "The Wasteland", but it is some next level unintentional post-modern shit. And no, I will not extend that courtesy to Cam'ron if you suggest his verse is like James Joyce.
Dipset was good business move that after a trunk full of unlistenable mixtapes, have finally hit on something I like. And what I am saying I like, pay attention, are the vocal stylings of JJ, not the music which is pretty fucking weak and not the rest of the Dipset. So go peep the STLTGM site and check the Jim Jones "Lockdown" video. Jimmy takes his shit to the next level with his "history lesson" backing tracks.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Early Giro Shakedown.

4 days to the start and the defending champ won't be there. I guess that is a good warm up for the TDF. Either way a look at the start list is interesting. Pro-Tour teams are here but many seem doomed. Of the 22 teams starting a considerable number have no GC hope. I am naming Quickstep, AG2R, Bouygues Telecom, Caisse D'Espargne, Cofidis, Credit Agricole, Euksatel, FDJ, Gerlosteiner, Milram, and Tinkoff as having no hope for being in contention for GC. That is half the field hunting for a stage win or a day in pink which is tough considering the remaining 11 teams.
CSC seem most likely to win the opening TT and get the jersey first. Rabobank and CERAMICA PANARIA should battle for the mountains jersey. Liquigas, Disco, Astana, Lampre, and Saunier Duval will be the heavy hitters for the overall GC. DiLuca vs Popovych vs Salvodelli vs Cunego vs Simoni. All have obvious weak spots and with a more open race a lot of unforeseen wild cards could come into play. Bettini needs to overcome the curse of the WC jersey. Haedo vs Pettachi vs Hushovd vs Dean vs McEwen should animate the sprinters stages. Tinkoff have had some success with Brutt and Ignatiev. Since they are a wildcard, I am imagining they will be active.
I will hold off a few more days on my overall picks, but am really looking forward to this race. First climbing stage comes early after the 1st rest day, but even if it opens gaps shouldn't be decisive. Mt Zoncolan on stage 17 should be epic. ITT is the 2nd to last day and could be critical especially if someone like Cunego or Simoni hold the jersey at this point.

I am Barillo

So Basso "confesses". He admits to "attempting to dope"??? He beat the runner up in the Giro (who was doped) by 9 minutes and the rest of the field by 11 clean??? Right. That one didn't work to good for Dario Frigo a few years ago, but whatever. His defense is reminiscent of the whole "It depends on what your definition of is is" defense of former president Clinton. Legally sound but bankrupt to common sense. Not too many posts ago, I said I would be OK with guys who admitted to doping, took their bans and came back -Millar for example and if Basso serves his suspension and comes back I won't complain too much-especially since he will be racing things like the Peace Race in Poland for 2 years. But his "confession" is pretty fucking weak. It is pulling a Musseew and trying to protect some of his victories. They are tainted. Just admit it.
I am going to say it again, if you want to get rid of dopin, fine and ban the teams, DS's, and sponsors. If the holding company for a team got banned, how quickly would the title sponsor sue them out of existence? Cycling needs to introduce a system like relegation in soccer (football...) and kick out the drugged teams. As soon as you introduce a little USA style punitive damages justice by lawsuit, you could have this situation all sorted out.
I want an honest race. I don't care if it is slower than the past. Shorten the stages whatever. I still don't think I could ride everyday for 3 weeks over those distances-even if you cut them in half. A clean peleton of pro's would still be faster than me so I don't need them doped as well.

Dan Higgs 10"

Another transmission from the mind of Dan Higgs. Lathe cut 10" packaged in green paper sleeve that resembles an old 78. It costs a hell of a lot more than most old 78s, but it you are a Higgs disciple you will cue up without complaint. Got mine from Aquarius don't know who else has them.
Side 1 is "Armageddon Lullabye". Some of Higg's Appalachian Raga guitar work. This is a massive slice of music that could get trapped as acid-folk, psych, drone, whatever. This is what would be playing at the mythical record store you stumble upon that has every record you want at a price you can afford/
Side 2 "Recitation" is spoken word tour of Higg's world view. Sounds like him in a room with a tape recorder. Spinning his unique intertwined story line of science and religion. Like some odd gnostic gospel. Intense and quotable. Not unlike the lungfish song "Creation Story" minus the music.
Interesting that he drops one side no vocals and one side only vocals. Always something to try and interpret or read into with Mr.Higgs.
If you don't want to throw down for this item hold tight, Thrill Jockey have a record and book coming out by him in June that should be easier to find and more affordable.
As a side note, the whole "lathe cut" record scene is generally a dingbat backwater that I try to stay away from and under other circumstances might have ended this up in the annoyances section, but Mr.Higgs can record on wax cylinders if he wants to and I won't be complaining.

Monday, May 7, 2007

remember this name

I am not known for the accuracy of my foreasting, but remember the name Wim Van Huffel. He may be a real revilation for Lotto at the Giro. Remember when Popovych showed his stuff at the Giro? He was 17th last year.

barnes and noble zombies

When did the concept of store get confused with library or living room? Walk into any Barnes and Noble and you are accosted by a sea of people curled up in comfy chairs reading books with their shoes off. Sipping coffees and looking smug. And why shouldn't they? They are getting the information contained in the books for free. You see people with 10 books stacked on a table taking notes, what the fuck? That is what a library is for. If I ran one of these places, you would be getting thrown the fuck out. It makes me reminisce back to Center St News in Hyannis where the hapless clerk(a failed 6th grade teacher named Mr.King who had a problem with picking his nose which landed him the nicknames like King the Fling and Fling King, etc) would scream at you if you spent too long looking at BMX ACTION to "buy that or get out, this ain't a library".
What if I want to do something crazy like buy a book and instead of being on the shelf some fucking shithead has it in his lap covered in crumbs from his coffee roll? Barnes and Noble are engaged in commerce otherwise known as exchanging goods or services for money. Are they so desperate for foot traffic that this is an acceptable trade off? Is that the kind of return customer you want? Do public libraries have to start serving lattes to be a cool destination? Has internet shopping turned people into such fucking babies that staggering around in public in your PJs is an acceptable course of action? Show some initiative, get dressed, buy something, and then go the fuck home and read it. That worked for a couple hundred years. And make a pot of coffee while you are at it. Otherwise you'll be one of those shitheads lounging on the comfy chairs there reading the Sunday paper. Do you live in a barracks? Go home.

Afflicted Man Complete CD UK DIY (punk?)

By the 7th track on this 2CD comp, you will have forgotten how forgettable the first 4 songs were as you bask in the glory of the "Afflicted Man's Musical Bag" LP. "Hippy Punk" opens side one with a shambling beat that is more Can than punk. The stumble through 3 more tracks. The jaded vocals make almost any pace the music takes seem frantic whether it is shambling wanna be reggae, dub, ACResque post punk groove, or space rock wannabe. Glue Sniffing is a mega pre-straightedge cautionary tale. "Hippy Punk" gives way to "Hippy Skin" on side 2 of this crucially fucked up and random LP. Elements of post punk classics float by filtered through a dose of pub rock and acid rock. Clearly living up to future song title "for the few I please"..... There is a musicality to this that reminds me of the Police if there main goal was to get fucked up and jam rather than write hits. Piano and acoustic guitar appear on side 2 of this record. As well as a desire to "keep the tape running" which manifests on "musically insane" an epic rework of "I'm afflicted" from their 1st single.
The first 15 or so tracks had made me forget what made me buy this in the first place. Aquarius said it was some proto High Rise mega feedback shit. This CD holds that until the end of disc two which opens with the "I'm off Me' Ead" LP which picks up where disc one left off. Basic vocals dissolve into guitar skronk that is worthy of FE drooling praise. "Survival in the 80s" is some dub/PIL rhythms with some serious guitar behind it. Lunkhead lyrics could have been on any mid 80s OI record.
Finishing strong is an understatement, when the "Get Stoned Ezy" tracks kick in, you know you are going to love this shit. A heavier, dumber groove and heavier guitar sound replaces the post punk meanderings and the Aquarius review jumps back into your head. The guitar keeps coming. As the vocal fade away, more and more effects get piled on and the feedback gets thicker. Mega. "Zip'ead" opens up with a fat fierce groove that should make hipster light weights like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club sit down and shut the fuck up. If you can't rock harder than some shit from the early 80s, don't quit your day job at Starbucks. This track is clearly the one inspiring the High Rise comparison and is worthy of it. This 3 song EP is clearly on the next level form Afflicted Man's previous output. "Sun Sun" closes it out which is a massive Sabbath/Guess Who affair that hints at what might come out of Seattle 20 year later. HUGE. And a reminder that there is nothing new under the sun.
I guess this music existed under the umbrella of UK DIY which is a huge genre I know nothing about. Either way it is a desperate and stumbling bridge between harder psych and punk. Records this fucked up and forgotten, yet resurfaced are a real pleasure to get a hold of. According to the liner notes NME called it "Hendrix meets Crass" and that seems to work. Seems way more fun to waste time and spill ink on this odd ball reissue than some other hallowed post punk sacred cow. A more knowledgeable source than me dropped science on it on the Siltblog.
Big Ups to Senseless Whale records out of Australia for compiling and releasing this odd ball classic.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A little late to the party

A lot of ink has been spilled about Canada's Fucked Up and I was not paying much attention. I think I got an early split 7" and must have been unimpressed cause I don't remember a thing about it. So their torrent of subsequent 7"S went ignored by yours truly. At some point they signed to Jade Tree and dropped "Hidden World". I started hearing some people bitching and some people raving which I took to be a good sign. I picked up the "epics in minutes" cd comp. Damn, how did I sleep on this group. Really anthemic hardcore. A little Poison Idea a little John Brannon and a whole lot of wise ass lyrics. Baiting the Public really grabbed me. So accepting that I missed the boat, I moved on to the controversial new album. Had they sold out?, fucked up the formula?, faded away? Time to find out. To me it sounded good, they may push the song lengths in a "youth of america" fashion sometimes, but if the riffs are good who cares. "Crusades" kept the "baiting the public" anthemic shit rolling.
These guys might be one of the only new bands I hear kids rave about that lived up to the hype.

Sunday cycling wrap up.

Sadly Horner couldn't hold the jersey or a podium place in Romandie. Dekker got the TT win and the overall followed by Salvodelli and Kasheckin. JJ Haedo got a win in Denmark and must be feeling confident for the Giro. Liquigas have to be happy with Vincent Nibali's second win in 2 days. Pellizoti was up there as well.
We have 4 Days of Dunkirk and Clásica Internacional a Alcobendas y Collado Villalba coming up next week. Then the Giro kicks off on the 12th.
This Giro should be a pretty open and fun race. I predict CSC get the jersey right off the bat with a TTT win and pass it around the team for a few stages. Cunego and Salvodelli have to be the favorites. Popovych could be a man to watch. More picks later in the week. I am really excited for the Giro, I just hope it isn't turned into a circus with drug raids or doping scandals.