Tuesday, December 29, 2009


You focus on pretty random things when beating yourself up the same hill
again and again. Your world kind of shrinks to your bike computer, your
front tire, and not much else. When you do your workouts on the same hill
week in and week out, you don't really have to pay much attention to the
scenery. So last night 2 things stood out. About half way up the first part
of my hill was a flimsy, broken pair of scissors in the gutter. Almost at
the top of the 2nd part of the hill was a burned cd
The scissors were important to remember, so I wouldn't ride over them when
my oxygen deprived brain ceased to function. The CD was just a shiny thing
that let me know the pain would stop soon.
On repeat 7, I saw a kid on a mountain bike in the distance. He stopped on the
hill and leaned over. I thought he was messing with his bike or something
and then he peddled on.
As I passed the spot he stopped, I realized that he had stopped to grab my
second marker. The shiny blue CDR had caught his eye, but unlike me, he
stopped to grab it.
This one really got my mind churning. Why did he stop? Was it his? Had he been retracing his steps for hours? Was he a music geek excited to hear new music?
Based on the fact the 50% of kids under 18 not buying music, I doubted that. So why did he stop? What else can go on a CDR? Was it pictures? Movies? Why roll the dice on something that had probably been run over by a dozen other cars?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

blacklisted.-no one deserves.....LP

Deathwish releases another Blacklisted LP. Vinyl only. Colored vinyl of course. This is an odd bunch. Always thought(since seeing their ace of spades skull logo split single) that they were some generic Integ/mosh metal deathwish action. Got the "heavier than heaven" cd and was pretty surprised. short songs that left you wanting more. Obvious Nirvana influence, but it had all the classic core-kid essentials. Pretty classic. It is strange to get into a band backwards and work you way through their older releases....
So I was curious as to what they would be up to on this "arty" release. Apparently controversial to some... I suppose if you have been asleep at the wheel since "bringing it down" then a few trumpets, violins, and "interludes" might push your artistic sensibilities, but to me it seems like a band doing what it does after a few records. Try and keep up, dummies.
For me it's good sounds, good hooks, and a good listen.


redid a bunch of the news you can use links and added some new favorites. cleared out the junk.
check them out

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

best of 09

1.dino jr -farm. classic album. classic video. summer jammer!

2.double dagger-More on thrill jockey. Baltimore keeps DC style alive. So good. this one is kind of like the first No Trend 45....

3.doomriders-darkness comes alive. lions for track of the year! from skate rock to biker rock? this song gets me ready for intervals.

4.converge-Axe to Fall. no video. this track is better than the video jam.

5.slayer-world painted blood. even on a camera phone it goes off at 2:54.

6.raekwon-criminology 2. "angel hair with the lobster sauce"

7.old wainds-nordic death kult. so much for poorly produced slavic black metal. this sounds sick and kills it. so good you get fan made videos!!!!

8.black breath. Portland Metal Punx Get Serious!
9.liturgy renhilation. NY Black Metal keeps getting better
10.el michels affair-enter the 37th chamber. wu-tang forever.
11.stinking lizavetta-sacrifice and bliss. pretty good for "doom jazz"
12.tombs winter hours. crushing.


Citizen's Arrest Discogrpahy (the 7" still rules. the rest is ok) Nuclear War Now!
Forge your own Chains (nowagain)
Psych-Pop 101 (nowagain)
Eccentric Soul-Smart's Place. The story might be cooler than the music.
Blogged and Quartered site-relentless dropping of crucial jams.

All selections have been thoroughly road tested over the spring,summer,fall and winter. Not sure what I missed, but I know I will think of it moments after I post this....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

VDB wisdom from beyond the grave

"I remember Frank Vandenbroucke used to use knee warmers and he’d cut them off shorter because your knees were not cold, but your quads were, so he’d have an extra layer over the quads."
Via Matt Wilson from Beglium Knee Warmers. Glad that site is back.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Buttshakers Vol 4

I reviewed volume one or two of this awhile ago. House Party on one wax platter. Just get it. Shouters,Squawkers,Bar Walkers. Tunes that get it done.
Marvelle and the Blue Mats is a killer. Lynn Minor drops a pretty textbook track for this comp series. Mel Brown drops "chicken fat" for the organ grinders.

You know you are dealing with some rare records when google comes up empty handed.
I guess the only question is how did I miss Volume 3?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Relatively Clean Rivers. Rural Rockers

Pavement stretched out into some territory that was pretty much the Grateful Dead's and they did a lot to make that country-pysch rock thing palatable to kids born in the 70s.
Never been able to get down with the Dead-and I am clear on how many bands I do like are clearly in the same vein. Regardless can't do it. Relatively Clean Rivers are a mid 70s band who get genre-checked as acid-folk, country-rock, pastoral, and most notably my new favorite category rural rocker!
Got the frowned upon Radioactive Records CD.(label sucks cause they don't give money to the bands/songwriters). 9 tracks that do pretty good to live up to and occasionally defy genre expectations and stereotypes. Make no mistake this is some mandatory organic sandals and composting everything commune rock, but it's mid 70s time frame has some synth type stuff sneaking around. One thing I like is no song sprawls on for more than 6 minutes.
I think the mids 70s recording time frame also gives it a post-manson family summer of love failure vibe that takes the edge off what could be unbearable flower power positivism. There is also a few jabs at some Far-Eastern sounds.
This is what I wished a lot of the krsna related records I dug up sounded like.

I have never understood the people that post audio files on youtube with static pictures of an album cover or spinning record, but this is the 2nd track from the RCR record.


Growing up wasn't easy for the youth crew. Just look at this B-team "gorilla biscuits" line up. Porcell and TC3? This was definitely the awkward larval stage before Quicksand and Civ would appear. Not to be a hater, but tanks tops, long hair, and creepers?? What is this the 2nd Uniform Choice LP?
The looks might not have been up to par, but "coded messages in slowed down songs" turned out a lot better
For example-the Moondog demo. Walter was really pushing the envelope with this. For years, I had a shitty tape copy of the demo. Thanks to the internet, you can buy a digital version that seems to sound as bad as my x-generation copy.
Regardless, these songs were sick. Pointing the way towards Quicksand. Some-like The Distance turned up in the last gasp of GB and others turn up on the Civ discography CD that equal vision put out.
I wish Quicksand had recorded some of these. They deserved to be preserved with way better sound quality.
I remember standing outside the Safari Club in DC when I was in college waiting for a Moondog/Burn show. Club never opened. Don't know if it was the bands fault or the club, but I remember waiting for at least 2 hours for something to happen. Would have been stoked to see some odd Moondog lineup.
Another cool Walter related thing can be found here. GB LP with him doing vocals....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Food for Thought

"In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other." - From his final address at the Constitutional Convention
Ben Franklin

Cue Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin....

Heard this in an interview with Jay Parini on Onpoint this morning. This book will be on my xmas list.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vegan Cheese

bear with me on this. Record collector's all have trigger words, whether its freakbeat, folk-psych, boris, Sunn, there are certain things that make your ears perk up and take notice. Lungfish is high on the list of things that start my nerd antenna's quivering. So it was no surprise that upon reading about a TX psych-doom band covering Lungfish, I was buying it as fast as my fingers could fly.
There were some obvious warning signs, but there was no way I wasn't rolling the dice-especially after AQ describes some Deep Purplesque organ work....
A few days later the goods arrive. Nice screen printed cover, white wax. Arclight is the label out of Austin.
Tia Carrera(name should have made me more skeptical. Wayne's World? Come on) stretch out "You are the War" from Feral Hymns(another warning sign-not one of my favorite Lungfish records) over both sides of a 7"(1 song 7"?-another warning sign). In addition to the organ stomp, there is some serious guitar attack on the first side-which is all instrumental. Wah Wah Heaven. They definitely bring it down to a more doom stomp rather than the more hypnotic repetitive way Lungfish do it. 7" might not be the best format for this as you have to flip it, but the sides can sort of stand independently if you(like me) are not savvy enough to digitally meld it into one opus. As far as the vocals, no one is touching Higgs so maybe they could have kept it all instrumental.
So why is this post called Vegan Cheese? cause this single reminds me of when vegans tell you that such and such a food tastes "just like cheese". It never does. The taste may be good, but it is never as described. That is how I feel about this cover. It is good and makes good use of the original, but it really leaves me wanting to listen to the real thing.
So that is a lot of words for an oddball 7".

I guess Higgs related things happen in threes because I heard about this, his NYC art show, and got his new solo record all within a few days. How long do I have to wait for the next triad to manifest?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Daniel Higgs Hymprovisations for Banjo by (A*I*U)

Ideal Recordings dropped this. 2007 recorded in Paris and Orkney Island. Higgs and the Orkneys with piano and raindrops? Weird Beards everywhere tremble with anticipation. Maybe from this tour? His last few records have shown a real strong progression and this one continues that evolution. The appalachian ragga thing I liked is still there, but with some cool new twists and some dissonant almost rockish melodies. Maybe some single note ginnish shredding,but don't get your hopes up for anything too Discordian. He is becoming a much stronger player. First side was my favorite. The odd field recording sounds turn up on side 2. 2nd track on side 2 is pretty amazing. He really does seem to just manifest these jams or receive,perform, and record as it says on the back of the LP. Intense and visceral.
Layout and graphics are basic black, minimalist, and hand screened. Have not figured out the riddle of his drawing on the cover.limited to 500.
Have to dump this onto my IPod for the road trip down to see this!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


this is funnier than the cyclocross hipster video. xtranormal is pretty rad

Monday, November 23, 2009

A couple more shed park shots

I wasn't really in photo mode this weekend, but here are a couple more.

Panoramic majesty of the downhill S's. (just kidding...)


2nd Run Up/Ride Up.

Mad Alchemy Rules.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

end is near

Big race weekend. Shed Park in Lowell and the last race of the Accelerated Cure series in Easthampton. Friday night was a bit hectic as I had no clean kit, a dirty bike, and needed to get in a trainer ride to open up the legs.
As the season has dragged on, it has become easier and easier to roll up to a race with a less and less clean bike. In my head, I want to race every weekend, but in reality it the legs are cooked and it is harder and harder to get out of bed.
Regardless, we rallied to scenic Lowell. Got there early(even for my standards). Course was pretty rad. Half super tech and half roadie safe hammer zone. The goal was to race the 4 race and the 3/4. Based on my lingering illness and almost non existent training, I was skeptical. I did devise the formula for trouble.
Bad Weekend=MT < OZB. When minutes training(MT) are less than ounces of beer consumed(OZB), you are setting yourself up for the beatdown.
4 race jumped off. Rode my usual midpack fodder self. The spiral of death was hectic the first couple laps and bikes were getting tangled(pay attention-this becomes important on the last lap).
Spiral of Death

fully loaded

I was feeling good on the run ups and was managing to catch and pass people. Last lap and I am neck in neck with one of my many nemesis, heading into the last run up (ride up for a lot of other people). I dismount and start to run-pushing the bike. The bike does not roll. Rear wheel is jammmed and the bike is dragging. WTF????? Get to the top and am baffled. Chain is on, not jammed. Then I realize the wheel isn't in the dropout..?WTF. Clearly massive watts were not the culprit. I end up flipping the bike over and beating it back into place-losing a bunch of spots as today's nemesis floats off to Valhalla. Fully bummed, but unbroken, I remount and finish.
My conspiracy theory is that in one of the trips through the Spiral of death, I must have tangled with someone who pulled my quick release loose and it finally got me.
I need zapruder film to confirm, but I have a feeling that all I will see are pictures of me punching my rear wheel....
Race over and now it's time to think about the 3/4.
It was a sunny day, how did my bike get so dirty?

Legs that were cooked when I got up, weren't any better after the first race, but what the hell. Line up and give it a go. After 3 races, the course was more chewed up than my first run through. SOD was a muddy wreck.

The woodsy section had some rutted, drying mud that managed to buck me around like an idiot everytime. So, in true coward's fashion, I rolled off the course after a lap and a half. Day over. Packed up and headed home. Not washing the bike was not an option, so it got done. Bike-life was not over though. The Bicycle Film Fest was in town showing Where are you Go. The trailer for that movie looked cool, so we went to check it out.

It was pretty cool. See it if you can. Time for sleep cause Easthampton was another early roll out.
We rolled up to a very cold Easthampton. Pre-ride was kind of a bumout. A lot of hate was dished out towards the course. Boring with some hectic, sketchy mountain bike sections. It did have a sandpit. Morale was at an all time low on the start.
I actually started in the small ring and planned to ride at the back and treat it like training, or maybe just drop out after a lap.
Half way through the first lap, I managed to almost clip a tree. Nick passed me and told me to chill and "take a deep breath". Turned out to be good advice. Once I was racing, the course was fun. Not a sketchy crash fest. Second race in a row where I was really feeling good on the run ups. Passing people and going hard every lap. The sand pit was similar to Northampton on the first day. Thanks to some good advice, I road the sand better than ever. Thanks PedalPowerCoaching! I was enjoying it more every lap and then it was over. I bobbled the last ride down/run up muddy section and lost a couple spots, but was still happy.
New rule-No negative nancy shit before the race. Just listen to Slayer and get ready to do it.
The 3/4 race was an option.... but not really. Burritos and fish tacos were next on the agenda. Followed by coffee and the cruise home.
2 weeks and 2 races. Then it is time to start building for the road season.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Forge your own Chains

Saw this listed as new release on some list and got real excited. Stones Throw/Now Again has a pretty spotless reputation for obsucro-comps with their funk reissues ,and odd psych records give you a lot of room to work with (toyshop comps???. The two together should be a slam dunk.
Packaging is on some eyepeeling blue and orange action. Huge booklet of liner notes. 15 tracks from all over the globe. First couple of listens under not optimal conditions had me feeling underwhelmed. Luckily, I had the chance to play it uninterrupted on a rainy Saturday drive. The overall dirge and ballad theme was well suited to a rainy drive to Lynn. While not a front to back all killer no filler experience, there are some standout tracks.
Both Top Drawer and Shaddrack Chameleon(best name or what?) drop some procul harum-esque 16 vestal virgins organ ballad jams.
Sensational Saints bring a little gospel funk to the table. D.R. Hooker drops a pre straightedge straightedge jam.
First jaw dropping classic nugget goes to Ofege "it's not easy". This is way beyond an english as a second language novelty rework of "dear mr.fantasy". Classic mixtape showstopper.
2nd place goes to baby grandmothers who drop a mega 13th floor elevators style lysergic dirge, I will be tracking down their reissue with 20 minute live jams from 1968 for sure.

One minor complaint-why put east of underground and d.r. hooker on here when both full lengths have been recently reissued? So you've got a bunch of tracks from around the globe. Some of the tracks have that Kill Bill soundtrack vibe-rock nugget novelties from other countries, but it is still a good comp. Not quite as wild as the other recent Pysch-Funk 101 comp,but covering a similar wide swath of the global rarities.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Black Breath Razor to Oblivion

4 songs of Portland D-Beat. Sometimes I get a craving for Taco Bell. Not Mexican food, but Taco Bell. D-Beat is the same. Give it to me executed exactly to the winning formula. Discharge and Motorhead as the main ingredients. Don't get to slick or original. Black Breath deliver. 4 songs in 15 minutes or so. Totally raging. Perfect interval music. Peg the heartrate for the length of the jam.
Portland has always been a "metal-punk" town in my mind. Poison Idea, Accused,and on and on. Everything had a metal edge or look to it. Portland always reminds me of this. Black Breath keep that tradition alive. The label is name checking the right bands, but then going a little too far with the Celtic Frost/Bathory allusions.The mighty Repulsion from whom they jacked their name are an better comparison. Stick to the formula. Shredding D-beat that will have you coming back for more.

They self released this on vinyl and southernlord has the cd. Full length on the way.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Last Gasp for CSI

Here are some shots from my wife, who is actually a photographer. This will be the end of the NoHo overkill. I need to try and get healthy for Plymouth this weekend.

Master Killers


Action in the Pit! Bike Exchange.MM Racing style.

And that's a wrap.

Northampton 09 Run Up Video Test

How many more posts can I milk this for? Keep counting....
This is from the Cat 3 race. 2nd lap maybe? c

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sunday Photos

I woke up sick and didn't race. Pretty much sat at the October tent all day and took lazy photos from that position. Once again. Fast. The grass sections looked like a crit. Single file with guys dying to close gaps.
Elite Women's start.

Mary McConneloug was dominated. Leading a group on the 1st lap. After that she just road away.
Lap one.

Lap two.

Timmerman gets a great start, but rolls a tire. The crash at the start slowed down a lot of dudes.

Myerson got a great start too, but it seems like if you didn't get caught up at the start, you were guaranteed an issue later. Myserson flatted and drifted back.

Noho CX Words

Even though we had driven out the night before, I was still up too early and ended up at Look Park ridiculously early. One treat of having the first race of the day is the unique course conditions. Warming up was like riding through a field of frozen shag carpet. Wet grass can slow you down-so can frozen grass. As the sun came up, the dew melted off and gave the corners a little more slippery excitement than they otherwise would warrant, The dew also made the railroad crossings something to pay attention to.
Race started with the weird wrong way/parade lap and then turned around back down the finishing straight and up the run up. 100+ dudes will bunch up pretty good at that first run up and it was chaos. Again, we hit it in better condition than latter races-but did our best to chew it up.
The ride down was not a strong point for me. I was riding the brakes way to much, but was sketched out by it until maybe the last 2 laps.

Sand pit-road it in practice. Ran it during the race. Better safe than sorry. Watching the pros latter in the day was pretty mind blowing. They hit the sand pit so fast they could basically just coast through the first part, peddle through the turn and then stomp out. Pros are fast.

Barriers-were pretty basic. Not super tall.

2nd Ride up/Run Up. I ran it during the race. Again, it was pretty crazy to watch the later categories just power up it.
I started to feel the pain about half way through 2 to go and my reliable redline dry heaves kicked up for a minute. Smashed my knee of my seat coming out of the sand pit as well which sucked. Not a total implosion, but it took me most of the lap to get it back togehter.
Bell lap and it was game over. 64th.
Spent the rest of the day hanging out-which may not have been so smart as I woke up the next day with a horrible cough and sore throat.
Rolled over the the park early and took a couple laps-felt like shit. Coughing, hacking, no power. Packed my bike up and went back to bed. Some how I got placed 94th in Sunday's race-even though I was in bed and my number(which I got Friday night) was in my glove compartment???
All in all an amazing weekend.
Adam Craig was hanging on his uber prototype Giant Di2 next to me for most of the day, but I didn't geek out and take any photos. Wish I did.
Based on the number of crashes, I think they might want to rethink the start. It was a little sketchy.
I will be back next year with file treads.


Powers and Driscoll into the barriers.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Northampton Saturday. Run Up

Run-Ups are my favorite obstacle in cross. They reward struggle and guts as much as finesse and they are usually (at the start of a race) pretty chaotic and fun.
Here are some shots from the Sat Men's Pro race. Since I am lazy, you can expect the same thing with 3s and a plethora of shots taken from the confines of the October tent. Lazy Man photography at its finest.

This photo is blurry due to the stealth nature of adam craig's giant with Di2...

Despite the run ups and sand pit, this was really a grass crit. Check out how narrow that line is compared to the width of the lane. It was strung out and you clung on until you popped.

(this photo is from Sunday, but conditions were similar on Sat-just colder.

Cyclcrossworld weren't the only guys holding a cross clinic. Embrocation's duo was dominating in the 3s. Orange gloves must make you fast!

Spooky know how to roll. Did you bring a coffee table to your tent?

Thanks to Adam Myerson/Cycle-Smart and everyone that helped make a great race weekend. Also big thanks to Andrew/October for helping us out with Clive! More pictures and talking later.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Last shots from Orchard Cross

Just want to say again, this was a fun race and I hope it runs again next year.

you could go fast enough here to forget how much the rest of it hurt.

Nice corner

corner with stoked master.

Captain Arty becomes one with the mud

Another section you could rail through and pretend to recover in. Corn zone.

End it with that black and white. real classy.