Sunday, February 26, 2012

TV Buddhas - Band in the Modern World

TV Buddhas are an admittedly standard '70s-style punk band out of Tel Aviv; it'd be pointless to name-check for the sake of providing reference points because anyone will gladly compare any current garage/punk band to the Ramones/Hüsker Dü/Stooges standard array. So I'll refrain. Likewise, without knowing what the rock scene is like in Israel, it's also difficult to know what standard is over there. The thing to say, then, is that they're typical of the American garage scenes that are revived every few years and currently held down by, say, Goner or Dirtnap Records, a lo-fi three-piece that pride themselves on their DIY ethic and style, and - dare I say it - have smashing good looks and beautiful hair. They're also based in Berlin at the moment. Just like King Khan.

From their blog posts, it sounds that touring finds them exhausted. Or, maybe they want to sound exhausted - so that you, the fans, know how hard they're working to entertain you. Aside from the recordings they've got due in 2012, they also write that they're looking to start "a graphic novel, and hopefuly [sic] a new film." Also, "we started buying some old analog recording equipment, a reel to reel machine, an analog mixer and such, for the purpose of recording our own LP next year by ourselves in our very own Berlin studio." In truth, it sounds like they're making themselves broke and wearing themselves out in order to work hard at fulfilling a DIY image. If I hadn't liked the songs they'd just put out, I'd be inclined to say that they sounded like a parody. But they're not bad, and the Band in the Modern World EP, to be officially released in April, is quite a bit better than the "Hello to Loneliness" seven-inch they released last year. And it was, as they say, "recorded traditionally in one hour."

Preview the rest of Band in the Modern World and purchase in April from Trost Records.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Discocks - Long Live Oi!

Hullo, friends. Post #480 brings something old and special from my record collection, one of many I've meant to digitize from vinyl for sharing purposes, but am much too lazy to do on a regular basis. Long Live Oi! was a near-mint record I stumbled upon at Rocket Records in Tacoma, WA, sometime in or around 2005. It's the first full length from the Discocks, an attempt at oi! that formed in Japan in 1992.

Seeing as oi! was a subculture that stemmed from oppression in working class Britain, I more or less looked at this record as a cartoonish parody the first time I heard it; to some extent, not much has changed. Listen closely and you'll find yourself nodding along to lyrics like "Knock it back/and have another one/drinking and driving is so much fun" (from aptly titled "Drinking and Driving," which does its best to appropriate British pub culture). Give a hard listen to any other track and, well, the lyrics are more or less unintelligible through grumbly growls. But it's a dance party for one, and a damn good one at that. The Discocks would eventually split up and then reform with a nearly-new lineup, releasing Don't Be Fooled, Don't Be Satisfied, Don't Be Ruled...Don't Be Denied in 2005. Ohashi, their original bass player, went on to play for the Avoided and, later, 45RPM.

Anyway, this record is apparently hard to come by in the U.S., and worth a fair bit of money on the internet. Lucky me! So, here. Lucky you!

The Discocks - Long Live Oi! (Side A)
The Discocks - Long Live Oi! (Side B)

What they eventually became:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Time to break out yer dancin' shoes...

People. Go see Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 on tour this spring. It'll be the best damn show you've seen in years. Take my word for it.


3/15 - SXSW - Austin, TX

3/16 - Neumo's - Seattle, WA

3/17 - Mt. Tabor Theater - Portland, OR

3/18 - W.O.W. Hall - Eugene, OR

3/21 - Center for the Arts - Grass Valley, CA

3/23 - Moe's - Santa Cruz, CA

3/24 - Mateel Cultural Center - Redway, CA

3/28 - Belly Up - Aspen, CO

3/29 - Boulder Theater - Boulder, CO

3/30 - Granada Theater - Lawrence, KS

3/31 - Englert Theater - Iowa City, IA

4/1 - House of Blues - Chicago, IL

4/4 - Variety - Atlanta, GA

4/5 - Duke Performances - Durham, NC

4/6- Soundstage - Baltimore, MD

4/7 - Club Helsinki - Hudson, NY

4/8 - Highline Ballroom - New York, NY

4/12 - UW Madison - Madison, WI

4/13 - Rhythm Foundation - Miami, FL

4/14 - The Cedar - Minneapolis, MN

4/15 - Coachella - Indio, CA

4/16 - Campbell Hall - Santa Barbara, CA

4/18 - UC San Diego - San Diego, CA

4/19 - Zellerbach Hall - Berkeley, CA

4/20 - UCLA Royce Hall - Los Angeles, CA

4/22 - Coachella - Indio, CA

4/24 - KTAOS Solar Center - Taos, NM

4/25 - Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater - Albuquerque, NM

4/27 - New Orleans Jazz Festival - New Orleans, LA

4/29 - Houston International Festival - Houston, TX

5/2 - House of Blues - New Orleans, LA

5/13 - Lake Eden Arts Festival - Black Mountain, NC

Hooray for the World Wide Web

If you weren't in Manhattan this past Saturday night, you didn't have a chance to watch Jherek Bischoff's collaboration with the Wordless Music Orchestra as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival. Lucky you (and me!), it's been posted online with WQXR.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Celebrating five years with Edgar Breau...

Before I get into a review of this Edgar Breau album, I'd like to note (since it feels like somewhat of a milestone, I guess) that this blog's now been in place for five years, which probably makes it qualify as old dirt in the blog world. I began this thing in February 2007 while writing for a music website full-time, which served as proper job and required me to begin a blog for the sake of providing external promotion of the site, through links and bibs and bobs of the like. No, I didn't start Choir Croak Out Them Goodies by choice, and yes, I was very much anti-blog at the time. I'd come out of college in 2006, desiring very much to become a proper music journalist and work my way up to editorship in the magazine world, and blogs only served to take away the credibility of music journalists, because – when it gets down to it – blogs make it so that anyone can do this exciting job for free. And if that's the case, who's going to pay a proper journalist? It's a privilege to write about music, isn't it?

So I started this blog against my will and named it after a line in Jim Carroll's The Basketball Diaries, and after proper job became a thing of the past, I decided to keep it going because I'd since befriended fellow music bloggers around the world and found that I actually liked blogs after all. Yes, they brought music journalism down so that it was no longer a special thing – breaking news on Twitter is a whole new issue I'd rather not get into – but with all sorts of people uploading obscure music and sharing ideas, it'd become easy to find odd mix CD fodder and read a variety of writing styles, which would never happen without blogs because, as you can imagine, most of the official music reviewers out there have come to imitate a certain style and keep up with a specific rotation of new releases. Without blogs I'd never have discovered Meursault, the Piranhas, or Little Sparrow and His Singing Steel Pan. And while Google Analytics tells me I get approximately 1000 viewers per month, which is quite a small readership in the scope of things, my hope for this blog is that I've turned at least one person onto new music each time I've made a post. If that's occurred, then I'll eventually end it and feel satisfied.

Now that I've indulged, I should move onto a release about which I'm actually quite excited, by Edgar Breau. A couple weeks back, Breau sent forward his recent solo record, Patches of Blue, and as it happens, was actually the frontman for '70s psych rock band Simply Saucer, a band I've loved for years. They were based in Ontario, Canada, and initially broke up in 1979; you might know them by the 1989 compilation Cyborgs Revisited, or more specifically, the highly Velvet Underground-influenced “Bullet Proof Nothing” (which, yes, I discovered on a blog, in my dorm room, approximately nine years ago).

As Breau wrote a couple weeks back, Simply Saucer just recorded five new songs in Detroit, which he and the band feel are among their best work. But Patches of Blue, his solo release, is nothing along the lines of Saucer's spacy analog-recorded rock, and is instead a tribute of sorts to John Fahey. As he puts it:

[T]his record isn't about me losing my love or ability to play raw electric guitar or anything like that, it's just another side of Edgar Breau, the fruit of many years of songwriting and an early obsession with John Fahey's guitar playing which ended up influencing my own open tuning, finger style compositions.”

According to his website, Patches was initially due for release in 2010 and has somehow been put off until now. Breau's voice these days is actually quite reminiscent of an aged Ray Davies, which isn't such a shabby comparison at all; “One Kind of Love” sounds a bit dated and makes the point that Breau's at his best when he's on his own with his guitar, showing off that method of playing on which he prides himself, striving to reach Fahey's approach (and heavens, Fahey had it). He sounds mildly weathered but warm and welcoming, and is a rather skilled guitarist with old-fashioned desires and range to boast. Patches is a welcome return for Breau, who might not have made this record at all, had he successfully run for office while representing the Family Coalition Party over a decade ago.

Purchase Patches of Blue after a free preview.

Simply Saucer - Bullet Proof Nothing