Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Sounds Of Love ...A To Zzzz

From the liner notes:

"Dim the lights, hug something warm, and surrender your ears to the supremely sensual intermingling of passionate sighs and pulsating electronic music.

Yes...The Sounds Of Love, featuring the recorded verbal 'offerings' of two very emotional, ardent lovers, is played against a backdrop of skilfully SINthesized chords, and builds to a frantic climax unequalled in the most explicit annals of human experience.

Let The Sounds Of Love seduce your imagination...release your inhibitions...and guide you to new, exciting vistas of pleasure beyond all expectations. Listen along with someone you love...someone who appreciates beautiful music."

To sum up -- this record contains the sounds of a couple copulating, backed up by ancient modular synthesizers. 1972 was a good year for such things, apparently.

I even got a little turned on listening to it, etc.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Sounds Of Love ...A To Zzzz.

Sensuously Sinthesized (Yorkshire)
1. Scented Wind
2. Black & Blues
3. Midnight Waterfalls
4. Ravel "Pavane"
5. Ravel "Bolero"
6. Mozart "Piano Concerto No 21"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Royal Harmonizers

From the liner notes:

"In 1953, several men dedicated to their religious faith came together with the desire of expressing it to others in the community, with music as their medium of communication. Mr. Berkley Bell played an instrumental part in organizing the Royal Harmonizers. Over the past several years the Royal Harmonizers have been privileged to perform numerous spiritual concerts in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. On several occasions they have sung on Radio Station 'WUST' in Washington, D.C. The Royal Harmonizers are made up of two denominations, Baptist and United Methodist. It is the faith and dedication of these men towards their faith and to one another that enabled their union as a group to be a unique and rewarding one. In 1969, Berkley Bell -- Leader and Manager, William Ridgley -- Tenor, Fuller Ming -- Baritone, James Ridgley -- Bass, and Victor Chance -- Second Leader and Guitarist decided to have the name 'ROYAL HARMONIZERS' Incorporated. Through determination and Christian belief, these men are able to tell the world that 'JESUS IS REAL.'"

In the 1950s Berkley Bell was putting out his own records and booking his own tours. You cannot fuck with a man who does it himself.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Royal Harmonizers (of Montgomery County, Maryland).

Jesus Is Real (Mark)

1. Mean Ol' World
2. When He Set Me Free
3. Father Alone
4. I'm A Pilgrim
5. I Love To Call Jesus' Name
6. Yes, Jesus Love Me
7. Jesus Is Real
8. Uncloudy Day
9. I Dreamed Of A City
10. I've Got My Ticket
11. Won't It Be Wonderful
12.  Shadrack

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I love her voice. This record rules.

Yes, the back cover is hand colored. These little touches make the artifact more special, I would say.

I wonder how many bands were named after this particular color.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Red.

Red EP (Odds On Music)

1. Walking In The Park
2. Rooftop
3. God Save America
4. Red
5. The Landed

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Reds

I wonder how many labels started because of the success of labels like Dischord (particularly in the DC area), but we never hear about because none of the bands toured, etc.

I am currently looking into such things.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Reds.

The Reds EP (Ambition)

1. (It's Not The) Same Thing
2. Stronger Silence
3. Killing You

Thursday, December 24, 2009


The cover of this record is like a renaissance painting but with electric guitars. Fantastic. Psych folk from 1970 featuring Sandy Denny (of The Fairport Convention) -- you can't really go wrong with that.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Fotheringay.

Fotheringay (A&M)

1. Nothing More
2. The Sea
3. The Ballad Of Ned Kelly
4. Winter Winds
5. Peace In The End
6. The Way I Feel
7. The Pond And The Stream
8. Too Much Of Nothing
9. Banks Of The Nile
10. Gypsy Davey

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Tix

From the liner notes:

"The Tix have been around for about nine months, inventing and looking for an audience. Now we are cutting our first record. We hope you'll like it; we do. It was recorded at Insight Film Media on January 22-23, 1980. It isn't representative anymore as we are continually metamorphosing. It is an accurate record of where were were in space-time and mentality. Anyway, here it is, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do -- dance to it, eat to it, or something equally physiodelic.

love and kisses
The Tix"


"Nu Wave music is more than a simple reminiscence. It is a parody of high-clone dressing without the rigid and stylized mold. The Tix performed this spring (1980) at the Rock Island in Houston, they broke the mold and changed. Rock Island a sometimes club, sometimes playhouse, mostly vacant building engulfed The Tix fully in their own sound. The audience knew, The Tix knew. A burning aggression that destroyed all gramour and singled the erotic with sadism was not only felt but mastered at Rock Island. Unnoticed by most, it was a return to the 60s, the 50s and late 40s. Not a return to somple salad dressing music but a continuation of an intelligent revival. The Tix's style explores the past's unfulfilled promise."

This is fantastic. Everything about it looks handmade, private press records are the best. They did it themselves, and the organ sounds great.

Ben Franklin ain't no friend of mine, indeed.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Tix.

The Tix (Lunar Lab)

1. Gucci Pucci
2. Manneuqin
3. Icarus
4. What I Want
5. Ben Franklin
6. The World Is My Cage

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Puttin' On The Ritz

Two years ago when we recorded our debut album Bangin' Your Way Into The Future we also cut a version of "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer". Two weeks ago we recorded our second album and also cut a version of "Jingle Bells."

Now I am releasing both of them as a single.

You may not know this, but Kevin and I recorded a Christmas album in 2004 shortly after performing for Bjork and some other holiday shoppers. We made approximately 20 copies before deciding that it was "out of print."

I figured the 5 year anniversary (and the release of this new single) was a good as reason as any to "reissue" it.

Safe travels to you and yours, etc.

Puttin On The Ritz is:
BJ Rubin -- vocals
Kevin Shea -- drums

Moppa Elliott -- standup bass
Jon Irabagon -- saxophone
Nate Wooley -- trumpet on "Jingle Bells"
Sam Kulik -- trombone on "Jingle Bells"
Matt Mottel -- keyboard on "Jingle Bells"
Peter Evans -- trumpet on "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer"

featuring the Puttin' On The Ritz singers:
Sara Oliver
Scarlett Carter
Cat Tyc
Dorie Van Dercreek
Kendall Nordin
Dominika Michalowska

"Jingle Bells" was recorded by Keith Parker at The Gallery Studio and Jeff Davidson at Davidsounds in December 2009.
"Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" was recorded by Jeremy Scott at The Civil Defense in August and September 2007.
Both were mastered by Josh Bonati at Bonati Mastering.
"Jingle Bells" artwork by Dorie Van Dercreek.
"Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" artwork by Travis Millard.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Puttin' On The Ritz.

Jingle Bells b/w Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (Pukekos)
1. Jingle Bells
2. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
3. Jingle Bells (Polish A cappella Remix)

A Very Puttin' On The Ritz Christmas (Self)
1. O Tannenbaum
2. Here Comes Santa Claus
3. Joy To The World
4. Winter Wonderland
5. Jingle Bells
6. Deck The Halls
7. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
8. Silent Night
9. Puff The Magic Dragon
10. Rainbow Connection

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lenny Dee

From the liner notes:

"Nothing they say, succeeds like success. And Success seems to have been Lenny Dee's middle name. He has Attracted a growing army of admirers, chiefly because he is one of those who have made the organ, that noble and classic instrument, vibrate with fresh effects and new vitality. He has developed a definite style of his own. He can make the ogran strum like a banjo, pulse with the beat of tom-toms, or sway with the sensuous rhythm of a rumba band. It is said that he can do literally anything with an electric Hammond Organ except one thing -- he cannot be dull.

He has not always been an organist. When Lenny was seven years old, he entertained friends by playing the banjo. Reared in Illinois and in Florida, he studied the piano-accordian in his youth. The Navy claimed him for three years; he was on an aircraft carrier which had a route between the West Coast and Japan. After the war he took advantage of the G.I. Bill to enroll at the Conservatory of Chicago, where he received his first lessons on the organ.

It was not long before he landed a series of bookings at some of the most prominent hotels in the south. Encouraged by the response, he began featuring original ideas and novel rhythm arrangments with floor shows. He was heard on a weekly network and, during an engaement at Nashville's Plantation Club, he signed a contract with Decca Records, largely through the interest of Red Foley.

These recordings reveal the virtuosity of a star performer, the skill of a gifted arranger, and the taste of a true musician.

Some listeners may notice that practically all of Lenny Dee's renditions have a similar ending. They will be right in so noticing, for Lenny Dee does this on purpose. His endings are, in a sense, his 'key signature' -- a way of signing off which is personal and quickly recognizable."

Sometimes, you just need some hi-fi organ solos with a beat, etc.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Lenny Dee.

Dee-lirious (Decca)

1. Coquette
2. I'm Beginning To See The Light
3. Cinatown, My Chinatown
4. Charmaine
5. Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue
6. Out Of Nowhere
7. Caravan
8. That's My Weakness Now
9. This Ole House
10. Five O'Clock Whistle
11. Twelfth Street Rag
12. Good Night Sweetheart

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Violent Femmes

"Ugly" and "Gimme The Car" were not actually included on the original LP release of Violent Femmes, but rather on this EP put out to accompany it. It was only the advent of the compact disc that brought all the material together in one convenient little package.

And here I am, in 2009, breaking them up again. I prefer to hear things as they were originally released.

They really hit this shit out the park. Of its time, but timeless.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Violent Femmes.

Violent Femmes EP (Rough Trade/Slash)

1. Ugly
2. Gimme The Car
3. Gone Daddy Gone
4. Good Feeling

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Human Beast

What do you need me to say? This band was called "The Human Beast" and you can see what the cover looks like. Progressive rock -- it might not be a surprise but that doesn't make it rule any less (no matter how hard you try, you cannot fight progress, etc). I love this sort of stuff.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Human Beast.

Volume One (Wa-hanna)

1. Mystic Man
2. Appearance Is Everything, Style Is A Way Of Living
3. Brush With The Midnight Butterfly
4. Maybe Someday
5. Reality Presented As An Alternative
6. Naked Breakfast
7. Circle Of The Night

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Brians

I thought I would get the joke, but I don't. I bet at least a few people found this hilarious at the time (maybe you were one of them, etc).

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Brians.

My Brother's Famous b/w Brian's Sister Sue (DinDisc)

1. My Brother's Famous
2. Brian's Sister Sue

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sugarhill Gang

When was the last time you listened to the long version in its (15 minute) entirety? I don't think I ever had, either (the short version even clocks in at 7 minutes).

Totally worth it. There is a whole verse about coping with a friend's mother's subpar cooking.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Sugarhill Gang.

Rapper's Delight (Sugarhill)

1. Rapper's Delight (Long Version)
2. Rapper's Delight (Short Version)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stereolab/Nurse With Wound

I feel like there is an alternative universe where Stereolab is the most popular band in the world. I mean, they sound so sweet to me I can't even listen to them all the time. But when I do listen to it, I love it.

Nurse With Wound has always seemed inscrutable to me. I've only ever seen their records in English record shops for no less than £50, so they've never been a band that I've explored particularly thoroughly (or at all, really). I purchased both of these new (although Crumb Duck is a reissue, so I am also including the bonus tracks), thus avoiding high priced sticker tags (although as imports they weren't cheap records new either).

These are some dope jams. "Simple Headphone Mind" might just be my favorite Stereolab song.

Dig it, etc.

Ladies and gentlemen, for yr listening pleasure, Stereolab/Nurse With Wound.

Crumb Duck (United Dairies)

1. Exploding Head Movie
2. Animal Or Vegetable

Simple Headphone Mind (Duophonic)

1. Simple Headphone Mind
2. Trippin' With The Birds

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Mahavishnu Orchestra

When I listen to this record (and I have been listening to it daily), I tend to make jazz faces and pump my fist in the air. Sweet jesus, these are some guitar solos to blow yr mind.

I paid approximately two dollars for this album. I tried to calculate the number of notes per cent that is, but smoke started coming out of my ears.

Oh yeah -- John McLaughlin also played guitar on Bitches Brew.

My good friend Alice Cohen saw them tour on this album in 1971. They opened for Hot Tuna, who apparently "sucked".

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Mahavishnu Orchestra.

The Inner Mounting Flame (Columbia)

1. Meetings Of The Spirit
2. Dawn
3. The Noonward Race
4. A Lotus On Irish Streams
5. Vital Transformation
6. The Dance Of Maya
7. You Know You Know
8. Awakening

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Factory

This is a serious banger. If you are into 60s psychedelia, "Path Through The Forest" is definitely for you. In another world it was a hit single.

They never released an album, which is probably why only the heads know about them. Head or not, you do now too.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Factory.

Complete Recordings (Heads Together)

1. Path Through The Forest
2. Gone
3. Mr. Lacey
4. Try A Little Sunshine
5. Red Chalk Hill
6. Second Generation Woman
7. Path Through The Forest (Long Version)

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Velvet Underground

My friend Warren Ng made this tape for me as a birthday present some years ago.

"Sister Ray" might very well be my favorite song, and I love hearing all the different bootleg versions.

Enjoy it. Keep in mind that this is a rip of a cassette copy of bootleg LPs.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Velvet Underground.


1. Sister Ray
2. Sister Ray
3. Sister Ray
4. Sister Ray

Thursday, December 3, 2009


No, not that X.

Seriously, this band was from Sydney and they ruled. I think record labels have been losing money for decades now just trying to get this into people's hands. An ex-girlfriend played me Aspirations in the summer of 2001, and I soon thereafter picked up this reissue.

When discussing Australian punk bands from the late 70s, I don't know why people talk about Radio Birdman and The Saints but not X. Personally they are my favorite of the three, and those other bands are pretty awesome too.

Maybe people do talk about all three. What do I know?

You can decide for yourself (keep in mind the fact that Aspirations was recorded in 5 hours). I'm also including a live album recorded during that era. It sounds great and includes mostly songs that aren't on the album, oddly enough.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, X.

Aspirations (Rocknroll Blitzkrieg/Now!)

1. Suck Suck
2. Present
3. Simulated Lovers
4. Police
5. Revolution
6. Turn My Head
7. Good On Ya Baby
8. Delinquent Cars
9.  I Don't Wanna Go Out
10. Dipstick
11. It Must Be Me
12. Coat Of Green
13. Waiting
14. Batman

Live at the Civic '79 (Dropkick)
1. Infamy
2. Fuckin' Rockin'
3. Dipstick
4. All Over Now
5. Degenerate Boy
6. Dream Baby
7. Hey You
8. Not Fade Away
9. Don't Wanna Do It
10. I Don't Wanna Go Out
11. That's Not Nice
12. Runaway
13. Slash Ya Wrists

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lost Kids

Lost Kids weren't around too long, but I saw them at Brownies when they played New York. They were great that night, although they didn't agree. Personally, I like shows where the band gets pissed off at soundman and takes it out not only on him but each other. Real tension in a live setting is a rare thing these days, something that I personally miss.

This was when I lived with Andrew Bottomley, and the band stayed with us in our apartment on South 3rd Street. They had the next day off, so we took them on the Staten Island Ferry (Grass Widow was not the first band to receive such treatment, apparently).

I fondly remember Dante emerging from a deli with a large bottle of water in his hand. Apparently the dude had given him a deal, saying "For you, one dollar!" Dante repeated that mantra all day, maybe he still does.

I asked Sonny Kay if he had anything to add (as he did actually put out this record), and he admitted that he might:

"Lost Kids, as I remember it, were kind of a detour from The Starlite Desperation, sometime soon after they'd moved from Salinas/Monterey to Detroit, in 1999 or so. My memory of it is hazy but I don't think the lineup was ever completely solid. Ben Blackwell from the Dirtbombs plays drums on the EP. They toured out to California in 2001, I believe (and I'm fairly certain Jeff from Starlite was playing drums by this point... or was it Jason Riddle? Shit...). I was living in San Diego at the time and the band and myself spent an afternoon in Tijuana, where I shot a bunch of footage of them just kind of walking around amongst the chaos and dusty alleyways, as well as an extended interview with Jennifer Pearl. I wish I knew whatever happened to that tape. I remember them playing a pretty stunning show at the Che Cafe on a crazy lineup with the Flying Luttenbachers and De Facto... Dante sprawled out on the floor. It's a shame they didn't do an LP. "

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Lost Kids.

Belle Isle Is On Fire (GSL)
1. Where The Lost Kids Go
2. Explode
3. Whirling Dervish
4. Alive In The Snow

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Brutal. Released in 1980, Suicide's second album predicted an entire decade, etc. When you are listening to it, imagine for a moment that it came out in 1981 rather than 1980. It is not difficult to envision the music video for "Fast Money Music" (or whatever), and I imagine that Suicide is much more popular in a world where their producer is a rock star and they are being heavily promoted by MTV.

It just goes to show that sometimes, no matter how good you are or who you know, you can't dictate good taste.

But what sort of world is it where Suicide is a part of popular culture? What would their third album have sounded like in that world?

Although Ric Ocasek cleaned up their sound, I would suggest that what he really did was get them to better channel their violence. Only a band called Suicide could manage to alienate their own fans.

Dream Baby Dream b/w Radiation is like a message in a bottle. I'm so glad they put it somewhere safe where I could find it, so now I can share it with you.

I am really feeling this right now. I've been listening to it daily.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Suicide.

Dream Baby Dream b/w Radiation (Ze/Island)

1. Dream Baby Dream
2. Radiation

Alan Vega/Martin Rev: Suicide (Ze/Antilles)
1. Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne
2. Mr. Ray (To Howard T.)
3. Sweetheart
4. Fast Money Music
5. Touch Me
6. Harlem
7. Be Bop Kid
8. Las Vegas Man
9. Shadazz
10. Dance

Monday, November 30, 2009

Knyfe Hyts

:::The Rite of The Broken Demon Knyfe Hytz Lutelust:::

As relayed to Ivan Shishkin by Charles Fort:

"Steyven Fyve, lo and he said of that ritual:

We broke the Tago Mago LP in half and threwe it on there, too, along with all the cherrey-honey - blood spilled from Combs - the Paisley, parsimmons of Conder, and Bubo whipped a rumbling broken bass string furiously onto the pile of Marijuana Leaves, configured in concentric circles around the
burial mound, and lo, Khatamkari added to the rising sacrifices: Every empty crushed PBR cans from all yesterday's parties, the piano playing in your grave, saccharine Jewelry, plastic Bones.

To this, Brother Minakari slabbed candelabras of mystery and wonder, half-digested barbituates and detritus from the stomach pump of Jersey.

On the outskirts of the mound, four thousand drums beaeten by mutant humonculous, givers of power.

The virgin amphetamines were sacrificed, and Up rose the FIREBALL sparkling and spraying sweet acid hale, brimstone cologne, couture poison.

Above the FIREBALL rose a humongous fetus - his belly glowing rad bright yellow markings. Fire was everywhere.

We read the cymbals. They said:


To this we replied:


And then it was done. The KNYFE HYTZ held plastic casings and encrypted themselvez upon these oxide spools, to be encased in the Black Stone of Ghalahali, and throwed in the ocean."

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Knyfe Hyts.

Knyfe Hyts CS (Party Store)
1. Gnome Eaters
2. Runnin Free
3. Feelin Stoned
4. Exalted Tones
5. Hyts Of Summer
6. Little Black Rock

Sword Of The Lord CS (Party Store)
1. Sword Of The Lord
2. Trylon
3. Do You Want To Die?
4. I Lov U More
5. Spirits
6. Smoke The Milk

Screming Lov b/w We Go Wanderin' (Dick Move)
1. Screming Lov
2. We Go Wanderin'
3. Screming Lov (Brenmar Remix)

OIB Split Series Vol. 3 (OIB)
1. Hyts Of Summer

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I have recently been reflecting upon the time I spent at Midnight Records. I have to say that I am thankful for my time there in some respects, as I learned about some great bands that not very many people remember. Quatermass is one of those bands (maybe some of you have heard of them, and you can take advantage of this opportunity to reacquaint yourselves with their tunes).

As far as progressive rock goes, they are a pretty classic example of a bass organ drums trio. It doesn't hurt that it was recorded at Abbey Road with a 16 piece violin section, 6 piece viola section, 6 piece cello section, and you can't forget the 3 piece double bass section. I mean, the record just wouldn't sound the same without all those strings, etc.

This is the sort of record I enjoy listening to whilst bicycling stoned (I wear a helmet, don't worry). It helps me "think".

I don't own the original vinyl, as I wasn't born rich or in the early 70s. This reissue sounds fine to me, and has bonus tracks too (it was originally issued on the Harvest label out of the UK in 1970).

Look out for the drum solo. It's in there. If you are looking for over the top (and I always am), look no further.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Quatermass.

Quatermass (Akarma)

1. Entropy
2. Black Sheep Of The Family
3. Post War Saturday Echo
4. Good Lord Knows
5. Up On The Ground
6. Gemini
7. Make Up Your Mind
8. Laughin' Tackle
9. Entropy
10. One Blind Mice
11. Punting

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

She Keeps Bees

I have to say, Andy and Jess make me laugh and laugh. In fact, it is hard for me to even think about them without laughing. Go ahead, you try it.

I mean, the first time I saw She Keeps Bees I got so carried away I started drunkenly yelling at them during their set. I walked up and introduced myself to them afterwords and not missing a beat, Jess handed me a 12" they had pressed themselves. My kind of people, etc.

This is the sort of email you are likely to receive from Andy, should you be the sort of person to receive such things:

"Andy here. Attached is the artwork you requested. Also, you will find a picture from an indoor ski hill which we played at recently. This may or may be of interest but we thought it was hilarious.

About the record: it contains two songs from an EP we recorded in 2007 on side A (1. Pile Up 2. Stutter) and two songs from our most recent record on the Bee side (3. Get Gone 4. Cold Eye). It was released in 2008 and limited to 100 copies, each with collage cover art made by Jessica. The art attached is the one we made for ourselves, so we figured it would work as general art for your post.

Trying to think of interesting things about the recordings... at the end of Get Gone you can hear me stand up and start walking over to the computer to hit stop.

The A side is two of the four songs we've ever recorded at a real studio.

Ummm, we haven't left the house for three days. Thank you thank you thank you!


P.S. I also attached a new photo of us if you need it."

Jess has recently become interested in lunar trivia, and wanted to share this:

"NEW MOON in Scorpio was on Monday night Nov 16th kids.

Here's some good old facts about the moon:

-The moon rotates at 10 miles per hour compared to the earth's rotation of 1000 miles per hour.

-More than 400 Moon trees are are planted all over the world. They don't know where though. Grown from seeds that were taken to the moon and back on Apollo 14 in January 31, 1971. Pilot for the mission brought along a canister full of Sycamore, Redwood, Sweet gum, and Douglas Fir.

-The Moon is moving away from us. Each year, the Moon steals some of Earth's rotational energy, and uses it to propel itself about 3.8 centimeters higher in its orbit.

-The Moon is not round (or spherical). Instead, it's shaped like an egg.

-High tide aligns with the Moon as Earth spins underneath. Another high tide occurs on the opposite side of the planet because gravity pulls Earth toward the Moon more than it pulls the water.

Moon lady says:

-During the new moon (RIGHT NOW)... we should honor the time we need to receive and gain guidance. In the darkness you can let things germinate. Take it all in.

-During the full moon... see what is brought into the light. What needs to be stripped away. What is necessary to continue growth rather than what has become habit.

-The moon is far older than previously expected. Maybe even older than the Earth or the Sun. The oldest age for the Earth is estimated to be 4.6 billion years old; moon rocks were dated at 5.3 billion years old, and the dust upon which they were resting was at least another billion years older.

-Moon rocks are magnetized. This is odd because there is no magnetic field on the moon itself. This could not have originated from a 'close call' with Earth—such an encounter would have ripped the moon apart."

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, She Keeps Bees.

She Keeps Bees EP (Pukekos)
1. Pile Up
2. Stutter
3. Get Gone
4. Cold Eye

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Parts & Labor

BJ Warshaw and myself have both lived in Brooklyn for some time now. When we were younger we would occasionally get confused for each other, much to our chagrin and/or amusement. I asked him to elaborate:

"There were a lot of mix-ups back then, and my friends and I only knew that there was some other dude walking around Brooklyn with similar haircut, sideburns, and glasses. We called him the Doppelganger.

One time me and my roommates were throwing a party. A couple of friends were on there way over in a taxi. One of them was bringing a girl he'd just started dating (I can't recall her name, let's call her Bridgette). She asked him, 'So who's party is this?' He replied, "My friend, BJ." She was like, 'I hate that guy!' My friend described me, and it fit the bill.  She flipped out, refused to go, and demanded to be let out of the car! When he got to the party, he asked me what I'd done to piss Bridgette off. And I'd never heard of the girl. I chalked it up to the Doppelganger.

For a year in 1998-99 I lived around the corner from this bar, Mona's, in the East Village.  I used to spend a ton of time there shooting pool and drinking cheap Guinness. One time I went in and my name was already on the chalk board for pool matches. I figured my buddy Ray had put my name up, as was the customary thing to do when you saw a pool regular walk in. I got a drink, sat next to Ray, said, 'Thanks for putting my name up.' He replied, 'Uh... you put your name up, I just saw you do it.' It totally fucked with my head, to the point where I was seriously questioning my short term memory.

Another time I remember being at a party, talking to a girl, and introducing myself. She said a guy named BJ once put a cigarette out on her friend's jacket. I had to explain that it wasn't me, but I'm not sure that she believed me.

It was months before we actually met. We frequented the same places, the early Todd P shows, loft parties, etc, but somehow never met for, I think, almost a year. I was friends with other Oakland transplants that had known him on the West Coast. And I remember just missing him over and over again. Friends of mine wanted to plan a showdown in the street, a BJ battle royale.

I DO remember when we finally first came face to face. It was at a Melt Banana at the Knitting Factory. BJ was sitting alone at small table against the wall and I knew, immediately, that he had to be the Doppelganger. I bought a drink and walked over to his table and said, 'Are you BJ?'

He looked up at me and skeptically said, 'Yeah.'

I slammed my beer down on the table and said, 'I'm BJ, too, and this town ain't big enough for the both of us.'

I was trying to be half-funny, but he just looked at me like I was a total fucking dick, kinda shrugged, and kept drinking his beer.

After that, though, I think we became pals, although it took a while and was certainly weird having the same unusual name within a relatively small community."

You want to know something? I did think he was a dick at first because of that, although now I realize it was just his way of being friendly.

One night we were both at the same loft party in Williamsburg, which wasn't unusual for the time. There was a long line for the bathroom, and a note on the door informing us that the toilet was busted and that nothing should be deposited there.

I was not waiting in line to dispose of liquid waste, unfortunately. As this was during an era of heavy drinking (for both myself and Warshaw, I would imagine), I started drunkenly claiming that I was going to relieve myself in the bathtub. When I finally gained access to said facilities, I noticed that the toilet was backed up but still serviceable for my purposes and thus did not utilize the bathtub as I had initially claimed I would.

At some point in the evening, someone actually did.

A few days later, the following appeared on the Troubleman website:


You know how we do. Represent for PAPER magazine's "Beautiful People" list for 2003: ROGERS SISTERS, TOUCHDOWN, and ABCS. Also don't forget our friends FORCEFIELD.

Go here or buy it at the new stands. Also quoted in that issue "The hottest NY label". Fuck you, we are from JERSEY and Buy Our Records is the best Jersey label EVER.

Playlist: BJ taking a shit in Pete's bath tub at the Fat Day show last weekend."

I saw this and emailed Mike Simonetti to clear up the matter. Apparently I wasn't the only one, as he later printed the following retraction:


Ok, BJ told me that he did not shit in anyone's tub this weekend. I also heard that the other BJ in NYC (from Parts & Labor) is getting shit (no pun intended) for it as well. Either way, whether BJ shit in a tub or not, you gotta admit it is a funny story!"

The real culprit was never found. As for the other allegations, I will say that as we both had a habit of drinking excessively and doing stupid shit that any of it could have been either of us. I don't specifically remember putting out a cigarette on anyone's jacket, but I don't specifically remember not doing it either.

BJ wrote me the following note when I informed him that I had tracked down an open copy of the first Parts & Labor tour EP for inclusion:

"Hey BJ,

Attached is my copy's cover of the Oh My God The Van Is On Fire EP. This was our first release, a limited run of CDRs that we sold at our early shows and during our first tour in 2003. Each copy was hand made using torn, colored gaffers' tape wrapped around a cardboard CD case (so the buyer had to cut/tear the tape to get the CDR out). We used one of those crappy label makers to write the band name, and often a little personalized message. I have no clue how many we made, definitely over 100 (but fewer than 500).

I'd spend time in the van or at the merch table wrapping the covers. After that first tour, I quit smoking. The covers became increasingly intricate and labor-intensive as a sort of physical addiction therapy to missing cigarettes. This scan is the one copy that I kept, and I think it probably took me a solid hour or two to make.

I'm psyched Chris had a copy of this, so I didn't have to tear open my nostalgia copy. Also psyched to hear these songs; I haven't listened to this EP in, literally, years!


The Chris he is referring to there is Chris Weingarten, former drummer of Parts & Labor. He had this story to tell about the band, circa 2005:

"One of the oldest journalismo tricks when interviewing a band is to ask, 'Did anything interesting or funny happen when recording the record.' Eighty percent of the time, that question yields a flat-out 'no,' because bands are generally boring, recording records is tedious and, let's be totally honest here, it's kind of a dumb question. However, the other 20 percent usually brings out a story so good that you can build an entire article around it. Stay Afraid was the first full-length record I ever recorded with Parts & Labor and damned if there wasn't  a completely phenomenal recording story to go with it. When we did press for the record, I waited with baited breath for someone to ask me, 'So, did anything interesting or funny happen when recording the record' because, yes, in fact, this time something interesting and funny happened. Alas, in the dozens of interviews we did, no one ever asked. So now I have to spend my Tuesday night typing it out myself.

We recorded Stay Afraid in 2005 at Brooklyn's Headgear Studios. Dave Sitek and TV On The Radio were recording Return To Cookie Mountain exactly one door down in Stay Gold. It was inspiring to walk by that door on the way to the studio and hear all kinds of oboes and weird clangs coming from behind the metal door. Our studio was pretty incredible too. We had producer Scott Norton who was a sweetheart and a badass and had tons of tape--tape!--that we could record on.

Anyway, one thing you should know about Dan and BJ of Parts & Labor is that they are notorious perfectionists. Their attitude towards getting the exact right sound, the exact right melody was at once inspiring and infuriating. I usually stuck around to break ties. Those dudes were total sound nerds who loved to produce and tinker. I spent a lot of that session chilling on the couch while they tweaked. At the time I was reading John Hersey's Hiroshima and the Spin magazine '100 greatest albums of the last 20 years' list, silently wondering to myself what kind of magic we'd have to stir up on this record to be in the next edition.

One day, I was laying down reading my book, with my feet facing out the door. I'm near-sighted and I take my glasses off when I read. So when I saw this blurry figure coming down the hallway, I didn't recognize him at first. I THOUGHT I knew him so I waved anyway. He waved back. I put my glasses on and saw that, yes, I did recognize him--but I've never met him before. I guess you can say he was a notorious figure whose name had gotten around Brooklyn a little bit at the time. BJ, Dan and Scott were hunched over the mixing console intently working out a song that was blaring through the Headgear speakers. Our guest patiently played the wall, chilling next to me, dead silent for the few minutes it took for them to wrap up.

'Excuse me, is David here?' he said, inches from me at the back of the room, asking for David Sitek. Scott turned around, clearly caught off guard by our guest, and immediately stuttered out, 'Yeah, let me take you to him,' and, without hesitation, immediately escorted him down the hall.

This dude was pretty well known around Williamsburg, so I was clearly impressed by this stranger's presence on our humble session. BJ and Dan, however were totally unphased. They were older than me, they had played more shows than me, and they had made more records than me, so I thought they were just over things like gossip and celebrities. I didn't want our strange guest and our producer to hear us talking, so I went up to where my bandmates were and started whispering.

'Oh, you guys are too cool for school, huh?'

They looked at me like I was a jerk. I was kind of being a jerk about it. I couldn't believe these two were so jaded!

'You two don't want to look like dorks in front of Scott? Is that it?' I whispered as low as I could muster.

Again, blank stares.

I continued to whisper: 'It's like the dog humped the couch and everyone's pretending nothing happened.'

BJ picked up the cues and whispered back. 'The dog humped the couch?' he said to me, clearly confused at my line of questioning.

'Guys, I'm talking about the amazing thing that just happened, that you two are pretending didn't happen.'

'Chris,' BJ said to me, very quietly, with what must have been remarkable patience, 'What the fuck are you talking about?'

'That David Bowie was just in our studio!'

The room was dead silent for a few seconds. We stared at each other. The tension was broke when BJ loudly blurted out, 'That wasn't David Bowie!' When Bowie came in, Dan had been too involved in the production to turn around. BJ, hilariously, actually DID turn around, saw him in the corner of his eye, and didn't process that it could actually be Ziggy Stardust back there.

We went back and forth for a few minutes until BJ  hopped off his stool to investigate. He comes back 10 minutes later, and says, 'Well, that was David Bowie.'

Turns out David told the TVOTR dudes that he kind of liked what we were putting down (yay!) and even chopped it up with them a little about his love of Lightning Bolt and a pre-Battles Tyondai Braxton. Shit, most people in Brooklyn weren't even hip to Tyondai at that point, that's how cool that guy is. Anyway, David Bowie, thank you for providing us with an interesting story."

So now you will always know which BJ is which, etc.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Parts & Labor.

Oh My God The Van's On Fire EP (Pukekos)
1. RC1
2. Autopilot
3. Groundswell
4. Railgun
5. Broken Man Going To Work
6. RC2
7. The Intervention
8. Parts & Labor

Parts & Labor (JMZ)
1. Parts & Labor
2. Mike Burke For President
3. Japanda

Groundswell (JMZ)
1. It's Not the End of the World
2. Autopilot
3. Mike Burke for President
4. Intervention
5. Parts & Labor
6. Happy New Year
7. Railgun
8. Broken Man Going to Work
9. TB Strut
10. Groundswell

Rise, Rise, Rise (Narnack)
1. Don't Just Fucking Stand There
2. Days In Thirds
3. Jurassic Technology
4. Good Morning Black Eye
5. Voltage
6. Probably Feeling Better Already
7. The Endless Air Show

Confuse Yr Idols: A Tribute To Sonic Youth (Narnack)
1. Sugar Kane

A Great Divide b/w Take Us Back (Plastic)
1. A Great Divide
2. Take Us Back

PAarts & LAabor (Cardboard)
1. Silent Tyrants

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

World War IX

Justin Melkmann is a senior producer at The Daily Show, draws comics (one hilarious one involves GG Allin and is included in the download) and plays in a punk rock band. How do you spend your time?

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, World War IX.

Slap in the Face: My Obsession with GG Allin (Self)
1. Slap in the Face: My Obsession with GG Allin

Brown Bagging It (Red Black & Blue)

1. Portrait of Sobriety
2. Treasure Hunt
3. Jesus Freaks
4. Employee of the Month