Wednesday, February 27, 2008

for some reason, psychedelic music became really popular in l.a.’s 80s underground scene (well, at least part of it). rain parade were one of the best of the ‘paisley underground’ bands, and the trippiest too. their music was low-key but dreamy, a mellower take on the psychedelia of love and early pink floyd.

“look at merri” is one of their best songs, off the excellent “emergency third rail power trip”. at the center of the track is the gentle psychedelic groove of the bass, with everything else swirling around it:

rain parade--"look at merri"

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I've never kept my admiration for Jack Rabid a secret. Jack is the longtime editor (since 1980) of the fanzine turned jumbo music magazine The Big Takeover. Featured in its glorious pages are extensive interviews with great bands that read like conversations between old friends, supremely knowledgeable editorials, and enthusiastic and non-pretentious music criticism. Are you convinced yet?

Mr. Rabid has also played the drums for a number of bands since the inception of his publishing triumph: the early 80s hardcore band Even Worse, still active post-punkers Last Burning Embers, and the shoegazery Springhouse, seen below in the video for the great song "Layers" from their 1991 album Land Falls.

Springhouse have a new album coming out later this year (their third) called From Now to OK, and they're sampling songs from it on their MySpace page.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

No apologies. Just the Notes. Out on Good Ol' Paper Tomorrow.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The 2nd blogiversary is coming up in nine days. Who wants to make cupcakes?

Thursday, February 14, 2008


The brothers Chip and Tony Kinman have been in no less than four bands together over the past thirty years, each with its own distinct personality and claim to greatness. They generally walk the line between punk rock and country, but they’ve covered a lot of territory throughout their prolific careers, so I thought it was time to recognize the under-recognized…

The Dils were possibly the greatest of the West Coast hardcore bands of the late 70s, and all this with only three singles to their credit (a number of live recordings are still in existence). Here they are at their most melodic. (Aside: when this song was rerecorded by Rank and File a few years later, they cut the line, “I don’t listen to the cops, I wish they all were dead.” I wonder why?)
The Dils - "Sound of the Rain"

Sundown, the brothers’ first album as the mildly successful Rank and File (a band that once featured a young Alejandro Escovedo, the alt-country legend who is supposedly Sheila E’s uncle), is their crowning achievement, so damn engaging from start to finish. The genre is typically called cowpunk, to denote a rollicking set of tunes that have fun with imagery of the American West. The follow-up, Long Gone Dead, is a somewhat inferior rewrite, while their third self-titled album has been called one of the most atrocious sellouts of all time. The proof? Decide for yourself.
Rank and File - "Conductor Wore Black"

Blackbird was a melodic post-punk venture for the Kinmans, as they loved up on the Jesus and Mary Chain and their ilk. The songs are prone to reverb and overproduction, indicative of the early 90s. Three self-titled albums were released under the Blackbird moniker, all of which are pretty impossible to find these days.
Blackbird - "Mary's World"

Cowboy Nation is their most overtly country project, so overt, in fact, that it couldn’t really be called anything but country. They’ve been inactive since 2002, and during these past few years, the brothers Kinman have been flying more below the radar than ever before. Maybe they will become rediscovered through this blog post!
Cowboy Nation - "Remember the Alamo"

Monday, February 11, 2008

More Daniel Johnston:

This is the man in Omaha, but it could just as well be First Avenue. And on Friday night, he didn't really seem to know or care which city he was in anyway. Johnston keeps his concerts brief, and performing doesn't seem to be particularly easy for him, but it's good to see him still on the road.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

"my heart looked to art and I found the beatles
oh god i was and am a true disciple
look for the fun you'll start a happy cycle
the music will make you come alive"

do you not have plans for friday night? (i'm guessing if you read this blog you don't) consider checking out indie legend daniel johnston at first ave:

daniel johnston--"rock 'n' roll/ega"