This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Youth Brigade

Another vintage cut from the archives. If you've not yet heard it, you are required to go obtain a copy of The Sound and the Fury (or Sink With Kalifornija if you got one of them dadgummed compact disc players). Youth Brigade were always a little different from their louder-harder-faster peers in the 80's California punk scene. Consisting of the three Stern brothers, they mixed up the usual hardcore with Oi! and dub influences, along with a classic rock sense of structure. Just listen to this song, "What Will the Revolution Change?" It's a punk epic on par with "Kids of the Black Hole" by the Adolescents.

I never trust extremists of any stripe. I associated with a lot of hardcore leftists and would-be revolutionaries when I was younger, and it dawned on me that they were just as dangerous as they people they resisted. Most of them weren't even all that active as activists. They just liked to sit around eating vegan food that smelled godawful and spew conspiracy theories. Revolutions almost always just bring about the same kinds of oppression, just with different names. Look at what happened in Russia and China. The problem with extremists is that they are so convinced of their rightness and moral superiority that they have no problem forcing their lifestyle choices on you, be it Christian values in the guise of the FCC or someone attempting to enforce PC speech. I see no difference between the Taliban and a group of extreme leftists. A revolution by either would change nothing.

I loved the phrase "What Will the Revolution Change?" so much, that I wrote it on the lapel of the "punk vest" back in high school. (Yeah, I was kind of a dumbass back then.) It was a pretty gnar-gnar garmet. I bought some old sport coat at Salvation Army for $3, ripped the sleeves off, put patternless safety pins all over the fucking thing, and wrote in huge letters on the back "I VOTED BU$H." I really liked that last part - it pissed off conservative types and punk rockers with no sense of irony (all of them). It's only once in a lifetime that you own a piece of clothing that incredible.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

This Is My Fist

This Is My Fist is one of the most promising young bands out there today and probably the first band from the East Bay worth getting a stiffy over in nigh on ten or fifteen years. They've been banging around in Bay Area garage shows for a while, and they finally caught the ear of No Idea Records (also known as the best record label in America), who're putting out their debut full length in August. You better believe I got that shit on pre-order, holmes. If it's as good as the EP they put out on Left Off the Dial, it's probably gonna make my top ten list at the end of the year.

Other than Against Me!, I can't think of another recent band as passionate or as explosive. Guitarist/singer Annie (who's now my new official Punk Rock Crush - sorry, Corin) sings like her heart is about to explode, and she wants to squeeze out one last song beforehand. While she does have this hippie-like fear of alcohol, she also has said she wants the Mountain Goats to sing her to sleep in person every night. Hey Mary Claire, sounds like I found a cooler version of you!

Knowing how this shit works, they're probably break up within a month of their record coming out, and members will go on to form other, more well-known bands. But hey, you can always score points with some cute scene person by saying you knew about TIMF before they did! Well, if you're that kind of shitsuck. You probably are.

Anyway, "Wooden Bullets" is from their upcoming record A History of Rats. "Story of Reconversion" is from the I Don't Want to Startle You, But... EP, which I highly recommed ordering if you have a turntable.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Uncle Tupelo

The rule of falling asleep boozy means you wake up woozy is holding true. Last night the girls and I tied it on, starting with a bottle of wine snuck into the movie theater. And thank God we did, too, because we went to see Lady in the Water, WHICH IS A HUGE FUCKING TURD THAT SHOULD BE CAUSE ENOUGH TO HAVE M. NIGHT SHAMALAMADINGDONG'S ENTRAILS STRUNG UP IN HOLLYWOOD TO FRIGHTEN OTHER FILMMAKERS!!!!! While I was watching it, I was thinking "wow, this is so ridiculous and far-fetched, there's gotta be a great twist!" So I watched with interest as a ludicrous story of water nymphs, dogs made of grass, evil monkeys, and a stuttering handyman got more and more absurd. Then...end credits. No twist. No one was insane, no one was on drugs, it wasn't a big government experiment, nothing. I don't care if I ruined it for you, but there really was nothing to ruin, and it's not like you should see it anyway.

I went off on the above rant because I don't really know what to say about Uncle Tupelo. I'm sure you're all sick of the whole Jeff Tweedy vs. Jay Farrar, Wilco vs. Son Volt shit. Frankly, I couldn't care less, because neither of those bands can hold a candle to Uncle Tupelo. What else is there to say? Killer group. Anyway, this is a song for my friends. That's it.

"When the Bible is a bottle
And the hardwood floor is home
When morning comes twice a day or not at all
If I break in two will you put me back together?
When this puzzle's figured out, will you still be around?"

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Bronx

I know, I know. Two updates in one day officially means I'm interneting too much. Whatever. I just had to share this song with you, my loving tens of fans. I'm posting this for Mary Claire, so she can fully appreciate exactly how much socks the Bronx rocks.

There's really no other word to describe the Bronx except ROCK. If you have balls, prepare to have them rocked clean off. Halfway between Black Flag and Andrew WK, these dudes bring the hurt. People always wondered why the Bronx always got immediate accolades and sweet opening spots before they really had slogged it out in the trenches with all the other up-and-coming bands. The reason, ladies and gentlemen, is because you know from the very first listen how awesome they are. This is not something that grows on you - it doesn't give you that much mercy. Instead, it grabs you by the hair and rapes your ear. From the moment "Heart Attack American" kicks into high gear, you know you have no choice but to headbang and just fucking rock out.

Their new album, also self-titled, is every bit as good as its predecessor. Though there's nothing on it that can match the orgasmic fury that was "Heart Attack American," it's still a virtually flawless album. If you have sad thoughts in your head or you're depressed or whatever, this will sandblast all the bad shit and cobwebs clean outta your brain. Hell, on "Transsexual Blackout," when Matt Caugthran bellows "I don't want romance/And I don't need a second chance!" he more or less lays complete waste to your girl-obsessed strummers and self-absorbed rockers. Besides, any band that talks shit on LA gets automatic points from me. Here's hoping they burn "this fucking wasteland!"

This ain't for the weak of heart. Consider yourself rocked.

Aceyalone and Rjd2

One of the best rap records I've heard this year is definitely Magnificent City, the collaboration between former Freestyle Fellowship member Aceyalone and production wunderkind Rjd2. This really was an ideal collaboration, two people are some of the best at what they do doing what they do best.

The production s typical Rjd2, but with more of a focus on hooks in addition to his soul samples and creepy atmospherics. Acey's also in top form, making every word that spills out of his mouth sound like it's off-the-cuff and brilliant, and he makes a case for being one of America's best MCs, up there with Common, Mos Def, and Boots Riley.

I decided to post the song "Caged Bird" because 1) it's the best song on the record, and 2) Jeremy's getting out of prison pretty soon, so this is kind of a celebration of that.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Falcon

I hate the word supergroup, or just at least how often it pops up. I don't think I've ever read a single article on the New Pornographers that didn't use the phrase "Canadian supergroup." There sure are a bunch of lazy writers in the world.

Anyway, I guess you could call The Falcon a "Chicago pop-punk supergroup," but you certainly wouldn't be the first. Consisting of members of the Lawrence Arms, the Alkaline Trio, and Rise Against, The Falcon put out a mostly killer EP last year, God Don't Make No Trash - or - Up Your Ass With Broken Glass. It was a comparatively raw punk release, considering the people involved.

If their just-released new single "The La-Z-Boy 500" is any indication, their upcoming debut LP Unicornography is going to be a much more diverse, ambitious release. It's catchy as all hell, and Brendan's raspy voice is as charming as ever. What struck me as odd about this song is the lyrics. While the song is a vaguely sunny, uptempo double-tracked acoustic number, the lyrics read like something off a Slayer album.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Replacements

With the upcoming Replacements box set supposedly coming out this year (I know Rhino is usually good about this shit, but if you expect the 'Mats to doing anything on time, you're not the kind of person who would like them), I thought I would share my favorite of their unreleased tracks.

The story of this song goes something like this: the two clashing forces within the band were songwriter/vocalist Paul Westerberg and lead guitarist Bob Stinson. For all his sarcastic bravado, Westerberg had (and largely still has) a knack for introspective songs that cut a swath right to the frustration that's the result of inexperience and youthful alienation. Stinson, on the other had, was the lusty rock 'n' roller who wanted to kick ass and take names. The tension between and amalgamation of both these factors led to some of the most thrilling rock music ever made.

During the recording sessions for their second album, Hootenanny!, Westerberg brought in a song called "You Got Married One Night." He played it for the guys, who stared at him blanky. Stinson's reply was reportedly, "Save it for your solo record, Paul. That ain't the Replacements." It was demoed for the album, but never released or recorded up to the standards of the rest of the songs for the ramshackle, lo-fi Hootenanny!. It's quite possible that this is the only take of the song ever recorded.

Listening to it today, the conflict between the two men is more apparent than anywhere else, as Westerberg expectorates the words in a hoarse croon while playing a highly melodic, balladic guitar line. Then about 1:58 in, you can hear Stinson start trying to "rock it up." I imagine both men glaring at each other in the squalid wharehouse studio, each trying to upstage the other.

Lyrically, it shows Westerberg growing away from his previous rants about hippies and drug-induced car theft. The similies used at first seem clumsy and obvious, but it soon becomes obvious how insightful they are. Westerberg compares the subject of the song's pending marriage to "a student on vacation waiting for school to start." He paints his or her relationship to their significant other as "a guitar in the hands of some fool who just can't play." The lyrical perspective of a friend being warned about marriage makes me think this song is about the same person as the protagonist of "Little Mascara," a Replacements song about a woman regretting her decision to wed and have kids. In both cases, it seems intially like Westerberg is mocking this woman, but it comes across as the reactionary verbal flailings of a man who's been hurt.

My favorite part of this song is how Westerberg sings it. Even if this song had been destined for Hootenanny!, this was obviously a demo. It was recorded with the knowledge that the general public would never hear it. That's significant when you consider how passionate Westerberg's howlings are. He meant it. Even when it didn't count, he still meant it, singing like he was shoving his heart down the mic cord. It's raggad, hoarse, and he goes off-key several times, but it's one of the most beautiful vocal performances I've ever heard. You feel every word like it was a shot to the chest. It takes so much out of him, it sounds like he's out of breath, and he can;t even finish the line. He meant it so much that singing it exhausted him. I really hope y ou enjoy this song as much as I do, regardless of recording quality.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Recently, Sleater-Kinney announced they were going on indefinite hiatus. We indie fucks all know what that really means: "we wanna break up, but we don't want any reunion tours to look like cash-grabs."

That's okay. They've earned the right to do pretty much anything they want musically. Arguably one of America's ten best-ever rock bands, S-K were really the only band to transcend the shackling riotgrrl label and achieve widespread attention for something other than their gender or their politics (although lazy writers would always bring up both). The simple truth is that these gals FUCKING ROCKED. Plain and simple. They could blow almost anyone off the stage. I saw them at the 9:30 Club last summer, and when they stormed the stage and launched into "The Fox," I thought the skin was going to be rocked clean off my face.

My favorite Sleater-Kinney song has to be "Heart Attack," a relatively quiet tune off their raging classic album Call the Doctor. I put this on a mixtape for Kate when we first started dating, and she proceeded to make fun of it, constantly doing a mocking scream of "I'm not....looking!" This is turn forced me to retaliate by saying that "at least the chicks in Sleater-Kinney sing better than that chick in Zeppelin."

But this is a great song, make no mistake. It's a great love song if I've ever heard one. I've always interpreted it as loving someone so much that you don't know what the fuck's going on. Being in love is scary sometimes, and it's certainly humbling - "I still feel like nothing next to you." If you've ever walked into someone's house 'cause you really wanna figure them out, this is a song for you. I still get goosebumps listening to it.

Monday, July 24, 2006


It was announced today that Matador Records will be re-releasing Pavement's best album, Wowee Zowee, in the same way they've re-released Slanted and Enchanted and Crooked Rain. That is to say, with a bunch of interesting b-sides and boring ottakes. However, the article said there will be alternate takes as bonus tracks, which usually means the bottom of the barrel is being scraped. I guess even with as many non-album tracks as Pavement records (something in the neighborhood of three CD's worth), there was bound to be filler popping up.

Anyway, this here is my favorite track off Wowee Zowee, even more than "We Dance." It's by Scott Kannberg, which was unusual. Typically, Stephen Malkmus had him beat eight ways from Sunday on any given album, but Kannberg really brings his A-game with this song. It's not as immediately catchy as some of his other compositions, like "Falling Away" or "Painted Soldiers," but it's still fucking awesome. Wreck this shit, holmes.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Run For Cover 5

The night started off pretty well. They fixed the air conditioner at the Black Cat, so it was no longer a sweltering circle of Hell. Met up with Amy at the Red Room Bar downstairs, and all was going great until Sarah K showed up, a girl I drunkenly slept with last summer. Details aside, things quickly turned sour, so I repaired upstairs to watch the groups, all of which were tribute bands.

First up was These Charming Men. Their set was filled with odd choices, just the kind to be made by obsessive rock nerds. Who else would open with "Death of a Disco Dancer?" I do have to say, though, they were uniformly excellent, even if it took two guitarists to cover for Johnny Marr. The guy playing Morrissey was SPOT. ON. He didn't crack a smile the whole time, he had the glasses/hearing aids/shirt tucked in front but not in the back/cheap necklaces/quiff thing going on, and his vocal impersonation was unbelieveable. Even his cutting asides between songs sounded like what Morrissey would have done. There were people hurling gladiolas on stage, and it was the only set that night where the audience was as much a part of the spectacle as the band. They closed with one of my favorite love songs, "I Won't Share You." I rushed the stage to hug the Morrissey with a huge, dumb smile on my face.

Next up was Jerry Curlen and the Fried Abortions. They did a blistering set of Angry Samoans songs. If you're not down with the Angry Samoans, fuck you. In an age where bands were taking themselves way too seriously, these guys were writing songs like "You Stupid Asshole" and "They Saved Hitler's Cock." This is music for juvenile destruction of property. Anyway, the Fried Abortions best song of the night was "My Old Man's Fatso." I can't believe the crowd wasn't into it. The Angry Samoans go OFF!

Following the Fried Abortions (lord, that's unspeakably fun to type), Declan McManus did a short set of Elvis Costello and the Attractions covers from the My Aim is True/This Year's Model era. Their outfits were perfect, and the guy playing Costello did a fantastic vocal impersonation. I had had enough to drink at this point that I began to half-believe it really was Elvis Costello onstage, and that this was him apologizing for the last fifteen years. The high point of their set came during "Allison," which scientists have verified to be one of the ten best rock ballads of all time. The lighters came out, and I had my arm around a fat chick who was crying and singing along.

Wolfsblood followed with an okay Misfits set. Wasn't great. Their guitarist did a good job, though, as he perfected the squealing, trebly sound of the old Misfits records to a T. Danzig is a difficult vocalist to imitate (my friend Andrew once described him as a "pop top lounge singer"), but this guy's limitations forced the band to focus mostly on the Earth AD stuff, which was easily the weakest material the band ever released. They didn't play "Last Caress," thank God, and they did close with "I Turned Into a Martian," so I have to give them credit for that.

After Wolfsblood's set, I had to make my way to the bathroom to bleed the lizard. In the process, I almost got in a fight with a 6' 2" guy that could have easily killed me with his bare hands. Thanks to the interference of a drunk stranger slurring "yoo guysh don wan get kicked out, d'ya?" my neck was saved. I stayed back for Fairy Peril, as Jane's Addiction is one of those bands who has only four or five songs I like. The group consisted of a bunch of fat guys in wigs, mesh shirts, and fairy wings, and that's something I don't much care to stand near. The chick playing Perry Farrell did look like him though - that is to say, stupid hair and sagging tits. Not the best performance of the night, but it wasn't bad.

The Violent Feminists played next, and as you can guess, it was an uppity broad take on the Violent Femmes. Since the Violent Femmes have exactly one song worth getting excited for ("Kiss Off"), I wasn't too into them. They were dressed up like fictional WOMYN heroines - Annie Oakly, Wonder Woman, Xena, and Rosie the Riveter. I made fun of the bassist's sideburns and heckled them with misogynistic comments. Yeah, I was that drunken asshole that's at every show.

Thankfully, the Rockers showed up to save the day, killing it with some vintage Thin Lizzy covers. "Jailbreak" has one of the single best guitar riffs ever written, and I wish I had had more energy, but I was starting to pass out by this point. I estimate that at this point, I had consumed the equivalent of half a case of beer. I wish I remembered more about their set.

Jamwhitey were up next, and they sucked hard. I don't even know what the were playing, but it sounded like Boring White Music for Boring White People. Also, I didn't want to black out in the Black Cat, because I'd wake up missing my wallet and my anal virginity. I couldn't bear to listen to Jamwhitey anymore, and I certainly wasn't going to sturggle to retain consciousness during an Eddie Mony set, no matter how cool it would have been to see an Alice Cooper tribute. So I stumbled out of the club to drive home. Although, I did have to stop to throw up. On 395, one of the busiest highways in the country, bathed in the light of the Pentagon, I was on my hands and knees puking my guts out. I rule so hard. All things considered, it was a kick-ass night.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Goodbye, Ian Curtis

This isn't yet another sad-sack in makeup caterwauling about Ian Curtis' old-time swingin' party. It's about my bat.

Several weeks ago, I was on the deck lighting the grill when I saw a dead bat laying across the steps. I had a few minutes until the fire would be ready, so I opted to get a shovel and bury the thing. Well, wouldn't you know it, it wasn't dead, and it certainly didn't care for my attempts to move it.

It took up regular daytime residence on the underside of one of the deck steps. I named the bat Ian Curtis because Josh isn't around for me to make fun of. During the afternoons, I would bring it bits of fruit and chill out with it, telling lame jokes and basically being a dick about letting it sleep.

Three days ago, Ian wasn't on the steps, and he hasn't been back since. I assume this means whatever was keeping him there (I was guessing he was hurt) had gotten better and he had flapped away to spread rabies to dumb children. Well Ian, this one's for you, batty sack of disease.

The Pipettes

I've always been a sucker for the girl groups of the 60's. I honestly think groups like Martha & the Vandellas and the Crystals made some of the best American music ever. Sure, these gals are British, but don't hold it against them. Along with their backing band The Cassettes and svengali-manager Monster Bobby, they've been doing the whole sixties thing: polka dot dresses, cat-eye glasses, the mic shimmy, yadda yadda yadda. Normally, shit like this would be an annoying throwback that would send me off on some tear, but it's all so catchy and infectious that you can't help yourself. Besides, it has as much in common with Talulah Gosh as it does the Ronettes, so rest easy, indie scum.

And although this isn't important, these chicks are fuckin' smokin'. I would jam them so hard it's ridiculous. It's been a relief finding pictures of hot gals that make good music, because that picture of Corin Tucker was getting a little worn from all the times I'd pasted it on the face of some passed out co-ed (thanks, slow gas leak!).

None More Black

None More Black is one of the better punk acts out there right now. They've got a killer live show, and they write power-chord metal for drunk punks hanging out behind the 7-11 dumpster. "We Dance on the Ruins Of the Stupid Stage" is from their new album, This is Satire, which is a pretty solid record. If America ever gets its act together and gives me a fucking radio show already, I want the first 20 seconds of this song to be my show's intro. Rock it, holmes.

Greetings, hu-mans

Welcome to The Kids Are All Dead, a music blog by a cranky old man trapped in a cranky young man's body. Please note the following things:

1) I don't care about your feelings
2) I am cantankerous and opinionated
3) Pink Floyd is one of the worst bands ever

If you understand all that, then I think we're at the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I'll begin posting once I figure this damn interweb shit out. If anyone knows any reliable file hosting sites, don't be a church mouse, dig?