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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Farewell, dear Orpheus

The condos march ever onward in spite of a shrinking economy and a housing market that more and more acts like an angry, impotent man flailing about his useless, flaccid penis.

The latest victim is the soon-to-be decimated (in my own opinion) neighborhood of Clarendon. For as far back as I've lived here, it's been one of the best kept secrets of the metro area. Cozy, inexpensive ethnic restaurants and $1-beer-night bars shared street space with the kung-fu movie rental store and the world's weirdest overstock outlet.

Of course, for me, the centerpiece of the neighborhood is/was Orpheus Records, which has been a source for new and used vinyl for the last 30+ years. It was one of the few places in town to go to get new vinyl (from street punk to left-field indie to folk) and one of the best used vinyl sections in the area - their entire wall of jazz records and healthy collection of vintage garage and college rock kept me coming back. It was the place to go on a warm afternoon, where after one spent an hour picking through $4 doo-wop records, discovered an obscure bluesman, and perhaps came across a slab of wax that had been on one's wish list forever. (For this cat, it was finding first pressings from Wire, the Soft Boys, Sonny Rollins, and Adrenalin OD.) Then, depending on the hour, one could have have a snack at the Indian place next door, peruse tabloid rags at the British newsstand, people watch at the gravestone sales lot, or go get a drink at the hole-in-the-wall watering hole.

I sensed the end was near when Liberty Tavern set up shop on Wilson Blvd. Check it out here and you'll see what I mean - . Dipshit Central is right. Khaki-clad Bluetooth slaves started showing up to eat $10 sandwiches and drink fair trade microbrew and nuclear-colored drinks with names like The Bahama Mama. Then the ancient deli shuttered. Then they gutted five storefronts to put in another goddamn CVS when there's another one two blocks away. Then future condo site signs began popping up like zits on prom night.

Orpheus is one of the last victims of this insidious plight. The building management is not renewing their lease, so goodbye to one of the last fronts in the War For Homogenization so that Johnny Tightass and Suzy Marketing Rep don't have to walk more than a block for overpriced drinks and yoga studios. Thanks for making everything the same and for making sure that nothing great ever gets to last beyond our lifetimes. Even the ultra-sketchy Peruvian Motors had a charm that overpowers the 15-story monstrosity you plan to replace it with.

Orpheus has until the end of March and is having a 50% off sale, so if you can, please please please go on a spree one last time and help Rick cover his debts and liquidate his stock. If you have any taste and there's anything left, I promise you'll find something you like.

One last thing before I collapse in bed in a fit. On the day I found out the store was closing, I was walking back to my car and passed Liberty Tavern. Outside were a gaggle of blonde-dyed ninnies all wearing matching khakis and black heel pumps and the inexplicably popular battered-wife sunglasses that everyone wears these days, and they were chattering away about the most inane things possible in the most boring, asinine way possible. The bar itself was blaring Ugly Duckling, an obscure, underrated rap trio from Long Beach. I didn't know whether to cry, scream, punch one of the women just on principle, or hurl a trashcan through the bar's front windows and scream "GODDAMMIT WHY CAN'T YOU JUST LET US HAVE ANYTHING COOL WITHOUT FUCKING IT UP?"

I went with Option 5: glaring witheringly at the dumbasses gathered outside and walking off in a huff. The last thing I heard before I turned the corner was "oh my god, this is just like on The Hills!" "HAHA INORITE?!?"

Godspeed, sir. Mailorder is still fun, but it'll never be as much fun.

I know this is DC and New York sucks a big bag of dicks, but I can't stop listening to this song today. Probably related somehow.

Simon and Garfunkel - The Only Living Boy in New York:

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Red Sox are now almost as evil as the Yankees

So it feels like the ebola virus has decided to become a guest in our apartment, as Chris and Andrea are severely under the weather, and I'm starting to feel like death creeping. Woot.

Work's been crazy, and then there was Valentine's. (Which rocked, thank you very much.) Blah blah blah, you've heard it all before on a million better blogs than mine.

Andrea and I saw the Hall Monitors last weekend, and while they were were a bit sloppy (been on a break), they still fucking slayed. Mike's back, and Sean looks like Snidely Whiplash. He's also singing better than ever. "Lord I'm a Sinner" sounds like it's going to be the jam of the spring. Check it out here - They're going to be kicking out the grooves March 7th at the Velvet Lounge with the Shalitas, so come on down and check out one of the five best American rock bands right now.

So anyway, speaking of garage bands who know how to go off, check out the Standells. I found a bunch of their vintage 45's in some throwback record store in Atlanta for $2 a pop, and you better believe I picked them all up. They even had a copy of "Dirty Water," their biggest hit. Despite not being from Massachusettes, the line "Boston, you're my home!" has resulted in it being cranked every time the Red Sox and the Bruins win a game. Way to go everyone.

I'm honestly kind of surprised how much I like them. Like most people, I was intorduced to the group via Minor Threat's excellent cover of "Good Guys Don't Wear White," but was initially turned off by the vague hippie-folk vibe. Man, was I wrong. The dudes took a superficially commercial twang and slowed the tempos in order to articulate the middle finger of the yahoo set. "If you think those guys in white collars are better than I am baby, then flake off!" was about as much of a fuck you as they could get away with in 1966. "Mainline" is probably the jauntiest song ever about heroin, and if you don't pay attention to the words, it might as well be about meeting a cool girl in school.

So I ask you guys this questions. Which is more subversive - raging and cussing, or taking something commerically appealing and making it raunchy and a barely-coated flip off?

Little Sally Tease -

Mainline -

Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White -

Medication -

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Garbage days revisited

OK, I'm writing this with the assumption that like me you get the fact that the Ramones are the greatest rock band of all time. (This is one of the objective, not subjective, truths of the music world. I'm sorry if no one informed you. The Beatles who?) With this truth wrapped around your cerebellum, it follows that any band that pulls of a reasonable approximation of the Ramones must also sound good - enjoying something solely on originality is the reason we have to put up with crap like the various arcane forms for electronic music.

There's something about the perfection of buzzsaw four-chord melodies and so-stoopid-they're-smart lyrics that sets me off like a four-year-old. I have a college degree and everything, but I can't help but celebrate the things I really love: drinking fucking hard, acting retarded, dancing like a mental patient, awful cheap horror movies, fast food, more drinking, getting messed up about messed up girls, and Mr. T. Just because I can use "post modern" correctly in a sentence doesn't mean I'm not at heart some drunk-but-lovable yahoo.

It follows, then, that I would fall madly in love with Sloppy Seconds, the band that coined the phrase "junk rock." They're the kind of group that I can imagine myself in, rocking the shit out the Quarry House and shouting myself hoarse. Surf-flanged punk guitars and speed-fueled 50's rock'n'roll drumming capped off with a sarcastic, goofball cherry. They're everything their name implies, a ragtag tumble through the joyous explosion of inebriation and girls and running around like a demented child.

Whenever someone tells you that fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, tell them "yes the fuck it is!" Then quit your job, put on More Trouble Than They're Worth, and proceed to get fucking awesome. Their new record, Endless Bummer, comes out soon, and you better believe I'll be front and center singing along to every word of "Smashed Again." Dirty Old Man-core? Indubitably.

The Horror of Party Beach -

So Fucked Up -

The Kids Are All Drunk -

Smashed Again -

You Got a Great Body (But Your Record Collection Sucks) -

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Paint it Black's position on being broken? They will not.

So I've been gone a while. Back off. I've been drunk. Also, I almost got fired. That wasn't cool. Maybe I shouldn't be staying up until 4 AM drinking cheap wine and listening to the Bellrays.

I've been thinking about writing a book about punk rock, like the history of the genre from the Sonics to Chinese Telephones. Every book I've read usually winds down around 1980 because all the drugged out scene fucks got tired and moved on to the suburbs or New Wave. The Mr. T Experience deserves as much historical retrospective as the Dictators or the Dead Boys, and if you don't think so your name is Legs McNeil.

Also, I know I owe you a second part to the Husker Du update. That might come, it might not. If you're not down with Husker Du you're probably not in the know about anything I write here, but just in case, go buy Flip Your Wig and finally learn where the '90's came from.

Instead, I write to you today to give you a sneak preview of what is bound to be one of the best records of 2008, Paint it Black's New Lexicon. Dudes are seriously the best hardcore band active right now, and you should definitely be giving them more than a passing listen. My girlfriend describes them as "gnar gnar." (I got my revenge by making her listen to "Shell Game Redux" while we had sex.) What distinguishes Paint it Black from the legion of tough guys and mosh pit breakdowns is that they always throw in a curve ball. The acoustic finish to "Memorial Day" is probably the best example of this, but the noise freakout sound collages that squeeze in between their tightly coiled chugging and melodic flourishes show that they're so far ahead of their peers that they've more or less lapped them.

I've written about them before, so I won't bore you by retreading the same ground of slavish fanboydomism. They're on a rare tour right soon (having a day job sucks, lemme tell you), so if you miss them, it's your loss, Chester.

(I'm going to be updating more regularly again. Sorry for being all Mitch Clem on you guys.)

Gravity Wins -

Past Tense, Future Perfect -

Shell Game Redux -