Gossip — Standing in the Way of Control

Author: tracysigler | Posted: April 17th, 2008 | | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Gossip was on Letterman last night and they rocked steady. This is the second time I’ve seen them perform “Standing in the Way of Control” on TV. Small on instrumentation and big on sound, I love this.

Gossip at MySpace
Gossip on Wikipedia

The Scientists — Self-titled (The Pink Album)

Author: tracysigler | Posted: April 2nd, 2008 | | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

I don’t know why this record by The Scientists is called The Pink Album. I believe it’s their first full length record, but it’s not the first by them that I bought. If it were, it might have been the last of their stuff I got. I was a big fan their later work that some call “swamp rock,” but CCR they most definitely ain’t. Their music was primarily heavy, noisy, arty dirges. Being a semi-completist, or incomplete-completist, I bought this to fill the hole in my Scientists collection. When I first heard it I couldn’t believe this was the same band, except there was front man Kim Salmon clearly pictured on the back cover. Also in the band at this time was drummer James Baker, who would later join the Hoodoo Gurus.

It turns out The Scientists had two distinct periods. The latter being what I described above, and what I got hooked on, and the earlier stuff which is more garage rock or “punk” like The Buzzcocks, but not nearly as good. Still, being a part-time occasional completist, I will keep it. I think I bought this at a record store in NYC.

The Scientists were a much more important band than this record, and this post, would lead you to believe. The good stuff is coming. Stay tuned.

More about The Scientists
Interview with Kim Salmon

The Leaving Trains — Fuck

Author: tracysigler | Posted: March 18th, 2008 | | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

The Leaving Trains -- Fuck

  • Artist: The Leaving Trains
  • Title: Fuck
  • Year: 1987
  • Format: Vinyl 12 in.
  • Rating (1-10): 6
  • Owner: Tracy
  • Acquired: 1987 – Promo at Mother’s Records
  • Keeper: Maybe

I apologize. And with that out the way let’s talk about the only record I have by The Leaving Trains that I didn’t buy. This one must have been a promo we got when I worked at a chain record store in a shopping mall. You can see from the last pic that the label, SST, ran a display contest. “Win a Plane Trip to a Trains Show.” I guess back in 1987 that would have motivated some folks, but there is no way a chain store in the mall was going cover a wall with record cover reprints, or “flats” as they were called, of an album titled Fuck that just happened to have “FUCK” printed big and bold on the front.

A couple decades later a title like that seems more like a cheap attention-getting gimmick than it did to me at the time. It might work now, but I’m pretty certain this did nothing to help them sell records then. It’s not my favorite of the three LT records I have, but there are some great garage-punk-rock, body-moving songs on this album.

Are The Leaving Trains still making music? I can’t tell.

Nine Nine Nine — Concrete

Author: tracysigler | Posted: January 30th, 2008 | | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nine Nine Nine -- Concrete

  • Artist: Nine Nine Nine
  • Title: Concrete
  • Year: 1981
  • Format: Vinyl 12 in.
  • Rating (1-10): 10
  • Owner: Tracy
  • Acquired: 1981? Maybe a little later.
  • Keeper: Yes

I’m throwing out a lot of “10” ratings but these records all deserve it. This right here is the greatest band you’ve probably never heard of. Nine Nine Nine. Concrete is one of the most fun, sing-along, punk pop rock and roll records ever. It includes two great covers: “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Fortune Teller.” But the best songs are the originals. A couple favorites are “So Greedy” and “Break It Up.” The musicianship and song craft are tops. Every song leaves me wanting more. Hearing damage or blown speakers, which will come first?

Nine Nine Nine is still kicking it. I need to get their latest.

Nine Nine Nine official site
Punk 77 article (with recent interview)

The Hives — The Black and White Album

Author: tracysigler | Posted: January 13th, 2008 | | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Hives -- The Black and White Album

  • Artist: The Hives
  • Title: The Black and White Album
  • Year: 2007
  • Format: Vinyl 12 in.
  • Rating (1-10): 10
  • Owner: All of us
  • Acquired: 2008
  • Keeper: Yes

I want to be in The Hives! The suits alone are enough incentive for me, but the music on The Black and White Album makes the dream of band membership irresistible. I like all their records but this is the best one yet. The Hives have that essence rare that reminds me of The Fleshtones: familiar but fresh, fun but not dumb, and always rocking even when the music is low key. At times this record is more punk than punk rock and more funky than funk. I can’t get enough of it. I’m probably playing it, in its entirety, at least five times a day. It’s hard to pick favorites but one standout is the fast rocking “Won’t Be Long.” It has a glockenspiel riff that is a perfect layer of icing atop a multilayer rock and roll cake, like the recorder solo in “Wild Thing” by The Troggs.

Visit their site, buy their music, watch the videos, see them live. Look for me playing glockenspiel in the back.

Everyone’s a loser in the modern world
Look at all the sad and gloomy little boys and girls
I know all you got is troubles all you got is woes
Shake the chips off your shoulders here’s how it
Whoooo Hoooo!

“Well All Right!” – The Hives

The Germs — (GI)

Author: tracysigler | Posted: October 21st, 2007 | | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

The Germs -- (GI)

  • Artist: The Germs
  • Title: (GI)
  • Year: 1979
  • Format: Vinyl 12 in.
  • Rating (1-10): 7
  • Owner: Tracy
  • Acquired: Long long time ago…
  • Keeper: Yes

(GI) is the only the studio album The Germs ever recorded. It’s been a long long time since I last played it, and to be honest I never played that much. I probably wouldn’t be playing it now if it weren’t for this site, which is really just an exercise I concocted to make me play everything we own at least one more time.

I was surprised how hardcore punk it sounds; this was only 1979. Reading about it I saw that (GI) is considered one of the first records of the hardcore genre. There are a number of well-known folks with a Germs connection, including guitarist Pat Smear (later in Foo Fighters), very briefly Belinda Carlisle, and it was produced by Joan Jett. Singer Darby Crash is probably best known for dying in a sad, deliberate and stupid heroin suicide.

There aren’t many memories for me associated with The Germs other than going to see the excellent movie The Decline of Western Civilization. It’s by director Penelope Spheeris and it’s about the early LA punk scene. I went with my friend Jeff Arthur, and maybe some other folks, to see a late night showing of it at the Naro Expanded Cinema in Norfolk, VA. The audience was full of teenagers looking as punk and hard as possible, and generally acting stupid. We blended right in.

(GI) is just one of those records a punk (rocker) of my vintage feels obligated to have, and keep, so I guess I will.

More about The Germs.

The Decline of Western Civilization

The Damned — Anything

Author: tracysigler | Posted: October 9th, 2007 | | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Damned -- Anything

  • Artist: The Damned
  • Title: Anything
  • Year: 1986
  • Format: Vinyl 12 in.
  • Rating (1-10): 8
  • Owner: Mary and Tracy, two copies
  • Acquired: 1986 – When she worked at Plan 9 Records in Richmond, VA
  • Keeper: Yes

The now sound, the wow sound, the psychedelic Goth rock sound of The Damned is back only one year after their biggest hit, Phantasmagoria with Anything. I saw a review at AllMusic bashing this record. The reviewer seemed to have some facts wrong, and I completely disagree with the opinions. Anything is great. It’s a strange mix of the big goth sound, pseudo-classical interludes, and a soulful ’60s rock. At times it sounds like a goth version of The Fleshtones. The title track, “Anything”, opens the album and it’s my favorite.

We have two copies of Anything. My copy is the boring American release, but Mary’s copy is a great looking UK version with a gatefold cover and die-cut pop-up of the band inside. The UK version has a colorfully painted carving on the front with the unpainted version on the liner, and lyrics! The US version just has the unpainted carving on the front… and nothing else. Mary’s copy is pictured below.

Double Negative — Double Negative

Author: tracysigler | Posted: October 1st, 2007 | | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Double Negative -- Double Negative

  • Artist: Double Negative
  • Title: Double Negative
  • Year: 2007
  • Format: Vinyl 12 in.
  • Rating (1-10): 8
  • Owner: Tracy
  • Acquired: 2007 – Got it from singer KC at a show.
  • Keeper: Yes

There’s been more hardcore punk in my life this past week than usual, at least for over 20 years. I got to see, and meet, Double Negative at a show last week. Like many hardcore shows it was at a place not really intended for live music. In this case it was Gourmet Perks, a coffee house just down the street from my place. It was a fun show with a small but enthusiastic crowd of “hardcore” fans.

I also happened to finally see the movie American Hardcore in its entirety this weekend. The film is about the birth and evolution of hardcore punk in the years between 1979 and 1986. I was really involved in that scene and found the movie very interesting. If you weren’t, I’m not sure you would agree. To quote from one interview in the film, “normal people didn’t like this music, and we liked it that way.”

This is definitely a good hardcore album, and to be honest it certainly sounds better than most of the music from the original scene. It’s really on an altogether higher level. My favorite song is probably “Stop Growing.”

Seeing Double Negative live last week and playing the album a lot since then, along with watching American Hardcore has made me think quite a bit about what punk was, and is. Maybe it’s just because I’m older, but I can’t help wondering what is it all about now, this hardcore punk scene? In the movie a couple guys from Flipper make a point of saying “punk is dead, it’s over.” Well, after seeing last week’s show and listening to this record there’s no way I can agree with that. It may not be the D-I-Y music revolution it was decades ago, that can only happen once. But the spirit, attitude and principles of hardcore punk live on with new, younger fans and bands like Double Negative.

Double Negative
American Hardcore

Various Artists — Deep Six (Green River, Malfunkshun, The Melvins, Skin Yard, Soundgarden, U-Men)

Author: tracysigler | Posted: September 28th, 2007 | | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
Various Artists -- Deep Six (Green River, Malfunkshun, The Melvins, Skin Yard, Soundgarden, U-Men)

Various Artists -- Deep Six (Green River, Malfunkshun, The Melvins, Skin Yard, Soundgarden, U-Men)

  • Artist: Various Artists
  • Title: Deep Six (Green River, Malfunkshun, The Melvins, Skin Yard, Soundgarden, U-Men)
  • Year: 1985
  • Format: Vinyl 12 in.
  • Rating (1-10): 8
  • Owner: Tracy
  • Acquired: 1985 – Where?
  • Keeper: Yes

This summary from the C/Z Records site pretty much says it all:

“1985 – C/Z is born (a year prior to the launching of the Sub Pop label) with the release of the DEEP SIX compilation featuring the first available recordings from Soundgarden, Melvins, and Green River (who later spawned Mother Love Bone & Pearl Jam). The record marked the earliest beginnings of grunge. In time these bands are signed and successful.”

The six bands are: Green River, Malfunkshun, The Melvins, Skin Yard, Soundgarden and U-Men. The most noteworthy descendant band not mentioned above is Mudhoney. Singer Mark Arm was first in Green River. Many would consider this the first significant record from the burgeoning 1980s Seattle scene. Some would call it “grunge”, but I’ve read that many of the bands didn’t like being lumped into a single category.

Wikipedia has a good article about Deep Six where you see the song list and the band rosters. Scan the list and you’ll see a lot familiar names sometimes under less familiar bands. These guys moved around a lot.

I was very excited about this music because it was essentially guitar-based rock that wasn’t, for the most part, stupid mainstream stuff from guys with teased up hair and makeup. I suppose it was punk in its own way, but with better riffs.

There were only 2000 copies of Deep Six made. It’s supposedly collectible, and tonight I saw a copy on eBay for $75.

Double Negative at Gourmet Perks in Asheville

Author: tracysigler | Posted: September 24th, 2007 | | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Double Negative at Gourmet Perks in Asheville

New music for the new week… Double Negative from Raleigh, NC is triple hardcore and they’re playing at Gourmet Perks here in Asheville tomorrow night! That’s Tuesday, September 25, uh… 2007. This music ain’t for everybody, but if you like hardcore you’ll love this. I love it, though somehow it makes me feel old and young again at the same time. Check out the Double Negative page at MySpace for some tunes and more info.