Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The End Is Extremely Fucking Nigh

The Body is comprised of two demonic dudes from Providence, Rhode Island, notable for their big beards, bigger paunches and ridiculous gun collection, who play a particularly dour and dreary style of doom that fuses down-tuned droning dirges, overblown punch-in-the-gut drums and grief-stricken black metal vocal histrionics. They've run with this formula for about a decade, consistently doing it justice while still finding time to churn out extreme metal covers of songs by artists as disparate as Body Count, Danzig and Sinead O'Connor. However, it is on their newest album, 2010's All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood, that they have truly come into their own, crafting a collection of songs that are tighter, better constructed and even more brutal than before. The most apparent development in The Body's sound is the wealth of actually tasteful experimental flourishes they've incorporated (washes of noise, tribal chanting, moog, orchestral instruments, etc.), which transcend the superfluousness of the gimmicks many bands masquerade as "avant-garde." The Body understands that change is sometimes necessary, and they wear that change well. The album's first song begins with 7 minutes of all-female a capella choral music (courtesy of the Assembly Of Light Choir), and it only gets weirder from there. Check out song-of-the-year contender "Empty Hearth," the aural equivalent of SunnO))) and Ministry heading out into the night and curb-stomping some Tuvan throat singers.

In the download link I have also included the self-titled record by Dead Times, the totally rad black metal/noise project started by one of the two guys in The Body (the guitarist/singer, I think). Dead Times is the product of a seriously fucked up mind. It sounds like some lonely soul sitting in his basement, meticulously obsessing over the creation of his lo-fi sound collages and then trying to shriek them into oblivion. But, like, I guess that's exactly what it is...

Download: The Body / Dead Times!!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sieg Howdy

All right folks, this is my first post here so I thought I would kick things off with an album that is not only one of my favorites, but also one of the most joyfully deranged, darkly humorous, absurdly catchy and disgustingly overlooked records of all time.
Dory Tourette and the Skirtheads were a little-known late-'90s, early-2000s Oakland punk entity on S.P.A.M Records associated with other like-minded bands such as Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children Macnuggits, The Rabbis, and Fleshies. Dory Tourette (né Dory Ben-Shalom) was the band's singer, songwriter and guitarist, a drug-addled troubadour who subverted the best parts of Bay Area punk, twangy country and oldies à la Buddy Holly in order to craft melodic gems glorifying malt liquor, crystal meth, pedophilia and essentially everything else your mom told you was wrong. Unfortunately, the band's stint as resident accidental geniuses was as temporary as it was miraculous. They released an LP, an EP, and a song on a S.P.A.M compilation before Dory tragically passed away in October, 2007, at the age of 28, a victim of his longtime substance abuse.
DT&tS's aforementioned LP Rock Immortal was produced by none other than Matty Luv (shortly before his tragic death) in something like 1999, and it might just be the best album you've never heard. Listen deeper than its offensive, often cynical surface and you'll hear a very human--and humane--look at just what it means to be down on your luck and at odds with society. Equal parts existential crisis and celebration of life outside the norm, it is at turns wistful, vile, ecstatic, raunchy and truly beautiful.
Rock Immortal is very dear to me. It has helped me through some hard times and made many good ones that much better, and I can think of no better way of starting my tenure in the blogosphere than by sharing it with you.

Download: Rock Immortal!


P.S. As far as I know, the only place to buy this album is at Thrillhouse.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Daniel Johnston

I wish I knew how to talk to people. Instead I listen to Daniel Johnston, and think about how bad I fuck up any time I try.

Songs of Pain

RIP This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb

It greatly saddens me to know that This Bike is a Pipe Bomb will not be one day coming back on one of their extremely infrequent tours, according to a post Rymodee just put up on punknews.org.  I've spent a lot of hours hanging out with friends singing along to their records, and they've put a smile on my face in times that were much darker for me than these past couple of years.  Truly the final nail in the folk-punk-of-my-youth coffin.

Front Seat Solidarity

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Play Slow\-\Play Loud

I've got a couple weeks off from work, so this should be a period of great activity music-wise for me. I have a bunch of new records I want to listen to more, a bunch of mix cd's I promised I'd make, and a bunch of band stuff to do, so it's going to get kicked off with a powerful blast of sorrow and majesty four albums deep (plus two stolen links!).

Roughly 95% of the punks/metalheads/whatever I've met love the Misfits. You love them, I love them, it's actually a shitty contrarian move to not love them.  Out of these, another 80% or so love Danzig I, and perhaps another 10% chunk bother with both Danzig I and II.  For some reason, only about five of my friends love Samhain, but we together comprise a loyal and fierce army strengthened by our inner knowledge and surety that we are right to do so, for Samhain are simply little Glenny's finest expression of bleakness and creativity. These songs are weirder, slower, and have more character than anything else the guy did before III and carry a timelessness and lasting power in their production that no Danzig album has matched in my opinion.  Featuring some guitars from Minor Threat Lyle, this is the album that makes horror somehow sound wistful. Very wistful.  I'm not positive, but fairly sure that Archangel holds the current record for closing out the most mix cd's that I've made.  It's slow, it's simple, and it floors me every time.


To go with your Samhain, you should probably check out this demo that was posted to Terminal Escape a few weeks back from Funeral Parade. I know nothing about this band except they play the members-of game, and from the cursory listen I gave them whatever bands they're also in are probably awesome. This is just some rad sounding death rock with punk influences from all over the place, and since Terminal Escape is the only place on the whole internet I found this (without looking hard) I'm reposting so that everyone can enjoy it as much as I'm planning to.

Funeral Parade

To make things square for my (savage and nonconsensual) thieving of his links, I now feel it is my duty to post one of Mr. Collins' bands, so here's a two-song ep from No Statik also via stolen link. Their LP came out a couple weeks ago and has scarcely left my turntable since...the whole package presents as classic hardcore punk ought to with a great cover, colored vinyl, great sounding production from Greg Wilkinson, and of course RAGING songs with well-written lyrics thrown in your face by an awesome girl singer. This ep contains one of the songs from the LP(which occupies the whole of side B) and one more, and I hope will be enough to convince you to go see these boys and girl before they do something stupid like stop playing. Not enough good things to say about this band, go buy their records.

We All Die In The End

Since Thou rules so much, and because a couple folks have specifically thanked me for getting them onto Summit, I now present what may be their masterpiece thus far.  These songs are less pensive seeming, despite similar lengths and musical territory, and these riffs will break your heart and make you cry.  They play around with a lot more jazzy scales than the bluesy pentatonics in Summit, and the effects use is completely on-point and appropriate. The singer's writing bears a lot of Wes Eisold feeling, but carries an English Romantic wordiness that reflects a lot of time spent sitting around with his head in good novels instead of poetry. These guys are DEFINITELY invited to my birthday party.


To close out this festival of gloom, here's two different projects from one of the guys most directly responsible for the current state of American gloomy music, Weakling frontman John Gossard. 

After Weakling, he did a much more esoteric sounding group called The Gault, which musically hits somewhere in between the Dirty Three, Mogwai, and Cinema Strange.  I guess the best way to refer to this is as chamber music...it has enough ambient jam parts that you can lose track of what's going on pretty easily, but it seems like just the right bass riff always pops out of the mix at the right time to pull you back in.  This album will be represented extremely hard sometime within the next five or ten years, I would think. 

Even As All Before Us

Sometime around the release of the Gault record and their disbanding, Gossard joined funeral doom monsters Asunder in time to record their first LP, A Clarion Call.  This is some seriously slow and heavy stuff, harmonized into infinity like a Candlemass record from hell, and featuring some of the best pinch harmonic usage ever.  If you find yourself thinking that Dopesmoker is just the right length, but not technical enough, then you should probably go buy either of the Asunder records.  Their second is also a treat to listen to, and has soundtracked some serious hesh-sesh times.  Enjoy responsibly, and then go see his newest band Dispirit, who have a mega grim demo up on their website for download.

A Clarion Call

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2010 Favorites and My Outlook on a Grim Future

My laptop died, which means that all updates are from now on going to be done exclusively guerrilla style from work/the apple store/the library, entirely made up of STOLEN LINKS (hell yeah!).   Unfortunately this will result in no more volumes of hateful smile radio until i am again computerized.  This is all actually very good for me because of the dramatic increase in productivity which followed the demise of my laptop computer; I've got a couple cool short writings done and started on a novella. Awesome.  Turns out downloading comics and music while watching lots of graphic hardcore pornography really does waste a lot of time.

So given that this is the first update of 2011, I figured I should probably post a little something about good music that happened in 2010.  These links are all stolen, and I'll give credits where I can but mostly I just googled for the mediafire links...here are the albums that proved important to my year:

Nomos-Notes From the Acheron.  This is my favorite hardcore record of the year for sure, and after seeing them play on Saturday I can't wait to hear what they do next. I think this shit is like 13 minutes long or something, and a one-sided 12". Finishes off with a killer Swell Maps cover, and overall has a really in-your-face mix that makes this shit urgent as hell.  Guitar parts are weird and fast, their drummer is way more into blasting and rolls than d-beating, and a mean bass sound powers it all along throughout...radical.
I have hatred. I have alienation.

Envy-Recitation.  I already posted the link, browse a little harder and you'll find it.  There's even a review already. This album is fucking good.

Deafheaven-Demo.  In the last week of the year I gave in to the post-Deathwish-signing internet hype and checked out this demo, then saw them a week later.  While I'm still not sold on epic black metal that isn't evil, I am sold on the fact that these guys are some super good players, and their drummer will most likely end up in some big metal band within a couple years because he slays it hard as fuck...really cool cymbal work and suprisingly excellent double-kick playing.  These guys are probably just ultra into Wolves in the Throne Room but the overall music ends up lying somewhere in between Weakling, Envy, and Mogwai.  Definitely a clear screamo/post-rock influence, which is probably why they aren't evil. After this, I can't wait to hear whatever they end up putting out for their first Deathwish record.

AEsahaettr-Demo. The first of a couple Canadian releases that made my list is a demo from lo-fi Quebequois Black Metal masters Aesahaettr (incorrect characters, but I'm lazy).  They're a side project from fellow media-tree sludgy cassetteers Ensorcelor(who are good, but less awesome than this shit is). This is some noisy and epic riffage under an overpowering wash of white noise, which yields a truly bleak sounding result.  This will one day be a classic.
Among Witches

Mess Folk-This is Mess Folk.  I think this may have come out in 09, but I didn't get up on it until September or October, and it's another lo-fi freakout session from Canada but quite different.  Mess Folk are from Nova Scotia and play heartfelt and out-of-tune love and hate songs into some shitty or busted recording gear to create a bunch of badly played garagey stompers that to me is absolutely perfect. Any budget rock enthusiasts should take note, this blows No Bunny and all his bullshit out of the damned water.
Give Me a Gun

The Black Lips-200 Million Thousand.  Another from 09 that's probably my favorite on this list. This was the first Black Lips album that really had a sound that I wanted to keep listening to; even though it's just beach boys/ccr/velvet underground worship throughout they hit this ultra timeless tone, and I was playing this on the j-box at work just about every day I worked once Mimi stuck it in there. Went with my boss to their tour on this album in January and met a beautiful awesome girl who I was totally crazy over and she didn't like that in the long run but this record will always hold a bunch of my favorite memories from this year embedded in the grooves. 
Take My Heart

Ceremony-Rohnert Park. When I was playing this at work, I got a few different "this is really Ceremony?" looks of astonishment.  Midtempo smashing with Ross sounding more pent-up than ever, and it really is their most enjoyable record.  I hope Ceremony makes music for a while, they're starting to get pretty fuckin' good at it.
Stuck in the Doldrums

Because I'm late for my getting-drunk, the list will be only seven long.  Other things which proved absolutely essential to the year include the following:

The song "Ballad of a Thin Man"
Tony's Pizza Napoletena- You the man, Tony Gemignani!
Also pizza related, the new Arizmendi bakery on 24th and Mission
Daredevil and his various incarnations under the authorship of Ed Brubaker and Frank Miller

So, you ask: what am I looking forward to in 2011?


Friday, December 17, 2010

It's imperative that you read what I here say.  The new Street Justice record is going to tear your eardrums and make you shit blood.  We found the brown note, and painted it with our violent and childish fantasies.

I'm especially proud that this is our first recording with no punched in riffs or overdubs or scratch tracks or any of that "fix your music in the studio" bullshit.  We only had to splice the last six seconds of drum track on one song, and as far as I can remember that's the only wizardry we needed.  Super proud of us for pulling that off, and getting six songs in an 8 hour session including setup and breakdown times.

Now here's some nice friendly happy music!

I've always thought Planes Mistaken For Stars never quite got the credit they deserved for the level of composition and dynamics they incorporated into their sound, and I hope their EP's can help the uninitiated idiots who pass one of my favorite groups off as "another emo band" realize that they are in fact another beast altogether. The drummer smashes, the bass has a mean fuckin rumble, and the guitar work is as weird as it is heavy, with tons of harmonized shred attack parts, and a nasty unison sound during the rare times when they do coalesce onto the same riff all together. There's weirdo jams and spoken word and feedback and all the other freakout stoners-with-microphones shit you could want, in raging emotive sludgy-yet-fast punk rock songs.  Listen to this loud, on headphones, or both, then go buy the records.  Here's their last three ep's, Fucking Fight, Knife in the Marathon, and Spearheading the Sin Movement


Do you like positive hardcore? Me too!  Thats why I'm giving you a Youth of Today album, in itself a reason to get off your ass and go skateboarding or get into a fistfight with your friends just because it beats watching tv.  Ray Cappo (before the Shelter pop-punk days obviously) has one of the best nyhc voices, probably third only to JR or John Joseph;  it is my belief that Eric Ozenne's entire vocal style is built almost entirely upon Cappo's snarls and yaaaaooowwws. And that's a good thing.  Seriously, this guy has a fucking pepsi tattoo.  This is some legendary posi shit, all the weight of classic nyc hardcore with a fun vibe throughout.

We're Not In This Alone

Finally, some music which is in no way fun.  When you're just totally fucking miserable being alive and can't understand what girls want from you and drink enough that even your present reality has a weird eerie feeling of already being just a memory, Arab Strap are there to play beautiful and thoughtful compositions that were meant just for you over drum machines while a literary drunk talks in a Scottish accent.  Here's one of their earlier albums, which has scored many late night drunken stumbles with headphones for me.  I've probably cried while listening to this before. Fuck you, don't judge me.



I love comic books and you should too.  If you don't already have a .cbr reader, you should go get one (they're all open source and free, you cheap piece of shit) and then download the Trade Paperback of WHITE TRASH, a terrific book that was written by Gordon Rennie and drawn by the fantastically talented Martin Emonds (RIP).   This is some whacked out rock and roll gonzo weirdness, down to the Ralph Steadman-worship art and constant Metallica references.  Also, it's about Elvis as an armed robber on the Great American Road Trip with an Axl Rose type character.  AMAZING!