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out now: FEAR OF GOD- s/t 7″EP Picture Disc (FOAD Records, Italy, 2012)

23-Jul-12

Out now:
A very limited edition Picture Disc version of my old band FEAR OF GOD‘s debut EP from 1988.
Superb and quite luxurious gatefold die-cut sleeve, heavy (!) vinyl and sticker insert. Sound carefully reproduced using the original mastertape. Only 300 copies were made. This will not be repressed in this form, so better get yours quickly.

Follow this link to place your order and read more about this EP and some background on its production and the early days of FEAR OF GOD.

PS: What you see in the picture is the sold-out “Die-Hard-Edition” with two extra inserts and a t-shirt.

RHYTHM PIGS- An american Activitiy 7″EP (Unclean Records, USA, 1984)

21-Jul-12

A stunner, a real stunner of an EP. 6 short songs, each one full with great melodies and rhythm, a lot of RHYTHM. Playing this now, 28 years after its release, makes you wonder why there were so few bands with such a fresh sound and lyrics that may cover the usual subjects of the time, but without ever being of the generic sort (especially on the later three LPs).
Where else but from Texas could such a band come – and where else would they later move than to San Francisco, like so many of the contemporaries.

The LPs that followed (I think after relocating to SF) show the kind of progression you can expect from such a group. Creativity in songwriting, the development of a truly unique sound and a certain routine too. They kinda lost me on the first album already, I must admit, which doesn’t say much about the RHYTHM PIGS music, but of my sometimes a bit simple preferences. I love the hard edge and the playfulness that comes so naturally that on this EP.

I can fly.mp3
Get it now.mp3
Baal.mp3
Military Fairy.mp3
Radio Silence.mp3
The Quest.mp3

Dear promoters

05-Jun-12

ridemybackNot one day passes without one of your boring emails.

I don’t give a shit about that exciting new band you’re trying to sell. I never cared enough to even download one kilobite of the promo crap you’re offering me. Your bands all stink, they’re all crap and they won’t get nowhere anyway, especially not with stupid wankers like you promoting them. When a band has won a contest or gets rave reviews, that means the band sucks shit. Nobody cares whether or not the singer is a best selling author, the bassist used to be in some other loser band or the drummer is a renowned painter. No, you will not re-invent guitar music and neither will be heard of you in the near future.
Go fuck yourselves, you stupid cunts.

I don’t want to recveive any other “special offer” or “pre-listening” horseshit. It all goes straight to the electronic trash can anyway, so save a tree or a frog or something by taking my name off your stinking mailing lists. Now.

Did you fucking get that?

(First posted on Sept. 1 2009. It’s time for a repost.)

FRONT LINE- Basic Training 7″EP (Beach Impediment Records, USA, 2012)

31-May-12

You may have heard FRONT LINE on the glorious 2nd installment of MASTER TAPE (find the quintessential volume one here) – and you know that this band overshadowed the other (very good) bands in terms ofspeed and punch by miles.
Finally, the complete 1982 10-song demo (from which the comp tracks were taken) has been released. And it fucking rules. Simple as that. When Hardcore was a force like music had seen none before. And lyrics like these to boot:

«Spit, fight, curse, kick
Busted bottles, flyling bricks
Spurs, leather, boots, chains
Broken bones, friends in pain

Aggression is a part of me
A cure for life’s monotony». (from «The red Hour»)

Fuckshitupism!

Apparantly only 300 were made of this, so order your copy today!
Comes with lyric sheet, sticker and a digital download (from which I took these three songs). You can order it from Grave Mistake or other distributors.

Having Fun.mp3
Black Eye.mp3
The red Hour.mp3

PILLSBURY HARDCORE- In a Straight Edge Limbo 7″EP (Fartblossom Enterprises, USA, 1985)

24-May-12

The first time that I heard (saw) PILLSYBURY HARDCORE was on Flipside Video Fanzine, Volume Six (or was it five?). I immediately fell in love with the band for the song “Hey Bob, what’s up?” alsone and forced about every band to play this with me. What was so exciting was the fact that songs like “Hey Bob” were not music, not noise, not serious, not comedy, just very playful and – plain and simple fun! There simply was no established canon yet, people didn’t feel they had to put every song, every band, every record into strict categories. A lot of naive – I say it again – fun was still involved and thus, a lot more subversion. And the vocals …. these squeaking noises, the bass lines and all that.

“My record collection is phucking rad
Got all the Dischord, almost
All the Touch & Go, almost all the Dangerhouse!!!
I got the Bags single, Yes L.A. too
My record collection my record collection
It’s rad! It’s rad! It’s rad! It’s rad!
Got all the Dischord!!!
“Legless Bull” too
SSD “Kids will have their say”
My record collection my record collection
It’s rad! It’s rad! It’s rad! It’s rad!”

What more can you say?

Oh yes, this band featured Eric Wood, who would later be in PHC and other bands. Right?

Heavy “Phucking” Metal.mp3
Wanna check out my Record Collection?.mp3
Pot is lame.mp3
Pillsybury Hardcore.mp3
7-11 is God.mp3
I love Pomona.mp3
Hey Bob what’s up?.mp3

AGENT ORANGE- Bitchin’ Summer (Posh Boy Records, USA, 1982)

21-May-12

Back from my round-the-world trip!

Originally, I was going to post my favorite AGENT ORANGE record and that is, of course, the legendary (and in this case, the term is fitting) “Living in Darkness” Mini-LP. I asked the producer, Robbie Fields, to come up with some memories and he in return asked me not to post “Living in Darkness” but “Bitchin’ Summer”.

I asked Robbie if he could write down what he remembers from the actual production process of this EP. The whole material, physical side of record production in the old days is something we rarely hear about, so I thought this would be interesting for a change. As far as my personal take on the music goes, you may insert the usual hyperbolism, especially regarding the two songs “Misirlou”, the Dick Dale standard (taken from “Living in Darkness” and the hardcorey “Breakdown” (an outtake from the same sessions).
Anyway, this is what Robbie has to say regarding the production of this and other Posh Boy releases (slightly edited by me). Keep in mind that Posh Boy will not physically re-press their old releases, but sell them on iTunes exclusively, so this is indeed a bit of nostalgia here.

 

«There were lots of different vinyl pressings of the e.p.. The first couple of thousands were done by hand in a shack in Hollywood by an eccentric guy called Pete Korelich, who had emigrated from Croatia in my recollection. But Pete spoke Mexican Spanish! Pete was one of these guys who collected old engineering junk and made it work. He probably owned this old tumble down building in Hollywood, with the roof not just leaking but gone in the back.
At some point, he specialized in recording Mexican bands for the then small US market but he had good stuff. In 1982, he needed a “good” studio for one of his bands and he traded record pressings with studio owner Brian Elliot. This was the type of deal that Brian loved because he immediately knew to whom he could broker the pressings … me.
As it so happened, I was pretty broke in the summer of 1982 and I needed a new release but I had max’d out my credit line at my usual pressing plant. So I called Agent Orange and told them I wanted to do an e.p. with the non LP “B” side and outtakes from the “Living In Darkness” sessions. As usual, they were not happy (they never were) but they provided me with the artwork within a few days. Meanwhile, as a selling point, I had decided to extend “Pipeline”, which we did over at Gold Star IIRC, by means of what’s called a music or tape edit. “Breakdown” had been extended already at the studio, as it was necessary to work from the 2″ tape.

I was highly sceptical about the whole deal. Korelich had a couple of functioning manual presses and spare parts for 50! But dang it, the pressings were great. And I remember later running some Social Distortion “Playpen” singles there. In fact, any re-press where we had fewer than 300 sleeves was ideal for doing there. Brian Elliot knew he would always get paid by me for studio time and now pressings and he sure wanted the Mexican musicians to return!

The 12″ turned out a great success. It was a hit in the Honolulu market with “Pipeline”. I would have done further pressings at different pressing plants once the credit ran out at Korelich. However, Pete took in a tenant in the most normal room in the building, another character called Richard Simpson, one of the unsung heroes of L. A. punk rock and early rap music.

Richard had worked for years at one of the great L.A. pressing plants, Monarch, cutting disks. He was extremely well trained and owned his own mastering rig. At an indeterminate age (he wore a shaggy wig that we never spoke about), he set up at Korelich and started mastering everyone’s records and doing tape assembling and the like. Richard had absolutely no ego … he facilitated whatever the customer wanted. He cut some wicked records, ones with monster bottom end. Most importantly, he worked cheap in his ultra low rent location. He was living out in Simi Valley in a very conservative town and yet he chose to commute into the seediest part of Hollywood and have some very strange looking customers.
He was so un-Hollywood. Just a down to earth guy. So look for the “Mastered by Richard Simpson” credit from 1983 onwards.

The Rhino CD edition was deleted 31 December 2009. It was re-mastered by them in 1992 from the original mix tapes and they prided themselves on their superior skills.»

(Robbie Fields, April 2012)

I would like to thank Robbie a lot for taking his time and giving his endorsement.

 Pipeline (extended version).mp3
Breakdown.mp3
Misirlou.mp3
Mr.Moto.mp3

Record Store Day 2012

21-Apr-12

20120421-151019.jpg

A true vinyl-junkie’s way of taking part in it: Bringing your favorite dealer some gingerbread.

SIEKIERA- Atak 7″EP Bootleg (no label, Canada, ca. 2000)

22-Mar-12

When I was in Poland in 1991 to visit Auschwitz (Oswjecim, as the village is called in polish), I also met some local anarchists who were quick to invite me to stay at their place. Actually, it was one of the guy’s parents’ home, a tiny apartment in one of these horrible and iconic plattenbaus. Communication was not easy. The iron curtain had fallen not too long ago and people were extremely enthusiastic to meet travelers from foreign countries, such as me. Hardly anybody spoke english, you could get a full meal including wine for $3 and the air was so authentically eastern-block still, my white shirt had turned yellow by the next day.
The three people lived in one room, which was a very small living room and in order to make me feel comfortable, the parents who were in their 50s, moved their stuff into the bathroom and made the bathtub their bed. I insisted that I would sleep in the tub and it would be no problem at all, I tried to talk them out of this plan, with gestures and all, but they just smiled, brought me tea and mineral water and cookies what not. Later that night, the parents sleeping in the bathtub, the other guy (whose name I have forgotten) and I tried our best to find ways to communicate with each other, but it was not easy. At one point, he pulled out some cassettes, among them the SIEKIERA demo. I knew this band, as during the later 80s, polish hardcore bands such as Dezerter, Armia or Siekiera were quite popular in tape trader circuits and Dezerter had some vinyl available. I remember how we just sat there, in the boiling and somewhat poisoned heat of the polish night, played Siekiera and both made gestures of adoration and pleasure.

Sometimes, you would hear that SIEKIERA sounded like Siege, but that is not correct. To me, they sound like the concrete mixer version of south american bands like Ohlo Seco, Lixomania, Colera et al. There’s something deeply devastating about the sound of early SIEKIERA (they later morphed into more accessible post-punk, still totally awesome, like their classic first LP «Nova Aleksandria» from 1985). The early Hardcore tracks are of an incredible intensity, a very heavy existentialism and a rarely heard immediacy. Some will remember Mykel Board’s standard MRR-mantrum in the 80s: “How much punk rock do you hear in Russia?”. Well, I’m not so familiar with russian punk of the 80s, but I do hear a lot of “punk rock” in polish hardcore of the 80s.
When doing a little research on SIEKIERA, I found this incredible, amazing footage on youtube. The black and white pictures, the enthusiasm, the aggression leaves you speechless. In 1984, after years of confrontation between the workers and the Solidarnosc union and the state, Poland was on the brink of civil war or a soviet intervention. Keep this in mind when watching this footage and playing the songs from this bootleg compilation 7″, that features some of the best of Siekiera’s hardcore punk years (see scans for details). I have no idea what the song “Atak” is about, but it sounds like a declaration of war.

 Niosac wronieserca.mp3
Burekdobry pies.mp3
Atak.mp3
Fala.mp3
Siekiera.mp3
Zabity ty.mp3
Rana kklta.mp3
Woyowniku zabykh.mp3

German Television, ACTA and Goodbadmusic

14-Feb-12

German television reporting about protests against ACTA (the anti-piracy act that threatens the free and open web).
From 3:12 on, you see somebody browsing goodbadmusic (starting with Pusrad) and eventually downloading Infest’s Slave Mini-LP (which – ironically and as you all know – was released on my own label).

http://www.sachsen-fernsehen.de/default.aspx?ID=1095&showNews=1114349

PUSRAD- Smart Trams 7″ EP (Just4Fun, USA, 2012)

12-Feb-12

Perfection. Sort, sharp, to the point. Clever, full of energy, sounding like the best and yet like no one else. I’m sorry, but there’s nothing more that I could say. This yellow piece of plastic has so much energy, it makes me breathless. Thus the concept of “Smart Trams” is perfect: Short songs – and only 7 of them. This way, it never gets boring. Well, it wouldn’t get boring if it were a double album. But don’t tell them.
PUSRAD is from Sweden and consists of Peter and Packe, formerly of Raped Teenagers.

Peter wanted me to post all the songs, but I’m only posting every second title, cause I wanna see you guys lust & suffer.

Smart Trams.mp3
Stupet.mp3
Totalviagra.mp3
Allians för Sverige.mp3
Cryptosporidium.mp3
Desperat.mp3
Do Re Mi.mp3

300 made (150 on yellow). Will not be repressed in this form, as Peter says. Order the 7″ here. NOW!