Friday, August 18, 2017

Stephen Malkmus - Jo Jo's Jacket 7'' (Domino, 2001)

Stephen Malkmus
Jo Jo's Jacket 7''

Rating: 7 missing neon signs out of 10

I was bummed when Pavement broke up, as most of their fans were, but pretty quickly Stephen Malkmus put out a self-titled record that sounded just like the last couple of Pavement records...and we knew the world would be ok.  The title track here is off of that album, and it's a damn good song.  Malkmus was always clearly very involved in shaping Pavement's sound, but when you hear his solo work it's very clear just how much influence he held.  My feelings are not nearly as strong on the flip track as they are for the title track - "Open And Shut Cases" - the lyrics of which mostly are just those four words in the title repeated over and over.  It is the epitome of a seven inch b-side: there, but barely. 

Side note: the label on my b-side is all jacked up...not sure if this was normal for this release, or I'm just "special."

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Codeine / The Cocktails - Split 7'' (Simple Machines, 1993)

Codeine / The Cocktails
Split 7''
Simple Machines

Rating: 7 log games out of 10

This appears to be the March 1993 entry of a monthly seven inch series that Simple Machines was doing at the time.  For the kids out there, Simple Machines was one of the best indie labels of the Mid-Atlantic area in the early nineties, back when communication dictated labels be pretty highly regional - these cats, Teenbeat and Merge all did a great job of documenting the scene between North Carolina and DC (with a few outlying bands mixed in there).  

Of course, after all that regional talk, this slab is a split between NYC (Codeine) and Chicago (The Cocktails).  My overall point still stands though, your honor!  The Codeine song "Ides" would later be featured on their best album, "The White Birch" - as you might guess from the word "best," I'm a fan of this jam.  The b-side from the Cocktails is a bit of sillyness called "Working Holiday," which is also the name of the seven inch series.  It does have a loung/kitsch vibe, but not the same sort of lounge/kitsch vibe the Cocktails were famous for.  Not terrible, but slightly off. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

ISS - Endless Pussyfooting (State Laughter, 2017)

Endless Pussyfooting
State Laughter

Rating: 8 offgassing plastic trays out of 10

The duo known as ISS, aka Rich (of Bodykit, formerly Whatever Brains) and Eddie (of Brain F≠), are as confounding and interesting a band as you'll come across today.  I'm doing this one in bullet points because I'm not entirely sure how to put all of these thoughts together...
 - The music is made mostly of samples of punk songs, with some additional synth here and there.
 - The results span everything from industrial to punk to noise to god knows what else; Imagine Liars meets Les Savy Fav meets the Fall meets...fuck, there's a lot going on here and I can't even begin to pinpoint it all.  If you ever listened to Whatever Brains, imagine a dancier, crazier version of that band.
 - What sounds like a potential hot mess is actually quite catchy.  Calling this music catchy might actually anger Rich.  
 - "The Gov't Is After Me" is one of my favorite songs of the year.  
 - This cassette-only release has 14 songs in 21 minutes...there's no fluff to be found.  There is supposed to be a vinyl release in the future though, and fingers crossed no lawsuits from all the samples.  This would be great because I sold my car that had a tape deck.