March 19, 2013
Found this hardback first edition of Charles M. Schulz’s Happiness Is a Warm Puppy, a kids book printed on heavy stock colored paper with bold litho images and letters. The cover is a bit rough but the book itself seems untouched. It’s a first edition from 1962.
Also picked up this collection of short essays by Jorge Luis Borges:
And came home to find the new My Bloody Valentine Record I bought six weeks ago (and likely paid too much for, including overseas shipping, but hey, I’ll shop smarter next time they put out an LP):
February 24, 2013
In my estimation, The Swirlies were the greatest indie rock band of the 1990s to never really make it big—and by “make it big” I mean indie rock big—Sebadoh big, Superchunk big. They made two stellar albums of shoegazed-influenced dream pop, Blonder Tongue Audio Baton (1993), and They Spent Their Wild Youthful Days in the Glittering World of the Salons (1996). These albums are crammed with fuzzy four-track recorder experiments, folky half-songs, and a handful of truly stellar, muscular, dream pop songs that would fit nicely on any mixtape between jams from My Bloody Valentine and Stereolab. One such song is “Wrong Tube,” the a-side to this Taang! Records 7″ purporting to be the Brokedick Car EP (it’s not the full EP, which has two other songs).
“Wrong Tube” was a staple in my ’86 Camry’s tape deck for years, and I still love it today. I haven’t listened to this 7″ in years—I almost certainly bought it because of the blue vinyl (and, ashamedly, certain completist tendencies). The guitars are crunchy, swerving, swirly, guitarists Seana Carmody and Damon Tutunjian attacking their tremolo bars with abandon and trading verses as the band crashed through in a high tempo. I still find the final moments of the song exhilarating, as one of the guitars hammers out a sweet melody in the highest register as Carmody harmonizes along. Somehow the entire version of the song doesn’t fit on the 7″, which is a shame I guess. B-sides “Labrea Tarpit” and “You’re Just Jealous” are a forgettable experiment followed by a forgettable ditty.
January 17, 2008
31. Kevin Shields
Kevin Shields claims that a “new” My Bloody Valentine record will come out this year. Hold your breath. Anyway. Kevin Shields. Loveless. Yeah, that was really good. “If They Move, Kill ‘Em (MBV Arkestra),” I like that too. MBV–never really made a good video.
32. Peter Hook
Don’t start with me. I know Peter Hook played bass. Bass is a guitar, right? I love New Order. Who can deny Peter Hook’s iconic bass leads. Sure, Bernard Sumner had that jangly thing down, but, c’mon, “Ceremony”? “Disorder”? “Temptation”? “Blue Monday”? “Perfect Kiss”? “Love Vigilantes”? Give me a break, those are perfect songs, and you know it’s because of Hook’s sweet lines. Shit, even “Regret” is awesome. Peter Hook is too good. Sumner looks kind of like Thomas Lennon playing Lt. Dangle in this vid:
33. Ash Bowie & 34. Dave Brylawski
Polvo never got their due. Maybe they’ll get a renaissance one day. They were the loudest band I’ve ever seen (they permanently damaged my hearing). They were one of the first bands I listened to where I said “What the fuck is this?” Great stuff, bendy electric. Chewy churny. I saw them cover “Fly Like an Eagle” at Merge Record’s fifth anniversary party. Ash Bowie played what looked like a little SK1. He kicked a stool at the girls from Tsunami, who were filming the show.
35. Joey Santiago
Joey Santiago was in this band called the Pixies who were pretty good.