29 Sep 2010

Hate from ignorance: A critical view on Hardcore (in three songs)

Empty Rituals – Hardcore
Get it here.

Mr. Epp – Mohawk Man
Get it here.

Meat Joy – Proud To Be Stupid
Get it here.

18 Sep 2010

Occult Chemistry

Occult Chemistry – Fire (Destroy Create)

17 Sep 2010

Happy music doesn't have to be dumb!

Or the Story of The 49 Americans
“The 49 Americans were an experiment in the pursuit of happiness. We were playing because we wanted to play. Because we enjoyed being together and seeing what each other could do. Musicians and non-musicians surprising each other. We did not take ourselves seriously, but we were serious about that. In the increasingly global market place, there is less and less room for individuals at the top. So we celebrated, not being at the top, but simply being together. Like the Statue of Liberty we held up a shining torch of self-entertainment! Saying: Have fun! Play! Participate! Everyone should be allowed to be an American. Like it says on the dollars: E pluribus unum!” 

“All kinds of music are created equal. No music is more important than other music in a democracy. We believe in freedom. Freedom from everything, including lack of ability. In early American times, when there was a tradition of patchwork quilt making, the last piece of patchwork was always placed incorrectly in order to emphasise that man was not perfect. The 49 Americans have continued this traditional practice in their own music, accepting the subtle variance of the pieces they play through the medium of human error.”

“The 49 Americans were an experiment in the pursuit of happiness. Happy music doesn't have to be dumb.” The 49 Americans

The 49 Americans – It's time

Read the Incompleteable Story of The 49 Americans.

Jungle Nausea

Jungle Nausea – Live (1982?)

6 Sep 2010

Nuclear Crayons

Originally posted August 23, 2009
This post tries to be a little homage to an utterly amazing band that deserves a lot more recognition than they have nowadays. The Nuclear Crayons made, in my opinion, truly amazing top notch noise, and Laura Lynch was such a terrific singer/performer it's hard to describe. Don't forget she created Outside Records as well, the record label that released the legendary Mixed Nuts Don't Crack compilation.

“The Nuclear Crayons were formed in 1981 by Lynch LaVoison (Laura Lynch) and Darin Drake, quickly adding in Bernie Wandel and Kendal Church by 1982. They played the Washington DC Metropolitan area underground music venues from approximately 1982 through 1984. Places such as the 9:30 club, Marble Bar (MD), Gay Pride day, Lost & Found, and various sundry joints.”

Nuclear Crayons (Darin Drake, Bernie Wandel, Kendall Church, and Laura Lynch). Laura Lynch

“Lynch was unable to gain support for the Nuclear Crayons through the now burgeoning Dischord Records, the sound wasn't right & the Nuclear Crayons weren't officially part of the 'Georgetown Punk' group and so didn't fit the bill. But Lynch was impressed with the 'do it yourself' attitude of Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson so she started up a Label called Outside Records. It was this label that the Nuclear Crayons, in 1982, released their first 7" vinyl 3 song EP with 'Outsider', 'Teenage Suicide' and 'Political Punk'. This record was sent to Jello Biafra who reviewed it in Maximum Rock & Roll giving the band a label of 'disturbing' to the sound. Folks took this as a good review and the small supply of approximately 250 vinyl EP's were sold out within a few short months.”

 Laura Lynch at TGYA, 1982. Leslie Clague

“in 1980 i went to the closeout sale of a big store like Kmart called Korvettes and in the sale (for $5) i purchased a 6 foot long blue crayola crayon which was my inspiration for the name 'Nuclear Crayons'.  I then started going to these 'progressive' rock shows (later called punk) at a club in DC called the 9:30 Club. there i saw this hideous creature recoilled in a corner and after several shows i finally got up the nerve to approach her and speak to her.  i told her i was a guitarist and wanted to dabble in this new punk medium genre and would she like to do some vocals (not knowing or caring if she could sing or not!) WELL..i gave her my phone number three times and on the fourth time i saw her i asked her why she hadn't called and she confessed she thought i was just trying to pick her up...hahaha so i told her nononono dear, I AM GAY and you are really not my type!!!  well after that she promptly showed up on my door step the next day (scaring the bejesus out of my neighbors and my roomates) and we promptly wrote like five songs that first day.  we wrote, 'outsider'  'political punk' 'what's wrong with us' and two more i don't remember the titles of right off hand.  it was her singing and me whaming away on my acoustic ovation guitar and she said Oh you have to get an electric guitar.  so i went out and bought for $99 on of those mini stratocasters (released and designed by ZZTop's lead guitarist...but they don't make them anymore...mine was stolen in san fran....sad) and a Black widow Peavy 500 watt amp...so she comes over the next day and i plug in and slam my first chord and knocked the pictures off the wall in the house.  needless to say she loved it and from then on we were 'electric'.  i then named us and she put out some ads for a bass player and this kid justin answered  and he played with us for the first year both recording and doing some live shows.  then he left to go away to college and we got bernie and kendall and the rest you know. jello biafra came to see us at the 18th street studios and all i could hear during the entire show was him yelling Turn it Up!” Darin Drake
“Like all bands, we all had shortages of places to play, so we had to be creative about it. Our guitar player, Darin Drake, who was gay, got us jobs a lot of places bands usually wouldn't play. The first show the Nuclear Crayons played was a song writing contest at a drag queen show. The Nuclear Crayons took second place under somebody doing Diana Ross. We also played Gay Pride Day and were written up by the Washington Blade who said, 'The festival went wonderfully after a false start by a band who gave punk rock a bad name.' Most interesting was when we played Edith Massey's birthday party at the Marble Bar in Baltimore, where all kinds of local Baltimore color showed up for the event. The whole event took on a carnival-like air. The hardest thing was trying to hold the audience's attention. There's a guy at the bar yelling, 'Shut up! I can sing better than that… you call that singing?!!!' The bartender broke a bottle over the guy's head. The whole night was so bizarre. The act before we went on was a fire eater. How do you follow a fuckin' fire eater?!!” Kendall Church

“The only Nuclear Crayons show I played sober was at Gay Pride Day and that's because the beer was on the other side of P Street Beach and I was still on my crutches and I couldn't make it all the way down there.” Bernie Wandel

Nuclear Crayons at 18th Street Studio. Jim Witlaw

“Totally weird & psychotic DC punk, the bass is mixed real loud, the female singer is real scary, and the music is just unexplainable. Sick!” Burkhard Jaerisch, Flex! Book #2

 Jeff Bale (from Maximum Rocknroll #10, December 1983)

Nuclear Crayons – Nuclear Crayons
Get it here or here.

Nuclear Crayons – Political Punk
Get it here.

Nuclear Crayons – What's Wrong With Us
Get it here.

Nuclear Crayons – Teenage Suicide (Live)

Nuclear Crayons – Anarchy Poseurs (Live)

Catwalk – Live at DC (1983)

You can also see the “official“ Catwalk video here, although it's quite bad quality. Anyway, it's really worth it! Love Laura Lynch's voice so much.

Catwalk – Official video
Pro­du­ced, fil­med & di­rec­ted by Mitch Par­ker. The Nu­clear Cra­yons fil­med a Mu­sic Vi­deo of their song 'Cat­walk'. The ma­jo­rity of it was shot in and on­top of the ori­gi­nal 9:30 Club in Wa­sh. DC. VHS to AVI. Copy­right Nu­clear Cra­yons 1983.

More info here and here. And last but not least, endless thanks to Darin, Kendall, and Laura for getting in touch!

5 Sep 2010

How minimal can you get? #26

V/A – Little Bands 7" EP
Once again, summer is over. So, what better way to say goodbye to summer than with this minimal jewel?

The Take – Summer
Get it here.