26 Jun 2013

In search of the catchiest garage-pop song ever recorded Pt. V (with ‪keyboard instrument‬s)

The Particles Advanced Colouring 7" (1981)

The Particles – Truth About You
Get it here.

VA East Of Croydon LP (Nothing Shaking Records, 1981)

Greenfield Leisure – Leisure

Dead Famous People Lost Persons Area 12" (Flying Nun Records, 1986)

Dead Famous People – Barlow's House
Get it here.

25 Jun 2013

How minimal can you get? #55

The Judy's
“Basing their name around the graphic elements and images of the 1950s that pervaded the musical movement at the time and recalled a period of naiveté and hope in the future, The Judy’s (“Possessive,” singer David Bean points out. “We didn’t want it to be plural as if we were each ‘a Judy’”) quickly envisioned a new direction for their musical exploration: a stripped down, minimalist sound that reveled in their limitations as both musicians and humans. Using everything from standard instrumentation to vacuum cleaners and pots and pans in their songs, the band created catchy pop hooks around social and political commentary/satire in a way that turned heads and demanded attention. They could simultaneously challenge, impugn and celebrate the pop culture, always aware that they not only had their own feet planted firmly in it, but helped create it.” Wasted Talent Records

The Judy's
“The Judy’s minimalist sound comes to its fullest realization with their six-song 12” EP The Wonderful World of Appliances. From Son of Sam killer David Berkowitz to Jacques Costeau to the Iranian hostage crisis, Wonderful World captures the popular culture and news of the times and subverts them as only The Judy’s can. Recorded and mixed in a single day, the record received extensive local club and radio play. It stayed at the top of the local independent record store sales charts for months and helped propel the band into a regional phenomenon. Available on limited vinyl and as bonus tracks on the Washarama CD.” Wasted Talent Records

The Judy's The Wonderful World Of Appliances EP (Wasted Talent Records, 1980)

The Judy's – Vacation In Tehran
Get it here.

Schools are prisons

Down with them!
“By preempting fifty percent of the total time of the young, by locking young people up with other young people exactly their own age, by ringing bells to start and stop work, by asking people to think about the same thing at the same time in the same way, by grading people the way we grade vegetables – and in a dozen other vile and stupid ways – network schools steal the vitality of communities and replace it with an ugly mechanism. No one survives these places with their humanity intact, not kids, not teachers, not administrators, and not parents.” John Taylor Gatto

Vains You May Not Believe In Vains… 7" (No Threes Records, 1980)

Vains – School Jerks
Get it here.

“In the North American system men and women are subjected from childhood to an inexorable process. Certain principles contained in brief formulas are endlessly repeated by the press, radio, television, churches, and especially schools. A person imprisoned by these schemes is like a plant in a flowerpot too small for it. He cannot grow or mature. This sort of conspiracy cannot help but provoke violent individual rebellions.” Octavio Paz

The Dead Milkmen Big Lizard In My Backyard LP (Enigma Records, 1985)

The Dead Milkmen – Violent School

“Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your road through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important: how to live and how to die.” John Taylor Gatto

Victimz Of Society Wicked Rock Music Is Killing Our Children LP (1986)

Victimz Of Society – Somebody Lied
Get it here.

“How can happiness be bestowed? My own answer is: Abolish authority. Let the child be himself. Don’t push him around. Don’t teach him. Don’t lecture him. Don’t elevate him. Don’t force him to do anything.” A.S. Neill

The Donnas Da Doo Ron Ron 7" (Super*Teem!, 1996)

The Donnas – I Don't Wanna Go To School

“They will be schools no longer; they will be popular academies in which neither pupils nor masters will be known, where the people will come freely to get, if they need it, free instruction, and in which, rich in their own experience, they will teach in turn many things to the professors who shall bring them knowledge which they lack. This then will be a mutual instruction, an act of intellectual fraternity.” Mikhail Bakunin

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For further reading, please check out John Taylor Gatto's Dumbing Us Down‬ and Tom Hodgkinson's The Idle Parent: Why Less Means More When Raising Kids.

23 Jun 2013


Originally posted April 13, 2008

cub – Go Fish

“I wanted to be in a band because I’d never been in a band. Nardwuar said, ‘OK, The Evaporators have got a show Friday. You’ve got five days to learn ten songs, here they are. And get an outfit.’ The outfit was as important as the playing, undoubtedly, for him. So that was it. I didn’t have time to worry about it that much. Our roommate, who was Bill’s [Baker] partner on the radio show, Scott [Chernoff] – he had a bass, showed me how to play a little bit. I got some Ramones records, listened to them, learned how to play, and then did the show.” Lisa Marr

cub: Lisa, Robynn and Valeria
“Bill [Baker] gave me my first guitar, a beautiful, red hollow body with a big whammy bar that I sadly never used. Scott Chernoff gave me my one and only guitar lesson. He taught me a handful of major chords: A, D, C, E, and G, the staples of many cub tunes.” Robynn Iwata

Robynn Iwata, Montreal, 1993
“The big thing was Robynn could olny play the guitar sitting down. And by the time it got to them playing shows, she still wasn’t comfortable standing up, so that was an inadvertent piece of schtick that we milked to death. It was pretty charming to see this girl sitting onstage, cross-legged. [Laughs]. It was pretty good, actually. More gutsy than anything.” Bill Baker

cub @ Hastings Community Center, Vancouver, 1993
“Lisa Marr had come to see a band I was in called Speed Queens. And we were awful, I’m proud to say. I could barely drum. But it was fun. Anyway, she came to see us and thought we were hilarious. And at that point she must’ve started thinking of asking me to be in a project with her. She and Robynn put together a project and asked me to be the drummer. It’s sort of amazing that anyone ever asked me to be a drummer in their band because I’m self-taught, I’m a really bizarre player, and I never got very complex. I could never do big fills or solos or anything. ‘Idiosyncratic’ would be the word [laughs].” Valeria Fellini

cub – My Chinchilla

“The first time playing with cub was a little bit intimidating. Valeria has a very different style. I would call her a little more jazzy. I found it very difficult to try and play like her. So both Robynn and Lisa were like, ‘Why don’t you just play how you want to play?’ And that was obviously better. I was a little bit more straight-ahead, and a little bit more obvious. At the beginning I played the same beat with all my limbs [laughs]. But I was learning as I went. My day job was welding furniture at the time. So my friend at work would show me a few drum manoeuvers after work. And then I would practise so I would be ready when I went to the studio. I remember that. Being in a band is a lot of sitting around waiting. And being the drummer, it seems like you wait even more.” Lisa G

cub (Robynn, Lisa G and Lisa) with a friend (from DC)
“When they first started, none of them, especially Robynn and Valeria, knew how to play. That used to cause a lot of consternation with people, too. By then, we were starting to get demos from people, and for all the people who really loved them, for whatever various reasons, there were a lot of people who really hated them. These were people who had been practising for years and wanting to do this, and suddenly it’s like, ‘Why is cub being interviewed on CBC?’ It was insulting beyond belief to people.” Bill Baker

“‘Cuddlecore’ is indie pop at terrifying levels of adorable.” SPIN, 2010
“(…) cub was a very do-it-yourself band – that was one of the great things about it – which was the essence of punk. Years after punk, they were still carrying on a great tradition in a fresh way. I loved it.” David Wisdom (CBC broadcaster)

cub pep 7" (Mint, 1992)

cub – Chico

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Excerpts taken from Kaitlin Fontana's book Fresh at Twenty: The Oral History of Mint Records.

More info here and here.