Thursday, April 29, 2010

read the blog, bought the record?

Have any of my readers been compelled to, you know, actually PURCHASE any of the items I've blogged? Whether physical product, or digital download, I am curious.

I get the feeling I'm doing this whole thing backwards sometimes.

I, the blogger, have been compelled to purchase quite a few of the items I've blogged. A quick rundown, off the top of my head:

Both BITCH MAGNET CD's. I had downloaded lossless copies on the interwebs before, but I became so obsessed with this band around the time I blogged them, I had to actually have the product. So I purchased Ben Hur new (still available via many online retailers on CD), and a used copy of Umber And Star Booty via Funnily enough, there are enough postings elsewhere with people griping how pricey used copies of Umber And Star Booty are, but - including shipping - I paid less than retail cost for the new CD (as you'd expect for used product). Yeah, some of the online sellers are charging exorbitant amounts for this CD, but you can also find it at a much more reasonable cost.

TAR - Roundhouse/Handsome. Also used, via Again, online complaints about how hard it is to find affordably, but again, cost me less than the original retail price including shipping. Granted, the cover did have a bit of water damage, but I didn't buy the disc for the inlay.

RODAN - Rusty. Purchased new, and glad I did.

JOEL RL PHELPS / DOWNER TRIO - Virtually everything. Warm Springs Night, 3, Blackbird and Inland Empires all via either or Amazon Marketplace, and all used. All I'm missing is the Downer Trio EP, and Customs (with the bonus CD). I may have pissed off Joel's label head Tim Cook, but I walked the walk. I'd gladly purchase these new if I could, because the money should go to JRLP and not some online seller. BTW all these were less than $5 each, not including shipping.

SILKWORM - Libertine. Used via, and $10. Not bad for a CD that many seek, and many bitch about the cost.

the JESUS LIZARD - Head/Pure, Goat, Liar and Down, all new from my local indie record store, the remastered editions. Granted I'd owned all the above in their original release masterings, but after downloading lossless copies of the remasters, I had to own them for the liner notes alone. I'm damn glad I purchased them as they are nothing short of spectacular.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

waiting for the JD Recycle tracks?

The "alternate" variants will come, lossless, as promised. Not the majority of tracks over at the Recycle blog, just the pitch-fixed etc. versions. As I've long said, I'm respecting 50poundnote's wishes to keep the majority of these out of lossless circulation, but I have his blessing to put the non-canon variants up lossless, over here.

We wait, though. I don't want to prematurely spoil FAC213 now do I?

In the meantime, your humble blogger is busily thinking about new avenues to explore on the blog. I'm glad I had the chance for a rethink, and while I'm not really changing my approach, I may do less full albums and more quick hits touching on a wider variety of music. Or not.

Let me posit a question:

Please leave a comment regarding what your favorite post has been on this blog. I see the download statistics, of course, but they only tell half the story.

What has been your favorite post? Favorite series of posts? What artists do you want to see blogged more, that I've already touched on? By now loyal readers should know my "style" of music, so what artists would you like to see touched on that I've not done so already?

So keep this on your blogroll and stay tuned....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Like Kohoutek, you were gone.

For various reasons I am compelled to post this track and this lyric today.

Who will stand alone?

She carried ribbons, she wore them out
Courage built a bridge, jealous tore it down
At least it's something you've left behind
Like Kohoutek, you were gone

We sat in the garden, we stood on the porch
I won't deny myself, we never talked

She wore bangles, she wore bells
On her toes and she jumped like a fish
Like a flyin' fish, you were gone
Like Kohoutek, can't forget that

Fever built a bridge, reason tore it down
If I am one to follow.. who will stand alone?

Maybe you're not the problem
scissors, paper, stone
If you stand and holler, these prayers will talk

She carried ribbons, she wore them out
Michael built a bridge... Michael tore it down
At least it's something you've left behind
Like Kohoutek, you were gone

Michael built a bridge... Michael tore it down
If I stand and holler... will I stand alone?

from R.E.M.'s 1985 LP Fables Of The Reconstruction

the song is here.

Always one of my favorite R.E.M. tracks, of late - specifically the past 10 days - for various reasons, this track has taken on new meaning to me in all sorts of ways. Some good, some not.

Friday, April 16, 2010

post removals / blog future

I've removed the Joel R.L. Phelps post because of a discussion with the label head that started to become rather heated.

I mean no harm to anyone by this blog and I need to reiterate:

If anybody wants anything removed from here, or objects to any material posted, please email me at analogloyalist at gmail dot com.

Tim Cook, please contact me if you can. I would appreciate it.

This blog exists purely because I love music, and I'm bigheaded enough to think that others need to hear the music that rocks my world on a daily basis. Whether that's ultimately true or not I don't care, I just enjoy blathering about music, my thoughts on it, and giving people the opportunity to hear what they most likely will never come across during their daily travels across the Internets.

I've suspended posting for a duration because I'm rethinking my approach to this site. Will I continue to post about my favorite music? I don't know. If so, will I continue to link to files? I don't know. I'm not sure my interest in maintaining this site can be sustained by just writing about records, it's the feedback in the comments that I also enjoy almost as much as the process.

So allow me my time to have a rethink about the blog's future direction, if you will. Please share your comments below about what you like (or dislike) about this blog. Do you enjoy the full albums? If you are a loyal reader, do you download the links, or do you just read my writings?

Do you want more writing, or more files?


Thursday, April 8, 2010

MINUTEMEN Double Nickels On The Dime rare 1987 remix

In 1984 the legendary (and already blogged) MINUTEMEN released their masterpiece, the double LP Double Nickels On The Dime.

Suffice it to say that this record features on nearly every "Top 100 albums of the 1980s" list you'll find - and for good reason: it's utterly fantastic.

But being a double album, it didn't fit on one disc in 1987 (the land of the 74-minute maximum CD timing). So Mike Watt, having to edit the record already to fit in the 74-minute time constraint, decided to remix the entire record with Vitus Matare in August 1987. (The original record was mixed by Ethan James on 8-track in one long marathon session in 1984.)

Besides remixing the whole album, Watt and Matare also removed the tracks "Don't Look Now", "Mr. Robot's Holy Orders", "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love", "Doctor Wu" and the remake of "Little Man With A Gun In His Hand".

Released in 1988 and subsequently available for a short time only, this is the rarest Minutemen CD. The remix does nothing for the music, and Watt thought so himself: the CD was quickly withdrawn and the original mix restored, with "Don't Look Now" and "Doctor Wu" re-added to the proceedings.

In 2007, Watt said that this remix was a "nightmare" and "totally worse than the Ethan James mix."

When I bought my Double Nickels... CD in 1988, it was this version I purchased. I immediately realized it sounded "different" than my original vinyl copy, so I eventually sold it because it just didn't sound right. The version I subsequently purchased was the restored-mix version, and that's what I've had since.

Since I found out what the issue was with the 1988 CD, curiosity has lead me on a search for this thing and to this day the best I've found are high-bitrate MP3's on the internets. So of course I'm featuring it here, and also casting the net out there for anyone who has this CD and can rip it losslessly for the public.

Enjoy! You won't want to replace your common Double Nickels... set with these, but as a companion piece of history, it's pretty good.

Double Nickels On The Dime
SST 028 CD
Remixed August 1987 by Mike Watt and Vitus Matare
Withdrawn sometime in 1988/1989

01 D's Car Jam
02 Anxious Mo-Fo
03 Theatre Is The Life Of You
04 Vietnam
05 Cohesion
06 It's Expected I'm Gone
07 #1 Hit Song
08 Two Beads At The End
09 Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want The Truth?
10 Shit From An Old Notebook
11 Nature Without Man
12 One Reporter's Opinion
13 Mike's Car Jam
14 Political Song For Michael Jackson To Sing
15 Maybe Partying Will Help
16 Toadies
17 Retreat
18 The Big Foist
19 God Bows To Math
20 Corona
21 The Glory Of Man
22 Take 5, D.
23 My Heart And The Real World
24 History Lesson - Part II
25 George's Car Jam
26 You Need The Glory
27 The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts
28 West Germany
29 The Politics Of Time
30 Themselves
31 Please Don't Be Gentle With Me
32 Nothing Indeed
33 No Exchange
34 There Ain't Shit On T.V. Tonight
35 This Ain't No Picnic
36 Spillage
37 Three Car Jam
38 Untitled Song For Latin America
39 Jesus And Tequila
40 June 16th
41 Storm In My House
42 Martin's Story
43 The World According To Nouns
44 Love Dance

Grab the files here - 320kbps MP3.

PLEASE I beg of my readers, someone somewhere has to have this actual CD. You know you have it if track 01 is "D's Car Jam", and track 02 is "Anxious Mo-Fo." The common original-mix CD has a snippet of "D's Car Jam" appended to "Anxious Mo-Fo", and the whole thing is titled "D's Car Jam / Anxious Mo-Fo" as track 01 on the 1989-to-current CD.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Recorded by STEVE ALBINI: 17 unconventional songs

(This turned out to be my favorite blog post to assemble - because in researching entries for this post over the past several months, I discovered some wonderful music I've never heard before - music that's leapt to the top of my new favorites list.)

I've always been more of a music than lyrics guy.

See, I think the best records are those records that you don't listen to for the effects or the singer's thoughts, you listen to for the music. The performances. The cohesive jelling of the band, performing their music, as one.

Oh I like those "studio creation" records as much as the next guy, because I think the studio - given the right circumstances and the right personnel - can be just as effective of a compositional tool as a band's jam session in the basement. But to me, nothing beats the sound of music performed by a well-rehearsed band, firing on all cylinders, captured in glorious room-sound-and-all recordings.

And the master of this is Steve Albini.

Now I'm no Albini fanboy (though I'm sure the world's laughing at that statement), because I know not everything he's touched is gold (last week's Bitch Magnet EP for starters). And the man records anything that comes his way and pays his fee (that's right, unlike any other "name" recordist/engineers (he hates the term "producer") out there, he charges a flat fee rather than royalty points), as long as he doesn't violently despise the music. And given the man's rep as a master noisemonger, it's a wonderful breath of fresh air to know that virtually anybody - from Nirvana to the three kids in the basement next door, playing Appalachian jug band folk songs - can walk up to Steve and record with him.

I suppose it's best to define "the Steve Albini sound" though, before we really get started. Albini is a no-bullshit engineer who, to the best of his ability (and it's an INCREDIBLE ability) tries to capture the sound of the band performing live. Most of the time the bands do exactly that, and while anybody can stick a mic or twenty in front of a band playing live in studio, it's the actual mic techniques, the dedication to capturing the natural room sound, the non-reliance on computers, and the basic "know your shit before you set up in studio with Steve" preparation that makes Albini's recordings sound so damn good.

So in celebration of this - and to bring greater appreciation to the breadth of music that sometimes never gets heard - I made this mini mix-tape-of-a-post celebrating the Unconventional Steve Albini: recordings that are antithetical to the common perception of the man, recordings that capture a mood, a sound not normally associated with the "recorded by Steve Albini" tag, etc. Basically, it's a fantastic compilation of wonderful songs, all recorded by Albini, that have nothing to do with noise rock, hardcore, "Chicago sound" punk, or what-have-you.

And I pre-emptively warn you (though you know... is there any other kind of warning than a pre-emptive one? Just asking...) however: There are some tracks here that will surprise you. Genres you'd never associate with Albini, or tracks you'd expect to hear at the local joint that has $1 Pabst drafts (or for those non-Americans, substitute your local hillbilly/redneck/low-class beer instead) for the regulars.

As with the blog's other compilations, I am not claiming this is anywhere close to definitive: by his own count, Albini has recorded thousands of projects. I only have perhaps, and this is a stretch, a hundred of them. If not less. So this is just the proverbial tip o' the ol' iceberg, as you will.

So let's roll the tapes...

- - - - -

17 "unconventional" songs recorded by Steve Albini
a exclusive

- - - - -

01 THE NEW YEAR / Folios
From the 2008 Touch and Go LP The New Year
Twee pop and Steve Albini? You got it! Twee with a subverted twist of course...

02 MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO / The Dark Don't Hide It
From the 2005 Secretly Canadian LP What Comes After The Blues
Imagine you were given an extremely detailed blueprint of the typical Neil Young and Crazy Horse sound. Then, taking that blueprint, you made a record. This is what the Magnolia Electric Co (Jason Molina) tracks on this compilation sound like: Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" dissected, thrown into the Crazy Horse blender, and the results sliced/diced and recorded by Albini. Absolutely reverential, absolutely essential.

03 LOW / Dinosaur Act
From the 2001 Kranky LP Things We Lost In The Fire
The drums on this track are amazing - I imagine a giant, empty cavern, with a lonely drum kit in the middle, and microphones all around the walls - and the resulting recording being just of the room reverbs. Stellar.

04 PALACE MUSIC / More Brother Rides
From the 1995 Drag City LP Viva Last Blues
This sounds as if Albini showed up on Will Oldham's porch armed with a tape machine and microphones, and just started recording Will and the guys. Appalachian hillbilly porch music at its finest modern interpretation.

From the 2007 Touch and Go LP You Follow Me
Brooklyn singer/songwriter Nina Nastasia teams up with Dirty Three drummer Jim Wright to record a beautiful collection of tracks based on Nina's fragile voice, gentle guitars and White's fractured drumming.

From the 1998 Pacifico Recordings LP 3
Just beautiful, barebones acoustic guitar, drums, wistful pedal steel and Phelps' unique voice.

07 SHANNON WRIGHT / Black Little Stray
From the 2004 Quarterstic Records LP Over The Sun
A very loud, quiet electric guitar and powerful drumming song. Very dynamic and a great showcase for Shannon's powerful voice.

From the 2005 Secretly Canadian LP What Comes After The Blues

09 BEDHEAD / Parade
From the 1998 Trance Syndicate LP Transaction de Novo
This "slowcore" band from Dallas, TX made their final record (as Bedhead) with Albini, before "reforming" in 2001 as The New Year. Basically this band is the Kadane brothers with whomever plays with them. The New Year trends towards more upbeat, acoustic and/or piano-based stylings, while Bedhead was a bit louder but slower. If that makes any sense.

10 LOW / Lion/Lamb
From the 1999 Kranky LP Secret Name

From the 2002 Touch and Go LP Italian Platinum
Bassist Tim Midgett wrote this piano-based song for noted Chicago-based chantreuse Kelly Hogan to sing. Midgett, to this day, thinks this should have been a Nashville hit.

12 SONGS: OHIA / The Old Black Hen
From the 2003 Secretly Canadian LP Magnolia Electric Co
Jason Molina's first sessions with Albini produced this amazing record, after which he changed his band's name to the name of this album. This track features the outlaw country vocals of a Lawrence Peters and is perhaps among the least likely songs you'd picture Albini recording - but it's just plain beautiful. I love the harmonies on the chorus as well.

13 NINA NASTASIA / One Old Woman
From the 2006 Touch and Go LP On Leaving
I just love these drums.

14 MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO / Northstar Blues
From the 2005 Secretly Canadian LP What Comes After The Blues

15 SILKWORM / Goodnight Mr. Maugham
From the 1997 Matador LP Developer
Andy Cohen's simple acoustic number is just beautiful. I like the opening.

16 THE NEW YEAR / 18
From the 2004 Touch And Go LP The End Is Near

17 MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO / I Can Not Have Seen The Light
From the 2005 Secretly Canadian LP What Comes After The Blues
And off we go gently into that good night.

- - - - -

enjoy! Grab the project here.

And if you have any suggestions of similar records that I've not covered, recorded by Albini, please drop a comment below!