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Friday, July 8, 2011

The 5 Best Indie Rock Records Ever

If you were into music in the 90's, and had an ear to the underground, you were into Indie Rock. I always liked many genres and primarily Metal, but boy did I love me some Indie Rock. I checked out every band possible, and weeded out the bad from the good. I loved the homeade quality, and it felt like something anybody could do(but couldn't). It made me feel like I didn't have to be a guitar shredder to write a great song. There are many different opinions about what are the classics of this genre are, but here are the ones that are my favorite, the ones that I've worn out, but they still fit like my favorite sweater:

Yo La Tengo: Electr-o-Pura
YLT are comprised of Music Critics and music snobs, so usually you know that you are getting quality, no matter what record you choose. But never did they get the balance so right as it is on Electr-o-Pura. It has Krautrock workouts, Beach Boys harmonies, and country ballads. This record is an actual listening experience.

Sebadoh: III
when Lou Barlow was kicked out of Dinosaur Jr., he had already released a couple of records as Sebadoh. It was a home-spun outfit that record quirky songs on out of tune guitars in their bedroom on boom boxes. You either loved them or hated them. When they released III the indie world was shocked. It was a sprawling double record set, that seemed to be Dark Side Of The Moon for the "striped sweater" generation. You had Lou's acoustic songs, Jason's smogged out stoner classics, and Eric's spastic hardcore-influenced rants. It was perfect front to back, and definite classic.

Palace Brothers: There Is No One What Will Take Care Of You
Will Oldham, or as we know him now Bonnie "Prince" Billy, has gone under many different guises in his long career. He began this career in 1993 under the moniker The Palace Brothers, and this was his first record. Most people would argue that "I See A Darkness" or "Arise Therefore" are the pinnacles of his career, but my big love goes to this one! If any of the Southern Gothic writers such as Carson MCCullers or Ambrose Beirce, had made a record, I think it would sound like this. The songs sound like primitive hillbilly music that was about to fall apart at the seams. None of my friends shared my love for Will and complained about the cracking vocals, but I had just found my favorite songwriter of all time.

Royal Trux-Self Titled
Royal Trux were a husband/wife duo that made junkie blues for indie kids, but were the real deal. They had habits so bad, they often squandered their recording budget on the infamous "H" drug. Since most of their music consisted of pretty blatant "Exile On Main Street" worship, I ate it up by the shovel load. They definitely weren't a band for everyone, but you will know if this is for you. They actually broke the band up when they got sober , and divorced.......that's Hardcore!!

Smog: Burning Kingdom EP
Bill Callahan is Smog, and acoustic/electric troubadour that a was a 90's Bob Dylan if there ever were one. Much like the others he initially recorded his songs himself on a cheap 4-track, but with each record there were subsequent jumps in quality. This record was only an EP but it also is one of the most perfect records ever. Like the song 'The Desert" on this record, it was like crawling through a desert without water or love. This record made the Cure or Joy Division sound chipper. But when you are in the mood for that sort of thing nothing else will do.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Good Music Alert: The Vaccines

I love to let everyone know when something new comes out that rocks my world. The Vaccines are a new British band that have just released their debut record, "What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?" on Columbia records. Let me just say if you are a fan of catchy, slightly-punky, fun, Pop Music, then look no further. If you loved The Ramones, The Libertines, Cheap Trick, and even the first Strokes record.....then this record is for you!! I have listened to it at least 20 times, and when it's over, you want to hear it again, it's that good. Do yourself a favor and at least listen on Youtube or something(I'm too lazy to provide links).

Sleepy Hollow High(2000)

     We all do it, it's like as if the massive amounts of Cheddar we are eating is not enough. We have to be sadistic and go for a bad horror film even though we know it's gonna suck! Well if you are a purveyor of filth like myself, you know that there is definitely a difference good "bad " films, and BAD "bad" films! Sadly Sleepy Hollow High falls into the latter category. I was definitely in the mood for something bad, but I was hoping for another "Memorial Valley Massacre" or "Splatter University". You would figure with the tag-line "Scream meets Dawson's Creek" that it would have to be great, right? WRONG!!
     Some miscreants from the titular school have to clean up the park for detention or not graduate. Why they would sentence even the most hardened student to do this since this is where numerous citizens have disappeared is beyond me? Someone taking the Sleepy Hollow/Headless Horsemen legend a bit too serious and starts killing off the students all in one afternoon. Shot almost entirely in the daylight, I suppose they could afford lighting since this cheapie was made for $16,000. Some great bad films have been made for less, so that's not an automatic reason for supreme suckage. The acting and dialogue and script and especially editing sucks!! Oh wait! The Headless Horsemen is really ridiculous. He wears pirate pants, and swings his sword around and around in the same rotation every time you see him. There is absolutely NO blood in the film other than some being thrown onto actors feigning screams. I would have to say there is absolutely no redeeming value to this stinker. Don't waste your time bad movie fans!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


       For some odd reason, John Frankenheimer's eco-terror monster film, has always been hated upon by most horror fiends. I remember seeing it as a 10 year old and being totally riveted and frightened at the same time. Of course, I have a penchant for horror films in woodland settings, hence my total devotion to the backwoods slasher film. I think part of the reason the film is often maligned is because of the PG rated that it secured back in 1979. Halloween had been the only really successful horror film of the late decade, and it is all but bloodless. If Prophecy was released today, it would definitely get an R rating, as there are several good gore scenes involved. The only other possible reason that I can think of is that the creature's costume is quite noticeable in a few scenes. That has never been enough for me to call spades on a fun little horror film like this one.
      Robert Foxworth and Talia Shire play a couple(Dr & Musician, respectively), who are called out to the wilds of Maine to help solve a problem going on there. It seems that the local Indians and a Lumber Company are butting heads over the rights to the forest. The Indians being indigenous, claim that it is their homeland, and the Lumber Co. says they own it. When Foxworth and group arrive they are greeted by reps from the Lumber Co, and are taken to the site. Before they arrive, they meet with protest from the Indians(led by Armand Assante), which ends in a chainsaw battle! Before long the Dr. finds out that the Indians are all getting sick, and their children are being born with serious birth defects. They meet the Chief of the tribe that tells them of a local legend about a huge monster that stalks the woods, and protects them. Well, it doesn't take a genius(just someone who has seen Humanoids From The Deep...LOL), to figure out the Lumber Co is responsible for the sickness. We get to see the monster up close several times, and lots of mutations, and even a decapitation, so don't worry about the PG rating.
        It's too bad that the Eco-Terror sub-genre didn't take off, because I really like those films. I can think of The Food Of The Gods, The Being, Piranha, and the aforementioned Humanoids. If I have any readers left, drop some comments if you remember any more Eco-Terror Horror Films.