Jul 12, 2012


Songs of the Humpback Whale
Gatefold LP

Wait! Wait! Don't run away yet! I haven't finally popped a lotus squat and gone bonkers. This ain't the Raffi-helmed kindergarten snooze parade it seems like. If nothing else
a) you could probably cop three perfectly serviceable copies of this for ten bills (Xmas in July?);
b) the recording is beautiful and so's the fancy, vaguely Greenpeace, though well-researched booklet;
c) if the thought of listening to this with any seriousness is laughable, just change the pitch or crank it up to 45 and it'll sound like a Kaoru Abe show with Lee Perry at the board.
After all, what's the point of cheap records if you they ain't makin you bust a hearty grin? The original is on CRM and can fetch mad bones, but the Capitol reissue is just as tidy and way more plentiful. Me, I got lucky on a CRM copy for $5 in a shop where the staff is far more innarested in snarling at each other and keepin up on Daredevil compendiums than peepin eBays. (Yes, those places are still to be found in the wild; just keep your voice down about it, ok?)

Train Your Bird to Talk
LP and Brochure
Pet Records

I dunno: I guess I was on a 70s animal record tear that day. (Also nabbed one about wolves just to give my neighbor's mutts another reason to snarl at the walls.) This does not feature examples of loquacious parakeets or erudite budgies like I'd been hoping, but what it wound up being was even more valuable: an instant room clearer. Hell, the first time I dropped the needle, I booked in seconds flat! The unidentified language coach intones single words and phrases like "Hello" or "See You Later" for literally MINUTES at a time, in total monotone with a rhythm that bobs and jerks like a dazed boxer. How could any beast or bird glean a fucking thing from this without first wondering where its owner keeps his .38? Were I an innocent lorikeet left alone with this bizarro Laurie Anderson nightmare, I'd learn how to say, "Shut this shit off, you fascist fucksock," but quick.

Pure brutality. Weaponized vinyl. Not to be wielded gently.

Jul 7, 2012


The Men, Liverhearts, Vincas, Wymyns Prysyn, Widowspeak
@529 East Atlanta
July 3rd

Lead paragraph delineates author’s conflicted relationship with live performances—specifically an overwhelming confusion regarding the reasonable expectations-payoff ratio. Author notes running an experiment for the duration of the evening in question: no cigarettes smoked nor alcohol consumed.
Second paragraph describes the crowd in somewhat elitist terms, really, with a few smiles and encounters with friends/acquaintances mentioned (insofar as this editor is concerned) to not come off to the reader as a hermit, snob, sociopath, or one lacking any and all self-awareness.
Third paragraph describes the five predominantly-local opening acts. He notes a band from Philadelphia as the lone exception, though admits to having missed the first band and lacking information about them. A somewhat pretentious excuse for his tardiness is made, where a simple schedule conflict would suffice.
Fourth paragraph describes in excruciating detail rife with trademark hyperbole a feeling of ennui arriving at the first signs of raucous behavior from some of the younger audience members. Complaints about old injuries, sore knees from standing all day, and a general exhaustion follow.
It is at this late point that the author begins his coverage of the headlining act, The Men. References to the Meat Puppets are at first invoked, only to be immediately revoked and replaced with Husker Du, which is just as quickly interrupted with Dead Flowers and followed by ellipsis. This is meant to imply (however thunderously delivered and inherently lacking in subtlety) the band’s alleged lack of identity in the face of their stylistic predecessors. The author closes the paragraph by admitting to being inured to The Men due to the preceding “onslaught of tired white people in t-shirts watching their own hands play instruments.”
Article closes with a non-denial denial of the author’s investment in the success/failure of the evening in the first place. Blame is placed on the aforementioned experimental sobriety; a firm commitment to never repeat said experiment follows.