Friday, December 4, 2009

TVD's 'We Fought The Big One' Parting Shots

One of our favorite DJ nights, Rick and Brandon’s We Fought The Big One returns this evening AND with a special live event tomorrow night. Some details from Rick’s press release:

The stew has been brewing for awhile now, but this weekend makes it official: “We Fought the Big One” is expanding beyond the monthly confines of the Marx Cafe to include special live shows that will take place at DC-area venues!

Needless to say, we couldn't be more excited. To tie in with this Friday's dj night at the Marx, Brandon and I have curated a unique live event at the Velvet Lounge which will take place Saturday evening.

Brooklyn's Outpost, a relatively new band that features Stuart Argabright from Factory Records' act Ike Yard, Mark C from Live Skull and Kent Heine from Holy Ghost, will be our guest djs Friday evening at the Marx and performing Saturday at the Velvet.

All three members of Outpost have an unabashed obsession with J.G. Ballard. The group's eerie sounds, which teeter between song and ambience, structure and formlessness, confirm that the collective agenda here is to make music as evocative and atmospheric as Ballard's unimitable prose. We encourage you to hear for

Also on Saturday night’s bill are DC’s Screen Vinyl Image, The Plums, and our pal Blue Sausage Infant!

Brandon, who also writes TVD’s Musique Non Pop, has assembled ten tracks for us this weekend to set the mood:

Ike Yard - Loss (Mp3)
For a synth band set down in the middle of trendy 1982, these guys didn’t groove along with much of their native NYC club scene. Neither did they march along with all the dispossessed children of the European New Wave musical Cold War. Instead Ike Yard oozed with a sort of funky menace. Something that bands wouldn’t relearn how to do until the 90’s. From their “1980-82 Collected” CD available on Acute Records.

Live Skull - Corpse (Mp3)
Unfortunately mostly overlooked when the New York No-Wave scene is discussed, Live Skull is in desperate need of a good reissue program. Perhaps people misunderstood them because of their later (excellent) work with Thalia Zedek, which would be a shame. This song is from a classic Tellus compilation cassette released in 1983.

Skat - Just a Word (Mp3)
Shifting gears, Skat were a short-lived later incarnation of Brighton, UK’s The Chefs (themselves short lived.) Fronted by the wonderful (and wonderfully named) Helen McCookerybook, this is an unreleased song taken from a Peel Session circa 1983.

Furious Apples - Belladonna (Mp3)
This band was from Coventry, UK and released only a few singles and a couple of songs on a compilation before disappearing. Reminds me for all the world of Creation band, Felt or a little bit of The Church. From a 1983 single.

49 Americans - Don’t Sing The Blues (Mp3)
49 Americans went from the worst of the best late 70’s East London DIY, amateur, charming scruffy and funny as hell bands to a band suddenly playing with serious avant-garde types like David Toop and Steve Beresford. This is what they decided to do with their new situation. From their 1981 E Pluribus Unum LP.

Occult Chemistry - Water (Flexi Version) (Mp3)
A one off band made up of members of Twilight Zoners from Cardiff, Wales and Martha Tilson who would later end up in A Certain Ratio for a short while as their singer. This is taken from the latest Messthetics compilation put out by Chuck Warner and his wonderful Hyped2Death Label. To say that the Messthetics compilations have changed We Fought The Big One’s musical lives is an understatement.

Strike Under - Sunday Night Disorientation (Mp3)
Chicago’s Strike Under only lasted for this one 12” single before disintegrating in to Breaking Circus, Naked Raygun and later Pegboy. This is considered important in some circles as far as the evolution of Chicago Punk is concerned. It is also the first record on Wax Trax! Records. 1981. Sorry for the crappy transfer and minor skipping. It's vinyl and this is why we love it.

B-People - Give Up (Mp3)
Another criminally forgotten band (of course they are,) Alex Gibson’s B-People from LA only lasted a few years in the early 80’s. They traded in music that was artfully jaded, distant but not foreboding and sometimes even moving. Take for example Mr. Gibson’s delivery of the line “My heart’s not in it anymore.” Simple, but it gets me every time. Circa 1981 or about there and originally on a cassette compilation.

Snatch - Hey Joey (Mp3)
Snatch were two ladies from New York, Patti Palladin and Judy Nylon whom left and moved to the UK in the early 70’s. They started off as rather thrashy punkettes, but gradually started to develop their sound. This song was recorded in 1977(!!!!) and released on a single. I swear this has everything to do with Brian Eno as they were working with him at the time, but can’t find any confirmation of such. Desperately needs a re-release.

Conrad Schnitzler - Gelb 1 (Mp3)
German avant-garde composer type started musical life in the early 70’s in a band called Eruption before moving on to his own solo work. This track was recorded in 1974 (again !!!!!!) and was only on cassette originally before being re-released a few times since.

TVD Recommends | Story/Stereo

The third edition of Story/Stereo is TONIGHT. Co-curator Matt Byars gives us an overview...

"I was going to write about Zomes' show tonight for Story/Stereo #3 at the Writer's Center in Bethesda (8:00 PM, with authors Dylan Landis and Brian Gilmore), but I'm coming up blank. After full days of explaining things to 6th graders (I'm a middle school teacher), I treasure things that don't need explanation, and that elude language; Zomes fit the bill.

Their "Fig Newtons of grainy Krautrock" (as described by one reviewer), just are, in the simplest sense of the word; what could I say that would embellish that? I admit that the backstory builds interest — Asa Osborne, who effectively is Zomes, is best-known for his work in the legendary Dischord outfit Lungfish — but shut off the critique and comparison parts of your temporal lobe and just let Zomes' gritty, swirling drones wash over you."

Zomes - Clear Shapes (Mp3)
Zomes - Black Magic Band (Mp3)

TVD's The Night After | Elvis Perkins at The Rock and Roll Hotel, Wednesday Night

“It’s so hot my bass is sweating!” This sentiment echoed by Elvis Perkins’ bass player, Mr. Brigham Brough at last nights show at Rock n Roll Hotel, wasn’t a far stretch from the truth. I can describe this show in three short phrases: a) hot b) crowded and c) folk-gospel. Yep, that’s about it.

So I might be a bit biased in writing this review since in recent years my musical tastes have outgrown the folky likes of Wilco and Bright Eyes and have evolved to a more electronic persuasion. However, I shall do my best to maintain impartiality.

Although it may not be my cup of tea, it is clear that Elvis and the crew are definitely not lacking on fans, as this was the most crowded show I’ve been to at the Hotel. The Hotel consisted of quite the young, innocent and flannel-clad audience, many of whom admitted (once asked by Perkins) to seeing Perkins recently at Club Iota in Virginia. The progression from Iota to an overloaded Rock n Roll suggests Mr. Perkins is moving right up the ladder to… could it be?... 930 club stardom? I guess we shall see.

To begin the show Perkins and his troupe of heavily-bearded band members entered from the back of the venue, forcing the already tight crowd to get a little bit tighter, as their brass procession made its way to the stage. Many of Perkins’ songs evoke visions of a rainy New Orleans funeral procession (I may have fallen asleep with my eyes open once or twice…) except those in which the drummer busted out his big ass drum and threw a more funky-vibe into the mix (which was awesome). At the end of the show, Elvis so graciously took requests from the audience and immediately played not one but TWO encores. He then told the crowd to meet him upstairs for drinks or ‘a pat on the back’, whichever they preferred.

So bottom line, I can’t say anything about the band themselves, and you folky cats would have definitely enjoyed it.

Elvis Perkins In Dearland - Shampoo (Mp3)