A cuppla-4 short album reviews

Smashing Pumpkins: Shiny and Oh So Bright – This is the comeback from these guys. Sorry that D’Arcy ain’t here, but this is what they sound like, not like what Zwan, or Billy solo, or 1/2 Pumpkins – this is what the band sounds like. And it sounds good. Corgan’s vocals have never been better, he’s even moderated the nasality, and the guitar playing is heavy rhythms, altho’ I could dug more soling. Great rhythm section – Chamberlin is till a monster. What folks might be gonna not like – and I luv – is the Rick Rubin production, dry and almost demoey in it’s lack of special FX – no cathedral drums or years-long delays, alytho there is a little Hendrixy panning, and plenty of loud-soft-loud, and the occasional surprising keys/strings and BVs. I give it 4.5/5 olives, and call it my 3rd fave SP album already.

Mudhoney: Digital Garbage – This is the funniest, rocking-est, bitterest and best-produced they’ve been. Songs about Faecesbookin’ yer suicide, evangelical/political hypocrisy,  serial killers and “Neanderfucks”, and Turner’s so under-rated lead guitar, the section rocks and Arm rages. 5/5 olives.

Pixies: Indie Cindy – Not sure if I reviewed this before, but 5 years after its release, I’m on my second copy because I hadda buy another when I misplaced the first. (Found it, and now one is home, and one at work.) Anywhat, this is a kinda lost masterpiece that has only gotten better with a little distance. When it was first released it was panned as a compilation of EP’s, and because a studio bassist replaced Kim Deal, and because they toured performing complete albums and the reunion was perceived as a money grab. Now, I love her (the latest Breeders is reviewed below) and her absence – particularly her quirky writing but especially her vocals – is noteworthy, but this has always been Black Francis’ show, as magnified by Santiago’s odd guitar and the wholly under-appreciated drums of David Lovering. In 2018, this flows as much as any other Pixies record, doing the loud-soft-loud thing they basically created in indie-punk music ( and copped by so many – see SP: S&OSB above), with the sideways spoken-word Boston rap that he does so well, and the hilarious sci-fi and sexual innuendo lyrics, with that unique omnipresent under-current of defensive violence and perversion. Shout out to Gil Norton for making it sound like a Pixies record, updated. 4/5 olives

The Breeders: All Nerve – On prior releases, particularly TK, they kinda devolved into tedium at times, particularly when they wanted to groove. They can groove, but I think they are best as a pop band, and if that pop-band is “woke”, and substance abuse-informed, and just a little twisted by women who kinda scare me – all the better! 4/5 olives, my fave from ’em.


Movie: *Dark Crimes*

Jim Carrey and Charlotte Gainsborough and a buncha Polish actors inna pretty deep Euro-noir. 4/5 olives.

7 S-songs notes

In answer to a query:

All the drums are real, constructed by me from various downloaded stereo tracks, heavily edited.

The second song, “Trippin'” just has a lead guitar and a rhythm. All guitar tracks have a close mic and a room mic – recorded inna spare bedroom.  The mic’s on the guitars are ribbons, the close is a CAD Trion into a Universal Audio 110 pre, and the room is a Shinybox 23L into a Focusrite ISA1 or Universal Audio 710 pre.  I tend to pan the room out to the side, ex., 5:00, and then the close mic closer in, say 3:00.

The bass are all my Hohner BA2 (headless) with flats, into various pedals (or none), into an Ampeg BA108 mic’d with a Peavey 520i (similar to an SM7b) then paralleled into a Groove Tubes Brick into a dbx160XT, the other side into a Meek VC3Q.

The vox are either an M-Audio Luna or a Sennheiser MK2 or an MXL Genesis FET or a Sterling Ocean Way 6050 into either a Meek VC1Q to an 1176 clone, or a Summit into an ART VLA2.

#3 “Liein’ There” is an actual performance-doubled lead vocal.

The guitars are all my Tele into a Vox Nite Train into a 1×10″, with various pedals, or none.

The songs have notes of the instruments and FX, altho’ they are somewhat abbreviated.

Aiight, I gotta crash before it’s time to trip on the tryptophan!

Vlayman: *7 Shitesongs*


1. I Got Yer Back 04:21
2. Trippin’ Up the Stairs 03:35
3. Good Day (Notta Very) 04:07
4. Liein’ There (Lookatchoo) 03:31
5. Carried Out 03:44
6. Not As Famous 03:34
7. Killer Filler 03:27

Aiight, some downloaded drummage, some bass what might be too loud, lotsa effected guitars what most certainly is too loud,
better vox mebbe than usual (f*ck you, Jimmy), no keys acuz I forgot, and my typical songs about you, me and
the other killers we don’t wanna know.

released November 18, 2018

Drums: nettage
All else: some drunk guy
Writ, derranged, playt, recurded, mixt, masturd, and sequenced at FetaCentralRecording DDL, outside o’ Chi.

Fartwerk by Jose Jones (and it stinks).

THDGeronimo Cowboys;
I mix with olive juice.

Movies: Siberia; Our Kind of Traitor

Siberia: Keanu, some soft-core porn, violence, decent acting and scenery as diamond merchant goes to title land to find missing partner and gets some love and bullets – says nothin’. 3 olives

Our Kind of Traitor: Ewan MacGregor, Stellan Skarsgard, Damian Lewis are excellent. Great story keeps you guessing, awesome scenery, great ending as Russian accountant is traitor assisted by poet and MI5 in LeCarre story. 4.5 olives

Band name riffing

Postered at lostoverture:

Well, I have a tribute act, showcasing the music of the Who and the Beatles and Ian Hunter’s first band. It’s called (wait for it, wait for it) Mott the Hootles.

Then there’s Morrissey’s new metal band, Aerosmiths …

Then there’s Josh Homme’s new Freddie Mercury/Keith Richards tribute, Queen of the Stoneage.

Also, there’s that new grown-up Aussie kiddie band, Boys to Men at Work.

And, there’s the new indie-reggae band, Dinosaur Junior Murvin and the Maytals.

Oh, and that porn-punk-country combo, Sex Pistol Annies …

Oh-oh-0oh! I almost forgot the new-wave hard rock band, ABC/DC.

And the indie-metal/Robert DeNiro tribute, The Smashing Rupert Pupkins.

Finally, the dance band yer mom loves, The Tom-Tom Jones Club.

of Bars and Bassin’

My response:  I generally agree with this to the extent that the bar scene was entirely changed with the advent of MADD, etc. Good or bad, where I used to go out by myself and have a pop or two and watch some bands, I very seldom do in the last few years. A $5-10 cover, the inability to have more than 1-2 cocktails and still have to run gauntlet and possible checkpoints, makes staying at home jamming or wartching a concert on the box a better option for my time, dollar and risk.

College towns are, I hope different, or if one lives in the entertainment district where you can walk or get cheap transport, but I live in the suburbs where traffic policing is a revenue thing, and DUI is a $3-5K issue, not to mention the social and job effects.

And again, the DUI laws are probably a good thing, but the heyday of the local bar scene here (Southside of Chi) changed with the DUI crackdown (IL is .08 – at 225 lbs. that’s 2-3 drinks in 2-3 hours). I have never, BTW, hadda DUI, but friends have …

But I also have to acknowledge that so much current popular music is not amenable even to cover bands, and so they end up playing 60’s-90’s stuff (the 90’s cover bands are kinda new around here). And I’ll confess, personally I’m not even interested in cover bands, but there is basically no original music scene here at all – gotta go into Chi for that.