Thursday, September 13, 2018
I have some things for sale if you want to buy them.
-- I wrote a zine about 70's punk band ICE 9 / COUNT VERTIGO. I'm very happy with it.
-- SBSM, an Oakland band playing destructive synth, put out their 2nd tape with me.
-- My old band RICE HARVESTER reunited in August to play one show in Chattanooga, TN. We have some ridiculous shirts left over if you want one.
Nowhere on this record does it say "Monster of Rock", but that has become the (un)official title of this record because all three of these bands toured together upon the release of this record and that was the name of the tour. I set up their final show of the tour when they came through Cleveland, MS where I was living at the time. JACK PALANCE BAND, after being one of the best region bands for the last ten years, were on shaky footing and didn't even make it to this show. Nevertheless, we drained the better part of two kegs and still had an amazing show out in the middle of nowhere in the Mississippi Delta.
When all the bands left, the next day, I layed on my floor and listened to this record over and over. As the years progressed, these songs felt darker and stranger than I initially felt them to be. In my mind, their hometown of Chattanooga (and my former home) had taken a dark turn and I was afraid it might stay that way forever. I'm being purposefully vague because this is just my interpretation, but I got in touch with Daniel from ADD/C for info about this record and I think I was mostly right. I'll keep it simple so that you can just enjoy the thing. Pretty much, the whole record is about drugs (and not really in that fun way) and losing friends. "Now and Never" is about our friend Allison and sometimes I like to imagine that the song is just simply an ode to drugs themselves so I don't have to think about how they took Allison away from us just a few short years after this song was written. And I'll leave it at that.
Notes on the recording quality: It's not great. It sounds like an alien transmission to me. I always thought it had something to do with the mastering, but Daniel told me that all the bands recorded on a broken 4 track (or maybe an 8 track with only 4 working tracks) with 1/4" tape on the top floor of the tree house, which was a long running freak abode in north Chattanooga. He blames that. Still, this record retains some weird, dark magic. QUEERWULF and ADD/C went on to do a lot more, but this was JACK PALANCE BAND's final release. Enjoy.
Monday, September 3, 2018
Portland, Oregon's SHARKS KILL may already be familiar to some readers of the blog because I have mentioned them in posts with ALL IS LOST and PUNKY ROCKIT...or maybe you lived in Portland in the mid-90's and saw them playing house shows during that time. If this is your first introduction to them, welcome.
I haven't had this tape since the mid-90's, but it was mailed to me by a longtime Portland resident who shall go unnamed...because when I received it in the mail, the manilla envelope that the tape originally came in (pictured above) was still sealed, meaning that the previous owner had probably never listened to it. My friend Harry used to play this tape in our shared house in Alabama and he always liked it a lot more than I ever did. Still, it's funny to say that you don't really like a tape, but there are still certain lines from songs that stick in your head for decades, even though you truly haven't heard them since 1998. There's some kind of weird power in that. So, when I pulled this tape out of the envelope and played it in my room in 2018, I was immediately mouthing the lines "Welcome to Portland...it gets dark and dreary here..."
SHARKS KILL walked that line between catchy indie-punk and emo. Since this is a place where I try to be brutally honest (in a way that has led to many, many awkward conversations with friends and dead friend's parents over the years), I will tell you that I am a fan of being in touch with your emotions, but I am an enemy of emo. SHARKS KILL crosses too far over the line for my tastes in a few circumstances, like "Forever 17", but I would be lying through my teeth if I didn't say that I have flown down dark hills alone on my bike late at night yelling the line "Rock and roll forever!!" "Crush Song" is the kind of song that you can only write in 1996 and even then, maybe not.. Still, it's lodged in my brain and I kinda love it. "Postcard" is such a time-and-place song and really catchy...I couldn't believe it wasn't on the band's 7" from a year later. Something about the otherworldly and tinny recording adds to the charm of this whole thing.
On this tape, they're a two piece, but they added Tasha on bass for their later 7" record. They didn't last long after that. Members went on to be in HOPE & ANCHOR, VEGAS THUNDER, TOUGH LOVE, BOYS OF SUMMER, DARK SKIES, FUTURE WEST and more.