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Thursday, December 30, 2004
  we haven't forgotten about this thing yet

The Extension will be returned to after the New Year. I'm waiting on getting one of them jump drive things, which will most assuredly make the home-to-work file transferrence easier.

In the meantime, Vinyl Mine linked to a couple of songs by an Asian group called Furniture yesterday. The second mp3, “Please”, sounds like something you maybe could’ve heard on 120 Minutes in 1991 or so. Shoegazer-type stuff is inherently self-limiting, but when it’s done well, as with “Please”, it can be hard to deny. Maybe “Please” doesn’t transcend its influences, but it does come close to matching them.
 
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
  leaving in fifteen minutes

The Masta Cylindaz "Shine On You Fantastical Bastards!"

The Masta Cylindaz "So Much Fucking Charisma Have We!"

First read this, then listen to the songs above, then go see Lil Flip Scoldjah live Friday night at Oceanchum's XXXXMas show at the 40 Watt.

 
  it's a world of people giving us the blame



The Embarrassment “Celebrity Art Party”
The Embarrassment “Woods of Love”

Dazed and Confused and the video for ”1979” always bring on a wave of wistful nostalgia for my younger days, even though my younger days did not in any facet resemble anything that happened in either of those. Similarly, the music of the Embarrassment makes me nostalgic for a time I never knew and for experiences I’ve never had. Yes, the Embarrassment – who broke up before I started kindergarten – could be the poster-children for that time when punk rock slowed down and mellowed out and gradually turned into what came to be called college (and then indie) rock. They’re like the REM of Kansas, if REM never hit it big, and never became old and pathetic. But so, in a perfect world there’d always be room on college radio for bands that sound like this. Bar/None released a two-disc compilation called Heyday in 1995; it’s out of print, but you can buy a used copy for forty bucks at Amazon, if you want. (That’s pretty fucking nuts, to be honest. I need to burn my copy and throw it up on Ebay, I think.)

I have to cut this entry short, as I’m leaving for home in a few minutes. I hope you’ve been liking this shit, though, and that you’ll still be here in a couple weeks when I return home. I doubt there’ll be any updates (from me, at least) in the meantime.
 
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
  come on down to '94



Unrest "Make Out Club"

After the last out we got ready to leave the stadium and head toward our car. My dad hadn’t been able to get the same amazing company seats (fifth row, behind home plate) he usually could through work, but he was able to get a good parking pass. Before he started his still uninterrupted boycott of baseball after the strike, my dad was one of those fans who’d take a headset radio to the game so he could still listen to the announcers while enjoying the game in person. As we were leaving the stadium I popped my dad’s headphones on and tuned in to Album 88. It was 1993, I was sixteen, and the Braves were a week or two away from trading for Fred McGriff.

The signal came in intermittently at first, but as we walked through the concourse at Fulco and got closer to the parking lot it grew gradually clearer. Through the static I heard the dj say something about having an advance copy of the new Nirvana record, and that he’d be playing a song or two from it. It was fuzzy, so I couldn’t make it out too well. I could sort of hear the song he played right after that break, though; it started off slow and pretty, before erupting into spastic guitar chords, a propulsive bassline, and a pseudo-disco beat. The whole song was one big fucking hook, but it confused the hell out of me, because it sounded absolutely nothing like, and much better than, Nirvana. I was pretty sure it had to be Nirvana, though, since the dj said he was about to play them. We made it to the car before the dj back announced, and I didn’t get to learn what the song was called, or even if it was by Nirvana or not. Thankfully, during the rest of 1993, and into 1994, Album 88 played that song about three times a day, so it wasn’t long before I figured out that it was Unrest’s “Make Out Club”. And of course it was much better than anything off In Utero.

You might be able to find a used copy of the album Perfect Teeth from Amazon.
 
  more from jerkwater johnson

Dungen "Festival"

Here's some more majesty from Ta Det Lugnt, courtesy of SA (aka Jerkwater Johnson).
 
Monday, December 13, 2004
  the summer before the summer of action was better



Laddio Bolocko "Goat Lips"

I saw Laddio Bolocko play an incredible show in some guy’s basement on the outskirts of Athens back in 1998. One of the band members spent the entire show staring directly into Scarnsworth's eyes; at one point only about six inches separated their faces. The music sounded like Can and the Flying Luttenbachers mixed with free jazz and the best parts of Trans Am. It was crazy and amazing and maybe the best house show I’ve ever been to. I knew very little about them going in, but they were awesome live, so I wound up buying their first album, The Strange Warmings of Laddio Bolocko. The first song on the record, ”Goat Lips”, begins like a Roman triumph, with jubilatory guitars ringing out to proclaim that Laddio Bolocko have successfully vanquished the Dalmations, or something. It quickly shifts into a heavy funk-rock that sounds like the theme song to some high-energy tv cop show, before winding up with a couple minutes of droning, repetitive guitar wank. It's like This Heat crossed with Oneida. It's so good I just want to bash my head on my desktop and let the red stuff flow.

I saw them again with Trans Am in 2000 or 2001, not too long before they broke up. They were still awesome, and completely blew Trans Am away. They put out a couple of other albums in 1998 and 1999; all three have been compiled on the two-disc The Life and Times of Laddio Bolocko. We hear at MezEcl would recommend this record about as highly as possible. You can order a copy from Forced Exposure, if you'd like.
 
Friday, December 10, 2004
  it's a movement

The future wifey hosted a holiday party last night, and so I’m currently experiencing an absolutely crushing hangover. The little soiree was held on the Skywalk at Prudential Center, fifty stories up, near the top of one of the tallest buildings in Boston. Between the amazing view, the ridiculously stylish designers, and the unceasing flow of sweet sweet liquor, I felt like some grand, urbane socialite, and not just some dude pulling down only a grand per year lived. But Boston is seriously one hell of a beautiful city, and, I hate to say it, but Atlanta looks like a post-apocalyptic dystopian nightmare in comparison.

But so here’s the song we named our weblog after. It’s from Captain Beyond’s first record, and though it’s probably one of my least favorite songs on the album, it does have the best title. Captain Beyond were a semi-supergroup, featuring the original singer from Deep Purple, Johnny Winter's drummer, and the guitarist and bassplayer from Iron Butterfly. They put out a couple of great records on Georgia's own Capricorn Records back in the '70's, and then broke up, reformed, sucked, broke up, reformed, rinse, repeat. They're well worth your time.

I’m going to go sit in the bathroom and hold my head in my hands now.
 
Thursday, December 09, 2004
  transassholism / and you've got to say it's better than a war



The Jazz Butcher "Partytime"

Jazz Butcher "Southern Mark Smith"

In 2000 the Jazz Butcher and his band performed to an audience of about ten people at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia. I was catatonically drunk, but I remember that their set was as satisfying as the turn-out was depressing. Future hot-shit indie-frauds Death Cab for Cutie opened the show, and there were maybe fifteen people there specifically to see them. It was a complete bath for the club, I’m sure, as the audience never numbered more than 25, and at least ten of those I know to have gotten in for free. So Death Cab’s fifteen fans, who were all either seventeen years old or named Amber Townsend, left as soon as they finished. Death Cab also decided to leave as quickly as possible, trying to duck out before the Jazz Butcher even took the stage. When the club understandably gave Death Cab less money than they expected, members of the band apparently pitched a (no doubt very sensitive) hissy fit. I’m not sure what was said, or if there was any physical contact, but whatever happened led to Death Cab being banned from the 40 Watt for almost four years. A year later Ben Gibbard briefly recounted the affair in that horrible Devil in the Woods magazine, and seemed to feel legitimately ashamed about his actions. I didn’t witness the altercation, but throughout their performance, and up until the point when they left (attracting as much attention as they could from a crowd of ten), they were visibly pissed about the turn-out, and looked like they’d rather be anywhere else. This was in early 2000, right after their second album had been released, and well before they attained any notable national fame. They didn’t have any reason to expect a good turn-out, and their actions made them look like presumptuous assholes.

The Jazz Butcher, meanwhile, who had much more of a right to be upset, having come all the way from England, took everything in stride. Instead of complaining or moping he addressed the situation the only way men should, with humor and alcohol. He and the Conspiracy (or whatever they were calling themselves then) put on a good, highly entertaining show, and the few of us who gave a shit about them had a damn good time. If the guys in Death Cab had stayed they would have learned something about professionalism, and/or how not to be pathetic dicks.

I got hooked on the Jazz Butcher when I was twelve, thanks to Rich Hall’s old Onion World program on the original Comedy Channel. Hall had lots of good bands on that program - del Amitri, the Trashcan Sinatras, Big Dipper - but the Jazz Butcher was the most prominent, and the best. ”Partytime” and ”Southern Mark Smith” are two of my favorite songs by the Butcher. I used to listen to them on a tape I made by hooking our television up through the stereo. These songs come from my old vinyl copy of the Bloody Nonsense compilation, which I believe is currently out of print. They sound a lot better when the Sniglet guy isn’t talking over them, that’s for sure. But so there are a lot of Jazz Butcher compilations out there, and for the most part you'll probably want to stick with his early '80's stuff.
 
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
  Skitbra



Dungen "Panda"

OJ, this one's for you. I heard a couple tracks from this album the other night, and was instantly obliterated. I was on a mission to get this album, but apparently it's only available as an import, which just sold out of its 2nd pressing. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET RIGHT NOW. What a shit-stained situation. I'm dowloading it at work right now; I've only got the first song done and halfway through jamming it I was compelled to try to figure out how to post in on here. I hope this works.

Band: Dungen
Album: Ta Det Lugnt or something like that. Some kind of Swedish shit.
Song: "Panda". It's just the first song off the record. I have no idea is this is the best one or worst one or what. I'll know later today.

Buy Ta Det Lugnt here.
 
  Oh, Sweet Lord, What a Tuesday!

Cheap Trick "He's a Whore"

The Replacements "Can't Hardly Wait (The Tim Version)"

It's 35 degrees and raining - kick-ass! At least the train didn't take forever this morning. So there's no theme or anything today, just a couple of songs I really like. ”He’s a Whore” is a Cheap Trick song that Guided by Voices sort of resembles, whereas ”Can’t Hardly Wait” is the Replacements at their best. I much prefer this "Can't Hardly Wait", the “Tim version”, to the recording that appeared on Pleased to Meet Me.

You can buy The Essential Cheap Trick here, and the Replacements’ All for Nothing / Nothing For All compilation here.
 
Monday, December 06, 2004
  I Am Mesmerized By My Own Needs



Wire "Heartbeat"

Wire "I Feel Mysterious Today"


So Wire was/is probably one of the three or four greatest rock bands of all time. It took me a while to realize this, though. Back in high school, we’d hear nattering jackasses like Matt Pinfield and the tired old men at Rolling Stone blabber about how amazingly seminal and fantastic Wire was, and how such incredibly important, hot-shit acts of the then-and-now-forgotten owed so much to these old masters. Pinfield would gush endlessly, and then play some horrible video from the band’s early ‘90’s nadir. Since such sources could be counted on to be reliably, insistently incorrect, it would take a couple years and the crucible of college radio disc jockeying for me to realize that Wire really was wonderful, especially on their first two albums.

I bought Pink Flag back in 1997, when I was twenty, and thought it was pretty great, but definitely a product of its era. A few weeks later I picked up a copy of Chairs Missing, and was absolutely blown away by both its brilliance and its timelessness. Whereas Pink Flag obviously arises from that initial 1977 flowering of British punk, Chairs Missing, for the most part, could have been released at any point during the last 26 years, or so. Of all the big late seventies British post-punk groups, Wire most presciently foreshadowed (and/or influenced) the American indie-rock of the ‘80’s and ‘90’s that I would cut my teeth on. Finally hearing Chairs Missing was like unlocking the past and the history of the music I held most dear.

Anyway, with Wire on the Box 1979 we can get an idea of what a Wire show was like back between the releases of Chairs Missing and 154. I haven’t watched the whole DVD yet, but from what I’ve seen the band doesn’t really care that the audience of bored German teens seems about as listless and disinterested as it could possibly be. The CD is very welcome, indeed, as there’s never really been a quality live album from the group, and this one is pretty damn good. ”Heartbeat” and ”I Feel Mysterious Today” are two of the highlights. You can buy Wire on the Box 1979 here.
 
Friday, December 03, 2004
  This Ain't Camping, But It Might Be Fun



Oneida "Inside My Head"

The ever-prolific Oneida has a new ep, Nice:Splittin’ Peaches, out on Ace Fu Records, and although it can feel a bit brief at first listen, it gradually settles in as a satisfying interalbum diversion. It’s not quite as heavy or spastic as some of the band's older work, swapping some of the crank and coke-fueled madness with a slightly more traditional ‘60’s avant-garde vibe. The free-jazz freak-out at the end of “Summerland” (courtesy of Charlie Waters, member of Atlanta-based combo the Gold Sparkle Band) and the swirling guitar and organ of “Inside My Head” sound like hippies jamming on a bad trip, and not like the memory-heavy, primordial psychedelic paranoia-rock Oneida perfected on Anthem of the Moon and 2002’s incomparable Each One Teach One. Final song “Hakuna Matata”, the latest in the band’s long line of imposing, ten-minutes-plus epics, is an amazing, minimalist drone piece that contains all of “Sheets of Easter”’s time-rescinding static momentum, but without the blunt savagery and terror. It’s worth the price of admission all on its own. Anyhow, it's another solid release from Oneida, easily the best band out of New York these last four or five years or so.

You can buy Nice:Splittin’ Peaches here, or via PayPal at the Ace Fu site.
 
Thursday, December 02, 2004
  The Best Thing I Ever Bought in Texas



Life Without Buildings "New Town"

Life Without Buildings "Philip" (live acoustic)

Although they only released a handful of singles and one album, Scotland’s Life Without Buildings remains one of my favorite bands of the new millennium. 2001’s Any Other City (buy it here) has been in semi-regular rotation on my jambox for close to four years now, and the good times show no sign of abatement. If you think you’d be into a more rocking Sugarcubes, or if you ever wished that Mark E. Smith was a lady, and that the Fall sounded like Television (and nothing at all like the Fall), then Life Without Building is the band for you, bro.

A lot of people can’t get past Sue Tompkins’ expressionist vocals and free associative lyrics. But for me, and (I would suspect) for most of the band’s fans, her singing is what makes their music worth listening to. Without Tompkins voice splattering all over the place, Life Without Buildings’ songs would be good, but unremarkable, ‘80’s-style indie-rock. Tompkins elevated the material into something wholly unique and distinctive, and in the process helped create one of the best records of the decade. Unfortunately, the band broke up in 2002, after Tompkins decided to refocus on her visual art. That might have been for the best, though, as their last recorded work, 2002’s “Love Trinity”, is probably their weakest song; it sounds like mid-‘80’s U2, with a completely out-of-place, bombastic guitar solo in the middle.

Anyway, ”New Town” is my favorite song from Any Other City, and a fairly amazing piece of work. They build the tension up real well on this one. Also, here’s a previously unreleased live rendition of ”Philip” from an acoustic show they played in Glasgow on December 9 2001. This recording was made by Luke Fowler.
 
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
  Uriah Heep Ain't No Joke



Uriah Heep All My Life

Uriah Heep were the most popular live act among the inaugural graduating class of Walton High School in Marietta, Georgia. That was in 1975, or something, but even if it were today, you still couldn't blame them. The Heep is undeniable, and impregnable. Within the world of rock, they possess the strategic importance of the Dardanelles, and the resolute steadfastness of Winston Churchill. And like Churchill after the failed campaign to take the Dardanelles, Uriah Heep is often mistakenly scorned and maligned. One listen to "All My Life" should be enough to change the mind of even the most hardened of Heep critics. "All My Life" is about as fine as early '70's rock'n'roll gets, and those stirring vocal histrionics at the end still choke me up damn near every time I hear them. The whole album Demons and Wizards is incredible; you can pick up a copy here, if you wish.
 
  I N A U G U R A T I O N

Guided by Voices "Pantherz"

Here's something of a lost classic from Guided by Voices, a pugnacious little tune that appeared (in a lower fidelity) on the Suitcase box. You can't tell due to the ultra-shitty needle on my old turntable, but this version was recorded in a studio, and far surpasses the four-track rendition. This comes from a double-vinyl bootleg that popped up in '98 or so. It's three-and-a-half sides of live GBV circa '96 (maybe '97), with three studio outtakes rounding out side four. The other two studio tracks are pretty good, too, but nowhere near as good as "Pantherz".

With Bob Pollard putting the old girl to rest in less than a month now, you can probably expect unhealty amounts of GBV MP3s from us in the meantime. Please bear with us, friends.
 
  Greetings

We’ve posted mp3s to the original Mez Ecl on occasion, but those were hastily made, spur-of-the-moment decisions, predicated on the file being already available elsewhere on the Internet. With the Extension we will be a bit more premeditated, and will be making use of our own private reserves. No more posting links to mp3s you can get from the sites of labels or bands; at the Extension, we’ll actually be making an effort.

New posting starts tomorrow. For now, we’ll put up a couple of old favorites previously discussed on Mez Ecl. Those will be up in a jiff.

What a fucking magical sphere this Earth be!
 
Mesmerization Eclipse Extension: The MP3 Adjunct to Mesmerization Eclipse

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