Preston likes to party.

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This tape is near mythical in the close circles I’ve been able to share it with.  It almost came from nowhere.  I got in the late 90’s from The X, a nag champa smoke filled, long out of business record store in the musically hyperdense college town of Denton, Texas.  It was in a little tower on the counter that held the 10 or so tapes they carried at a time.  The cover was as boring as it gets with some still life painting of fruit but also had no price tag so the person behind the counter gave it to me for free.

It starts with what I always assumed was a movie sample.  It’s an uneventful, yet highly disturbing skit of a keyboard player crying while having a mental breakdown while someone else tries to calm him down while barely not laughing at the ridiculousness of the other person.  This sets the tone perfectly for the whole thing.

These are mostly funny songs played with a straight face.  They’re all pretty simplistic songs with an acoustic guitar with near Wesley Willian levels of repetition.  If I remember right, it took me a year or two of listens to realize there were verses that contained good stories.

I still don’t know much about this tape.  10 or so years after finding it a friend found out that it is probably Fishboy’s older brother Cavedweller’s thing.  The case is long gone and the sticker is near completely rubbed off from years of beating around a high school backpack.

I’m looking for other old stuff.  If you have a copy of the early Monkeytown tapes, that Poor Bastard Sons tape, Beat Kids, or others hit me up.  This link will go down in 7 days then hopefully I’ll have a more permanent way to keep it up.

https://we.tl/jzrFKEiX08

Reupped 10/30.  Link dead in 7 days.  You do the math.

 

 

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Check out that Merzdub record on bandcamp too. Dub sucks, Merzbow rules.

Man, you know what, I broke this week.  The onslaught of the horseshittery of unskilled labor jobs and living with relative strangers got to me.  The band I was in is gearing up for a reunion show.  Even though I’m stoked as hell to see those guys, trying to be artistically equal to the self of 5 years ago is really stressful.  I spent the week trying to get it together instead of looking through calendars.  I went through this weird vibe John Sarno book from the 90’s and it’s helping me identify faulty thinking patterns.  Henry Owings recommended it on Facebook a few years back otherwise I woulda never given it the time of day.  One thing is I try different brain supplements around Sunday, feel shitty, and I don’t go to that jazz show at The Owl again.  Anyway.  Feelings.  Gross.  Okay.  Good Talk.

Before all that though I went and grabbed records from Bric-a-Brac and Reckless.  At Bric-a-Brac I got newer stuff.  Side 1 of this Ausmuteants thing has pretty much been on repeat around the house.  It’s noisy keyboard garageish rock, and since it’s from Australia it’s really good.  There was a good interview with them in last quarter’s No Friends if you can still find a copy.  Bric-a-Brac has the Goner version, which is cheaper than the copy linked there.  They also have PeeWee’s Playhouse trading cards.  I’m also really excited about Already Dead tapes.  It says they’re Brooklyn/Chicago/Kalamazoo but everything’s coming up Brooklyn.  The Mu Vonz track on this is probably the greatest single thing I’ve heard this year.

Grabbed some old shit from Reckless.  Finally found a decent price on Nurse With Wound’s funky/groovy/whatever the fuck Bacteria Magnet.  Sounds like David Lynch bought a bass and a car before he actually did.  I like Homotopy to Marie as much as the next guy, but this is my favorite Nurse With Wound record that I’ve heard.  Also grabbed a small run Wesley Willis CD that Discogs doesn’t even recognize as legit.  That’s been my favorite part of living in Chicago so far.

Friday: Mint Mile|Whelms|Andrew and Light Coma|Hideout That’s members of Bottomless Pit, Silkworm, Songs: Ohia, Dianogah and C Clamp doing things similar but different to those bands listed.  If you don’t know who they are that’s your problem.  What the fuck is wrong with you.

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I want to complain about the cold, but yeah no shit, it’s Chicago. What did I expect.

I’m about to start dumping zines around so felt a disclaimer was necessary and I don’t know how/care to learn how to write a WordPress bio yet.  I’m from a small Texas town with a glut of great bands.  Every few months a newcomer would move to town, start writing about music, and I’d be pissed that they both didn’t know what they were talking about and couldn’t google one of the other 20 show lists.  I am acknowledging my ignorance of current Chicago music.  If you want some knowledge about 80’s/90’s/early 00’s Chicago music I probably got you though.  I have found other blogs that I really enjoy, but the noisier stuff doesn’t seem to have a centralized internet presence.  I’m hoping to create that as well as having a reason to scour calendars and not do things like miss that Advance Base show at The Hideout a few days ago.  Yeah, I know.

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I took 50,000 ius of Vitamin D and my sinuses finally cleared up

Cassette tapes have a special place in my heart.  Growing up, they mostly served their purpose by playing Steven Wright and Sam Kinison sets over and over again.  I wasn’t too much of a rebel with what I listened to, but every once in a while I’d go nuts and throw on that Eddie Murphy Greatest Hits tape that I was told not to listen to.

I’d record songs off the radio just like everyone else.  You press pause then record so it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice.  I was immensely disappointed when I finally grabbed that Stabbing Westward song I thought was so great, then got to listen to over and over.  Holy crap so bad.  Then I got a Tascam 4 track for Christmas.  It was a huge pain in the ass that represented freedom.  You had to work for tapes.  First thing my dad and I learned is that you have to have something to mix down to.  We hauled off to Guitar Center of all places because we thought you had to have some specialized device, which of course you don’t.  Then there was all the he said she said of it.  Somewhere I heard that it sounds better if you record at a faster speed.  I couldn’t tell the difference but I did it anyway even though you could also slow the tape down and record more.  My friend Brad and I recorded the same songs over and over again because it somehow felt productive and because it helps for dudes to have a project to work on when they’re hanging out. 

Then came the portability factor.  I obsessed over music but those portable cd players were such a pain in the ass.  You could throw a bunch of tapes in your backpack without fear of scratching them or breaking those brittle cd cases.  Tapes didn’t skip.  You could easily stick a few in your pocket at the used record store.   Stealing music or anything else sucks, but that’s a thing I did.

Then cassettes quit being okay.  I stayed dug in.  Mp3 players were popping up but they were expensive.  The shitbox cars we drove still had tape players.  We fooled with those things that were tapes with wires sticking out of them for the portable cd players but those always had a short shelf life.  Regular tapes just worked.  You’d have to be careful where you put the CD player in your car to keep it from skipping.  Portable CD players were like carrying an egg around with you that played music.

You could still buy Bauhaus tapes but in the mid 2000s you weren’t going to find the newest Deerhoof record on cassette.  The chain stores quit selling them. Still, to broke ass punks tapes still offered freedom.  CDRs were expensive but you could grab a ten pack of Maxells for cheap.  Our band would self release our songs that nobody wanted and drop them off at venues to try to book shows that we ultimately never got.  They were cheap enough that you could just give them away.  Some bands did and finding these tapes felt like belonging to a secret club of people older than us that we wouldn’t meet until a few years later.  It never occurred to me that people wouldn’t have tape players anymore. 

I kept the player around but CDRs got cheaper.  You could get MP3s off Napster for free.  Several years later of mostly buying CDs and vinyl, I found out about Wolf Eyes.  They made tapes into art.  I remember one being cased in a DVD case melted in black plastic.  I bought these tapes from bands directly at House of Tinnitus.  I got bitter when people didn’t respect cassettes that I cared so much about.

Then I dug into MP3s and vinyl pretty hard.  Now you could get any song for free and throw it on your phone.  Only noise dudes still really used tapes and even most of them moved to CDR.  I moved around a lot and the players were either lost or broken.  After a while I wanted to blast my Mojo Spleens tape and a few cassette only releases I’d picked up.  I bought a few new tape players and none of them worked.  I’d spent a lot of money trying to get these things to play.  Around this time tapes starting coming back in all genres.  The whole point of tapes was that they were cheap and I couldn’t even get these things to work after spending a lot.  I got pissed and decided this was nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake, and tapes could go fuck themselves.

Then I finally up and did what I always should have done and bought a cheap tape player from a  pawn shop and rode it back on my bicycle to my tiny Chicago room after hassling the employee about their return policy.  Now I get it again.  These things don’t take up much space and I get a cheap physical copy that I can put in my pocket and get home with.  They’re cheap enough that I can buy a “local noise” (wound up being Brooklyn) tape because I like the skull picture on the cover.  I don’t have to baby it like  a record, and taking care of my records all this time taught me how to take care of cassettes.  I’m bought in again for now.  Bring on the tapes.

All this goes to say that I looked at your calendars this week.  Garage rock is fine, but you know what else is fine?  Other stuff.  I feel like a powerless one man crusade to bring back bad vibes to rock and roll.  Also I didn’t go to The Owl, because on Saturday I ate a shit ton of Laffy Taffy, two Alarmist beers, and half a sopresseta.  Turns out that makes you feel no good.  Also turns out the avant grade jazz series is every Sunday, so this Saturday I won’t be an asshole to my stomach, then I will buy a tape from their vending machine on the way out on Sunday.

I made this Facebook page for some reason.  Send me evites, offers to sell your Shellac ticket, or Best Show stories.

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Apparently this shit takes some work.  It’s tough as a new guy to navigate all these calendars of bands I’ve never heard of.  That’s the whole point really though.  I’ve got tickets to Matmos and Sunn0))) at Thalia Hall, but those happen later.  I’ll present you with some halfassery for now to keep up momentum.

Thursday 2/25

Wolf Eyes|Timmy’s Organism|Video|Empty Bottle

This is some kind of Third Man Records showcase.  I’ve got a love/hate relationship with Third Man.  They put out a lot of records I don’t love, and I a lot of records I do.  The ones filled with fucking oil or attached to balloons make my skin crawl.  4 in 1 records you have to ruin to be able to play.  I wonder how many times that oil record has popped in someone’s crate, ruining the surrounding records.  Spectrum did something similar which I saw in a used bin 10 years after they released it.  That stuff doesn’t age well.

That’s kind of Wolf Eyes’ deal though.  Wolf Eyes’ records are a pain in the ass filled scary sounds.  You’re not going to get a record like Stabbed in the Face tied to a balloon and lifted into a field.  You’ll get it lathe cut into an unplayable piece of art.  Third Man records wink at you, asking you to congratulate them on being wacky.  I wonder how this team up will play out.

Wolf Eyes claims noise is dead and that they play trip metal now.  It sounds like noise music and similar to what they’ve always done.  Which is slightly scary and noisy.  I guess they use a keyboard more now.  Did they really stream this on NPR or am I making that up?

I don’t know anything about Timmy’s Organism or Video.  Did you know the only requirements for starting a blog are access to a computer?

 

Saturday 2/27

KO|Dark Fog|Plastic Crimewave Syndicate|Coles

A quick search of the weeks calendars brought me a bunch of shitty Tony-Hawk-soundtrack-a-like bands, and this pretty great psych-y garage show.  I’d go if my work schedule was better.

 

Sunday 2/28

Sunday Night Avant Jazz Series|Jason Roebke|Avreeayl Ra|Peter Mauna|Jim Baker|The Owl

I don’t know anything about this.  It has set times listed as 9 and 10, 9 and 11, and 9-12 as if they’re like, improvising with the threads of the universe.  Regardless, the words “Avant Jazz Series” and “The Owl” will make me haul my ass from Wrigleyville in the middle of everything and hope I see something.

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The last thing the world needs is another goddamn music blog. But did you know Silver Abuse is playing at Quencher’s tonight? I found out after looking at page 2 on the Reader’s event calendar. It’ll be on the equivalent of page 1 here.

Writing a blog feels pretentious as all hell, but I’ve lived in Chicago for a little over six months now and have stayed holed up in my apartment more often than not. This is an attempt at accountability for finding things as well as bringing something to the table. Hell, worst case scenario I can put it on my resume for Reckless so I can write those little stickers they put on the records.

Today I found Rad Payoff. Rad Payoff is awesome. Bludgeoning punk shit that counts to eight. I wanna call it math rock but that’s wrong. It sounds like Young Widow tossed out their delay pedals and are having more fun. Also reminds me of Drive Like Jehu without sounding like them. Describing a band with other bands is lazy and dumb. AC/DC guitar solo on Julio Roberto rules pretty hard.

Send me shit. I don’t know what I’m doing. This is me asking a punk.

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