Saturday, October 21, 2006

"They're Neat."

That's what it says on the reverse side of this picture disk, "They're Neat." This is my one and only picture disk. These days, every cd is covered with a picture or some snazzy graphics. But back in the days of vinyl, nearly every record was just plain black. Some albums were released on colored vinyl, often making them collectors items worth a bit of money. Rarer yet were picture disks like this one.

Killdozer is a band from Madison, Wisconsin that took their name from a short story by Theodore Sturgeon (one of my favorite writers). They made "sounding like crap" into a fine art.

I only saw them live once, but it was a memorable show. I went with two friends, one of whom had seen the band several years earlier in Madison and had hung out with them a bit. Before the show started, he was really excited to be seeing them again. The other guy I was with knew nothing about the band, but figured that if we thought they were cool, the band must be cool. Not long into Killdozer's set, they both wanted to leave as quickly as possible. The guy who hadn't heard them before thought they were horrible. The guy who had seen them confessed that he just figured that if the band had been playing shows for all these years they must have gotten better. No! You don't get it! This is what they do, it's their thing! I was loving the show and insisted on sticking around.

Later in the show, the lead singer, Michael "Mr. Romance" Gerald stormed off the stage and out the room. The room, by the way, was an old warehouse that had recently been turned into a space for low-budget, all-ages shows. The only seating was in the form of several old discarded sofas and easy chairs. Teens sat around burning incense and smoking cigarettes. When Michael finally returned to the stage, he berated the audience for burning incense, yelling that it was hurting his throat. I could kind of sympathize, but I thought that was pretty funny coming from a guy who sounds like he lives on a steady diet of gravel and gin.

Anyway, this picture disk, For Ladies Only, is an album of covers of songs from the 70's. Cover songs are what these guys do best, really. They are pretty merciless when making someone else's music sound bad. I prefer their version of Sweet Home Alabama on the compilation album God's Favorite Dog and their horrendous version of Cinnamon Girl, but the songs on this album are pretty fun. In particular, I love the complete destruction of one of my favorite songs from the 70's, Funk #49 by the James Gang. For Ladies Only was produced in 1989 by the soon-to-become famous Butch Vig at Smart Studios in beautiful Madison, Wisconsin. This picture of the band looks pretty similar to the pictures that appear on the reverse side of my picture disk. Mr. Gravel-Voice is the guy in the middle.

I intend to follow this post with Killdozer's first album, Intellectuals Are The Shoeshine Boys Of The Ruling Elite (the CD version includes the album Snakeboy as well). Unless, of course, someone beats me to it and sends me a link. I also plan on posting God's Favorite Dog. If anyone has a link to this recording, please send it to me. It would save me the trouble of ripping it from vinyl.

Anyway, here are the songs they chose to massacre:

  1. Hush (orig. by Deep Purple)
  2. Good Lovin' Gone Bad (orig. by Bad Company)
  3. Burnin' Love (orig. by Elvis Presley)
  4. You've Never Been This Far Before ( Conway Twitty)
  5. One Tin Soldier (The Legend of Billy Jack)
  6. Take The Money And Run (orig. by Steve Miller)
  7. American Pie (orig. by Don McLean)
  8. Funk #49 (orig. by James Gang)
And here's the link:
pw = OnlyCrap

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Cup of Java?

Hello, L. Chupacabra here. I know my job is to post tracks ripped from vinyl on this blog, and I am working on some vinyl for y'all, but in the mean time, I thought I'd offer up this recording. It's not crap I found at the library, but I think it fits in pretty well with Escape Goat's motif. I present Javanese Court Gamelan, recordings of the Pura Paku Alaman, Jogyakarta, directed by K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat. It's on the Nonesuch label (which is always a good sign), part of their Explorer Series.

A gamelan is basically a percussion ensemble made up of xylophones, gongs, drums and other crap. The liner notes for this disc claim that "the epitome of the playing style are to be found in four princely courts, two each in the neighboring cities of Jogyakarta and Surakarta." This recording was made in one of these courts, the Paku Alaman in Jogyakarta, on January 10, 1971. It's a decent recording, and gamelan music is not quite like anything else you are going to hear. You might not find yourself humming the tunes in the shower, but I think you'll find it's worth a listen.
pw = JavaCrap