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2008 GREATEST HITS



LAMPS: The Lamps released some killer records this year and were interviewed by Scott Soriano way back in TB's "mustard yellow" color-scheme days here.


MONTY BUCKLES: Monty sings and plays guitar in The Lamps.

TOP TEN (No Particular Order)

Mayyors singles/Mayyors Live at Budget Rock/Mayyors Live at the Bad Pad
- The singles are great, the live show a paint peeler, stellar cacophonous apocalyptic zoom across the board.

Sic Alps 'U.S. EZ' LP (Siltbreeze)
- They keep hitting it outta the park on release after release, actually gotten to the point where I am beginning to get TIRED OF THEIR PERFECTLY CRAFTED ECHOEY SWIRLS OF BEAUTIFUL SWIRLY MODERN PSYCHEDELIA WITH SONGWRITING CHOPS TO BURN - how do they do it?

Wounded Lion debut single (SS Records)
- A band that sounds like The Clean, not because they are trying to consciously emulate 'em, but because they are slant drilling into the same vein of weirdo pop. I'll put my teeth on the line that their first LP is gonna be chockablock with toe-tappers.

"Drugs" by the Black Lips
- Saw this preformed live a couple of times, shameless, pull out all the stops, swing-for-the-fences pop that plants a flag where Shadow Morton, Dion & The Belmonts, and The Jewels all planted their flags, complete with earned handclaps. If this came out fifty years ago it would be on 90% of the jukeboxes in East Coast bars that have been open since WWII.

Harry Pussy "You'll Never Play This Town Again" CD (Load)
- All sorts of stuff I didn't think existed. I didn't even hear about it coming out - just saw a copy sitting in the store.

Brainbombs 'Fucking Mess' LP (Lystring)
- Was all set to buy tickets for Paris to see 'em live, then there was a widespread economic collapse and all my work evaporated. They can bail out the Wall Street fucks but not provide me with enough honest work to pay for getting drunk overseas to watch a Swede play a trumpet? "The Stalker" gets all the kudos, but the off-tempo lurcher "Behind A Tree" is my fave.

A.H. Kraken live at Recyclart in Brussels
- Toured with these drunken maniacs and while all their shows were good, this one was the best. Unrelenting and beyond loud. How did Stefano not get foot-paralysis after that?

Getting to play on Haunted George and Intelligence albums
- Self serving, but getting to play on friend's records was an honor, a privilege, and a hoot.

(Tie) Either Slim Charles shooting Cheese on The Wire (long overdue) or Marlo's jailhouse freakout
- The last season sucked some big lemons ("Tell ya what fellas! Let's get rid of that pesky real-life ambiguity in the newspaper storyline!") but here were two redeeming moments.

Generation Kill (HBO)
"THIS IS THE TYPE OF VIETNAM SHIT THAT GET'S A WHOLE COMPANY WIPED OUT!!!"
"It was the enemy that stole that food from you and you should be REALLY REALLY MAD AT THEM! Before we step off on this next mission, let me remind you of who your enemy is - the enemy."
"I was one of those unfortunates adopted by upper middle-class professionals and nurtured in an environment of learning, art and a socio-relgious culture steeped in more than 2000 years of Talmudic tradition. Not everyone is lucky enough to have been raised in a whiskey tango trailer park by a bow-legged female whose sole qualification for motherhood is a womb that happened to catch the sperm of a passing truck driver."
"Your moose-stach hairs is in violations! Growing beyond the corner of your mouth! I hear Godfather hisself say you look like a bum! Po-leece that moose-stach! Yes sir! And you look like Elvises!"


JOSH ERKMAN: Josh plays drums in The Lamps.

Single:
Love Tan 7" (Sweet Rot):
Played more times this year than any other record.

LP:
Davila 666 s/t (In the Red):
Yes, this record makes me happy.

Film:
Hunger, Directed by Steve McQueen:
The film with the 17 and half minute single shot and it does not play out like a cheap gimmick.

Books:
- Gary Panter - two volume set from Picturebox
- Buckminster Fuller 'Starting with the Universe' (catalog for Whitney show):
Reproductions of portions of these two very different artists' sketchbooks are even more interesting than the end product.

Live Shows:
- AH Kraken @ Recyclart in Brussels: Experiencing these trouble making Frenchmen (plus one kindhearted Italian) for really the first time courtesy of a huge PA; loud, brutal and intense and it was the sound check.
- Robedoor at the Smell in Los Angeles in November: Approximately 10 people were at the show, two songs of doom drone in twenty minutes, real dark stuff.

Looking forward to in 2009:
- More Mayyors singles, more awesome releases from Sweet Rot and Sacred Bones, Law of the Rope LP on Teenage Teardrops, and finding that damned Ferus Gallery book I mentioned last year which was in print for one month.


TIM FORD Tim plays bass in The Lamps.

Top 10 Bands the Lamps had a gay or semi-straight orgy with in 2008:
1. Haunted George
2. The Culture Club
3. Wounded Lion
4. Movie Star Junkies
5. The Black Lips
6. Jackson 5 (minus 4 older members)
7. The Intelligence
8. The Quarrymen (surviving members)
9. NWA
10. The Dirtbombs



WOODEN SHJIPS: Ripley from the mysterious Wooden Shjips answered our request. They were cool enough to send us a free record back before they blew up. Thanks again!

In alphabetical order:

Art Lessing - Sleeping Ghost CDR (An Electric Eggplant)
Endless Boogie - Focus Level LP (No Quarter)
Expo 70/Rahdunes - Split LP (Kill Shaman)
Fabulous Diamonds - Fabulous Diamonds LP (Siltbreeze)
Los Llamarada - Take The Sky LP (S-S Records)
Nothing People - Anonymous LP (S-S Records)
Sic Alps - US EZ LP (Siltbreeze)
Suicide - Live 1977-1978 (Blast First)
Teenage Panzerkorps - Games For Slaves LP (Siltbreeze)
Times New Viking - Rip It Off LP (Matador)



WOUNDED LION: Wounded Lion are from Los Angeles and released their debut 7" this year on S-S Records.


BRAD: plays ? in Wounded Lion.

1.PYLON - at Part Time Punks Fest in Los Angeles
2.OMD - re-release of 'Dazzle Ships' on Virgin
3.THE PERVERTS - “I am Doctor” on their MySpace page
4.XYX - “Anel and Her Problem” on SS
5.TROGGS - “Jingle Jangle” from 1966
6.OAKLAND - enjoying our music at Budget Rock VII
7.ORANGES AND SARDINES - at the Hammer Museum
8.JIM KRUSOE - the short story “Suffering” from his collection, Abductions.
9.JOSHUA CALLAGHAN - sculpture and video
10.LOG LADY - episode intros on Twin Peaks DVDs.


AMI: plays ? in Wounded Lion.

My 10 favorite songs in 2008 (I don't think any of them were actually released this year):
- "Look Over Your Shoulder" -- Alan Price
- "Never Get Ahead" -- Bobby Conn
- "Pyjamarama" -- Roxy Music
- "Can't Seem to Make you Mine" -- The Seeds
- "If You Find Yourself Caught in Love" -- Belle and Sebastian
- "Shake It" -- David Bowie
- "Too Beautiful to Fuck" -- Kevin Drew
- "Wholesale Lies" -- East River Pipe
- "Let's Get Out of Here" -- Broken Social Scene
- "I Feel It All" -- Feist

My 10 favorite things in 2008:
- The Washington Monthly
- The return of the James Bond Theme Song
- The youth's newfound political engagement
- The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater
- Radar Magazine
- The Library of the Philosophical Research Society
- Spats coming back into fashion, however briefly
- The Getty Archives
- Eli Broad
- The Ipod my friend Robert gave me

The not quite 10 best performances I saw this year:
- Crash Normal at UC Irvine
- Victim Vision at the Silverlake Lounge
- Some Days at Fais Do Do
- Barry Johnston at the Silverlake Lounge
- Ted Kennedy at the Democratic National Convention
- Intelligence at The Echo
- The Lamps at Mr T's Bowl


RAFFI: plays ? in Wounded Lion.

Zurich: I spent a week here for an art show. Initially I was bummed to find there was no Kleenex/Liliput Museum (Come on!)...but a Swiss punk goldmine record shop and the allure of sexy euro girls riding bikes and smoking cigarettes made up for it. Poor Man Thumbs Up!

Dance Parties at Julie Lequin's House: This little French-Canadian bumblebee threw some hall of fame, electric boogaloo style dance parties. Sadly, her visa expired, and now LA is like that town from "Footloose"(pre-Bacon).

3-Layer Burrito of Love: Goes to The Lamps, The Intelligence, and Christmas Island.

3-Layer Chimichanga of Good Vibes: Goes to Scott Soriano, Larry Hardy, and Brian Turner.

3-Song Enchilada for the Children:
- 1."Roadrunner" Bo Diddley - Not even close to being released in 2008, this ridiculously good jammeroo has been blowing out the speakers of my Volvo since I first heard it a few months ago.
- 2."Call and Respond" Times New Viking - Can a keyboard be any less fancy? There's some Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer/Quest for Fire shit happening here.
- 3."Converging in the Quiet" Crystal Stilts - Don't know much about them, but this song is like a venus fly trap. Its nectary bassline lured me in, and I've been writhing helplessly in its atmospheric clutches ever since....Gay!

Excellence in Painting Award: Jonas Wood for bringing the heat in his second solo show at Anton Kern Gallery. Compositional weirdness, fresh colors, wonky lines, and Manute Bol. Awesome dude.

Golden Hombre Award: Brian Bress for sharing his striped-out fantasies and low-tech wizardry. Out of his inspired loins came forth the music video for "Pony People". The afterbirth was sauteed mushrooms.

Standout Live Shows: The Breeders, Para Vach, The Fresh and Onlys.



CLOCKCLEANER: We interviewed Clockcleaner back before Vice Magazine made them huge stars.

JOHN SHARKEY III says he likes this about 2008: John plays guitar and vocalizes for the band.

1. Homostupids - 'Cat Music': Good songs, Real Men.
2. Getting Married to a woman and not the internet.
3. The Phillies winning the FUCKING WORLD SERIES.
4. Pink Reason - 'Winona': Sounds like Beck, not a dis.
5. Extortion - 'Sick': Tight, fast, Perth.
6. Kurt Vile

Dislikes:
1. Melbourne: Fake cokeheads and delusion.
2. The Ooga Boogas
3. Nick Cave still being relevant
4. Festivals
5. Free spirits
6. Men who constantly carry cameras.


RICHIE CHARLES, American Male: Richie plays the drums.

Without a doubt, 2008 will go down as the year that will be remembered as a turning point. After years of bad vibes and absolute frustration, we can now remember what it feels like to hope. Maybe even dream. Good times are here again. THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES are the World Champions of Baseball.

Distant runners up to the World Fucking Champions include talking turkey with GINN, getting my stupid teeth knocked out at a TV GHOST gig, spitting out a mouthful of beer while BLUES CONTROL strutted and duck-walked all over the stage in Philadelphia, seeing PINK REASON and PSYCHEDELIC HORSESHIT bum out an enormous church full of Euro-Trash in Belgium, watching FNU RONNIES lose their marbles on-stage multiple times, witnessing the VIOLATORS evolution into the greatest rock band on earth under KURT VILE's leadership, getting hassled by the HOMOSTUPIDS in Cleveland, seeing NAKED ON THE VAGUE and TACO LEG confound small minds in Australia, and receiving oral sex from JOHN SHARKEY at BON SCOTT's grave.



HOMOSTUPIDS: Lean Steve and the rest of The Homostupids are perennial TB faves (at least to the editor). Look out for the second LP on Load Records in 2009.

Good Lord!! 2008 certainly was a very special year, not just for listening to great music but also watching great television and eating delicious foods! This year, I purchased a handfull of records from a music group named Factums. One in particular is named "A Primitive Future" and I listen to it while I make toast and eat the toast or also while I watch my cat eat the tinsel off of my beautiful Christmas tree. The other night, I noticed some tinsel hanging out of my cat's little butthole and knew I had to do something about it. I put the Factums record back on and went over to the cat to slowly pull the tinsel out of his little pink butthole. Instead, though, the cat started sort of dancing to the Factums. It was making these strange snake-like dance movements. Very cool. So I left the tinsel in there and started dancing like the cat dancing like a snake to the Factums.

I bought a record by a group named His Electro Blue Voice on Sacred Bones Records and I like it very much. The Brainbombs put out a new LP and every gaywad with $15 probably bought the fucking thing and listened to it and thought out loud "Oh My Gosh!! How Sexual!!". Well I haven't listened to it yet. Just one song. I liked the one song, but just didn't wanna listen to the rest of the LP at the moment. The moment where I do wanna listen to the rest hasn't happened yet. However, the moment where I wanted to listen to the entire Gaunt LP titled "Yeah Me Too" has come and come many times. I have listened to this record many times this year. Not the Brainbombs, but Gaunt.

A band I thought could do no wrong, has done just that---WRONG. That's right, friends, The Lamps, one of the real killers out there, went out and did a very gay and bogus thing. They made a cute little 7" record where they cover the fucking Pissed Jeans. Buy every Lamps record. They are all great. But this record is fucking gay and I broke it in 3 pieces when I found out what was going on. Fucking gay. Come on! Give me a fucking break! Maybe Homostupids will do a cool 7" record where they cover Fucked Up? That would actually be a little more fucking gay....maybe.

Some wonderful mid-tempo killer music from our friends in Buffalo was brought to my face, head and ears this year!! The Plates put out their debut release on Feral Kid Records and it's a real scorcher. Great live band too. They show up to the gigs. They set up their equipment at the gig. Then they play their killer music at the gig. Great stuff.

Sadly this year the writers of our favorite television shows took a little break. This meant that the new crushing episodes of Law & Order Criminal Intent with my main man Vincent D'Onofrio were in repeat mode. However the cast returned after the writer's vacation and knocked me on my fucking ass with all the brain busters and spine stingers I love them for. This year I developed a new love for Eric Bogosian in the role of the captain.....never really knew that old bugger had it in him to bring that much drama to a script. Some great new episodes of CSI:Miami also this year. Our old pal David Caruso has honed his acting chopps to a place few men have journeyed. He fucking rules.

This year I ate lots of delicious foods. I will only mention one here. My old buddy Wedge from the city of Painesville bought me some wonderful chorizo and you wanna know what I did with it? I fried it up in a pan and ate the fucking shit out of it. It ruled. I rule! Wedge rules! Chorizo rules!! WE ALL WIN!!!!!!!!!



DAVE MARTIN: Nicest dude. Everyone's favorite Matador employee and elder statseman of the NYC Termbo chapter. Dave is also crazy as fuck, as proven by his diving off his bike and attempting to wrestle a moving car to the ground late in the year.

2008 Shows:
- Fabulous Diamonds, Blues Control, Rot Shit & Psychedelic Horseshit @ Asterisk in Brooklyn.
- Naked on the Vague @ the Charleston.
- Cheap Time @ that Todd P Kent Ave place. Totally killed, about as good as a band can get.
- Suttree @ Don Pedro’s. Beautiful.
- Live Fast Die & Thomas Function @ the Annex. LFD kinda stole the show between Aaron’s stage moves and Camero’s interaction w/the club staff & booker, but Thomas Function were great too.
- Sex Vid @ Asterik. Thought they were a little whatever earlier at the Knitting Factory, but later that night they were on fire.
- Tyvek @ Death By Audio. Made up for their disappointing Charleston show and then some.
- Dutchess & the Duke @ the Charleston & Music Hall of Williamsburg. Great both times, but the antagonistic vibes flying at the MHoW made it even a bit better.
- Home Blitz & Rot Shit @ South Oakland (Pgh) house Party this summer. Worth totally re-arranging my schedule for and then driving all night to get home.
- Vivian Girls & the Crystal Stilts. It seems like both played everywhere all the time, but both bands are so much better live than their records (and I love their records) and are getting better each time I see them.
- Pink Reason. Saw a bunch of shows. Pretty much all the same songs at each one give or take, but each one was totally different and totally great.
- Blues Control, Daniel DiMaggio, Hank IV & Los Llamarada @ the Charleston. Everyone was great but Hank IV made me proud to be old.
- Vaselines @ Southpaw.



KILL SHAMAN RECORDS: Paul from Kill Shaman put out quite a few nice slabs of wax this year from Love Tan, Rodent Plague and more....

1. Children's Hospital LP (Sacred Bones)
2. AH Kraken 7" (Sweet Rot Records)
3. Rodent Plague 7" (Kill Shaman)
4. Nerve City 7" (Severed Hand Records)
5. Mayyors 7" (MtStMt)
6. Hospitals 'Hairdryer Peace' LP (Hospitals)
7. Pink Noise 'Dream Code'LP (Sacred Bones)
8. TV Ghost LP (Die Stasi)
9. Megafuckers 7" (Deleted Art)
10. German CDR (Killer Tree)



DUSTY MEDICAL RECORDS: Kevin Mistreater, man-about-Milwaukee.

Top Shows 2008 (in chronological order)
- SSM @ Cactus Club
- Cheater Slicks @ Linneman's
- Spits, LiveFastDie, The Pets, Plexi 3, Real Numbers @ Frank's Power Plant
- CPC Gangbangs, A/V Murder @ Cactus Club
- David Allan Coe @ Richfield Chalet
- Nobunny, Okmoniks, Romance Novels, Elephant Walk @ Franks Power Plant
- Slippery Slopes, Johnny & The Limelights @ Linneman's
- King Khan & The Shrines, Jay Reatard, Cheap Time, A/V Murder, The Dutchess & The Duke @ Bottom Lounge
- Call Me Lightning @ Locust Street Block Party
- The Dutchess & The Duke, Midwest Beat, Sugar Stems @ Y-Not III
- Thomas Function, Elephant Walk @ Frank's Power Plant
- Human Eye @ Linneman's
- A/V Murder, France Has The Bomb, White Mystery, Beach Patrol @ Frank's Power Plant
- Goodnight Loving, Jack Of Heart, Magnetix @ Cortina Bob



PINK NOISE: Mark is Pink Noise and we look forward to his various releases upcoming in 2009.

This top ten is a combined best record or song or live show that I've come across this year in no particular order:
- Tyvek
- Blank Dogs
- NoBunny
- U.S. Girls
- The Feeling of Love
- Love Tan
- The Intelligence
- Catatonic Youth
- Wavves
- Little Claw



LEMMY CAUTION of BLACK TIME: TB loves Black Time so much we interviewed them twice. Many of us in the Eastern US got to see the Black Time for the first time this year, which was excellent. Top dude. And check all the band names below for links, lovingly provided by Caution!

GOT LIVE IF YOU WANT IT
I was quite sure that I didn’t get out to many shows* these days. Lack of disposable income and inclination means that I rarely venture outside unless it’s going back and forth between home and work. I don’t enjoy the environment of seeing live music – too many people, bad sound, people shouting in your ear, fighting to get served at the bar, shitty drinks – I’d much rather listen to records at home. However, I started compiling a list of good bands I’d seen this year and realised not only had I been to a lot of shows, but a surprising amount of them were memorable and genuinely worthwhile. Maybe I enter some kind of trance and end up in the backroom of grotty pubs listening to obscure bands without realising what’s happening like some kind of lo-fi narcolepsy.

1. I’ve probably seen THE MASONICS more than any other band over the last couple of years and caught them on at least five or six occasions in 2008. One of the best things about living in London is that the Masonics play on average once a month, in much the same way as Thee Headcoats used to do a monthly residency when I first moved here. They’re never less than great, and if you catch them on an evening where they’re really on it they’ll make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up (well they will if you have a soul). Medway royalty Mickey Hampshire (co-frontman of the legendary Milkshakes along with Billy Childish), Bruce Brand (all of Billy’s bands up till the Buff Medways plus Dutronc, Kravin’ As, Len Bright Combo, many others) and John Gibbs (Wildebeests, Kaisers) play raw, stripped down R&B punk insanely well – spirit, verve and chops honed from years of distilling rock’n’roll down to it’s purest essence. No showing off, no frills, just song after song you want to dance or swoon to. Lots of folks can churn out the same three chords but no-one can make a Burns Nu-sonic sing like Mickey can, and watching Bruce hammer the shit out of a Ludwig Super Classic will make you want to give up drums (or not bother starting in the first place). There’s lots of bands that do something in the same vein as the Masonics but most of them are missing the key ingredient of killer songs – something Mickey pens in abundance. The nearest comparison for yankee readers would be Greg Cartwright in that he writes songs that sound like covers of lost Fifties and Sixties classics but with trademark touches that stamp his personality all over each tune. Class.

2. FNU RONNIES in a very dark Philadelphia basement. Never heard any of their recorded output but they made an incredible racket live, especially for three people – all sorts of strange and wonderful noises echoing off the walls – Chrome get banded about all too readily as an influence these days like the Stooges/MC5 were a few years ago but they definitely sound in that lineage. A raw punk attack on the Hawkwind back catalogue if you want an alternate take – sci-fi punk! Mysterious.

3. THE YUPPIES did much the same number on us as Audacity did last year – collective age of approximately 33 (I don’t think the singer’s voice has dropped yet), hormone-raging energy and a refreshingly varied set of fucked-up pop songs – from early Half Japanese angst-rants to scratchy ballads which won both my glowing admiration and a sinking sense of “great, we’ve got to follow this”. Humiliating.

4. On the subject of being blown off stage, Sarim peppered his hilarious speed (or something) fuelled in-between song ranting during LIQUOR STORE’s October set at Don Pedros with big-ups to the limeys, further embarrassing the inebriated shambles we presented the audience with to follow up their guitar army/multi-drummer maelstrom of sound. An awesome spectacle that rose above the equipment-trashing clichés by virtue of savage riffs and holding onto a solid groove despite severe intoxication. Like early Can being torn apart by a bunch of mongoloids from New Jersey. Messy.

5. I admit bias in nominating BLACK MAMBA BEAT as it’s Mr.Stix’s band but my natural inclination would be to take the piss rather than offer praise. Kudos where it’s due, over the course of the year I witnessed them progress from falling-apart party band to a unique live proposition – Minutemen basslines colliding with hi-life-esque guitars, Sam’s completely wrong but better for it approach to keeping the beat, all topped-off by drunken free-form punk rants. Their 4-track recordings capture some of the magic but in the flesh shows all three dimensions to its best effect. The patrician part of me wants to see them achieve mass acclaim and tour the world but the miserly part wants to see them fail miserably so I don’t have to find another drummer. Tropical.

6. It’s probably not cool to like CALVIN JOHNSON and whilst I find aspects of his folksy image irritating, I can’t help but love Beat Happening. The summer evening he played in London bordered on the magical. Setting up in an inner city youth club, he charmed everyone with a mixture of (fucking funny) stories, yearning acappella crooning and battered acoustic laments. It was also bring-your-own-booze so I got quietly smashed on German wheat beer whilst being soothed by the rumbling bass of his voice. And he sold awesome mixtapes. Perfect night out. Dreamy.

7. One day I’ve promised myself I’m going to attempt the definitive history of Finnish garage-punk for English readers (whether they want to read it or not). I’ve picked up some amazing records on my three trips to the frozen northern wastelands and am constantly struck by the way they filter tried-and-tested blues riffs through their own national psyche. No matter how upbeat the tempo, Finns have an uncanny ability to bring a melancholy wistfulness to even the happiest composition. Given the constant winter, high suicide rate and mass alcoholism this is hardly surprising, but has the silver lining of giving their bands an instantly identifiable edge over other interpreters of the same standards. The likes of Blues Section, 22 Pistepirkko (in their early prime) and the Festermen kept the torch burning over the years and it’s currently held by the fabulous MICRAGIRLS. Twist party anthems the Trashwomen would be proud of, arranged around a drum/guitar/organ line-up to great effect with occasional snatches of that aforementioned aching sadness only the Finns can bring. Juotuna.

8. Unless it’s a one-off for a party, the idea of the tribute band is pretty lowdown in the musical evolutionary order (just below one man band, but above electroclash duo). Somehow THE NUNS, an all-girl tribute to The Monks featuring luminaries from various London beat combos (various A-Lines, Headcoatees, Action Timers amongst them) manage to pull off a set that bears repeated listening. Obviously they have some great repertoire to draw from, but those arrangements are headache-inducingly difficult. Their set at the Cave Club earlier in the year in memorial to the much-missed Dave Day not only pulled it off with aplomb but also added their own twists and turns keeping with the traditions of their brotherly order. Ecclesiastic.

9. Two tribute bands??!!! OK, I’d never watch this band again but PROXY MUSIC was a great night out. Various folks that usually play in terrible London indie bands found their true calling by dressing up as Bryan Ferry and co. and knocking out perfectly executed selections from the first few Roxy albums with a couple of Eno solo tracks thrown in for good measure. It was like some kind of feverish dream you have (or socially dysfunctional music nerds like me have anyway) where you imagine an alternate history of classic rock. I’ve seen the real Roxy Music play a big stadium show but watching a bunch of imposters play the same songs in a tiny pub through a vocal PA was ten times better. ‘Phil Manzanera’ was on particularly fine form – wrenching out improvised solos that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Human Eye record. Stylish.

10. I find the OH SEES records a bit hit and miss, but their set at Café Oto was dead-on. The juxtapositions in their sound really work in a live context – melodious boy/girl West Coast harmonies barked out with a clipped teutonic delivery and John Dwyer’s random guitar reverberations howling over the repetitive mantra of a primitive rhythm section. Propulsive.

11. Fuck, how did Mr.Stix manage to get two mentions? His freeloading even extends to year-end lists – wanker. Anyway, EAT SKULL rolled up in Atlanta having lost their drummer en route (part of some strange revolving drummer soap opera that unfolded around Gonerfest). Stix was co-opted into the band for that night’s performance having never heard a note of them before. Watching the frontman give out stoned rhythm directions before each song had me laughing so much it hurt: “The drumming on this one is just like Peggy Sue”, “This one is really simple all the way through except for a part in the middle where it goes all complicated” and my favourite exchange “Do you know the band Flipper”, “No”, “OK, uh, well, just play it like Flipper, but a bit more mid-tempo”. Mirthful.

12. I generally take a bleak view of our young homegrown guitar bands – other than a few scattered examples most groups are infected with this NME/Xerox-the-latest-sound/get signed/play festival death circuit mentality. To paraphrase Stuart Braithwaite: “They’d rape their own granny for any kind of award”. I’m always glad when I’m wrong-footed though – SPEAK & THE SPELLS come out of a Horrors-inspired scene of sharp-dressing teenage mods and perhaps somewhat influenced by the Black Lips endless brand-sponsored UK tours. Their sound embraces elements of the early Who (slashing chords and equipment destruction) and Pink Floyd (psych harmonies and space echo) but played with a ramshackle Neanderthal garage band mentality more akin to The Keggs or The Tempos. Amid the feedback and floortom pounding there’s also a batch of angsty tunes that recall early TVPs or The Times. The pessimist in me suspects that by the time they get a record out they’ll have been snapped up by some Major Label subsidiary and had all the smooth edges sanded off by a pro-tools producer, but right at the moment they’re a genuinely exciting prospect. Shit-hot display of youthful aggression at Madame JoJos. Spunky.

13. Completely different crowd of people but another great contemporary London band are THE MISSING LIMBS. Mining a falling apart at the seams brand of DIY punk that sounds Messthetics-inspired but I think is more unconscious than that. It’s like they’re trying to be a ‘proper’ punk band but played on cardboard box drums and a homemade guitar. Awesome set at the launch party of Victor Torpedo’s exhibition of obscene paintings. Shambolic.

14. I very much doubt I’d buy any of their records but we ended up on an incongruous bill at a record store in Asheville with a stoner rock band called PONTIAK – three brothers who all look like Bonnie Prince Billy playing noisy Sabbath-inspired drones with the occasional jazzy interlude. I wasn’t looking forward to it but was totally sucked in – awesome musicians doing what they do really well and unlike a lot of this genre, not outstaying their welcome. A concise 30 minutes of blissful noise with enough variation to keep the audience rapt – the two-drummer freakout towards the end was a particular highlight. Rocking.

15. On the same tour, we played a few shows with Denmark’s COLA FREAKS including a house party in Denton which was the perfect venue for them to do their thing. Is dance-punk a genre? Does it conjure up terrible images of emo boys with white belts screaming into a microphone on the floor?? Well, the Cola Freaks are dance-punk but in the best sense of the word – like a load of hardcore kids brought up on a diet of early SST and Dischord records and then twisting it on it’s axis with 60s frat party and 80s new wave moves. Smart.

16. The enticing/terrible thing about going to see THE REBEL is you never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes it will be drunken acoustic Leonard Cohen covers, the next time it might be Ben farting around with his gameboy for three hours. Recently it has expanded from a solo venture into a three-piece with Country Teasers alumni Alistair and Sophie on bass and stand-up drums respectively. This has sent the music off on a compelling Fall-meets-Glitter Band tangent. Their set opening up for Cheveu combined some dynamic experimentation (the bass is played more like decorative percussion than driving force) with a powerful delivery, Ben’s genius lyrics blurted out like a preacher at a sermon. Stomping.

17. I wasn’t going to go and see MY BLOODY VALENTINE as all the reformed bands I saw in 2007 were awful and there’s no way it could compare to seeing them at Leicester Polytechnic in 1991, a head-shredding formative experience. Someone twisted my arm at the last minute though and I’m extremely glad I capitulated – they did a weekend-long residency and I was so impressed by how good they were I ended up going twice. The perfect band to reform in a way ‘cos they never relied on good looks or a high energy performance in the first place, so age hasn’t really withered their impact in the way it has with, say, the Sex Pistols. There was no hyperbole about that encore either – so loud it was like an out-of-body experience – a guy in front of me fell over ‘cos the frequencies fucked with his balance. Intense.

* I’m using the term ‘shows’ here as this is for an American website. In jolly old England we say ‘gigs’ but Janie Too Bad told me that ‘gigs’ sounds really pretentious in the States – the kind of term only rockstars use. It’s the other way round here i.e. a ‘show’ is something Whitesnake would do but Bogshed would have done a ‘gig’. I could go on for HOURS about all the ker-azey cultural differences between the UK and USA but I’ll do everyone a favour and just not bother.



BLACK AND WHITES: The Black and Whites followed up their string of great singles with an even greater LP on Douchemaster this year.


TALBOT ADAMS: Talbot sings and plays guitar in The Black and Whites and is widely regarded as being one of the nicest guys in the world.

Favorite Album: Gentleman Jesse and His Men s/t LP (Douchemaster)
Favorite Single: Blues Control 7"( Sub Pop Singles Club)
Favorite Song: "Childish Ways" - Perfect Fits
Favorite Show: Nobunny w/Wax Museums in Memphis vs. Spits in Atlanta
Favorite Songwriter: Rich Crook
Favorite Guitar Player: Johnny Valiant
Favorite Drummer: Matt Williams
Favorite City to Play: Chicago vs. Atlanta vs. New Orleans
Favorite Record Label: Douchemaster
Favorite Artwork: Lover! "Man in The Woods" 7" (Rob's House)


JOHNNY VALIANT: Johnny plays guitar in The Black and Whites and isn't related to the Boogie Woogie Man as far as we know.

BEST:
1. Rot Shit 7"!
2. Getting a Wii With My Economic Stimulus Check
3. YouPorn
4. Weird Al's Return to the Charts
5. McDonald's French Fries
6. The Release of 'Chinese Democracy'
7. The Atlanta Mess Around
8. (tie) the Frenchuletta at Liuzza's (New Orleans) and the Submarine at Pizza Den (Oxford)
9. "Rock and Roll Train" by AC/DC
10. Nobunny's Naked Bloody Penis at the Budget Rock Kick Off

WORST:
1. Spiders
2. Girls with Dreadlocks
3. $4.00 Gasoline
4. Throwing Up Onstage
5. The Black Label Club in Brest, France
6. Actually Listening to 'Chinese Democracy'
7. They Changed the Formula for Double Bubble Gum. Fuckers.
8. The New Indiana Jones Movie
9. 2 Girls 1 Cup
10. the Presidential Election



DEAD LUKE/JERKWAVE TAPES: Dead Luke released a bunch of music on both vinyl and tape this year and also helped revitalize the cassette scene through his Jerkwave Tapes label. And he just announced he's retiring from recording as Dead Luke now! What a year!

Top 8 Releases of 08 in no particular order:

-Teeth Mountain - cassette (Night People): Blows the Shadowplay LP out of the water with an explosion of rhythm heavy drones all recorded live which helps to capture the true intensity of this band. Worth the price of admission for the B-side that has one of the most severely pounding jams I’ve ever heard.
-Burial Hex - 'Initiations' 2XLP(Aurora Borealis): Insane double LP where each side takes on something completely different. First side starts off with synth creepouts into pounding noise/powerelectronics and back again. Third side, “Five Pentacles” is a must though as it sounds like the lost score to an 80s horror epic.
-Yussuf Jerusalem - 'Heart Full of Sorrow' 12" (Florida’s Dying): This thing isn’t normally my cup of tea, yet I found myself unable to resist this record’s great pop hooks and brain beatingly catchy riffs. While being mostly upbeat there is an undertone of gloom throughout the whole thing. Probably would be my pick for release of the year.
-Wet Hair - Tour Tapes (Night People): Shawn and Ryan from the now defunct Raccoo-oo-oon lay down some serious tunes on the couple of cassettes I scored from them when they came through town. Analog synths and old keyboards with live drums and moaned vocals combine to create sort of spacey, ominous, electric cathedral type praises. While these tapes were limited, apparently a lot of the songs have been rerecorded for their LP on Not Not Fun next year. Lookin’ forward.
-Sun Araw – 'Beach Head' LP (Not Not Fun): In a year stained with numerous bands bringing back the “tropical” sound Sun Araw stands out for his tripped out, dub-ish, psych jams. Totally awesome LP and it looks like there is a lot more stuff coming too.
-Nice Face – 'Thing in My Head' 7" (Sacred Bones): This is the most aptly named single of the year because now it’s the thing in my head.
-Smith Westerns - "Irudjukanji" 7” (Hozac): Saw these kids throw watermelon and cheeseburgers at everyone during their 12 minute set at a show in Chicago and have been hooked ever since. Great record with a killer guitar solo on the A-side. Nicely done.
-Peaking Lights - LP Test Press (Night People): Literally hairs away from coming out in 08 I had to put it on the list. Newlywed husband/wife team Aaron and Indra (Rahdunes, Numbers, Unborn Unicorn) helm one of the most impressive equipment set ups I have witnessed to create an album of warm, dream like, pop songs that unfold in such a circular way, it keeps me flipping this thing over and over and over and over. Probably will be a best of 09 as well if I can’t escape it’s hypnotic rays.



SACRED BONES RECORDS: Caleb is the man behind one of the most exciting labels of 2008. Anyone daring to call a release a "Special Edition" from now on needs to look at his label's releases and rethink that phrase.

Best of 2008 (my releases excluded). I decided to leave out re-issues as there were to damn many amazing ones this year.

LPs (in no particular order)
-Gary War 'New Raytheonport' (Shdwply)
- Pigeons 'Virgin Spectacle' (Black Dirt)
- Blank Dogs 'On Two Sides' (Troubleman)
- Naked on the Vague 'Blood Pressure Sessions' (Siltbreeze)
- Sic Alps 'US EZ' (Siltbreeze)
- Xasthur s/t EP (Moribund Cult)
- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 'Dig Lazarus Dig' (Mute)
- Mac Blackout s/t (Deadbeat)
- Portishead 'Third' (Island/Mercury)
- Hunchback 'Pray For Scars' (Don Giovanni)
- Dead Raven Choir 'My First Born Will Surely Be Blind' (Aurora Bourealis)
- Zachary Cale 'Walking Papers' (all Hands Electric)

Tapes (in no particular order)
If you would have told me I would have bought tapes in 2008 I would have called you an asshole.

- Nice Face 'Can I Fuck It' (Jerkwave)
- Dead Luke s/t (Sky Fi)
- Naked on the Vague 'Mickey Mouse Headache Tapes' (self)
- Max Elliott 'Another Tails for the Twin Cities of the Sea' (Jerkwave)
- Meth Teeth 'Indian Spirits' (self)
- Nerve City 'Soul Survivor' (self)

Singles (in no particular order)
- Dead Luke 'Running Scared' (Sweet Rot)
- Meth Teeth 'Bus Rides' (Sweet Rot)
- Nerve City 'Bars' (Severed Hand)
- Catatonic Youth 'Piss Scene' (HozAc)
- Vivian Girls 'Wild Eyes' (Plays With Dolls)
- Zola Jesus 'Poor Sons' (Die Stasi)
- Daily Void 'Man/Machine' (Florida's Dying)
- Blank Dogs 'Setting Fire' (4:2:2)
- Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat 'Turn Hegel on his Head' (Public Guilt)
- City Center 'Gold Girls' (Invisible Friend)
- Cult of Youth s/t EP (self)



ROCKET REDUCER MAILORDER: Pat does Rocket Reducer mailorder out of Chicago, the Pure Hype radio show on WHPK and is gonna be a lawyer.

Pure Hype, WHPK’s Friday night live show, has had a pretty good few years run. 2007 set the bar pretty high for 2008, but I think we managed a good showing. I don’t remember doing a lot of these shows. As of writing, I haven’t got any uploaded, but hopefully by the time this feature runs I’ll have most of these uploaded here. Pure Hype can be heard every Friday from 9:00 to 10:30 PM central time at 88.5 FM on the South Side of Chicago or online at www.whpk.org. By no means are these the only bands that I enjoyed this year.

01/18/08: Dead Luke, TV Ghost, Pink Reason - Kevin put this one together. I still have no idea how it actually happened. Pink Reason’s set is borderline unlistenable due to guitars being so out of tune. It’s a shame. The afterparty for this one was a buttload of fun — the hostess lost a roommate out of it.

01/25/08: The Krunchies – The Krunchies hadn’t been on the show in a few years, so we had them back. They were amazing, as always. They can play in twenty minutes what most bands need forty to do.

03/07/08: WHPromK with Johnny & the Limelites – We got a bunch of girls to wear slutty dresses and dudes to wear crappy suits. We drank punch and whiskey. The last song was cheesy as hell, but once Costello gets in character, there’s no stopping him.

04/11/08: Radar Eyes – Pat from Cherry Burger Records and Handglops had these guys on his Facebook, and so I saw them the next night. They are a great band and very nice people.

05/16/08: Animal Law – This was the warm-up to Summer Breeze, WHPK’s annual outdoor festival. I’d never mic’ed a circular saw on sheet metal before.

07/25/08: Chronic Seizure – This was released on Fashionable Idiots Records. I don’t remember any of it, because I found out a friend of mine is a member at the UChicago faculty club and drank expensive whiskey for a couple hours before the show. I took a couple months off to study after this.

12/12/08: The Snow Angels – We actually had egg nog for this Christmas supergroup. This was their second (and hopefully not last!) appearance.

I especially enjoyed recording Sic Alps and The Feeling of Love for future broadcast in the summer. Sic Alps especially are just such sweethearts. The version of “Gelly Roll Gum Drop” that they did for us is, I think, better than the LP. And I saw the Feeling of Love three times that weekend but didn’t get my fill.
Shows I wasn’t at but were supposedly real good: Fucked Up, Nobunny, the Smith Westerns, the Butts.

Non-musical highlights of ’08: Unassisted triple play in 16-inch softball; Great score on the LSAT; no kids. Oh, also, it was great to meet Rich from Florida’s Dying! He’s a swell guy.



MATT KORVETTE: Matt sings in Pissed Jeans and runs White Denim Records. We interviewed him not too long ago here.

TOP SINGLES OF 2008

  1. Tin Man 'Wasteland' 12"
  2. Ricardo Villalobos 'Enfants (Chants)' 12"
  3. November Novelet 'Sacred' 7"
  4. FNU Ronnies 'Meat' 7"
  5. Cold Cave 'The Trees Grew Emotions And Died' 12"
  6. XYX 'Sistema de Terminacion Sexual' 7"
  7. Omar S 'Psychotic Photosynthesis' 12"
  8. Titmachine 's/t' 7"
  9. Guinea Worms 'Box of Records' 7"
  10. Them, Themselves or They 'Ribbons & Bows....Angel Dust & Magick Wands' 7"
  11. Total Control 's/t' 7"
  12. Guy Gerber 'Disorientation' 12"
  13. Mind Eraser 'Conscious Unconscious' 12"
  14. The Anals 'Commando of Love' 7"
  15. Eddy Current Suppression Ring 'Demon's Demands' 7"
  16. Zola Jesus 'Poor Sons' 7"
  17. Titmachine 'We Build A New City' 7"
  18. Benga & Coki 'Night' 12"
  19. Sis 'Trompeta' 12"
  20. Naked on the Vague 'Poltergeist Palm' 7"
Honorable Mention:
Mi Ami 'Ark of the Covenant' 12"
Mayyors 'Marines Dot Com' 7"
Martyn 'All I Have Is Memories' 12"
Eat Skull 'Dead Families' 7"

TOP ALBUMS OF 2008

  1. Lil Wayne 'Tha Carter III' CD
  2. Kurt Vile 'Constant Hitmaker' CD
  3. Eddy Current Suppression Ring 'Primary Colours' LP
  4. Luomo 'Convivial' CD
  5. Vampire Weekend 's/t' LP
  6. Ooga Boogas 'Romance and Adventure' LP
  7. Fabulous Diamonds 's/t' LP
  8. Brainbombs 'Fucking Mess' LP
  9. Cold World 'Dedicated to Babies Who Came Feet First' LP
  10. Harvey Milk 'Life... The Best Game In Town' CD
  11. Petar Dundov 'Escapements' 4xLP
  12. Cheap Time 's/t' LP
  13. Ricardo Villalobos 'Vasco' CD
  14. Cheveu 's/t' LP
  15. Human Eye 'Fragments of the Universe Nurse' LP
  16. R. Kelly '12 Play, 4th Quarter' CD
  17. Earth 'The Bees Made Honey In the Lion's Skull' LP
  18. Los Updates 'First If You Please' CD
  19. Hercules and Love Affair 's/t' LP
  20. Prurient 'And Still, Wanting' CD
Honorable Mention:
Rusted Shut 'Hot Sex' LP
Breathing Fire 'Years of Lead' LP
Mudhoney 'The Lucky Ones' LP
Hair Police 'Certainty of Swarms' CD
Revenge 'Infiltration. Downfall. Death.' LP



DX: DX is the bloke behind the Distort Cult Hardcore zine (and website), the frontman of Aussie ragers Straightjacket Nation, drummer of UV Race, co-conspirator in the Stained Circles label and Stained Sheet zine and is also an MRR columnist now. One busy motherfucker.

TOP TEN FANZINE WRIT 2008

Contrary to last year, fanzines in '08 treaded water. Once again more punk and hardcore fanzines than anything else of worth, and once again most of it came out of Australia. DISTORT didn't make the list because I didn't want to dickstroke again, but if you want a copy email me: distorttheworld-at-gmail.com

1. MAXIMUM ROCK N ROLL - a lot of choice writing in this years volume of this long lasting maligned publication. Layla Gibbons as editor is excellent and Brace (Warkrime) as columnist - excellent!
2. CRIME WAVE - Not sure if this was put together in 2008 but I found it in a record store in 2008 - good enough? Basically a compilation of Crime fliers in a fanzine, most which i'd never seen before.
3. CAVE OF THE PURVEYORS OF BLASPHEMIES - Brazilian weird hardcore fanzine that peppers band interviews and record reviews with photos of cult leaders and instructions on bomb making and S&M photographs.
4. GROIN GRAVY - The new fanzine from Soapbox editor that raps enthusiastically on one page about Lockjaw and Christian Death the next. Bad attitude.
5. UNBELIEVABLY BAD - Another year for this eclectic Australian fanzine - features ranging from Neil Hamburger to Melbourne's greatest thrash band Cut Sick. Excellent.
6. Z GUN - The Forced Exposure of our age. The latest issue had an excellent Drunks With Guns feature, but everybody here knows this.
7. STAINED SHEETS - New Melbourne fanzine I helped edit did two issues this year. Issue 1 had a vintage GG Allin interview and a bunch of excellent reviews. Issue 2 had way more shit - Lamps, Kurt Vile, Joe Carducci, etc. Hopefully more issues in 2009, look out for it.
8. SCAM - Issue 6 came out this year. I have long enjoyed the writing of this guy Eric, who used to call himself Iggy and huff glue with Chickenhead whose 7" is one of the best from the 1990's punkists. No doubt. These days he seems a little less bent on self destruction so his writing is a lot more reasoned - for better and for worse.
9. DUMB HARDCORE - The second and final issue of this ignorant hardcore fanzine came out this year. Cover features alleyway creep with shaved head holding chain with padlock, ghetto blaster and walls graffitied with "If AIDS don't get you then Dumb Hardcore will". Contents are cut-n-pasted mess of interviews with hardcore bands, some good (Breakdown forever), some bad (Shipwreck?!).
10. MIND CONTROL - The final and best issue of this fanzine before editor moved to England has a great interview with a surviving member of Death Sentence, legendary Melbourne thrash / dopesick hardcore.



JACK VOLT: Jack was the frontman of French favorites the Splash Four and is currently part of the trio known as Volt along with his wife Lili Z. and FX, who were interviewed in our very first issue. The pic below is from his Cuban vacation.

REWIND 2008:

- Lili Z 'The Two of Us' LP/CD (In the Red/Pollymaggoo)
- V/A Mad Mike Monsters Vol. 1-3 LP (Norton)
- Brainbombs Live @ Sonic protest '08
- The Rebel 'Northern Rocks Bear Weird Vegetable' LP (Sacred Bones)
- The Nixe LP (Pollymaggoo)
- Systematics 'What we did in the afternoon' 2LP (TU-134)
- Havana
- Brainbombs 'Fucking Mess' LP (Lystring)
- Mike Rep & The Quotas 'Songs The Grackles Liked' 12" mini-LP (Col. Discount)
- Pyramids/Love Tan 'This Land is No Good' 7" (Sweet Rot)
- V/A The Rock-A-Round LP (Norton)
- Bobby Fuller 'Rock And Roll King Of The Southwest' LP (Norton)
- 'Take Me to the River: a Southern Soul Story 1961-1977' (Kent)
- V/A 'African Scream Contests' 2LP (Analog Africa)
- Sick Things 'My Life Is a Mess LP (Stolen)
- Circle X 'Prehistory CD (Blue Chopsticks)
- Figures Of Light 'Smash Hits' LP (Norton)
- Liimanarina 'Linkolalaista Lahiorokkia Landelta' CD (Bad Vugum)
- Irma Thomas 'Sings' LP (Mississippi)
- Schluchsee
- V/A 'Give Me Love - Songs of the Brokenhearted- Baghdad' 2LP (Honest Jon's)
- The Clean 'compilation' LP (Mississippi)
- V/A 'Sprigs of Time - 78s from the EMI Archive' 2LP (Honest Jon's)
- Rembetika '2' (JSP 5CD)
- Pascal Comelade 'Monofonicorama Best Of' CD (Because)
- V/A 'Life is a Problem' LP (Mississippi)
- Rusted Shut 'Hot Sex' 12" EP (Dull Knife)
- V/A 'Fight On, Your Time Ain't Long' LP & 'Last Kind Words' LP (Mississippi)
- Krakow
- Moondog 'Snaketime Series LP (« fan-club »)
- Toni McCann 'My babe' 7" (Zenith)
- Charlie Feathers 'Wild Side Of Life' LP (Norton)
- Charlie Feathers 'Honky Tonk Kind' LP (Norton)
- Charlie Feathers 'Long Time Ago LP (Norton)
- Dave E & The Cool Marriage Counselors "Searching Thru Sears" 7" (X mas Pet)
- Mayo Thompson 'Corky's Debt...' LP (Drag City)
- Soggy LP (Mémoire neuve)
- Nerves 'One way ticket' LP (Alive)
- Bachs 'Out of the Bachs' LP (Void)
- V/A 'Victrola Favorites' 2CD (Dust to Digital)
- V/A 'IVG Vol.1 - Futur antérieur, France 75/85' (Poutre Apparente)
- Jean-Pierre Massiera 'Freakoid' (1963-1978) LP (Mucho Gusto)
- Tommy Jay 'Tall Tales of Trauma' LP (Columbus Discount)
- We The People 'Too Much Noise' LP (Sundazed)
- V/A 'Twistin' Rumble' LP (Crypt)
- Country Teasers 'W.O.A.R' LP (Holy Mountain)
- Weegee retrospective in Montpellier
- Mickey Baker 'In the '50s: Hit Git & Split' CD (Rev-Ola)
- V/A 'Break-A-Way: The Songs of Jackie Deshannon' CD (Ace)
- Spider 12" EP (Thrift Store)
- V/A Puget Power Vol. 5 (Regal Select)
- Roca medical collection of wax models in Ghent



COOL DUDE QUARTERLY: Our good bud AA is the man behind a blog we'd like to see updated a little more often. It's nice to see he finally lifted his self-imposed exile from the TB message board so his on-line love affair with Collin may continue. I would've hated to see that relationship wither on the vine like that.

2008 was a wash. Total it up as twelve more months spent fomented in the slumgullion: six of ‘em devoted to the peddling of lodestones and the other half locked into a familiar demonic circuit. With my record collecting yen thinned to a shadowy husk, even the end of a decade-long search for the Nothing 45 seemed anticlimactic. The unexpected arrival of an atypically boss Euro (Ger. “All Skrewed Up” / Fr. “Garbage Man”) combo evoked a measly “Meh!”…and, come to think of it, getting that untouched upgrade of the MAD’s “I Hate Music” single only succeeded in leaving me feeling all jejune’n’shit.

Though, this isn’t to say that the past year was entirely devoid of thrills. The exchange of real and cultural currency enabled the pilfering of the following fetish objects—items so layered, complex and infuriatingly unobtainable, that relative proximity was enough to keep my double-ought-eight grinding along at a surprisingly sprightly clip:

Daniel Clowes: The Gold Mommy (1994). A key, self-contained example of Clowes’ starkest period, this one’s got it all: the gesture, the sweeping motion of the crowd, the nagging paranoia …and one of Eightball’s most haunting captions.

Rick Altergott: Doofus (1999). Sublime pen/ink/watercolor portrait of the scummiest flâneur to ever don a boater. What if Altergott’s vision of a Doofus movie starring Ralph Waite (!!!) had actually come to fruition? The mind reels; the loins swell. AH YASSS!

The MAD: record release poster (1979). NYC. 1979. Young freaks, punks and weirdos coalesce at Pratt and the School of Visual Arts. Screaming Mad George’s little man gets snipped onstage by an irate eyeball — a handsome (17x22) poster commemorates the occasion. Nearly thirty years later, a pal unearths a forgotten friend and sets it free.

Feederz: promo flier (1978). Clumsy devotees of Breton, Beefheart and Laszlo Toth who were ridden outta town on a rail. I can only hope that this flier, masterfully silkscreened onto butcher paper, was included in the “Terrorism Packets” doled out to Valley of the Sun teens shortly before the band’s hasty relocation to SF.

HONE: Functional Blackouts / Sneaky Pinks / Radio Beats (2006). The most contemporary entry of the bunch comes from the same street-tough responsible for the best fliers made in recent years. Projectile vomiting, Psilocybins run amok, Jughead’s ample sweater-meat: this man can do no wrong! I can’t wait to get this’un framed…I’m thinking it’ll look lovely in distressed Gaboon.


(click to next page for the rest of TB friends lists...)


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