Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Twitch Party - Live at The Raven Playhouse 5/10/97

(Flyer by Aidan Flax-Clark)

Great show by my first band. When I think of Twitch Party, this is what comes to mind. As far as I'm concerned, this was our peak. We were still getting along (for the most part) and our creativity was really flourishing. Sure, the recording quality here isn't perfect, but for a tape that was recorded from a Hi-8 video, I think it sounds damn good. I'm very proud of this band and what we accomplished. It's hard to believe this happened over 12 years ago!

Aidan Flax-Clark on guitar and backing vocals, Travis Erwin on bass, J.C. Ehle drumming and me as lead vocalist. We were good.

About the songs:
(note: songs that are linked can be downloaded as samples)

01. Intro - 30 seconds of setting up, tuning, etc.

Crack - A powerful version of the song that rages beyond the Whiskey recording.

03. Sore - Fuck yeah! Sme slight dropouts - somebody must have walked into my camera...

04. At Peace - This may have been the first time we performed this song live. (At most, it was the second.) You can tell it's not fully formed yet, but it has an energatic immediacy to it. Check out the improvised guitar solo by Aidan!

05. Grey Walls - I wrote this song. Very influenced by Karp and Hammerhead. Unfortunately, this was where I was headed, which was diametrically opposed to where everyone else wanted to go. If not for my ego...

06. Binding Glory - Balls!

07. Beautifully Deformed - A particularly tortured performance of this song.

08. Stench - Sure, it's an L7 rip-off, but it was one of my favorites and we did a great job with it here.

09. Urinal - Boom-cha-boom!

10. Song - Hell yeah!

11. Grassed - Good shit!

12. The Taxidermy of Love - I really like this performance. You can hear some drunks come in at the end of the tuning sequence after the song. They were pretty entertaining.

13. Fit - And the tensions start. We actually played the song pretty well until it fell apart in the end. Then, like an asshole, I had to insist that "I didn't screw up." I did. Sorry Aidan.

14. Halved - Oh yeah!

15. Stretched - Excellent performance of our signature closing track with some beautiful feedback at the beginning. I like to think that THIS was what we were all about.

(Flyer by Aidan Flax-Clark)

Twitch Party
Live at The Raven Playhouse 5/10/09 CS

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Meet the Exclusivos

Eric - Vocals

Nef - Lead guitar, keyboard

Emmanuel - Rhythm guitar, keyboards

Ralph - Bass

John - Drums

(All photos courtesy Nef.)

Exclusivos - Demos

(Exclusivos live - Photo courtesy Nef)

Back about three years ago, my band, ULTRABASTARD!, was playing at Trash Bar in Brooklyn when we noticed these guys up front who were dancing and going nuts to our songs. I remember looking at them funny, because I wasn't sure if they were mocking us or what, as we'd never had a reaction quite like that from total strangers. Turns out, they genuinely loved us and they were all in a band from the Bronx called The Exclusivos.

I checked them out on MySpace and was completely astounded at the completely original, unique songs I heard. They gave me a CD at a later ULTRABASTARD! show and I couldn't stop listening to it. It was just so DIFFERENT. Here's what I wrote for Under the Volcano #93:

From the sinister concrete jungle of the Bronx comes what is quite possibly the oddest band I've heard since Arab on Radar - The Exclusivos. Combining Captain Beefheart insanity with arrangements reminiscent of early Fall, these five outsiders contort their way through eight songs that syncopate like the Birthday Party and trip out like some of the funkiest West African Psychedelia to actually make it to the States. Top it all off with a singer that delivers his lyrics with the mind-altered, yet controlled, monotone of Can's Malcolm Mooney and you're left wondering whether your're listening to a band or a music therapy session at Bellevue. I sincerely hope (believe) that this rough, raw recording is just an inkling of what will come in the future. To quote their song 'The Ballad of Fred': 'The lightning's always frightening when it comes before the thunder.' This recording is the lightening.

Unfortunately, some inner turmoil tore the band apart shortly before ULTRABASTARD! was set to play our first show with them. There have been some attempts at getting the band back together, but nothing's been solid as of yet.

And so, I'm proud to announce the second "official" MPAE blog release. These songs were recorded on a Fostex multi-tracker between late '05 and early '06, according to guitarist/keyboardist Nef. Download it and leave comments to let the band know you want them back in action!

Demos MP3

(note: songs that are linked can be downloaded as samples)
01. Forces Unknown
02. Drip
03. The Machinist
04. Just a Thought
05. Ballad of Fred
06. Have You
07. Fargunstein
08. Tradition
09. Rage, Hate
10. Sad Ending
11. Changing (My Ways)
12. Untitled (Version 1)
13. Untitled (Version 2)
14. Dead Man's Curve
15. Breaking News
16. The Devils Dogs

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Messier 7 - Songs About Girls Who Never Existed

(Photo of M7 by NASA)

I've been busy writing reviews for The Big Takeover, so I haven't had much time for the blog. Also, some fuckhead stole Sir Ackronomicon's computer, so Pope Goat VII books are on hold for the time being. I haven't posted something of mine lately, so I'd thought I'd get back into the swing of things with this, my Helios Creed-inspired spacerock CD.

Songs About Girls Who Never Existed was one of the first albums I finished after I moved to NY. I was having a really hard time connecting with anybody musically, as I was (and still am) on the ass end of Long Island where people get their cultural relevance from television and radio. I actually had some redneck asshole tell me that the music I like couldn't be any good since he hadn't heard of it. So I holed myself in my apartment, got really drunk and stoned and recorded music on my own.

I'd been a huge Helios Creed fan since I was 14, and I always wanted to do something along those lines. I even bought a bunch of effects pedals to get that spacey sound. Finally, I decided to put together some older tracks of mine, record some new tracks, and have a spacerock "band" of my own.

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. My dad was even impressed with my guitar playing. Maybe you'll dig it, too.

Best heard under the influence of something or other.

About the songs:
(note: songs that are linked can be downloaded as samples)

01. I Saw You (Crying) - An old song from my solo recordings. Go here for more info.

02. Lady Dragon - Another
old song from my solo recordings. Go here for more info.

03. Descent Into Your Mind - This was the first song I recorded after buying my Danelectro phaser pedal. It had been a long night working in the bar (I was a barback) and I was irritated at having to listen to Rush on the satellite radio, so I went home with a few drinks in me, quickly assembled my recording gear and basically improvised this. It's mostly influenced by The Butthole Surfers' "Human Cannonball," especially in the vocals. It's a fun song.

04. Mistress Morphing - The guitar riff was inspired by a song from the cult science fiction animated movie Rock & Rule, where the character, Mok, is summoning a demon in Ohm Town. I believe this was recorded under the influence of opiate pills, hence the pun title.

05. Space Flying - This was centered around a riff I had written for The Gardeners that was really influenced by Neu! and Stereolab. I kept it an instrumental and recorded two guitar tracks. I always liked this one.

06. Xolotl/I Wanna Be Your Dog - "Xolotl" was a song I wrote for Anubis Rising, but I was never happy with the way it came out with them, so I redid it and tacked The Stooges to the end for some reason (probably because I could, and because I wanted to do a cover of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" that didn't try to sound like The Stooges for once). By the way, "Xolotl" means "monster" in Nahuatl, the language of pre-Columbian Mezo-American cultures, i.e. Aztecs.

Messier 7
Songs About Girls Who Never Existed CDR