Thursday, November 29, 2012

Graham Parker And The Rumour: Tarrytown ( 2012-11-24)

Graham Parker (more HERE) and The Rumour's re-union has finally manifested itself in the form of the band's new album, the hideously-packaged but excellent Three Chords Good. and the new tour, from which we have a recording of their very first gig in Tarrytown, New York thanks to larryrulz.

01 stage entrance
02 Fool's Gold
03 Stop Cryin' About The Rain
04 Nothin's Gonna Pull Us Apart
05 Snake Oil Capital Of The World
06 intro to Get Started. Start A Fire
07 Get Started. Start A Fire
08 Watch The Moon Come Down
09 intro to Old Soul
10 Old Soul
11 Hotel Chambermaid
12 Live In Shadows
13 A Lie Gets Halfway 'Round The World
14 intro to Jacksonville
15 I'll Never Play Jacksonville Again
16 intro to Long Emotional Ride
17 Long Emotional Ride
18 Discovering Japan
19 Nobody Hurts You
20 Protection
21 Thunder And Rain
22 Coathangers
23 Local Girls

Encore 1
24 You Can't Be Too Strong
25 Passion Is No Ordinary Word
26 applause

Encore 2
27 Don't Ask Me Questions
28 Soul Shoes

GP fans - what do you think of the man's re-alliance with The Rumour?
Let us know in the COMMENTS section!

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Channel 3: Land of the Free 7" (2012)

Few predicted 2012 would see SoCal punk come back into view but between OFF!, Redd Kross and now Channel 3, that's exactly what's happening! It almost seems like these grown men have realized that something they pioneered when they were kids was not so fleeting as it once seemed. So, now, rather then just leave their legacies lie fallow, they've each decided to bring the thing back to life. The striking work we're hearing from these not-young men demonstrates that their music wasn't just an ash heap of adolescent angst but a gritty feature of America's cultural landscape, like the Badlands but with more shouting and trebly guitar!

As for Channel 3 (much more HERE), though they might not have signed to as a high-profile label as Vice or Matador (those in the know do revere their new label, Hostage Records) they have taken this late-date to put out one of the best works of their career. While Land of the Free is technically a single, due to the two songs on the vinyl, the download card that comes with the record fleshes it out into a seven-song EP.

And what an extend play it is! Those who need speed, will thrill to the band's ripping paean to the bottle, "This Calls for a Drink" and the ferociously mournful "A Life Remembered" (released previously as a B-side). Those who revere the band's mastery of the mid-tempo, guitar-powered sing-along will be no less satisfied here. Tracks like "Another Day" and "In the Meantime" recall the band's more tempered phase, circa 1984 classic, "Indian Summer", while "Land of the Free" carpet bombs the current political landscape with Clash-level precision and "Make It Home" slows things down just enough to power-up the big chorus.  Even with the twenty minute duration of this trip, there's room for a detour, in the form of the band's charming cover of Sonny Bono's "Little Things" featuring the return of Maria Montoya-Kaye who first sang with the band on their debut albums 30 years ago! Land of the Free finds Channel 3 considering all the twists and turns they've made on their ramshackle voyage and deciding they've only just begun.

Alright MRML readers, whadaya make of the new CH 3 EP? Let us know in the COMMENTS section!

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Friday, November 23, 2012

The Fastbacks: Alone in a Furniture Warehouse...10" (1996)

Alone In A Furniture Warehouse Scaring You Away Like A Hotel Mattress  is a 10" EP (and CD) that was released by Spain's Munster Records in the last couple of years of the Fastbacks (more HERE) career. I've only recently begun to appreciate how the band stayed solid right to the end, and this 10"  is fine proof of their perserverance.

1         No Information     2:43    
2         The Ladders     2:03    
3         The Buried Treasure Was Crap     1:43    
4         All In Order     3:01    
5         Wait It Out     2:20    
6         Sign Of The Times     3:12    
7         Eyes Of A Child     3:12    
8         Alone In A Furniture Warehouse     3:15

What do you think of the late-period Fastbacks releases, like this one,? Let us know in the COMMENTS section!

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Fastbacks: And After All (1996)

Did Fastbacks' (more HERE) guitarists Kurt Bloch just write too damn many great songs?

A     And After All     2:18    
B     Marionette     4:53    

So,do you think Mr. Bloch's awesome prolificness worked against him? Or did it just work out well for the rest of us? Let us know in the COMMENTS section!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Fastbacks: Wait It Out (1994)

Seattle's masters of power-punk, The Fastbacks (more HERE), rip out two more killer tracks on this 1994 Munster Records single.

A Wait It Out (Al Bloch)
B The Jester (Rusty Willoughby)
(Outside spine on gatefold reads: that was PRETTY GOOD now how 'bout some ROCK N ROLL!)

So, are you enjoying this string of Fastbacks rarities or what??????
If so, leave us a COMMENT!
If you don't, I'm gonna have to start a series on sequestration and the Bush tax cuts!

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Weird Al's "Bob" as 38 Fake Film Titles!

I was once young enough to think that Weird Al Yankovic was going to be a one-hit wonder (thinking back as far as "Eat It"), so apparently I wasn't a prescient youth.  The Weird one has endured, prospered and inspired a wide range of people, like Oliver Smith who used Yankovic's Bob-Dylan-apin' palindrome-fest, "Bob", as a basis to make a short film that pretends to be the beginning of 38 fake films. (via)

In case you missed the even more Dylan-specific original video, here's that too:

Have a weird day!

The Fastbacks/Gas Huffer Split 7" (1992)

This 1992 single pairs the Very, Very Powerful Fastbacks (more HERE) with those Janitors of Tomorrow, Gashuffer.

A     Gas Huffer  –     King Of Hubcaps   3:12    
B     Fastbacks   –     Lose                       3:07

So, what's your take on this split? Let us know in the COMMENTS section!

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Statistics: Dumb (1979) NOW WITH FULL HISTORY!

The Statistics were a short-lived, late seventies West London (Uxbridge) power-pop band who consisted of David Jones-Owen guitar, vocals - Barry O'Brien drums - David Leversedge vocals, keyboards and Alan Thomas bass.

The band's sole single offers a tight-rocking pair of songs that needs to be brought out from the storage room of history. "Dumb" marries a witty, post-modern take on the art of song-writing with a hard-hitting arrangement, a heavy-weight hook and some wild sax playing. "Home Movies" is a little quirkier but still has the stinging Farfisa organ and the catchiness of the A-side. While not really indebted to anyone band of their time, this  little affair does reminds me of a punkier Squeeze, which is only a good thing. The sax on the A-side was added by the band's friend, mentor and producer Bob Morgan who recorded a number of well known singles himself under the name Steppin' Out (available HERE and HERE). Two Stats, O'Brien and Jones-Owen, also played on the very well-regarded (read HERE) single "Red Box" by I Jog and The Tracksuits.

A     Dumb                3:41    
B     Home Movies     3:25

Engineer – Dave Cook
Producer – Bob Morgan
Recorded At – Quest Studios, , Luton.
Manufactured By – Ellie Jay Records

Includes a DIN A4 sized insert with comic art to introduce the label "Tyger Label Records" and a sticker with a tiger head.

(new scans and the insert above are courtesy of the awe-some mylife'sajigsaw)

Since the last time I posted this single (thanks to a donation of rips and scans by the redoubtable Roberto), it attracted the attention of Statisticians David Jones-Owen and Barry O'Brien who helped me fill in the gaps about the band. So up for remedying the errors of music history was O'Brien that he wrote a witty, whimsical history that takes up five pages[!] and is included in this download for your perusing pleasure.

Hey this post represents some big work from me, Roberto and of course Barry O'Brien and his band-mates, hopefully you'll spare a word or two on the subject of The Statistics in the COMMENTS section!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Republican Problem

While I'm not a dedicated reader of right-wing site National Review Online*( sites like NRO and Daily Kos seem to me to favour light-weight propaganda) Ramesh Ponnuru's piece, "The Party's Problem" is well worth a read for anyone, left, right or centre, who believes the Republican party needs to modernize.

The Republican story about how societies prosper — not just the Romney story — dwelt on the heroic entrepreneur stifled by taxes and regulations: an important story with which most people do not identify. The ordinary person does not see himself as a great innovator. He, or she, is trying to make a living and support or maybe start a family. A conservative reform of our health-care system and tax code, among other institutions, might help with these goals. About this person, however, Republicans have had little to say.

I certainly don't agree with all of what Ponnuru has to say but I think he is courageous for saying it.

On similar lines Forbes Magazine has published a highly-readable-if-occasionally-glib piece by Timothy B. Lee called "Conservatives' Reality Problem" that argues since the nineties there has been a reverse of fealty-to-facts between liberals and conservatives.  

 I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Team Romney’s polling cluelessness comes after years of conservatives demonizing pointy-headed academics, including scientists. On subjects like evolution, global warming, the biology of human conception, and even macroeconomics, conservatives have been increasingly bold about rejecting the consensus of scientific experts in favor of ideologically self-serving pronouncements. That attitude may have contributed to their loss of the White House in 2012.

Again, not someone with whom I entirely agree with but who's points are well-made.

* For anyone who wants to know just how weak NRO can be, check out this post-election Romney spin job that is so disingenuous that Jennifer Rubin would recoil in horror from it.

Dot Dash: Winter Garden Light (2012)

"Spark>Flame>Ember>Dash", the debut album, by Washinton's DC's Dot Dash's  was a solid set of songs (review here) that brought together the indie-guitar sounds of the USA and UK but the band's new album, "Winter Garden Light" betters it on almost every level. It sounds like every group member has been allowed to break loose anything that was restrained on the first album. Just check out how "Writing on Wall", "La-La-Land" or "The Past is Another Country" all rip along; the hooks are more incessant, the guitars all hit harder and, crucially, drummer Danny Ingram sounds like he's been unleashed. Dot Dash debuted well but their second act's the clincher.



Thursday, November 15, 2012

"What Kind of Person Waits in Line for Nine Hours to Vote?"

Those ubiquitous Downfall remixes have often been a source of amusement for me. I suppose you could argue that the videos trivialize Hitler or turn a well-made film into a punchline. But the truth is that many of the pieces work so well as examples of post-modernist mash-up culture that juxtapose history, art and, well,  whatever's in the news this month. Strangely, this one marking the end of Mitt Romney's vaulting ambition (sooner or later even my Republican friends may admit that we all dodged a bullet there) is strangely touching, rather than funny. But that's just my take, feel free to let me know what you think...

The Fastbacks do UK Subs!

In 1993 former Fastbacks' drummer Duff McKEgan's then-current band (Guns N' Roses) did a UK Subs obscurity ("Down on the Farm") on their covers album ("The Spaghetti Incident"). So to prove who knew their UK punk better, The Fastbacks (more HERE) absolutely ripped-through a deep album track and two B-sides ("Rat Race", "I Live in a Car"and "Telephone Numbers") on this 1995 split with Australia's The Meices.

So, MRML readers
How do you think the Fastbacks fare as a UK Subs cover band??
Let us know in the COMMENTS section!
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Fastbacks: All In Order (1994)

I'd argue that 1987's ...And His Orchestra is The Fastbacks (more HERE) finest moment. But a good case could be made for 1994's Answer the Phone Dummy, which which features some of Kurt Bloch's finest songs, like "Waste of Time". This 1994 single contains some excellent outtakes from that album (including the title track!)

A    All In Order 3:01
B1   Answer The Phone, Dummy 0:52
B2   Allison 1:17

So, MRML readers
What's your take on "Answer the Phone, Dummy"?
Let us know in the COMMENTS section!
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Fastbacks: Now is the Time

These spiffy lo-fi Fastbacks (more HERE) recordings from the early 80's only saw release in 1992.


A1    Now Is The Time   2:56    
A2    Sometimes             2:53    
B      Was Late               3:25     

So, MRML readers
More Fastbacks rarities?
Let us know in the COMMENTS section!
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bad Religion: Fuck You (2012)

The first single from the new Bad Religion album, True North, is called, rather indelicately, "Fuck You".  It's got the charging tempos, oozin  ahs, clattering guitar and erudite verbosity we associate with prime BR, even if the song seems more restrained then the title promises. I'm gonna guess this is a Mr. Brett song, not only for the more artful lyrics ("sometimes just a word/Is the most satisfying sound") but for the compelling bridge that shows off one of the man's signature contributions to the band's sound.

The songs foretells a strong record (it's scheduledd for 2013) but it sure ain't gonna top one of my all-time fave Bad Religion curse tunes, "Hooray For me (and Fuck You)":


Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Fastbacks: Live In America (1988)

Another official but out-of-print live Fastbacks (more HERE) show, this one is from '88, still with big hooks, big guitars and big sadness....

LABEL  : Lost And Found
CAT NO : LF016
YEAR   : 1991

A01 Love You More
A02 Wrong, Wrong, Wrong
A03 Yesterday At Midnight
A04 Roll Away The Stone
A05 Swallow My Pride
A06 In America
B01 I Need Some Help
B02 Better Than Before
B03 Only At Night
B04 What Will They All Say?
B05 Don't Cry For Me
B06 In The Winter

All songs recorded live at The Vogue, Seattle (September, 21st 1988) and Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater (August 15th, 1988)

So, MRML readers, what's your favourite Fastbacks cover song? Let us know in the COMMENTS section!
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Reality Wins!

"Don't tell me the old, old story
Tell me the truth this time"
Billy Bragg

Yeah my 'side' won on November sixth but more importantly truth won out! While politicians are slippery with the truth by their very nature, the politicians of the Republican Party has become completely disconnected from reality. As they did with the climate change debate, they believed with enough lies and money they could dictate reality. But they can't: ocean levels rise up and so do disrespected voters. Watching the Karl Rove melt-down on Fox News on that earth-shaking Tuesday evening, was final proof of the party's utter disconnect from the world as it is. This party need to dump their delusionals and get its house in order. (For the cleverer version of this point, do yourself a favour and read Charles P. Pierce's take). And I say that as somebody who believes that a healthy opposition is crucial for a democracy. In fact, that sentiment, has been echoed across the left(ish) side of the internet, rather then rubbing Republicans noses in thier devastating loss. People like Rachel Maddow have offered a hard-headed but fair-minded defense of a saner Republican Party.  Even if you don't like her, she makes her case rationally:

Another thoughtful and hard-hitting take on this phenomenon was written yesterday by  John Heilemann:

What all of this signifies is that the Republicans now find themselves facing a moment similar to the one that Democrats met in the wake of the 1988 election, when the party found itself markedly out of step with the country — shackled to a retograde base, in the grip of an assortment of fads and factions, wedded to a pre-modern policy agenda. And so, like the Ds back then, the Rs today must undertake a wholesale modernization of their party, starting with, but not limited to, making real inroads with those ascendant elements of the electorate. Doing so will be a Herculean task, and one that will require not just institutional resolve but individual leadership; it will require, that is to say, that the Republicans find their own version of Bill Clinton circa 1990. But daunting as the task may be, what last night indicated is that the party has no choice but to undertake the assignment — because to forgo it would be to risk not just irrelevance but extinction.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

'I Have Never Been More Hopeful About America'

'I Have Never Been More Hopeful About America'

I think much of the world concurs with you there, Mr. President.

America, congratulations, you helped the best man win!

It is my hope that the majority of you who voted for Barrack Obama will be magnanimous in victory with your fellow citizens but be willing to back your president to the hilt should he need to be ruthless with the obstructionists in the Republican Party.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bob Dylan: "It's Going to be a Landslide!"

When I did a post that invoked Bob Dylan, as a brief aside, in my post about music and politics (see HERE)*,  I received an avalanche of negative feedback, with one reader even going so far as to imply Dylan had become a birther!

Now it turns out that during a performance of "Blowin' in the Wind" on November 5th, in the crucial swing state of Wisconsin, Dylan said, “We tried to play good tonight since the president was here today.” Then he laid it all down, “Don’t believe the media. I think it’s going to be a landslide.”

'But he didn't say he was voting for Obama!" the Right Wing Bobbers will howl. These, of course, are the same people who tried to downplay his unusually direct praise for Obama in '08!

To be fair, I not only believe Dylan is likely incorrect in his prediction of an overwhelming victory (though I would be ecstatic to be wrong!), I also believe Dylan left himself enough wiggle-room to avoid having his words being called an 'endorsement'

However we parse his words, it seems plain that Dylan's true devotion is to his work and that politics are merely an aside.

* A couple of the comments are priceless and worth perusing!

Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'


From The Onion January 17, 2001

WASHINGTON, DC–Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."

President-elect Bush vows that "together, we can put the triumphs of the recent past behind us."

"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."

Bush swore to do "everything in [his] power" to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?"

On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further.

Wall Street responded strongly to the Bush speech, with the Dow Jones industrial fluctuating wildly before closing at an 18-month low. The NASDAQ composite index, rattled by a gloomy outlook for tech stocks in 2001, also fell sharply, losing 4.4 percent of its total value between 3 p.m. and the closing bell.

Asked for comment about the cooling technology sector, Bush said: "That's hardly my area of expertise."

Turning to the subject of the environment, Bush said he will do whatever it takes to undo the tremendous damage not done by the Clinton Administration to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He assured citizens that he will follow through on his campaign promise to open the 1.5 million acre refuge's coastal plain to oil drilling. As a sign of his commitment to bringing about a change in the environment, he pointed to his choice of Gale Norton for Secretary of the Interior. Norton, Bush noted, has "extensive experience" fighting environmental causes, working as a lobbyist for lead-paint manufacturers and as an attorney for loggers and miners, in addition to suing the EPA to overturn clean-air standards.

Bush had equally high praise for Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft, whom he praised as "a tireless champion in the battle to protect a woman's right to give birth."

"Soon, with John Ashcroft's help, we will move out of the Dark Ages and into a more enlightened time when a woman will be free to think long and hard before trying to fight her way past throngs of protesters blocking her entrance to an abortion clinic," Bush said. "We as a nation can look forward to lots and lots of babies."

Enlarge ImageSoldiers at Ft. Bragg march lockstep in preparation for America's return to aggression.

Continued Bush: "John Ashcroft will be invaluable in healing the terrible wedge President Clinton drove between church and state."

The speech was met with overwhelming approval from Republican leaders.

"Finally, the horrific misrule of the Democrats has been brought to a close," House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told reporters. "Under Bush, we can all look forward to military aggression, deregulation of dangerous, greedy industries, and the defunding of vital domestic social-service programs upon which millions depend. Mercifully, we can now say goodbye to the awful nightmare that was Clinton's America."

"For years, I tirelessly preached the message that Clinton must be stopped," conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said. "And yet, in 1996, the American public failed to heed my urgent warnings, re-electing Clinton despite the fact that the nation was prosperous and at peace under his regime. But now, thank God, that's all done with. Once again, we will enjoy mounting debt, jingoism, nuclear paranoia, mass deficit, and a massive military build-up."

An overwhelming 49.9 percent of Americans responded enthusiastically to the Bush speech.

"After eight years of relatively sane fiscal policy under the Democrats, we have reached a point where, just a few weeks ago, President Clinton said that the national debt could be paid off by as early as 2012," Rahway, NJ, machinist and father of three Bud Crandall said. "That's not the kind of world I want my children to grow up in."

"You have no idea what it's like to be black and enfranchised," said Marlon Hastings, one of thousands of Miami-Dade County residents whose votes were not counted in the 2000 presidential election. "George W. Bush understands the pain of enfranchisement, and ever since Election Day, he has fought tirelessly to make sure it never happens to my people again."

Bush concluded his speech on a note of healing and redemption.

"We as a people must stand united, banding together to tear this nation in two," Bush said. "Much work lies ahead of us: The gap between the rich and the poor may be wide, be there's much more widening left to do. We must squander our nation's hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15 percent. And, on the foreign front, we must find an enemy and defeat it."

"The insanity is over," Bush said. "After a long, dark night of peace and stability, the sun is finally rising again over America. We look forward to a bright new dawn not seen since the glory days of my dad."


Monday, November 5, 2012

Will Hoge: Modern American Protest Music (2012)

With the words he spits out on Modern American Protest Music condemning  America's over-seas wars, homophobia, global warming denial, the 1%'s game-fixing, Florida's Stand Your Ground law and religious intolerance, I'm sure that Nashville roots-rocker Will Hoge's going to pull the lever for Obama tomorrow. However, that doesn't mean any element of the contemporary political scene is coming away unscathed from this howling series of broadsides, or as the narrator of "Founding Fathers" puts it "Democrats, Republicans, who's to blame, its hard to tell/Sometimes I think we'd be better off if they all just went to Hell".

Musically, Hoge is a kin to Steve Earle but with less of that coffee-house-song-writer bent and more of hell-bent Stones-y bar rock sound. For this release, Hoge has kept the big-guitar roar but now he's employing it to lay waste to the American political landscape. The pox-on-all-their-houses rocker "Founding Fathers" kicks things off in high gear, then it's a talking-blues, "Jesus Came to Tennessee" which oughta offend ever unthinking Christian in the country, followed by the mournful ballad, "Folded Flag'. The angry, pleading "When Do I Get to Come Home?" brings the noise back, while the Dylan-referencing "Times Are Not Changing" (which actually channels the liberal-knifing spirit of Phil Ochs) brings a little folk to the mix. For the anti-fundamentalist, "I Don't Believe You", the guitars are replaced by piano for a few minutes before Hoge's guitar tone and his outage hits apoplectic levels on "The Ballad of Trayvon Martin. Overall, it's a helluva performance, one to be reckoned with long after November 6th 2012 has come and gone.

(Dedicated readers will recall we talked-up Mr. Hoge for his rockin' put-down, "God Damn California" HERE.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Will Ferrell for Obama!

Well I may prefer The Economist's dour endorsement or Jonathon Chait's full-throated one but I gotta admit that Ferrel's is ' a slam dunk!"

Update: Chris Rock too!

The Fastbacks: Tributes (1991-1998)

One consequence of the CD glut of the nineties was the dawn of the so-called 'tribute album', in which a a range of modern exponents of a genre (especially underground ones) would record a cover from a formative artist like The Ramones or Nick Lowe or The Shaggs or what have you. Typically, the results of all this tributing varied all the way from mediocre to middling. No matter how good the original band and no matter how many good newer bands they'd cobbled together, most of these collections just came off as throwaways. (It's indicative that that the only CD I ever kept from this sub-heading was one called Tulare Dust which featured acts doing Merle Haggard).

One band who could always guarantee to liven up these dull albums was Seattle's The Fastbacks (more HERE). Partly it was that the band was just on a roll around the time these tributes began mushrooming up but mostly it was because, as a band who'd put out their first single in 1981, Kurt Bloch & co were a rocking link between the first wave of punk and the nineties underground explosion. Hence this MRML compiled collection of Fastbacks covers, MOST of which are from some long out-of-print, fly-by-night label's half-baked tribute CD.

So, MRML readers, what's your favourite Fastbacks cover song? Let us know in the COMMENTS section!
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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mr. Burns: 'Romney is Ehx-cellent!'

Who else would he endorse?

And for your further amusement:

Last but not least:

The Eeries: Home Alone (2012)

The key-failing of so much modern-day garage-rock is deficit of imagination, an over-studied bloodlessness that sucks the joy right of your speakers. Philadelphia, PA’s The Eeries, on the other hand, have re-discovered the joy of theft on their debut album, Home Alone. Rather then just cop riffs from the Sonics et al, The Eeries pinch from a wider palette, whether it's the Beatles, Buddy Holly or The Beach Boys these boys are on a spree and glorying in it! While the results may be deliriously retro, they're also bloody good!

Let us know what you make of The Eeries in the COMMENTS section!



Friday, November 2, 2012

One Vote.

I believe editorials concerning another country's election, my own included, are fair journalism, so long as they are reasoned, informed and respectful*.

Well "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal" is a clever slogan and anarchists, like their libertarian brethren, do have a weakness for the glib.

But readers, ask yourself, what if Al Gore had won the 2000 American election (assuming he actually lost it)?

The Bush-Cheney regime crippled America like no other; where they saw surplus, they brought deficit, where they saw peace, they brought war, where they saw balance, they created inequity.

It didn't have to be that way.

Of course, we can't know for certain how a different election result would've changed history but yet we all know that a President Gore would never have invaded Iraq. A few hundred voters could have saved 100,000 Iraqi civilians, 5,000 Coalition solders and nearly a trillion American tax dollars.

How about a decade-long Afghanistan War, a repressive Patriot Act, an unfunded extension of Medicare, a far-right faction on the Supreme Court, debt-building tax cuts and the disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina? Again, we can't know know for certain what would be different but based on his record I'll be damned if Gore would have proceeded with the kinds of reckless disregard for country that Bush-Cheney did. And you can be assured that Romney-Ryan would be Bush-Cheney on steroids if elected.

Ask a Canadian suffering under an anti-democratic, dissent-stifling, deficit-spending regime about the importance of HOW you vote. 61% of us voted against against militarism, science-defunding and jail-building but because we're a four-party system the bad guys won.

Right-wing reactionary parties love the kind of 'glass-is-hall-full' pessimism, expressed in slogans like "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." They love seeing us dividing up over our pet issues and forming new parties. Hell, they helped get Ralph Nader on the ballot in many states because that aided their cause. The enemy of my enemy is my friend goes the old strategy. What's so sad, is how often the strategy works.

After all, if voting changes nothing, why do the richest spend so much money trying to buy elections?

So, if you'll indulge me (and I`m sure a few of you won`t), I'll ask you to at least consider the mistakes of your Canadian brethren. Your vote matters. Who you vote for matters too. A vote that empowers the people and hold back the plutocrats is never wasted. Then, with victory in hand, go to work against government surveillance, the unbalanced tax code, corporate deregulation, the drug war, defense spending et al from the bottom up.

After all, If we don't get it together, they'll tear us apart.


*If you're actually against outside interests being involved in American politics, please re-consider your support of Brits like Nial Fergusson, Canadians like David Frum and Australians like Rupert Murdoch who've dedicated their lives to electing Republicans.