Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Cure – 18 July 1980 – Berg en Bos Festival, Apeldoorn, Netherlands

As an adjunct to my recent posting of live clips from The Cure in Boston - April 1980 via MySpace blog, I'm posting the footage below from several months later as the band plays at a festival in the Netherlands.

Part 1 of 4 – In Your House & M

Part 2 of 4 – Jumping Someone Else's Train & Another Journey By Train

Part 3 of 4 – A Forest

Part 4 of 4 – A Reflection & Play For Today

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Survival Research Laboratories

For over thirty years Survival Research Laboratories have been creating incredible "machine performances" that are both visually enthralling as well thought provoking. Included below are just a few briefs clips of their intricately fashioned handiwork.

SRL Survival Research Labs

from A Bitter Message of Hopeless Grief

from The Virtue of Negative Fascination

Darktown Strutters (1975)

Ostensibly a blaxploitation film, Darktown Strutters aka Get Down and Boogie (1975) straddles multiple genres in creating a jaw dropping movie. I've always appreciated films or art that elicits an almost universal reaction of "what the fuck was that?" and for elevated levels of high weirdness, I place this in the company of such similar cinematic oddities such as Thundercrack! (1975), Private Parts aka Blood Relations (1972), Cafe Flesh (1982) or The Holy Mountain (1973). Produced through New World Pictures by Roger Corman's brother Gene; this movie blends blaxploitation, biker/action, comedy and elements of a musical together in one surreal stew. The set design by Jack Fisk is first rate and adds to the live action cartoon feel of the film, which is also aided by goofy sound effects that would seem more at place in animation. There's something to offend or entertain in near every frame, so if your sensibilities fall on the very politically correct side of things - ignore this movie. However, if you kick back and watch this as the full on satire that it is, you may enjoy the head scratching on-screen antics.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mastodon - 3 videos from Leviathan - 2004

Here are three videos for songs on Mastodon's 2004 release Leviathan, my favorite of their records.

Blood and Thunder

Iron Tusk


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Monks - 1965 - on German TV

My favorite song from The Monks – Monk Time

In 1964 several American GI's stationed in Germany formed a rock combo named The Torquays. At the outset their repertoire consisted of British invasion, surf numbers and Chuck Berry covers. It did not take long for the members to grow tired of this routine and began experimenting with sounds that were far removed from the conventional rock and pop styles of the day.

By early 1965 the band had adopted a look consisting of all black, sometimes wearing nooses as neck wear. This was accompanied by shaving the tops of their heads and changing the band name to The Monks. The music took on a dissonant, abrasive and fuzzed sound which was propelled by some heavy hitting and uncomplicated, solid beats. The standard instrumentation of guitar, bass, drums, and organ were assisted by an odd but fitting banjo also in the mix. Lyrically things had mutated as well with themes of nihilism and existentialism, often filtered through absurdity. Quite possibly one of the first "punk" bands, The Monks sounded pissed and they were righteously angry and didn't give a shit if that bothered people. The seething rage and fear at the very real looming threat of Vietnam or nuclear warfare burst through in the lead vocals while the background vox often were delivered with a chant like repetition. Melody is tossed out the window as most of these tunes are all about the rhythms.

Although their discography is kind of sparse, the musical legacy left behind influenced folks like The Fall (who have recorded multiple Monks tunes through the years), Henry Rollins, Rick Rubin (the pair reissued Black Monk Time in the 1990s on their Infinite Zero label) and former Dead Kennedys vocalist Jello Biafra. Over thirty years later, the band reformed in 1999 and played out to wildly appreciative crowds for years after. Sadly on 10 January 2008 banjo player Dave Day died of a heart attack.

Way ahead of their time, the clips below show The Monks rocking out on German television in 1965.

Oh, How To Do Now

Monk Chant

I Can't Get Over You



Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Slint – 3 selections from the record Spiderland (1991)

Slint formed primarily out of the remains of the band Squirrel Bait in Louisville, Kentucky during 1986 and lasted until 1991. During their initial existence they produced two full length records; Tweez in 1987 and Spiderland in 1991.

Their sound is post punk, post hardcore, perhaps post rock. Not an enormous seller at the time of it's release, Spiderland would prove to be influential for years to come. Themes of alienation and loss occupy many of the lyrics. Much use is made of a quiet-loud dynamic with vocals going from whispers to shouts and the musical accompaniment following suit with sparse, angular and irregular audio echoing.

Good Morning, Captain

Nosferatu Man

Breadcrumb Trail