Monday, December 29, 2008

Black Meddling

I gotta say it straight: I wasn't as impressed by Nachmystium's Assassins: Black Meddle, Pt 1 as most everyone else was. There are some cool moments, to be sure, but a bunch of the gang vocal choruses annoyingly remind me why I so quickly tired of Children of Bodom years ago. Also, the three-part "Seasick" dealy was an interesting concept, but a saxophone? That instrument can either make (see King Crimson's catalogue) or break (see Thin Lizzy's "Dancing in the Moonlight") a song, and while not as drastic as the latter example I think the instrument's inclusion was a lil' much.

But I digress. I'm especially picky about the black metal-influenced stuff I listen to; the "purer" bands of the genre aren't so much my thing because I can't get down with unprovoked hatred. But Nachtmystium's breakthrough 2006 record Instinct: Decay was totally awesome. Just raw enough in the production department, but not without charred melody, memorable riffing and totally trippy guitar sounds. I went right out and bought it as well as the Eulogy IV EP, which if I recall correctly is where the psychedelic sounds first began to seep in. I unfortunately never got to see them live on that tour, but through some searching I acquired a soundboard rip of their Seattle set while touring with Daughters and Pelican in 2006. FLAC converted to WAV converted to MP3. It was unlabeled so I did what I could-- only a few song remain that way. Enjoy, unless you're some kvlt dude who can't get past the fact that they're not bedroom BM anymore.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Void, easily my favorite 80s DC (well, okay, they were from Columbia, MD) hardcore band, were an absolute clusterfuck of sound. John Weiffenbach's screechy delivery flies over a total racket created by the rhythm section of Sean Finnegan and Chris Stover and especially Bubba Dupree's guitar style. Dupree took the noisy tonal standard Greg Ginn established on Damaged and added more angst, heavy metal, and outright sloppiness. Dudes sound like they never played tight even on their best day, and that's the fun of it all.

Highly recommended is their split with the Faith, recently reissued on LP by the one and only Dischord Records. Faith's side can't touch Void's, but is solid nonetheless and features Ian MacKaye's younger brother on bass. The band also had a track featured on Dischord's Flex Your Head comp and released the Condensed Flesh 7"; the latter featured Holocaust content years before Slayer did "Angel of Death."

Bubba Dupree supposedly resides in Seattle, while Sean Finnegan worked on the set of The Wire until his unfortunate death of a heart attack last year.

I've acquired two boots of Void's violent live sets. The first is a bootleg 7" rip of a set from the 9:30 Club in DC in February 1983, and the second is titled "Live?" and has no other information. Both are of solid quality and worth the time of anyone into hardcore punk and/or crossover.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Forced Entry re-up

Because of upload malfunction last time, I get the sense the handful who actually read this page never got to acquire Forced Entry's fantastic record As Above, So Below. FE were a killer technical thrash metal trio from Seattle, and I originally did a writeup about them (along with crucial video footage) here.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Birthday/RIP Chuck Schuldiner

I first started checking Death out towards the end of high school, when I heard they really advanced from the formula of traditional death metal-- a musical genre I shyed away from at the time-- and added melody, technicality and lyrical depth. So I started with The Sound of Perseverance and more or less worked my way back through the catalog. I can't say I'm as diehard a Death fan as I am Coroner or Opeth or other bands, but I have immense respect for Chuck's advancing the death metal template, his guitar styles and techniques, and the introspection he brought to his songwriting.

Had he not died of complications from a brain tumor, Chuck would have been 41 on December 13, 2008. In his honor, I will spread the awesome via this fantastic crowd bootleg from the Symbolic tour. The Engrish in the title is great...gotta love Japanese fans!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Birthday to/from Me

Today I finally turn 21. Most folks my age are all "HELLZ YES, BOOZIN TIME LOL," which is just fine. Me, I'm just happy I can go home to the Seattle area and not worry about an awesome show being 21+.

But anyway, I want to give anyone who reads this damn thing some gifts.

First, some amazingly relaxing atmospheres courtesy of Emancipator. Dude is my age and created this impeccable trip-hop record all in the comfort of his studio apartment. Everything you hear-- save a few vocal guests-- is programmed, built, or played by him. Dude just got this record released in Japan, but not the US and told me last year to "share it with your friends." Sure thing. It's called Soon It Will Be Cold Enough, and you can download it here.

Next up, one of my favorite metal boots I have-- the first Celtic Frost show in the USA, circa 1986, on the Tragic Serenades tour for To Mega Therion. Nice and rawly recorded, and you get to hear "Inner Sanctum" before they ever laid it to tape for Into the Pandemonium. I was personally really bummed to hear the Frost had broken up again, but can't say I was surprised. Volatile personalities nonwithstanding, they'll always be in the annals of heaviness...and this live tape sure shows why. Check it out here, and be sure to "UNGH!" along with Tom.

I love you all. Be well.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Musical Versatility Reigns Supreme

I've been a sizeable fan of Agalloch for a few years now. Beyond the music, they seem like interesting individuals as well-- among other things, Don teaches English at the University of Washington, John brews obscure wines, and Jason plays in a new project called Indelible. Their new EP, Introduction, is up for free download and is described as being trip-hop influenced of bands as varied as Ulver and Portishead. I still need to give it another listen, but it's certainly an entirely different direction from Agalloch.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

In Honor of This Month

I offer you one of the mightiest December songs ever written. Of course, that's not exactly heavy competition given the only other December song I can think of is "My December" by Linkin Park, but it's common knowledge that LP fellate and far less common knowledge that Only Living Witness are fucking incredible. Here's, um..."December," from their second reunion show this summer in Boston.

PS: You can buy their 2-album CD set for as little as five measly dollars. Do it. You can't lose, I guarantee it.

Season Finale- 11/2/08 Playlist

A huge round of thanks to whoever's listened/supported the show, or harassed me.

More details about the future of the show while I'm abroad next semester will be detailed in a future post.

Zombi- Challenger Deep
Etro Anime- Either Way
Swervedriver- Deep Seat
Doughboys- I Won't Write You a Letter (Live)
Doughboys- You Don't Know Me (Live)
Doughboys- I Remember (Live)

Vanilla Fudge- Ticket to Ride (originally recorded by the Beatles)
Puma Run- Sometimes Lincoln Connor...
Agalloch- The Wilderness

Monday, December 1, 2008


  • Yeah, the damned Third Eye Blind song is more or less a dumb joke.
  • Happy belated Turkey Day.
  • Tomorrow night's show will be the last of this year/school year in live radio form. I'll be abroad next semester in Norwich, UK and will be doing the show as a podcast. Be ready, be stoked.
  • My friend Hilary just printed up an awesome zine that contains fantastic, deeply personal writing. It's worth your attention and donation. Shoot her a message.
  • I spent 50-odd USD on the Only Living Witness 2xLP set. It's got new artwork and design and is only available here. Shipping alone costs more than the records do initially...ridiculous. But I mean, it's limited to 500 copies, so.....
  • If you want a download blog that caters to wide tastes like this blog tries to, you owe it to yourself to check out the knowledgable gents at icoulddietomorrow. Great commentary, great records.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

How the Mighty Have Fallen

Dear Stephan & co.,

I am now convinced that Arion Salazar didn't leave Third Eye Blind due to drug problems so much as your tremendously shitty songwriting.

How could you go from the amazing, powerful pop songwriting of the self-titled to this abortion of an attempt at poignancy? Some fan took the liberty of making a video as watered-down and juvenile as the song's lyrics.

In case Squidlair readers didn't catch the eye-opening lyrical content, some industrious soul actually took time to endure the entire song and transcribe them here.

You're not real to me any longer, dudes. You're worse than non-dairy creamer. You're fucking Splenda.

Thanks to my buddy Quinn for the tip.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Squidlair Radio Playlist 11/18/08

Two cuts from two of the most killer Scandinavian progressive bands today, some oldschool Seattle thrash, a spoken word poem, and what the Smashing Pumpkins should have fucking played on their anniversary tour.

Opeth- Burden
Forced Entry- Never a Know But the No
K.O.M.PLEX- At Stardust
Smashing Pumpkins- Soma
Smashing Pumpkins- Geek U.S.A.
Smashing Pumpkins- Silverfuck
Smashing Pumpkins- Muzzle

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Triple Shot Weekend Review

This weekend's happenings were both awesome and highly relevant to the interests of the Squidlair.

I went cityside to Baltimore's Landmark Theater. Apparently these theaters are a chain, but I'd never have been able to tell. The place was well-kept and offered an open bar in addition to the usual assortment of overpriced candy and soda. What film was I there to see? Only the best and latest by Bruce Campbell-- My Name Is Bruce. Watch the trailer below if you're going to question the awesome.

And the film itself was indeed killer. Nothing like the B-movie actor's B-movie actor riffing on himself and his career. But to make matters even more sweet, Bruce gave a short Q&A afterwards to the audience in the theater (he's touring the country with the movie in tow).

Bruce: Okay, we're gonna play a little game here. I'm going to turn my back, and you get to yell your least-favorite movie I've been in.
Dude in Audience: ALIEN APOCALYPSE!
Bruce: Every damn show, there's some asshole who says that. Now look (digs through wallet)...if I gave you, say, three bucks...would that be enough to wash the memory away?
Dude: YES!
Bruce hands three bucks to security guy, who relays it to Dude. Crowd cheers.

It was amazing to see Bruce both onscreen kicking ass and making fun of himself and then in person making fun of the audience. Sure, he was a little dickish...but if you had to deal with the fanbase he does on an all-too-frequent basis, you would too.

The oft-mentioned Celebrated Summer Records is not only a fantastic record shop, but also an occasional DIY venue. Saturday, they hosted Japan's own Mind of Asian-- four adorable girls thrashing their way through lightspeed hardcore punk. Local sXe dudes Mindset opened-- good energy, but not so much my thing-- as did New York's folk-pop-punks Unwelcome Guests, who were played very tightly.
...did I mention Mind of Asian were adorable?

Mad props to Goucher's Max L and Miriam C for booking Baltimore's own Wham City to perform their spectacular adapted-for-the-stage rendition of Jurassic Park, They Should All Be Destroyed, at Goucher.

DIY lighting, MIDI sound, a bazillion costume changes, a long-haired white guy playing Samuel L. Jackson and simultaneous consumption of raw meat and eggs combine to form an earth-shatteringly fantastic and funny homebrew production. Not even a lame fire alarm and the subsequent (and brief) mass exodus of the audience and cast could stop the troupe from putting on an enthralling show. It was also their last, and dedicated to Michael Crichton.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Unextinguishably Awesome

Forced Entry were a sweet three-piece technical thrash band from Seattle. I always heard their name dropped by locals and on the occasional message board, and only just checked them out. These guys positively rip and in a multitude of different ways.

Their second and final full-length, 1992's As Above, So Below opens with "Bone Crackin' Fever." Song titles aren't exactly a strength of the band, but riffs sure are- and Brett Hull punctuates his with awesome pick scrapes and noise, years before any other bands would utilize such techniques. Often times, bassist's Tony Benjamins' raspy shouts are kinda reminiscent of Darren Travis of Sadus. "Macrocosm, Microcosm" has a funky sort of opening and has one of those late-80s disorienting thrash music videos shot both locally and in what seem to be the beautiful mountains of the Northwest. Lots of sweet pick squeal parts there too.

Then comes a real treat: "Never a Know But the No." This tune slows stuff down a bit, but possesses all the ominous steadiness that made tunes like Metallica's "One" and any oldschool Alice In Chains song so powerful. Coincidentally, Layne Stayley guests in the video. Cheggit.

Yet for a band that can write a deeper tune like that one, Forced Entry were never a band to deny their immature impulses. For proof, look no further than "We're D*cks" and "How We Spent Our Summer Vacation," two songs that, in this listener's humble opinion, offset an otherwise concrete slab of metallic goodness. The technicality here is nicely executed: Benjamins and Collin Mattson are a solid rhythm team, and Hull knows when to properly slow down, speed up, add odd noises into his riffs or tear off solos with equal parts melody and raggedness.

To top all the awesome off, this album is out of print! You know what that means-- download right here and give'er a listen! Reccomended to fans of anything thrash metal.

EDIT: My upload got taken down, so I'll patch this up shortly. Sit tight.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nicholas Cage's Wicker Man: A Thriller for the Ages

I challenge-- nay, defy you-- to find a more ridiculous, badly-paced and outright frighteningly bad film made in the past five years than this one.

Cinematic brilliance. Nothin' but.

Tales of Scorched Ears

As I've previously stated many a time, the Smashing Pumpkins are a big-time favorite here at the Squidlair. I was substantially disenchanted with the Zeitgeist record and felt no need to see them live; it wouldn't be the same, after all, and most of my favorite non-single tunes would be ignored.

For the most part, this was true...but then Billy announced the 20th Anniversary Tour and the inclusion of older songs and I was fucking pumped. So much so that I paid around seventy bucks to see them play DAR Constitution Hall in DC for the first of their two nights there. I'd heard rumors of a sketchy setlist, but crossed my fingers no end. Read on.

DAR was a beautfiul venue. Nice and rustic on the outside, elegant and technologically up-to-date on the inside.

The Pumpkins took the stage with Billy coming on last, wearing a lengthy skirt (not so odd) and a shiny gold sungoddess headpiece and chestplate. They sang some bullshit song, then went into "Tarantula," which actually came off okay live. Up next was "G.L.O.W.," a ditty penned for Guitar Hero III. It was so unremarkable I don't even remember it.

But then-- then they broke out "Siva" and I was momentarily appeased. One of my favorite guitar solos ever. Ripped. Back to crapsville from there with "Eye" from the Lost Highway OST.

And then, everything changed. I heard the live keyboardist playing a familiar melody and realized that Billy, Jimmy and the expendables they roll with were busting out "Mayonaise" and I couldn't believe it. Blew me away. I almost teared up.

The highlights end there, readers. Let's fasttrack this bullshit: an acoustic set in which the band convened on the front of the stage with a small piano, acoustic guitars and a streamlined drum kit for a mere three songs; obscure covers; a rushed-to-hell "Today" and "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" puncuated by the "The Beginning is the End is the Beginning, " which I hate so much I mixed up the "beginning"s and "end"s in the title while typing; an initial closing jam of Pink Floyd's "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" which, while a good tune, is not what you want to hear on an anniversary tour (especially when it spans 15 minutes); and finally, an encore of "We Only Come Out at Night"...on kazoos. The final final song was Jimmy and Billy mugging to the audience and mocking anyone's sellout suppositions by mentioning their practicing 48 different songs for two nights worth of music, instead of all "hits."

Oh, hey guys? 48 songs doesn't mean shit if most of it is rushed "greatest hits," anything from Adore or the aforementioned soundtracks, or just general subpar songs. Whether you sold out or not is irrelevant when you're fucking stuck up. Thanks for "Mayonaise," though.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I was poking around the blogosphere last night when I should've been writing a short paper on semiotics. My search terms? The Doughboys, of course! I ran across JimmyButtons' blog post about two live recordings he had up for download in September 2007. My jaw dropped. Bootlegs of the Canuck pop-punk greats DID exist! But then I frowned when I found the MediaFire links were dead.

So I quickly shot Jimmy an email and he, generous dude that he is, re-upped them immediately. Yay internets! Yay Doughboys! Yay portable recording devices!

Both are from 90-91ish-- so most likely the Happy Accidents lineup. I'm listening to the NYC boot right now and it's nothing short of fantastic! Check out the updated blog post with download links here and give Jimmy some hearty thanks! I know I am.

Squidlair Radio Playlist 11/4/08

Election Special- political songs! Yay Obama!

The Nils- Wicked Politician
Rage Against the Machine- Take the Power Back
Public Enemy- Fear of a Black Planet
Corrosion of Conformity- It Is That Way
Slayer- Mandatory Suicide
Megadeth- Tornado of Souls
Neil Young- Southern Man
Refused- Liberation Frequency
Soundgarden- Into the Void (originally recorded by Black Sabbath)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Squidlair Radio Playlist 10/28/08- Halloween/Spooky Music Special

Tried to mix it up a bit, but ended up with a lot more metal than usual! Not a bad thing. The idea was to have music that sounded scary, but wasn't necessarily Halloween-themed.
Goblin- L'Alba Dei Morti Viventi
Schoolyard Heroes-
Curse of the Werewolf
Opeth- Demon of the Fall
The Misfits- Teenagers from Mars
The Misfits- Skulls
Thrushes- Halloween
Mercyful Fate- A Dangerous Meeting
Black Sabbath- Into the Void
Iron Maiden- Children of the Damned
Comus- Diana
Watain- Underneath the Cenotaph

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Squidlair Radio Playist 10/14/08: Pop-punk night!

Stuff I've been wanting to play for a while now. Thanks to the Bainbridge kids for getting me into Jawbreaker.

Descendents- Myage
Descendents- Suburban Home
Descendents- I'm the One
All- She's My Ex
All- Long Distance
Asexuals- Ego Trip
The Doughboys- Tradition
The Doughboys- No Way
The Doughboys- Tearin' Away
Jawbreaker- Want
Jawbreaker- Incomplete
The Ergs- It'll Be OK
The Ergs- Songs About Miles Davis
Deep Sleep- Checkout
Mega City Four- Callous
Clorox Girls- Vietnam
Clorox Girls- Don't Take Your Life
Clorox Girls- Animal Eyes (originally recorded by The Defenders and also covered by Maurice's Little Bastards)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Squidlair Radio Playlist 10/7/08 + Update

Melancholy autumnal metal mix! Thanks to my boys Crusty Chris and Grant for stopping in.

Opeth- Benighted
Alice in Chains- Rotten Apple
Agalloch- She Painted Fire Across the Skyline
The Morningside- The Wind
Katatonia- Day

I really want to update this page more, but struggling to find stuff I can post that isn't radio updates. Oh well. Thanks to any and all who read/listen...and please, COMMENT!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Interview with Mike Browning of NOCTURNUS

Nocturnus were a band I'd heard about for some time, but only got around to investigating this summer thanks to their constant mention in the almighty Metal Inquisition. Thanks Lucho Metales, Awakening, Gene Hoglan's Balls and Sergeant D.

In summary of their awesomeness, I will say this: there are plenty of raw, shredding 90s Florida death metal bands, but how many had a full-time keyboardist, a singing drummer and songs that opened with lyrics like "ENTER THE DROIDS"?

Nocturnus had all these things, and sweet cover art by the immortal Dan Seagrave. A weird cyborg dude using some gizmo to unlock something. Hence the album being titled The Key.

As sci-fi and death metal are two of my favorite things, my curiosity was more then piqued. I also wanted to pick Mike's brain about his purported backstabbing by the other four members in the early 90s. Quite an interesting story.

True to the words of my buddy Steve Flynn, Mike was a class act dude and gave thorough, honest answers.

Please note: This interview and others will be appearing a zine some friends and I are doing at some point this year. More details as they arrive. Without any further ado...

How did you first grow interested in metal music? What was your first memory of discovering death metal?
Well, I was into metal way before there was even anything called death metal! Of course my first stuff was Black Sabbath and then I heard Angelwitch, Venom and Mercyful Fate and that was it, I knew what I wanted to do!

At what point did you decide to sing in addition to your drum duties? Was Morbid Angel the first band you did this in?
Yes, Morbid Angel was actually the first band I was ever in. We went through a few singers in Morbid Angel and it got to the point where I just said “fuck, let me try singing.” And since Trey and I pretty much wrote all the lyrics together, I thought it couldn’t hurt to try singing since I actually understand and am really into what the lyrics are about.

Did you and Chris Reifert from Autopsy ever swap tips?
A long time ago we wrote back and forth a few times, but I have never actually met him in person. He was always a very cool guy though.

How difficult was singing and drumming simultaneously, initially? Whenever singing/playing an instrument, rhythmic consistency is a given, but drums seem to be a very cardiovascularly demanding instrument.
Well I have been doing it so long it’s just kind of natural now for me, but using a headphone mic actually makes it a lot easier. Once I really get a good memorization of the lyrics to where I don’t have to think about what I am singing, then I can really get into just becoming the song instead of playing it!

In your interview with the now-famous Hard ‘n’ Heavy magazine Grindcore special video, your drumkit looks rather large; how many pieces were in it? Is it the same today?
That was a huge drum set that I had back then, two kicks and eight toms including the floor tom. That was one of the reasons why Earache had wanted Nocturnus to have a frontman because live all you could see was a big drum set and a voice coming from behind it. But now I use a vintage 1970’s Ludwig clear Vistalite kit with double bass and just four toms. But the drums are clear, so you can actually see me now right through my kit.

In Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore, you claim that David Vincent copied your vocal style and improved upon it. Where did your style come from?
Well, it’s quite obvious when you hear the way Gayvid Vincent sings on Altars (of Madness, Morbid Angel’s 1989 debut) as compared to Blessed (Are the Sick, 1991) that he was trying to sing like what I did on Abominations (of Desolation, Morbid’s scrapped first album) in 1986. I would say that my vocals were similar to chanting and a lot of chanting is done along with drumming, so it actually fits quite well. But I really got my style from chanting spells from The Necronomicon.

Conceptually, how was Nocturnus conceived? There were occult/anti-religious elements, but also heavy doses of sci-fi storytelling. Where did the idea to add the sci-fi themes come from? Where any authors of particular influence?
I came up with the name in 1987 after the band Incubus that I was in split up. I had wanted to do a band all about the occult. Something similar to Morbid Angel, but still different from that too. The science fiction parts of Nocturnus were really more of Mike Davis’ influence. The first Nocturnus demo was mainly occult and satanic subjects as far as the lyrics, and that was before Davis had even joined the band. So when the lineup changed and we did The Science of Horror demo, it was more of a mixture of science fiction and the occult. I am definitely into science fiction stuff myself, but it wasn’t much of an influence on what I did musically. When Davis had some cool ideas, we decided to blend the two together and do some songs about it. I would say some of my favorite science fiction authors are Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Isaac Asimov and generally the older sci-fi authors like them.

At what point was the decision made to include keyboards in the band’s music?
Well, we really only wanted to have some keyboard intros for the next demo, but when we brought the keyboard player in to hear the intros that he was working on for us, we tried using him in a few parts of the songs and it worked quite well, so we decided to make him a band member.

What exactly is the cyborg creature unlocking on the cover of The Key?
He is actually the human that is talked about in a couple of the songs like “Droid Sector,” “Destroying The Manger” and “Empire of The Sands.” He is in a cyborg suit to keep himself alive after the Andromeda Strain virus plagued the Earth. He is sitting in his time machine and he is holding the key that he discovered in the aliens’ ship. The Key itself is the thing that makes the time machine function, so he can go back in time and destroy Jesus and take over the Earth.

The Grindcrusher tour with Napalm Death and Godflesh sounds like it was massive– any particular memories? Were you on good terms with the Morbid guys?
Morbid Angel was not on the Grindcrusher Tour, it was only Napalm Death, Godflesh and Nocturnus. (Whoops- ed.) But yeah the tour was an awesome tour and ever since I have remained really good friends with the Napalm guys! As far as Morbid Angel, I don’t really get along with them, they have those I-am-better-than-you rock star attitudes, which I hate anyway!

Before recording Thresholds in 1992, Nocturnus inducted a full-time vocalist, Dan Izzo. Why was this decision made?
It was first something that the record company Earache thought would be a good idea so that the band would have a frontman and a focal point since I was behind a big drum kit and the other guys in the band barely moved around on stage. It was something I was definitely against doing but everyone else in the band thought it would be a great idea. And as history shows it was not a good idea at all as Thresholds sold only about a third of what The Key did. When we toured for Thresholds, every night people were asking why I wasn’t singing anymore, which caused even more tension in the band. The fact that I was right and should have stayed as the singer was probably why they felt they needed to get rid of me completely so that pressure for me to be the singer again was not there anymore. As you can see, the band only lasted less than 6 months after they fired me and was dropped by Earache and broke up.

Was “Subterranean Infiltrator” about Snake from the Metal Gear video game series? Mike Davis’ (guitar) Wikipedia page suggests it was.
I don’t even think Metal Gear was even invented in 1991 when that song was written (Actually, the first Metal Gear came out in 1987. --ed.) I only contributed to a very small amount of the lyrics on Thresholds, so where Davis got that idea I am not really sure. By then, my only involvement in Nocturnus was playing the drums.

The initially dissolution of the Nocturnus lineup was due to legal action by Louis Panzer (keyboards), Sean McNenney (guitar) and Davis. What was your experience? How and why did it all happen? Is there still bad blood today?
Louis Panzer was the reason Nocturnus failed the first time and again when they tried to reunite in 2000. He destroyed Nocturnus with his jealousy. He wanted to run the band, and you see where that got him! It was all Lou’s idea to go behind my back and steal and trademark the Nocturnus name that I created. The others just sort of followed him. I still talk to Davis occasionally, and we have even jammed a few times, but he doesn’t want to play in a band ever again since even he was burned by Panzer, McNenney and Emo Mowery. I don’t care how much money they offer me-- I will not ever play in any band with Lou or Sean. For me, it’s a matter of what I believe in, not how much money I can make.

This fall, you are touring Europe as Nocturnus. How are you legally able to do this? How does your newer band, After Death, compare to what you were doing in Nocturnus?
Yes, my band After Death will be touring Europe for 13 shows in October and we are going as Nocturnus. The promoter’s lawyers have found a legal loophole that says that a name trademarked in the US is only good in the US, so in Europe I can use the name Nocturnus. We are only playing songs from The Key, where I wrote most if not all of the lyrics and helped work on the music of every song off that album. We will also be playing a few of the old Morbid Angel songs that I did the same with off of Abominations of Desolation. I was only credited for a few of the lyrics on Abominations, but really it was just Trey and I who put that whole record together, so I think I should be able to play and have some claim as to the amount of creativity, work and effort I put into both of those bands.
To me, After Death is the synthesis of all of my former projects and bands all rolled into one, with even more new elements added as well.

You practice and study the occult. What spiritual ideas and elements do you specifically follow?
The occult is huge a huge spectrum that I don’t think I will ever be done learning and adding in elements as to what I do with it. When I was very young-- around 14-- I began with witchcraft and Satanism and then was introduced to The Necronomicon, but I never stopped there. I just kept reading and collecting books and material and branching out further and further on occult subjects like Crowleyism, Kaballah, Tarot, Egyptian, Sumerian and Babylonian magick and Left Hand Path studies. For me, there is always something that I am reading and learning so that I will never follow any one thing. I will just take everything I have learned and add it to my own system that works for me!

Thanks for your time! Anything you’d like to say in closing?
Just thanks to everyone that has supported what I have done through all these years, and I hope that everyone will come out and see this tour in October and check out After Death!

Nocturnus MySpace
Official After Death MySpace

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Squidlair Radio Playlist 9/30/08

Tonight was a night for relaxing music. I was pleasantly surprised when my boy Quinn stopped by the studio tonight. It gets a little tepid doing a radio show on your own when you can't have witty conversation, y'know? Thanks, buddy.

Atomica- One Day in New York City
Etro Anime- Adonis
Massive Attack- Inertia Creeps
Bobb Trimble- Premonitions- The Fantasy
Nick Drake- Place to Be
Camel- Song Within a Song
Pink Floyd- A Pillow of Winds
Ulver- Solitude (originally recorded by Black Sabbath)
Only Living Witness- Hank Crane

Next week: Autumnal songs!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Squidlair Radio Playlist 9/23/08

A solid start to my solo career, I think.

Husker Du- Flip Your Wig
Jason Clackley- I'm Ready
Neil Young- Southern Man
Wu-Tang Clan- Da Mystery of Chessboxin'
Quicksand- Lie and Wait
Dinosaur Jr- Mick
Doughboys- Shine
The Nils- River of Sadness
Jex Thoth- The Banishment
Nocturnus- Droid Sector
M83- Moonchild
Nick Drake- Pink Moon

Friday, September 19, 2008


This blog will now be linked to an internet radio show I'll be doing until mid-December at the end of the semester. It's every Tuesday from 7-8 PM EST at OR through iTunes. For the latter, select Radio, then College Radio, and finally Goucher Student Radio.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Sorry about the lack of stuff- DF the CH, Episode II

I was abroad in Israel for most of August and am only just now settling into my first real week of school. I've been jonesing to post this release for some time-- certainly one of the most crucial records to ever come out of Bainbridge Island, Washington, along with the Rickets' back catalog and perhaps the Humanoids' sole demo. Yes, this is the mighty MLB/Pantophobics split CD entitled Rock 'n' Roll Will Never Diet Soda.

At the time of release I was twelve years old and knew approximately nothing about music; instead of investigating the local scene, I was content to listen to mainstream rock radio, where crap like Korn were all the rage. I first heard about the Pantophobics from Justin Morgan, their drummer, who was an upperclassman at my middle school/high school. One hell of a funny guy, and one hell of a drummer; his bandmates Zach Lewis (guitar/vocals and also bass with MLB) and Ed Morales (bass/oi oi ois) were no slouches in performing the band's lackadaisacal indie rock, but even on the split's shoestring recording quality one thing is remarkably clear: Justin is fuckin' slamming the skins.

MLB were Maurice's Little Bastards. I first heard them when Justin popped their debut CD Greatest Hits into the computer next to mine in the school library one afternoon and told me that "you haven't heard punk until you've heard these guys." Seeing as how, at that point, my closest experience to punk was Green Day, he was right on. They open this album with what sounds like both bands emulating idle crowd chatter, puncuated by singer Justin Maurer intoning, "Welcome to Winslow, Baaaaainbridge Islannnd." From there, it's nine songs of off-the-wall lo-fi hardcore punk that sounds a whole lot like the Germs only with thumpy cardboard drums and lyrics about "[finding] a safe haven from my teenage anguish and hormonal induced deception" ("Ridin' On Out") and "endless proliferation of selfish materialism" ("Neon Brigade"). I really wish I'd been able to stay long enough at the Teen Center to see them play one spring Friday night, but my parents insisted on picking me up for dinner....MLB were known for their wild live set, and for Justin getting naked mid-song and remaining so for the duration of the set. Shucks...

Meanwhile, I did get to see a set by the mediocre Criminy and the totally awesome Pantophobics. They played a bunch of tunes from the split and their first song ever, a cover of Weezer's "The Sweater Song." For my first show ever, it was pretty awesome and so is their set of songs on the CD. The tunes are solid for what they are, but Justin's aforementioned powerhouse drumming really breathes life into everything. Zach's drawl has its own sort of catchiness, I suppose.

This album is quite clearly a work of friends having a blast together in the crummy studios they cut the songs in–– the bands' musical styles are quite disparate, to say the least. But this is one of those records that, for the better, sounds a lot like high school. Enjoy.

Maurice's Little Bastards/The Pantophobics- Rock 'n' Roll Will Never Diet Soda

Where are they now?
Justin Morgan is a bigtime cyclist and did some European circuits or something. He worked at the local bakery for a time. I thin he also might be in community college or the U of Washington now.
Zach Lewis went to college, if I recall correctly, after all the dudes graduated in 2002. His younger stepsister Leah was in Bainbridge punk band Bad Otis (featuring future Kalakala, Degania, and Helen Killers members), who named themselves after a Pantophobics song of the same name from this very record.
Ed Morales I have no idea about, and that's sort of fitting.
Justin Maurer moved to Portland and formed the Clorox Girls. After roughly ten million rhythym section changes, he's moved the band to London. I had the great pleasure of meeting him at a birthday show the band played on Bainbridge in July 2006. As everyone had said prior, he was about the nicest person ever and gave me an old 7" MLB recorded with their buddies the Shutups.
Sean "the" Roach, who drummed for MLB for a time and on this album, now lives in England as well and plays in Mayday Lewis.
I don't know anything about the MLB guitarist at the time, "Dequine" Fletcher.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Oh My Thoth

I've been terrible about posting consistently, and being abroad for three weeks with no personal computer as of this coming Wednesday won't help much. As such, I'm posting as much content as I can muster.

Jex Thoth, formerly Totem, are a female-fronted doom metal band with who, beyond the Black Sabbath influence, incorporate a lot of '70s psychedelic spookiness into their sound. In addition to the slightly lo-fi production, certain songs are tastefully caked with macabre keyboard melodies, adding to the already enveloping atmosphere. Plenty of folky bits, too.

These sounds could get any fan of heavier rock or metal tunes stoked, but what rams everything home for a heady-heavy grand slam are the gorgeous, haunting vocal melodies emanating from the masterful throat of Jex Thoth herself.

Let's cut to the chase: I got my hands on their new debut self titled full-length album and listened to it four times in one day. It's that fantastic.

A dude on Youtube claims to have literally found this clip from a strange, occult UK movie on TV, hit record, and played Jex Thoth's "The Banishment" over it...and it's creepy and fun in the way old horror movies can be.

Jex Thoth MySpace

Coroner Rarities

I have spoken so many words and written so many paragraphs about this brilliant trio since I discovered them years ago. Hailing from Switzerland, guitarist Tommy Vetterli and drummer "Marquis" Marky Edelmann teched for Celtic Frost on the Tragic Serenades tour in 1986, then joined up with bassist/vocalist Ron Royce to create some of the most criminally underrated technical thrash metal ever. Perhaps even more impressive than their abilities on their respective instruments was their consistent ability to keep their voice intact. Their first effort, R.I.P., shredded and ripped neoclassically with little restraint. Their last, Grin, was full of eerieness and groovy riffs. But every song from every record sounded like Coroner, no questions asked. Tommy's riffs, Ron's snarl, Marky's rock-solid rhythmic base and strange lyrics remain distinctive even today.

So I have three gems to offer the handful of people checking this place out.

Death Cult Demo (1986)
At the time, the three dudes were unsure about Ron taking vocal duties full-time, and turned to Celtic Frost's Tom G. Warrior. This thing shreds in ways only an '80s 4-track thrash demo can, and Tom keeps his trademark vocal style firm. UNGH! This has been bootlegged on CD with two additional later-era tracks from Noise Records' Doomsday News compilations, "Hate, Fire, Blood" and "Arrogance in Uniform." Both these comps (Doomsday News and Doomsday News II, respectively) can be found for cheap and are worth getting, and here at the Squidlair we keep it you're gonna have to stick with the four-track original version.

Coroner- Death Cult Demo

1989 Radio Broadcast

This was performed on presumably Swiss radio after 1987's R.I.P. and 1988's Punishment for Decadence, but before 1989's No More Color. Be forewarned, the volume varies randomly at parts, as does quality (albeit briefly). Nonetheless, Coroner put on a great performance and for some damn reason perform that shit novelty of Hendrix cover at the end ("Purple Haze").

Coroner- 1989 Radio Broadcast

The Unknown- Unreleased Tracks 1985-95

During their European farewell tour in 1996, the band distributed this cassette to fans. It's an interesting little collection of knick-knacks; most of the cuts are ambient, experimental stuff. Not amazing, but a good listen to be sure. The extra-special part is the Grin-era live set tacked onto the end...they bust out "Golden Cashmeere Sleeper"! This tape is truly indicative of the band's expanisve pallet and creative ability.

Coroner- The Unknown

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Doughboys, Part II: Crush is Fucking AWESOME

Isn't it awesome when two things you love go together great? I was hanging out with Adam Franklin from Swervedriver between soundcheck and showtime in downtown Seattle and when the Doughboys came up in conversation, he immediately revealed that only was John Kastner a good friend, but also a guitar tech for the Swervies when they played Coachella this past spring. Small world. Apparently both bands gigged together some back in the day...what I wouldn't give to have been born a decade earlier...

Crush arrived while I was still at college. Appropriately, the CD was in fact crushed, the case cracked and the lower-right corner of the case broken off. Dismayed, I gave the seller some neutral feedback and threw the album on.

Holy shit.

Better than Home Again? It's sure as shit in the same league, at the very, very least. But here, most of the band's hardcore elements are completely stripped away. In their place? Pop. Outright, catchy-as-hell vocal harmonies even more accessible than on previous records. Polished guitar tone with just enough messiness in the playing to keep things loose and fun. This is a special record, and not like Home Again; Crush is a rare record: incredibly commercial, but entirely guilt-free. The Husker Du-influenced "honest" sound of Kastner and company's vocals are hardly gone, but soaked in just enough sugar.

There's not a bad song on the record. "Shine" kicks it off with a riff that, well, shines like the summer sun. The energy has nowhere to go but up on the chorus of "Melt"-- its soaring guitars beautifully juxtaposed with the slightly subdued but still active bass fuzztone of Peter Arsenault during the verses. "Disposable" briefly takes things down a notch with a tale of a girl who's "drunk again/on Listerine" and who's "just a toothpaste cap/falling down my bathroom sink." Another phenomal chorus. "Fix Me" explodes with a riff that hits you face first. It's also ripe for photogenic slo-mo headbanging in pop-punk. Don't take my word for it, watch below.

Note John singing the prechorus just before returning to headbanging.

You get all this awesome in just the first four tracks. There's still 2/3 of an album's worth of awesome left.

So go to eBay, sort through the dollar bins and find this record. It can easily be had for under five bucks.

I'll post a song or two soon, check back.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Their Presence is Unquestionable

Atheist were a Floridian technical death metal band and one of the first to incorporate jazz elements into their sound. Their first record, Piece of Time, was a ragin' disc of death/thrash and a very promising debut. The band really came into their own, however, on 1991's Unquestionable Presence. The only traditional death metal element present was Kelly Shaefer's rasp-- but even then, he was one of the more intelligible extreme vocalists of the era. Shaefer and Rand Burkey's guitars clashed over or played with the insane bass style of Tony Choy (who recorded the lines written by original, amazingly promising bassist Roger Patterson, the unfortunate victim of a tour van crash) and the jazzy, almost melodic drumming style of Steve Flynn.

The band reunited and played a whole bunch of festival appearances throughout 2006 and 2007. I was very fortunate to meet, see, and hang out with the guys (including live guitarists Sonny Carson and Chris Baker, filling due to Shaefer's carpal tunnel and Burkey's legal troubles) at their first US show in 13 years for Baltimore's 2006 Auditory Assault Fest. Great guys, amazing set, and overall one of the best nights of my life.

The interview I did with Steve, Kelly and Tony was first published in my school's newspaper, but as of this week it's been published in the fine, long-running metal/punk/grind zine Disposable Underground, written by Richard Johnson of grind 'n' rollers Drugs of Faith. Every single issue he's ever written can be downloaded in PDF form and is worth your attention if you're into any sort of extreme music. Back in the day, he did quality interviews with Carcass, Discordance Axis, Napalm Death, Gorguts, and a bazillion more. Richard will also send you a copy of the zine free of charge, should you want a print copy.

Back to my interview, though-- it's not my best piece, writing-wise. With that said, however, the band's answers are quite awesome and quite thorough. Have a read through some of Richard's stuff, too– he's a great journalist.

If you're scratching your head wondering what the hell jazz and death metal sound like when they're mixed, try their classic "An Incarnation's Dream" on for size.

Atheist- An Incarnation's Dream

Star Wars Can Be Mixed With Goddamn Near Anything And Still Rule

Thursday, June 19, 2008

DF the CH, Episode I

Welcome to the first part of DF the CH, where I'll be posting free tunes from a local band (most likely defunct) from or around Kitsap County, the area of Washington State I grew up in. I was no music scene figurehead-– just another stoked attendee. A lot of my favorite memories of senior year were at shows on Bainbridge or in Bremerton.

And at most of these was Valley of the Dinosaurs, truly a one-of-a-kind outfit. Four dudes from Bremerton who'd been in a plethora of bands before; their sound was the ultimate rarity: one that was simultaneously unique but wore its influences on its sleeves. Fugazi, Pink Floyd, the Allman Brothers, and At the Drive-In were only a few groups the band cites on their Myspace page.

Jason Clackley and Dustin "Mangina" Mangini were the only two members who stayed in Valley from start to finish. Jason's onstage conviction and hyperactive jumping reminded me of D. Boon, but his voice was 100% reminiscent of bluesy classic rock singers. Call it whatever, but I call it soul- and Jason had it in spades. Dustin was and is skinny as can be– but his boney form belied an incredible energy all his own.

The initial rhythym section was undoubtedly the most locked in– Gavin Temeyer on drums and Kevin Trent on bass. Gavin, in contrast with Dustin and Jason, seemed to have a very concentrated idea of power and focus.
Kevin, meanwhile, was the master of melodic interplay. His lines would at the very least differ ever so slightly from whatever Dustin and Jason were playing and it would all just work.

This original lineup released a self-titled EP recorded with Tony Reed of famed locals Mos Generator in 2005.

Every track holds its own; the mix is warm and clear right from the howling feedback briefly preceding the album's opening. "Truffle Shuffle" shifts from a woah-ohhhh verse into a contemplative section about "truffle shuffl[ing] through the seasons" where Jason warns not to "stray from one emotion." "Hey Sonic! Lay Off the Lightspeed" hits you next like a one-two punch and was a catalyst for circle pits countless times. "Mind in An Icebox" is perhaps the one song of theirs I don't think I ever heard live, but that's a damn shame; its swaying, waning riffs pause to give a bluesy guitar harmony break. "March" packs an urgent verse and a guitar harmonics call-and-response in before Jason belts "I TRY MY BEST TO REALIZE!" prompting a frantic break only to slide into a bluesy soft section and then right back to a frantic peak and then back to the soft again. "Time Until Death" was a tremendous slow-burner
with an intense, instantly apparent melancholy never lost, no matter the dynamic shift. The Thin Lizzy part is fantastic.

But what brings me back to every great Valley set I ever saw is "Stop and Go Traffic," the penultimate Jason-ditching-the-mic-and-everyone-piles-up-to-get-it song. The chorus- consisting solely of the lyric "Where do I reside"- was a moment of mass catharsis every time. The speed-along verse was also a great circle pit. In February of senior year, Valley played the Bainbridge Teen Center and the tiny space couldn't contain the madness. Jason broke a string after a song or two, and the band soldered on as a one-guitar ensemble. Kids were zooming around the room, careening into chairs-- my friend Nick even crowd surfed despite the low ceiling. When the band– coaxed by an anxious crowd– played this tune (which at that point they were entirely tired of) at their final Bainbridge show at the Blood Barn in August 2007, Jason ended it collapsed in an exhausted heap on the floor.

You can and should buy the EP on the band's Myspace.

While Kevin Trent was definitely a bass player who knew his role, he eventually left due to a difference of direction. According to Dustin, he "he wanted a more striaghtforward vibe, and Jason and I were trying to be "weirder" and write darker, less catchy stuff." So they brought in Desi, Dustin's younger brother, who was a capable player in his own right but played in much more supportive style suited for the band's subsequent material. VotD Mark II released a sole song on what was initially going to be a split tour 7" but ended up being a 3" mini-CD with Bainbridge's Helen Killers. "Seas of Change was a midway point– a similar catchiness to the first EP's material, but raw and meandering enough to hint at what would come. It was limited to only 50 copies and screened by Nick and Peter from the Helen Killers.

Valley of the Dinosaurs- Seas of Change

Gavin eventually quit as well for reasons I can't recall. Eventually good friend Justin Gallego (simultaneously in The Helen Killers and eventually Degania) joined and brought a new energy to the drumkit. Gavin was clean and relatively smooth, but Justin was a fury all his own and he hit hard. Some drummers make funny faces when concentrated, but Justin was one of the few I've seen who look genuinely emotional when playing, showing either an open-mouthed daze or a stoked smile, he enjoyed every second of performing live music.

The addition of Justin made everything huge, dynamic and cathartic about the band that much more so on their second and final self-titled EP, released in the summer of 2007. I don't know how many copies were produced, but by August they were all gone-- Desi was nice enough to give me the digipak case, hand-stenciled by Tony Wolfe.

This EP was undoubtedly in my top records of 2007 and as such I wrote a review of it for my college's newspaper-- only to have it cut at the last minute before publishing by the copy editor. But here tis:

Few songs released in 2007 were more raw, passionate and genuine at once than this Bremerton, WA-based quartet’s final release. Jason Clackley's voice– whether embodying aggravated rasp, classic rock soul or a melodic croon– soars above careening guitars and powerhouse drumming. Opening with a quiet minute of humming amps and softly picked guitars, the EP quickly erupts with “Sun is Dying.” “You wake up in the morning, with the sunshine and deaths/ a hollow absence in a dream.” belts Clackley, “A selfish hopefulness and a mindset/An argument transparent at the seam.” Cathartic in nature and breathtaking in execution, his lyrics’ heartbreaking sincerity clash with the upbeat tones of the instruments beneath, ramming themselves further into your ears without ever even touching contrived depression or the pigeonholing “emo” term so much music gets labeled as in this day and age. When the finale of “How to Die Completely” hits its last minute, the band climbs a mountainous crescendo only to switch to a slow trudge. Emoting every word, Clackley wails “And I woke up/In my heart of despair,” and there’s no doubt he’s telling the truth.

No other band sounds like Valley. Since they support their music being spread, and are unfortunately broken up, I've posted the EP in its entirety online. So long as you have enough of a connection speed, there's quite literally no excuse to avoid downloading it. Record labels today are so prone to putting out a record and proudly stating, "FOR FANS OF" and naming Pantera or some equivalently broadly influential group that gives no indication of how said record will sound. Valley of the Dinosaurs are simply for fans of music.

Valley of the Dinosaurs- 2007 s/t EP

Where'd they go to?
Jason has a fantastic solo project and his music is worth your ears and dinero. He also drums in the folkier Like Claws! and sings in The Flex.
Dustin is never in just one band. He plays guitar for Sunset Riders (hardcore punk) and fronts President Kennedy is Assassinated (sludgy and heavy).
Justin plays in both Degania and Kalakala when the other members are home from school on break. He also runs Young Summer Records (also see the blog on my bloglist) and is doing great things releasing DIY records for friends' bands.
I don't know what the hell Desi, Kevin or Gavin are up to.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Vinyl Treasures

As the title suggests, what follows are some of my more valuable favorites I've picked out from my LPs. I don't have the most massive collection, but I'm really excited about what I do have. I collect records, but I wouldn't really call myself a "collector" per se because I don't spend massive amounts of money on a single record. As such most of the prized gems from my collection aren't the rarest things out there.

Here are some that have a special place in my heart and/or ears.

My Coroner Collection

A fantastic Swiss technical/progressive thrash metal trio that will surely merit a post of their own on the Squidlair someday. The so-so Noise Records mixing sounds better on these than the remaster CDs I have...Ron Royce's fantastic bass playing comes through quite clearly. I managed to score these from eBay at solid prices; aside from Grin, none ran over 18 bucks.

Top row: 1987's R.I.P.; 1988's Punishment for Decadence (European version with original cover); 1988's Punishment for Decadence (American version with the cover the label put on it...which is cool nonetheless. Skeleton playing a bone with a violin bow! Jimmy Page would be proud.)
Middle row: 1989's No More Color; 1989 maxi-single clear vinyl 12" of "Die By My Hand"/"Tunnel of Pain," both from No More Color; and 1993's Grin, which is the most I've ever spent on a record at $40. I would've never had a chance had I not mentioned on the Atheist forum that I'd give my pinky for it. A few days later, a French guy emailed me about his auctioning off his copy and I pounced. Thanks, Adbhuta.
Bottom row: 1991 "Divine Step (Conspectu Mortis)"/"I Want You" 7" from Mental Vortex; 1988 "Purple Haze"/"Masked Jackal" 7" from the Punishment for Decadence era. Their Beatles cover is monstrous, but their Hendrix cover sucks.

Anyone have a copy of Mental Vortex with the original inners (including the poster) intact? Sell it to me.

My Bloody Valentine- Loveless (2008 Aural Exploits Repress)

As previously established, I love MBV. I also love the color red, and and colored vinyl. This is contains all of the above and is number 390 out of 1000. Sounds gorgeous and looks it, too.

Heresy- Face Up to It! (First Canadian pressing)

Heresy are another band I have Tony Pence to thank for getting me interested in. The band were a bunch of Birmingham lads who, along with Napalm Death, ushered in a new era of speed in extreme music. I bought this after buying the reissue of it. Despite the sound differences (the reissue sounds as good as they could make this lo-fi album), this was a fantasic investment. The original pressing contains a little folded sheet not only containing lyrics but also singer/lyricist John's explanations of his songs. He's quite articulate; grindcore, while a genre I often dig, isn't really known for profound thought, but he has a lot of good things to say about a lot of different issues.

According to bassist Kalv, they licensed this record to be pressed in Canada at the same time they pressed it in the UK– and the guy heading up the operation never got back to the band after going ahead with the whole shebang and only sent them a few copies.

Iron Maiden- Live After Death

Iron Maiden need no introduction. This was the first album I ever bought on vinyl, and is basically the best live metal album ever. It has some great tour photos in the inner sleeves, and seeing Derek Riggs art in LP format is like watching your favorite epic movie in IMAX. I'm seeing Maiden this Monday night, and they'll be playing a setlist very similar to this one. Can't wait.

Smashing Pumpkins- Siamese Dream (First pressing)

Tied with Coroner's Grin for the most I've ever spent on a record at forty bucks, also from Tony at Celebrated Summer Records. The current reissues are on orange as well, but not marble orange as both LPs here are. So delicious is the shade of orange that I think of it as something more along the lines of "Siamese Dreamsicle."

Ali Akbar Khan- Ragas of India
I don't know if this is rare or not, but I have an unconditional love of Indian classical music. This was found and bought along with a whole bunch of other stuff for very little at a Rotary auction last year. Khan is/was a very accomplished sarod player and this one-raga-per-side record is very soothing.

Oh, and it has bewbs on the cover. Bonus.

The Doughboys- Home Again
I have also established my love for the Doughboys. The LP of Home Again unfortunately doesn't feature a lyrics sleeve, but the mix sounds much less cramped than the CD version while retaining the sloppy charm.

L to R: 1976's Recycled, 1973's Remember the Future, and 1972's A Tab in the Ocean.

Nektar are a fantastically funky prog band with all my favorite textures from that time period- Mellotron, Rickenbacker bass, crooned vocals....I need to throw these on again. My favorite is probably Remember, which is about a blind boy meeting an alien.

Comus- First Utterance (2002 Earmark Records Reissue)
Yes, a repress. This alone was thirty dollars well spent, as it goes for more on eBay and the original will set you back 200, easy.

Comus are a band that will mess with your head, to understate the matter entirely. When I first checked out this album art, my first thought was something along the lines of, wow...will I end up like the guy on the cover?

Then I listened and the answer was a resounding "YES." Let's put on our imagination helms and envision the following: it's 1969. The Moody Blues and Jethro Tull are somehow touring together and, while in transit over a large body of water, crash land on a deserted island in the middle of the open ocean. Scrounging what basic acoustic instruments they could find from the wreckage (the Mellotron is gone, man), they quickly go insane from the solitude and manage to record the results.

That's what First Utterance is like.

Kaveret- Poogy Tales
Last summer, my good friend Alex and I dug through my parents' box of records, which had until that time resided in our garage. Among the mass of LPs we pulled was this- a thinly-packaged white sleeve with a hobo playing hacky sack and a lot of Hebrew letters on it. Alex insisted we play it, and while initially reluctant I finally put it on the turntable. As the music seeped out of the speakers, we were astonished. This wasn't good. It was great. Joyous, wonderfully psychedelic sounds familiar to us from the other '60s and '70s rock we listened to...only this was in Hebrew! It was beautiful and exotic and genuinely happy music.

Turns out my mother had bought the album some thirty plus years ago, when she had worked on a Kibbutz in Israel. Kaveret were huge at the time and she even saw them live.

Apparently this has been reissued on CD. I can't recommend it enough.