Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Elliott - Fan and the Bellows (The Chameleons Cover)

I mentioned this cover when I posted Fan and the Bellows by The Chameleons a while back. I finally got the chance to rip and share here. Though it remains pretty true to the original, it is still a great cover by a great band.

Elliott - Fan and the Bellows

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sunday's Best - Sons of the Second String 7"

For Christmas my family bought me a nice, new direct drive record player complete with USB capability. In the 12 years since I received my first record player for my 15th birthday, I've never had a truly nice one so needless to say, I am pretty psyched. With that comes the ability to rip old records for this blog which is something I've wanted to do for a while.

My first attempt at vinyl conversion is the debut 7" from California's Sunday's Best. I posted their EP Where You Are Now about a year ago and have wanted to post this ever since. "Sons of the Second String" is one of my favorite Sunday's Best songs and I think this 7" as a whole is a great indicator of what was to come for this incredibly underrated band. If you are familiar with the EP, this 7" offers more of the same great Midwest inspired emotional indie rock (think Caufield Records). Unlike Where You Are Now the three songs here shy away from the slower, darker end of the spectrum and keep things upbeat. If this sounds like your sort of thing, it probably is.

Sorry for the stolen eBay pic, but I don't have a scanner and this was the best thing I could find.

Sunday's Best - Sons of the Second String

Monday, December 29, 2008

Memorial Day - Demo

Memorial Day was a very short lived band, most notably featuring Skip from Turning Point on vocals and some of the dudes from No Escape, I Hate You, and others. They were blip on the radar and to be honest, I don't know a lot about them other than what is listed on their myspace page. I presume someone from the band created it to make some of the songs available to people. There are 5 tracks total here. Most are fairly comparable to what a lot of Revelation bands were doing in the 90's - the whole quiet/loud post-hardcore thing that teetered on alt-rock. Moments in some of these songs often remind me of Seaweed and Quicksand so those are fair jumping off points. When I downloaded this from a torrent a while back it had no song titles and I'm still missing one. If you know what it is, please get in touch. If you're into Turning Point, this is worth checking out.

Memorial Day - Demo

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Lows - Live on WERS

Though I have a decent idea what is going on in hardcore right now, only a few bands seem to stick out to me. I never wanted to be that guy, but I think it happens to everyone after a certain time of being beaten over the head with the same types of riffs for years and years. However, New Lows from Boston write the type of riffs I love being beaten over the head with because they are so incredibly heavy and pissed, it makes me feel like a teenager just getting into hardcore. Another thing that drew me to New Lows initially is that their demo sounds like absolute garbage. In this day and age of pro-tools and sound replacing it was refreshing to hear a heavy hardcore band that sounded raw and primal which coincidentally made them sound even heavier.

This is a live set they did they did on an excellent program called "Radiobeat" (I don't think it's on the air anymore) on WERS in Boston. All of these songs are on their demo and the 7" they released on Lockin' Out, but they are good versions and worth a listen.

New Lows - Live on WERS

Track Listing

01. Hatchethead
02. Lowest Depths
03. Hung Up on the Crossroads
04. Loathe
05. Lucifer Crucified
06. Compulsive Repulsion (It Never Ends)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville

Two records were integral in my middle school Indie Rock development - Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain and Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville. Liz Phair, like Pavement and countless other bands of my formative years were introduced to me during late nights watching programs like 120 minutes and Alternative Nation on MTV. The song "Supernova" off her second record Whipsmart was a moderate hit which led me to buying both that record and Exile in Guyville. This was right around the time the ball on obsessive music consumption really got rolling for me.

Liz Phair has a number of things going for her - she is gorgeous, she is from Chicago and she is able to write incredibly candid, frank songs about sex, men and life, without adhering to completely conventional song structures. Allegedly, her 18 song debut is a song for song response to The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street, but don't hear it so much as I hear her saying "Fuck You" to every dude that's ever wronged her. With that comes her response of vindictive behavior, revenge, and fear. At 12, I didn't really get the complexity of the subject matter, I was just into the songs and the low budget production. Most of all though, I was interested in this new facet of music I was discovering.

Ten years after the release of Exile in Guyville Phair made her most extreme leap into mainstream success with the song "Why Can't I" from her self-titled record. It was a record full of bubblegum pop songs more suitable for a flash in the pan teen star than a woman in her 30's. Although, that song was pretty catchy and everyone has to pay their bills, this record is definitely the better bet when it comes to Phair's career.

Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

(Smog) - Red Apple Falls

I had no intention of posting this record until I stepped outside this morning into a cold, snowy street to take the train to work and put it on. It seemed very appropriate as the wet, dreary winter days we've been experiencing here in Chicago are the perfect backdrop to records like (Smog)'s Red Apple Falls. On his sixth album under the (Smog) moniker, Bill Callahan expands slightly on his interesting lo-fi, acoustic recordings by bringing producer Jim O'Rourke into the fold. Though O'Rourke engineered previous efforts, his airy flourishes often fill out otherwise sparse, dark tracks. This comes through even more on the few up tempo songs like "I Was a Stranger," "Ex-Con" and "Inspiration." That isn't to say those songs are even terribly upbeat though with lyrics like "Alone in my room I feel such a warmth for the community, but out on the streets I feel like a robot by the river looking for a drink" all sung in Callahan's trademark deep, relatively monotone voice. Red Apple Falls is a great album full of some real bum out tracks, perfect to listen to on headphones indoors when the weather gets too unbearable.

(Smog) - Red Apple Falls

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Broadways - Broken Star

For a band that couldn't have been around for more than 2 years, I saw The Broadways a lot. As such, they were a very pivotal band in my punk rock listening career. I'd heard of Jawbreaker and Crimpshrine, but it wasn't until every zine that ever reviewed The Broadways compared them to those bands (and Fifteen) that I gave either a real listen. Out of all the times I saw them, two shows stick out specifically to me.

1) A matinee show at The Fireside Bowl with The Broadways, Luke Skawalker and Showoff. Luke Skawalker throws beer all over everyone in the front and Pete, the singer says, "haha now you have to go home and explain to your parents why you smell like beer in the middle of the afternoon." During the Showoff set two girls (one in a camo shirt) says something to Chris Envy, the singer of Showoff and he starts making numerous comments about her being "a dyke" and a bitch and whatever else. This sends everyone into an uproar and the girls start threatening him and calling him a sexist. Some of their friends take them outside and they leave the show. Someone shuts the PA off on them much to the anger of the sound guy and their set ends. This seemed to be the end of anyone in the punk scene wanting to be involved with Showoff and they were signed by Maverick not too long after this. Brendan Kelley, singer of The Broadways decried Chris Envy's comments and everyone got really psyched and applauded. Then they killed it.

2) The first Arlington Heights Knights of Columbus show. It was in the fall or winter and it was dark really early. The KoC is in a neighborhood and it's pretty dark so we started going door to door asking people where we could find the show. Someone finally pointed us in the right direction and we walked into a very crowded room full of young kids in really terrible baggy pants and big shirts (I was one of them). This was also the first time I witnessed a wall of death. Great show.

Overall, I have to say The Broadways remain my second favorite band of the Slapstick family tree (behind Alkaline Trio of course). Memories aside, they simply play great, catchy punk rock in the Chicago tradition.

The Broadways - Broken Star

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beautiful Skin - Revolve

Beautiful Skin were a very overlooked, but excellent post-punk/electro band from New York City made up of keyboardist Ross Totino and former Rorschach guitarist Nick Forte. Admittedly, Forte's background in hardcore was an initial selling point of this band for me, but having listened to this record many times over the past few years, I think I enjoy this more than his work with Rorschach.

Although Beautiful Skin's brand of dark, hypnotic synth-pop isn't nearly as groundbreaking as what Rorschach did with hardcore, they were definitely on the forefront of the post-punk resurgence that occurred in the early to mid 2000's. However, unlike the upbeat post-punk that became incredibly popular after their break up, the band had more in common with the deadpan vocal delivery of Peter Murphy and the cold, ethereal synth of early OMD and German Krautrock bands like Neu! Periodically, they veer from the course of darkwave into more experimental and abrasive territory, but they mostly stick to that formula and pull it off quite well. Unfortunately this was their only proper LP, but they did release a few EP's and a collection of material entitled Everything, All This and More posthumously that are worth looking into. With that said, the name of this blog is taken from a song on this record called "Harsh Distractions." So, I feel like if you've ever read this blog, you should probably check this record out.

Beautiful Skin - Revolve

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Various Artists - A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector

Today Dave and I were discussing how, despite the brutally cold weather and snow, it really doesn't feel like Christmas in Chicago. Personally, this is my favorite time of year and though Christmas music can be incredibly lame and ridiculous, there are some holiday songs/records people simply shouldn't live without. For instance, the Mariah Carey song "All I Want for Christmas is You," the Low Christmas album and my favorite, A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector.

For A Christmas Gift, production wizard, music legend and general maniac, Phil Spector assembled his usual "who's who" of girl groups to put their take on 12 classic holiday songs. The Ronettes, The Crystals and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans all do incredible versions of standards like "Frosty the Snowman," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "White Christmas," "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and others, all rounded out by Spector's trademark wall of sound. While the entire record is great and reminds me of childhood Christmas', the standout for me is the lone original, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by Darlene Love. In my opinion, it is one of the greatest holiday songs ever written and worth the download of this record alone. Check it out and pretend it actually feels like Christmas time.

Various Artists - A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

X - Los Angeles

The first time I heard the song "Los Angeles" by X I was surprised by their unabashed use of the words "nigger" and "jew" and almost passed them off as a racist band. After all, upon a first listen the lines "she started to hate every nigger and jew, every mexican that gave her lotta shit, every homosexual and the idle rich" look pretty questionable. That's until you dig a bit deeper and realize the story singer Exene Cervenka is telling about a destrought girl trying to get out of LA in the late 70's/early 80's and how she sees the city.

That's one of the greatest things about X. Not only do they write incredibly tuneful, varied punk rock with a range of influences, drawing equally from old blues, country and rockabilly, they have the incredible storytelling quality because of Cervenka's incredible lyrics. Though they aren't as raw and straight forward as contemporaries like The Germs, The Weirdos and others from the Dangerhouse/SST/etc roster, they fit in quite well with the LA punk scene of the early 80's where everyone was a little bit different, but it all fell under the same umbrella.

Every time I listen to this record I'm overwhelmed with high school nostalgia and unlike so many records, it actually holds up in my adult life because it's simply a classic punk record.

X - Los Angeles

Sunday, November 23, 2008

End of Fall/Beginning of Winter Mix - 11/24/08

01. Sleep Out - Not Even Dust
02. Grouper - Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping
03. Beat Happening - Indian Summer
04. The Feelies - Moscow Nights
05. Neil Halstead - A Gentle Heart
06. No Age - Teen Creeps
07. Sun Kil Moon - Carry Me, Ohio
08. Violent Femmes - Color Me Once
09. Throwing Muses - Not Too Soon
10. The Ronettes - I Wonder
11. Vivian Girls - I Believe in Nothing
12. Moscow Olympics - Still
13. She, Sir - The Clandestine
14. Beach House - Holy Dances
15. The Radio Dept. - Closing Scene

End of Fall/Beginning of Winter Mix

Friday, November 21, 2008

Go Sailor - S/T

In high school I picked up a compilation put out by Lookout! Records entitled A Slice of Lemon. It was a double disc comprised almost entirely of bands I'd never heard of aside from the Mr. T Experience, The Bomb Bassets and Pansy Division. However, in addition to being my intro to Elliott Smith and Deerhoof it also turned me onto one of the Bay Area's finest twee-pop exports, Go Sailor. They only released 3 7"s and a track for a compilation, but they were exceptional. Fronted by Rose Melberg of The Softies and the equally great Tiger Trap, they wrote beautiful, catchy indie-pop with wonderful harmonies and just enough punkish energy for the teenage me to be completely unabashed in my love for them. In fact, I would go so far as to say "Silly," "Ray of Sunshine" and "Last Year" are nearly perfect pop songs.

Go Sailor - S/T

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Arma Angelus - The Grave End of the Shovel

Regardless of any posthumous popularity they received because of what members went on to do, Arma was definitely an underdog band in this city while they were around. They started when the heavier hardcore scene in Chicago was at an extreme lull and while my friends and I thought they were great, most people here hated them. It was either that they were too fashionable, they had members of Racetraitor (a very polarizing band), they were stuck up, they were rich kids, etc etc. There were a million superficial reasons people didn't like them, but I personally thought they were one of the more interesting bands around at the time. They took over where Damnation ad left off as far as writing really heavy, dark hardcore with depressing lyrics, but added their own unique style to it. On their first EP The Grave End of the Shovel Arma really laid the foundation for what they would achieve on their next record Where Sleeplessness is Rest from Nightmares. Wentz always wrote good lyrics and though many of the ones here are pretty melodramatic looking back on them, he definitely started coming into his own as the band progressed (and eventually ended up doing his best work in FOB).

Some of the songs here are a little longer than they probably need to be and they definitely hit their stride on the next record, but listening to this EP immediately brings me back to a certain time period where hardcore was my entire life and I was incredibly stoked to be meeting so many people and making so many new friends. The day they recorded backup vocals for this we were invited up to Rosebud Studios to be a part of them. It was Trohman's 15th or 16th birthday and like every recording session ever, it was taking a long time to get started so he and I left to get pizza. By the time we got back they were finished. It was a good day.

Arma Angelus - The Grave End of the Shovel

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chamberlain - The Moon My Saddle

The Moon My Saddle has been a favorite of mine for many years now and it just occurred to me that I've never posted it here. For those who don't know, Chamberlain is the band that evolved from 90's hardcore turned Emo-Core pioneers, Split Lip. On Fates Got a driver their final LP as Split Lip and first as Chamberlain, the band shed much of their mid-tempo hardcore tendencies in favor of something more melodic and emotional, with vocalist David Moore stepping up his game as a singer and lyricist. If Fates Got a Driver was their first foot out the door of hardcore, The Moon My Saddle was a complete lobotomy erasing any memory of that era. Not in a derogatory way of course. Honestly, I think The Moon My Saddle is a masterpiece and it serves as my favorite record the band did under either moniker.

I've always loved Chamberlain because they were able to capture the essence of the Midwest unlike any band I've ever heard. Within the 11 tracks on The Moon My Saddle you can envision the long drives through empty fields, hear the steps cut the silence in a town where everything closes at 7pm, sleeping with freight trains running in the distance and everything else that goes along with rural life and even I can relate to growing up in the suburbs of Chicago. Moore has a great ability to tell a detailed story through his lyrics. They are personal and intense, but relatable enough to make you feel like you are right there with him. Musically, they still exude the same fire as on Fates Got a Driver but in a more classic rock and roll way. The songs are fresh but instantly familiar, like you've been hearing them all your life. And if the term "bar rock" wasn't such a four letter word, they'd be the greatest bar rock band ever. Instead, they are simply a great band that never really got their due.

Chamberlain - The Moon My Saddle

Monday, November 3, 2008

Black Star - Black Star

Earlier today my friend Joel and I were discussing our favorite hip-hop records of all time and we each came up with a list of five. Whenever I make lists like that I always have to revise because I inevitably leave something out. In this case, I left out one of the rap records that affected me the most - the self-titled debut by Black Star.

Black Star was/is a collaboration between Mos Def and Talib Kweli and marked the first proper release for both MC's. Since it's release, both parties have gone onto successful solo careers and Mos Def has been doing some acting. However, I think these dudes are at their best when working with each other. The rhymes and word play between the two is incredible and it seems as though they kept each other in check quite well. Alone, they each tend to tread into questionable territory, but Black Star is succinct at only 13 tracks in under 50 minutes with minimal skits and throwaway tracks. They also rework Slick Rick's classic "Children's Story" and give a nod to BDP on "Definition."

This album will forever remind me of being 18 and working at 6am at a fitness center. I'd leave for work in the freezing cold when it was still dark and I'd get all the way to work before my car warmed up. I listened to this record every morning and during breaks when I'd smoke cigarettes in my car. When I got fired from that job for a totally ridiculous reason, I didn't listen to it for at least a year because I'd always think of getting fired and it would enrage me. Now, I still love it just as much as the winter I bought it.

Black Star - Black Star

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sister Cities

Some good friends of mine recently recorded for a new band they are doing called Sister Cities. Musically, it's gritty fast hardcore/punk with great personal lyrics. I'll save the band comparisons, just check it out.

Sister Cities on Myspace

Sunday, October 26, 2008

No Justice - Still Fighting

In my 12-13 years of going to shows only a handful of bands have made me feel unsafe while playing. One of those bands was No Justice. In 2000, Anton/Underestimated Records set up a 3 day "Chicago Fest," at the University of Chicago. It was a real "who's who" in the fast hardcore/punk scene at the time. I had never heard No Justice, but as soon as they rang out, it was insane. I'd never seen the singer of any band have so little regard for his own safety. He spent more time diving than singing and everyone took a cue from him. It was total pandemonium. At one point I was standing on the side of the stage and he got on top of the speakers to dive. Right as they were about to fall on me and a few others, someone secured them so we didn't get crushed. Musically, they were just as intense. They were just a messy blur of fast hardcore with huge breaks perfect for diving and moshing. A few months later I saw them at The Fireside with Nerve Agents and it was equally intense. Timmy (the singer) immediately did a 10 foot dive onto a small bench with 5 or 6 people standing on it. I can't believe he didn't break his leg.

Sadly, this was the only material they released aside from their demo. As the years go on, this record seems to become more and more of a forgotten classic of the early 2000's.

No Justice - Still Fighting

I couldn't find the set from Chicago Fest on YouTube, but here is footage from their last show that accurately resembles the times I saw No Justice.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds (A Capella Version)

If you look at any major music magazine's "Greatest Albums of All Time" list, Pet Sounds is typically somewhere in the top 5, if not being heralded as the first or second greatest record ever. Upon its release, it was by no means considered a failure, but only moderately successful in contrast to their earlier singles. Poor promotion had much to do with the album's less than extraordinary performance, but I'm sure the shift in sound and lyrical content also played a bit of a role.

The Beach Boys were known for writing catchy pop songs about surfing, girls and cars and the themes of loss, depression, growing up and the search for personal identity explored on Pet Sounds dig much deeper. Frankly, much of it is incredibly depressing and introspective and I'm sure that caught the casual Beach Boys listener off guard. Interestingly, the album didn't even reach platinum status until the year 2000, which kind of blows my mind based on how incredibly important it is.

The A Capella version was actually released on The Pet Sounds Sessions, a 4 disc box set full of alternate takes, mixes and the original mono recording of the album. There is also a really great booklet with a lot of nerdy information and photos included, but the real gem is the A Capella disc. The Beach Boys were always a vocal group and on this, all you hear are their voices working together, each unique, but essential to the sound as a whole. Hearing this definitely changed the way I hear Pet Sounds and made my appreciation for The Beach Boys even greater. I highly recommend checking this out.

The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds (A Capella Version)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The American Analog Set - Know By Heart

Around the time of my 20th birthday I was repeatedly sick all winter. I had bronchitis then I had strep and I just couldn't seem to stay well. At that same time, I wasn't working and I was taking a semester off school so I was just sitting around my house constantly sick. It was awful. I didn't do anything and it became a real bummer. For my birthday, my good friend Robin mailed me a card and a CD of a band called The American Analog Set. I'd never heard them before, but we have comparable taste and I figured if she sent it to me, I would probably like it. We were both right in our assumptions and I listened to it all winter. It has since gone on to become one of my favorites and has a lot of personal significance outside of moping around my parents basement.

In my opinion, Know By Heart is one of, if not the greatest Indie-Pop records of the millennium. Vocalist and primary songwriter, Andrew Kenny has an incredible knack for composing interesting, gentle melodies within beautiful arrangements. He has a unique ability to carry a song with his restrained voice, singing just above a whisper. Though the songs are lo-fi and personal, they are still incredibly catchy and beautiful without dragging on the way some bands of the genre do. While all of their records are great, Know By Heart definitely is the most focused of their material up to that point. Unlike previous efforts, the songs follow more typical pop song structures and don't segue into lengthy repetition ala "The Magnificent Seventies" off From Our Living Room to Yours. I've always felt they epitomize the term "bedroom-pop," with memorable songs that feel like they are being played right before you in your own bedroom. The American Analog set is the perfect music for late nights through headphones or on a dreary Sunday afternoon in the middle of Fall when the leaves start to turn.

The American Analog Set - Know By Heart

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Bloody Valentine - You Made Me Realise EP

After seeing My Bloody Valentine this past Saturday, it only seems appropriate to upload this EP. You Made Me Realise was the first material the band released on the legendary Creation Records. Interestingly, they would nearly send the label into bankruptcy a few years later while meticulously working on their second LP masterpiece, Loveless. I've always felt this EP is a good middle ground between the bands early brand of jangle-pop and the massively reverb soaked songs they'd later create. It's catchy enough for pop music enthusiasts to get into, but still has plenty of texture and subtle melody to keep things interesting and varied.

My Bloody Valentine - You Made Me Realise

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Clientele - Suburban Light

With the days getting shorter and autumn rapidly approaching, I figure it's time to upload one of my favorite fall records and one of my favorite records in general. I've tried to shy away from uploading readily available records in favor of the slightly obscure, but this is something I think everyone needs to have whether you pay for it or not.

The Clientele are a great Indie-Pop band from London who have been around since the early 90's, but only started receiving notoriety in the states once they were picked up by the always consistent Merge Records. They've released 3 LP's, several split 7"s, singles and EPs and while most of their material is solid, nothing will top the singles collection, Suburban Light. Whenever I start getting sick of summer and psyched for fall, Suburban Light is the first record I think of. Everything about it embodies fall to me - rainy days, cooler weather, sweaters, shorter days. I hear it in Alasdair MacLean's breathy, reverbed vocals and in the soft, dark production that makes each song sound like it was recorded in a dreary London bedroom. I hear it in songs like "Rain" and the off-kilter but upbeat "We Could Walk Together" in which MacLean sings about the fading heat of summer. They write dreamy, laid back music comparable to the lyrics about the simple pleasures of getting high, rainy days, quiet mornings, dusk and sleep. The Clientele have a knack for wearing their influences on their sleeve without borrowing too much from them. In their life-span, The Clientele have rarely strayed from their trademark brand of nostalgic pop, but what really sets these songs apart is the production. I know nothing about recording, but these songs sound exactly how they should - like looking out the window into a cold grey day when you're warm and cozy inside your house listening to your favorite record.

The Clientele - Suburban Light

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Saturday People - S/T

Despite having members of the fairly popular band Velocity Girl and a split with The Clientèle, The Saturday People are a band I rarely ever hear about. Much like The Clientele, they play a jangly brand of indie-pop heavily steeped in 60's nostalgia comparable to bands from the Sarah Records roster. All 15 tracks on the Saturday People's debut LP are catchy and rich without relying heavily on a lot of orchestration and extra instrumentation. Frankly, the songs are better without it. I've always felt The Saturday People are a diamond in the rough and had they stuck around a bit longer, I think they might have enjoyed some of the success their contemporaries received.

P.S. Note the nod to "A Hard Days Night" in the beginning of "Upside Down girl."

The Saturday People - S/T

The Saturday People on Myspace

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


After a conversation with a friend the other night about internet mixtapes, I uploaded a mix to this website that hosts all sorts of them. There's nothing rare or too out of the ordinary on mine, just a bunch of songs I'd listened to that day. I was mostly just playing around to see how the site worked and thought I'd make one of my own just for fun. Check it out if you're interested. Real update coming soon.

One Tundra to the Next

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Frostbite - S/T 7"

Once No Warning dropped their 7" on Martyr Records it really kicked the doors open wide for ripping off NYHC left and right no matter where you were from - be it Toronto, Detroit or in the case of Frostbite, Wilkes-Barre, PA. Very few people I know like this band and I think the issue a lot of people have is that their direct influence was pretty clear. While a lot of these bands most likely loved classic New York Hardcore bands and wanted to bite riffs from Where the Wild Things Are or the New Breed Comp, the predominant influence overwhelmingly appeared to be No Warning, a contemporary of theirs. This is painfully obvious in the song "Pressure" where the break is a modified version of the break in "Take it or Leave it" by No Warning.

However, I love this 7" and while people may dislike it for any number of reasons, is has held up a lot better for me than a many other things I was into in 2002 and it sticks out to me more than much of what I'm hearing now. The riffs are fast and the breakdowns are hard, but not excessive and the lyrics are interesting and clever without being over the top (i.e. the line "what fucking language am I speaking" which I've always found funny and periodically pops into my head since I bought this record 6 years ago). I know one or two of these dudes went on to be in Cold World (a band that is regularly clowned or hyped based on where you're at, but has some legitimately good songs), but I kind of like Frostbite better even if they were relatively short lived and not entirely original. It is hardcore after all, what hasn't been done before?

Frostbite - S/T

Friday, June 27, 2008

Left Hand Path - The Wreckage

At the time of their existence, Left Hand Path played an important role in Chicago Hardcore. Falling somewhere in between more metallic bands like The Killer and the more stripped down punk/hc bands like The Repos and Punch in the Face, they blended hard late 80's/early 90's NYHC with 80's thrash before that style fell back into favor. Like many of the bands I've grown to love or continued to love over the years, there was a distinct progression in Left Hand Path's evolution from being a straight-forward hardcore band, into something much more representative of who they are as people. The Wreckage is the culmination of their unique personalities and musical interests - everything from Dan's straight-forward lyrics that are occasionally grammatically incorrect (i.e. "a little bit older, a little more colder") to the fast Slayer inspired riffs and the bits and pieces of New York groove.

Unfortunately, they broke up before their time, but I'd rather see a band go out on top than soldier on releasing their own version of How We Rock well after the horse has been beaten to death.

Left Hand Path - The Wreckage

Buy the 7"

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Treason - Demo

In the early 2000's few bands were as influential in hardcore as American Nightmare. As such, they had their fair share of imitators, but for the most part most bands simply took cues from them lyrically, musically or from their imagery. One of those bands was Treason from the Bay Area. To me, Treason was always a pretty elusive band. For a minute, they were getting hyped all over the internet based on a a mid-tempo 30 second song called "Halfway in the Red" complete with a sound clip from a particularly questionable moment in the movie Kids. Then, they vanished before I had a chance to even get the demo and little more was mentioned of them for years to come. Fast forward five years to when I traded a Chamberlain/Old Pike 2x7" just so I could hear the demo of this band I heard 30 seconds of a few times. Shortly after I acquired it and found it still held up fairly well, I asked my buddy Matt Wilson about them. As a Bay Area core dude, I figured he would be the man to ask and as it turns out, he was able to tell me that two of the guys went on to be in Lights Out.

Musically, Treason often remind me of a San Diego, Gravity Records style band mixed with parts of the frequently overlooked and equally short lived Sworn In. I think this demo may have even been released before the Sworn In record, but I still get a similar vibe from both bands. All 10 songs are short, intense bursts of fast, messy, distorted hardcore laid against decent, often melodramatic lyrics about loneliness, desperation, sex, love and hopelessness. The lyrics are the only thing that tends to remind me of AN because around that time, every band seemed to try and step up their lyrical palate beyond typical hardcore fare. Anyone into dark, early 2000's hardcore should check this demo out. The more I listen to it, the more I'm bummed they didn't get to release a proper record before they called it a day.

Treason - Demo

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Monday, May 5, 2008

Casual - Fear Itself

Most of my friends started skating around the time we were in middle school. This was when Green Day, The Offspring and Rancid started breaking on a very mainstream level and as such, my eyes were opened to punk rock. My friend Nick's sister was a few years older than us and would always play records we'd never heard in her car and give him new stuff to listen to thus giving our whole group of friends an 'in' to more under the radar stuff. A lot of her friends were skaters too so there would always be skate videos floating around for us to check out. The video that made the biggest impact on me was Plan B's "Virtual Reality." I was never able to skate because of my physical condition, but that video kind of set the bar in my mind. And as cool as I thought skating was, I was much more into digging for new music through those videos than trying to get inspiration for new moves. In "Virtual Reality" the songs that stood out to me the most were the Casual tracks in the background of Sean Sheffey and Mike Carroll's segments. I drifted away from listening to hip-hop a few years before this because punk was consuming all of my musical interest, but also because I didn't know where to find more of the laid back, jazz influenced stuff like De La Soul and Tribe I was into as a kid. Hearing Casual and others made me realize that if this stuff was out there, there had to be more.

While Casual isn't the most widely known of the Hiero crew, Fear Itself is definitely one of the best albums to come from their clique. His voice is bassy and his flow is excited, but still sounds smooth against the sped up horn samples and electric piano beats Domino is known for. Fear Itself will forever remind me of summers staying out drinking, getting into trouble and wishing I could skate in the best way. Definitely an essential 90's West Coast Hip-Hop record.

Casual - Fear Itself

Monday, April 21, 2008

Split Lip - Fate's Got a Driver

Though I'm into early Split Lip recordings for what they are, it's not unfair to say the band would have ended up a lost relic of early 90's hardcore had it not been for their decidedly un-hardcore final LP, Fate's Got a Driver. For me, this is one of the cornerstone records of mid-90's emo-core - intricate riffs that are powerful without being heavy, catchy choruses, vocals that are distinct and emotional without being whiny and of course a layout full of obscure photos of old clocks, gumball machines, steps and old 45's.

Shortly after its release, Split Lip changed their name to Chamberlain, rerecorded the vocals and rereleased Fate's Got a Driver under the new name. Vocalist David Moore's vocals are a bit stronger on this version, but aside from that, the name change and the layout are the only recognizable differences. Fate's Got a Driver is definitely a precursor for the direction Chamberlain would take as they progressed. It has always felt distinctly Midwestern in this lonely, small town way not even their Midwestern contemporaries shared and that vibe only increased as they continued to release records as Chamberlain.

Split Lip - Fate's Got a Driver

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mobb Deep - Hell on Earth

For some reason, it seems like all the best rappers from the post-Golden Age era of Hip-Hop only had one classic album worth of tracks and rode that out until they hung it up or continued coasting off past glory. Some people throw Mobb Deep into this category too, but I might argue that the follow-up to their classic 2nd recordThe Infamous is nearly on par with its predecessor. Regardless if Havoc and Prodigy attended art school, there's no denying they have a knack for penning gritty narratives of criminal life, drugs and hustling. On Hell on Earth they didn't tamper with the original formula that made them great, but merely elevated the strengths and downplayed the throwaway aspects of their first two albums. The beats are grimy and hard and the rhymes are urgent, clever and seemingly effortless. From the opening of "Animal Instinct," Hell on Earth is a beast that slays and makes me feel like a bystander to situations I've never faced in places I've never been.

Having heard Hell on Earth before any other Mobb Deep records probably has something to do with my affinity for this record, but whenever I listen to it, I think of being 16 and listening to it in my room thinking it was the hardest record ever. Someone on a messageboard I read referred to Mobb Deep as the Cro-Mags of hip-hop and while the obvious differences are apparent, there is a fair amount of truth in that statement. Both recorded two landmark LP's that helped define genres that set the standard for others to follow before falling by the wayside. Regardless of what they are doing now, this record is essential.

Mobb Deep - Hell on Earth

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mix - 4/15/08

My good friend Nyree recently asked me to recommend some music for her to check out. Since she moved to New York a few months ago I can't simply have her come over or burn her records, so I figured I'd use this forum to post mixes that she and anyone else can download. Most of this stuff is not new, but I rarely ever make mixes for people anymore so I went with a bunch of songs I've thought about putting on mixes for people. Enjoy.

01. AC/DC - If You Want Blood (You Got It)
02. The Lemonheads - Down About It
03. Duran Duran - Come Undone
04. Teenager - Alone Again
05. The Impressions - Can't Satisfy
06. Sparklehorse - Some Sweet Day
07. Beulah - All Points North
08. Leatherface - Not Superstitious
09. STAR - Exploding Order
10. Daniel Johnston - Mind Contorted
11. XTC - Ballad for a Rainy Day
12. George Harrison - Run of the Mill
13. Husker Du - Sorry Somehow
14. Iron Curtain - The Condos
15. M83 - Kim & Jessie
16. Nada Surf - No Quick Fix
17. Catherine Wheel - Black Metallic
18. Kings of Convenience - Gold in the Air of Summer

Mix 4/15/08

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Lemonheads - It's a Shame About Ray

The Lemonheads are one of those bands that made a seamless transition from my childhood into my adult life. If anything, I like It's a Shame About Ray more now than I did then. Perhaps, because I grasp the lyrics about drugs, loss, love and growing up with greater understanding now than at age 11 when I first heard it. Or maybe because I really respect how they grew from a messy punk band into this incredible straight-forward rock band without ever losing that edge or punk sensibility. Whatever the reason, this record has continued to resonate with me for 15 years while many others didn't make the grade. At just under a half hour, every song on It's a Shame About Ray is as vital as the next. From the lazy dope scoring haze of "My Drug Buddy" to the budding love story of "Kitchen" and the need to play even the smallest role in someone's life of "Bit Part," no adolescent emotion or theme goes unreferenced. The songs are concise and undeniably catchy, full of hooks and some of Evan Dando's best lyrics. While I don't think The Lemonheads ever put out a bad record, there is no denying It's a Shame About Ray is their finest hour. It's one of the few records I will listen to, then immediately press repeat and get psyched to hear a song I just heard all over again.

As a sidenote, I saw them with Karl Alverez and Bill Stevenson of the Descendents as Evan Dando's backing band the day before my birthday this past year and it made me feel like a kid again. I kept my composure and didn't turn into "that guy," but inside I was bubbling over with excitement as they played literally every song I wanted to hear. It was one of the best shows I've been to in years. So, if you get the chance to see them, definitely do so. Evan Dando is a bit faded, but in between songs he just starts riffing on "Nervous Breakdown" so it's win-win.

The Lemonheads - It's a Shame About Ray

Monday, March 31, 2008

American Nightmare - Live at CBGB - 1/22/02

I don't have a story to go along with this, but I wish I was at this show. I still feel American Nightmare were the best hardcore band of the 2000's and this set is another testament to that. The sound quality is board quality and their set is comprised mostly of songs offBackground Music.

American Nightmare - Live at CBGB - 1/22/02

Starflyer 59 - Leave Here a Stranger

I don't know why Starflyer 59 doesn't get more discussion, but for some reason they seem to have slipped under the radar. Perhaps people overlook them because the driving force behind the band, Jason Martin, is openly Christian or because they're on a label known for putting out abysmal Nu-Emo and bad metalcore, but whatever it is, they are certainly worthy of more attention than they seem to get. On their 6th record, Leave Here a Stranger, Starflyer 59 fully conceptualized their laid back, dreamy brand of pop music. They shed the dense noise and feedback of their first two records Silver and Gold and replaced it with much lighter, sunnier textures laid against Martin's airy, soothing vocals. Every song on here is essential to the whole of this underrated dream-pop record.

Starflyer 59 - Leave Here a Stranger

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Down Like the Rest - The Barely Breathing EP

Before our year and a half hiatus, my band Down Like the Rest wrote a handful of songs that were originally going to be on a 12" our friend Dan was going to release. However, with everyone in the bands schedules being what they were, we opted not do the record and put the band on hold for a little while. In September of 2007 we decided to rerecord what we had and release it informally as an EP for those who might be interested. I'm pleased with how everything turned out and I'm glad we finally have quality versions of these songs. Musically, it's fast, dark hardcore along the lines of Cursed, Damnation ad, 108 and so on. Check it out.

Down Like the Rest - The Barely Breathing EP

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Ink & Dagger - S/T

For all intents and purposes, I missed the boat on Ink & Dagger. Though I was around and actively attending shows during their existance, I didn't really "get" them until much later in my life. They were a little too weird, a little too chaotic, a little too 'dark.' I always listened to a broad range of music, but when I was 16 and it came to hardcore I either wanted Side By Side or All Out War and the theme of vampires, use of corpse paint, off-key singing and weird angular guitar riffs did not factor into either of those sub-categories. However, as I aged my appreciation for Ink & Dagger grew and I respect their honesty and creativity far more than what a lot of hardcore bands of that era did. They were vibrant and approached things with punk ideals, but took chances that most hardcore bands didn't for whatever reason.

On their final LP before vocalist Sean McCabe's untimely death, Ink & Dagger pushed themselves further away from their already untraditional take on hardcore into a blend of dream-pop, psych and noise only charted by San Diego experimentalists Antioch Arrow. The off-kilter riffs and McCabe's frantic singing style are still firmly intact, but much of what comprised their previous records is absent or subdued and replaced by waves of distortion and layers of delay, reverb and drum machine. It's a complex effort and though it was probably not widely heralded by those in the punk/hardcore community to begin with, I think it has aged quite well in the 8 years since it's release.

Ink & Dagger - s/t

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Adorable - Sunshine Smile EP

In the grand scheme of the shoegaze/dream-pop hierarchy, Adorable is probably a 2nd or 3rd tier band in terms of relevance. Part of that is due to their relative obscurity and part of it can be attributed to the fact they abandoned the sound in favor of a more accessible British Pop vibe much in the same fashion contemporaries Ride and Lush did toward the end of their careers. However, nothing in their prolific yet short three-year run is suspect by any means. All seven EP's and two LP's have moments of greatness on par with that of a Ride or a Swervedriver or a Chapterhouse. Sunshine Smile is the first of many EP's the band released and the most in-line with the dream-pop sound they are often aligned with. The original version of this single was actually shelved before release and featured the songs "I'll Be Your Saint" (later released as it's own single) and "Breathless" (later released on their first LP Against Perfection) as the B-Sides. A few months later it was re-recorded and released with "A To Fade In" and "Sunburnt" in place of the two aforementioned tracks. To be honest, I'm not certain which version would have made for a better single as "A To Fade In" is one of my favorite Adorable tracks, but either way, all the songs ended up being released at some point and both versions of the EP are fantastic. All three songs on the released version of Sunshine Smile are soaked in delay and heavy on the ride cymbal with singer Piotr Fijalkowski's whispery, effortlessly executed voice leading each track. Though they aren't one of the heavy hitters of the early-mid 90's Creation roster, this EP is definitely a "must have" for those into the label and the sound that goes along with it.

Adorable - Sunshine Smile

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Chameleons - Fan and the Bellows

My introduction to The Chameleons came in the form of a cover song on the 7" Will You (you know, the one that looks EXACTLY like their other 7" If They Do) by Louisville emo-turned-dream-pop band Elliott. They give "Fan and the Bellows" is given the Elliott treatment that foreshadowed the direction they would take on later records. At any rate, I love(d) this cover and set my record player on repeat so I could keep listening to it over and over. So, my search for actual Chameleons records led me to Strange Music, the most readily available due to it's release on "alternative friendly" major label, Geffen Records. Though it's a great album, it wasn't what I wanted. I wanted the jagged, post-punk influence riffing of "Fan and the Bellows" and I didn't even want to wade through anything else of theirs until I got my hands on what I was after. Since I was jobless and living at home still, Napster was the most viable and economic option for finding this (as I exhausted record stores in my area to find it) and proved to be a success. As it turns out, "Fan and the Bellows" was merely a single and conveniently re-released with many others, demos and outtakes for a compilation aptly titled Fan and the Bellows: A Collection of Classic Early Recordings. Before they hit their stride as an even more brilliant dreamy, atmospheric pop band with What Does Anything Mean? Basically. and Strange Times, The Chameleons were this moody but not overtly dark rock band not too far off the map of what their Manchester peers and followers would create. This comp is a good mix of what they were and a look at what they would become. For me, "Nostalgia" has become my new "Fan and the Bellows" and I've been thinking for years if I were ever to DJ somewhere for a night I would close with this song because I don't think anything could really follow it after a night of drinking with your friends and going home feeling uncertain.

The Chameleons - Fan and the Bellows

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Failure - Enjoy the Silence

Like so many others, Failure is a band that despite their major label backing, didn't get their due until years after their break-up. Perhaps the label was waiting for them to be the next Smashing Pumpkins or even the next Hum, but it never really happened. While I'm sure they had their modest fan base, the true accolades didn't seem to flood in until Cave In covered "Magnified" on their Creative Eclipses EP in 1999 and wear their Failure influence more prominently on their crossover LP, Jupiter.

Instead of uploading an entire Failure album (which I might do if people want to hear more), I've chosen to post this cover of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence." This cover circulated for a year or so after their break-up in 1997 until it finally ended up on the Depeche Mode tribute album For The Masses: An Album of Depeche Mode Songs. "Enjoy the Silence" has been one of my favorite songs since I was a kid and I think this is a very well-done cover done in the Failure tradition. Before my family had cable, I would go to my friend Pat's house in the Summer and the "Enjoy the Silence" video would be on MTV constantly. Even at the age of 9 I thought it was the most depressing song because throughout the video, singer Dave Gahan, is dressed in a kings robe and crown roaming the European countryside alone. I still think it's just as depressing 17 years later.

Failure - Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode Cover)

Sunday's Best - Where You Are Now

Though they formed prior to his joining, for all intensive purposes Sunday's Best really took shape once Tom Ackerman of major label cut-out-bin band Skiploader became their new drummer. They recorded their debut 7" Sons of the Second String and caught the attention of Crank!, known for their track record of releasing quality albums by Boys Life, Mineral, Vitreous Humor and a slew of other emotional brooders. Their next EP, Where You Are Now like the 7", falls right in with that. Despite their home base of California, I can't help but envision desolate, snowy Midwestern prairie every time I listen to this record. It has this dark, cool production that makes the quiet, sad parts that much more heart wrenching and the brighter moments feel hazy like the sun in the dead of winter. You know it's there, but it's just too far from the Earth to really heat the surface. As it happens, their next two LP's for Midwest institution, Polyvinyl Records, took a more upward, sunny turn toward catchy pop melodies and smoother production. Those records are great too, but Where You Are Now will always be the definitive Sunday's Best material in my eyes.

Sunday's Best - Where You Are Now

Friday, January 25, 2008

Cannibal Ox - The Cold Vein

I'm by no means an expert on hip-hop and even though I've been into it since I was a kid, it's never been the prevailing genre of my interest. I'm trying to stick to more under the radar albums and rarities on this blog, but listening to this record on the way to work the other day inspired me to post it. I hold The Cold Vein up in the same regard I hold Enter the 36 Chambers, '93 'til Infinity, The Low End Theory and other cornerstone hip-hop records in my life. I felt it was an instant classic when it dropped in 2001 and while many other records from that period have aged VERY poorly, this one is as relevant as ever.

Taking a cue from experimental rap pioneers Company Flow, Cannibal Ox crafted (with the help of Flow's El-P) one of the true gems from the late 90's/early '00's much-hyped "indie hip-hop" movement fueled by labels like Def Jux, Anticon and Stones Throw. The Cold Vein starts out with a muffled sample from the film "The Big Chill" and busts straight into "Iron Galaxy," a 5 minute track with NO choruses, just verse after verse of MC's Vast Aire and Vordual Mega hurriedly declaring their domination of modern hip-hop. The pace is set from there - 15 tracks of insane metaphors and fantastic verbiage about the earth, love, space, anxiety, New York City and of course, the rap game. I've always appreciated the honesty of the lyrical content on this record and while many dudes brag and boast about getting girls, Can Ox penned what is probably the greatest song about getting stuck in the 'friend zone,' aptly titled "The F-Word." Maybe I'm not looking hard enough, but I haven't since related to a hip-hop record the way I do The Cold Vein and though it's a bummer the possibility of another Can Ox record is slim, sometimes things are just not in the cards. Regardless, you need this record.

Life's Ill.

Cannibal Ox - The Cold Vein

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Statistics - Leave Your Name

Even though Statistics mastermind Denver Dalley was the primary songwriter for the much loved Conor Oberst side project Desaparecidos, Statistics still remain what I consider a "cut out bin band." By that I mean, despite writing very interesting and wonderful songs, no one ever really seemed to care about Statistics and thus all their records ended up in the discount section of record stores. Thankfully for nerdy bottom feeders like myself, I was able to obtain their entire discography for pennies on the dollar. However, it's a shame because I literally never hear anyone talk about Statistics and everything they released is quite good and deserves to be heard at the very least, by the people who liked his work in Desaparecidos. So, for those living in the dark, I have uploaded their first LP Leave Your Name. It definitely builds on the initial taste test of their self-titled EP - sparse and atmospheric electronics behind these incredibly catchy straight-forward melodies. Dalley has a natural ability to write a very focused pop song when needed (see "Hours Seemed Like Days" for a reference point), but I find his most endearing trait lies in his quest to work in beautiful sonic textures in with what might be an otherwise "typical" rock song.

Statistics - Leave Your Name

Statistics on Myspace

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Airiel - EP

For a band that has been around for the better part of 10 years and releasing records for the past five, Airiel still remain one of Chicago's best kept secrets. I feel ridiculous having never heard of them prior to a year and a half ago because they were right under my nose the whole time, playing the kind of shoegaze/dream-pop I can't get enough of. They released several EP's, that were later collected as the Winks and Kisses box set. Each EP is excellent in its own right, but I chose to post the self-titled EP to start, if only for the songs "500 Deep" and "Cinnamon" which rank among my favorites. I will post the box set in the near future.

Also, the band released their excellent debut LP in 2007 entitled The Battle of Sealand. It's a bit more psych meets the more rocking Swervedriver end of the shoegaze spectrum and less ethereal dream-pop, but a fanastic record nonetheless. It definitely made my top 25 for the year, so check that out as well should you stumble upon it. The song produced by Ulrich Schnauss is an intriguing direction for them and one I wish they'd explore more.

Airiel - EP
Airiel on Myspace
Buy the EP

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fireworks - Can't Hardly Wait Demo

In the Spring of 2006 I was reading message boards and I stumbled across a band from Michigan called Fireworks. Always a skeptic, I figured they'd just be another mediocre attempt at mimicking what Saves the Day, Lifetime and a slew of others already perfected. I soon ate my words because their songs were incredible and they made me laugh. All of the songs titles were key lines from the 90's romantic comedy Can't Hardly Wait and their influences included American Nightmare, Killing Time, Infest and a slew of other bands they didn't resemble whatsoever. I thought they were great. I kept going back to their Myspace page over and over again, listening to the songs until I finally realized I could download them and listen on repeat everywhere I went. And I did - in the car, on the way to school, on the way to work, at work, on the way home from work. The songs were so catchy and brilliant, I had to show them to my friend Dave. His band was looking for someone to tour with for a week in early June and I felt this was the band to ask. He and the rest of the band agreed and figured why not? They were from the Midwest, seemed to have similar backgrounds, similar senses of humor and were the kind of band all of us would want to see every night. The tour worked out as well as a Midwest tour of two bands no one really knows could work out, but it was an incredibly fun time. We made eight good friends, shared some awesome memories and got to watch a good band become a great one.

I have included an extra song that wasn't on the actual demo. It was only streamed on Purevolume and though the quality isn't as good as the rest of the songs, the song itself is quite good.

Last year they released an EP titled We Are Everywhere on Run for Cover Records and it was one of my favorite releases of 2006. If you like this demo, definitely check out the EP.

Fireworks - Can't Hardly Wait Demo

Fireworks on Myspace
Buy the EP

Thursday, January 3, 2008

American Nightmare - Live at the Fireside Bowl 2001

Since my involvement in hardcore, no time period has had a more profound affect on me than the years 2000-2003 and in those years no band resonated with me more than American Nightmare. They raised the bar in terms of music, lyrics and pushed the boundaries of what was deemed "acceptable" for a traditional hardcore band. I was lucky enough to see them many times and have fond memories of each set. While other bands haven't stood the test of time, American Nightmare has held up quite well.

This is a live set from their first time playing Chicago at the now defunct, but legendary, Fireside Bowl. I was bummed I missed this show (and their second trip to Chicago) because I was out of town or had finals and subsequently didn't get to see them until they toured with Converge, Hope Conspiracy and Thrice. If memory serves this was the show they played with Nerve Agents, Ruination and The Enemy so it was a pretty solid line up. Background Music hadn't been officially released but they had some copies for tour and played a few songs from it. My friend Joe called me a few days after the show and couldn't stop raving about how good the LP was. He was right and if missing the show wasn't enough of a bummer, I now had to wait even longer to hear the record.

American Nightmare - Live at the Fireside Bowl