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Blog Roast

2 Aug

Sixteen months into this PIG STATE RECON thing, and I’ve yet to really stand back and acknowledge those who have inspired, encouraged, shocked, awed, and flabbergasted me along the way through great blog examples of their very own. It’s time to step up to the podium and say a few kind words about my brothers-in-arms in the rock n roll blog war, giving a little back, so to speak. Lemme quickly down my cocktail (gulp) . . . aaaaah yes, ok then. In no particular order:

LEXICON DEVIL – like me, enjoys blogging long and loose, but underneath it all is the best actual writer in this illustrious bunch, IMO . . . very clued up on modern independent rock of an arty/noisy nature, thereby helping us old farts vicariously feel like we’re still with it . . . seemingly uncovered a teleportation portal straight back to the US circa ’85-’89, what with the amount of wordspace he gives to artists from that time/place . . . remains the blogger most-closely associated with unabashed SST Records-worship EVER – though I’ve been doggedly catching up to him over the past year and half . . . the only one of these cats actively running a music label, and a fucking great one at that . . . slid the glorious DARK TOOTH ENCOUNTER on our hot stereo plates this summer, the best late-night gtr dinner money can buy . . .

DISASTER AMNESIAC – approaches everything he listens to from the dangerous distance of about 2 inches from the kick drum . . . like a good scientist, he spends as much time with the dissected, isolated components of the music (gtr/bass/drums/etc.) as he does the flowing, assembled whole . . . might well have the highest ratio of Joe Carducci-references per post/comment of anyone throughout the entire blogosphere . . . known to have an unhealthy fetish for weirdo drum kits – you know, ones shaped like gorgons and whatnot . . . his blog is a grower you’ll all do well to dig into now, rather than later . . . hipped me to the heavy skeletal majesty of GHOST ECHOES, a band who just might be capable of revivalizing fucked up SF slow-punk in a major way . . .

BLEEDIN’ OUT – 1/3 cheap jokes, 1/3 whining about his job & sports team & government, but a full 1/3 is all about this thing we call rock and roll . . . never loses sight of the fact that it only really need be loud and wild to be great rockin’ . . . writes with a casual ease and big shit-eating grin that makes me miss daily intermingling with ‘Mericans . . . shares an unflagging dedication with yours truly for everything GRATEFUL DEAD – oh fuck yeah . . . inexplicably loves the NEW YORK GIANTS, even though he knows they got regularly shutdown by the untouchable DALLAS COWBOYS and their impenetrable Doomsday Defense throughout the 70’s/early 80’s . . . turned me on to the Cali sloppy-pop/punk of THE FLAKES, who only need to tease up their hair a bit to give THE JONESES a run for their sleazy money . . .

LAST DAYS OF MAN ON EARTH – takes its name from the second-best URINALS song that John Talley-Jones ever penned (the best was this one) . . . prose absolutely bursts with a love and yearning for the hard n fast suburban punkorama darkage, and with good reason too . . . could have been written by me, if I’d never discovered the joys of hippie & metal and unthinkingly sold off most of my MINOR THREAT records . . . fiercely single-minded in his dedication to blog about every goddamn punk/HC record on the planet, and tosses in bonus coverage of early rap vinyl at no extra cost . . . the blog most likely to become a reference encyclopedia one day available for $29.99 at a cool bookstore near you . . . got me to take a swing with those Louisville sluggers alternatively known as VERKTUM/VRKTM, who now refuse to leave my i-pod forevermore . . .

RAYSREALM – oldest dude in this pack and the only one coming at it from the other side of the tracks: he’s a metalhead, not a HC punker . . . as hyberbolic with his use of gushing praise as what’s found here at PS Recon . . . has an odd penchant for somehow wedging references to vintage THIN LIZZY into well over 50% of his reviews . . . will make you shake your head in wonder/confusion what with the kinds of arcane & grandiose metal gestures he not only tolerates, but actively encourages in young bands . . . gotta love that he spends so much quality time listening/digging artists who’ve gone the DIY route and self-released their own stuff . . . sent me flying with FALCON, the very best heavy rock trip I’ve taken with LA-based rockers since, like, Scott Reeder was playing bass in NEBULA . . .

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Yes a BIG heartfelt thank you goes out to you boys. PIG STATE RECON just wouldn’t be the same without you nearby; the WWW will mourn the day any of y’all decide to pack it in.

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A Lexicon of Desert Devils

17 Jul

Finally got my hands on these two new instrumental projects led by the great CA desert gtrist Gary Arce, released earlier this summer by Dave Lang downunder at Lexicon Devil. Picked em up nearby, too; hey maybe this barrier-free, EU freetrade agreement ain’t nearly as bad as my BNP-supporting neighbours make it out to be! I’m still digging into this warm, rich musical mulch, but I’ll get to typing regardless:

TEN EASTThe Robot’s Guide to Freedom (Lexicon Devil, 2008) The cover artwork gets me thinking back on Gary Jacobelly’s urban primitive artwork that adorned SACCHARINE TRUST’s landmark We Became Snakes LP. And although this rec doesn’t seek to scale those hallowed jazz-rock heights, Robot’s Guide is a similarly expansive, exploratory assertion of just what rock can mean in the here-and-now. While their first (Extraterrestrial Highway) was a late-night, triple-axle studio jam of seismic proportions, this one nudges the formable TEN EAST abilities toward more predetermined, structured ideas. Which means here the jamming is given equal consideration to proggy chord progressions. I hear some of the heavy, spiritual space Wino tried to find with his SPIRIT CARAVAN, the hard blues foundation underpinning FATSO JETSON, even some of the weirdo changes Gary’s earlier SORT OF QUARTET specialized in. And Lexicon Dave is right: “Hogbreath” is the very best Slip It In-outtake BLACK FLAG never wrote (I’m sure occasional TEN EAST organist/gtrist Greg Ginn would agree). This is some forward-reaching, soul-seaching, earth-moving group creation. It’s a momumental artistic wallop my synapses won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

DARK TOOTH ENCOUNTERSoft Monsters (Lexicon Devil, 2008) Guitarist Gary Arce took drummer Bill Stinson aside and, with a choice few others, created this quieter cousin to the above recording. Though quiet is a relative term when you’re talking about guys who dig feedback and distortion as much as these guys do; I suppose contemplative would be a more apt description. They aren’t going for broke, rather letting notes and percussion ring, linger, and fade in a gorgeous but deeply felt way that stays with you even after it’s over. The playing has an easy, human touch to it that envelopes you whole, keeping you warm and helping you cope just a little better with all the nastiness running rampant out there. I’d almost guess this was some bitchen TOILING MIDGETS spinoff I somehow missed out on back in ’91, if I didn’t already know this has it’s roots in the equally great YAWNING MAN. Hey even us rocker types need to crank it down a notch or two late at night; I’m stoked that DARK TOOTH has given me the perfect soundtrack for such times.

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What I’m getting at dude, is this: you’re gonna want both of these. Buy the pair and I guarantee all your ears will be over the moon for the remainder of the summer.