Ben Edge On Music 3
Ian MacKaye & Ben Edge
Ben Edge once drove me past an aging punk rockers house in LA. The house overrun with shrubbery, his black car, and a pile of bricks. Recently Ben helped me decide which albums of this rocker's, who we will call D****g, are worth listening to. However, Ben also explained his hesitance of criticizing D****g by name online.
"I'd be afraid to put anything D****g related on a music blog. D****g is very litigious. Back in the Napster days of '00, my computer got a virus, and it was traced back to a D****g track I downloaded. Could be a coincidence, but I can totally imagine D****g intentionally putting those viruses into the songs himself. "Teach them to fuck with the Dark Lord!""
T. Rex- "Electric Warrior" (because I know Ben loves Marc Bolan and T. Rex)
"You better believe I own this puppy.
Electric Warrior is T. Rex's second best album. The best T. Rex album is Slider, which came out a year later."
Better Than A Thousand:
"I saw that band many times in the summers of '97 and '98. I saw them play three nights in a row, and Cappo made the same speeches between the same songs, and did the same yoga poses during the same instrumental breaks (not making that up).
That band has not aged well at all. A lot of it has to do with finding out how much of a ego maniac cheeseball Cappo is, and a lot of it has to do with the music just not being that great.
They recorded the music for a third album, it sat around for a few years, and then Tim McMahon (Mouthpiece, Hands Tied, Triple Threat, Double Cross Webzine) laid down vocals, and it became a band called Face The Enemy. That record is way better than the Better Than A Thousand ones. So, maybe it had a lot to do with Cappo afterall."
T.S.O.L.- "Dance With Me"
"One of the best albums ever made. I love everything about this record. It's definitely in my top 10, not that I've created a top 10 list yet, but there's no way this doesn't make the cut.
Between the aggro surf beat, the chorusy guitar, and Jack's vocals (a punk singer who actually knows how to sing?), there's no weak point throughout."
Television - "Marquee Moon"
"I've got it. The first half is great, and the other half is boring, and I'm not the only one who feels this way. Both guitarists are playing lead a lot of the time, so the guitar work sounds all intertwined. These dudes know their music theory.
Tom Verlaine (the main one) even writes out a lesson every month in either Guitar World or Guitar Player (I can never tell those two mags apart). It's funny, because he's wedged between Dave Mustaine and some hair metal casualties in there.
They were the first "punk" band to ever play CBGB's, which is interesting because they don't sound punk at all. But in those days, anything that didn't sound like it could be played on the radio got lumped in with punk I suppose. Now that they actually play punk on the radio, what would "punk" sound like now by those standards?"
Mott The Hoople - "All the Young Dudes" [Boxset]
"I've been listening to these guys a lot lately. They broke up in '72, and Bowie told them that they couldn't break up, because he loved them, so he produced their next record (just like how the singer of the Cars saved the Bad Brains). Bowie wrote "All The Young Dudes", which is their best song. Kind of sad if you think about it, but they have a lot of good ones of their own. My other two favorites are "Sucker" (on All The Young Dudes LP) and "Whizz Kid" (on the LP called Mott)."
"People jock this band a lot because said people are fucking weak.
During the summers, starting about two summers ago, the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History holds concerts inside the museum on Saturday nights, next to the life-sized diaramas of stuffed ground sloths and elephants and shit. It's a totally cool atmosphere, but the acoustics suck. I went to a Autolux/Deerhoof show there in '07, because even though Autolux has a hipster/model/actress/actor fanbase, I like some of their jams. The room was so packed by the time they played, that they didn't let us in, but we got in the museum, so we walked around, looking at bird teeth and shit while Todd Tyler got all excited and scientific on us. By the time Deerhoof played, they let us in. We were all bored, and the band sucked.
I attribute the existence of bullshit like Deerhoof, Blonde Redhead, and Butter 08 to the direct influence of Yoko Ono. She was into addressing abstract ideas like love and peace and happiness the way a toddler would, and also making those dreadful sounds with her voice.
There's a real kindergarten "play with your food" vibe to Deerhoof, as there is with one of my all time most hated bands, Fiery Furnaces."
"I can't hang with this band at all. This is probably the most loved band that just goes right over my head. Okay, Slayer is the winner, Neurosis is #2."
Sam McPheeters/Born Against/Men's Recovery Project:
"Everyone has been sucking the dicks of Born Against since they dressed up like bunny rabbits and put out mediocre records so many centuries ago.
The best thing that ever came out of Born Against was a band that existed BEFORE Born Against, called Life's Blood. I think it was the guitarist.
I was there for the Pickle Patch "show." If I had a time machine....
They (Men's Recovery Project) showed up, sat in their van, and when it was time to play, they walked into the Pickle Patch wearing t-shirts over their faces that had images of other peoples' faces on them. Some of them weren't wearing pants or underwear. Straight up dicks hanging out. They had big, brown paper bags full of mashed up food, and they kept repeating, "Our food is digested food" over and over again, and throwing the food on the carpet. They marched back into their van and drove off, fast. And that was that. Brett Bazilko (a resident of the Pickle Patch at that time), stood by the door and said, "That was lame." It sure was.
If I had a time machine, I'd slash all four of their tires, so that when they tried to make their getaway, they'd be fucked. Or better yet, pull shit out from under the hood of the van, so it didn't even start. Can you imagine how embarrassing that would be for them? They'd be turning the key, sweating, and then, "Does anyone have triple A?" MAN that would be sweet.
Sam is damn right when he says Born Against were no Articles of Faith. Not even close! Boy, he sure hated Refused. I don't know what he was talking about when he said Dennis seems like someone with serious problems. I hung out with Dennis on a golf course with Sam Velde and Aoki during the INC days (are they still around?), and he seemed like a totally nice, enthusiastic, well-adjusted individual to me.
I think he's SOOOO wrong when he says hardcore stopped being innovative after 1986. There was a great period in the late 80s and early 90s of bands totally being innovative (Born Against not being one of them). Verbal Assault, Absolution, Burn, later Turning Point, Inside Out, Moss Icon, Statue, Fugazi, Pitchfork, Gorilla Biscuits, Reason To Believe, Lifetime. All those bands were doing cool things within hardcore that were never imagined pre-'87. Especially Burn. And as much as I HAAAATE what I call "random core" (bands like Dillinger Escape Plan, Botch, and the like), IF you were to consider those bands hardcore, they certainly were blazing their own trail musically. So those bands were doing shit in the late 90s / early 00s that were never thought up before. Party of Helicopters goes so far into left field, that I wouldn't call them hardcore, but they are a good example of a band that disproves the popular notion that "it's all
been done before."
To each his own. I liked Sam's short stories. I'm glad he's finally doing something creatively that I can appreciate."
SPLIT BEAVER s/t 7"
"This shit rules! I've never heard of these guys. I'm all about obscure heavy metal, as long as it's not of the thrash, death, black, speed, or grind varietals."
The Kinks - 'Muswell Hillbillies'
"This album is too low-key and country sounding for my tastes. It is by far, my old roommate's favorite Kinks album, and he's been a Kinks fan way longer than me."
Hammerfall - 'Masterpieces' (cover album)
"Ouch. Is "We're Gonna Take It" a typo, or is it their own twist on the Twisted Sister classic?
"Man on The Silver Mountain" is in a Coors commercial.
Priest and Riot are tight.
How can you cover Yngwie Malmsteen with a straight face?"
Tom Gabel - 'Heart Burns EP'
"It took me a second, but I figured out that this is the dude from Against Me, a band I tried to get into, but couldn't, and then was eventually glad I couldn't, when a bunch of kooks got into them (the same kooks that made it uncool to listen to Hot Water Music).
Here's what I hate about this music: it reeks of adjectives like ernest, heartfelt, sincere, and serious, when in real life, no one is like this. Against Me are the leaders of what I call "Bruce Springsteen Punk", which is a sucky new genre. But don't get me wrong - I like a lot of Springsteen's music, I just don't like what these punk bands have done with it.
I don't buy into the self-congratulatory vibe of this folk punk shit. It is entirely possible to fuse folk and punk and come up with something good (Violent Femmes anyone?), but this is doody. There are bands like this all over the country now. I think the granddaddies of it all are Avail, who have some tight jams on their earlier albums, but they haven't aged too well. The first song on 4AM Friday is still phenomenal though."