Sunday, January 25, 2015

Johnny King with The Singing Strings of Carl Cotner: "Take A Good Look/Close To You" (1960, Monticello 1014)

Today at Lucky Dog Books in the D I picked up a big hardback encyclopedia of Roman history for a cool $6, plus some old Who's Who In The DC Universe reader copies, a couple of Steely Dan albums, and this heavy metal sampler LP called Heavy Metal Thunder. Originally released on French label/distro Carrere in '82, the one I picked up has label and album print (except for title and band names) in Spanish, and it was released on Peerless in 1983. Neat stuff.

Among the 45s I picked up was this pop obscurity. Take A Good Look b/w Close To You by Johnny King, with The Singing Strings of Carl Cotner, released on a label called Monticello in 1960. I couldn't find out anything about Monticello via a Google search. This site puts the recording year of this seven inch at 1960. And the song was mentioned in a Billboard in mid-January, 1960, though I see a couple of other links that have it for sale put the year of its creation at 1959. There's a few copies available on Ebay.

Take A Good Look was written by one Al Stewart, but I don't think it was the Year of the Cat Al Stewart because he woulda been 13 and 14 in '59-60. My Google search turned up nada on the song. I prefer this track to the B side, Close To You.

Close to You was written in 1943 by Jerry Livingston, Carl Lampl and Al Hoffman, and has been covered three times by Frank Sinatra. And I guess once by Johnny King with The Singing Strings of Carl Cotner. Two of the three writers mentioned above - Hoffman and Livingston plus a guy named Milton Drake, wrote Mairzy Doats. My pet peeve is the words "can't you see" in a song. So cliche, and Close to You features it, but it's still okay I guess.

I couldn't find a dang thing about Johnny King. At least, no one named Johnny King who I think was the singer on these tracks.

Carl Cotner, who led the backing band on both sides of the vinyl, is more of a known entity than the shadowy Johnny King. Per Cotner's Discogs page, he was "Gene Autry`s longtime music director and movie stand-in," born in 1916 and passed on in '86.

So who listened to this stuff back in 1960? Was it for teens? The elderly? Babies? Thirtysomethings? I really don't know.

Take A Good Look

Or click here to listen to:Take A Good Look

Close To You

Or click here to listen to: Close To You

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Threat.Meet.Protocol., HOLY, kudzu, Treasure Fleet, FUTURO, PAVEL CHEKOV, x=, and Henry Boatwright

Check out this awesome/bizarre/new favorite claymation video that kiwi punkers Threat.Meet.Protocol made for their song The Last One, off their new album, Pretentious, released last month. CNQ breathes for just this type of action. Absolutely the best thing I've seen/heard all month:

HC punk from Milano, Italy:

New lo-fi rock from Springfield, Missouri. Good song:

New space-rock from Chicago:

New punk from France's Crapoulet Records label:

This Dallas powerviolence act has a new cassette tape release. I need to see these guys soon:

More new punk, this from Pennsylvania:

We began with awesome, we continued on with awesome, and now we end with awesome. German label Tramp Rec has re-issued this awesome Houston funk/soul from 1970 on 45:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

uncle curt

I posticulate that our debut de siècle in this anthropocene soon to be robopocene era is like, the wildest, man. The wildest. To wit:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Grave Mistake Records, Bad Advice, Crime Wave, Cloak/Dagger, Ausmuteants

Richmond, Virginia's super-cool Grave Mistake Records is having a big sale, LPs, 7"s, and CDs, including some new arrivals, for 30-40% off.

Here's what I picked up tonight.

From 2012, this punk 7" features dudes from Richmond bands Government Warning, The Ladies, and Cloak/Dagger. The Richmond scene, man. Dig it.

This Houston punk is also from 2012:

Grave Mistake has a few copies of the European press of this 7" from 2009:

I've seen this Australian band's album 2014 album on a few lists, and they're We're Cops video is super-disturbingly cool:

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ex Hex, Mind Spiders, and Party Static

The wife and I went to see Ex Hex and Mind Spiders at Club Dada in Dallas last night. We missed the opening act, Dallas-based five piece Party Static, due to a timing error on our part. We were bummed we missed them because their 6 song EP from 2013, This Isn't Music, is good stuff. Since they're local hopefully we'll catch them soon:

Mind Spiders is a band from up in Denton, their 2013 album Inhumanistic was put out by Dirtnap Records. Lead vox/guitarist Mark Ryan is also in the similarly awesome The Marked Men, but that band hasn't put out anything since 2010.

What is there to say about Ex Hex that hasn't already been said? Mary Timony is approaching legendary status, Rips, released late last year on Merge, is an excellent album, etc. It was a pleasure to see Timony shred on the guitar, and bassist Betsy Wright, who wrote a couple of the tracks on Rips, has a magnetic stage presence. They stayed after the show and (wo)manned their merch table, took pics and signed autos with the crowd, which was big by the way.

I managed to babble incoherently to Timony, before stupidly asking how long she'd been playing guitar. She was polite though and said she'd been playing since she was 13. I also managed to stare blankly at Wright, while thinking to myself, "say something cool, dummy, don't just tell her how pretty she is," before my wife politely led me away from further embarrassment. I think Wright mighta winked at me but also she mighta just had something in her eye. Mrs. CNQ got to take a pic with Timony, and all three signed the vinyl we got from them. It was an awesome evening. Rock'n'roll is here to stay:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Buck Biloxi, Liquid Skuills, Clutch: The Boy Wonder, and a Smithsonian Folkways Track from Ivan Kozlovsky/Alexander Ivanov-Kramskoy

Today at work I listened to first-of-the-year episodes of Best Table In Hell and Dynamite Hemorrhage. Both of 'em are great podcasts.

DH's Jay Hinman did a good interview with Tim Scott from Noisey Australia. At the end of it, Scott asks Hinman, "What music trends would you like to see disappear in 2015?" And Hinman sez he'd like to see "all-male bands who fashion themselves as “aggro” and “brutal” to mellow the fuck out."

I'm not an angry young man anymore, but I was once, for sure, and there's a lot of stuff to be angry about in the world. I think I have brushed my teeth with enough fluoride that I've been rendered docile. But if anger is the feeling someone wants to express, I'll break it down from there. I won't post someone who's angry at Puerto Ricans or Transhumanists, you know that. Bands who propagate racism and intolerance should be ashamed of themselves. But if you are mad at establishment culture, or the government, or the guys who kicked you out of Shadowrun, then fr sure, I totally grok.

I listened to a lot of Buck Biloxi and the Fucks today also. During my lunch break I read the Hinman/Scott interview mentioned above, and also a 2013 Terminal Boredom interview with Biloxi by Chuck Barrels. In the interview, Biloxi makes a distinction between what he terms "real punk" and "hardcore," and I made the connection between Hilman's and Biloxi's comment.

I post a lot of bands on CNQ that I think fit the description of "aggro," "brutal," and what Biloxi means by "hardcore." My wife calls it "music that is not fun" - what the kids call screamo (and, apparently, skramz?), and crust/powerviolence, and the grindcore I was familiar with growing up. But I've always labeled all of that on CNQ as "punk," just as I would a Buck Biloxi tune, or a Burger Records garage-rock band. They're all just variations on a theme, IMO.

Anyway, that's what I thought about today at work as I performed tasks.

Check out my main man Jimmy Spice's sweet nu-gazin' Liquid Skulls track:

This new hip-hop from Harlem is strangely powerful:

Smithsonian Folkways is wonderful, gang. Just wonderful. Ivan Kozlovsky was a famous Russian tenor and Alexander Ivanov-Kramskoy was a famous classical guitarist. Check out their collab, I'm not sure what year this is from. The 50s or 60s, I guess:

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Vinyl from Bandcamp

2015 will be the year I thoroughly embrace Australian crust. Here's a split from Sydney's Inebrious Bastard with a band from Winnipeg called TERRORIST:

Courtesy Indiana's Middle-Man Records, this interesting split between Madrid's Eros + Massacre and Lafayette, Indiana's Coma Regalia has cool packaging, featuring "two color screen printed wrap around cardboard with different images on each side fastened together with an obi strip."

That sounds nice, and I like the songs, three tracks apiece from both bands. One of the bandcamp tags for this release is "skramz," which is a term I've never heard. Per Urban Dictionary, this "skramz" is used to refer to "REAL screamo/emo." (Urban Dictionary's caps, not mine.) And then Urban Dictionary lists some bands that ARE (my caps) skramz bands of which I've never heard, and some bands that AREN'T (my caps) skramz, and I've never heard of them, either. I assume this burgeoning skramz set wears their skull and weed leaf belt buckles just like the rest of us.

I like this split, they say it's an 8". Skramz forever, why not:

Cool garage punk from San Fran, available on black and white splatter vinyl:

From Suffolk, UK's Kibou Records, there's only a handful of this 9 band/10 song Neo-Albion punk comp left:

I just made Neo-Albion punk up, I think.

I love this hobby, and I love the Internet, because I love to learn new stuff about music history, like skramz for example, and I love to learn that stuff from home. This I just learned from home: Polish punk label Nikt Nic Nie Wie is the first Polish independent record label, established in 1989. They've got a lot of cool stuff to offer naturally, and I just ordered this 7" compilation, released back in 2011 - 9 bands from Silesia, Poland. Awesome.