✰THE 2014 FUCKIN’ RECORD REVIEWS HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE WITH EMPHASIS ON THE LEGACY OF THE FUCKIN’ RECORD REVIEWERS FEATURED HEREIN (and associated small biz combustibles)✰
Ever wonder how we acquired these beauties from zine antiquity? We went shopping! And while most of the original fare featured above is long gone, many of their original content creators continue to blast forth far into the online era. So gaze into your handheld digital marvel with your credit card in hand and support the current perspectives of a dying tribe…and then some!
✰12XU✰ Resurrected in 2011 by Gerard Cosloy [Conflict, Loaded, Forced Exposure, Matter, a letter to Flaccid in 1988…], the quality of rock combustibles is consistently staggering: OBNOX, CHRIS BROKAW, FLESH LIGHTS, BURNT SKULL, XETAS, GOTOBEDS, UNHOLY TWO, JONLY BONLY, SWEET TALK, the GOSPEL TRUTH, TOMMY KEENE, the DEAD SPACE, GHETTO GHOULS and the JOHN SCHOOLEY & WALTER DANIELS LP, to name more than a few. 12XU’s “why d'ya have to call it ‘Black’ Friday” Sale…runs thru midnight 12/2. 20% off any order, big or small with code “FUCKHUDSONS” at www.12XU.bigcartel.com
You could stop here and be au courant until 2018 at least. But don’t be stoppin’, keep up the shoppin’…
✰FORCED EXPOSURE✰ Like, duh, who isn’t familiar with this already? We all know Jimmy Johnson rode a wave carved in his own likeness into online shopping supremacy via the post-FE catalogues of PSF crack. (Oy, that’s a mouthful!). Nineteen years later, the volume of worldwide outsider music featured at the FE site every fucking day is totally nuts! For instance, how about this Luigi Nono Seguente 2 cd box on EDITION RZ? See, you want it now, right?FE is having a 15% off sale until Monday 12/1/14… shop until you drop is the saying, cuz I don’t ever not wanna be able to see vine clips of Jimmy driving to the hoop.
✰DYNAMITE HEMORRHAGE✰Jay Hinman may not have a storefront of subundergound music merch, but the former SUPERDOPE editor (with friends) just published Dynamite Hemorrhage #2, an 84 page fuckin' paean to writin’ fuckin’ record reviews (along with interviews and features about Bill Direen, Tim Warren and contemporary killerz Honey Radar, NOTS and King Tears Mortuary, plus The Layman’s Guide to 1970s Jamaican DUB)! Toilet seats beware, here comes sickness… dynamitehemorrhage or http://dynamitehemorrhage.bigcartel.com/
✰LISA CRYSTAL CARVER✰Rollerderby's Editor-In-Chief (see also Conflict, FE, Ugly American…) has never really stopped, has she? Her most recent missive is How Not To Write (2014), which she describes thusly: “75 pages - brand new book with a breakneck 52 chapters! An assignment for YOU lurks at the end of each. Some chapter titles: Be a Dick; Fumble in the Dark with Fat Fingers and Find a Surprise; Get Welts; Dig in the Trash; Use Negative Space; Cut Everything!; Go Anywhere; Starve; Love Athletes and Feed Their Bodies with Helplessness; Be Someone Else; Measure the Unmeasurable; Stay Up All Night; Get in the Closet; Tell a Secret; Sex Is Not Sexy; Don’t Set Me Up, Man; Lie; What Are You?; Cut the Wuss Out; Cut the But!; Finish It; Everything’s Easy Even When It’s Hard; Unattractive Chapter; Thank You. Yes, it is a writing book. Writing is the same as living, that’s what people forget. This book is here to remind you by force. First 250 are signed and numbered and come with a mystery instruction key tag.”Her eBay site is an essenital stop on the shopping train, because when you end up in debt you’re gonna need her previous 2014 book, Money’s Nothing.
✰GONER RECORDS✰Since Fuckin’ Record Reviews’ inaugural post on 7/16/13, we’ve featured various slices of WIPEOUT! zine, which happens to have been penned/typed by the very same oblivionic goners who operate goner-records in Memphis! The current calendar year has enjoyed Goner label largesse in the form of several FRR 2014 faves, including NOTS, Ex-Cult, Ausmuteants and several COSMIC PSYCHOS reissues, not to mention that there’re thousands of other crypto-zoological disasters to place in your cart. GO THE HACK!
✰MARC MASTERS✰No, the former CrankEditor-in-Chief, Opprobriumcontributor and current Pitchfork and The Wire writer has not opened a big cartel (as far as we know). But one visit to Marc and North Carolina State Fair attendance worrier Grayson Currin’sthe-out-dooris a dizzying slide down the “experimental, avant-garde, and outsider music" rabbit hole (check it: this whole post was written to the sounds of 200 Words-featured artists Vanessa Rossetto, Matt Krefting, Charlatan, Hunted Creatures and Sophie Cooper). They’ve really hit their tumblr stride with the 200 Wordsseries, in which "we highlight a new record we like a lot, via a 200-word review by Marc Masters and 200 words (or so) from the artist about whatever they choose.) ” Wait, so 200 Wordsdoesn’t feature Grayson’s contributions? Now we’re confused. But that really doesn’t matter. Grayson’s probably busy with saturdaychores as well as worrying the NC Fair attendance numbers, the former being an outstanding progressive cause counteracting the bullshit interference to women’s reproductive self-determination in that state. If you’d prefer to spend your discretionary income making a contribution and doing some good, this is a most worthwhile destination: http://saturdaychores.org/.
✰FEEDING TUBE RECORDS✰ Where is Ecstatic Yod’s Byron Coley selling his wares these days, you ask? FEEDING TUBE RECORDS at 90 King Street in Northampton, Massasuchestts, which also happens to be releasing the most bewildering stream of extra since the day RRR married PSF. Hold on, I think I dreamt that, but any label that can release as many laced sides in one year as Feeding Tube must be on something! You absolutely must buy the best record of 2014 - Myriam Gendron (aka myriamgendron) - not to mention one-of-a-kind records by AWOTT, Guerilla Toss, Bugs and Rats, Jack Ruby, Owen Maercks, Dredd Foole and Ben Chasny, Hi Sheriffs Of Blue and other possibly fabricated bands with bonzo names. Feeding Tube has a bandcamp too, which is where I’m listening to Robert Robinson’sConnecticut River. What the fuck, when did this come out?
✰NORTON RECORDS✰ Home to Kicks editors Miriam Linna and Billy Miller for like 30 years, to say they go from strength to strength is to borrow a lousy phrase, but it’s not an untruth! Miriam Linna issued her first LP Nobody’s Baby in 2014 too. Btw, coming up in NYC during the first week of December 2014 is…
“The NORTON RECORDS HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR 2014: DECEMBER 4-5-6 Norton Records kicks off the holiday season with a wild weekend of Kicks, flicks, and astounding rock 'n’ roll…Coming to town for the big Bell House Bash Friday Dec. 5 is the RANDY FULLER FOUR , delivering all of the rockin’ favorites of the Bobby Fuller Four as delivered by original BF4 members Randy Fuller and Dewayne Quirico, rounded out with the genius excellence of Deke Dickerson and Sam Elwitt! RANDY FULLER FOUR/ ANDY SHERNOFF & THE NORTON ALL-STARS/ A-BONES/ DADDY LONG LEGS / MIRIAM & NOBODY’S BABIES and BLOODSHOT BILL… Friday night is our night to howl!”
✰MORE & MORE & MORE✰ The geezer outlets listed above not enough? You gotta part with even more money in order to enhance yourself culturally? Aw man, my back hurts from typing all night and my eyes are oozin’. Some more absolute essentials to list before I pass out include…
11/29/14 at 10:11 AM EST ADDENDUM…✰ belakoe’sANYWAY RECORDS!✰Bela continues to uncover gems that will renew your faith in humnaity - or at least the members of humanity who thrive on partcicpation in the subunderground indepdent rock music community - that’s us, right? WV WHITE + CONNECTIONS + ST. LENOX
“If there’s one that rode away What would I be missing? Lips that taste of tears Are the best for kissing”
Words: Dorothy Parker/Music: Myriam Gendron
✰BEST REASONS TO WRITE FUCKIN’ RECORD REVIEWS IN 2014✰
Can’t seem to narrow it to under 130 releases like the rest of you terse tastemakers, what with these 2014 combustibles being all totally fucking great and whatnot. It’s similar to an audition for a Rhys Chatham guitar orchestra - like, who didn’t get selected? Well, believe it or not I narrowed it down from 417+ and every one of these babes is top in its class. Added some reissues too…(click on the individual panels for sharper eyeballin’)
Confused? Sure, Fuckin’ Record Reviews highlights zine clippings from a hundred years ago, but you know my heart is in 2014. BEST MUSIC YEAR EVER. Why? Cuz it’s now, that’s why grandpa.
So dazzled was I by Myriam Gendron’s pairing of jumblequeen faith to Dorothy Parker poems, I still can’t believe it exists. The top 18 records really helped get these bones out of bed in the morning…yet so much time was spent with the other 121 that to leave ‘em off such a list would’ve felt like a betrayal. It’s a fixed belief around here that Fuckn’ Record Reviews’ wiring is configured thusly: whatever receptors accommodate sound waves somehow got tangled with those responsible for lust/unlust, and consequently I’m doomed to swoon in response to vibrations. That’s how it feels anyway. You’re probably wired similarly or you’d hardly give a toss about this tumblr and its endorsement of such unprofessionally recorded sound entertainment. Speaking of which, I totally forgot to list collapsible 2014 gems from Protomartyr, G. Green, Vacation Club and Apache Dropout, Nots + not to mention Mark Wynn’s 37 releases, Burnt Skull, Sheer Mag, Pang, the Kramers, Purling Hiss, Mary Halvorson, Sick Thoughts, Xetas, Hollywood Autopsy, Gang Wizard, I could go on…Someone say something about Paradise of Bachelors reissuing those Mike Cooper records. FINALLY!
Have yet to hear the Matt Krefting record on Kye, Chris Forsyth, Irène Schweizer, Mary Lattimore/Jeff Zeigler, Melinda Nadj Abonji…the Spectrum Spools label I like totally forgot about until yesterday. Those new Back From The Grave comps are probably stellar <sigh>.
Top labels easing me into middle age: Feeding Tube, 12XU and Tuff Enuff
Song of the year was by St. Lenox, but his record ain’t out until January 2015, so it defaults to Watery Love’s autobiographical “Face The Door,” in which Max, Richie and Mary Lattimore argue about who’s gonna sit where in a restaurant – one of whom doesn’t want his back to the door for fear of being ambushed (“Now Richie, like Malcolm, wants to face the door. Don’t want a bullet in the back – wants to look his killer in the eye”). Max gets so annoyed by his dining companions he utters the now famous line, “Unlike you fucking dickheads, I welcome death.” TRUE STORY. Or that’s what they told me. It’ll all be detailed in the zine. Which reminds me, gotta go do layout before I get ambushed. Life can be like that.
Uniform (mems of drunkdriver and The Men) touring on a new LP “perfect world” Drew Mcdowall (of COIL) doing a solo set. New tape on Ascetic House. Huren (Toronto SCUMTRONICS) HEAVY techno Basilica (VAMPIRE PE) First show outside of a dingy whitby basement. Wasted Paper Recs
Why we like it: Refreshing. In a year where it seemed that every album fell into the dream pop, lo-fi or folk category it’s refreshing to hear some music come out with pep in its step. Poor people are revolting is an energetic album that almost forces you to get up and dance. From the first track to the last track, the band hits you with their unrelenting intensity. There is no use of fancy effects or “haunting vocals” on this album, just a taste of punk in its purest form. If the lead singer isn’t yelling his heart out at you, the lead guitarist is shredding out catchy riffs. One of the most fun albums of the year, this album tops the list as one of the best rock albums of 2014.
ampere - like shadows many bands have tried to emulate what ampere do, but nobody comes close to their visceral wall of noise. whether they’re blasting through a 12-second beast, or actually hitting the fabled 2-minute mark on album closer tiny victories, this is just perfect hardcore punk.
beau navire - hours practically perfect. though they had shown wonderful flourishes of spastic hardcore on previous releases, hours is a concoction of everything that is good in hardcore and punk music. the quiet and subdued intro quickly tears into one of the finest opening tracks on any record. ever. this is a piece of musical art in my eyes, and anyone with even a vague interest in all of this noisy nonsense should take note of this wonderful group of people.
dikembe - chicago bowls right from the freaks and geeks intro, i knew this was going to be special, and the ensuing four tracks proved my thoughts exactly. it just sounds like perfect pop punk and this is a hard thing to conquer, but dikembe have created a lovely slice of nonsense for our ears. also, scottie spliffen is the best song i’ve heard in 2011.
lester freamon - natural police they kind of remind me of envy at their most hardcore, and that can only be taken as the highest of compliments. the more i listen to this, the more i think it may be my favourite release of the year. i would certainly like to see this lot live.
j mascis - several shades of why what else could this have been other than perfect. j mascis has been one of the most prominent and wonderful musicians in heavy music for 30 years, and this is certainly a high point. beautiful emotional music for rainy days.
mahria - mahria proof that screamy music is alive and well, and that ladies can vent just as well as the boys in heavy music. the songs build and build into complete works of art and i can’t recommend this band enough.
wugazi - 13 chambers who would have thought that the best of all punk bands could mix with the hip hop legends. another chessboxin’ argument is one of the greatest songs of the year. whether you’re a hip hop kid into wu tang or a punk kid into fugazi, this is the most original release of the year. zona mexicana - zona mexicana fast as fuck, tech as fuck, just fucking wonderful as fuck. how had i never heard this band until a month ago? definitely a highlight of the year for me.
12xu - les grandes marées i’ve been looking forward to this 12xu are the best punk rock band in the world right now, and yet to write a bad song. their first full length carries on in their tradition of old-school punk rock, mixed with some nice emo and a little dashing of their former bands.
special mention: big eyes - hard life black god - black god ed gein - bad luck old growth - out of the sands and into the sea raein - sulla linea d'orizzonte tra questa mia e quella tutti ravachol - great moments in the void reaching away - please remember me seesaw - things are bad small brown bike - fell and found the usual - light letters vile gash - deluded ep voyage in coma - you appear alongside me
Obnox put in too much work to not be recognized by someone other than myself - a lazy joke-critic, who dips in-and-out of character in a way that irritates 90% of his audience. Merely getting ranked on a handful of “best of” lists is not enough. Still, I’ll say what I feel needs to be said, to the best of my ability, and hopefully superior writers’ll come along and do the man’s insane 2013 onslaught justice. A Pitchfork (yes, Pitchfork) interview with Bim shed some light on his attitude towards the current state of affairs in the punk rock world:
“Rock and roll could stand some more brothers right now, some more swagger,” he insists. “Speaking on my own behalf, whatever they’re calling rock and roll right now is trash, it’s bullshit. Put me in the position to rock next to some of these motherfuckers, and you’re not going to be able to sell that bullshit anymore. It’s not cockiness, it’s confidence.”
“I’m also trying to make a record that the average brother with a nice system in his car, when he hears it, he’s not frisbeeing the shit out of his window,” he insists. “Instead he’s like, ‘What the fuck is this? Where do I find more of it?’”
There’s definitely an attempt on his part to reach beyond a punk audience, towards folks who might have their minds closed to the style of music he’s been immersed in for 20+ years.
He takes pure Ohio punk, mixes in hip-hop-inspired refrains, and buries it beneath blown-the-fuck-out recording, abrasive noise, and anger-fueled pummel. There’s strong songcraft beneath it all, but the filter he runs it through feels political to some small extent. He seems intent on connecting with outsiders, and every straight-forward hook you’ll dig out of this album seems geared towards that end, as if he’s challenging that audience to work their way through the layers until they find it, giving them just enough to spark that initial curiosity. There’s a big middle finger waving around at the traditional punk rock community throughout this album as well, as he tries to kick the door down for non-traditional voices, who’ve seen way too many obstacles laid out between them and any appreciation they could have for punk music - all of which have nothing to do with the music itself. Obnox relishes the part of non-traditional voice himself, and is as fearless as anyone you’re going to find making music right now. Still, his respect for the Howlands and Slicks of the world remain as obvious as ever. This is a man trying to merge two different perspectives of the world together, and bridge a gap that no one before ever cared enough to notice as reality.
Whether or not it reaches a different audience this time out, it’s still a good first step. And of course, he’s a fucking beast right now. What he’s doing is fairly radical. 20 years in the background, and now churning out inspired albums left and right, on the other side of 40 - the right side of 40, if you’re a Ohio musician. “Corrupt Free Enterprise” is a highlight among highlights from Bim, and the songs on this double lp are all 100% quality - from the Tom Waits cover, to the eerie two-part smackdown of “Fear Of A Black Brother’s Johnson”. He’s the best story going, but “Corrupt Free Enterprise” doesn’t need any of the above pseudo socio-political drivel to justify it as the year’s best album. It just is.