Chunklet Staff's Top 10's (or whatever) of 2013 - Part Finale
POSTED FRIDAY 02.14.14
Ben Johnson's Top Lists:
Top Regular Things I Liked:
Purling Hiss - Water on Mars
Brotman & Short
Exhaustion - Future Eaters
Spray Paint - s/t
Cuntz - Aloha
Life Stinks - s/t
Things I Actually Loved But Not As Much As Previous Things By The Artist, So It's Like They're A Dud Even Though They're Totally Not:
Ty Segall - Sleeper
Thee Oh Sees - Floating Coffin
Fuzz (the band)
Things I Listened To Again At The End Of The Year And It Turns Out I Enjoyed Them More Than I Thought I Did:
The Holydrug Couple
Top Last-Minute Late December Things That Would Skew People's Lists With A Recency Bias If Anybody Was Still Paying Attention:
Angkor Wrack LP
Lovely Legs 7"
Top Regular Reissues:
The Clean - Vehicle
King Tuff - Less Than $75 To Hear "Sun Medallion" On Vinyl Whenever I Want
Top "not gonna pretend I knew about or was into this the first time around" Reissues:
Top Things I Did Not Get A Chance To Listen To Because I Am Not Made of Money But Would Probably Love If I Did:
Devo Hardcore Demos
An Embarrassing, Exhaustive and Disorganized List of Records That I Bought During 2013 (Some Which Might've Actually Come Out Before This Year) by Henry Owings
Basic Cable-I'm Good To Drive (Permanent)
Billy Bao-Buildings from Bilbao (Burka for Everybody)
Black Bug-Reflecting the Light (HoZac)
Blind Shake-Key To a False Door (Castleface)
Bowl Ethereal-Five Minutes (self released)
Brainbombs-Disposal of a Dead Body (Skrammel)
Buck Biloxi/Legendary Wings-Split (Pelican Pow Wow!)
Cave-Threace (Drag City)
Cellular Chaos-s/t (UGExplode)
Counter Intuits-s/t (Pyramid Scheme)
Cuntz-Solid Mates (Homeless)
Dasher-Yeah I Know (self released demo)
Destruction Unit-Void (Jolly Dream) & Deep Trip (Sacred Bones)
Diät-Everyday 7" (Iron Lung)
Disappears - Era (Kranky)
Double Dagger-333 (Thrill Jockey)
Endless Boogie-Long Island (No Quarter)
Endless Bummer-7" (In The Red)
Enjoy The Experience: Homemade Records 1958-1992 (Sinecure)
Ex-Cult-Mister Fantasy 7" (Goner)
Fuzz-s/t (In The Red)
Goat-Stonegoat/Dreambuilding 7" (Sub Pop)
His Electro Blue Voice-Ruthless Sperm (Sub Pop)
Hoax-LP (self released)
Holly Hunt-Year One (Roofless/Other Electricities)
Kitten Forever-Pressure (Guilt Ridden Pop)
Liberez-Sane Men Surround (Self released)
Manatees-Cat Food 7" (Pelican Pow Wow!)
Mikal Cronin-MCII (Merge)
Mugstar-Centralia (Self released)
Obits-Beds & Bugs (Sub Pop)
Obnox-Corrupt Free Enterprise (12XU)
Old Baby-Love Hangover (Karate Body)
Pontiak-Innocence (Thrill Jockey)
Raspberry Bulbs-Deformed Worship (Blackest Ever Black)
Running-Vaguely Ethnic (Castle Face)
Satanic Rockers-Fu Kung (Alberts Basement)
Spray Paint-s/t (S-S)
Survival Knife-both 7"s (Kill Rock Stars & Sub Pop)
The Mantles-Long Enough to Leave (Slumberland)
The Pampers-s/t (In The Red)
The Readymades-I'm a Man, I'm a Flower (Mt. St. Mtn.)
The Ukiah Drag-Jazz Mama Is Cryin'
Tony Molina-Dissed and Dismissed (Melters)
True Sons of Thunder-Stop and Smell Your Face (Goner)
Whores-Clean (Brutal Panda)
Women's Work-6 (self released)
Recommended Reissues from 2013 by Henry Owings:
Cosmic Psychos-Goner/Aarght! reissues
Scorched Earth Policy-Going Through a Hole in the Back of Your Head (Siltbreeze)
The Hugh Beaumont Experience-The Cone Johnson EP (Cheap Rewards)
Teengenerate-Get More Action (Crypt)
New Bomb Turks-Destroy Oh Boy and the 10" (Crypt)
Primitive Calculators-s/t/The World Is F*cked (Chapter Music)
Rodan-Fifteen Quiet Years (Quarterstick)
Anything on Superior Viaduct
Chunklet Staff's Top 10's (or whatever) of 2013 - Part Deux
POSTED THURSDAY 01.16.14
Nick Blakey's Five New & Five Old for 2013
1. Lenny Lashley’s Gang of One: Illuminator (Panic State) What, you didn’t think someone like Lenny Lashley could come out of the beat ‘em up and ask no questions assault of Darkbuster showing that he does have, in fact, another side? Well, sure, lose just about everything and try to put yourself back again and this is what you get: good, honest songwriting that draws equally from Cash, The Clash, Cohen, and Hardin (not to mention a good dose of Bragg.) And if “Anti-Xmas” or “Hooligans” doesn’t at least make you sit up and pay attention, then maybe it’s time you stopped listening to music altogether.
2. Mark Eitzel: Glory (Décor) America’s greatest living songwriter delivers yet another moving home recorded album in the vein of the previously brilliant Klamath, Brannan Street, and Candy Ass that makes up for the not as pleasing professionally produced and recorded sidestep that was Don’t Be A Stranger. This is Eitzel at his very best: raw, emotional, warm, and alone. Stop agonizing over the death of Elliot Smith (he was a fucking hack anyways) and pick up this album now. It will distract you, convert you, or make you want to kill yourself. Cheers!
3. Bruce Gilbert and BAW: Diluvial (Touch) The former secret weapon of Wire and Dome returns to wow us once again, this time in collaboration with husband and wife duo BAW. This album discusses the inevitable Waterworld our planet will become and frankly it frightens me so much that I have yet to make it all the way through. Worth it for that reason alone.
4. The Guild of Funerary Violinists: The Art of The Funerary Violin (Mississippi/Change) Stunningly beautiful, somewhat mysterious LP of a genre I was completely unfamiliar with put out by the always incredible Mississippi Records folks. There are armchair snobs out there who will wonder openly why this isn’t pitch perfect or pristinely played, but one must remember if you’re playing solo violin at a funeral you probably didn’t make it to the orchestra try-out’s in the big city. Warren Ellis fans should definitely check this out.
5. M|O|O|N: EP (Wrong Island Communications) So you didn’t think they made techno records like this anymore? They do and M|O|O|N (who has some familial ties to LCD Soundsystem) does. While you’ll swear this was made by someone of a vintage persuasion with years of experience in sweaty nightclubs, it was actually made by a teenager on borrowed equipment before he ever played a live set. Hey, believe me, I was shocked by that too.
6. Elder Otis G. Johnson: Everything – God Is Love (Numero Group/Holy Spirit) Somehow, someway in a suburban Detroit Pentecostal Church in 1978 a homemade gospel album was created by one Elder Otis G. Johnson that sounded uncannily like a fusion of early Suicide and those moody, brooding slow jams Prince was doing around the time of Purple Rain (such as “The Beautiful Ones”). It also, at times, sounds as if a random and unable parishioner is helping out on keyboards. Regardless, this is one record that has to be heard to be believed. Bonus: Elder Johnson is still making and releasing music on the internet.
7. Patrick Cowley: School Daze (Dark Entries/HNYTRX) The late, great Patrick Cowley is noted for being Sylvester’s best collaborator (“Do You Wanna Funk?”), Donna Summer’s best remixer (the punishing 20 minute version of “I Feel Love”), the creator of Hi-NRG (what came after is not his fault), and one of the earliest AIDS casualties in music (he died a year before Klaus Nomi.) He also scored some gay porn soundtracks in his spare time, and those can be found on this lavish double LP set. And sure, it’s ok if you want to say you only bought this for the liner notes.
8. Cybotron: Enter (Decision/Fantasy) Gorgeous reissue of this Detroit proto-techno classic. Clean lines like the hood of a Monte Carlo, warmth and comfort like the back seat of a Sedan DeVille, darkness lurking like the gas tank of a Pinto. Maybe one of these days we will be blessed with a reissue of the pre-Cybotron Richard Davis 45 “Methane Sea” which is frankly the only thing missing here.
9. Various: The Ecstasy of Gold series (4 volumes) (Semi-Automatic) Awesome and frankly spellbinding compilations of Spaghetti Western soundtracks that despite being named for a Morricone standard the big man is nowhere to be found here. Guaranteed there will be films and composers you have never heard of and after listening will wonder why you hadn’t. Hell, just buy these for the cover art alone.
10. Slayer: entire catalogue on vinyl (American) Never mind their later shit: Reign In Blood, South of Heaven, and Seasons In The Abyss should be required listening for any person who calls themselves a fan of metal (or frankly of music in general.) If you don’t own one of these already, you have no right to claim you know the real reason Jeff Hanneman died or that the guy from Exodus who replaced him sucks.
Amanda Nichols' Top Ten
10. Nile Rogers everywhere!
9. The Satanics at the Middle East on Halloween. The alter-ego of the Titanics got their “peace and love Satanism” thing going this year for one show on Halloween. One of those shows I didn’t think I’d ever get to see.
8. The David Bowie record that came out this year sounds better on a turntable than on an iPod. It’s a different experience entirely.
7. The In Out’s Agenda E.P. Side two sounds like (good) Dinosaur Jr. “Poseur Alert” cracks me up.
6. Parlour Bells “Bachelor Hours.” The video is beautiful, and the song? Well, anyone who gets the line “it’s like St. Patrick’s Day in this motherfucker” without sounding like they’re trying too hard to be abrasive deserves to be heard.
5. Lenny Lashley’s Gang of One –“Anti-Christmas.” Who would’ve guessed that one of the guys from Darkbuster could make like Johnny Cash? He’s been touring with the Street Dogs lately and they’ve been doing this tune live.
4. Township. Just see them.
3. Videodrome Discoteque’s custom mix of Scissor Sisters’ “Let’s have a Kiki.” Videodrome exists in the land in between classic MTV, Studio 54 and a hangover after a really memorable David Bowie concert. They made this video for fun, and it sums up all that is awesome about attending one of their shows.
2. Gene Dante and the Future Starlets- “We Are All Whores.” The song’s a great commentary on our selfie-obsession, but did you know that the lead guitarist is Scott Patalano from Mistle Thrush?
1. Telegram - “Follow.” Did you happen to see the Nightingales when they toured with their really young guitarist? This is his new band. See them before the tickets are too expensive.
Craig Lieske RIP
Pete Wilkins' Top Ten of 2013
The Bees - Voices Green and Purple 7" (UT records) - Essential garage dementia for moptops and rockers, fuck the squares
Cuntz - Solid Mates LP (Homeless) - Antipodean repetetive mongdom that is way more punk than you are
Basically -Johnny Moped DVD - Top drawer doc directed by the captain son - stick it in 'er lughole
Flowers - Live and on 45 - witnessed 3 great performances and a couple of great 7"s from this London twee piece, the forthcoming LP on Fortuna Pop should see them household names
Sleaford Mods - Austerity Dogs LP (Harbinger Sound) - yeah yeah, everybody is on this but it's still one of the most honest records you'll hear, plus it's got lots of swearing which IS big and clever
Paul Messis - Case Closed LP (State) - The Sussex kid does it again on his 2nd album, peerless garage rock that only a handful ever truly nail, he's not into garage punk - he IS garage punk
Nubs - Job 7" (Last Laugh) - KBD Klassik, pissed off perfection in a spot on reissue
Lee Hazlewood - There is a Dream I've Been Saving box set (Light in the Attic) - okay okay full disclosure, Henry is a great friend BUT we've been friends well long enough for him to not expect me to just blow smoke up his arse, this box set is hands down my favourite thing I got last year, just perfect music/design/execution, i still look at this everyday and just marvel at it. So much went into this and it shows, and Henry didn't even use his trademark font size fuck up like he did on the live Jesus Lizard LP cover - the boy done good.
Sam Knee - A Scene in Between book (Cicada press) - holy shit more nepotism, Sam is my oldest friend but that only accounts for a tiny part of why this book is so great, They say "if you remember the 80's, what the fuck are you still doing posting top 10s on blogs you irrelevant old bastard" and they may be right, but if you wanna know what being a kid in the UK was like when you didn't conform then this is year zero.
The Nightingales - Live in Preston at the Peel all dayer - Just formidable, no looking back from Robert and the crew, just flat out commitment to culture.
Oh and a late entry, I mean 2 years late cos this Chinese cracker came out in 2011 but i'm such a goon that i rarely reach the vanguard these days:
The Offset: Spectacles LP (Rose Mansion Analog) - Far East and Far Out Cantonese VU worship that does it right.
Remain untamed in 2014.
Dr. Jonathan Waks' Top 10 Sandwiches thus far- Based on Universal appeal, longevity and
(Department of Happiness and Ritual Circumcision Run by the Earl of Sandwich)
1. Peanut Butter and Jelly- This blast from your past remains a contender
2. Bahn Mi- A relative newcomer to the world fusing French and Vietnamese
deliciousness, but it is here to stay. (There is a sriracha shortage)
3. The Hamburger- There is not a corner of the earth without one.
4. The Falafel- fun to say and to eat- this one brings out the heat and even
works for the vegetarians.
5. The Grilled Cheese- It comes in many forms from around the world- the
Cuban, the montecrisco, the Panini- but you mix toast and cheese and this
stands the test of time.
6. Burrito- They made the wrap a reality but its Latin older brother is
7. Crepe- It is the omelet you can each with your hands and anything goes
inside of it.
8. Deli- This is a real general category for the turkey and Swiss, egg
salad, ham and cheese lovers.
9. The Pulled Pork- BBQ made its own and it was deemed good
10. Italian hot hero- Meatball Sub, Eggplant parm, Chicken Parm- You know it
when it comes out hot and saucy.
Chunklet Staff's Top 10's (or whatever) of 2013 - Part One
POSTED MONDAY 01.06.14
Aaron Draplin, Draplin Design Co.'s Top 10
1. Polvo - Siberia
2. Red Fang - Whales and Leaches
3. Flaming Lips - Peace Sword EP
4. Califone - Stitches
5. Sebadoh - Secret EP
6. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Mind Control
7. Lord Dying - Summon The Faithless
8. Scud Mountain Boys - Do You Love The Sun?
9. The Delines - Colfax
10. John Moreland - In The Throes
Dave Hofer's Top Releases of 2013
Artifacts - Between a Rock & a Hard Place (Artifacts) REISSUE
A$AP Ferg - Trap Lord (RCA)
A$AP Rocky - Long.Live.A$AP (RCA)
Blasted Diplomats - Blasted Diplomats (BLVD)
Botch - We Are The Romans (Hydra Head) REISSUE
The Bronx - IV (ATO)
Danny Brown - Old (Fool's Gold)
Cave In - Until Your Heart Stops (Hydra Head) REISSUE
Dillinger Escape Plan - One of Us is the Killer (Sumerian)
Discordance Axis - Jouhou (Hydra Head) REISSUE
El-P & Killer Mike - Run the Jewels (Fool's Gold)
Ghostface Killah - Twelve Reasons to Die (original Adrian Younge mix & Apollo Brown remix) (Soul Temple)
Gigan - Multi-Dimensional Fractal Sorcery and Super Science (Willowtip)
Heliocentrics - 13 Degrees of Reality (Now Again)
Ill Bill - The Grimy Awards (Fat Beats)
Immolation - Kingdom of Conspiracy (Nuclear Blast)
Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire - Kismet (Self-released)
Nails - Abandon All Life (Southern Lord)
Nedelle Torrisi - Nedelle Torrisi (Self-released)
Denmark Vessey & Scud One - Cult Classic (Dirty Science)
Wormed - Exodromos (Willowtip)
Jordan Mamone's Top 10
1. VHK - Veled Haraptat Csillagot! (Bite the Stars!) (Full Contact/Ektro)
2. Swans - Not Here/Not Now (Young God)
3. Hebosagil - Lähtö (Full Cotact/Ektro)
4. Live Skull - Bringing Home the Bait (Desire)
5. Toiling Midgets - Live at the Old Waldorf, July 21, 1982 (Full Contact/Ektro)
6. Pissed Jeans - Honeys (Sub Pop)
7. Circle - Six Day Run (Full Contact/Ektro)
8. The Garbage & the Flowers - Eyes Rind As If Beggars (Bo'Weavil/Fire)
9. Live Skull - Live Skull (Desire)
10. Mamiffer & Circle - Enharmonic Intervals (for Paschen Organ) (Sige/Ektro)
Michael T. Fournier's Top 10
Buke & Gase - General Dome
Coliseum - Sister Faith
Grant Hart - The Argument
Highness - Hold
His Electro Blue Voice - Ruthless Sperm
Jandek - Song of Morgan
Mark Kozelek/Desertshore - Mark Kozelek & Desertshore
Party Animal - s/t
Rodan - Fifteen Quiet Years
v/a - Cut The Shit! Vol.1
Mike Faloon's Five Great Records
1. Big Kitty - Recordings of Ferns (Teaberry)
2. David Kilgour - “Christopher Columbus” b/w “Shifting Sands” 7” (Merge)
3. Sebadoh - Defend Yourself (Joyful Noise)
4. Superchunk - I Hate Music (Merge)
5. Worriers - Cruel Optimist 12” EP (Don Gionvanni)
Mike Faloon's Five Great Books
1. Sean Carswell - Madhouse Fog (Manic D)
2. Mickey Hess - The Novelist and the Wrapper (Self published)
3. Matt Kindt - Mind Mgmt: The Manager (Dark Horse)
4. Matt Kindt - Red Handed (First Second)
5. Rev. Norb - The Annotated Boris (Bulge
Antonio DePietro's Top 10 sad, male, white singer/songwriter albums for 2013
1. Bill Callahan - River Dream
2. Kurt Vile - Waking on a Pretty Daze
3. Cass McCombs - Big Wheel and Others
4. Phosphorescent - Muchacho
5. James Blake - Overgrown
6. Ty Segall - Sleeper
7. Mutual Benefit - Love's Crushing Diamond
8. Andrew Bird - I Want to See Pulaski at Night
9. Original Soundtrack Recording - Inside Llewyn Davis
10. Drake - Nothing Was the Same
Ryan Ridge's Top 10
1. Bill Callahan - Dream River
2. William Tyler - Impossible Truth
3. Eluvium - Nightmare Ending
4. Kurt Vile - Waking on a Pretty Daze
5. Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
6. Jonathan Wilson - Fanfare
7. Yo La Tengo - Fade
8. Charles Bradley - Victim of Love
9. Blood Orange - Cupid Deluxe
10. Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold
The Olivia Tremor Control’s 1997 BBC Peel Session Unearthed and Released by Chunklet Industries!
POSTED MONDAY 11.18.13
1997 was a big year for The Olivia Tremor Control. They were riding high on the release of their debut double album “Dusk At Cubist Castle,” and touring the world relentlessly. During a visit to the UK in March, illustrious tastemaker DJ John Peel requested the band to visit his studios to record for his radio show. Seventeen years later, “John Peel Session” is released.
“John Peel Session” features a couple never-before-released songs amidst the three tracks. A radio session that has been officially licensed from the BBC, this is continued evidence of a band that is in further need of celebration.
I’m Not Feeling Human
Memories of Jacqueline 1906 / The Giant Day / Outer Themes / Green Typewriters
Suite Two: Frosted Ambassdor / Green Typewriters / The Princess Turns the Key to Cubist Castle / Looking for Meaning
First 200 copies available on clear vinyl
Red vinyl available exclusively thru Chunklet mailorder
Cut direct to lacquer at Chicago Mastering Service
Pressed at RTI
Officially licensed through the BBC
45rpm 12” record housed in a Stoughton tip-on jacket
Includes download code
PREORDER! SHIPS IN EARLY/MID JANUARY!!!
Tar '1988-1995' 2xLP via Chunklet Industries
POSTED MONDAY 10.07.13
What can you say about Tar? They were a band that existed in a very fruitful time for rock music to spin out of punk. When Tar started out in 1988, out of post HC/skate rock outfit Blatant Dissent, there were no eyes on anything remotely underground. You had to know people, or at least listen in on the right conversations, to figure out your ass from your elbow. It was a time when, if you were playing non-mainstream music, you would have to start riots and destroy venues, or smear yourself with shit and eat used tampons to get recognized in the media. When Tar called it a day in 1995, at least two bands they toured with, and five bands with whom they shared rosters on both the Amphetamine Reptile and Touch & Go labels, had signed to majors. What happened in between is history. And history is what we are here to celebrate.
Even in their heyday, there weren’t a lot of bands like Tar, either in their hometown of Chicago or anywhere else. There were bands that had the choreographed stage moves, the short hair, the loud amps, the promotional matchbooks, but few if any could manage what Tar did, which was to create a new, strict, limited vocabulary for rock-based music. Since you can’t spell “guitar” without “tar,” their use in the band went uncontested. They had two really cool ones at that, belonging to deadpan frontman John Mohr and bassist Tom Zaluckyj, forged out of aircraft aluminum, which built one of the foundations of their sound: prolonged sustain, chords that rang out as long as they could hold out. So that was a thing.
The rest of the Tar rulebook worked as such: capture the sound of three guitars playing different notes at the same time, discover harmonious sound in the discord that could erupt from the potential incompatibilities, and no leads, no solos, no posturing. What resulted was an architected noise, completed by Mark Zablocki’s second guitar and Mike Greenlees’ clean, solid drumming (and until 1991, bass guitarist, Tim Mescher) that sat firmly in the midst of the ugly American overkill of Midwestern noise rock, but with eyes on the shimmering expanses of shoegaze from afar. Studio engineers worked with the band to exploit the capacities of this approach; Steve Albini fused the guitar tones together on their 1991 album Jackson, while Brad Wood found synergies in the spaces between them for the subsequent release 1993’s Clincher EP.
Their approach seems deceptively simple, but mindbreaking thought went into how that sound came to be. They had peers in both Savage Republic’s desert psychedlia and Glenn Branca’s and Rhys Chatham’s guitar orchestras, but none of those artists were able to apply those ideas to catchy, driving three-minute rock songs the way that Tar could. When Tar broke up, other bands weren’t citing them as a primary influence in what they were trying to do with their own music. In essence, rock gave up on Tar; bands no longer got beaten up for having someone playing a synthesizer, and the group’s legacy was buried by history.
Tar reunited for local performances in 2012, and to commemorate, longtime fan Henry Owings released a two-song 7” on his Chunklet label featuring session outtakes from the band’s final album, Over And Out. Now, the fruits of their labor can be found in 1988-1995, a double album which dutifully collects all of Tar’s in between moments: 7” singles, splits, compilation tracks, unreleased material, and their entire John Peel Session. These 21 tracks reveal the hidden history of Tar’s progression from mechanized thrash into gracefully strong, peerless rock-not-roll, and that even appearances on tour singles and multi-band collections were reasons to bring their A-game.
Over fifteen years have passed since Tar’s initial demise, and 1988-1995 presents a band due for serious re-evaluation as deafening iconoclasts of independent music.
• Contains every non-12” vinyl release by Tar, including all singles, compilation tracks, unreleased, and a 1992 Peel Session, and covers of songs by Pere Ubu (“Non-Alignment Pact”), Jawbox (“Static”), AC/DC (“Hell’s Bells”), and Dobie Gray/Bryan Ferry (“The In Crowd”)
• Cut direct to lacquer by Bob Weston at CMS
• Download code included
• 21-track double-LP housed in an expanded jacket, with liner notes from many of Tar’s comrades
• Bonus digital download features Want/Need, over two hours of live Tar recordings from the band’s archives, spanning every period in the band’s development.
• 2xLP ltd edn - one time pressing
• Aluminum guitars sound best
• Limited Tar bundle available with t-shirt