Joup Interview: Patrick Tape Fleming of ‘Gloom Balloon’.

My sneeze echoed off the funeral home, reminding me I was still alive on the night Lou Reed died. Recently I’ve been given to checking out the heavens. Kicking the tyres on the sky. Sometimes when I see that white-hot sun burning through fast moving cloud in a cold sky, I wonder what would happen if my life’s console was compromised, deleting all you NPCs and leaving just me.

Me and that accusative-looking cyclopic sun.

Underrated: Faith No More’s “King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime”

faithnomoreEveryone knows Faith No More for their absolutely massive hit “Epic” from 1989’s “The Real Thing.”  The band’s mix of metal, rap, and funk struck a nerve in both metal heads and pop scenesters alike.  It was everywhere.  Radio.  MTV.  There was even a mild controversy over the video’s use of a fish flopping and gasping out of water.  Then came 1992’s “Angel Dust.”  While eclectic and influential, the record did not perform near as well as its predecessor.  Hardcore FNM fans touted it as a masterpiece (which it is), but the fair weather fans and masses jumped ship along with lead guitarist Jim Martin.  With Mike Patton now becoming the more principal song writer, the band began to drop some of the rap-metal and glam rock that had propelled them to stardom in the first place.  Replacing it was more experimentation and forays into progressive rock.

Record Review: Midlake – Antiphon

image courtesy of Midlake.net

The first time I heard Midlake was 2007’s The Trials of Van Occupanther. There was something about the way it so effortless evoked the tone of music from the seventies that both unnerved and impressed me. And let me clarify – it wasn’t simply that songs like Young Bride, Roscoe and Branches emulated the instrumentation or affectations of what I’ve heard on the radio my entire life from that era, it was more the sense that all of those nameless, hazy musical backdrops of my early life – rides in the car, parties at relatives’ houses, grainy television themes – had created this kind of archetypal residue in the foundations of my memories for those early, developmental years and these guys were somehow able to tap directly into those experiences by their choice of chord progressions, vocal melodies and arrangements.

Album Review: Polvo ‘Siberia’

Polvo_Siberia_LP_11183Of all the recently reunited 90s Alt Rock outfits, the lesser spotted Polvo stake a more valid claim than most to a second stab at existence, having not really been paid their dues the first time around. Unlike most reunions, Polvo’s wasn’t necessarily fuelled by a groundswell of born again devotees voting with their feet for reappraisal, and it might just be this lack of expectation that has them sounding like no time at all has passed between their demise in 1998 and their reformation a decade later. Despite some deceptively pedestrian Indie distortion slinging, the woozy cephalopodic tremolo and angle grinding of Ash Bowie and Dave Brylawski’s intermingling riffs fray at the ends with non sequiturs that distort the space and time signatures of Brian Quast’s beats and Steve Popson’s humming undercurrent.

Having Your Cake and Hating It: Nirvana ‘In Utero’ 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Unit Shifter

nirvanaA shotgun hole is so absolute. The vacuum a suicide leaves behind so engulfing, it’s the epitome of ambivalence in its dichotomy of grief and resentment. A disavowal. A denial. The crepuscular introduction of ‘Heart Shaped Box’ heralded summer’s decay on August 30th 1993, through the pregnant fluff-bubble of a cassette tape piped down wires that ran through the cobwebs, pipes, atrophying plaster and laths of the cellar ceiling, up into the kitchen speakers after school as the clouds bruised with the impending deluge. ‘In Utero’ would accompany me on a walkman through the rigor mortis of autumn, to the decidedly funerary flavour of ‘Unplugged in New York’, the snowy satellite TV-taped VHS of which us siblings watched on the bright, crisp, February 1994 morning we interned my mother in the furnace after cancer had turned her black.

Pixies to Release 4-Song EP


YES!

There was time when I was vehemently against The Pixies – one of my favorite bands – getting back together. I know that sounds counter intuitive, but think about it. If there’s one thing I like more than The Pixies it’s Frank Black aka Black Francis and when the band first began doing “reunion” shows circa 2003 I desperately feared it would interfere with the seemingly endless supply of original material Black was in the midst of releasing. I also feared the old axiom of fabled wisdom, “You can’t go home again”.

Ministry – From Beer to Eternity

image courtesy of the band’s press

Okay, first I have to ask you to excuse both the lackluster album name and album cover. The title is clearly meant to be another in the series of cynical puns Ministry has used for so long. I’ve been a fan of the band since the moment I first heard The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste  back in the early 90’s – it’s one of my favorite albums ever – and even I’ll admit that while Uncle Al and crew nail it on some of their albums’ adornments (but never better than on the aforementioned) they also fall flat on some. This is a shame when you take into account that musically almost every Ministry record to date is otherwise brilliant.

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