Archive for September, 2014

Re-Evaluated // Days In Europa

September 29th, 2014 | Features | 0 Comments

the-skids-days-in-europa_LRG

Skids were a Scottish punk band in the late 70s/early 80s who had a little success but nothing too crazy. I’ve heard their first two albums, their 1979 debut Scared To Dance, and the album of their’s that really interests me, their second, also released that year, Days In Europa.

To give one a sense of context, Scared To Dance sounds like a standard UK poppy punk album of its time. It sounds like it kept the record company happy and the average punks satisfied. Days In Europa, on the other hand, sounds like a totally different band. It’s weird, zany, peppered with a rainbow of synth sounds, and political, with song titles like “Dolce Et Decorum Est (Pro Patria Mori)” (a quote in latin from Horace‘s Odes: “It’s sweet and honorable to die for one’s country”) and “Working For The Yankee Dollar”. The original cover (pictured above) looks like Nazi propaganda.

The fact that the album was remixed and rereleased with a different cover and tracklist leads one to imagine that the label was not so crazy about the band’s newfound audacity. But of course, all this made for a really great album. Musically and vocally this is still the same average late 70s/early 80s punk band as the one on Scared To Dance, but the songs and production are not so much a huge step up as simply way more interesting. And about 30 years later Days In Europa is still interesting, though perhaps in our age of extreme and widespread experimentalism what once sounded weird now just sounds cool.

The last track, “Peaceful Times”, is both the most innovative and the best track on the album. It’s a weird dirge with backwards vocals and drums (or at least cymbals or something) and spoken word verses.  It’s at once catchy, cut-up and uplifting in the way a lot of Remain In Light is, though unfortunately Skids didn’t have Brian Eno producing. I can’t imagine the ruffians  at the time replaying it much, but by virtue of its fearlessness, it’s really the most punk track on the album.

Kiss Me Sunset

September 26th, 2014 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

kissmesunset

Montreal psych-kraut-rockers Kiss Me Sunset put out a pretty badass four-song EP last last month called Moonshine Bowling. Made nice use of the Wes Anderson font.

Mystic Triangle

September 25th, 2014 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

pulses

One time I was at Vacation Records in LA looking at cassettes. I asked the guy what one was like and he said, “Oh, it’s kinda like dark, minimal, psyche, beats.”

“Oh, that’s cool, but do you anything maybe a little more poppy or something?”

So he picks up another one and says, “This one’s pretty good too.”

“Oh yeah? What’s this one like?” I asked him.

“It’s kinda like…dark, minimal, psyche, beats.”

“I see…”

They actually were pretty cool cassettes.

Toronto’s Mystic Triangle also has a cassette out called Pulses.

Evil Arrows

September 25th, 2014 | This Is New York | 0 Comments

evilarrows

Back in 2006, my band at the time, The Fancy Claps, was named One Of The 25 Best Bands On Myspace by Rolling Stone. Another band on the same list was an old school style psychedelic-pop band called Bryan Scary and The Shredding Tears. Though my band brokeup less than a year later, Bryan Scary went on to get some more attention from the likes of Pitchfork and Spin. Now it seems that he’s ditched The Shredding Tears and started a new band based in Brooklyn called Evil Arrows. Him and his new crew are still doing the pyschedelic-pop thing, and they’re doing it well. Their next release, EP4, drops September 30th.

Shlock Appeal // Zardoz

September 24th, 2014 | Film | 0 Comments

zardoz

Apparently, after the success of his hillbilly thriller classic Deliverance, director John Boorman was given free reign to do whatever movie he wanted to next. His 1974 sci-fi mind-f*ck film Zardoz seems to suggest he took this freedom not so much as a privilege, but as a dare.

Set in the year 2293, the film starts off with some incredible images: a giant flying stone head that pukes out guns, and Sean Connery in an amazing article of red, underwear-like clothing(?). The legendary Scotsman’s character, Zed, is a hairy-chested ‘brutal exterminator’ who somehow gets whisked away on an insane adventure that takes him to a place with a bunch of asexual telekinetic immortals who are punished for things like ‘negative thoughts’ by being aged. Then things start to get weird.

If you actually care about the ridiculous plot, just read the wikipedia page. You might be better off ignoring it altogether because it’s insane. That being said, this movie is kind of amazing. The fact that it actually got made – and with fresh-from James Bond Sean f*cking Connery – is beyond my comprehension.

What is important is that it’s a head-trip to watch, filled with all the crazy colours, WTF costumes and special(-ed) effects you could ever ask for from one movie. Also it has a scene where they show Sean Connery porn to try and give him a boner…for science.

I can’t go on. Just see this movie.