Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Purity of Disaster

I received the Foundation "Purity/Disaster" 7" for review way back in 1992.  I remember giving it a favorable review then, and after listening to it recently I have to say it holds up.

Foundation was out of NY, and while it was a hardcore band, the songs on this release have a certain emo feeling to them.  Real emo.  Not Hot Topic emo.  The 7" itself is on white vinly (classy), and it includes lyrics to the two songs.

I tried looking the band up on the Internet and found nothing really helpful.  Even Round Flat Records, which put this out, doesn't seem to have copies of it anymore.  Not surprising.  This is a solid release, and the band members (Bill Colgrove, John Drenning, Steve Korol and Mike Waney) have already probably moved onto to other things that are hopefully music related.  (No sense in wasting one's talent by working at a diner.)  Mike Waney as of 2/11 responded to a posting on the Coregasm blog, so he's at least around and checking out what the world has to say of his old band.

I never got to see Foundation live, but I imagine it would've been quite an energetic and positive show.  The sound these guys had is due for a resurgence in the next few years.  I doubt any of it will be as good as this 7" was, though. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Letters from Doug Evil

Doug Evil was the man behind Orgy of One, a one-man band that did some Misfits covers and original tunes.  He designed my band's logo (JFK's Head, for those keeping score), and did a cover for one of my 'zines.  We wrote each other off and on and talked on the phone on occasion.  Below is a short letter he wrote about some distribution stuff and ad space in my 'zine (Chaos Into Power). 

Doug of C.I.P.,

Here is your order of Orgy 5 "Single" tapes plus Misfits cover tapes.  1 for you & 1 (one) for the Misfits themselves!  (If you get in contact with them.)

Please copy the ad I sent you to help with the distro process & enclose a copy of the Misfits cover album flyer with any order of my tape.

Also I'd like a list of names and addresses of people who buy my tape so I can send them flyers & shit.  If there are any problems call me at [phone number listed]. 

Haplessly Yours,
Doug Evil

I did send a copy to the Misfits, but I do not recall the reaction to it.  At the time, the Misfits hadn't signed Michael Graves or Dr. Chud yet, so it was in a state of flux.  I do remember talking to Doyle prior to sending it, and he was excited about hearing it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Release to Get Excited About ....

Voodoo Rhythm Records, a label I consider the best on the planet, has released a split CD/LP.  (I hope I get a copy of this one.)  Mama Rosin Together With Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers.  Both bands are seriously freakin' good.  Cajun meets garage rockabilly.  If that release sucks I'll cut off a finger.  I just don't see it happening.  In fact, I can't think of the last time something came out on Voodoo that I didn't like.  Nope. 

Both bands have released great records before.  Both bands are highly capable of getting asses out of their seats.  Together?  Oh, that is the sweet spot.

There was other exciting news in the e-mail I got, but seeing this release kind of made everything else just fade into the background.  It isn't every day when you hear of such incredible news.  This was that day. 

For all you readers overseas, here's the tour dates:





14 May 2011 Bearded Theory Festival, Derbyshire UNITED KINGDOM

17 May 2011 Electroacoustic Club @ The Slaughetered Lamb, London UNITED KINGDOM

19 May 2011 The Railway Inn, Winchester UNITED KINGDOM

20 May 2011 Wood Festival, Oxford UNITED KINGDOM

25 May 2011 Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris FRANCE

26 May 2011 Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris FRANCE

29 May 2011 Evolution Festival, Newcastle upon Tyne UNITED KINGDOM

11 Jun 2011 Halt auf Verlangen Festival, Grünenwald OW SWITZERLAND

18 Jun 2011 Mundial, Tilburg NETHERLANDS

19 Jun 2011 TBC Oerol Festival, Terschilling NETHERLANDS

24 Jun 2011 Glastonbury Festival, Glastonbury UNITED KINGDOM

28 Jun 2011 Festival de la Cité, Lausanne SWITZERLAND

01 Jul 2011 Skagen Festival DENMARK

02 Jul 2011 Skagen Festival DENMARK

09 Jul 2011 Festi'Cheyres SWITZERLAND

15 Jul 2011 Larmer Tree Festival, Wiltshire UNITED KINGDOM


21 jul 2011 paleo festifal, Nyon SWITZERLAND ( with HIPBONE SLIM AND THE KNEETREMBLERS)

27 Jul 2011 Musicas do Mundo, Sines PORTUGAL

09 Aug 2011 Broadstairs Festival UNITED KINGDOM

10 Aug 2011 Broadstairs Festival UNITED KINGDOM

13 Aug 2011 Summer Sundae Weekender, Leicester UNITED KINGDOM

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer Time: Clicking on a link can earn me a commission.  I have not received a copy of this release to review yet, but I hope to.  If I do, I will write about here, of course, along with any place else that will take it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Lost Art of the Album Cover

I've always preferred vinyl over CDs, cassettes, 8 tracks and MP3s.  Part of this preference has to do with cover art. 

Cover art is something that seems forgotten about these days.  Yes, it still exists, but I think any serious lover of music would admit that the cover art for a CD is seriously lacking when compared to that of an LP.

When I was a kid, I got lost in cover art.  Whether it be Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast or Massacre's Killing Time.  It didn't matter.  I'd put the record on, listen and look.  My cassettes had cover art, but it was too small to see.  Same with my CDs.  My 7" singles were even better than cassettes and CDs.  The cover art seemed to matter.  It looked like art.  It was art.  It was important.

Now the art is nothing more than a picture.  It doesn't help sell anything.  It tells no story.  It is as cold and impersonal as the MP3 format.  There seems to be little thought put into it because the people consuming it (and don't kid yourself, MP3s are a consumable product and nothing more) put no thought into what they are buying. 

Years ago, when going into a record store, I'd look at everything.  If a band I never heard of had a neat sounding name and a cool album title, the cover art would often make or break my decision to buy it.  That's how I actually ended up buying Killing Time.  The cover art appealed to me. It was as mysterious as the names of the songs on the release (and in hindsight fit the music perfectly).  The cover art of a CD never swayed me to make a purchase.

If you compare the vinyl art on any Iron Maiden album to the exact same art on the CD or cassette, you quickly realize how much detail you lose.  There are subtle touches that just aren't there when you shrink down the image to fit the format.  The LP cover was the perfect size.  Above and beyond the music, it was often art that stood on its own.  In fact, when I got Kiss' Creatures of the Night for my birthday, I actually displayed the album cover in my room for quite a few months, much like someone would hang a painting or display a sculpture.  Again, I never did that with a CD.

MP3s are meant to be played on tiny devices, the portability of which is the selling point.  Some of these devices display the cover art for whatever music you are listening to at any given time.  The art is so small, though, that it becomes pointless.  I've purchased MP3s, and like CDS, I never bought one on the whim of a cover ... because I can barely see it.  I definitely can't display it, either. 

Maybe I'm old, or maybe I romanticize too much.  I don't think so, though.  Many of my music loving friends feel much the same way.  They long for the days when buying an album meant something.  When a record felt like an event.  Sure, vinyl is still being made (and I still buy it), but the industry has changed.  The art seems less inspired.  The compact format has led to compact ideas.  There are always gems, of course, but they are no longer the norm.  Long gone are the days where I would examine every detail of a photo or painting, pondering how it fit into what I was experiencing coming from my speakers.  Upsetting?  Of course.  But it's also a sign of the times, where art has little meaning and everything is meant to be disposable ... including the music.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer:  Clicking on my links may earn me a commission.  I'll use the money to get a new record player.