Friday, December 08, 2006

Yeah, what they said

They've been dubbed a slighty poorer version of Dog Faced Hermans, but I'm willing to let that slide, since I have a soft spot for any modern pop act trying to emulate that No Wave aesthetic. Besides, you have to show some iota of affection for a group that pens a song named, "Jesus Sends Hate Mail."

The group's name is Archbishop Kebab and of course, being as sonically anarchist as they were, information regarding them is scarce. What little we can tell you is that in-the-loop folks at Harvard are at least name-dropping them, all part of a cleverly titled "Universal Listening Assignment." Right . . . .

Hear it for yourself. Download: "Jesus Sends Hate Mail" by Archbishop Kebab. The band was once described as "a riotous punk post-raggle-taggle band of the just-post-punk and no-wave era." Yeah, what they said. Anyway, as always, when it comes to acts of the mighty obscure variety (and when the Interweb has so disappointingly let us down; bastards), any futher information is appreciated.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

From the scrummage

The town of Rugby gave us the sport that bears the same name, and Jason Pierce.

According to the tall tales: Back in 1823, William Webb Ellis invented rugby in the town -- a boy "who with a fine disregard for the rules as played in his time, first took the ball in his arms and ran with it." That's a load of hooey, though; about as accurate as the stories I heard regarding a chap named Abner Doubleday who invented the sport of baseball one fine afternoon in Elihu Phinney's cow pasture.

What we can say, however, is that Jason Pierce is most certainly a man with a "fine disregard for the rules as played in his time." He formed the band Spaceman 3 with fellow Rugbeian Pete Kember in 1982. Between 1986 and 1991, while the listening public was ga ga over C86 and baggy, the group released five albums worth of dreamy, layered, guitar-driven psychedelia. Take that listening public!

And yes, I know this doesn't exactly qualify as the typical guitar pop fare I usually deliver unto you. Let's make exceptions, okay?

Crank it up for: "Ecstasy Symphony/Transparent Radiation (Flashback)" and "Take Me To The Other Side."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Let the music do the talkin'

Here's Natalie MacMaster with a lovely rendition of "Balmoral Highlanders." This track appeared on 1998's cleverly titled My Roots Are Showing. MacMaster, born and bred in breathtaking Nova Scotia, is one of the most famous musicians in the tradition of Cape Breton fiddle music. She's quite the looker, as well! And for just this once, I'll rightfully supress my Irish gift (curse?) for the gab and let the music do the talking.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Get outta that holiday spirit

The strands of colored lights are blinking and dangling, the Scotch tape barely holding them up (you have to simply adore these stark, concrete walls). There's one of them smelly cinammon candles burning and I swear, I just saw a few snowflakes. It's kinda . . . romantic. Even the cynical bah-humbugs would think so.

But you know, we're still hitting the books and wiping sand from our eyes for early-morning classes, so I'm not ready to celebrate the season just yet. Not till the blue ink is dry on that last final examination. So I put on some non-Christmas music to completely kill the mood. I even blow out the candle.

The below tracks are hardly new (the album was released way back in May), but after giving the album a once-over back in the spring, I'm on a joyous voyage of re-discovery. One reviewer of the album wrote,"The dreary, sparkling world of Espers is as sharp and haunting a trip as a drop of blood falling from a blade of grass." But please, don't let that stop you from giving it a listen.

Listen to "Cruel Storm" and "Moon Occults The Sun."