Saturday, May 22, 2010

let's begin again: Bedhead - WhatFunLifeWas

So it's been a while since I've posted anything new.

Life has intruded, ebbs and flows, but eventually settles down.

What also helps is discovering new music. Not new as in released-last-week, but new as in "why haven't I heard this before, and why is this NOT in my record collection?!?" music. Such as it is with today's feature, a record that 5 days ago I was completely unaware of and had no musical knowledge of. Oh I knew it existed, as an entry in a discography kind of way, but nothing more than that.

You see... I've been on a Kadane brothers blitz off and on for the past several months. Starting with their current project The New Year and working my way backwards, I've been discovering the utter musical genius that is the Texan brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane and the jawdroppingly-beautiful music they create.

I'm not so familiar with the brothers' backstory so I won't go into much detail (because I don't know it!), but starting in 1992 Matt and Bubba Kadane (both guitarists) began releasing records as Bedhead, and when that band ended in 1998 later formed The New Year - which is still active.

I really haven't a clue where to begin describing Bedhead, but today's record - Bedhead's debut LP from 1994 - sounds as if Slowdive raided J Mascis' guitar collection, added some Louisville, KY math rock to the blender, and threw away the effects pedals. It's perhaps the best shoegaze record I've ever heard, but it's not shoegaze. It's perhaps the best slowcore record I've ever heard, but it's not slowcore. It's not post-rock but they could post-rock Tortoise to the end. It's not math rock, it's not punk rock, but it's all those.

Where has this record been and why hasn't it been in my collection for the past 16 years?

Take the second track here "Haywire". The guitars are straight out of the 1990-1992 UK Midlands shoegaze scene, but the ending is completely and utterly mindblowing. The song sounds like it was recorded live to two-track (which wouldn't surprise me at all) which makes the record even more impressive, considering what they're able to do with the simple three guitars, bass and drums formula.

For a quick hit intro to Bedhead just check out "Bedside Table" - a track that gently glides along on lovely intertwined guitars, and ends in a chaotic fury that had to have been AMAZING live.

I'll stop now because I'm too busy swooning to "Crushing".

1994 Trance Syndicate

01 Liferaft
02 Haywire
03 Bedside Table
04 The Unpredictable Landlord
05 Crushing
06 Unfinished
07 Powder
08 Foaming Love
09 To The Ground
10 Living Well
11 Wind Down

edit: Removed link.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Power of Independent Trucking : Best Of (so far...)

This is something I've been thinking about for a while, even before recent debacles have caused me to re-evaluate the blog. I know every post gains at least a new reader or two, and sometimes it's too much effort to browse through history and see what stuff you've missed. I know this from my own experience as a blog reader myself.

So I put together a "Best, so far..." post. And being me, I couldn't really edit down from my super list of tracks. So I figured who *doesn't* want 7+ hours of wonderful music to listen to, courtesy of your humble blogger? I would gather this would be roughly 5 CD-Rs worth of material, an even 100 songs from throughout the course of this blog's history.

Every track here I've posted at one time or another previously, so faithful readers from the beginning - assuming they pull down everything I post - will have all this material. If that faithful reader is you, I applaud you. And ask you to start your own blog too, because anybody who likes everything I post obviously is my kind of person.

Even I - the blogger with far too much attention to detail - couldn't fathom how to assemble 100 tracks into 5 (give or take) seamlessly-flowing CDs. So I lazied out and went alphabetically, by artist, and then chronologically by release when more than one track is featured from an artist. And you know what? Barring the occasional odd junctures as we leap styles now and then, it actually works as an easy listen! Only the very first, and very last, tracks are out of sequence: 1 because it gave the blog its name, and 100 because when I put it on a compilation, it *always* ends the comp.

As comprehensive as this compendium is, obviously this just touches the iceberg of material I like. There are easily 50 artists I love that haven't blogged, and obviously aren't in this compilation (hello Pavement, Guided by Voices, Yo La Tengo, and the like). So with that said, consider this my musical journey, in a nutshell.

I'm too lazy to post the relevant links-to-the-original-post in the below tracklist, but if you click the artist name on the sidebar -> over there, you'll eventually find the original post.


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The Power of Independent Trucking : Best Of (so far...)

01 BIG BLACK The Power Of Independent Trucking
03 ARCWELDER Raleigh
04 BEDHEAD Parade
06 BIG BLACK Passing Complexion
07 BIG BLACK Kerosene
08 BITCH MAGNET Americruiser
09 BITCH MAGNET Mesentery
10 BITCH MAGNET Crescent
11 THE BOMB Never Want To See You Again
12 THE BOO RADLEYS Does This Hurt?
13 THE CHARLATANS Between 10th and 11th
14 THE CONNELLS Darker Days
15 DIDJITS Joliet
16 DURUTTI COLUMN (MARTIN HANNETT) First Aspect of the Same Thing
17 the FEELIES Raised Eyebrows
18 the FEELIES Slipping (Into Something)
19 the FEELIES Away
20 the FEELIES Invitation
21 fIREHOSE Brave Captain
22 fIREHOSE In Memory of Elizabeth Cotton
23 HAPPY MONDAYS WFL (Think about the future)
24 HÜSKER DÜ The Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill
25 HÜSKER DÜ Flip Your Wig
26 the JESUS LIZARD Mouth Breather
27 the JESUS LIZARD Dancing Naked Ladies
28 JOY DIVISION No Love Lost (pitch corrected)
29 JOY DIVISION Dead Souls (pitch corrected)
30 JOY DIVISION Colony (pitch corrected)
31 LOW Immune
32 LOW Dinosaur Act
34 MINUTEMEN The Anchor
35 MINUTEMEN Corona (1987 mix)
36 MINUTEMEN History Lesson, Part II
37 BOB MOULD Paralyzed
38 BOB MOULD I Am Vision, I Am Sound
40 NAKED RAYGUN Soldiers Requiem
41 NINA NASTASIA Superstar
42 NEW FAST AUTOMATIC DAFFODILS Big (single version)
44 NEW ORDER Homage (7 September 1980 Western Works)
45 NEW ORDER Ceremony (September 1980 E.A.R.S. New Jersey)
46 NEW ORDER Temptation (7 inch version)
47 NEW ORDER Lonesome Tonight
48 NEW ORDER Let's Go (unreleased original 1985 vocal)
49 NEW ORDER When I'm With You (22 June 1982 Milan)
50 NEW ORDER Your Silent Face (16 June 1989 Irvine Meadows)
51 NEW ORDER Runwild (mix 3) [Primitive Notion]
52 NEW ORDER Shipwreck Of A Broken Man ["Turn My Way", no Billy Corgan]
53 NEW ORDER Run 2 (26 June 1989 unedited old arrangement)
54 THE NEW YEAR Folios
55 NORTHSIDE Moody Places (12" version)
56 THE OTHER TWO Selfish (unreleased mix from 1992 advance promo)
58 PEGBOY Through My Fingers
59 PEGBOY Strong Reaction
65 R.E.M. Seven Chinese Brothers (9 July 1983 Toronto)
66 R.E.M. With The People -> King Of Birds (Tourfilm 2.0)
67 R.E.M. Kohoutek
68 RAPEMAN Marmoset
69 RED HOUSE PAINTERS Song For A Blue Guitar
70 RIFLE SPORT Exploding Man
71 RODAN Bible Silver Corner
72 SEAM Sweet Pea
73 SEAM Port of Charleston
74 SEBADOH Soul and Fire
75 SEBADOH Cliche
76 SEBADOH Mystery Man
77 SECTION 25 New Horizon (edit)
78 SHELLAC Canada
79 SILKWORM Couldn't You Wait?
80 SILKWORM That's Entertainment
81 SLINT Ron
82 SLINT Washer
83 SLINT Rhoda (re-recorded version)
84 SONGS: OHIA The Old Black Hen
85 THE STONE ROSES Elephant Stone (original Peter Hook mix)
86 BERNARD SUMNER Getting Away With It (March 2009 Songbook)
87 TAR Mel's
88 TAR Short Trades
89 TAR Barry White
90 TEENAGE FANCLUB Star Sign (edit)
91 JEFF TWEEDY & JAY BENNETT Via Chicago (25 July 1999 Chicago)
94 WILCO Someone Else's Song
95 WILCO & BILLY BRAGG California Stars
96 WILCO Ashes of American Flags (album track)
97 WILCO Sunken Treasure (2 November 2002 Tampa)
98 WILCO At Least That's What You Said (28 June 2003 Philadelphia)
99 SHANNON WRIGHT Black Little Stray
100 NAKED RAYGUN New Dreams

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Whew.... Grab the 10 RAR files comprising the set here.

Maybe in another year we'll have a Part II of this... Or not!

New material coming up soon - I do have several items in the pipeline.