Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Portraits of Past - 01010101

Portraits of Past was a band from San Francisco in the mid-nineties. Their genre was "screamo" before the genre existed. Talk about ahead of their time. They remind me a lot of City of Caterpillar in terms of their song order (some singing, some screaming followed by a few minutes or more of mellow jamming followed by more singing, etc.) I have always loved bands like this but it's always hard to find a band that plays the style just right. Portraits of Past is one of those bands. When this record was released (on Ebullition in '95), since this band was so ahead of its time musically, it didn't sell well. Ebullition decided to recycle all the leftover covers and inserts they had of the LP, which turned out to be a huge mistake. A few years after, interest in the band started to escalate drastically to the point that Ebullition had to re-press the LP. Since they had recycled any trace of the original LP cover and insert they had to create a new hand screened version of the cover. I'll post the original cover at the top of this post and the re-pressed cover at the bottom. This record isn't available on its own anymore but I heard that Ebullition just released a Portraits of Past discography with these songs, the songs from their split with Bleed, and some live songs. I definitely suggest picking it up. I also heard that Portraits of Past is reuniting for some shows and releasing a new record.

Portraits of Past - 01010101

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Strictly Ballroom - Hide Here Forever + First two 7"s

I uploaded this to mediafire the other day for Kevin so I figured I might as well post it here too. Strictly Ballroom were a band from Los Angeles around the mid nineties with members that were all mutually connected through KXLU. For those of you who have never spent some time in Los Angeles KXLU is by far one of the best radio stations I have ever encountered in California let alone the world. I will leave a link for their website at the bottom of this post which I would highly recommend checking out, especially Bomb Shelter with Uncle Tim Friday nights from 8 to 9. At the time when Strictly Ballroom were beginning Jimmy Tamborello, who is now known as Dntel and one half of the Postal Service, was the music director at KXLU where he met the rest of the band including Chris Gunst of Beachwood Sparks/Mystic Chords of Memory and sometime member Jimi Hey of All Night Radio and a number of other good bands. On their first self titled 7" Strictly Ballroom played pretty basic mid nineties post hardcore that reminds me of early Unwound and maybe even a little Native Nod. On their second 7" they started to adopt a slower pace with a more atmospheric sound which people thought sounded like a combination of Brian Eno with the energy of a hardcore band. If you look up Strictly Ballroom you will see the ridiculous term that was probably invented by critics at the time to describe their music but I think its better to let words like that stay in the past. Their last record "Hide Here Forever" was their first full length and most memorable release. It is by far my favorite record of theirs and I think for the genre its probably one of the best releases period. If you are a fan of any of the people involved in Strictly Ballroom than I think it would be worth checking this out just to see what they were doing early on. The picture above is Henry Miller playing ping pong with a naked woman, it has nothing to do with Strictly Ballroom.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tear It Up - Nothing to Nothing

Tear It Up was (I'm assuming they're broken up because I haven't heard anything about them in a couple years) a little known punk band from New Jersey that should have been more known. They play punk the way it should be played. They idolized bands like Jerry's Kids, VOID, Black Flag, etc. but played shows with Hardcore bands and therefore gained a little influence from that scene as well. I saw them a few times in the early 2000's and this record was always my favorite. I think I related to them more than any other band because they played the type of punk I grew up listening to in the South Bay of California (Descendents, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, etc.) They were definitely one of my favorite bands at the time and I still listen to this record often. Listening to this record makes me want to skate and wear torn up pants. They were somewhat out of place in the Hardcore scene and maybe that's why they never got the recognition they should have had. Anyone that's a fan of punk or hardcore in general will dig this band. Plus it's out of print, so check it out. Tear it up, tear it down.

Tear It Up - Nothing to Nothing

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Kody

Today is my brother Kody's birthday. I couldn't think of a better gift to him than a bunch of good tunes. Some of these songs he's probably heard before and others are songs that I've always thought he should hear and never got around to showing him. From birthday related tunes like The Smiths "Unhappy Birthday", Fugazi's "Birthday Pony" and The Clean's "Getting Older" to some old favorites of mine like At the Drive-In's "Heliotrope" and The Replacements "Bastards of Young", this is a mix Kody and other fans of these bands will definitely enjoy. So Happy Birthday Kody. Enjoy this mix!

Track list (in alphabetical order):

American Football - Never Meant
Animal Collective - What Would I Want? Sky
At the Drive-In - Heliotrope
Big Star - September Gurls
Built To Spill - Randy Described Eternity
Cap'n Jazz - Oh Messy Life
The Clash - Somebody Got Murdered
The Clean - Getting Older
David Gray - Babylon
Drive Like Jehu - Golden Brown
Fugazi - Birthday Pony
The Jam - That's Entertainment
Jeff Buckley - Morning Theft
Leondard Cohen - Avalanche
Neutral Milk Hotel - Holland, 1945
Primal Scream - Movin' On Up
Radiohead - Polyethylene (Parts 1 & 2)
The Replacements - Bastards of Young
Rival Schools - Good Things
The Smiths - Unhappy Birthday
Sunny Day Real Estate - 9
Tony Joe White - Polk Salad Annie
Weather Report - Birdland
The Zombies - The Way I Feel Inside

Happy Birthday Kody mix