Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Thursday, April 24, 2014
One of my objectives while on unemployment is to play guitar a lot, and maybe get really good. So the other day while listening to every band by one of my favorite guitar players, Børre Løvik (RIP), I decided a good exercise would be to sit down and play along with and learn all the guitar parts to the first SO MUCH HATE album. I got to the third song and thought, "yeah right!" and called it a day. Here's SO MUCH HATE's sole 7" from 1991, after they had been a band for 5 years. I love their first 3 LPs (and their fourth for that matter), but something about this single just gives off so much power. The riffs are extra dynamic and propulsive, and Gunnar's vocal delivery is even more vitriolic than normal. And the lyrics to "Progress" are so sadly foretelling of what has even become even more of a punk/hardcore "mainstream rock'n'roll circus" since. On the last part, the guitar lead comes in as he exclaims, "but this has been my life / for so many years / and it's so sad to see / we're only feeding the lions..." Gives me chills every time.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Рок Фестивал - Мичурин '89 - Свят, Чудни Хора / Rock Festival - Michourin '89 - World, Wonderful People
Sticking to the motif of rare Eastern Euro records, I share here a rare compilation from Bulgaria. This is a live document of the second Michourin Rock festival in 1989. Released by the state run Balkanton label. World, Wonderful People captures various rock/punk/metal bands at a time when Western culture began to make it's way in to Bulgaria and influence the music. CONTROL= fast, driving punk with keyboards, KONKURENT=metal, ERA=thrash metal, AHAT=metal, with a singer that sounds like Bruce Dickinson!, ATLAS=new wave, NEW GENERATION=new wave, REVIEW=new wave. The live recording quality is superb, and the roaring crowd throughout the album really proves the enthusiasm people felt for new music at the time.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Here's a Slovenian punk treat! The five songs here are were recorded in 1986 and are a very unique blend of gloomy but fast punk with some experimentation with non-traditional rock instruments (notably an organ and some weird percussive stuff). CZD formed in 1984 and have existed in may capacities to this day, also in written word, video, political activism, etc. This 7" is particularly cool because it is accompanied by a sort of thesis/cultural analysis by a fellow named Rajko Muršič (professor at the Faculty Of Arts) called Punks In The Village. This was actually published as a book in 1995, and it appears that the whole text is included here, but I'm not positive. Anyhow, it's a very academic but fascinating look into punk and subcultures forming in small villages in Slovenia, and the effects it had regionally. I've included a portion of the text at the bottom.
Something must be stressed: rock subcultures have a lot in common with the way of functioning of tribal communities - rock concerts are a kind of a surrogate deep feeling (and identification) with the collective. The main theme in rock movements are diversities - not to be the equal to the surroundings is the currency of rock subcultures. Punk was a radicalisation of the rock subcultures: it was provocative, the behaviour or punks was always in opposition to their surroundings, their world was a kind of upside-down "normal" world. The punk pose was a pose of disobedience, their aesthetic and ethical values were a negation of the dominant rules, although punks were never really violent, dirty or asocial. Their whole pose (acting) and their lifestyle was itself a provocation. In Slovenia, the first punks appeared in the 1978 (the band Pankrti), and in the beginning they caused no reactions in the public. The only reactions came form the "older" rockers, who claimed that punk wasn't music at all. When punk became more and more popular, people slowly noticed the new phenomenon, but the individual reactions weren't too aggressive. Everything changed when the politicians and the R.S.A.'s forced a trial against a group of the so called Nazi-punks. In fact, all of the accused were later acquitted. The mass media (under government control) caused a kind of hysteria against the punks and repression became apparent (closing of the pubs and clubs, police oppression, even arrests...). By that time punk came to the villages near the border, too. The elements of pressure in the village Trate, a group of youngsters formed the Club, soon after they organised themselves in the village youth organisation (ZSMS - The Association of the Socialist Youth of Slovenia). The former was necessary, because to be organized politically was then the only possible way to legitimate other common youth activities... Once again, the whole punk pose was provocative: clothes, hair-dressing, speaking, music, dance, art... And, of course, in time it lost its sense. Punks grew up, society was democratised. Although some of them have families now, they are still pretty free-minded. Some of them play in one of the most interesting underground rock band, called CZD. Legitimisation through the success CZD's music is very innovative. It do[es] not come out form the local tradition, in fact, it transcends it. The group plays music, suitable for all the rock places in the world. It is still modern (no more punk) and attractive. But we can trace enough elements of the local characteristics in the activities of the band. The members of the band are as stubborn as the local population is, they are as rude as their surroundings are, and they work as hard as their parents do. Naturally, their career is absolutely different. Their music is part of a planetary popular culture."
Thursday, April 10, 2014
I share with you something really obscure today. I don't know much Welsh punk aside from ANHREFN and Y SEFYDLIAD, but I spotted this in a clearance bin a few years ago and it looked worth the risk. Luckily this 1988 LP contains the right balance of spunk and driving post punk-edge to get my toe tapping and wondering what their other records are like. The kick drum obnoxiously clicks away, but the melodies are good and there's enough texture and originality to the overall sound to save this one from falling victim to my routine record purges.