July 2011

Artist: Paul Leary
Album: The History of Dogs
Year: 1991
Label: Caroline Distro
Genre: Alternative Rock
RIYL: The Butthole Surfers, weird rock
Essential Tracks: How Much Longer, The Birds Are Dying, Apollo One, Indians Storm the Government

I’m going to go ahead and guess that most of my readers are astute enough to know that Paul Leary is best known for his guitar playing with The Butthole Surfers. I never actually listened to The Butthole Surfers–their band name just seemed juvenile and like a band I could skip. But after recently discovering this solo gem from Paul Leary on the rather amazing Blog the Jerk I might have to listen to the Surfers at some point.

Highlighting how ridiculously great this album is is as simple as reading the 1-star Amazon.com review for this album by T. Barnes:
“The vocals are terrible, high-pitched, and made my stomach hurt.”
“The songs are weird and very hard to enjoy.”
“This record is an oddball in any collection, but no worth being put into rotation.”

Aka, this album is super-awesome from beginning to end. It’s one of those albums I’m content to put on repeat–and I can’t say that about many albums. Highly recommended for both the weirdos and the alternative rock fans (genres which I don’t usually see much overlap in anymore).

(Click icon for download)
(Actually, judging by the Amazon review I quoted above, it might be foolish of me to expect anything like this if I’d listen to The Butthole Surfers. But I’ll try ’em out sometime anyway.)

Artist: …Of Dream and Drama
Album: The Forthcoming Kingdom
Year: 1998
Label: Self-Released?
Genre: Doom/Death Metal
RIYL: Your growly metal with some nice atmospheric touches
Essential Tracks: Mirage

I’m enjoying this release right now, which is sole justification for me posting it. I have no emotional attachment to it and make no guarantees about anyone else. This isn’t highly original by any stretch of the imagination, but it is solidly performed and the songs flow well. Of course, as a demo release, there are only 4 tracks (one of which is an intro, so you know…), but the band has made the release available for free download. Not much else to say here. Either the doom/death metal sub-genres interest you or they don’t.

(Click icon for the band’s download page. You’ll have to scroll down and it’ll be on the right-hand side of the screen.)

Between moving and a death in the family I haven’t had the time or energy for a new post. I’ll try to pull something together this evening or tomorrow. In the meantime, give the blogs I like on the right-hand column a peek!

Artist: Stanley Wilson
Album: Pagan Love
Year: 1957
Label: Capitol
Genre: Exotica
RIYL: White men pretending to be knowledgeable about things outside the US.

Thanks to the amazing Flash Strap blog, I have acquired a rather keen appreciation for the Exotica genre. This is one of the gems I scored–I mean, look at that cover! It is so exotic… and sexy… and just everything that makes Exotica so amazing and ridiculous. I mean, Exotica is largely white men in their posh apartments writing songs that they think sound foreign. It isn’t world music because none of it is remotely genuine, no matter how sincerely they state “facts” on the covers.

“One of the most colorful and important facts of Pagan life is the courtship ritual,” starts the text on the back cover. “But while the idea of ritual is common to all primitive societies, pagan love rites run a startling gamut–from the death-defying land diving of New Hebrides through the perilous ballet of the Malayan Pinchak Knife Fight to the innocent witchcraft of Zulu love magic.” At best it is a romanticization of what really happens–coupled with music that has the authenticity of a Hollywood film score. At worst it is complete bollocks–intentional lies to move product.

Regardless, seen with the eyes of 2011 the whole thing seems rather precious. Yet the music is rather engaging and thrilling. Think of it as the musical equivalent to books that take place in the deep jungles–it’s just a fantasy.

(Click icon to download)