Five Songs, 5/22/2017

Back from a hectic weekend, with camping and a charity gaming tournament, where we collectively raised more than $110K for Treehouse. Which is amazing! I think the antidote will be some nice, calming songs.

(get ready for five songs of extreme metal)

Dead Rider, "The Blue Flame"

An experimental rock band started after the end of US Maple by Todd Rittman. US Maple was dedicated to deconstructing rock as far as it would go and still have it be rock music, and Dead Rider retains some of that sensibility. They also feature a saxophone, a relative rarity among bands these days. I would say, if you've gone through US Maple's discography and still want more, this band is a good place to move to.

Willie Singleton, "Burning on Both Ends"

Another Stax/Volt single. This is again from the third period of the Stax/Volt story, actually one of the last handful of singles to be released by the label. As is typical from late period stuff, there's more than a little funk in the mix at this point.

(previously, previously, previously)

PJ Harvey, "Me-Jane"

There was a widely spread story going around in the rock underground with the release of Rid of Me. The story went that Harvey was looking for a producer that album, and she asked to get the producer of "the Slint record". She supposedly meant Brian Paulson (who produced Spiderland) but ended up with Steve Albini (who produced Tweez) and, so the story goes, didn't realize her mistake until later. Ha ha! It was many years later that I realized how terrible this story was. The notion that a woman as smart and talented as Harvey would make a mistake like that is absurd, and the story is clearly there just to try and tear down a woman who entered a man's world. I repeated the story myself several times a long time ago, thinking it was just a funny anecdote, but I regret that now.

At any rate, the Albini produced Rid of Me smoked, because Harvey is a phenomenally gifted artist, and she obviously knew exactly what she was doing on this album. It's one of the finest albums to come out of the entire 90s underground rock scene, and she's still making amazing records to this day.

The Ramones, "I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You"

The Ramones sound so quaint today. The notion that this album helped spark any kind of creative revolution in rock seems so backwards. It's probably just a case of hearing so much influence from them in later bands. But it sounds so tame to my ears these days. Not unpleasant, mind you. Just tame.

Death From Above 1979, "Little Girl"

More bands should be just a bassist and drums. That's my statement. At any rate, Death From Above 1979 (the year was added after a dispute with another band) played music that was clearly influenced by dance music as well as rock, and I love this record. They also broke up after just the one album, although they did come back ten years later for a reunion record.