Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Release The Bats



Rowland S. Howard
Rest In Peace

"Rowland S. Howard — the Australian guitarist behind the Birthday Party, Crime And The City Solution, and These Immortal Souls — died early this morning (December 30th) in a Melbourne hospital after losing a battle with liver cancer. He was 50." ... Story continues here: Roland S. Howard Succumbs To Cancer (Exclaim)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Quote Of The Week

"Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Times Are Nightfall...

The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.

Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…

Monday, December 21, 2009

Quote Of The Week

"Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nothing Twice

Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.

Even if there is no one dumber,
if you're the planet's biggest dunce,
you can't repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once.

No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with precisely the same kisses.

One day, perhaps some idle tongue
mentions your name by accident:
I feel as if a rose were flung
into the room, all hue and scent.

The next day, though you're here with me,
I can't help looking at the clock:
A rose? A rose? What could that be?
Is it a flower or a rock?

Why do we treat the fleeting day
with so much needless fear and sorrow?
It's in its nature not to say
Today is always gone tomorrow

With smiles and kisses, we prefer
to seek accord beneath our star,
although we're different (we concur)
just as two drops of water are.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A.I.T.A. Hall Of Fame: Laughing Hyenas









"One of the highest-voltage punk acts to hit the Midwest in the late '80s, the Laughing Hyenas matched the thudding grind of the Stooges with the bluesy, scuzzed-up post-punk of the Birthday Party and Pussy Galore. At first, the band specialized in noisy dirges overlaid with the tortuous, throat-shredding vocals of frontman John Brannon. As time passed, their blues connections became more and more explicit, looking back to the Rolling Stones and original sources like Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. However, the Hyenas weren't quite prolific enough to take their place alongside similar indie stalwarts like Royal Trux or the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and quietly faded away.

The Laughing Hyenas were formed in Ann Arbor, MI, in 1985 by vocalist John Brannon, formerly of area hardcore band Negative Approach, and guitarist Larissa Strickland, who'd been playing her instrument for a scant six months and had previously been in a local group called L-Seven (not the L7 who later went on to grunge-metal fame). The two added bassist Kevin Strickland and drummer Jim Kimball, and quickly made a name for themselves on the Detroit-area scene. Signing with noise rock specialists Touch and Go, the Laughing Hyenas issued their six-song debut EP, Merry-Go-Round, in 1987, with production by a pre-Nirvana Butch Vig. The full-length You Can't Pray A Lie followed in 1989, and the group went on tour supporting Sonic Youth.

1990's Life Of Crime was hailed by many as the Hyenas' most fully realized album to date, but it proved to be the original lineup's last hurrah. Kimball and Kevin Strickland both departed to form the roots-punk outfit Mule with P.W. Long in 1991. Brannon and Larissa Strickland regrouped with a new rhythm section of bassist Kevin Reis and onetime Necros drummer Todd Swalla. Still coming together, the new version of the Hyenas cut the Crawl EP in 1992, but further turnover ensued when Reis decided he couldn't tour as extensively as the band wanted to. He was in turn replaced by Ron Sakowski, also a former member of the Necros. After honing its chemistry via heavy touring, the band finally returned in 1995 with Hard Times, the bluesiest album in their discography. After a long break, Brannon and Sakowski fronted the group Easy Action. Larissa Strickland passed away on November 4th, 2006." [All Music Guide]

Larissa Strickland
Rest In Peace

Download: "Solid Gold Hell" (demo)
Download: "Serves Me Right To Suffer" (live)
Read: Brooklyn Voodoo 1988 Tour Diary

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hammer And Branch


Accept the realities within reach, and those which give resistance. Give thanks for steel and wood, blood and fire, skyscraper and tree, brick and soil... Hammer and branch! Strive to live above the sheep yet sans prejudice and snobbery, with the fire of the elite that burns deep within the heart and mind.
© 2009 Lee Greenfeld

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quote Of The Week

"Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth — more than ruin — more even than death... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The City

You said: “I’ll go to another country, go to another shore,
find another city better than this one.
Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong
and my heart lies buried as though it were something dead.
How long can I let my mind moulder in this place?
Wherever I turn, wherever I happen to look,
I see the black ruins of my life, here,
where I spent and spoiled and ruined so many years.”

You won’t find a new country, won’t find another shore.
This city will always pursue you. You will walk
the same streets, grow old in the same neighborhoods,
will turn gray in these same houses.
You will always end up in this city. Don’t hope for things elsewhere:
there is no ship for you, there is no road.
As you’ve wasted your life here, in this small corner,
you’ve destroyed it everywhere else in the world.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Quote Of The Week

"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night, and in between does what he wants to do."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fare Thee Well



Liam Clancy
Rest In Peace

"Liam Clancy, an Irish troubadour and the last surviving member of the singing Clancy Brothers, who found fame in the United States and helped spread the popularity of Irish folk music around the world, died on Thursday in Cork, Ireland." ... Story continues here: Liam Clancy, Last Of The Folk Group, Dies At 74 (NY Times)

Buy: Those Were The Days - The Essential Liam Clancy
Buy:
The Mountain Of The Women: Memoirs Of An Irish Troubadour

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Farewell To A Rock'N'Roll Oracle





Bob Keane
Rest In Peace

"Bob Keane, who founded the West Coast independent label Del-Fi Records in the 1950s and is best known for discovering and recording rock legend Ritchie Valens, has died." ... Story continues here: Bob Keane Dies At 87; Discovered Ritchie Valens (LA Times)

Buy: The Very Best of Ritchie Valens
Buy: I Fought the Law: The Best of the Bobby Fuller Four
Buy: The Oracle Of Del-Fi (book)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Quote Of The Week

"I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer." [from The Gay Science]

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A.I.T.A. Hall Of Fame: The Desperate Bicycles












The Desperate Bicycles were formed in March 1977 specifically for the purpose of recording and releasing a single on their own label. They booked a studio in Dalston for three hours and with a lot of courage and a little rehearsal they recorded "Smokescreen" and "Handlebars." It subsequently leapt at the throat. Three months later The Desperate Bicycles were back in a studio to record their second single and this is the result. "No more time for speculating" they sing and who knows? they may be right. They'd really like to know why you haven't made your single yet. "It was easy, it was cheap, go and do it." (The complete cost of "Smokescreen" was £153) The medium may very well been tedium but it's changing fast. So if you can understand, go and join a band. Now it's your turn.......... [sleeve notes from 'The Medium Was Tedium' 45]

Download: "Smokescreen" *
Download: "Handlebars" *
Download: "The Medium Was Tedium" **
Download: "(I Make The) Product" ***
Download: "Holidays" ***
Download: "The Housewife Song" ***
Download: "Occupied Territory" #
Download: "Natural History" +
Download: "Grief Is Very Private" $
Download: "Obstructum" $
Download: "Teacher's Prayer" £


* Smokescreen 7" (Refill Records, 1977)
** The Medium Was Tedium 7" (Refill Records, 1977)
*** New Cross, New Cross 7" (Refill Records, 1978)
Occupied Territory 7" (Refill Records, 1978)
Remorse Code LP ( Refill Records, 1979)
Grief Is Very Private 7" (Refill Records, 1980)
£ John Peel Session (BBC Radio, 1978)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quote Of The Week

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Briefly, A Candle

Drifting through the day and the night he does his best to propel the monsters from his head. 'Space is the place' is the chant, but he knows not how to achieve such a feat of transport. He takes another sip of his brandy.

The candle burns out, and out he walks into the rain and all that lie ahead.
© 2009 Lee Greenfeld

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Truth



"There is something very wonderful about music. Words are wonderful enough; but music is even more wonderful. It speaks not to our thoughts as words do; it speaks through our hearts and spirits, to the very core and root of our souls. Music soothes us, stirs us up, it puts noble feelings in us, it can make us cringe; and it can melt us to tears; and yet we have no idea how. It is a language by itself..."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Quote Of The Week

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A.I.T.A. Hall Of Fame: The Hawks



In the early 1960s Levon Helm and Ronnie Hawkins recruited an all-Canadian lineup of musicians to be their backing band, The Hawks: guitarist Robbie Robertson, bassist Rick Danko, pianist Richard Manuel and organist Garth Hudson. In late 1963, the band split with Hawkins and began touring under the name Levon & The Hawks, and later as The Canadian Squires, before changing back to The Hawks. The band briefly contemplated the name The Crackers(!), but settled on The Band and began their ascent to stardom as Bob Dylan's live backing band, later recording a string of classic albums on their own, as well as collaborating with Dylan on the legendary Basement Tapes, and the highly underrated Planet Waves LP.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

'And The Days Are Just Not Enough'

And the days are just not enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
   Not shaking the grass.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quote Of The Week

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

Monday, November 9, 2009

No Dominion



After a reported 18 shots of whiskey, the great Welsh author/poet Dylan Thomas stumbled out of the White Horse Tavern in the West Village and collapsed to the street. From there he was taken to the Chelsea Hotel, fell into a coma, and was taken to Saint Vincent's Hospital where he died a week later. Echoing his own famous words, he definitely didn't "go gentle into that good night."

Dig: Dylan Thomas' page on Poets.org
Buy: The Poems Of Dylan Thomas (book & CD)
Buy: Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Dog

Friday, November 6, 2009

To Be Alive

To be alive: not just the carcass
But the spark.
That's crudely put, but...

If we're not supposed to dance,
Why all this music?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Theme In Yellow

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o'-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nothing Left Inside





Charles "Biscuits" Montgomery
Rest In Peace

"Legendary hard rock drummer Chuck Biscuits, whose lengthy résumé included stints in such flagship underground acts as Black Flag and Social Distortion, died Saturday after a prolonged battle with throat cancer. He was 44." ... Story continues here: Chuck Biscuits: 1965-2009 (JG2 Land)

A.I.T.A. is happy to announce that Chuck's death was apparently an elaborate hoax. The MP3s will remain posted to now honor, rather than eulogize, the great drummer.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Quote Of The Week

"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Because I Could Not Stop For Death

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.
We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another Brother Gone


James "Dash" Costello
9/7/69 - 10/16/09
Rest In Peace

Recalling the good times, like singing "Summer Wind" at the top of our lungs in some dive bar in the city... Hanging out on the streets of upper Manhattan — or in the 14th Street tunnel — when we should've been in class... Goodbye, my friend.
Photo property of CHINO BYI

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Like A Snake Calling On The Phone


"Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth."

From Being And Nothingness, 1943

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nothing Means Nothing Anymore





Brendan Mullen
Rest In Peace

"Brendan Mullen, the founder of the Masque punk rock club in Hollywood that helped launch that vibrantly anarchic music scene on the West Coast in the late 1970s, died Monday after suffering a massive stroke two days earlier. He was 60." ... Story continues here: Local Punk Champion, Masque Founder Dies (LA Times)

Buy: Live At The Masque: Volume One (CD)
Buy: Live At The Masque: Nightmare In Punk Alley (book)
Buy: We Got The Neutron Bomb : The Untold Story Of L.A. Punk
Read: Brendan Mullen (Swindle Magazine profile)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Quote Of The Week

"For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lullaby

Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.

Soul and body have no bounds:
To lovers as they lie upon
Her tolerant enchanted slope
In their ordinary swoon,
Grave the vision Venus sends
Of supernatural sympathy,
Universal love and hope;
While an abstract insight wakes
Among the glaciers and the rocks
The hermit's carnal ecstasy.

Certainty, fidelity
On the stroke of midnight pass
Like vibrations of a bell
And fashionable madmen raise
Their pedantic boring cry:
Every farthing of the cost,
All the dreaded cards foretell,
Shall be paid, but from this night
Not a whisper, not a thought,
Not a kiss nor look be lost.

Beauty, midnight, vision dies:
Let the winds of dawn that blow
Softly round your dreaming head
Such a day of welcome show
Eye and knocking heart may bless,
Find our mortal world enough;
Noons of dryness find you fed
By the involuntary powers,
Nights of insult let you pass
Watched by every human love.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Quote Of The Week

"All truly wise thoughts have been thoughts already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Surreptitious Kissing

I want to say that
forgiveness keeps on

dividing, that hope
gives issue to hope,

and more, but of course I
am saying what is

said when in this dark
hallway one encounters

you, and paws and
assaults you — love

affairs, fast lies — and you
say it back and we

blunder deeper, as would
any pair of loosed

marionettess, any couple
of cadavers cut lately

from the scaffold,
in the secluded hallways

of whatever is
holding us up now.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I ♥ NY



"Every person on the streets of New York is a type. The city is
one big theater where everyone is on display." -Jerry Rubin

Download: "New York USA" by Serge Gainsbourg
Download: "New York City Baby" by Billy Hambrick
Download: "Hard Times In New York Town"* by Bob Dylan
Buy: New York: 365 Days
* Cynthia Gooding Radio Show, 1962

Tuesday, September 29, 2009