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…

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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
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

A Gallery Of Cool

"Hip is the sophistication of the wise
primitive in a giant jungle." -Norman Mailer