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I have no MP3s to offer for this post, just some words, a retrospective of sorts. I don’t even have photos to offer as I have virtually developed no photos this year (I tried yesterday, I swear). I spent the past week cat & house sitting so I haven’t really had the chance to write about the things I wanted to. I eventually will so they will go without mention. What I really need to do is finish Luke’s mix and send it Down Under, so I can post somethings that I have been obsessed with. Half pointless because I usually email him about whatever I am absolutely crazed about and he trawls my last.fm anyway. I’ve been listening to it endlessly making sure that everything is the way I want it to be. The internet kinda spoils the surprise, however I feel the need to carry on this haphazard tradition.

It’s the final day of 2008, and I couldn’t say au revoir faster to this year. Especially these past few months. It finally hit me two days ago, that “Holy shit, 2009 is here.” I actually lightheartedly thought of sleeping through the change of the year. It’s not 2010, so I am not really freaking out. Some events have happened that are going to let me get to where I need to be for 2010. I never really set resolutions, because let’s face it, how many of us actually follow through with those? However, there are some changes I’m subconsciously implementing though what needs to be changed is slowly phasing out. I have no idea if this makes sense as I took a Xanax and am listening to Crystal Stilts non stop. “Spiral Transit” reminds me of Ariel Pink.

I got to thinking about my two favorite releases this year, though I have heard maybe 10% of new releases. But then I realized that the album I have listened to from start to finish since August was released in November of 2007. That being Smoke by White Williams, I am absolutely amazed by Joe Williams. As I am with super hyped about Crystal Stilts (I always want to write/say Crystal Slits), which I finally started listening to yesterday, yes really! I can’t get enough of Nugaze. You see I am not hip to the new music, even if it’s happening around me. Alas, I barely went to any shows this year, I somehow lived vicariously through my friend Jamie’s writings of said shows. I imagine that if I went to shows a lot, I’d probably hate them & Vivian Girls.

It amazes me how many people don’t know the magic that is the motorik tinged Smoke, hell I didn’t know and shame on Steve for not introducing me sooner. Go have a listen at last.fm, the whole album is uploaded, Tigerbeat6 is very smart for doing this. I could sit here and dissect the whole album (save for “Lice in The Rainbow”) because I have listened to it that much, but I won’t. Just go have a listen, I am looking at you friends! Everyone I have introduced his music to, has been pretty amazed. I don’t know why people in NY don’t know about him. I hear the next album will be very different and I am fucking dying with anticipation. Watch this interview with creepy John Norris (I know I watched this man growing up but EEK). There’s a part two but I can’t watch it. Somehow “New Violence” reminds me of this SNL “Christmas Song” clip, the part where Jimmy Fallon starts going off with the presets at -0:36:

Oh yeah, the other, or I guess you can say only favorite album of ’08 is Crystal Stilts’ Alight of Night. Vivian Girls s/t album could come in as a third second…

Joe, you’re in a class all by yourself. It’s a shame that Smoke is only available on vinyl in the UK.

It’s disgusting.

I honestly couldn’t stop laughing sporadically for about 20 minutes about this poor excuse for a pizza. Hey Kraft, I’d like my money back. Rising crust my ass, attempting to eat this was like eating warmed rubber. My stomach does not feel so good right now, but at least I didn’t find a screw in mine.

I had to stop myself from writing something stupid like “OH.MY.GOD.” or “shat my pants” as the subject for this post. I’ve been looking for quality digital Vex files for years now, eventually forgetting about them. Until I received the Who? What? Why? When? Where? comp this week. I was horrified, upon inspection of my newly received record that there was a huge scratch on the vinyl. So I played it, and became wowed by them again once “It’s No Crime” came on. Took three downloads this weekend to find a rip of their sole release, 1984’s Sanctuary 12 inch that isn’t shit. I feel like I have no control of my bodily functions, I am not ashamed to say that I’m not joking! Thank you Phoenix Hairpins.

It’s like Killing Joke meets everything amazing -punk that has ever entered my ears. To me really it reminds me Lack of Knowledge + Killing Joke. The person who ripped these files entered the genre as “Goth Punk,” aptly fitting! I am honestly surprised they didn’t turn into a crust punk band. I have uploaded the 12″ in hopes that someone else looking for it will find it and get as excited as me. Maybe not.

From the myspace fan page via “Radio Schizo” at CULTPUNK.COM

England’s Vex were a short-lived post-punk band on a subsidiary label of Conflict’s Mortarhate Records. They only produced two albums one being the “Sanctuary” EP and a 3-song demo which has the only “studio” version of their song “Pain” on it. Vex seem to have been chiefly inspired by Killing Joke but teased out that band’s punkier elements a bit; though Vex are still post-punk, they definitely retain the “punk” part of that equation, unlike manybands labeled post-punk. “Pain” has a really nice militaristic drumming style of the kind pioneered by Penny Rimbaud in Crass (as in the drumming for “Do They Owe Us a Living?”) — a drumming style that I think is great, and surprisingly under-utilized by punk bands. In the 80s — and since then — punk bands went head-over-heels for the d-beat and thrashy drumming styles of Discharge and Minor Threat, and almost no bands have consistently used the more militaristic chops Rimbaud laid down, and which Vex exploit in “Pain.” A shame.

Yes, “It’s No Crime” sounds like a more accelerated punk rip-off of “The Wait,” but holy shit!

Okay, end freak out, I’m over it (Not really).

ETA: Video by yours truly

While looking for the misplaced copy of Christiane F I received from Netflix, I decided to inspect the Hit Parade record that I finally received in the mail today. Once I opened it I found the following insert:

I just about peed myself, and then got to thinking. I’ve learned more about history through music than I did in my high school History classes. Specifically Great Britain’s affairs with the world in the past 30 years through the Anarcho genre. Naturally being Irish, Hit Parade (Dave Hyndman aka P.Checkoff from Belfast) wrote the songs on this 7″ regarding the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike in the H-Blocks. Not sounding like anything else on the Crass label (okay maybe Cravats), he still had the anarchist lyrics along to his synthpop and “experimental” sound. Ian Glasper called his releases in The Day The Country Died (the book, not the album) “a mish mash of electronics, samples, and tape loops…” The included track in this post sounds like something across the pond in NYC at the time (1982) in Hip Hop’s emerging scene.

“More Faces” is included in the ever popular Paramnesia mix.

Download Bad News here, I’ve uploaded it because I am fairly certain there is no digital version to buy anywhere. Hyndman wouldn’t even do an interview for Glasper’s book, relying on Toxic Waste for memories of the much older quirk. Perhaps he has passed. This album is golden, you’ll probably never hear anything like it. The quality is A+, I miss my slsk contact list.

I seldom log into myspace anymore, or even look at anyone’s page for that matter. I was looking at my longest friend Sarah’s page, and found this photo in one of her albums. Wow! She is one day older than me, we used to pull this trick on people that we were twins. “I was born in the P.M. and she was born in the A.M.” We look nothing alike, but somehow pulled it off. Ha.

Funny, for the first several years of my life I HATED cake. Up until the age of five, there are photos of me sulking next to the cake that my Grandma would bake for me. Now I would kill for cake, especially made by her. Next year I will get a cake, even if I have to buy it myself. This cake has my name written on it. I just find it hilarious that I hated it so much and now I crave cake. I also hated candy, I was a weird child, I don’t know how anyone is that surprised. I am getting hungry looking at this photo.  I WANT THAT DAMN CAKE! I was going to upload a track from Crash Course in Science‘s very rare Cakes in the Home EP but I am too cranky about cake.

EDIT: Jessica in regard to this post said to me “If you had a thought bubble, it would be cake.” There are no words for how much I love this lady. Only facial expressions and hand gestures.

taken with the Epic, I haven’t posted the rest and I’m not going to right now.

I think there are some that are undeveloped. Oops.

Some digital of “Behind the Scenes” of the Dr. Dog photoshoot I assisted Elizabeth with in March:

There were trains:

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Getting some film developed tomorrow, finally! It’s been more than 8 months, yikes! I’ve never slacked so hard with film before. I’m usually on top of it, now I won’t remember which roll for which camera & what time. Oh well! Now people can stop asking about it. With development of some rolls, I will get a binder & some archival storage pages for my negatives.

Some photos from the Yashica T3, all mostly 2007:
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