When you look at the cover of Swamp Dogg’s album Rat On! now – on a black background, Swamp Dogg, in beret and fringed vest, sitting astride a white rat, Dogg’s arms held up in triumph – it just looks silly (and has indeed been called one of the worst album covers of all time). But at the time of its release in 1971, it managed to offend some people (evidence that people searching for things to be offended by is not a new development). While the photo was never intended as anything more than a visual component of the title’s play on words, Swamp Dogg hasn’t been one to back away from controversy, so he decided to stoke the fires of the offended by claiming the cover represented “the black man on top of the white man”1.
Clearly, what the cover does denote is an album from someone fond of clowning around. What you may miss from just looking at the cover, though, is that, beyond the silly cover and between some jokey songs … Continue reading
Mondays go better with music, and this particularly surf-tastic tune from instrumental band Dark City is a good antidote to the grey slush that’s passing for a day here in Cleveland.
The New York-based band released their self-titled album (which goes beyond surf) last month.
Dark City Official Website
Dark City @ Facebook
People, my head is spaced on medicine, and I can’t form a coherent post, so have a blurb and a video for Maximum Hedrum’s “Keep in Touch”, featuring his grand funkness George Clinton.
“The video was inspired by an article in Italian that my friend Wendy Morgan sent me about a young man with cerebral palsy and his relationship with his mom and a prostitute. The story felt closely related to ‘Keep in Touch’ in the sense of yearning for intimacy without the ability to express it with touch,” says video co-direcotr Sam Spiegel. “Shooting this film was a great experience in getting to know Javier Silcook (our lead actor who has cerebral palsy) and his family who are amazing (Javier has 62 adopted brothers all with disabilities as well). I hope we were able to show some of the beautiful as well as lonely moments of living with CP.”
“Keep in Touch” – Maximum Hedrum
Maximum Hedrum’s self-titled debut album will drop on March 19.
Maximum Hedrum Official Website
Maximum Hedrum @ Twitter
Maximum Hedrum @ Facebook
I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, and I really shouldn’t have been. The Rebel Light is a Los Angeles band, made up of two brothers and a cousin, who make bright, melodic pop driven by infectious rhythm. In more applicable terms, this music is perfect for chair-dancing and impromptu sing-alongs, so if you’re going to listen to this music on your device-of-choice when you’re out in the world, be prepared for the funny looks your likely to garner when you’ve found you’ve been so swept up in the music that you’ve broken into a song-and-dance number right in the middle of the bus stop.
“Goodbye Serenade” – The Rebel Light
The Rebel Light’s self-titled EP is available for free on both Bandcamp and NoiseTrade (where you can also help these guys out with a little coinage in their virtual tip jar). Get it and watch your day get a few notches brighter.
The Rebel Light Official Website
The Rebel Light @ Twitter
The Rebel Light @ Facebook
Bass is a drug, people!
Dinosaur Jr. certainly doesn’t need any publicity from us, but this video for “Pierce the Morning Rain”, from their latest album I Bet on Sky, is too good not to share. Greats James Urbaniak, Maria Bamford, and Henry Rollins star in this unflinching look at a widespread problem in America today…
Dinosaur Jr. Official Website
I developed a kind of crush on Rachel Brooke in the spring of 2011 when she released Down in the Barnyard, and now Brooke back with A Killer’s Dream and even better. Upon listening to A Killer’s Dream, it was immediately impressive how Brooke has expanded her band, her sound, and her talents. The clear, strong voice and compelling stories now paint their pictures with more vibrant shades of honky tonk, rhythm and blues, and fiery torch songs. Brooke strides with appealing confidence through songs both sultry and sentimental, knowing and spirited.
If an artist’s albums are like the growth charts that tracked our heights when we were kids, Brooke has shot up like a weed.
“A Killer’s Dream” – Rachel Brooke
“The Black Bird” – Rachel Brooke
Rachel Brooke Official Website
Rachel Brooke @ Twitter
Rachel Brooke @ Facebook
- Open Culture has some punk education for you in the form of two documentaries, Punk: The Early Years and Punk’s Not Dead.
- This is a little old (in internet time) now, but in case you haven’t seen it, check out the new Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds video for “We No Who U R” over at Spacelab.
- Wildlife have a new album coming out February 26. The lead single, “Born To Ruin”, is fantastic. Check it out below.
Wildlife – Born to Ruin by waxrecords
Barbara Lehnhoff, the unique but engaging voice from Peter Kernel, has a new project called Camilla Sparksss. The first single from Camilla Sparksss dives into much more retro synth waters than Peter Kernel has, bringing to mind new wave dance music of the early ’80s.
“I’ll Teach You to Hunt” – Camilla Sparkss
On the other hand, this live video of “Europe” is angry and angular and instantly compelling.
You can pick up the single of “I’ll Teach You to Hunt” – backed with the punishing “For You the Wild” – at the Camilla Sparkss Bandcamp page, which offers digital, vinyl 7″, and Polaroid packages. Camilla Sparksss has upcoming shows in Switzerland, Italy, and France – check the official site for details.
Camilla Sparksss Official Website
Camilla Sparksss @ Bandcamp
Camilla Sparksss @ Twitter
Camilla Sparksss @ Facebook