Blues Control - Puff

Blues Control is so easy to like. A relief, even. It’s tempting to think rock music is dead, but it’s here, in the guise of a band that calls itself blues that people say is noise. The duo, Lea Cho and Russ Waterhouse, do mantra melodies and heartbeats that make their jams pleasant and impossible to get a handle on. They record their records from live shows, but they process themselves live to sound like a recording. So Puff is a CD reissue of an out-of-print LP of a live show that sounded like a tape. Kapish?

The songs lack tangibility and float on streams of hiss. Cho plays keyboards and Waterhouse samples and all that stuff, but in silico they’re indistinguishable, like they’ve merged into a single body. In making psych glittery and new age, they turn dropping out inside-out. These aesthetics are without political reference, the loveliness no longer a relief from or counterpoint to dissent.

Sonic Youth - Sonic Death

An early cassette release on SY's own imprint that features a collage of live performances from 1981-1983. Most of the recognizable tracks are from SY's first EP and their first full-length Confusion is Sex, making this one of the noisiest and most chaotic releases in their entire catalog.
All of the tracks bleed into one another, so the release is simply divided into "Side One" & "Side Two".

The 2005 vinyl re-issue of the first SY EP features full length versions of some of these tracks and is definitely worth picking up if you enjoy this release.

Eric's Trip - Love Tara

Eric's Trip's full-length debut, Love Tara, introduced this lo-fi pop band to the world with beautiful and noisy tracks like "Smother." This record was also one of the first to mark Sub Pop's journey from the Seattle grunge scene to a lighter, more melodic form of music.

Beat Happening - 1983-1985

Beat Happening can't be given credit for creating the indie pop genre, but they certainly gave it life in America. This, their first album, is indie pop in its purest form: fuzzy bedroom recordings of simplistic, cutesy songs, with intentionally innocent and juvenile lyrics, which Calvin Johnson belts out with one of the most endearingly bad voices in music history. Their later albums sport better songwriting and are more listenable from a production standpoint, but Beat Happening is as twee and charming as this type of music can get.

Gibson Bros. - Big Pine Boogie

The Gibson Bros. is a unique band, nothing comes close. A genre on its own. Monsieur Jeffrey Evans and Don Howland are just amazing together. This is their second album, on Homestead Records. An album full of scary shit, fantastic rootsy stuff, rockandroll, hillbilly singalongs, garagepunk, everything melted to a sound never heard before. Monsieur Jeffrey Evans is at his best in this band, he is the man behind '68 Comeback, plays in South Filthy and produced/recorded some great bands like Mr. Airplane Man, Porch Gouls, even he did an album with the Oblivians, but with the Gibson Bros. he's God! Don Howland, first in this great band, later formed his own band the Bassholes and released some fucking great shit. Try "When My Blue Moon Turns Red Again" on In the Red Records!
Back to this album. It was (re)released in 1988 and it's an essential album to those who are interested in country, garage, folk, rockandroll, americana or whatever you wanna call it. It's all about passion for music and this album is loaded with passion. Passion for sound, songs, instruments, lines, traditions. Just a perfect album.

Apples In Stereo - Fun Trick Noisemaker

One of the defining albums of the mid-'90s indie scene, the Apples in Stereo's full-length debut is one of those records that marks a sea change in musical attitudes, akin to Mudhoney's "Touch Me I'm Sick" or Pavement's early singles. Besides being the breakthrough release of the Elephant 6 collective, which alone is responsible for many of the better albums of the decade, Fun Trick Noisemaker is the album that defines the post-grunge indie pop shift from sullen negativity into a kind of cockeyed, giddy optimism, and is also among the handful of albums that turned Brian Wilson, Arthur Lee, and Burt Bacharach into cool names to drop at the record store. The album opens with a plundered bit of sonic ephemera from an old stereo-effects demonstration record that plunges directly into the manic throb of "Tidal Wave," where Hilarie Sidney's thudding drums sound like "I Want Candy" on speed and Robert Schneider's goofy mixed-metaphor lyrics and boyish vocals blend with sci-fi vintage synth whooshes and a killer fuzz-guitar riff out of the Fillmore West's heyday. From that breathless start, the album skips blithely from high point to high point, like the sugar-sweet bubblegum melody and "la la la" harmonies of "Glowworm" and the hyperspeed rush of the Buzzcocks-meet-the Banana Splits "Dots 1-2-3." Childlike songs like Sidney's lone vocal showcase, "Winter Must Be Cold," add a charmingly naïve sensibility to what could otherwise be a collection of ideas plundered from impossibly hip record collections. Several years' worth of albums covering the same territory might have dulled the album's freshness just a touch, and the group's technical competence would grow with each successive album, but Fun Trick Noisemaker is a minor masterpiece.

(This rip is from the 2008 re-issue, which has improved sound from past CD issues)

Format: MP3
Bitrate: VBR (V0)
Encoded with: LAME 3.96

Robert Pollard - Not In My Airforce

It always seems to happen. As soon as you start seeing solo LPs, expect the band in question to split up soon. Sure enough, just as this LP and Tobin Sprout's simultaneously released Carnival Boy appeared, there came the news that Sprout was departing the ultra-prolific, Robert Pollard-led Guided by Voices to pursue his own projects. (Pollard never let him compose and sing more than a couple of pop gems per GBV album.) While this development really stinks, the good news is that Not in My Airforce (and Carnival Boy as well) suggests that the sound, style, and spirit of this uniquely talented outfit will continue unmolested. Pollard's first solo LP, which includes Kevin Fennell on drums, is the equal of the previous few GBV LPs. The tracks are as consistently enjoyable as those on Under the Bushes Under the Stars. In addition, Pollard ushers back in the little snippets that enlivened Bee Thousand, yet he keeps the LP from seeming too hodgepodge and incoherent, as was the case with the otherwise brilliant but spotty Alien Lanes. The opening "Maggie Turns to Flies" goes to the head of the class as the most exciting, killer Pollard track ever (just ahead of Alien Lanes' "My Son Cool" and Propeller's epic "Under the Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox"). And so many others, such as "Girl Named Captain," "I've Owned You for Centuries," the reverse-field "King of Arthur Avenue," the spry "Get Under It," and the ringing, acoustic numbers "The Ash Gray Proclamation" and "Roofer's Union Fight Song," immediately satisfy. Pollard has clearly penned a GBV LP -- and a minor classic, at that!

Format: MP3
Bitrate: VBR (V0)
Encoded with: LAME 3.92