So tonight, at the Shellac show, I ran into people I used to work with, when I worked at a music store run by a former crackhead. One got fired, one quit. And the owner? It turns out that "former crackhead" is kind of a misnomer, as he got caught on South Street with a hooker and thirty-six bags of crack. But those two crazy kids have opened their own music store, Long In The Tooth Records, which I actually walked past when I tried to go to the comic book store (Fat Jack's) on Sansom to pick up the new Brendan McCarthy Solo. (The store was closed but man I anticipating reading that thing.) I don't think they have any employees besides the two of them. They are a couple who really like hardcore punk and horror movies and Janice was the first person to recommend Jan Svanmajer's work to me. I can't vouch for the quality of the store- They're not so into the stuff I'm into and I think that might be mostly below their radar but no kidding great people. Living the dream. It made me really happy.
You know what else made me really happy? Shellac. I appreciate that their songs when played live are in some ways vehicles for them to fuck around, or at least have, within all the tightness and mathiness, these spaces set off for Bob Weston and Steve Albini to put their arms out and say "Look at me, I'm a plane!" or for lyrical improvisations. They opened with Squirrel Song and Prayer To God was the next-to-last song. They played other songs I can't remember and songs I didn't recognize. But they were good.
Openers and-or co-headliners Uzeda were loud enough to cause hernias, I think. I felt my intestines move about. They disheveled my organs.
I'm not making mix CDs so how can people know what songs I've stumbled across I'm really into? Oh I know. I could write about them.
There's this song I got from an mp3 blog- I don't know which one- but it's an M. Ward song. I don't think I like that guy. But when I said it's an M. Ward song, I don't mean it- It's a Daniel Johnston song. That M. Ward covers. And adds Neko Case harmonies on the chorus. So any problems with M. Ward- Like that maybe he's generic and his production is toothless and really I just don't get it- Get blown away by, for one, the Daniel Johnston thing- Kind of like how I downloaded an Okkervil River song he guests on and I actually like it, even though I have the same complaints about Okkervil River- Daniel Johnston's unquestionable earnestness sells the shit out of some stuff that might approximate Matchbox Twenty or something similar, even if the artists with their name on the album are just using him for instant cred. But then there's Neko Case who is a much better singer than M. Ward. I'll give this to old M though- For a harmonizer his voice has a low end in a way that a Neko Case/Daniel Johnston collaboration would lack. (To say nothing of the fact that such a collaboration, if you're imagining it, would probably be terrifying for Ms. Case, oh man.) The Daniel Johnston song is "To Go Home" by the way, which I think I've heard, as the chorus "I'll stay true, to you, you know I will, I'll stay true forever or until" seems like it was in my memory already. That's the part Neko Case sings, by the way. Think that over in your brain and maybe you'll get why it makes me melt. The part where M. Ward says "I come home" over and over using like protools echos doesn't effect any change to my status of being a liquid, but that's fine because at that part I am already molten and I wouldn't want to become gaseous.
Then there's The Blow's Parentheses, which is the only good song on her new album, Paper Television, which I was totally excited for at one point. Oh, the things it does that the other songs don't- Like have two poignant relatable and painting-a-perfect-picture-of-a-persona lyrics. One of those being "If something in the deli aisle makes you cry, of course I'll put my arm around you and walk you outside, through the sliding doors, why would I mind" which is perfect because there've been times when the grocery store has freaked me out but every time I would expect other people to be bothered by my instability and there's been times when I've been unresponsive to other people's freaking out in the presence of that which is literally minor but symbolically huge. And then there's what it doesn't do that other songs do, like use the word "heart" and/or shit imagery.
Another one I'd put on a mix would be Swan Lake's All Fires. It's a Spencer Krug song but I think maybe with Dan Bejar and Casey Mercer doing harmonies way buried. Can I talk about this song? Only in allusion and off-handed ways. I mentioned it to a friend in an e-mail that was largely about a conceptual band and writing from holy fool persepectives. There's something at work within it. It's really good, certainly.
I have to keep listening to this new Akron/Family album. I did the thing where I downloaded it thinking I would only listen once and then buy it but then on that first listen was attacked by doubt. Because it does things like in the course of say the opening track, where it starts out with drum beats, then adds guitar noises, and at this point you're totally down, but then the vocals come in and it's weird in a way which is kind of awesome but also kind of ridiculous and then it keeps moving but more in that jam direction, away from the vocals, so the structure just seems really fucking weird and that part that was so crazy as to make you unsure whether or not it was a bad idea starts to seem like a bad idea (by the way, I'm not talking about the scatting that starts it off, that part clearly rules, I'm talking about when that scatting gives way to a capella singing of the title of the song- when that happens I'm like wwhhhaaaaaaaatttt and then the guitars come in all like country-ish or something) and then that stops and something else completely happens which is I guess better but structurally you think "is this what prog is like? What the fuck is happening? This is not a song." And then it just keeps on not really being a song, and it goes on for nine and a half minutes, and... You know it would be fucking thrilling live. Duh. Oh my god yeah see Akron/Family on tour certainly. But I already knew that. What about the album? I guess I have to keep listening to the album. It's got its moments.
I should go to a record store, see if I can pick up the new Wooden Wand and The Sky High Band thing. When I heard a lot of those songs at some backyard BBQ I liked it a lot although I don't know what's actually on the album.