Friday, February 13, 2004

Urge Overkill, still more Sammy, favorite reviewers, Espers

[Update on 2/15/04 -- I note that eMusic has a live Urge Overkill show available, recorded on 2/5/04. Wow, things happen fast these days. I know, I know, you can get a CD of a concert right after the concert finishes, but still...]

Urge Overkill are touring again...definitely one of the more unexpected reunions. I loved their Saturation album (yet another great DGC release from the early/mid 90's), was unimpressed by their final CD Exit The Dragon (though I still play it once or twice a year, hoping that something will jump out at me), and like The Supersonic Storybook ok. I never did get around to listening to their earlier albums -- bad reviews and the fact that good production seems like a critical component of their sound have kept me away. Despite the fact that it contains the overexposed (it appeared in Pulp Fiction) cover of Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon, their Stull EP is the CD I play the most. It's hard to choose a favorite, but (Now That's) The Barclords probably comes the closest. Stull was produced by Kramer, of Bongwater fame.

I wanted to mention a very helpful internet music reviewer. I don't know who Mmarsupilami is, though I can tell that English isn't his/her first language. (I'm going to use "he" because it probably is a he). He seems to have taken on the task of reviewing new arrivals at eMusic. I like him because he seems to have reasonably good instincts (you'll sort of figure out where his weak spots are), and finds a number of gems that get overlooked by the general blogosphere. Some of his reviews are almost poetic:

School of Etiquette by Boyskout
Pop/new-wave ala early Cure, Sleater Kinney, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Joy Division. Yes and we are in 2004. In their while, Cure, Cleater Kinney, Siouxie and the Banshees and Joy Division weren't making music of twenty years before. I know we can make this criticism about a lot of other. Right!

Or on Alan Licht's A New York Minute [sorry Alan...I don't have a vendetta...I just like this review]
I don't know why I downloaded this one. Perhaps because it was very long tracks for a long while. So, I lost my tracks for my count and time. It's not music. I prefer to listen the washing machine...

His new arrivals list is here, and he has a bunch of others, broken down by genre. I think he must put in eight hour days doing this...Mmarsupilami, I want to thank you for your hard work! I don't actually use eMusic anymore, due to their horrific customer service and frequent breakdowns, but I still go to your pages on a regular basis. Thank you.

Here's my favorite Sammy b-side, Cafeteria Hawker and here's my favorite song from their first LP Debut Album: Shoot It Around! The only problem I have with this album is the fact that it was recorded on 8-Track cassette, which was possibly the worst sounding recording format ever invented. [BTW, Laptop (Jesse's post-Sammy band) had a split single with Solex (featured on Fluxblog today). Small world indeed.]

A blog that covers some similar territory to this one (but with more of an emphasis on punk, and no mp3s) that I kind of like is Agony Shorthand. He even has a bit on the Dustdevils (Google search "Agony Shorthand Dust Devils") which made me happy.

I'm adding this note on the band Espers, because Pitchfork reviewed them today. They have a very nice live appearance on WFMU here, in case you want to check them out. WFMU really gets good live sound, btw.

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