Wednesday, April 14, 2004

 
I set some sort of a record yesterday for post-revising. What I originally wrote at 6:00am didn't make a whole lot of sense to me after several cups of coffee, and I spent my spare moments throughout the day trying to tease it into something slightly less awful. I'm not sure if I succeeded 100%, but it's at least a little better.

As you probably know, Largehearted Boy is a great site that posts daily links (usually without much commentary) to all kinds of (frequently legit) mp3s and videos and such. The only downside is that I feel compelled to double-check against it whenever I post a link, to make sure that I'm not duplicating any recently-posted info. I'm pretty sure, but far from certain, that he hasn't yet mentioned the Twin/Tone site, but it seems impossible to me that at least one of the major bloggers hasn't pointed it out.

Twin/Tone is probably best known as the label that the Replacements were on, though they put out a lot of other great stuff. They aren't releasing new product, but have made an increasing number of their out-of-print titles available for purchase on CD (without cover art). You might want to check out their website and have a look around at what's there. Aside from the CDs, they also have a bunch of downloadable videos, including several by the Mekons (among which is the video for Memphis Egypt from my favorite Mekons album Rock and Roll). Even better, though, is a complete show by the Replacements from 1981.

I've become pretty jaded on the subject of live videos, since they're rarely as interesting as I wish they were. Usually they're shot from too far away or the sound is bad or there aren't enough camera angles (or if there are enough camera angles, the video seems too "slick"). I honestly don't know if I've ever seen anything as good (at least via download) as the Replacements show on the Twin/Tone website, and I'm not even a particularly huge fan of that band: I liked them at the time, but got bored after Let It Be, and have been utterly uninterested by any of Paul Westerberg's solo stuff. I now kind of think of them (possibly unfairly) as the indie Bruce Springsteen.

As I said, though, the videos are just fantastic. The show (and it's not one of those legendary drunken-sloppy-mess shows either) is broken up into chunks, so you don't have to download any enormous files. Also, it's available in low, medium and high quality file (Quicktime) sizes, so people with dial-up can test the waters before committing to the larger (20MB or so) files. Just to save you some trouble, here's one of the smaller high quality videos (it's about 14MB). It's for Kids Don't Follow. For the rest, go to Twin/Tone's site and click on the Videos link.

Yesterday I posted some tracks from Joy Zipper's American Whip, which finally came out after a nearly year-long delay. In the same issue of Mojo that originally reviewed that (Jan 2003), there was also a review of Cha Cha Cohen's album All Artists Are Criminals. I've featured tracks from this a long time ago, but was struck, while writing about Joy Zipper yesterday, by the extent to which All Artists Are Criminals has slipped through the cracks and vanished. As a quick recap, Cha Cha Cohen is the band that Jaqi (formerly of the Dustdevils) formed with Keith (not Steve!) Gregory. They have two albums, both of which are terrific, as well as a few singles. They sound something like a mix of the Fall (the post-Brix Fall) and Soul Coughing (I'm thinking of Soul Coughing's rhythm section, not Doughty, so don't be scared). Jaqi sing-speaks the words, and even though I can rarely tell what she's talking about, she has a Mark E. Smith way about her of coming up with compelling/unintelligible lines. To The Letter is still my favorite track from All Artists Are Criminals, so here it is again.

Finally, I'm thrilled to see that Fluxblog has a song posted today by Laptop, a band that I've gone on and on and on about in these pages. Maybe now people will listen! I really hope so. Laptop's website is here, and it seems that Mr. Hartman is currently working on new material.



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