Hey hey hey! This episode of Protonic Reversal features a talk with the mighty Craig Wedren of Shudder to Think, we talk to Craig about:
-Hacking the Polaroid Spectra.
-My 90s (new book and photo show)
-Analog vs. Digital in very specific incidents.
-Making unique videos, such as the X-French T-shirt one
-The label that picked Hit Liquor to start the album???
-All Hits on Planet Shudder
-Improvising a vocal chorale.
-Putting your best glam foot forward on the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack.
-Higher and Higher.
-How to bring the various quadrangs of your art to the others.
-Group songs in a solo context.
-Bassassery or Bad-assy
and lots, lots more!
I listened to a LOT of records over the year, but these were the ones that that I listened to the most. And at some point, you have to just let the train leave the station. I’ll put the links below
I’m sure I missed a few, that’s fine. The point is: there’s a ton of amazing music out there. Go listen to it! And I guess, like the show’s FB page if you support this kind of deep dive. Note: this is slightly different from the best of 2018 show, which was a team effort and will be a different post
1. Tropical Fuck Storm – A Laughing Death in Meat Space Absolutely powerful stuff. Great songs with incredible left turns. Moody, claustrophobic and staggeringly self aware, like a sentient computer raised on Bill Hicks comedy specials, Howard Zinn, Black MIrror and Twin Peaks. I heard this blind, knowing nothing of any other or previous bands and loved it. Maybe you will too? It’s a hell of a ride. Possible record of the year. RIYL: the pAperchAse, Dead Rider, Leonard Cohen, the Knife
2. Lung – All the King’s Horses LUNG are back with a new album. You’ll never believe that a band with just Cello, vocals and drums can sound so full. Propulsive, Heavy, tuneful and thoughtful. Incredible lyrics, powerful arrangements and songs that stick with you for long after you stop listening.
The only problem is they have a very unique sound, which isn’t always rewarded. I need you to trust me when I say that this is WELL worth your time and one of the best records of 2018.
Bonus: a timely David Bowie cover.
3. sewingneedle – user error Remarkably acrobatic musicianship paired with gorgeous harmonies. Musically, sewingneedle can hold their own with the fiercest noise rock band, yet there is melody and harmony. What madness is this? Great songs, great repeated listenability.
4. Screaming Females– All At Once Probably the best Screaming Females record yet… totally rips. A consistently great and hard working live band delivers their go-to record on record, what. 7? Not counting the live one. Incredible. These’s an adventure rock song on here and a song that legit sounds like it could be played as a prom. (I mean that as a compliment.) As an aside, this is one of the records on my list that was probably most widely heard, yet wasn’t on that many lists. That’s really dumb. It’s great! RIYL: Dinosaur Jr. Pixies, Silkworm https://screamingfemales.bandcamp.com/album/all-at-once
5. Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens Hello! Do you live under a rock? Yes? Ok! This is the long awaited 4th record by the formerly dead, now living rock quartet HOT SNAKES. It’s fueled by the riffs of John Reis and the vocals of Rick Froberg. A certain magic happens with these two powerhouses together. The music is an inheritor of bands like the Wipers and Crime, while bringing some of the academic polyrhythms/punk-prog of Drive Like Jehu too. It’s exactly what the Doctor ordered. https://hotsnakes.bandcamp.com/album/jericho-sirens
8. christian fitness – nuance: the musical Nuance makes heavy use of strings and adult arrangements? (not pornography, you understand.). There aren’t any “candle in the wind” style ballads, or any regrettable ska numbers, but after 3 rock-solid, rockers certain to please fans of mclusky and fotl. This one is different, denser, & a little more challenging. Delivered with a smirk of sardonicism and a twinge of dystopian theatrical heights. There’s a lot here, but it keeps me coming back to listen regularly. Fantastic album. https://christianfitness.bandcamp.com/…/nuance-the-musical
HONORABLE MENTION 3: Gouge Away – Burnt Sugar A fascinating band! Sometimes hardcore, sometimes a bit more noiserock… strong songs and a powerful lady singer. A band to watch!
HONORABLE MENTION 4: WORK – Strictly Cruis’n WORK are back, w/a tight new slab of some serious rock ‘n roll. (Well, not so serious if you consider the song titles… ) nevertheless, wry wordplay, clever songwriting & an intent to bring the damage w/ rock solid rhythms and hooky leads are on deck. Fans of the Minutemen, Spoon at their brattiest & loudest, Obits, & early ZZ Top can get stoked. This is ROCK music (ROCK, all caps, just like the band name WORK.) coming from a punk place. It’s well worth your time. Gotta gotta get to the show! https://workmke.bandcamp.com/album/strictly-cruisn
HONORABLE MENTION #5: Mister Dude – Party Tape WHAM! Mister Dude upside yo’ face. Deep feeling good about bad time jams, with some heavy Octave radness from two of the fellas from Police Teeth. The rock pedigree of SEMINARS, USS Horsewhip, etc. is as notable as the music itself. It’s a fun listen and a damn good ride. Party Tape indeed. https://misterdude.bandcamp.com/album/party-tape
HONORABLE MENTION #6: The Messthetics – s/t Killer instrumental goodness with one of the best rhythm sections of all time, Joe Lally and Brendan Canty of fugazi. Guitarist Anthony Pirog may not have the same level of punk rock notoriety, but he more than makes up for it with a level of acrobatic guitar exploration that rivals some of the greats. A great starting position for a worthy and notable new band. RIYL: Nels Cline Singers
HONORABLE MENTION #7: Dale Crover – The Fickle Finger of Fate He’s not just half of the core of the Mighty Melvins, he’s not just the drum genius who makes things happen with me in Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends, he’s a talented songwriter, guitar player and singer and this is totally and completely worth your time! Cool songs, a little more classic rock than you might expect and worth a listen. Check it out, chocky. Awesome, vibe-y record with hidden hooks. https://melvinsofficial.bandcamp.com/…/the-fickle…
HONORABLE MENTION #9: Lung – Bottom of the Barrel What? Lung again? Yup. Frenzied and furious Cello, Vocals and Drums badassery. Absolute earworms that comes at you from an aggressive punk/post-punk place but has an incredible sense of melody, hooks and purpose. This is legit plus stuff and I can’t think of a single band they really sound like. Just get it. it’s technically 2017, but on the 2018 list for a technicality. Whatever! it’s still a great record.
HONORABLE MENTION #10: The Hand – When All Of The Shit Hits All Of The Fans (The Hand Vol. 3 & 4) Mysterious, elusive and irresistible, the HAND has done more than any band since the Residents in putting together a band image that forces you to judge them on the merits of the music. It’s quite the feat! However, I will say that this is zak sally, karl tebeest, and dale flattum. Zak played in Low and Enemymine, and Dale played in Steel Pole Bathtub, Milk Cult and Novex. Anyway, that’s a lot of front loading, this is raucous and hooky noiserock that can simultaneously evoke the Birthday Party, the Velvet Underground, the Melvins
The HAND pull off a very special thing, by making all of their releases very limited edition and HYPER unique, hand made and limited edition. It’s easy to tell that multiple members of the band come from the world of comics, because this is a world to be invited into. https://the-hand.bandcamp.com/…/when-all-of-the-shit…
Well, hello there! Guess what? You bet it’s another episode of Protonic Reversal! This week, Conan and Josh talked with the legendary Bob Bert, drummer for Lydia Lunch Retrovirus, Jon Spencer and the HITmakers, Pussy Galore, Sonic Youth, and many more! We talked about:
-Touring more than ever before
-Playing shows with Jon Spencer again
-Getting the proper “junk” for the kit
-Starting the tour without knowing the songs
-Meeting Pussy Galore
-The guitar skills of Jon Spencer
-The night-and-day difference between the HITmakers and Retrovirus
-The dream gig with Lydia Lunch
-The encyclopaedic Weasel Walter
-Getting to know the Melvins
-Bad Moon Rising
-Setting up the first Sonic Youth European tour
-The historical wonder of Youtube
-Being there for the glory days of Max’s and CBGB
-Playing a better “Nature Scene” than Jim Sclavunos
-Bewitched opening for SY on the Goo tour
-The Action Swingers and the Chrome Cranks