Strange Country – various artists CD

We’ve already established that I’m a little burnt out, maybe not so much so that in conversation with a person they aren’t saying to themselves “damn this guy’s a really burnt out”. But memories are an odd thing, when I try to dig them up, it’s easy to find the worst 10 or so, they haunt me, but those casual everyday events, all the good times escape me. Most of my memories though include me drinking, doing drugs or some combination of the two, invariably part of the reason I’ve forgotten so many events (they were burnt up), and then doing something else.  So get high and drunk and go to a concert, get high and drunk go to a party or get high and drunk and do whatever.  Wish I had more than that.

My buddy Bjorn kicked down another Pilleemandjoonks tune from their live set the did back in 2005…love this band…
Pillemandjoonks – This Town

Traffic jams here in Northwest Kansas usually are the result of some agricultural piece of equipment, some farmer/rancher tooling along (moseying) in his pickup truck or some grandma too scared to go over 40 in her town car. Being a born and raised city jerk, these types of scenarios at times can lead to road rage. I’m not a speed demon or anything, it’s just that I think all vehicles should go the posted speed limit. If it says 65 and we all go 65 things should proceed in an orderly fashion and we should arrive at our destinations safe and sound, and in a reasonable amount of time. The other day I was redeemed. I was in Hays a town that can probably pat itself on the back and say that it is no longer a big town, but is a very small city. It’s where we go for supplies every pay day weekend. Anyway so I find myself behind a few vehicles behind a farmer in a truck going 20 in a 35 zone. The two cars in front of my are enraged trying to pass this guy and finally after a couple of miles are able to do so as it goes from one to two lanes. I’ve had the luxury of being behind the people with the road rage this time so rather than being enraged myself I’ve been entertained. I casually pass the guy thinking he’s either damn rude or totally clueless, but this time no sweat off my back. Sure enough though as I’m watching him in my rear view mirror, sort of in awe of how slow he’s driving through the middle of town, and a cop pulls him over. I thought to myself finally, after all those times of being stuck behind someone, they finally get pulled over for being too slow.

The title says it all here and pretty much sold me on buying it in the first place. Pick out any synonym for strange (hold on I’ll do it for you)…
aberrant, abnormal, astonishing, astounding, atypical, bizarre, curious, different, eccentric, erratic, exceptional, extraordinary, fantastic, far-out, funny, idiosyncratic, ignorant, inexperienced, irregular, marvelous, mystifying, new, newfangled, odd, oddball, off, offbeat, out-of-the-way, outlandish, peculiar, perplexing, quaint, queer, rare, remarkable, singular, unaccountable, unaccustomed, uncanny, uncommon, unheard of, unseasoned, unusual, weird, wonderful
…this is what you get as far as these tunes. They’re all country, although it’s a stretch in some places, twangy…yes, hokey…yes, storytelling ballads…yes. But this is nothing like the lameass pop country you get today. The newer tunes don’t feel out of place either with the few classic artists represented. You really should listen to the likes of Porter Wagoner, Johnny Cash (a live tune even), Willie Nelson and the maestro Hank Williams Sr, but take a few minutes to give those unknowns (to me) a listen to like Calexico, the Handsome Family and Smog. There’s even a Sparklehorse (you can find other stuff of theirs around here) tune. Apparently there is a series of these compilations, the other one that comes to mind is “Strange Folk”, which I wouldn’t mind having.  Anyway…all in all this is a great listen, so do just that, give it a listen.
All the tunes

 

Calexico – Ballad of Cable Hogue

The Handsome Family – So Much Wine

Porter Wagoner – The Rubber Room

Sparklehorse – Spirit Ditch

Johnny Cash – The Long Black Veil [Live]

Hank Williams – Ramblin’ Man

Just on a side note…this is one of those things that’s still available and I’ve tried to stray away from posting stuff that you can still get new.  EDIT: I went ahead and deleted most of the tunes, the rest are for sampling…go out an buy the CD. In this day and age, with the collapse of Megaupload and the Gestapo tactics of Mediafire at the hands of our government and ultimately the Record Industry, sharing music is just plain risky. I’ve always though of this place as somewhere you can come to give stuff a listen and then go out and try to find your own copies, but it would be idealistic to think that’s what’s really going on. I’ve done the best I can to make this place our little secret, but not allowing it to be included in the search engines, so when you type “Strange Country” you aren’t gonna end up here. Of course that’s not enough to keep this place free of abuse but what can I do. I think of what I’m doing as something I did back in the 80’s, everyone did, making compilation cassettes for my friends to listen to. I know when I got those cassettes, I would search out the bands that stuck out in my mind and buy their stuff. I never meant to take money out of a musician’s pocket. So if you like this Strange Country thing, go out and get you a copy, Johnny Cash’s kids might get a nickle for your trouble.

The Underlings – Edgy CD

My old bro and bandmate Ed came through big time with this one…perfect timing as I got the Walking Dead Compendium (issues 1-48 of the comic book) on the same day.  My needs were definitely satisfied.  This, the newest release from Eugene Oregon’s The Underlings, as Mork from Ork would say, is THE SHAZBOT!  I listened to it twice in one sitting and could not find a bad moment in it.  It’s all over the place with this one, they hardly leave a genre unturned…rock, hard rock, garage, punk, hardcore and maybe even a little power pop.  I had Ed do a little write up for me to give you the band in the band’s own words…

The Underlings have been operating with the current line-up since late 2006. I met Bryant at work and Dave responded to a craigslist ad I posted for a bass player influenced by Television / Minutmen. Bryant was in a bunch of Seattle-area bands including Hai Karate and the Putters and other bands in Ellensberg before that. Dave was in a hardcore band in Memphis back in the 1980s. I’ve been in a few bands, including Garden Weasel and my own Ed Cole and the College Girls of Tora Bora, which was a very self-centered songwriter-type band, but I was determined to make a real BAND band when I set about starting the Underlings. I appreciate the steady nature of the Underlings’ rhythm section dudes. We seldom miss a gig, we practice weekly most of the time and we try to have a good work ethic about what we do. I envision us punching in every time we play a show. We are in it for music, friends and food. We all dig MC5, New York Dolls, Hendrix, X and the Wipers and 70s rock as well as metal and punk and garage, but we really are not any of those kinds of music – I always think we are just plain old Rock and Roll with Punk leanings. We recorded this album – “Edgy” – on tape at a legendary Portland studio called Smegma. The engineer is Mike Lastra (assisted by Mark Ellsworth). Mike has a long history of recorded music in Portland – many of the best groups ever, such as Poison Idea, Turbonegro and the Need as well as our bros the Pass Out Kings all have recorded there. The picture on the center fold of the CD is of the St. Johns Bridge, which is what we viewed out the window while we were recording. After we recorded and mixed our CD, we played a ton of gigs, saved all of the proceeds and released the CD with no fuss and no official label or BS. I think the funnest thing about making a CD – or any band endeavor – is that it is really fun to actually finish something you start, especially if you are working as a team, and I think that really happened this time around. We intend to keep gigging, even though I recently moved to Portland and the other members live 2 hours away in Eugene. We have upcoming gigs at Slabtown in Portland on June 16 and then we are playing again at  our favorite Eugene bar Luckeys on June 22. We haven’t booked any other gigs lately, but stay tuned to Underlingsrockandroll.com for shows and news and shit. If people want to download our music and give us $$$ please check out theunderlings.bandcamp.com . We will soon have our physical CD for sale at cdbaby.com/Artist/TheUnderlings           PEACE.

Seriously, if you are some kind of purist and can only handle a genre or two, this is bound to have at least something to satisfy that for you.  I think they’ve improved upon their previous CD Operational Excellence but I really liked that CD too.  As I said before these guys are no bullshit green amateurs to creating music and there is a sophisticated tightness through out.  They are fucking around or dabbling, this is the real deal, Northwest Rock and Roll.  Go and get this thing, you will not be disappointed.  I had a hard time picking tunes for your sampling pleasure, they are all good in their own way so here’s just the first three tunes as they appear on the CD (I’m going to go listen to it again)…

Not Like You

Speedway

Edgy

Comments?

Got several comments from my regulars in tribute to MCA, but as it is sometimes , it has been quiet around here.  It has come to my attention though that there are a few guys/gals I know that read/listen to what’s going on here (God knows why), but are just silent partners, so to speak.  In the last 4 1/2 years the Relics has amassed 236119 unique visitors (granted, half of those were spammers and spam bots).  So, once again I am pathetically pleading with you, drop me a comment, tell me I suck, tell me you have a foot fetish.  Now is the time, I’d like 20 comments on this one.

Made the local paper again through work.  Represented are 4 of the 6 XYs in a place dominated by XXs (the guy on the far right is the secretary’s husband, so he doesn’t count).  In an XY world it, it doesn’t bother me to have an XX workplace, it just gets interesting and confusing at the same time.

Was in my car rolling a cigarette in front of the local convenience store.  This Mom brings out pop (that’s soda for people in the midwest) to her kids who have been waiting patiently in the car.  One of ’em says he wanted diet pop so the Mom says, “you’re gonna take what you got or your not gonna get anything at all.”  Wiser words have not been said by philosophers since the time of Socrates.

A while back I expressed my liking in a post for a certain zombie soap opera entitled the Walking Dead.  I’ve watched it from the beginning and haven’t missed an episode. And then one of the guys who stops by here once in a while, Nazz, mentioned that the show was nothing compared to the comic book.  Well of course, no show/movie ever lives up to the book, but a comic book.  So, trusting his opinion, you can read it at Bleedin’ Out (I do all the time), I searched high and low for this fabled comic book.  Well with the TV series, most of the comic books are pretty spendy so I thought my best bet was to get the Compendium which compiles the 1sr 48 issues.  The best price I could find for this 5 pound 1000 page monster was used for $30 and I am a cheap broke bastard.  Finally gave in though, the new show doesn’t start until next Fall so WTF and FTW.  Well sure as shit Nazz was right as rain, the comic shreds.  The art is gory and well done, and the story is more brutal than the show.  I don’t want to blow it for you in case you take my word for it, but there’s tons more people and tons more killing, a real contradiction to the pacifist in me.  Finished that bad boy off in a few days, a now the Compendium 2 isn’t due out until next Fall and who knows how long I’ll have to wait for a “cheap” used copy to turn up.  Check it out.

Can’t have a post without music, it just doesn’t fly with me, and besides you have to have something to comment on besides my inanity.  This tune was originally by the legendary early 80s Swedish hardcore band Unter Den Linden, you can find the original at my buddy Peter’s Killed By Death blog and covered by Pilleemandjoonks (PDJ), who share at least one member (Bjorn, where I got the tune) with UDL.  This is live from 2005…

Pilleemandjoonks – Little boys

…a translation of the lyrics so’s you don’t think it’s some kind of pederast song,

I’m tired of living like a bomb
I want to detonate before theirs
I’m tired so tired
And I longing for the D-day
In one thousand and one night we will explode
You ain’t got a chance
We are four billions of bombs
And you  are demolished
In one thousand and one night we going to lead a hell of a life
Try to sleep……
Sleep well!
Never trust a bomb
Was it not fireworks you wanted?
Little Boys, Fat Boys !

COMING SOON:  The Underlings new CD review in all it’s glory.