Active Minds – Welcome To The Slaughterhouse

tornadoTornado season!  I don’t mind them during the day when you can see ’em coming but at night, it’s a different story.  Kinda freak me out to be honest with ya.  When I was a kid, maybe 12, I came out to Kansas with my Mom to visit my Aunt Donna and her family.  I remember late one night playing cards (Pinochle)  in their double wide, before they got a basement.  The weather radio said there was a tornado approaching but there was not much to do without a basement, other than to keep playing cards.  No harm no foul, it didn’t hit us.  I took a picture of one last year but it was too far away and it just passed on north of us.  Oh well, one of the sacrifices for quiet country living.

Alright, one of my Top 10 albums all time for you here.  Of course that’s just a subjective view, but if you don’t like it, fuck you (just kidding?).  You guys all have your own similar deal. I’m sure.  In my opinion though this is right up there with Black Flag’s Damaged (the Back in Black of punk rock).  I know, a total stretch for some of you who disagree with most of what is said here.  I think it’s pretty fitting though as a follow up to my last post.  They are both so different yet they both have a rawness.  These guys are not known for their musicianship but the pure energy and emotion, the fucking passion they offer in most of what they do.  You have just guitar and drums with this band and I can’t even imagine a bass here (probably would sound killer) but that wouldn’t be Active Minds.  I, quite simply, loved this album the first time my needle did it’s thing to it and my speakers followed that emotion.  It was sent to me from the Loony Tunes label in England when it first came out in 1988.  As a side note, I used to love doing mailorder and waiting for new music to come in the mail…still do, it’s just Ebay and Discogs now (the fucking middlemen).  Anyway, there is a wide variety of tunes to be had on this release, even a little piano, but what stands out of course is the hardcore.  It takes them six tunes before they throw in a bit of mellowness.  They sing about every topic popular of the time and genre, and throw in a couple of new ones for good measure.  I think these guys are intelligent about what they write and sing.  A really responsible music blogger would have scans of the lyrics along with all the other writings they offer up.  That blogger would be Bizzaro-Mustard…that first tune really sucks you in…

Surgical Penis Klinic – Meat Processing Section 7″

Name that flick (I can’t).

Didn’t expect to be on here for another week with my son being in town, but he’s off visiting a bunch of cousins tonight and the wife’s at work, so what the fuck right. Have a couple of crucial reviews coming up and I mean fucking crucial reviews of crucial bands, but the timing is right for some SPK and it just must be done.  The first will be last and the last will be first…

SPK-MPS1When I went away to college in 1987 (the best thing a young adult can do, getting out of their comfort zone and being exposed to something completely different) I thought I knew what was up…I had all the answers. Kinda laughable in retrospect, but part of a cycle I think we all go through. At that time I had a wide variety of musical experience under my belt but by no means knew everything. Even to this day, music is being uncovered and really the day you stop learning and thinking you know everything should be your last day, because what’s the point. College is a place, that among all the things you are exposed to, music is wide open. You’ve got all these characters from all around bringing their musical experiences to the table. Walking down the halls that first year in the dorms you were bombarded with all kinds of musical shit. My first day in the dorms I met a shitload of people as you can imagine. That first night a bunch of us went out to the beach in search of a fabled keg party. It was Alex and Tony (from my high school), Sang, Gage, Ricky and Will (whose truck we fit in neatly). We never found that keg party and I don’t remember what we did with the rest of the evening. All of us hit it off pretty well which was solidified the next day when we all dropped acid together and got lost in the woods. Still in touch with Sang, Gage and Alex whom I consider like brothers these days. Alex was a rocker at that time (before that in high school he was a new waver) and I didn’t really dig the hair band stuff he was into (his influence came in a spiritual form). Gage looked like one of the Ramones and go figure was a big time Ramones fan. He also turned me onto the Stooges/Iggy Pop and Harry Chapin. Sang was into all kinds of shit and open to whatever, but his contribution to my musical education was THIS band. And what a serious contribution. I was favoring the whole power violence/grindcore thing that was just getting it’s start at that time and would share bands like Infest and Napalm Death (or if I really wanted to blow you away it was Fear of God).
SPK-MPS2With Sang’s SPK though, I had to re-think everything.  The closest I had come to the industrial thing was electronic stuff like DEVO and Kraftwerk (Boing Boom Tschak).  As I came to find out, SPK within that genre had a lot of variety to their sound…compare Information Overload Unit to the later Zamia Lehmanni.  The one that hit me the hardest though was Auto-Da-Fe, a compilation of singles of sorts.  Side one is the meaty, brutal, mind blowing side while side two is kind of where the band was headed, into the surreal netherrealm.  This hear single is early on stuff that was included on the Auto-Da-Fe album and as a recent score (2nd most I’ve paid for a record, which isn’t saying much) is now one of my most prized musical possessions (this coming from a guy who has been know to speak of the evils of materialism).  Anyway, as Alex would say, “tripouttaniss”, and a thousand thanx to my brother Sang for opening my mind…

For shits and grins here’s the must listen to, Auto-Da-Fe.

SPK ‎– Zamia Lehmanni: Songs of Byzantine Flowers

fuck-youFirst post of the new year…not much to say, just going to face the days as they come. Gonna start the year off with a bang…perhaps the best score ever for a movie that was never made…

EDIT: Sad that this isn’t on fucked tube in it’s glorious entirety. I could have said a lot more about this beast of a record, I have it in every format and will have the re-release, in all it’s formats soon (on Cold Spring Records). I absolutely adore this album…in fact, when I can I pick up inexpensive copies just to send to folks I care about…want one?

Black Sabbath – Paranoid

A FUNK! That’s what I call this mood I’ve been in now for a couple of weeks. Depressed, down in the dumps, the doldrums, bummed out, debased, debilitated, daunt, discouraged, scorned, weighed down, etc. (I used that thesaurus Brian recommended). I’m sure I’m not alone in getting that way sometimes and at the very least, most imperfect people, can relate. Funny thing about it is that I’m a moody bastard and sometimes there’s a reason for that shit, sometimes not. When I was a young man it was usually about boo-hooing over some failed relationship. These days it seems to be more of a chemical imbalance I suppose. I’ve grown up some over the years, I might even say wizened (a little), so that when I get into that mood I stay away from the self pity. It’s a plain and simple fact that half the fuckers in this world have it a lot worse than me or you. Kind of something your Mom would say if you were going to waste food. Famine, civil war, genocide, oppression, blatant corruption, true poverty and a REAL sense of hopelessness is what most of the OTHER selfish, greedy, opportunistic, cannibals face daily. I have all my limbs, all five sense, a job that pays the bills and meets not just my needs but some of my wants as well, and for the most part my wits, so I don’t have anything to slow me down.  The only thing I’m a victim of is myself and my own choices.  Yet here I am in my little FUNK and maybe I haven’t learned anything because going back to my teenage days, when whatever hormones make us emotional, kicked in, and I discovered that sensation.  When depressed I listen to depressing music. Kind of like when your emotions are at their worst for whatever reason and you go out and get drunk, in other words take a depressant.  Almost a masochistic thing. I’ll start you off with a couple of classics,
The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry
The Smiths – How Soon Is Now
Any favorites you guys have for those woe-is-me moments (they don’t have to be that failed love crap)?  The thing to do isn’t to get drunk or listen to that sappy stuff, it’s to take a stimulant.  Go out and get yourself an eightball of some coke or speed, and live it up.  Put some early DRI on the MP3 player and dodge traffic on the freeway. Actually my bro Brian took it to a righteous level and requested this one…
Fishbone – Everyday Sunshine

paranoidHaven’t done a “Top Ten All Time” thing in a long time (and actually by the time things are said and done here at MR, I hope to have a top 13 or 14). If you don’t have this album in some way, shape or form, I really don’t know what to say.  Disappointment would be my first thought, especially if you claim to be a lover of music. Like a junkie and his tar, you MUST have this record. My first exposure to it was from my Mom’s best friend and 60’s/70’s party buddy. She bought the record brand new when it first came out, which was no surprise as my Mom and her didn’t dabble in the mainstream very much when it came to music. I was of course blown away and got my own gatefold copy from the used bin in about 1979. The music, the words, the whole vibe fit me in a way that my old Taco Bell uniform never did. A light in the darkness.  Not a woe-is-me thing, but a brooding anger.  Each member is special in their own right.  There is an almost imperceptible difference as far as which one is my favorite, this one or the first self titled LP.  They are two completely different albums and normally I would pick the earliest recording but in this case Paranoid was my introduction to the band.   Plus there were more songs, so I felt like I was getting something more from the band.  This is one of those albums, which to me is great from beginning to end, not one bad or weak tune.  Sabbath for me ended in about 1975 and as much as I dig Dio, there is no Black Sabbath without Ozzy and Ozzy just didn’t cut it for me on his own, even with the legendary Randy Rhoads.  No light in the darkness.

A little something different this time, I’m not going to give you MP3 files (which would only be for sampling anyway, right?) of something you should be able hold in your greedy little hands.   Everybody and his brother has covered Black Sabbath including my old band Grout.  My original thought was to provide a shit load of covers of each of these tunes so that a guy could trip on the variety of different bands’ take on each tune.  Some covers are lame karaoke type shit without a personal touch but I’ve talked about how I hate that drivel before.  Some tunes, like Rat Salad just aren’t covered that much and in the case of that tune I only found one version.  So rather than give up a shit load of tunes that probably no one is going to take the time to listen to, I picked out two of what I consider are the most interesting or listenable.  In some cases I’ve found a special Black Sabbath version, but nothing from the original album.  Of course nothing comes close to the vibe of the originals.  Many, many musicians have been touched, influenced by and have masturbated to these guys, so take a second to give a few of these tunes a listen.

EDIT: Damn I had a lot of cool tunes in this post, but I took ’em down…if you feel up to the challenge, do some surfing on the web and you could end up spending hours on bands who have given tribute to the mighty Sabbath!  I don’t care how fucking old you are though, pick up a copy of this album (and while you’re at it you may as well pick up the self-titled 1st LP as well)…

Discharge – first two 7″s

kaos_logoThanx Mike for reminding me about another Kaos.  The show (not the movie) Get Smart was right up there with the Three Stooges, the Little Rascals, the Bowery Boys, HR Puffenstuff and Land of the Lost, as far as TV for me in the 70’s.  A part of me always wanted Kaos to get the best of old Maxwell Smart.  Used to spend a fair amount of time with my Cuban godparents (padrinos) and they didn’t really care what I watched.  Actually the old man, Reynaldo, would watch boxing or baseball if they were on.  We watched a shit load of that and I told him once that I wanted to be a boxer.  In an unflatering way he told me that only blacks and Mexicans did that.  His thing was baseball and when we’d go to Dodger games it seemed like he personally knew every Dominican and Cuban in the game no matter which teams were playing.  I wish I still had all the autographed baseballs I got back then.  The old lady, Romelia, was the old school type of housewife that always had something cooking on the stove, so when ever you came by for a visit or to stay, she would offer you food.  God what I wouldn’t do for a plate of her black beans (frijoles negros), fried plantain (platano) and some hot flan pudding.  I’m glad she didn’t live to see me go through my hard times, would have broken her heart, but I would have liked to have seen her on the other side of it all.  I’d like to think that there is another side where we can meet as souls with those people that we cared about that are no longer with us.  More and more every day.  Ha, ha, from Kaos to life after death, can’t beat that.

ren_and_stimpy_by_facerotTis the season, but I don’t feel it.  I don’t know why that is.  Just another tooth on a gear in this system.  I like to think that for those I care about, I’m always hoping for the best for them all year round.  I guess it’s a good time to get together and feast, but it always starts badly for me when they start showing Christmas commercials before Thanksgiving is even over.  A capitalist’s wet dream, like the idea that every woman must have a diamond.  So much to be said about this holiday and what it’s supposed to mean versus what it is taken to mean, but I don’t want to bring down the well wishers.  Lets not leave you with the thought that Mustard Relics is solely a home for grumpy old grinches and instead sing along with Ren and Stimpy, “Happy Happy Joy Joy“.

Was listening to that classic rock station again and had to finally look it up after 30 years.  It’s “Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night blinded by the light”, not “wrapped up like a douche, show no the runner in the night, blinded by the light”.  What do you know, actually a Springsteen tune.  Does anyone know the Manfred Mann tune I’m talking about?

Along those classic rock lines, just to show you how much of a sap I can be, I give you the live version of the Scorpions, Still Loving You.  If you can honestly say that you listened to all 5 minutes 49 seconds of that, I will let you pick my next post.

Discharge!?!?  Yeah, yeah, I know, these guys can be found any and every place, and posting them may seem like beating a dead horse.  This shit just had to be posted.  If I was in the habit of making punk/hardcore mix tapes for you and I never put these guys on at least one of them, I would be doing both of us, along with the band, a diservice.  How could these guys not be on this site?  Can they ever get old, like day after day, seeing your house, after a long day at work?  Second, this is not an mp3 collectors site, this is a place to share Mustard (me), Relics (that which is left after the rest has rotted away).  You can get both these 7″s on the Clay Punk Singles collection and pretty much the entire Discharge discography in one blog or another.  These are just an early sample but I like how within a year there is a difference in the sound between these two 7″s recorded in 1980.  Check that, a little mellower on the first and thumped up on the second.  While reading up on whatever I could find about these guys, I found something very interesting in the form of Pushead’s Unofficial Top 100 of the 80’s (check #1).  I think I like these guys better than I did back in the early 80’s but for some reason I lumped them with GBH and the Exploited.  Anyway, blah blah blah, these guys at this point were tearing shit up and there’s nothing I can say (except let me know if the rips I did were okay).  Later