Forced Exposure #11, Winter 1987: record reviews, annotated (!!!)

Forced Exposure was a Boston-based fanzine published by Jimmy Johnson and Byron Coley. It ran for more than a decade. The last issue (Forced Exposure #18) appeared in 1993.

The Whole Earth Catalog once described Forced Exposure as “Rolling Stone for people who’d rather read the Journal of Trauma Medicine than watch MTV,” and many rock critics were directly influenced by its acerbic style of writing.

Originally a fanzine devoted to hardcore-punk, beginning in 1985 Forced Exposure began to shift its focus to noise rock and the East Village art-punk scene. Subsequent issues featured writings by prominent No Wave bands like the Swans and Sonic Youth; interviews with filmmaker Nick Zedd, photographer Richard Kern, and post-modern painter Robert Williams; and a long lost interview with the Velvet Underground. The highlight of issue 7/8 (Summer 1985) is a fight between Byron Coley and the singer Nick Cave.

Over the next eight years, Forced Exposure would continue to document the musical underground, with a Big Black tour diary (as well as regular columns by Steve Albini); an interview with nihilistic monochromatic artist Raymond Pettibon (Black Flag); profiles of counter-cultural figures like Charles Bukowski, Boyd Rice, Philip K. Dick, Lisa Suckdog (Lisa Carver), and William S. Burroughs; as well as continuing coverage of bands and musicians like Die Kreuzen, the Butthole Surfers, Diamanda Galas, Glenn Branca, and Spacemen 3.

Forced Exposure still exists as an independent record label. – ZineWiki

BAD BRAINS: “I Against I” LP (SST)

…I’ve been told these guys are the new Fishbone and praise Holy Fah, that may just be the case. — Jimmy [Johnson]

CONNELLS: “Darker days” LP (BLACK PARK)

….Carolina college pop by the virtual bk.  Just as pleasant & chipper as anything this side o’ yr doc tellin’ ya that the lungworm he just wrenched outta yr mouth is the last.  These guys’re serious about makin’ Fred Mills music. Alright! — Byron [Coley]

“GOD’S FAVORITE DOG” comp LP (TOUCH AND GO)

…to ask more from a sampler* would be inhuman.  Up to five of the bands included would place high on any smart person’s list of this nation’s ten or so best (the long forgotten Hose** being the sole entry lacking such esteem, and their contributions won’t make you cough either.) Opens with the Buttholes screwball instr. “Endhouse Chicken Margus” that’ll take you place you thought only drugs were able to lead you to before.  This is followed by a massive “Sweet Home Alabama” from the super-sludge sharp Killdozer.  Some other stuff: Scratch Acid (incl. a different take of “Holes”), Happy Flowers (America’s baby-faced noister-superstars w/ a typical anthem “All I Got for Christmas Was Clothes”) and, maybe wary of being overrun amongst all these giants, Big Black dump out their densest mud yet (incl. “Every Man For Himself” with its ringing chorus of “I wanna go to Australia/I wanna learn how to swim” — the first ever ode to our reviews section?) If you think you can go wrong here, you’d best keep going. — Jimmy

* [boatzone addendum: Dr Drunk can show you this sampler cuz he's nice and wise.]

** [boatzone addendum: Everybody knows Rick Rubin was in Hose, tho whether or not he was active by the time of this comp is a question I cannot answer.]

GORE: “Hart Core” LP (Holland, Eskakt)

…here’s the hammed down rec of this issue.  Dutch trio who, if you’ve gotta have an inadequate comaprison, sorta sounds like Gone/Swans/Metallica thrown into the rign, and may the ugliest win.  This is all instrumental power-trio madness, mind you, yet the band do write words (a lyric sheet is enclosed); they just don’t refer to ‘em, and believe me, you won’t care.  While these “lyrics” are of the violent/self-degrading persuasion, the tunes go way beyond any simple analysis.  The personification of power at its deadliest. — Jimmy

[Boatzone addendum: see Pileshifter and then Southern Lord: cds for $5, and the 2XLPs are goooooorgeous. The follow-up, Mean Man's Dream is gonna get its own post.]

KILLDOZER: “Burl” mini-lp (TOUCH & GO)

…holy holy holy.  There’s like these real real ugly girls who’ve been campin’ out on Mr. Ives’ intestines.  ‘N every evenin’ they start these fires & roast weinies & have these hoots.  ‘N now all that noise  & cracklin’ & smoke has gotten old Frostie’s nerves.  He’s gonna fry those chickies up BUT GUD.  So here’s this & it don’t come at ya like a big drumstick the way SNAKEBOY did, but it’s sure like a strong mean goddamn bum, pinchin’ yr leg HARD and screamin’ “GIMME A QUARTER, MISTER! YOU AND ME’S OK! SEE?*”  This is easily more gruesome than any prior Killdozer rec & that’s sayin’ ten long inches, champ.  You got more. Whip it on out & watch ol’ Burl chew it off then vomit greasy stories onto your mom’s “porch.” Just bitchen. (* bum quotes were lifted from Wm. Burroughs Jr’s excellent bk, “Speed”.) — Byron

[Boatzone Addenda:

  1. Burl Ives:
  2. From the wonderful vinylmine’s essential post on the topic of Burl and Burl and the legacy of Killdozer:  “Ballad singing has been going on ever since people sang at all. It comes up like an underground stream and then goes back again. But it always exists.”
    - Burl Ives.“If America wasn’t a cesspool we couldn’t write songs. At least not the songs we write.”
    - Michael Gerald, Killdozer, 1994, Stumpy Fanzine

LIVE SKULL: “Cloud One” (Homestead)

…their densest, and most orgasmic disk yet, and i don’t know ifit was an attempt to live up to the title or what, but with this one, Live Skull have practivally created their own little world here; one where you better be willing to sink in and sponge off the elements or be left behind — as background music this is worthless.  So New Age Collegiate types, just STAY THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY, OK?  I don’t mean it’s difficult per se (no humming allowed tho’), but that effort is somewhat required and more than justifiably rewarded.  Maybe it’s just me, but I think a lot of people are missing the boat on these guys.  — Jimmy

[Boatzone Addendum: Live Skull records are absurdly available and affordable in the marketplace, showing up in record store discount bins almost as much as April Wine and the Loggins/Messina Experience. It's kinda weird how at the same time I cannot get a Cows record, say, without a $40 buy-in or totally legal downloading. 'Speaking of, do consult the grand phoenixhairpin's blog for a listen-glimpse at this great band's best record. Then buy the fucking vinyl.  I've got two copies for a reason.]

Mr. T EXPERIENCE: “Everybody’s Entitled to Their Own Opinion” LP (Disorder)

…bands like this (described in their press kit as “funnypunkers for the Chris Trela generation” really helped nail down SF’s spot in the worst scene category.  Just hope they don’t get excommunicated to a city near you. — Jimmy

The MODERN LOVERS LP (RHINO)

…this reish of the basic, essential, first Mod Lovers LP also includes “Government Center” (from the CHARTBUSTERS comp), the Warners version of “I’m Straight” and an ace new-to-this-ear this called “Dignified and Old”.  Its cumulative effect is like finding a quivering ninety pound adenoid that knows all about the Velvet Underground and y’oughta own it.  Sidenote — the original liner notations by Phil Milstein (a guy generally conceded to b the most “sensitive” FE contributor) we shelved in favor of sub-decent ones by some non-FE contrib.  Fuck a duck! — Byron

PUSSY GALORE: “Groovy Hate Fuck” mini-LP (SHOVE)

…simultaneously more rockin’ & more fruitily pseudo-gnarly than their debut, this takes a certain type of flake aggresion to its virtual lyrical limit.  I shit you not.  ‘N the instrumental hoke is what some Saturday mornin’ cartoon version of a NY noise-garage outfit might sound like.   As cute as pie & almost as knobby. — Byron

SLOVENLY: “Thinking of Empire” LP (SST)

…about thirty listens haven’t changed the opinion I grabbed after the first spin: Slovenly is one fucking great ton of a band.  Guitars that swim around your head like the righteous preaching of true believers, lyrics that touch the rare beauty that lurks in serious rumination, and an ingenious swaying sound that knows more than you do.  THINKING OF EMPIRE belongs in any collection you’d wanna consider calling your own. — Jimmy

SMACK: “Rattlesnake Bite” LP (PINK DUST)

…about four less Stooges poops on here than there were on Smack’s bracin’ US debut, but this still blows me up.   A song like “Weird in the Sun” strikes the sorta pose that many prime A. Cooper rip-offs useta & the old guitars rattle like twin cojones cut off a gigantic redwood drunkard.  Trash is apparently a concept that these cleanly Finns know their way around (at least theoretically).  Which means, natch, that there are pars o’ this that fall into a tripey kinda bad garbage pile as well (do I hear some Wishbone Ash damage?), but shit, the good stuff’s pretty damn scuzzy indeed. — Byron

[Boatzone Addendum: ]

VOLCANO SUNS: “All Night Lotus Party” (HOMESTEAD)

…these three rollickin’ non-fatsos bloot out what may be one of Boston’s best ever w/ this one. The hard-edged, clown-masked, wigglin’ worms that have always been the coin of the Suns’ best live shows are here made manifest on vinyl for even You to hear.  AND if those worms had bad lungs, they’d be coughin ‘em out for the laughin’ godless joke of it all.  The Suns are fuckin’ king.  But you knew that, even if Kevin Riley does claim that parts o’ this’re “too much like hardcore”. Kevin. Kevin. Kevin. You don’t understand the basic premise: hardcore sucks, this does not. — Byron

[Boatzone Addendum: I couldn't figure out who Kevin Riley is, unfortunately.  Helluva last sentence, sorta definitive of that 1987 moment, eh? A milieu which wasn't yet indie rock but was neither hc nor college rock had cleared a space from which to criticize the latter two. I know a friend who's given to bestowing "post-hardcore" upon all such fare, but I'm not sure it doesn't obscure more than it illuminates with the V. Suns, say. Or Dinosaur ca. Bug? 

Were the links and annotations annoying? Lemme know, because the next couple issues have really great content I'd be appalled to disrupt or spill blather on. Happy Tuesday. I can't find that Smack record for a reasonable price! If you can handle serious heaviness, btw, you gotta check out Gore.]

Forced Exposure: issue #15, Summer 1989

[cover image courtesy of the great Public Collectors.]

BASTRO: Rode Hard and Put Up Wet EP (HOMESTEAD)

…it’s not too sumpin’ to figure out where a guy like David Grubbs would get the idea for a growly, shouty drumbox combo.  This does have a whale more aggro than I’d expected though, and the “heralding” is quite nice.  But beyond that lies a large nothing. – Byron

LAUGHING HYENAS: You Can’t Pray a Lie LP (TOUCH + GO)

…some peers have peeped that these hemorrhage heavers don’t know how to write a tune.  And while many of the selections here may bear out the fact that the Hyenas choose to focus on a nontraditional mix of form & content, a track like “Lullaby & Goodnight” is as dynamic-packed and tunoid as any of Alice-Cooper’s-Detroit-era material.  Listen to the Buxtony guitar piping around the edges of yr brain and explain to me how it’s lacking – I don’t get it.  Now I do get what’s “wrong” with the volcanic gusts of not-easily-differentiated grist these cheeseheads toss up like so many half-et turkeys – it’s duhm (as is the pseudo-jass riff-vampery they pull off).  I can understand why you might not wanna kiss Mr. Brannon (all that sand and hair in his mouth, yuck,) but nobody’s asking you too.  Just blow him, ‘kay? – Byron [Coley]

MOTHER LOVE BONE: Shine EP (STARDOG)

….the advance word on these clowns (the other half of Green River that was stupid enough to not wanna be in Mudhoney) was that they “ate complete shit” in a lightweight Aerosmith shuckster manner.  “They” weren’t kidding.  – Jimmy [Johnson]

SOUNDGARDEN: Ultramega LP (SST)

…in the words of one famous Purple Wager, “Well, I can’t pronounce shibboleth, but I can say shit!” – Jimmy

JOHNNY WINTER: Birds Can’t Row Boats (RELIX)

…a great mix of various pre-Columbia recordings by Texas album blues king.  Coolest stuff is the mid 60s garage shit (like “Avocado Green”) but there’s great National Steelwork too and all sortsa other fine-sounding gunk.  Fuck Roy Buchanan. Fast. -Byron

NIRVANA: Love Buzz/Big Cheese (Sub Pop)

…little to no derogatory comment has been uttered from my mouth about the total Sub Pop output, but this 7″ gives me the feeling that something has gone amiss.  The production squeaks like loafers on a polished floor and if I want sub-Sabbath riffs, I want them buried in fuckin’ mud not prancing around in a goddamn tutu.  – Sean McDonnell

GET BENT! • Guest Mix: Trouble In Mind Records’ My Dads A Hells Angel (a.k.a. Soft Sounds For Tough People)

GET BENT! • Guest Mix: Trouble In Mind Records’ My Dads A Hells Angel (a.k.a. Soft Sounds For Tough People).

Trouble In Mind Records is Bill and Lisa Roe of CoCoComa. They aim to “prove that the 2 1/2 minute pop song is alive and well,” and they sure deliver. Trouble in Mind is responsible for putting out work by GET BENT favorites — Apache Dropout, Ty Segall, Wax Museums, and White Wires to name a few. Download their guest mix here, and check out our other guest mixes here

Somehow we can’t shake the “garagepunk” label. When we started to concoct our next musical project after CoCoComa, we thought long & hard about what it was we ACTUALLY listened to & were influenced by on a more visceral level & (for better or for worse) it was bands like Left Banke, Millennium, Lemon Pipers & other assorted soft-psych & bubblegum stuff. If you step back and look at most of the records our label has released, you will notice a similar thread; a pop element regardless of the larger genre an artist may fit into, much like the ones on this mix. On the surface alot of these songs may seem cheezy, but when listened to closely, one can discover some really awesome tunes & unique sounds! (Also we can’t get enough horns and harpsichord as you can probably see.) Or maybe we’re just gettin’ soft – who knows?  
Can I Carry Your Balloon – The Swampseeds
Last Record Store Day Numero had a pop up store with a record fair inside. One guy literally went through every single 45 in about 8 long boxes because he was so excited that a girl wanted to talk to him about bubblegum. This is one of the gems he pulled for me. – Lisa

Flood Lamp Eyes – The Resonars
This is one of those songs that hits me right away. I get all goofy & start playing air drums & stuff. Unbelievable Hollies/Move harmonies, Keith Moon-style drumming & guitar heroics all done by one guy in his basement in Tucson. Matt Rendon is some kinda pop genius. We’re nothing short of honored to be putting a record out by him. -Bill

Why Do You Keep Me Waiting – Bread
We were in Memphis a couple of years ago record shopping at Shangri-La. This song is the B-side to Bread’s soft-rock super-hit “Make It With You”, but the shop’s descrition said that this song here was a “Nazz-style” rocker… we were intrigued. Sho-nuff – could be mistaken for a Rundgren hit! -Bill

The Beat Song – Creme Soda
Got hipped to this weird private-press record by Creme Soda called “Trick Zingers” by my pal Jeremy. It’s a hot mess of Fugs weirdness & strange soft-rockisms. Ok – the record is sort of all over the place, but in a totally infectious & unbelievable way. This is one of the, um – weirder moments. -Bill

L’abandon – Jean Le Fennec
Such a cool spacey song. I love the percussion and the xylophone or whatever the hell it is along with the different elements that come in and out like fuzz and strings. – Lisa

Drummer of your Mind – United Travel Service
Currently OBSESSED with this band’s output. Another never-ran band from the late-Sixties whose ambition & ideas were far more sophisticated than their recording budget (or musical skills) may be a’la The Index, Yellow Balloon & others. This is an amazing tune with a seriously addictive melody. The drums on this rule!

Magical Musical Box – Del Shannon
who’da thunk that Del Shannon – Mr. Run-Run-Runaway himself would concoct some of the most gorgeous psychedelic music of the late-Sixties? This one is one of the more maudlin songs on his masterpiece “Further Adventures Of Charles Westover”. Totally sounds like Odyssey & Oracle era Zombies. AMAZING. -Bill

Desiree – The Left Banke
This song is the epitome of what make The Left Banke the undisputed “kings of baroque pop” It’s got strings and crazy arrangements along with insane vocal harmonies. I love songs with 8 million parts that clock in around 2 1/2 minutes. – Lisa

Talk About It – Harumi
This song rules and the phased drums are what totally put it over the top. This record is great and we listened to it a lot during the blizzard last winter and I’ll always remember it for that. – Lisa

Lady Friend – The Byrds
Say what you will about David Crosby (I happen to think he’s somewhat of a genius) but this song is 100% awesome.  All the best elements of the Byrds; great chimey guitars, vocals and lyrics. – Lisa

Oh! Those Sweet Bananas – Hackamore Brick
Our pal Andrew loves this tune & so do I – total Lou Reed/VU influenced banger! -Bill

Olga Selzer – Bernard Chabert
Discovered this song on a comp we have & return to it often – that guitar tone is bananas! T-Rex meets Jacques Dutronc! -Bill

Somebody Made For Me – Emitt Rhodes
HOOKS galore in this tune & one of my faves from his s/t debut! Bittersweet melodies that transition into the most addictive choruses this side of Badfinger! Super intricate & amazing production all done in his garage at home. Seriously! -Bill

Can I Stay With You? – Nick Garrie
Totally fey & twinkle-ding-dong British psych that really hits my sweet spot. Dude made this one album in ‘68 & dropped out! The Nick Drake comparisons are unavoidable, but why avoid them anyways? -Bill

Living Without You – Harry Nilsson – I’m not usually one for “sap” and maybe this is better described as “bittersweet.” It’s a Randy Newman song that is just plain and simple beautiful. Just a total dude, a piano, and his amazing voice.  – Lisa

-Bill & Lisa Roe

more Forced Exposure: descendents, fans and antagonists

If there’s a single fanzine I wish I could find/borrow/collect/study, it’s Andrew Earles and David Dunlap’s The Cimarron WeekendI watch Earles close, again I don’t mention the one degree of separation between us cuz that would be cheesy, and I take his opinions about records almost as seriously as I take his comedy.  (That said, I still haven’t been able to “get there” w/ Boris, but I think Attention Please was the wrong starting point.) Oh, and of course the Husker Du book – and the guts it took to write it sans Mould – is badass, inspiring, and sheds a new sense of vitality upon a deservedly overhallowed band.

Anyway, here’s some clips from an interview with the Cimmaron boys made available via Care about music? Care about nonsense? Read this post and the links within… « Andrew Earles.

You’ve developed this particular style…
AE: …I just want to entertain, which I think that I can effectively do until my writing devolves into the ramblings of a diaper-soiling nut.
DD [re: indie eclecticism]: Another element is this talk of the different subcultures. There is an absurd amount of balkanization for such a small group of people. Crusties, garage-rock greasers, heavy-metal elitists and noiseniks. I believe that exaggerated eclecticism is essential to remaining alive as a lover of music
There’s a 70s proto-punk and rock-writer fixation in many of your issues, especially in the new one. Who are your influences from that period?

AE: My obvious one is [Richard] Meltzer, whom I still find entertaining. I have never been able to relate to Aesthetics, but I loved Gulcher, and the recent collection proves that he has always been able to pen some priceless nonsense. Little-known late-70s/early-80s Creem guy Rick Johnson was brilliant–he was the guy who was supposed to replace Bangs. [Bangs’] Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung was one of the first books that I ever spent money on, but I used to be quite the shoplifter, so I’m not quite sure when that was. I’ve only been writing about music for around four years, but I’ve been reading that stuff since my teens. Forced Exposure was the first forum that caused me to actually see a difference between careerist music journalism and worthwhile rock writing.

Two notable books that I shoplifted in high school were Christgau’s Record Guide: The ’80s and The Trouser Press Record Guide, the one that came out in ’91 or ’92. I would often act as though I was leaving for school, only to go sit in the woods behind our depressing apartment complex and read this garbage all day long. Tosches, Chistgau and Marcus should never really be mentioned in the same breath as the above, they are simply old whores possessing what ultimately equals very bad taste.

I can’t really go into my disdain for people who focus on roots-oriented journalism; I’d be here for days. It’s just so fucking easy, and people eat it up with a fervor that only cultured yuppies and former punk rockers can display. I am admittedly soulless and couldn’t give three shits about reading a book on some unknown “crazy” rockabilly act, or some real-deal bluesman. If you shut your eyes, the real deal sounds very similar to the not-so-real, graying-ponytail deal that plays at your neighborhood bar and grill.

DD:…There is something inherently bookish about trying to be a music critic. Sure, there are exceptions. Some in fact are macho and defensive about it, espousing nothing but black metal, free jazz or noise.

You’ve also got the whole kneejerk Chuck Eddy/Metal Mike Saunders thing going on over at the Village Voice. They think it’s real cute to endorse flavor-of-the-nanosecond teen pop groups–M2M, A-Teens, B*Witched, etc. I suppose that they are now dead inside and just tired of all the rock-scene bullshit. But I think that it is thinly veiled pederasty.

Ah, there’s our man Eddy again, he of the pigfuck definition! A blogo-review of the aforementioned Chuck Eddy volume makes some overall point about Eddy’s boldness but cites his Forced Exposure/pigfuck piece in a manner that eludes and implicates me:

Most current rock critics get paid peanuts-to-nothing for their writing, but when it’s not awash in petulant insults, our vast internet ocean of gatekeeperless freedom reads mostly like auditions for The Real Thing, or straightlaced ad copy, or studious analyses of Important Themes In Arcade Fire Albums. Exceptions exist, particularly across blogs that invite conversation. (Eddy’s ’87 critique of Forced Exposure reads like half of a Tumblr spat.)

Jay Hinman’s also on the side of Forced Exposure and, like me years later with the Chris Knox issue, found the mag at a clutch time and wrung every available sardonic, urgent and sonic formulation spanned therein.  He even took up the worthy project of immortalizing Johnson, Coley and Meltzer’s work so those who didn’t know could know, and those who knew could bask and rediscover whatever loaded guns of cum-prose escaped us at the time.

During the 1980s I read every Forced Exposure magazine that came out with such a slavish devotion that it practically helped create the record collection that I have to this day. What I loved & still love about it was that it was the most accurate “consumer’s guide” I’d ever read, in the sense that if Jimmy Johnson and especially if Byron Coley said it was good, it almost always was. That to me has always been the litmus test for a good fanzine, and in 2006, for a good blog. I’ve always admired those who were trustworthy gatekeepers, if you will, and there’s no doubt this magazine helped me want to atempt to be one myself. I also thought, at age 18, the way Jimmy & Byron snottily but cleverly dismissed halfwits like Jello Biafra was unlike anything I’d ever seen from the mainstream press to that time, and those guys helped to give me more perspective about underground music than anyone else, ever…

It’s true. For me, only having WFMU around comes anywhere nearForced Exposure’s efficacy at shaping and positioning me for a personal life and national culture I knew I’d best prepare to passively dislike and hate in strategic bursts.  Hinman proceeds:

I can also now take a look at those magazines from 15-20 years ago, and see that there was a sufficient amount of BS in their pages. In the coming months, I’m going to periodically review & explore each of the Forced Exposure magazines I own, which is all of them starting with #6 pictured above, and give some perspective on why this particular magazine was a treasured jumping-off point for so many of us. I’ll also take my trusted sword to the things about it that are patently ridiculous today. I guess my goal is to generate enough excitement about this lost resource so that someone does the right thing and compiles them all into a book or a series of books, much like what Re/Search press did with the SEARCH & DESTROY magazines from the first wave of punk. Stay tuned – the first installment in this fascinating and life-changing series is only days away.

Yes, and yes, I totally agree. ‘Just posted a Jimmy Johnson review of the Jesus Lizard’s Goat –  and embellished it with crannies, at that – that misses Jimmy’s intended mark of pigfucking the pigfuckers and fails to account for the music.  Still, it’s always the best shit going somehow, even after it’s over.  (I was weirded out to find the great Ann Arbor record store called Encore gets its new stuff exclusively through the Forced Exposure distro. I was subsequently surprised by how few Richard Grossman, Trevor Watts and Godz titles turn up in the stacks!)

And so the point is that there’s something about this re-re-re-capitulation of the Killed By moment (also called out by Hinman) that, delightful and cruddy-pretty as it is, demands a higher-order and more profane foil.  In my own quite way, with the back issues I saved to score on Ebay or found in dustclouds at NYC record stores, I hope to add to the tribute agonyshorthand paid the great Forced Exposure.  If neither its authors nor the world quit working and spinning after its course has been run, I need to rerun that course in order to face and to fuck with a hurtful world. It’s wretched watching good punk rock wait to become great without knowing how sometimes, if not others, loyal opposition and vile antagonism can plant fecund seeds in the muddy scene.

I can’t plant shit.  But I can turn to the folios and tablets of pigfuck things and unrelated rock.  I can help myself see how I’m being pleasured and pissed off by contempo punk.

Piss Christ + Pigfuck: A Companion Piece

[This post is meant as a companion piece to "Blood, Belts, Ric Flair/Rod Stewart, Poetry, Sex," which first appeared this AM.]

Piss Christ

Andres Serrano, 1987

By | Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2000: Slate

If we did not know it was cow’s blood and urine,
if we did not know that Serrano had for weeks
hoarded his urine in a plastic vat,
if we did not know the cross was gimcrack plastic,
we would assume it was too beautiful.
We would assume it was the resurrection,
glory, Christ transformed to light by light
because the blood and urine burn like a halo,
and light, as always, light makes it beautiful.

We are born between the urine and the feces,
Augustine says, and so was Christ, if there was a Christ,
skidding into this world as we do
on a tide of blood and urine. Blood, feces, urine—
what the fallen world is made of, and what we make.
He peed, ejaculated, shat, wept, bled—
bled under Pontius Pilate, and I assume
the mutilated god, the criminal,
humiliated god, voided himself
on the cross and the blood and urine smeared his legs
and he ascended bodily unto heaven,
and on the third day he rose into glory, which
is what we see here, the Piss Christ in glowing blood:
the whole irreducible point of the faith,
God thrown in human waste, submerged and shining.

We have grown used to beauty without horror.

We have grown used to useless beauty.

Attack on ‘blasphemous’ art work fires debate on role of religion in France

When New York artist Andres Serrano plunged a plastic crucifix into a glass of his own urine and photographed it in 1987 under the title Piss Christ, he said he was making a statement on the misuse of religion.

Controversy has followed the work ever since, but reached an unprecedented peak on Palm Sunday when it was attacked with hammers and destroyed after an “anti-blasphemy” campaign by French Catholic fundamentalists in the southern city of Avignon.

The violent slashing of the picture, and another Serrano photograph of a meditating nun, has plunged secular France into soul-searching about Christian fundamentalism and Nicolas Sarkozy’s use of religious populism in his bid for re-election next year.

It also marks a return to an old standoff between Serrano and the religious right that dates back more than 20 years, to Reagan-era Republicanism in the US.

The photograph, full title Immersion (Piss Christ), was made in 1987 as part of Serrano’s series showing religious objects submerged in fluids such as blood and milk. In 1989, rightwing Christian senators’ criticism of Piss Christ led to a heated US debate on public arts funding. Republican Jesse Helms told the senate Serrano was “not an artist. He’s a jerk.”

Serrano defended his photograph as a criticism of the “billion-dollar Christ-for-profit industry” and a “condemnation of those who abuse the teachings of Christ for their own ignoble ends”. It was vandalised in Australia, and neo-Nazis ransacked a Serrano show in Sweden in 2007.

The photograph had been shown in France several times without incident. For four months, it has hung in the exhibition I Believe in Miracles, to mark 10 years of art-dealer Yvon Lambert’s personal collection in his 18th-century mansion gallery in Avignon. The show is due to end next month, but two weeks ago a concerted protest campaign began.

Civitas, a lobby group that says it aims to re-Christianize France, launched an online petition and mobilised other fundamentalist groups. The staunchly conservative archbishop of Vaucluse, Jean-Pierre Cattenoz, called Piss Christ “odious” and said he wanted this “trash” taken off the gallery walls. Last week the gallery complained of “extremist harassment” by fundamentalist Christian groups who wanted the work banned in France.

Lambert, one of France’s best known art dealers, complained he was being “persecuted” by extremists who had sent him tens of thousands of complaint emails and bombarded the museum with spam. He likened the atmosphere to “a return to the middle ages”.

On Saturday, around 1,000 Christian protesters marched through Avignon to the gallery. The protest group included a regional councillor for the extreme-right Front National, which recently scored well in the Vaucluse area in local elections. The gallery immediately stepped up security, putting plexiglass in front of the photograph and assigning two gallery guards to stand in front of it.

But on Palm Sunday morning, four people in sunglasses aged between 18 and 25 entered the exhibition just after it opened at 11am. One took a hammer out of his sock and threatened the guards with it. A guard grabbed another man around the waist but within seconds the group managed to take a hammer to the plexiglass screen and slash the photograph with another sharp object, thought to be a screwdriver or ice-pick. They also smashed another work, which showed the hands of a meditating nun.

The gallery director, Eric Mézil, said it would reopen with the destroyed works on show “so people can see what barbarians can do”. He said there had been a kind of “inquisition” against the art work.

In a statement, he said the movement against Piss Christ had started at the time of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party’s controversial debate on religion and secularism in France. At a record low in the polls before next year’s presidential election, Sarkozy has been accused of using anti-Muslim and extreme-right rhetoric to appeal to voters and counter the rise of the Front National.

[T]here was a climate of tension, with protesters insulting museum staff of north African origin. One guard said he heard: “I’m going to pour donkey piss on the Qur’an.” An email to the museum talked about “plunging the diary of Anne Frank in urine”.

Rule 42 re: Rod, Greil and “Forever Young:”

My reaction in 1988 every time I heard “Forever Young” was “Doesn’t anybody remember the Bob Dylan song that is a very obvious rewrite of? Why didn’t he just cover it?” Twenty years later, knowing that there was a negotiated settlement, I can concentrate on the Artistry of Rod.

The most famous line about Rod Stewart’s career belongs to Greil Marcus: “Rarely has a singer had as full and unique a talent as Rod Stewart; rarely has anyone betrayed his talent so completely.” (Marcus continued his essay in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll for quite a while in this vein; the next line was “Once the most compassionate presence in music, he has become a bilious self-parody–and sells more records than ever.”

Honky Magic Affirms Greil, Asks Whatever Happened to Rod?

I’ve been thinking about Greil Marcus’ claim, speaking about Rod Stewart, that – a rough paraphrase here – rarely has a singer betrayed his talent so completely. And that’s a wonderfully perfect statement. It’s pure rock criticism, and, it’s in its purity that it achieves perfection.

It single-handedly and in one stroke obliterates an entire segment of a man’s career, purely because the speaker takes issue with it.Takes everything a man has done, everything a man has become, after some given point, and labels it betrayal. Deems it worthless.

It positions the speaker as superior, as omniscient, as he who is capable of true sight, of true hearing, of true understanding, of cutting through all the bullshit of headlines and advertising. It makes the speaker, the critic, just as important as the performer.

And it’s right.

Because Stewart, with the Jeff Beck Group, with the Faces, with the loose, wild backing on his first three solo albums, was, honestly, amazing, capable in his best moments of embodying, even only as an act, everything that the male rock star could be: fun, hurt, macho, sensitive, a little drunk, boorish, in love with the world around him even as he recognizes its capacity for pain, and with a voice that could ache simultaneously with fragility and whiskey.

Superseventies Collects Gushes Over Early Rod, “Every Picture…:”

Rod Stewart’s Every Picture Tells a Story is the greatest rock & roll recording of the last ten years. It is a mature tale of adolescence, full of revelatory detail (Rod combing his hair a thousand different ways in front of the mirror), and it contains the only reference to the Dreyfus case in the history of rock. It is also hilarious, and one of the friendliest pieces of music ever recorded. It is rock & roll of utterly unbelievable power, and for most of its five minutes and fifty-eight seconds that power is supplied by nothing more than drums, bass, acoustic guitar and Rod’s voice. Mick Waller should have received the Nobel Prize — in physics, of course — for his demolition work at the end of the first verse; Martin Quittenton’s acoustic guitar playing is well beyond any human award — for that matter, it is beyond human ken. John Lennon once said he wanted to make a record as good as “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On”; Rod Stewart did it.

- Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone, 12/15/77.

Because he’s tawdry enough to revel in stellar pop-and-flash, Stewart can refine the rock sensibility without processing the life out of it. His gimmick is nuance. Rod the Wordslinger is a lot more literate than the typical English bloozeman, Rod the Singer can make words flesh, and though Rod the Bandleader’s music is literally electric it’s the mandolin and pedal steel that come through sharpest. A smash as huge as “Maggie May” must satisfy Rod the Mod the way a classic as undeniable as “Maggie May” does Rod the Artist. But it’s “Mandolin Wind” leading into Motown leading into Tim Hardin that does justice to everything he is. A+

- Robert Christgau, Christgau’s Record Guide, 1981.

Cracked gets it re: Christgau, rock criticism’s “Dean,” no shit:

You might call him venerable. But in this case, “venerable” is synonomous with “pretentious old man who thinks new music is worse than old music.”

In the mid 80’s, Christgau provoked the ire of Sonic Youth by labelling them a “pigfucker” band (signalling their raw, abrasive sound), and giving them a bad live review. In response, Thurston Moore renamed their song “Kill Yr Idols”. The new name? “I Killed Christgau with my Big Fucking Dick”.

Christgau got in trouble after John Lennon’s assassination, when he quoted his wife, saying Paul McCartney should’ve been shot instead of John.

Richard Meltzer, champion of rock-writing and former employee of Christgau’s cuts loose with some straight 70s dope. This is from RockCriticsArchives, which I’m interested in exploring further, natch.
Oh, you know, I call him a PIGFUCKER in the book, you know. I mean, literally, I use that term: pigfucker. (laughs) And I say all these things about him, and ALL he responds to in his piece is, “Well, technically I wasn’t the editor of the Voice from ’67 to ’74; oh well, I guess I could have passed his name along, like I did with my dear friend Tom SMUCKER, whose work I loved! But it really wasn’t until ’74 that I was in a position…” you know — and so he picks that, that’s like the easiest thing he can refute, that he can even MENTION. I mean, he doesn’t talk about — I call him a SCHOOL MARM. He doesn’t deal with any of that stuff. He doesn’t deal with the fact that Lester, Lester — he told Lester, you know, “I went to Dartmouth, you didn’t graduate from college — you’re not as SMART as I am.” I mean, he says a lot of things. He’s quoted being an asshole by many people, and yet, he just talks about a little technicality. I mean, truly, I used to ask him, I’d go to press parties and I’d say, “When can I write for the Voice, Bob?” “I’ll TELL you when you’re ready.” He literally did. And I talk about how I remember the day he turned 30, I ran into him on 14th Street in New York, and he was just, he was like, DESTROYED, y’know. I was probably 27, 28, he was 30, and he was very upset about it. And that was when Chuck Berry had a hit with “My Ding-a-Ling,” and it was like he had to, from that moment on — and the Dolls were happening — he had to champion the music of KIDS, because otherwise he was an old man.

Scott:   I can’t argue with what you’re saying, but I think in his piece — I just find it hard to believe you still think he doesn’t actually like your book, or like your writing.
Richard:    Uh, well, I imagine, yes, he likes some pieces, but as far as the entirety of the book, I think the book, if anything, is an INSULT to him.

Scott:   Yeah.
Richard:    (laughs) So why would he like it?

Scott:   Well, you can be insulted (laughs) and still like it as writing, I mean…
Richard:    Right…

Scott:   If someone wrote…
Richard:    He mentions one piece there in particular, he’s talking about how, uh, “Oh, look, do I really want to TRUST what this guy has to say if he was wrong about those seven years?” And he just lists a few things, he doesn’t really SAY anything about them, and he mentions my Eric Dolphy piece, and he says (in parentheses) “I’ll grant you half on that.” And that was the piece where he and Gary Giddins ganged up on me (laughs), and so I imagine what he means by that is he’ll grant me the half that is Gary Giddins, you know, like let’s blame Giddins. But that was really incredibly traumatic for me at the time. I mean it really was, I had to SUCK up to Gary Giddins or never write for the paper again. I mean, Christgau — I didn’t even mention that once upon a time I wanted to review a Jackson Browne album. The last thing I wrote for Rolling Stone, I did a feature on Jackson Browne at the time that his first album came out, because I knew him in ’67 in New York — he was living with Nico, and he was playing at this Warhol club, the Dom, and he was something of a PUNK. And so I did this piece about that, and Jackson hated the piece, and not only did he hate the piece, but David Geffen, who had Asylum Records at the time, hated the piece, and basically they had me kicked out of Rolling Stone. Landau kicked me out of the Reviews section, and from that point on I couldn’t write for the paper. And so, years went by — that was, like, ’72 — somewhere about ’77, ’78, for some reason I was gonna review a Jackson Browne album, and he finds out the whole cast and crew has changed, I mean, Geffen is long gone — it was Atlantic Asylum, now it’s Elektra Asylum — and somewhere on a computer somewhere it says “Meltzer is not to write about Jackson.” And Christgau told me, “We can’t have you review this or we will lose ads.” You know? Mr. Integrity. I didn’t even put that in the book, but he was essentially a corporate — a cog in the wheel of, uh — he was always as big a shill and a — what is the word? — a LACKEY. And I don’t even use those words in the book for him, but basically I COULD have. And so it seems to me that his applauding my book is just because he sees it as: rock ‘n’ roll goes on.

The Great Byron Coley in the Great Perfect Sound Forever re: Christgau and More:

PSF: How did your war with Robert Christgau start out?

Well… I think what must have really came first was that he would write really negative stuff about Sonic Youth in the Voice. In fact, it was just stupid. And so when we (Forced Exposure) did a single with them (Sonic Youth) in ’85, it was “Kill Your Idols.” And so, without them know it, I retitled the song: “I Killed Christgau With My Big Fucking Dick.” And he was really not amused. And I guess I can understand why, although you know, why anybody would really care… It was just sort of funny, I thought. And it was a “OK, you killed me, I’ll kill you” sort of thing. And then I actually recorded an anti-Christgau spoken word thing also that came out on a 7 inch.

The whole ‘Dean’ thing rubbed me the wrong way. And the fact that he thought… His Consumer Guide was extremely useful for a lot of stuff. But I always thought “Who cares about this mainstream shit?” I don’t give a fuck about most of that stuff, at all. And at that, I was writing a lot more reviews than he was. We weren’t reviewing any of the same records, at all. I just thought that the (Guide’s) format was interesting and the short review thing was good and he obviously knew… But who CARES about an Ashford & Simpson record or something like that? It just didn’t resonate with me at all. So you do a couple of things like that and you get on somebody’s bad side… So he wouldn’t let me write for the Voice when he was music editor. Although when Doug Simmons became music editor, I wrote for them pretty regularly for a while. But then when Chuck Eddy came in, I was out again. And he sort of encouraged Eddy to sort of go after the Forced Exposure aesthetic- that big ‘pig fucker’ story. That kind of stuff is fine…

It’s like that Ernest Borgnine-Lee Marvin movie Emperor of the North Pole. Who’s gonna be the king of the fanzines or the king of the rock critics or something like that? And it’s NOTHING. You’re king of nothing! Dean of Rock Critics? It’s like being Dean of Shitville.

Christgau used “pigfucker” to describe SY and antagonized the best music of his moment.  As quoted from Chuck Eddy’s rad-looking book:

Pigfucker, n. 1. Perjorative used to label participants of any in several strains of obstinantly noncommercial, abstract yet noncerebral, post-hardcore art-rock, characterized by peculiarly structured intentional dissonance (typically loud, often unconventionally-tuned electric guitars), mechanical and/or funkless rhythms, subtle textural shifts, violent lyrics addressing taboo subjects, and a general quest for assumed “extremes.”  2.  Fan or apologist of this subgenre.

[Coined as music term by Robert Christgau in The Village Voice

3 March 1987; from pig and fucker,

compounded in 1967 by Hunter S. Thompson to describe Hubert Humphrey]

Wait, maybe this is Eddy formalizing Christgau’s coinage?? I better read the book. Clearly this Eddy deserves a shot: check out this hand-typed list from decades ago of exactly the sort of band I’m currently busying myself searching after (except his list is superior.) The proper definition, which I’m convinced is Eddy’s now, is taken from an essay entitled “Slime is Money (Bastard)” that appears in his now thrice plugged Rock n’ Roll Always Forgets.

But then there’s this, thanks rockcritics, from the 1974 Creem:

Personally I think the 1974 usage is an example of a perspicacious word awaiting its embodiment: what 1974 band would you call Pigfuck? The Stooges broke up by 1974 and I still wouldn’t really say that’s who they were. Then again, the man at Last Days of Man On Earth is on to something when he offers up Eater as a pigfuck John the Baptist:

The story on Eater is that they were really, really young kids when they recorded this stuff. The drummer, Dee Generate, was only 14. They made some press back then by saying in their first interview that they thought Johnny Rotten was “too old”, which is pretty damn funny when you think of it. Shades of Max Frost? Their sound as you will hear, is kinda cool. They definitely were a rock-n-roll band (they wore their glam influences on their sleeves) but they had a youthful energy which today makes the stuff almost sound bubblegum or something, which is also kinda funny when you consider they used to throw pigs heads from the stage and had a song called Get Raped. So clearly they were the world’s first pigfuck-bubblegum© band.

Funny, I kinda feel like the Hozac-Sacred Bones-Goner axis is producing the impossible genre I wanna call “no wave power-pop.” But, I believe Pigfuck was a 1980s phenomenon carried into the 90s and fading out of the “zeitgeist” (ha!) around the time Touch and Go and AmRep had lost their definitive rosters and/or their currency.  That said, that band The Men, whose music, whose publicity and whose place within a larger genre I have been compelled to contemplate twice now, were recently celebrated by Maura Johnson of the Voice for leaving behind “the abrasive contusions of nu-pigfuck.”  Scarring bruises, indeed: scorching burns.  I know not how this nu assignation riding shotgun on punk’s obscene frontiers will help The Men reach the cultural nirvana or Nirvana status I’ve been compelled to address in the above links, but luckily my only wish is for continued good records from ‘em.  Hozac’s Fey Gods also win the designation “post-grunge, pigfuck, visceral trash” from Agit Reader.  Anybody wanna argue that pigfuck lives or is enjoying a renaissance among the genre I keep calling Killed-By rock?

Prisonship favorite OneBaseOnAnOverthrow reminds me of that Truman Capote shit, “A Christmas Memory,” when he relays a stirring yarn of teen vulnerability, the inevitable teen-man identification with Paul Westerberg that culminates in a showdown with a bully Chicagoan.  The dainty yarn goes well with milkshakes beside the fire and some of the great solo Westerberg material. It’s entitled I Killed Albini With My Big Fucking Dick:

Displaying the usual teenage penchant for useless gestures, I actually called Steve Albini’s home phone once. Albini used to write a regular column back in the early 80’s for Matter, a really bad glossy ‘zine outta Chicago that must’ve paid writers a little bit of money, because occasionally top-notch guys like Gerard Cosloy and Byron Coley would contribute. Albini’s column was called “Tired of Ugly Fat?”, and sometimes he’d give out his phone number, probably because he had no real reason to give a shit.

Anyway, Albini slagged “Let It Be” (which would place this around ’84), and since the Replacements were my favorite band at the time, I called the number– as if I actually had a chance to get him on the phone and have a discussion or something. Really, the only interesting thing that happened was I got to hear Albini’s answering machine message, which went, “How can you tell how many Hitlers are in the room? Count the number of balls, and divide by one!”– I swear to God. I mumbled something stupid about how I thought he was a jerk, leaving my own number to show that I wasn’t a pussy, and hung up.

Since I disliked Albini as a writer before I ever heard Big Black as a band, it took some really awesome records to sway me back to the other side, and “Atomizer” and “Racer-X” were those records.

Great records, indeed. Of course, I’m of a half-generation after, and Shellac are my motherfuckers.  They’re more curmudgeonly than offensive and they seem to have figured out a basic algorithm to rocking and rendered it herky-jerkily in a manner, a la Slint and the Jesus Lizard, that still “rocks.”  We could wonder all day if offensive behavior underwrites the outward-bound spazz-noise that underwrites “Pigfuck,” or if its merely a stylistic flourish that ensures the alienation of women and secures a space for sickly-laced inside jokes.  I’ll never understand why I love the offensive when I do or how I don’t when I don’t, but the “this is art” excuse washes less every day. 

Brushback was quick to notice the emergence of what Coley once called “rockism” but is now the province of Oberlin coeds’ abstinence-only boyfriends.  The symptom par excellence?  The 7″ of Kraftwerk and Cheap Trick covers, betraying both humor and a tendency towards rock historicism:

At the time, it seemed weird to me that Albini would like Cheap Trick, but they’re both from Chicago so I guess it makes sense. This single was my first clue that Albini had more up his sleeve than just acting all dark and scary, and that he actually had a sense of humor– slight as it might have been. A couple of years later Albini was covering ZZ Top and talking about how great their first three records were, while producing records for the Pixies and eventually Bush and Nirvana. I think it woulda been better had he stopped at Cheap Trick, but what do I know.

Regular readers – and there are no regular readers – will note that I’m all over those ZZ Top lps lately like flies on solid excrement, but I can let this pass.  What’s interesting, besides Brushback’s willingness to provoke imaginary Albini by bestowing “production credits” on the king of “recorded by,” is a larger pattern the blurb above suggests: after pigfuck, rock.  Actually, we could say there was plenty of rock inside of pigfuck, and that’s something Christgau didn’t get.  Perhaps it’s because he came from NYC and was most specifically challenging Sonic Youth and maybe Swans?  Obviously it wasn’t wrong before Sonic Youth weren’t just quoting but were redefining rock.  Obviously the Thalia Zedek era of Live Skull was about rock, just as we’ve discussed in terms of Big Black’s evoluton.   Finally, when my wife had grown tired of hearing Blue Cheer and more obscure hard-psych-blah last night, she suggested we spin the Jesus Lizard and I must say, especially after extended exposure to Presence, I believe their “Zeppelin thing” is real.  Now, whom would you add to this rocking pigfucker list, people?

On to my favorite idea of the hours’ of pajama-wearing research (I’m a winner! I do stuff!), supplied not unusually by Jay Hinman (of Hedonist Jive, tumblr’s Hedonist Jive and formerly Detailed Twang) from back in the Agony Shorthand days.  The hypothetical, off-the-cuff notion occurs in the context of a 7″ review: HOSE : MOBO / GIRLS / ZOO” 7″EP:

I farmed it on this one — a few weeks ago the mp3 blog Mystical Beast posted a great overview of (and interview with) early 80s sludge/dirge noise group HOSE, and included the ability to download their one and only single, “Mobo/Girls/Zoo”… As the article and reminiscience makes clear, Hose were the east coast FLIPPER, and fashioned themselves as such. “Girls” — all 20 seconds of it — is pure fake hardcore, the sort of blistering speed demon played by large men who are clearly “taking the piss”, as it were. But “Mobo” is a big, ugly throbbing whopper, one that the DUST DEVILS soon covered on their “Geek Drip” LP. And even the kids’ song “Zoo” holds up well. My roommate had their 12″EP as well, and I remember a great track on there called “Only The Astronaut Knows the Truth” or something like that. When someone finally puts out the Bloodstains Across the Pigfuck Scene comp, that thing needs to be front and center.

I really want Bloodstains Across the Pigfuck Scene to exist, but the closest stuff to anything obscure I’ve got is Die Kreuzen.  Indeed, that suprisingly noisy Slumberland mix tape I plugged recently helped more than you’d think. I didn’t fucking know who Terminal Cheesecake was!  I scour the record stores and I find dick.  It’s much easier to track the pigfuck-or-just-indie-or-harcore > math-rock development of my emo 90s than it is to plot pigfuck or find the canonical and, best of all, the obscuro entries in the canon.  Maybe when the proposed Forced Exposure anthology’s unleashed there’ll be an accompanying Numero Group release, but how do we know that won’t be all Japanese Noise and AMM outtakes? From the Perfect Sound Forever Coley Interview

PSF: Have you ever thought about doing an anthology for Forced Exposure?

Yeah, we’ve talked about it extensively but… What we’d really like to do is The Complete with a lot of additional interviews and articles. So it gets into a real size quandary ’cause it’s like 1,000,000 words.

PSF: You could do it in volumes.

I know. We’ll get something worked out. You know, people have a process about different things. At some point, it would probably happen. There’s some people who really don’t want their stuff reprinted for a variety of reasons. For some of it, their juvenilia is embarrassing to them for whatever reason. But yeah, we’d be entertained to do it. I did a thing where I got all of the reviews in alphabetical, chronological order. I could reformat that stuff ’cause we used to have embedded, HTML-type code formatting for everything. You know- ‘turn on bold, turn on italics.’ This was early word processing stuff.

Maybe I deserve to linger in dissatisfaction for the sin of comparing pigfuck to tea parties or daring to mention a certain white privilege involved (‘got fucked up in the comments for that one, maybe rightly), but I can honestly say that my sociological interests lie firmly elsewhere.  A bifurcated, maybe stupid division of labor has been resurrected in which music maybe just means shelter from the gross shit I do regularly ponder from a political place or a personal one.  Pigfuck is merely and grandly a necessary elixir, the soundtrack and emblem of one white nerd’s self-contempt and contempt-contempt.

STILL SINGLE – FORCED EXPOSURE: Signif Alb Reviews of Then and Now

STILL SINGLE – Liquor Store – “Free Pizza” b/w “Trash Sandwich (Parts 2 & 3)” 7” (Almost Ready).

As of press-time New Jersey’s Liquor Store boasts six guitarists (at least five of whom definitely can not be heard on these two songs) and a front man who looks like he should be working at one of those chop shops outside of Shea Stadium in 1986. Stoopid with a capital “O,” the Store is a non-stop fire sale/boner party for those of us who felt “Surfin’ Bird” was a little too deep. I know “trash” gets thrown around these parts regularly as a descriptor, but man, Oscar the Grouch meet your new favorite band.

Forced Exposure issue #17 MEATMEN: Crippled Children Suck LP (Touch & Go)

…it would be safe to say that the material on this LP (a reprise of the band’s second Ep + a variety of live seepage n’ outage) was a primary influence in the instigation of this magazine. Tesco Vee, through his fan-dad “literary” efforts in Touch & Go (the zine) and love-papa stage mania w/the Meatment, was the only living noise-hound whack-artist/wiseguy back in the oh-so-fuckin’-serious days of hardcore’s natal development and infancy.  Songs like “Blow Me Jah,” “Tooling for Anus” and the legendary “TSOL Are Sissies” (finally available for yr at-home perusal) display an attitude that is an eternal turd-smelling flame burning deep in the heart of Forced Exposure. If you catch a whiff of it once in a while, we’ve done our job. If not, fuck you.

- Byron (Coley)

Lps and 7″s spoken here

As discussed previously, I’ve gone after a buncha obscuro hard rock and psych, lately.  Results have been either frustrating, expensive or cool, but reasonable people have argued that I should add less rare and more obvious hard rock albs, which I might find for less than $20, so I’ve enjoyed doing so.  In addition I have scoured old Forced Exposures for bands I might find in used bins, adding some mid-late 80s content to all the 60-70s.  Bearing in mind that I always come home with something or other completely irrelevant to the stated mission. Here’s what’s turned up so far:

  1. Humble Pie, Rock On
  2. Slovenly, Thinking of Empire (SST)
  3. Flamin’ Groovies Now
  4. Radio Birdman, Radios Appear
  5. Bloodrock, Bloodrock
  6. Bloodrock, Bloodrock 2
  7. Bloodrock, Bloodrock 3
  8. Jimmie Spheeris, The Dragon is Dancing
  9. Jimmie Spheeris, Isle of View
  10. Kiss, Hotter than Hell (Japanese Pressing)
  11. Lime Spiders, Volatile
  12. Mott the Hoople, Mott
  13. Slade, Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet
  14. Alice Cooper, Billion Dollar Babies (in the cardboard box)
  15. Mad River, s/t
  16. Henson Cargill, Skip a Rope
  17. Tony Joe White, s/t
  18. Sonic’s Rendezvous Band,Sweet Nothing
  19. Aerosmith, Get Your Wings
  20. ZZ Top,Tejas
  21. Crow, Best of Crow
  22. The Litter, $100 Fine
  23. Girls Against Boys 7″, Bulletproof Cupid b/w Sharkmeat
  24. Balls! Balls! 7″ ep: Pitchblende “Windshield Kiss” b/w Eggs “Song With Contemporary Influences”
  25. SF Seals 7″, “Still?” b/w “Don’t Underestimate Me”
  26. Easy Action 7″, “She Ain’t My Girlfriend” b/w “Elo Kiddies”
  27. Cynics 7″, Buick Mackane
  28. Cynics 7″, I Want it All
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