IT'S A LIVING… BUT IT'S NOT A LIFE #13.2
C VS HBR – April Showers Bring May Mosquitoes - Nazi Popes Fuck Off!

 

NEW POPE?
Hey, the new Pope was Hitler Youth. Are you really that shocked? If you're gonna pick a German from a certain age group to be Pope, you have a good chance of winding up with a Nazi Pope.

 

CRINGER VIDEO

This one is a mail-order only title and it's limited edition. HB035 is my second video release. It's Cringer recorded live at the Harlow Square on our European tour. "Live In Europe" is pro-shot, multi-camera, board mixed and is about as good as we could muster. We were pretty sloppy at times and I'm never gonna be a great singer. This show was second to last on the tour and happened after Kamala had broken her hand. So for this recording, we have Trotsky from the Subhumans/Citizen Fish on the traps. If you are interested, it's $10 ppd from me.

I've also got the last few copies of the Tikki Tikki Tembo… CD, which also includes the first two Cringer EPs. It's pretty much out of print at this point. But you can get it from me for $10 ppd. As always, my Pay Pal account is at honeybearrecords@....

For more about Cringer, here's the little page I've set up about the band. I'll expand it if I ever find stuff worth adding.

 

LET THE TRIBE INCREASE

Still writing away in what little free time I have. Some other articles I'm going to be piecing together in the next few weeks are A HEADS, ASSASSINS OF HOPE, THE NAKED and YOUTH IN ASIA. Just got back an interview from REALITY as well.

 

NEW SONGS

We've started sorting out some new songs finally. The first two are called Cosmonaut and Bande À Part. Short and sweet, we hope to sort out 18 or so tracks for the next LP and just pick the best 14. We just wanna knock out a record like back in the beginning. No double LP. No 20 minute long songs. Just 14 blasts under three minutes each.

 

2004 "SOCIETY IS A CARNIVOROUS FLOWER" TOUR DIARY CONTINUED

APRIL 13th – NEW YORK (Northsix)
This is the second time we've played here and for the second time it's felt like we're living beyond our means. We always wind up playing on weekdays in New York. So the shows are never as big as they could be. Clubs like this can especially make you feel self-conscious when the room is half full. Still, there are a lot of nice people here and I love Brooklyn. I hope we move here at some stage.

APRIL 14th – PHILADELPHIA (First Unitarian Church)
Got some quasi-Ethiopian food with Mike McKee before the show. One of his new bands, Armalite, played tonight. A lot like Fuel or a more upbeat and melodic version of Hoover. Totally great, they're probably the best band we've seen on this trip. I hope they keep playing. All in all, this might be my favorite show of the tour. The venue was cool. Loads of people selling records and shit. Played with cool bands. This is the kind of show you hope for every night when the tour starts and by the end you're lucky if you had half a dozen of them.

APRIL 15th – RALEIGH (The King's Barcade)
Wow. It's really empty tonight. A hell of a lot of people paid and came in and then just stayed in the bar area. It was weird. The whole town is like a ghost town. Then all of a sudden it was like the yuppie bus pulled up and they all poured into the bar, had a drink, and left. Actually, most of them left before the band started. Mental note: they don't like us in Raleigh.

APRIL 16th – COLUMBIA (New Brookland Tavern)
We're back. Playing with some emo bands tonight. Everyone has their regional emo stars nowadays. It's sort of like how every town had its local Stevie Ray Vaughn for a while. It was a fun set tonight. We had been talking about old hardcore songs with ironic/maniacal laughs like Uni High Beef Rag. The result was a sad sounding cackle on my part during the break in Terror or Love. Inside jokes make tour more tolerable.

APRIL 17th – ATLANTA (Drunken Unicorn)
Really cool venue, but I blew it tonight. My left ear was fucking up again as it does from time to time. I couldn't hear at all out of it tonight. I couldn't hit a correct note if my life depended on it. To make matters worse, a multi-camera, multi-track recording was made of tonight's show. I really sucked. As a result, I was in a pretty shit mood. Too bad, `cos this is a really cool venue. Mmm, Soul Veg is here. One of my favorite places to eat in the world.

APRIL 18th – GAINESVILLE (Common Grounds)
Visiting Var and crew and No Idea is a lot of fun. I keep thinking that they'll have a Bitchin' shirt in a large. Never gonna happen. Walking around here reminds me of hanging out in Olympia. Go visit KRS. Maybe visit K. Walk up and down the one drag back and forth. Nice silk-screened posters for tonight's show that includes Grabass. I'm sweating like a pig. Like every band that comes through, dinner consists of balls of pizza dough dipped in marinara.

APRIL 19th – TAMPA (Orpheum)
We got here really early. Walked around the little drag. We had a great show here with Propagandhi and Avail a few years back. I don't remember the name of that venue. I think it's where I first met Christy Road of Green Zine. David and I went to see Kill Bill vol. 2. I had already seen it at a special Austin screening that included Tarantino, his producer, Robert Rodriguez, and 500 of the biggest nerds in the city. But it's fun to see movies on tour. The show here was great. Clairmel guys were around with a new band called Vaginasore Jr. It was a really good time. The venue was nice with a good stage, nice bar and a really nice guy promoting the shows. Met up with the A.D.D. guys again who gave me a video of J Church from our first U.S. tour. God, I was so young and thin back then.

APRIL 20th – PENSACOLA (Handle Bar)
The people who run this place are really nice. But I swear, I've been coming here for years and have never had a decent show. It could be psychosomatic as I'm usually almost home at this point. I wanna go home! My pal Jessy wasn't around. Even the shitty Chinese restaurant that Jug and I ate at last year is gone.

APRIL 21st – BATON ROUGE (Rotolo's Pizza)
Worst show of the tour in many ways. God, the woman putting on this show was such a moron. Her name was Rachel Rockstar, which I think speaks volumes. We wanted to just play in New Orleans. In fact, in past tours we often just drive straight home from Florida. But we went out of our way to play Baton Rouge for $200. Of course, the show was a waste and the only people there who even knew who we were drove up from New Orleans. Then the woman didn't have our guarantee. I mean, we never ask for a guarantee unless dealing with some asshole club type situation. Even then, we would rather not play those places. What part of the word "guarantee" don't these people understand? Either way, I don't plan to ever go back to that little town.

APRIL 22nd – AUSTIN (Emo's)
Another homecoming anti-climax. It didn't help that we were supposed to be in Houston tonight and things got changed around at the last minute. Nobody I know showed up since I had kept announcing the wrong date. Anyway, it's good to be home.

 

IN THE J CHURCH LISTENING ROOM

SNUFF - Six Of One. Half A Dozen Of The Other 2xCD

When people talk about the most important and influential music of the `90s, they always mention Nirvana, Wu-Tang, Green Day, turntable-ism… But for me, you can't have that kind of discussion without mentioning Snuff. With Brit Pop and everything else raging around them, they were still the best thing to come out of England that decade.

So now they've gotten around to piecing together a double CD, the first half a greatest hits collection and the second half all rarities and b-sides. I can't imagine how these songs got picked. There's such a huge volume of excellent material for either disc, I would hate to have been the person making the editorial cuts.

Of course, the greatest hits side is perfect. No one is going to be completely happy with it as you can't really include everyone's favorite track from the first album. You would have to include the whole thing. That's practically the same for Reach. In fact, I'm kind of astounded that they didn't include What Kind Of Love or Sweet Dreams. But at the same time, I can't fault a single choice. Later period greats like Nick Motown and Arsehole are here of course as well as Martin and Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads.

The rarities disc is just as fun with lots of cover versions mostly popping up on tour only flexi's, gig only singles and comps. This whole set is worth it just for the covers of Don't Fear The Reaper, You're Wondering Now and I Can See Clearly Now. I am so happy this record is out. Is there vinyl?
(Fat Wreck)

 

SILVER SUN - s/t LP
SILVER SUN - Neo Wave LP

You probably weren't lucky enough to have seen Silver Sun back in the mid-`90s. I was just in the right place at the right time. Fantastic live, these two records should have been the biggest thing since Weezer. But the band never cracked the States and couldn't get to the next level in England. So, like all major label disasters, they went into a long-term hiatus leaving behind two forgotten classics. It seems like there is new life in the camp with a revamped line-up and possible a new album on a smaller label. Hopefully it's not too late for these guys.

The debut album is a real shock. Unbelievable vocal harmonies, huge non-Metal guitar sounds, crisp production on layered on pop tunes that sounded like the Buzzcocks gone Beach Boys. The absurd lyrics of Lava are pure pop. They sound good and are as onomatopoetically evocative as literally. It's latent pop genius.

Neo Wave came out a year later and furthers their pop formula with huge guitar riffs that come from equal parts Sheer Heart Attack era Queen and Heaven Tonight era Cheap Trick. Scarecrow is pure Killer Queen and the opening track is Auf Wiedersehen. The pure vocal harmonies that they do pull off live are in full display over this whole record. The fact that they squeeze so much music onto the sides makes the mastering a bit iffee in moments. But the dirtiness and bit of mud makes it that much better to me helping cover up the silliness of the ballad-like Sharks. They even pull of a great rocked out cover of the R&B classic Too Much, Too Little, Too Late.
(Polydor Ltd.)

 

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