IT'S A LIVING… BUT IT'S NOT A LIFE #14.3
J Church and Honey BearRecords – Spring
We'll show the world that they can't stop the crew!

 

LIVE ALBUMS!

Hey, they're finally here! Volume 3 and 4 of the live LP series finally showed up. These records are very, very limited with the first recorded live at Pitzer College on Halloween 1993 and the second recorded at the Crawlspace in Chicago on May 27th, 1994. If you pre-ordered the record and have moved since, now would be a great time to get me your current address. If you still want to order copies of these records, there are very, very few copies unaccounted for. They are $15 ppd. each. If you send $$$ and aren't in time, you will be first in line for the next set of live records. You can Pay Pal me the cash at honeybearrecords@....

 

CULTURE OF CUTE

This is my new little photo zine. Just so you know, it's not a band thing. There are no band photos. This is a document of my travels in Japan in a way. Its focus is on the pseudo-naïve and child-like art used for advertising in Japanese street culture. Its $2.00 ppd. Culture Of Cute is limited to 50 copies.

 

FOOD FILMS

I love movies. I could spend my whole life just watching movies. I'm also the kind of guy that can watch a movie over and over. If I like a movie, I'll watch it to death, sometimes several viewings in a single sitting. I'm a little obsessive.

Movies affect me on a lot of different levels. There are the ones that I just love like everyone else. Bande A Part is just a great film. Reds is like a miracle to me. Suspiria is pure art film to me. My top ten films of all time… I mean, it's impossible. It evolves and revolves every day, hour, minute. And as much as I hate, I like a bit of everything. Old or new, comedy, action, low budget, blockbuster… There's no telling what will be great.

But there are other movies that I like for much more personal reasons. Maybe I'm too sentimental. I can love a film like Death Race 2000 if only because it reminds me of being a kid and discovering my inner nerd. Ditto for Wizards. Those aren't great movies. But I love them and at the time they were as important to me as comic books, Kikaida and hard rock (which is what I was into).

An even more ridiculous sub-category of the sentimental favorites are what I call the "Food Films". I dunno. I can't explain it. Certain movies show food in a way that both enticed and intrigued me. I don't mean the obvious food flicks like Tampopo, Eat Drink Man Woman or The Big Night both of which I love. But I like it when it's subtler. It's not the focus of the film or even the scene. But it's presented in a way that is real and sort of comforting to me.

One of my favorite examples is Saturday Night Fever. I love this movie anyway as its sort of a guido cautionary tale. But the sentimental draw for me is the food. When the family sits down to these great meals of pasta and slabs of meat, it's like nothing I had ever seen before growing up in Hawaii. I had no idea that people ate that way. I also had no idea what a White Castle was. Those little burgers looked so good to me as a kid. Even the two slices of pizza at the start looked great all stacked up.

Mob movies tend to be great food films. Obviously, the prison-cooking scene in Goodfellas is great as is the first time you see Paulie and the wisequys are all grilling sausage outside. At any moment during The Godfather there are a bunch of sweaty guys eating something good.

Wong Kar Wai is always good at making food appealing in his films. But my favorite is the most understated. I love the plate of Char Siu over rice Tony Leung is eating during Chung King Express. I also love the idea that he gets his girlfriend salad or fish and chips or pizza. But gets Chinese bar-b-que pork for himself. I also really like seeing how he eats at home with the instant noodles and fish right out of the can.

Habit is a great modern horror film. But I just love watching Larry Fessenden wolfing down a hamburger. He hasn't realized yet that Anna is a vampire, taking his blood. He just finds himself craving red meat.

You know what? The food doesn't even have to be real. It can be future food. One thing that I love about 2001: A Space Odyssey is that it also shows some of the more mundane events that will still occur in the future. I love seeing the guy trying to figure out the futuristic toilet or phoning home. Anyway, I love when the doctors are first racing to the monolith and have a break of crustless sandwiches and coffee. It's funny to me that such a `50s type of lunch would still happen in the future. I also love watching Dave and Frank eating their futurist food pastes while watching the news. The future looks great to me.

Speaking of sci-fi, I always loved the noodles that Harrison Ford is eating the first time you are introduced to him in Bladerunner. I like to think that even the most bleak future would have outdoor udon shops.

Sure, this might all be the result of me being crazy and needing to watch films over and over finding new and even less authentic meaning. I doubt that any of those filmmakers gave much thought to the food in their films. Nevertheless, it's becoming it's own aesthetic. It just takes someone to find that right adjective to personify it.

 

IN THE J CHURCH LISTENING ROOM

7 SECONDS - Skins, Brains And Guts 7"
7 SECONDS - Committed For Life 7"
7 SECONDS - The Crew LP
7 SECONDS - Walk Together, Rock Together 12"
7 SECONDS - Blast From The Past 7"
7 SECONDS - New Wind LP

They were the fucking shit for a while. I loved this band. I remember getting that first EP when I was still ordering everything that AT was putting out. It was cool. Racism Sucks? Totally. I Hate Sports? I can see your point. We're Gonna Fight? The fucking hit! Songs about fighting in early hardcore to me was the same as songs about sniffing glue in early punk songs. It was just imagery. We weren't gonna really fight anyone OR sniff glue.

Committed For Life is what really got me hooked. Minor Threat weren't putting out records fast enough and while 7 Seconds were wearing their influences on their sleeve, this was a great little EP. I guess it's part of the ill-fated debut album that was a little too rough. I can see how an albums worth of this type of recording could suck. But for an EP, it's great especially with the title song and the amazing The Pit. I loved the juxtaposition of the really raw DC style hardcore with Kevin's melodic tenor. I love hardcore bands that can do that and this record was the start. Sluggo did it. Life Sentence could do it at times. Sin Dios even.

So I was psyched when The Crew came out. I remember seeing those awesome photos of them playing in San Diego in Leading Edge fanzine and thinking that it must have been the coolest basement show in the world. Fuck, this album still sounds great to me. Meat and potatoes drumming, with the kind of vocals that every band should strive for. You know, with all the straight edge bands to come since 7 Seconds, nobody has really come close to Kevin's style. Verbal Assault had moments as did Sluggo. But this is the ultimate singalong hardcore record. This Is The Angry Pt. 2 is a genius reworking of the happy slop on the second EP.

7 Seconds recording with Ian? Holy shit! This record freaked me the fuck out even if the guitars come in wrong on the title track. Everyone just talks about the title track and the Nena cover. But what about Strength? Fucking amazing song. Plus, the Walsby cover art is excellent. With everyone complaining about Inner Ear's poor drum sounds, this is still the best 7 Seconds recording. When they reissued this as a 12" you got some half-assed live stuff plus the two amazing tracks from Cleanse The Bacteria. I prefer the original artwork but you really need Regress No Way.

I don't remember the whole story behind Blast From The Past. I think it was to help get the band's label, Positive Force, rolling. It's more of those raw recordings from the unreleased album. It's pretty solid hardcore with a funny cover of Sham 69's If The Kids Are United.

I remember around this time getting a 7 Seconds tour video. It seemed like it was 10 hours long, but I loved it. It was the band on tour after Walk Togetherand it ends with them recording in DC with Ian again. This time, they only get a few songs done. But they're the highlights of New Wind. I wasn't a huge fan of that record although I still saw them everytime they came to Fender's at that time. The title track and Still Believe are as good as anything on Walk Together. I'm a sucker for Tied Up In Rhythm too. (Alternative Tentacles, BYO Records, Positive Force)

 

ADULT NET, THE - Incense And Peppermint 12"

Some people think Brix ruined the Fall. I think that's a bunch of bullshit. It's the fucking Yoko syndrome crap when the worshippers can't stand anyone else getting close and humanizing their deities. Songs like L.A. and Cruiser's Creek? They're as good as Kicker Conspiracy or Totally Wired. The band was changing. It's what bands do (usually). Don't blame the girlfriend. You don't know what you're talking about.

I like that period of the Fall, so I was excited when this 12" of Brix's other band showed up at Texas Records in Santa Monica. Here's another example of how uncool I am: this was the first version of Incense And Peppermint I had ever heard. I loved it of course. Now I love the Strawberry Alarm Clock too. But I still have a place in my heart for the Adult Net version, as it was first for me. This 12" might be the only thing the band really had in them. I like all three songs. But I've never made it through anything else of theirs. I may just need more patience, as this is a fun little record to me. (Beggars Banquet)

 

PINK FLOYD - Piper At The Gates Of Dawn LP

Yeah, Johnny Rotten made his point and it was well taken. But now we can more seriously evaluate Pink Floyd, right? I love the early stuff as epitomized with this album. As odd as the opening number is, it's a clearly structured pop song where predictable guitar progressions are replaced with unusual, almost jazzy, chords and psychedic playing and sound affects replace solos or lead vocals. Lucifer Sam follows with its dark pop message that rivals the Velvet Underground for pop art cool. The brilliant production is augmented by adventurous arrangements.

But at the core, this is a great pop record. The songs are comparatively simple when you think of what they would be doing just a few years later. This isn't so far removed from the Beatles who in hindsight were kind of poseurs in the psych world of London. This is an exciting record. I listen to this and can't help think, "Shit, Julie Christy probably fucked some guy while listening to this album!"

 

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