It’s been a long trip since first hearing Minor Threat in the back of a station wagon on the way to school in 1990. That blast of righteous fury was my intro to the DC hardcore scene, my intro to Discord Records, and my intro to the great Ian MacKaye. Since then it’s been a long and wonderful road of discovery; not only through the man’s discography, but through the incredible music the label has been steadily putting out since the early 80s. So today let’s briefly talk about the connective tissue between the early rage of Minor Threat and the more propulsive, moody rush of Fugazi – the self-titled and sole record from Embrace.Continue reading “Embrace: Embrace (1987)”
In my brief (very brief) survey of the current stream-everything, digital rules pop landscape its fascinating to see how the single, non-album track has become prominent. Fascinating because though a lot of fingers point to streaming and digital as primary reason, you can go back over 40 years and see the same reliance on singles. Collected as a two-disc set, Past Masters not only shows how adept The Beatles were at the form, but also boggles the mind with just how many “hits” in the pop consciousness weren’t actually collected on the studio albums. Continue reading “The Beatles: Past Masters (1988)”
We all have those people in our lives who act as our musical sherpas, guiding us on paths we would not have otherwise taken to discover aural delights that reverberate in our souls and ears. Over the last six or so years the largest of those people has been Henry Rollins, via his weekly KCRW radio show (seriously, listen here) as well as his collection of Fanatic books where he provides liner notes for every radio show. Through him I discovered the hotbed of great music that’s been coming out of Australia for years, specifically the swerving, booze-drenched blues insanity of The Beasts of Bourbon, here represented by their second album, Sour Mash. Continue reading “Beasts of Bourbon: Sour Mash (1988)”
The sonic leap between License to Ill and Paul’s Boutique is – quite frankly – insane. Freed from the shackles of Def Jam, Rick Rubin, and expectations of the fun but juvenile hip-hop of their debut, Mike D., Ad Rock and MCA, aka the Beastie Boys were able to dive deep into their influences and craft one of the best albums of all time, regardless of genre. We can certainly argue this, but you’d be wrong. Continue reading “Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique (1989)”
So here’s why you sometimes have to be dubious of what you buy. After finally succumbing to the black metal bug, I decided I needed to dig deeper in Bathory, one of the primal godfathers of the genre. I had heard the earlier stuff but didn’t own anything beyond the final two albums which – as we’ll see in a few days – were decidedly different. So after deliberation I decided to start with Blood Fire Death, the touchstone for mainman Quorthon’s transition from the gnarly black metal of his earlier album into the more viking metal pomp if his later stuff. And so I bought a CD off of Amazon.
From the Kraze label. Continue reading “Bathory: Blood Fire Death (1988)”
Back in 1993 I got this amazing hardcore punk compilation called Faster & Louder. It was my first introduction to a larger world than I knew from the Dead Kennedys and Minor Threat. Bands like The Dicks, SSD, Mission of Burma and D.O.A. blew my mind, but it was the 52 second blast of “Lights Out” from the Angry Samoans that really struck my young brain’s fancy. For years that was all I knew of the band, but that changed with The Unboxed Set, which collects all of the band’s 12′ release onto one compact disc. Continue reading “Angry Samoans: The Unboxed Set (1995)”