Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ray Pettibon in Ewing, NJ

Raymond Pettibon. You don't need to be some goofy patron of the arts to appreciate that guy's work. You just need to be a normal, red-blooded Black Flag & SST Records fan. You know, the type of fellow who can recite all those radio commercials at the end of Everything Went Black, appreciate all the sour notes in a Ginn solo, and who will argue 'til last call that no, Rollins did not ruin Flag and yes, those later records do kick ass. And like Ginn & a litigious trigger-finger, Flag & the art of Pettibon will always go hand in hand. The bars, the little puppet on My War, the ill-fated cop in the Police Story illustration: this is the stuff that decorates the lockers & living rooms of creeps who pace around at midnight & struggle to discover a third way to blast a concept.

But this blog entry is no history lesson. There's an exhibit titled Raymond Pettibon: Early Drawings & it's hanging on three white walls at the College of New Jersey. It's got images of surfers, self-obsessed big-league hitters, locomotives, introspective tight-rope walkers, a few sexually-charged 60s teenagers, a drawing that can be a none other than little brother Greg (or the other sky-high guitarist, Dez), a Vavoom or two & a film from 2004 titled Repeater Pencil. Much of it looks brand-new to these eyes. Weirdos & misfits from up & down the East Coast are already clogging Route 31 and creepy-crawling the campus. As the saying goes, you guys would be fools to miss it.

Here are some photos, taken without the benefit of flash photography.

Promotional Image:

Thursday, January 12, 2012


A year or two ago, a disparate cadre of weirdos was intrigued by a fuzzy, overblown blast of meditative skree on a self-released record titled Eyewash Silver (quickly repressed by the fanatics at Permanent Records). That thing took up a lot of time on the turntables of certain low-key maniacs. It was made by an act called KING BLOOD, and it seemed to come out of just about nowhere. The truth is that it came from somewhere & it turns out that the guy at the knobs is no stranger after all. Ry Wharton has been dipping his paws into the little snow globe of bastardized rock music for a long time now. Some readers may know him from the bands Snake Apartment or Showers. Some of those same readers might be familiar with his flirtations as impresario with the singles-only label Skulltones or the Twonicorn cassette label.

Vengeance, Man by King Blood will be released in 2012 on Richie Records // TestosterTunes.

things that made 2011 better:
- david gatten's 'texts of light' retrospective
- andy stott- we stay together 2lp
- negative plane- stained glass revelations 2lp
- date palms- honey devash lp
- mikael cronin- s/t lp
- peaking lights- '936' lp
- kourosh yaghmei 3lp
- ragnar kjartansson's 'song' at the carnegie in pittsburgh
- both tim hacker lps
- manilla road- live after midnight lp
- zomes- earth grid
- bruce mcclure performances
- john maus's addictive 'we must become pitiless censors of ourselves' lp
- kraus- a journey through the first dimension with kraus 7"
- all of the reissues on the crypt
- getting hitched

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Next up to glance back at 2011 is a fellow most readers will recognize. He answers to Sharko, but he signs his checks John Sharkey III. Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed his transformation from an internationally recognized crowd-baiting, ostentatious son-of-a-bitch with a flying-V into something much worse. He’s now the type of killjoy who spends social gatherings on his feet, staring at the television and yelling about the events of whatever contest happens to be airing. 
Didja see that!? My little sister could make that play!!
No need to slum it at a stinky rock club. If you want to catch a whiff of his wit these days, all you’ve got to do is tune in to sports talk radio. On the Philadelphia airwaves, he’s a frequent caller & he’s got an awful lot to say about the local pros.

1. The works of LeSean McCoy.
2. Jimmy Rollins re-signing with our Philadelphia Phillies for 3 (4) more years.
3. Iris DeMent performing live at the Arden Gild Hall, Jan 28th.
4. The NBA lock out ending.
5. Side A of the Watery Love single on Siltbreeze Records.
6. The burdens of home-ownership.
7. Having to leave the country under 2 times.
8. Gillian Welch performing live at The Philadelphia Spaghetti Warehouse, Oct 20th.
9. The Adjustment Bureau.
10. My first born son delivering a bare-fisted pummeling to a Circle of Hope* cult member at the tender age of 17 months. Good work, 4.

*editor's note The Circle of Hope is a religious congregation comprised of young people, many of whom outfit themselves at second hand shops and wear beards. One might notice them sipping lattes at quirky coffee shops during the day or quaffing pints of craft beer after sundown as they swim with the secular eccentrics, just as the fish swims in the sea. 

Friday, January 06, 2012


Andrew Murray, Perth's Most Erudite & Handsome Fellow four years running, took a few sips of Polish Hot Chocolate, served in the traditional manner while on walkabout in the city of Krak√≥w, & rattled off an economical best-of list for the year 2011. There is much to admire in plain talk, plainly stated & plain to see.

Top 5 movies-
1. Bridesmaids
2. Our Idiot Brother
3. Crazy Stupid Love
4. Contagion
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2

Top 5 Records-
1. Total Control-Henge Beat
2. UV Race- HOMO
3. Rank/Xerox- Rank/Xerox
4. Woollen Kits- Maths
5. Hounds of Hate-No Redemption

West Coast Eagles player of the year-
1. Josh Kennedy

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


And here's a thrilling guided tour through the emotional ups & downs of 2011 as experienced by Max Milgram:

At first I listed the Phillies on here in a pretty optimistic tone.  While it's a shame that a record-making season had to fizzle out in such a pathetic fashion, the end is ultimately all that matters.    So fuck them.  That last series was terrible.  Better luck in 2012.
1.   All the fine releases on Richie Records//Testostertunes.  Every single one of them display countless charms and musical integrity (and one even has an ex- member of Integrity).
2. Watery Love- Two Thrills 7".  Yeah, the songs "rock", for better or for worse, but what really seperates this one from the pack is the keen understanding and breadth of feeling it conveys.  Adult topics  dealt with empathy.
3.   Getting real into cooking poultry.  Always considered chicken to be the least exciting thing to eat but 2011 found me getting a real hang on getting a great balance of sharp and crispy skin with moist meat.  Roasted chicken, duck confit, thanksgiving turkey, crusted thighs with peanut noodles,  fried, whatever.
4.  Any get-together at the Killinger house is always a fantastic evening filled with good cheer and happy friends.  Wether it's Megajam Booze Band practice or just an impromptu hang, the place exudes positivity and hospitality.  On two occasions I watched Jason deliberately spill a huge bucket of bottle caps.  While that was no fun for anyone, it still seemed right in the context of the evening.  Thank you to Jason, Eva, Uriah, Ada, and Tichy.
5.  The one-two punch of Watery Love's "Die With Dignity" and "Two Thrills" 7"s.  Too  "real"to be contained on one 7".  The length of the songs and the physical limitations of the format also contributed.
6.  Watery Love "Die With Dignity" 7".  Some might argue that there's too many songs but every  last one of 'em is a stone cold killer.  I'd say that's a problem most bands wish they could have!
7.  Finally getting with the digital age.  First I started to use these things called "emoticons" with my text messages.  Then I joined after a 2 month internal and external debate.  Now I'm on and being utterly demolished by everyone who I play Scrabble with.
8.  Tony and Danielle Rettman as houseguests.  Spent a couple of drunk record-listening and turkey-talking nights with this dynamic duo on their Philly visits this year.  But the best thing is that in the morning, they're OUTTA HERE!  No coffee drinking or brunch eating for these guys!   I really appreciate the speed of departure so as to avoid weird questions like "Why are you sleeping with my underwear?"
9.  Watery Love "Two Thrills" 7".  Has anyone noticed the guitar action on this puppy???!!!  Wow!

Monday, January 02, 2012


As promised, here is a list of bright spots from 2011. First installment comes courtesy of Cleveland’s Steven Peffer, a fellow who needs no introduction to faithful readers of this web presence.

Peffer, in green (stock photo)

Forma S/T LP ( Spectrum Spools )
Love this album. Listening to it as I type this.

Watery Love 7" ( Siltbreeze )
How did this happen? They cover a real lousy L. Reed stinker and just blow it outta the toilet. A very listenable adult punk music record from a band who honestly can be quite unlistenable.

Milk Music Beyond Living 12" ( Perennial )
Lots of guitar fuzz on this one. So much better for my ears than most of those long hair hippie dippy directionless guitar-heavy bands that have been taking over.

Brain Idea Cosmos Factory 12" ( Mexican Summer )
Spectacular release. Very pleasant. Not pretentious. Sorta reminds me of The Clean and 3rd album Meat Puppets. Doesn't sound like those bands. Just reminds me of them. Great record.

Hauschka Salon Des Amateurs LP ( Fatcat )
Somewhere there is a wonderful and beautiful Chinese lady filmmaker. She is filming a playground built for adorable little furry cats. This is its soundtrack.

Ranil Ranil's Jungle Party LP ( Masstropicas )
Collected recordings from some Peruvian guitar playing insaniac.

Iron Curtain Desertion 1982-1988 2xLP ( Pylon )
Dark Cold Minimal with lyrics!

His Electro Blue Voice Worm / Wolf 12" ( Holidays )
This band absolutely destroys. Great band. A truly wonderful band. Nice wide open 12" for the boys to spread their wings and crash into the goddamn mountain. Wonderful shit.

Total Control Henge Beat ( Iron Lung )
Awful artwork and wasteful-deluxe packaging. But it's what's in the grooves that counts right? Easy listening and occasionally abrasive synthetic jam-on music. Sometimes I can understand the lyrics and that is when I stop listening. These ladies have the world in palm of their hands. What will they do with our world?

Iceage New Brigade LP ( What's Your Rupture? )
Saw these lady boys live in concert this year and wanted to see them get folded up and stuffed into the closet. The album does rock the house. A very good album. I walked down the street and paid 15 dollars for this album. Listen to it all the time by myself. Can't believe I own a record on this whack label.

Gaunt Whitey The Man 10" ( Thrill Jockey )
My least favorite format. Splendid record. Every time I was somewhere this year and saw this gem, I would make he record player play the record. I do not own this record. I would love to own this record. Great shit.

Broken Water Peripheral Star 12" ( Perennial )
The gay 90s are back. They are fighting for headphone time inside my ear buds. Maybe this is lesbian music? That is just fine with me. Just like my boy Howard, I love lesbians.   

Keep On Jammin' !!!

Up Next, 2011 highlights from some other interesting person.