Thursday, September 08, 2005

A chicken plucker plucks chickens...

PELL MELL "Estacada"
THE BATS "Up To The Sky"
DION MCGREGOR "Thought for the Day"

Ahhh, "Estacada"! Such a rad floating down the blacktop late at night windows down kinda tune. One of everyone's favorite Pell Mell tracks, I know, but it's out of print so this one's for the kids. It's taken from the righteous 1988 SST album The Bumper Crop, a collection of early '80s material from their more guitar-heavy phase. When I first heard Slint, and I was lucky to encounter some Louisville folks who taped me Tweez before it came out, I thought Slint sounded like Pell Mell meets "the Albini aesthetic." Today of course, Slint just sounds like a hundred bands from 1992, while Pell Mell still sounds really fresh and eerily similar to the background music on various MTV, HBO and NPR shows.

I know we're living in the precopalypse and this government is hateful and bent on installing the corpocracy as soon as they're done wiping their asses with the Bill of Rights and Constitution and all of that, but shit goddamn, isn't it an almost-wonderful world in spite of that when someone drops a new record by the Bats (!) off in your mailbox and then says yeah, go ahead and post an MP3 of it on your site before the album comes out two weeks from now? Thanks, Magic Marker; I sincerely hope anyone cares about lovely swirly, melancholically blissed-out indie-pop from New Zealand like this any more, 'cause I have heard somewhere that the rock and roll music is dead and stuff. Or is it simply that it's entered the status of vernacular music? Either way. Pretty amazing this band's had one line-up in twenty-two years and is still together. Only other NZ groups you can say that about are the Clean and Tall Dwarfs, right?

Dion McGregor was an infamous personality in the 1960s; the cat narrated his own dreams, you see. Really. The original LPs and books of this material are well worth seeking out and feature wonderful Edward Gorey covers, like this one. More about him at a later date.