Friday, August 30, 2013


It's been a few weeks - how about another DYNAMITE HEMORRHAGE RADIO PODCAST, what do you say? This is the nineteenth edition (#19), and this time around I've got some stunning new stuff from RUBY PINS, THE AR-KAICS, SIMPLE CIRCUIT, SKINNY GIRL DIET and CONSTANT MONGREL. It's about an hour, all told. The older material includes a lot of daffy, developmentally-delayed rocknroll this time around, including messed-up sideways punk from The Silver, The Panics, Art Phag, The Keggs and The Riptoids. Then there's stuff from Black Flag, SPK, The Bristols, Winterbrief, and Kitchen and the Plastic Spoons, too - so maybe that's more your thing.

Parents may find it somewhat challenging trying to explain this music to children, so please share this with the utmost in caution. There are 18 other episodes to download as well - you'll find those all below the playlist.

Stream Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast #19 on Soundcloud


RUBY PINS - Chariot
THE PLAYTHINGS - Sit Down (Stand Up)
WINTERBRIEF - Love Seat Sofa Charade
THE SILVER - Do You Wanna Dance
THE AR-KAICS - She Does Those Things To Me
KEGGS - To Find Out
THE BRISTOLS - The Way I Feel About You
RIGHT ON - Buried Alive
ART PHAG - A Boy and His Gun
JACKKNIFE - Teen Dance Debbie
THE DWARVES - Eat You To Survive
THE PANICS - I Wanna Kill My Mom
THE MINUTEMEN - History Lesson
BLACK FLAG - Clocked In
SPK - No More
THE FUSE! - All Across The World 
ERASE ERRATA - Harvester
NUMBERS - Drunk With Pain

Past Shows:

Friday, August 23, 2013


I'm usually pretty good at aggressive flogging of my various exploits, but I recognize I haven't ever collected the various links to the Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast archives and playlists in any one area. If you're just joining us, that's my twice-a-month (or so), hour-long rocknroll radio show, recorded direct-to-laptop and featuring the best in today's and yesterday's young sounds from the realms of artpunk, garage splatter, girl rock and weirdo pop. I started doing them in December of last year, and I still have the gumption to keep doing them even still. Look for another one in a week, or thereabouts.

If you're interested in gathering eighteen hours of music, with all songs personally endorsed by me (albeit with my speaking voice present in each podcast), just click on each link to download the given show. You'll also find links to the playlists, in case you maybe wanna see what you're getting beforehand.

Monday, August 19, 2013


This is an engaging and creative American film from late last year that has all the pace and deliberation of a 70s classic, and the whimsy and complexity of something much more recent. It's easily one of the better micro-independent US films I've seen the past several years. "STARLET" is set in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, an area which typically invokes two quick associations in people not from there: slow-witted, slang-talking "Valley Girls", and the hub of the American pornography industry. Check and check, as far as this film goes.

It stars Dree Hemingway (Dree!), whom I only just today learned is Mariel's daughter and Ernest's great-granddaughter. She's terrific as a bright-eyed, slightly dim LA transplant named Jane from Florida who spends most of her time in impossibly short shorts, walking around the sun-kissed suburban streets and desolate desert-ish landscapes with her little dog. We know that she works, doing something, we're just not sure what that is until about midway through the film. It arrives as something of a shock, though not without some foreshadowing vis-a-vis her two dumber male and female roommates, who are also in the same industry. Jane (working name = Tess) makes hardcore porn look like just another career option among many for young female transplants; you get the sense that she'd just as soon pick up work as a phone solicitor or waitress, if they paid the same amount of money. The film refrains from moralizing about her career choice, her industry, and the people that work in it; it just is, though it's also easy to render independent judgement on the douchebags in the film who attempt to capitalize on young women like Jane.

That out of the way, the porn angle is artfully introduced, and then tossed away, as a way to help you stamp your own judgment to what's ultimately a morality tale and a woman's moral awakening. Jane, perpetually near-broke, finds thousands of dollars within an old thermos she purchases at a yard sale. The old woman, Sadie, who sells her this treasure has no idea what she gave up, but, as we learn, it doesn't really matter. Jane, either out of guilt or a need for an anchoring mother figure or both, goes way out of her way to befriend Sadie and integrate herself deeply into her life. She does this ham-handedly and without subtlety, yet somehow it works, and an unlikely friendship develops. We don't really know what's driving either of these two, and despite some rockiness, it's clear that each fills a gaping need for the other. Only at the end of the film do we get a sense of just what that is for Sadie, and even then, there are loads of relationship and emotional fodder for discussion and dissection afterward.

"STARLET" is streaming on Netflix. Hedonist Jive says check it out.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Not soccer, but football. In the nine months since my last post on the subject of soccer/football, I have decided to "go native" and celebrate the term football when in conversation about The Beautiful Game, thus striking a stake in the heart of know-nothing Americans who claim that their inferior game is, in fact, football. "Soccer". Pffft. For shame.

And hey, guess what? I'm timing this post to go live at the exact moment that the English Premiere League kicks off its 2013/2014 season. I'm psyched beyond belief, as the frat boys used to say back in the 80s. All the games are going to be live in the USA via the new NBC Sports Network, either on TV or on their mobile apps. Last time we talked about this topic, I was relaying my difficulty in picking an English team to follow that "matched my personality", or whatever. I didn't want a front-runner (Chelsea, Man U, Man City, Arsenal - the big four whom everyone seems to think will be the big four yet again), and I wasn't bold enough to side with a team who'd just been promoted, like last year's Queens Park Rangers (since relegated to the Champions League due to poor EPL performance) or this year's Crystal Palace, Hull City, or Cardiff (who are from some place called Wales that's apparently near England or something). I like underdogs, but how heartbreaking to side with a team that's likely going to get kicked around and slaughtered all year during their one chance in the bigs, before being themselves unceremoniously relegated. 

I took a wacky online test to see which team I should follow, and they told me Sunderland, because I said in the quiz that I thought panthers were cool and because Sunderland is known as "The Black Cats". Next! No, I decided to throw my lot in with a lovable loser, a team that were once on top and are now scraping near bottom but who may be seeing glory days again. The team supported by Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler - to say nothing of prime minister David Cameron. The team that won it all in 1981, a time when I couldn't help but see their name even in the Melody Maker, NME and Sounds music rags I was devouring stateside. A team from Birmingham, a city in which I've never been. Ladies and gentlemen, my new, most favoritest club in all of English football is ASTON VILLA. Look for the awesome purple Villa scarves, shirts and "kits" I'll be wearing all Fall and Winter in support of newly-beloved team.

We're going up today against a tough Arsenal squad, but I think the boys have some fight in 'em, and I wouldn't be surprised if we eke out a hard-fought 0-0 draw, or as the English say, "nil-nil". What could be more exciting? Make sure you stay close to this blog during the entire EPL season for loads of righteous Aston Villa sports talk, perhaps as often as 3-4 posts on that topic, per day. Cheers!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Back with yet another hour-long radio programme, recorded at home on a laptop. We call it Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio. Every few weeks I save a bunch of righteous songs I want you to hear in a file folder on my laptop, then I unleash them upon you in a logical, carefully-curated order, with spoken interludes full of important discographical information and far too much navel-gazing reminiscing to be healthy (or interesting). 

This show, Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast #18, features some new releases by CONSTANT MONGREL, SKINNY GIRL DIET and the OCCASIONAL FLICKERS, as well as host of underground and obscure releases from the past forty years by The Piranhas (pictured here as they were back in 2000), Deep Wound, Detective Agency, The Wilderness Children, 8 Eyed Spy, Mondo Guano, The Coachwhips, Delmonas, Whitefronts and many more. Songs I like. Songs I want you to like.

Download Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast #18.
Stream Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast #18 (on your desktop or mobile).

Track listing:

THE WHITEFRONTS - Get Out Of The House Or I'm Calling The Cops
CONSTANT MONGREL - Under Collar (Little Boys)
THE PIRANHAS - Piranhas Attack
FIERY FURNACES - Straight Street
SKINNY GIRL DIET - Dimethyltyptamine
39 CLOCKS - Psycho Beat
PRESSLER-MORGAN - You're Gonna Watch Me
MONDO GUANO - Deadwood
8 EYED SPY - Motor Oil Shanty
OCCASIONAL FLICKERS - Capitalism Begins At Home
THE WILDERNESS CHILDREN - Plastic Bag From Tescoes
THE DELMONAS - Dr. Goldfoot & His Bikini Machine
COME ON - See Me
THE COACHWHIPS - Couldn't Find Love
DIE KRUEZEN - Conditioned
THE NECROS - Sex Drive
DEEP WOUND - Lou's Anxiety Song

Monday, August 12, 2013


I'll sheepishly admit that I came back and read this book by historian Tony Judt, after once rejecting it after reading ten pages a year or so ago. Why? Well, I've just become more and more open to the way he looked at the world. Maybe I'm becoming a big boy now. What at first read to me like a jeremiad against my general belief in free markets and creative destruction is, in fact, just that. It's me that's coming around to the fact that my political persuasion in 2013 is not really what it was in 2003 nor 1993.

For years I've proudly worn the "libertarian" lapel pin and flown the free minds/free markets flag in things I've written, in how I've voted and in my pontifications to anyone who might want to know what I think about things (not many, let me tell ya). This past year I decided to take the pin off. I'm no libertarian – or if I am, I'm a totally fraudulent one. I'm just a namby-pamby liberal at the end of the day – no different from you, probably. My last bastion of rebelliousness against gutless conformity hath finally been broken.

I blame Tony Judt. Not entirely because of his final book, "ILL FARES THE LAND", though the ideas within it, which he espoused frequently throughout his books "POSTWAR" and "THINKING THE TWENTIETH CENTURY" have been percolating in my conscience for some time. No, it's due to a dawning mistrust of many actors and authority figures who make up life as we know it these days. The government, "the state", had always been my biggest, and sometimes my only, bugaboo. Until and even after the 2008 recession I had almost undying faith in markets, but my rhetoric and past proclamations to the contrary, I can't say that that's completely true anyone. I've always believed myself to be a "social liberal" on most issues, and for the most part I believe in capitalism as the best system of economic and societal organization ever created. Yet Judt's arguments for a return to many aspects the "social democracies" of FDR-era New Deal America and the postwar governments of Europe sound better now to me than they ever have at any time in my life. I'm willing to consider that the safety net could, and possibly should, be enlarged, and that this might in fact be a net positive for America and like-minded countries like the UK. I'm willing to consider that The State might actually be sometimes considered a guarantor of freedoms, rather than a suffocator of liberty.

Essentially, Judt's book, which was dictated to his assistants as he was sadly dying of ALS several years ago, and then published in 2010, is a small distillation of a core theme in all of his writing: that Western society was at its best in the postwar era of 1945-1980, and saw unprecedented advances in opportunity, equality, rights and wealth during these years. Judt believes in no uncertain terms that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan put the brakes on this, and pandered to humanity's more base instincts in the pursuit of profit for some at the expense of the many. This has led to an atomization of society and a painful inequality that we're still reeling under, in his telling, and a shredded safety net that leaves society's most vulnerable scared, sick and unable to advance in their own lifetimes. I'm not being unfair in stating his positions as being this starkly black and white, because that's exactly what they are. Pre-1980 = good; Post-1980 = bad.

There are many things I find preposterous and wrong in the way Judt writes about the post-social democracy years. This is a guy who is more reactionary than any 1980s conservative, except he's looking nostalgically backward at the State-managed utopias of the 50s and 60s, rather than at the "family morals" of that era. Judt overreaches greatly, and celebrates a made-up world in which we all had a unity of purpose and enjoyed being under the benevolent hand of the US or UK or Swedish government, up to and including a call for a return to a pre-automobile era in which we all crowded together on buses. Judt fails to recognize that capitalism and how people define themselves vis-a-vis The State are always evolving and changing, and that what worked in 1955 needs to also be informed by the knowledge of what worked in 1980, 1994 and in 2013 – and that knowledge includes why the people of England elected Thatcher three times and the people of the US elected Ronald Reagan twice (three times as well, if you count the first George Bush). We didn't just become stupefied and lame in 1980 – Judt's social democracies, as currently constituted, were choking under the economic dead weight of what they had wrought.

It's the sort of government-knows-best moralism that I can't stand. Judt also seems to forget that humanity is made up of widely varying levels of intelligence, and that, unfortunately, there really is and will always be a natural stratification of humanity along intelligence lines. That said – moralism is the main reason I recommend this book. Judt is at his best when he encourages readers to consider political views as having an intensely moral component. Not, "Will this proposed policy fit my political views?", but "Is this policy the right and moral thing to do for the most number of people?". Health care is a perfect example. The social democracies, with the exception of the US, enacted state-controlled policies of health care that certainly have their flaws, but that also ensure that health care is a "right" that is effectively free and inalienable, provided in exchange for consent to a higher rate of taxation. Was this the right thing to do? Talk to a Canadian, or a Brit, or a Swede. Ask them if they'd like to switch to the United States' model of health care. I've yet to find one that would.

There is a moral dimension in extolling the profit motive above all else, and I'm getting tired of defending the latter (to myself, especially). I'm a guy who went and got an MBA in the 1990s (instead of the poverty-making Masters in English Literature that I really wanted), and one that finds much to admire about American business. Even back then, though, I had my doubts about many aspects of modern capitalism as practiced. I think that the way public companies are run in the United States is a big problem (short-term profits and stock market gains driving short-term, profit-above-all-else behavior – which is not healthy for a company long-term, nor for the society it sits in). I'm fed up with the complicated ties between government and banks and Wall Street; for instance, I would greatly prefer a simple set of well-understood rules for, say, mortgages – like, "all borrowers need to put 20% down before they can buy a house" - and Fannie & Freddie and the complicated hedge schemes and derivatives can die out. I, like Judt, would like to see a safety net that successfully eliminates poverty, squalor and need in the richest country on earth. I even can see some sense in the arguments for publicly-funded broadcasting, where I saw only stupidity before. His book, along with my observations of the world since 2008, has me adjusting my first principles a bit, and I think that's a good thing.

If anything, I'll work to incorporate a more moral dimension into how I think about spending, regulation and taxation issues. I was already a libertarian apostate on guns (I hate 'em) and on some criminal justice issues (I'm actually a bit of a right-wing nut when it comes to locking up violent criminals). I think the mark of a healthy society is one that looks at what's worked in the past, what's working now and what's broken, and continually readjusts to fit present realities. If that means that we address certain aspects of modern life with state-run solutions that private enterprise isn't effectively tackling, then so be it. (I also still very much believe in the opposite – like, say, the post office). I may not pine for a pure State-run social democracy a la Sweden in the 60s, but I'm willing to consider that there's a reason it worked for the Swedish people at the time, and that they've retained elements of it fifty years later out of choice and because it works. This, for me, is progress, if you want to call it that. Thanks to Tony Judt and his infuriating little book for helping me along the path.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


As I've spouted about before on this blog, and in a lot of the online and offline writing I've engaged in over the last 25 years, I came of age totally marinated in, and obsessed with, 1970s film. Most of my favorite movies came from that decade (many of which were viewed on our awesome 70s early-cable film station "The G Channel" in the late 70s) and I'm trying to plug all of the holes in my 70s film "resume" before I shuffle off this mortal coil. Long on my "list", as it were, is Arthur Penn's 1975 film "NIGHT MOVES", which I've been told multiple times in no uncertain terms is one of the best films of its era. (It also figured in this recent book I read, which helped prod me to finally rent it). While I did in fact finally get around to renting it, and enjoyed it just fine, I might also offer the heretical opinion that it's a decidedly second-tier 70s film and even a bit derivative. Ahem. 

"NIGHT MOVES" is a showcase for Gene Hackman, and like Robert Altman's Philip Marlowe in 1973's "The Long Goodbye", he's a low-rent, oddball detective who figures in just about every scene in the film. Hackman gets called to investigate a missing sexpot teenage daughter by her mother, a wealthy, faded Hollywood actress right out of central casting. Meanwhile, with his own marriage unraveling, he finds that the trail to and beyond the daughter (played by a young Melanie Griffith, and whom he finds and apprehends pretty quickly) grows more confusing and shadowy the deeper he digs. Because he's in a bit of a hard place himself, vis-a-vis his wife, he gets hooked into this case and finds that he's biting off a lot more than he can chew. Like Penn's classic "Bonnie & Clyde", this too has a bad ending, full of carnage and not a whole lot of redemption and learning. Very 70s, very bleak and pretty satisfying as it goes.

I thought Hackman was great, and the strange performance put in by Jennifer Warren as Paula (what a nutball!) is terrific. Yet I don't feel this film is strong enough to capture the "zeitgeist" of anything well. Marital relations? Other films of this era show disintegrating marriages far better. As a weirdo noir, which it really is, more or less, I'd take the earlier "Long Goodbye" any day - that film too even has a crusty old boozer and his strange wife, just as this one does, to go along with the frustrated, just-getting-by detective. I guess when this film starts closing in on its ending orgy of violence and pathos, I felt like I'd kind of seen films that unfolded and closed in exactly this manner already. Seeing "Night Moves" felt more like "checking the box" than I wanted it to. Perhaps you should tell me why I'm wrong in the comments, if you're so inclined.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I know that BIG STAR, the critically-acclaimed and posthumously-loved Memphis band of the early 70s, didn't really start finding any semblance of an audience until the mid-1980s - as this new documentary about them, "BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME", makes clear. Although I was a massive underground teenage and then twentysomething rocknroll fan throughout the 80s, I never actually "discovered" the band myself until 1993, while touring with the band Claw Hammer as road manager. They had a tape of "Radio City", the band's second album, which we listened to frequently across North America. I was awestruck by the thing. Every song was phenomenal; the sequencing was perfect; Alex Chilton's voice was both angelic & Southern rocknroll god at the same time; and I couldn't get over that rough-hewn but clean guitar sound on tracks like "September Gurls" and "Mod Lang". I've subsequently called "September Gurls" the single greatest song of the 70s, and I think I can still stand behind that assertion.

My problem in the 80s was apparently the same problem they were having in the 70s - they weren't "heavy" enough for me (or their era); that, and some pretty stupendous bad timing and record distribution problems, helped ensure that their three excellent records never found a true audience until long after they'd packed it in. "NOTHING CAN HURT ME" is your pretty standard music documentary, well-told and extremely interesting to me (as a fan); it's hard to say how compelling it would be for the non-fan. There are no drug nor drinking tales, save for a few quick party shots from a William Eggleston film from 70s Memphis called "Stranded in Canton" that I need to see. (And who knew that the #1 party spot in Memphis back then was the original T.G.I. Fridays?). The sad tale of founder and first-album guitarist Chris Bell is threaded throughout the film, with interviews with his surviving siblings and loads of photographs of a pensive and moody-looking Bell shown over and over again. I have a better appreciation for him now than I did previously; it's clear that he showed Alex Chilton a great deal in terms of sound structure, production and "feel". It's also a huge tribute to Chilton and bandmates Jody Stephens and Alex Hummel that they actually improved upon Bell's formula for that second record, "Radio City". It truly is a goddamn crime that this record is still unknown to too many people.

One of the great weirdo mysteries of rock and roll is Alex Chilton, post-Big Star. He went from near-perfection and studio mastery in Big Star to a ramshackle, half-baked and totally bewitchingly cool solo career in the late 70s, where he played like a man who didn't give two shits about anyone or anything. The footage of him playing with Tav Falco's Panther Burns on Memphis morning TV is priceless, along with some early Cramps studio footage (Chilton presciently embraced and produced the band); I wish they'd spent a little bit more time on "Like Flies on Sherbert", his crude and slipshod 1979 album that is a stone classic for some and a complete disaster to others. But hey, it's a Big Star movie, not a Chilton film, and unfortunately, it was made after he passed away in 2010.

We do get to see many interviews with survivors from the early Memphis 70s, including both Stephens and Hummel (who died while the film was being made) and various producers, studio heads, rock critics and promoters who were baffled by the band's lack of commercial success. It's a good yarn, truly. It follows rock-doc form and function quite well without dipping into cheap sentimentality nor shocking band antics; I very much admire the respect paid to the musicians and the music by directors Drew DeNicola and Olivia Mori. And with a rousing "outro" of "September Gurls" included as the credits roll, you really can't go wrong.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Now available for streaming and download - the second edition of the OTHERWORLDLY AND GONE 78rpm podcast, featuring an amazing bevy of lost ethnic music from the 20th century, brought back to life by heroic curators and collectors. A full playlist is below. This one includes selections from brand-new releases on Canary Records and Dust-to-Digital, with an intense focus on Greece in the first half and on Africa in the second, with a little Bulgaria, Mexico, Turkey, Morocco and elsewhere in the mix as well.

It clocks in at eight minutes past an hour, and if you’re like me you’ll find it to be an edifying and intense 68 minutes. Feel free to follow Otherworldly and Gone on Twitter and on Facebook if you enjoy this one; the first edition is available to stream and download right here as well.

Download OTHERWORLDLY AND GONE #2 – Songs of Home, Poems of Truth

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
Stream or download the podcast on Soundcloud.
Stream the podcast on Stitcher.


1.     RITA ABATZI – Xanthi Ke Mavromata (Blonde Jewish Girl) - from the forthcoming LP, “I’m Burning, I’m Burning" on Canary Records
2.     LYDIA MENDOZA – Palida Luna – taken from the Mississippi LP compilation, “I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore"
3.     VERA FILIPOVA – Kiradjiche Jabandjiche – available as an “Uncollected Song" on the Canary Records USB thumb drive, which you can order here.
4.     SPYROS PERISTERIS – Dertilidiko – from the new Dust-To-Digital 2xCD box, “Greek Rhapsody"
5.     SOTIRIA BELLOU/STELLAKIS PERPINIADES – Lady From Peiraias – from a collection of Sotiria Bellou’s recordings called “Apopse Kaneis Bam: Original Rebetika"
6.     FIVE GLINIOTES – E Vlaha (A Vlach Girl Washing By The River) - from the new 2013 LP collection, “Five Days Married and Other Laments" on Angry Mom Records.
7.     ORKIESTRA MAJKUTA – Wsciekla Polka (Wild Polka) - taken from Canary Records’ excellent LP collection of Eastern European immigrant music, “The Widow’s Joy".
8.     MITA STOICHEVA – Stori Se Horo Golyamo – from a 4xCD box on JSP Records called “Outsinging The Nightingale: Lost Treasures of Bulgarian Music"
9.     JACOB HOFFMAN & KENDAL’S ORCHESTRA – Dinoa & Hora – taken from the Mississippi LP compilation, “I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore"
10. ZOUTPANSBERG BROTHERS - Hosi Yehina Masia – extracted from “The Secret Museum of Mankind – East Africa" CD collection
11. MOZMAR CAIRE ORCHESTRA – Raks Baladi Hag Ibahim (Country Dance) - my apologies for the CD’s skips on this song. I obviously have a heretofore-unknown scratch on my “Victrola Favorites" 2xCD collection on Dust-to-Digital.
12. FAHRIYE HANIM – Al Yanakdan Disledim (I Bit Her On Her Red Cheek) - from a brand-new Canary Records LP compilation, “Canaries and Nightingales".
13. MASTER VYAS – Jala-Tarang – from “The Secret Museum of Mankind, Volume 5" CD collection on Yazoo Records.
14. VIRGEM DE MOCAMBIQUE – Nwamakuladzumba – downloaded from the Excavated Shellac blog, May 15th 2013 post.
15. NGOC BAO– Co tu  – downloaded from the Ceints de Bakelite blog, July 6th 2013 post.
16. ABDELLAH EL MAGANA – Kassidat el Hakka (The Poem of the Truth) - from the 2013 LP collection of Moroccan 45s, “Kassidat", on Dust-to-Digital.