Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Album of the Day 6/17/11

Every day, our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Friday’s album is #592:

The Dils – Class War

An early Americana-flavored punk band and obvious inspiration for Social Distortion, San Francisco trio the Dils confronted issues of class and race in America head-on when so many of the era’s wannabes just jumped on the punk bandwagon to be cool. This compilation collects many if not all of their best-known late 70s/early 80s singles and b-sides. The best-known track is the trebly, super-catchy I Hate the Rich. You’re Not Blank makes fun of Cali hippie complacency: “the summer of love is ten years gone.” The best song here is the gorgeously jangly Sound of the Rain, steeped in alienation; the defiantly socialist Red Rockers Rule is a Social Distortion prototype for sure (and the inspiration for another band name); Mr. Big  raises a middle finger at the powers that be. There’s also the sarcastic Tell Me What I Want to Hear, It’s Not Worth It, Gimme a Break, and the furious hardcore Class War, a casually vicious anti-racist broadside. The only dud here is an awkward Buddy Holly cover. The two brothers who fronted the band would move on to form one of the first alt-country bands, Rank & File. Here’s a random torrent via Ustedville.

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June 17, 2011 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Album of the Day 9/17/10

Every day our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Friday’s album is #865:

Agent Orange – Living in Darkness

Agent Orange have made a thirty-year career based on this one album, almost by accident. The LA surf-punks’ 1980 debut ep Bitchin’ Summer was well received in the scene, so the following year Posh Boy Records brought them into the studio to do a full-length album…and the guitar amp broke. Short on time and equipment, frontman Mike Palm ran his guitar through a bass amp turned up to the point of distortion, and a new sound was born. Through a wall of eerie fuzztone sustain, the band play fast and desperate. One by one, they rip through one Dick Dale-tinged punk smash after another: Bloodstains; Too Young to Die; A Cry for Help in a World Gone Mad; the brutally cynical No Such Thing; a woozily murderous cover of Misirlou; the absolutely exhausting, somewhat epic title track (reputedly drummer Scott Miller was at the point of collapse by the time they finally got a take they were satisfied with); and the band’s signature song, the ridiculously catchy Everything Turns Grey. If you see this on vinyl, grab it: it’s worth something. Otherwise, the version to get is the 1991 Rhino reissue which also includes the band’s searing, iconic covers of both Pipeline and Mr. Moto. The band still tours. Here’s a random torrent.

September 16, 2010 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Song of the Day 7/23/10

Our daily best 666 songs of alltime countdown is working its way through the top ten: six days left before we reach the greatest song ever. Friday’s song is #6:

The Dead Kennedys – A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch

Hang in there: the DKs open the song by running a whole verse without lyrics, East Bay Ray’s macabre surf guitar sounding like a guitar army. The song is on Frankenchrist, the greatest punk band’s greatest album. It’s a random series of observations that any relatively perceptive kid could have made in 1985: the idiocy of Elvis worship; how multinational corporations take their poison to the third world when the FDA bans it here (they don’t anymore); the sick and twisted world of CIA black operations. And how does the average person respond: “Turn on, tune in, drop out? Drop kick, turn in, tune out.” Bassist Klaus Flouride practically breaks his low string in disgust at the end.

July 23, 2010 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment