May 5, 2005

"I followed you home 'cause I liked how you walked," The A-Sides.

We've been neglecting our promised musing on June of 44, particularly the spectacular The Anatomy of Sharks EP, released in early 1997. This is because the song we'd really like to post, "Sharks and Sailors," is some 11 minutes long, much too long to feasibly post for download. The song itself is superlative, opening with deliciously gritty and lacerating guitars and blunt Albini-esque drums. The full package comes off like a close cousin of the type of tunes Kam Fong were churning out around the same time. The extended composition flows into the EP's other two tracks, which are also particularly groove-oriented. You can't buy "Sharks and Sailors" from EMusic or a la carte from ITunes, but you can buy the whole EP (recommended) from ITunes for the very un-ITunes price of $4.50. We insist the music on the EP is easily worth $1.50 per song. If anything, just check out the sample. As an added bonus, here is a link to a June of 44 show review the Monkey penned in 1999.

We've been remiss in noting some recent purchases. To follow up on our search for the Cure reissues, it is worth mentioning that on our second trip to Newbury Comics this past weekend the reissues were sold out yet again. Perhaps we already reported this. But anyway, we have managed to get the expanded reissue of Pornography. The remastered sound is definitely noticable. Pornography, according to the liner notes, was intended by Robert Smith to destroy the band. It was recorded while Smith, et al. were ingesting toxic amounts of drugs. As such there are some elements lost in the murk of the original mix. In addition to bringing out those various ambient elements, the tone was sharpened remarkably, and the songs pop instead of sort of splashing out of the space, if that makes any sense. We've ordered the Faith and Seventeen Seconds reissues from, and after that we need to cool it with the record buying for a while.

We also recently purchased The Books' Lost and Safe, which we are in the process of writing up for Junkmedia, so keep an eye out over there for what we are sure will be a very positive review. We enjoyed last week's Books performance so much we even mail-ordered a t-shirt, which arrived quickly from their HQ in Western MA. The shirt is very soft and very green. Like moss.

Finally, we received the debut from Pennsylvania's The A-Sides, which we purchased off the cuff based on a solid recommendation [scroll down to 4/25/2005 posts] that asserted the band was the second coming of the Lilys, or at least the Lilys as they sounded somewhere around 1996 or so. This record, released on a small indie out of Scranton, PA, is excellent -- we listened to it about six times today. As a result, we are initiating coverage of The A-Sides with a "buy" rating for their record Hello, Hello. This is your soundtrack to spring. Philadelphia Weekly has a story about the band here.

We got a peek at the tracks that will be included on the Music.For-Robots compilation that comes out at the end of the month. People are going to dig it. Something else that is cool is the new Insound Clips email. We usually hate isht that gets sent to us unsolicited-like (unless it is shiny, round, flat and five inches across, dig?), but this email is smart and sassy.

One last taste of Pennsylvania: Our favorite (and Penn-educated) young associate pointed us to a profile in a recent New York Times Magazine about our favorite beer, Yuengling. Many readers have had the privilege of helping us work through the three cases we brought back from PA during our last visit. Now you can educate yourselves on the finer points of that which is brewed in America's oldest brewery. Enjoy.

That is all.

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