Helms we've been a fan of since the release of 2002's McCarthy, which we reviewed here for Junkmedia. Friday afternoon we'd gotten a tip that Helms guitarist Sean McCarthy had broken his arm, so we were fearful the band might not play and another chance to see them would elude us. But, not unlike when we saw Neptune open for Mission Of Burma, Mr. McCarthy showed up (we heard it was actually a broken collar bone at the show, and not a broken arm, but still), presumably played through considerable discomfort, and kicked a lot of ass along with bassist/wife (we think) Tina and drummer/brother Dan. Helms was an unstoppable force Friday night, humorous between songs but driving and hypnotic when playing. There's no excuse why we've never seen them all these years, but you can bet we will see them again. And we're buying their latest record, 2006's Secret Doors on History Major Records, as soon as we finish writing this. The band is offering the excellent track "It Takes Skin To Win" as a download at its MySpace wigwam here, and it is one of our favorites, so we'll offer it, too, even though we already did about 11 months ago here. What can we say, we can't get enough. Speaking of digital audio, Mr. 'Nac recorded both nights of the Callum benefits and we expect you will have the opportunity to hear them sometime pretty soon over there.
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[follow the links at the Helms web site to buy their music]
And because we had joked with Mr. 'Nac prior to the show that we'd donate an extra $10 if Farina played the old Karate classic "Today Or Tomorrow" from 1997's In Place Of Real Insight, here's that track, too.
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[buy Karate records from Newbury Comics here]
>> We finally made it to Newbury Comics Thursday for some record shopping. You are reading the words of the man who received the last Interpol/Newbury Comics co-branded pint glass given away as a promo with the sale of the new Our Love To Admire. We also received with our purchase of Interpol's major label debut a vinyl single for "The Heinrich Maneuver" backed with an instrumental version of the album track "Mammoth." And it was by inspecting the vinyl single that we learned that the latest Interpol set was produced with Rich Costey, who around these parts is best known for producing the Lilys' peerless third record Eccsame The Photon Band. Interesting.
>> Other notes from our shopping trip. We had previously stated that the new They Might Be Giants record The Else was produced by Jon Brion. It was actually produced by The
>> Hey, did you know that Last.fm offers on-demand streams of some of the Archers Of Loaf's catalog, including the vinyl singles? Not only that, but also the social networking site offers downloads of a number of Archers tracks, including "Step Into The Light" and "Harnessed In Slums," the first two cuts of the excellent 1995, Bob Weston-recorded masterwork Vee Vee. And certainly if you've never heard "Web In Front" and "Wrong" from the band's debut full length, Last.fm's got free downloads of those, too. "Web In Front" might be the quintessential '90s indie rock track.
>> A couple odd requests: anybody have an MP3 of Lint's one-sided 7" "Fifth Floor," released on Plumb Records in 1996 or so? For those of you who don't recall it, there is more information here, including this description: "Lint is a "supergroup" of sorts. Members of The Swirlies, Spore, Milkmoney, Victory At Sea, SK-70, Landfill, AM Stereo, Grace Budd and more get together to play music unlike anything else they do... every song features a different singer and somewhat different sound." We're also hoping someone has ripped an old 7" by a band called Retriever for the song "Q-Tip." Get in touch if you've got the songs handy. It's been years since we heard them, and we've lost the cassette we recorded them to in college.