12/31/16

HDD Radio #57: 2016 Punk & Hardcore, '90s Chicago Thrash Demos, Minneapolis Favorites, Etc.


Happy New Year. Here's a new episode of HotDogDayz Radio. Pick up a copy of my new zine Soda Killers Magazine no.13 here.
 -Nathan

 

Tracklist:
The B-52’s – Butterbean
Tad – Crane’s Café
Seaweed – Sit in Glass
Les Savy Fav – Blackouts on Thursday
Pandemix – Conceptual Fuck
Denim & Leather – Passioned Fruit
Unruly Boys – Unruly Stomp/Red with Rage
Whipping Post – Pull the Cord
Xylitol – Shit Buffet
Sick Head – Human Host
Race Car – I.S.S. is for Me
Leather Jacuzzi – Don’t Touch Me (I’m a Punk)
The Acrylics – He Wants a Baby
Holder’s Scar – Runt
Fried Egg – Eggshells
Arise – Turned to Stone
Enchanter – Progressive Entrapment
Funeral Nation – Visions of Hypocrisy
Stygian – Hope Not War
The Replacements – Kids Don’t Follow
Soul Asylum – Sometime to Return
Husker Du – Hate Paper Doll
Husker Du – Ice Cold Ice
Soul Asylum – Cartoon
The Replacements – Color Me Impressed

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12/29/16

Soda Killers Magazine #13 OUT NOW~!



Featuring Minneapolis punk band Fucking, Appalachian black metal act Twilight Fauna, '90s Chicago thrash demo tapes, ageing out of youth culture, hamburgers, graffiti slaps, and more.

With contributions from Jim Gies, Michael Francis, Shaun Dean, and Nathan G. O'Brien.

40 pages, half size, cut 'n' paste, photocopied in black & white. FIRST 20 ORDERS GET FULL COLOR. COLOR IS SOLD OUT



12/22/16

The Best Hip-Hop of 2016

Timeless Truth pic stolen from www.timelesstruthnyc.com

When I sat down to write this intro I started thinking about what I was going to say, and I was like, "hold up, haven't I written basically the same thing every year?" The answer is yes. So this year I'm just going to copy and paste last year's intro because aint nothin' changed ya'll...

I'm not going to lie, when it comes to rap music, I'm getting old. Don't get me wrong, I'm not stuck in the past—I keep up on the new shit—but variance-wise, I'm not exactly trying to expand my horizons anymore. I prefer the type of rap that doesn't stray far from the original blueprint; birthed in the late '70s, developed throughout the '80s, and damn-near perfected in the '90s. That is: dope beats, hard rhymes, and cuts. I've said it before and I'll say it again: call me a grumpy curmudgeon if you must, but do so knowing that are very few things that I'm as passionate about as rap music. My approach to hip-hop is the same as that of a big man holding down the lane on a basketball court: Don't Bring That Weak Shit In Here. So, with that, here's my favorite rap music from the past 12 months.

Not a numerical list, rather alphabetical. Rankings are bullshit. Fight with me about it on Twitter.
-Nathan G. O'Brien


A Tribe Called Quest - We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service (Epic)
Yo, this is so ill I might even go back and listen to The Love Movement again. Ha, naw man, I won't be doing that anytime soon. But holy shit, how great is this record? I like to joke around a lot but on the inside I'm an emotional dude with a lot of feelings, and this one brings tears to my eyes every single time I listen to it. I took my son to the Electric Fetus the day this came out on CD. Nearly everyone in the store—even like, 60-year-old women—had a copy in their hands; a testament to Tribe's legacy as a brand you can trust. We put it on in the car and drove around the whole city listening to it in entirety. And let me tell you, the tears were rollin'. The first track "The Space Program" is classic Tribe, and brings back a ton of memories. (I saw them three times back in the day: on Lollapalooza, at Smokin' Grooves, and opening for the Beasties on the Hello Nasty tour. In addition, they were the background music during some key moments in my history. I've too many Tribe-soundtracked memories to list here.) Even though it's Phife's versus that I love the most on here, I like how obvious it is that Q-Tip orchestrated the whole thing. Word has it he was like, "Yo, if we're going to do this record, you're all coming to my place in Jersey and we're doing it together." So they were all in one place, rather than Dropboxing rhymes to each other as is all to common these days. It's one of the most cohesive rap records to drop in a long while. And, yo, did you catch that Prince-type ish Tip does on "Solid Wall of Sound?" I don't normally fucks with singing in my rap music but that's dope.



Bloody Monk Consortium - The Awakening (Self-Released)
Luke Sick hipped me to these cats. This is monster guerrilla-style rap out of San Jose that's (sort of) shrouded in (a bit of) mystery (for me personally). (Basically, I've held off on learning too much about them because I like vibe I get and I don't want anything ruining that.) Labal-S and Leeroy Destroy are the only two emcees but they rap in way that brings to mind larger crew classics like the Boot Camp Click or Da Lench Mob. Production comes from a handful of dudes, but there's continuity in it in that they all seem dedicated to hard-ass drums. It's on that take-no-prisoners cipher tip. I just wanna rock baggy sweats and bucket hats and drive around in a Jeep, bumping this on cassette, while smoking Dutch Masters like it's '95 up in this bitch.



Czarface - A Fistful of Peril (Silver Age)
When these guys dropped their first album back in 2013 I hadn't really been feeling 7L & Esoteric in a long time, but my curiosity was piqued by the comic book imagery, the promise of pro-wrestling references, and interest in new Inspectah Deck material. Over the course of three raw-as-fuck boom-bap albums they've turned me into a believer. The drums are hard and the sub is deep; a ginormous sound complimented by dexterous emceeing and turntablism.



D.I.T.C. - D.I.T.C. Studios (Self-Released)
When I was a kid Diggin' In The Crates always seemed elusive to me. I mean, yeah, production-wise they were responsible for a ton of the stuff I was listening to. I was always cognizant of the name, but also kind of confused as to who they were. Information just wasn't as available as it is now. We had to rely on magazines like Rap Pages or The Source and catching videos on Yo! MTV Raps. Even then, at least for a kid growing up in the woods, a crew like D.I.T.C. wasn't as readily available for consumption as the bigger names. So I had to catch up on stuff like Word... Life, Funky Technician, Runaway Slave, and Stunts, Blunts, and Hip-Hop after the fact. These days I'm a full-fledged D.I.T.C. nerd, so when this new crew album dropped I was all over it.



D.I.T.C. - Sessions (Self-Released)
See above, except this one is better.



Discourse - Megalomaniac (Crate Cartel)
As a respected rap music opinionator, my inbox is overrun with files of terrible hip-hop that get skimmed and deleted in a matter of minutes. Likewise my mailbox often exists solely as layover station for CD-Rs awaiting their rightful place in the garbage can. (Pro tip: send cassettes if you want to get noticed. Seriously, even if you just dub your CD-R onto cassette and fold the insert enough to fit inside a tape case you're greatly increasing your chances.) But every so often something like this lands on my desk that makes it all worthwhile. Discourse is a producer/deejay from Australia that makes music heavily influenced by the '90s East Coast sound. This is his debut album. As someone who looks back fondly on the days of deejay mixed tapes, I'm a sucker for a good producer album like this. And this one is exceptionally cool due to his eclectic selection of emcees. You'll find Tragedy Khadafi, Starvin B, and AG alongside some international flavor from the likes of Lazy Grey, Ramson Badbonez, and Raven.



DJ Skizz - Cruise Control (Different Worlds)
Skizz is a producer and turntablist known for his work behind the boards of heavyweights like Lil' Fame, Havoc, and Sean Price. Most recently he's been working as Your Old Droog's producer and tour deejay. Even though he's been in the game for nearly 15 years this is only his second album. Ya'll know I go bananas for that grimy shit. Which is why I almost didn't go for this when it came out, because the stupid cover art kept throwing me off. But I eventually went in on it based off the strength of his first album, B.Q.E. Boom-bap is the name of the game here. Evidence, Roc Marciano, Rapper Noyd, and Hus Kingpin take turns on the mic, as do many others.



Gensu Dean & Denmark Vessey - Whole Food (Mello Music Group)
Gensu's production—sometimes simplistic, sometimes soulful—set the mood as Vessey’s lyricism and off-kilter flow keep's you engaged throughout the entire album. I've seen a lot of early morning bike commutes with this one in the earbuds.


Ill Bill - Septagram (Uncle Howie)
Nearly 15 years have passed since The Future Is Now, the debut album by Non Phixion, which featured a grip of hip-hop’s most sought-after producers and some menacing and poignant lyricism, and the vehicle that placed Ill Bill immediately into the annals of underground hip-hop greatness. Ill Bill is back once more with the wallop and the score. Not as interpersonal as 2013's The Grimy Awards, but just as forceful and mean-mugged as ever. And this time Non Phixion compatriot Goretex is back in the fold.


Meyhem Lauren - Piatto D'Oro (mixtape)
This was a free download that preceded an "album" or whatever. I didn't really fuck with Precious Metals because it was was kinda wack, and then because it seemingly vanished. (Perhaps Meyhem realized he already put out his best stuff this year and pulled it back. Or maybe he wanted to rethink those Harry Fraud beats, I don't know.) But that doesn't matter because Piatto D'Oro is the superior product.



Planet Asia & DJ Concept - Seventy Nine (Coalmine)
I haven't checked in with Planet Asia since 2013 when he did the Durag Dynasty album and that dope Abrasions joint with Gensu Dean. So when I saw this was on Coalmine, I knew it would be worth my time 'cause they don't put out wack shit. (Do ya'll fuck with Coalmine records? If not, you should.) Concept's beats remind me of Apollo Brown, who reminds me of Pete Rock, and that's never a bad thing. Yo, there's an audio sample of a police shooting on here that's straight-up heartbreaking though. But if you like rap music that places emphasis on mic prowess rather than personality and marketability you'll love this.



Schoolboy Q - Blank Face (Top Dawg)
Yo, Schoolboy Q is T.D.E. I mean, let's not even fuck around here, Kendrick sucks now (he's at his best when he's guesting on other people's tracks) and like, does anybody know who else is even in the crew? What's weird is one of the things I always hated about 2Pac is the same thing I love about Schoolboy Q: he's a gangster with feelings.


Skepta - Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)
I don't mess with grime as much as I did back in like, '03. But this Skepta joint is fresh.



Smoke DZA & Pete Rock - Don't Smoke Rock (Babygrande)
I haven't checked for Smoke DZA in a few years but when you put Pete Rock behind the boards you've got my attention.



Timeless Truth - Cold Wave (Different Worlds)
This is on that '90s Polo rugby shirts and goose down jackets tip. Gear up for icy expedition through five boroughs boom-bap nostalgia. One of my favorite rap groups in the last handful of years.



Warpath - Pure Butter (Daily Concept)
One of my favorite things about rap music is discovering new shit that sounds exactly like the old shit.

12/16/16

The Best Punk & Hardcore of 2016


Haram pic stolen from Cvlt Nation
What did we learn about punk & hardcore in 2016? Crust is dead. Post-punk and "slime punk" are on life support. And anyone still fucking with black metal probably needs their credentials checked. Basically in the year 2017 every hardcore band will decide to finally become the French Oi! band they've always wanted to be.

Look, we're talking about punk & hardcore here. You know the deal: it's loud, it's fast, it's angry. It's pissed off music for pissed off people. It can also be angular and atmospheric, or sound like unpolished pop music. I could try to describe exactly how each of these acts sound, but let's be real, writing more than two sentences each would take longer than it does to listen to one of their songs. And who wants to read 30 paragraphs about 30 bands that essentially all sound the same? So here's how it's gonna go: I'll state where the band is from, and then a few other words. You do the rest.

If I missed something, hit me up. I welcome the discourse. You can leave a comment if you want, but comments are like, so 2006. Take that shit to Twitter already.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out this list is alphabetical. Rankings are bullshit. Up the punks.
-Nathan G. O'Brien

Anxiety - Self-Titled LP (La Vida Es Un Mus Discos Punk)
Glasgow, Scotland.
Claustrophobic, eerie, freakout art noise. Don't be surprised if every punk band in 2017 sounds like this.

Blazing Eye - Lonely Corpse 7" (La Vida Es En Muse Discos Punk)
Los Angeles, CA.
Sounds like what the scary monster from your childhood dreams looks like.

Blood Pressure - Need to Control LP (Beach Impediment)
Pittsburgh, PA.
Sometimes hardcore is stupid and derivative but that's also what's really great about it.

Boilerman - Feels Ways About Stuff LP (86'd Records)
Chicago, IL.
Good dudes, good band. Check out the interview did together in Maximum Rocknroll #399. Also ran in Soda Killers #11.

The Bug - Room 44 Sessions cassette (Not Normal Tapes)
Chicago, IL.
Noisy, arty, maybe trying to be more interesting than they are. Then again, aren't we all? Who knows, I'm cool with it either way.

Cracked Vessel - No Path LP (Hip Kid)
Chicago, IL.
Oh winter biking, get over here you beautiful animal. I want to hug you and slit your miserable throat at the same time.

Chroma - Cuerpos Dociles LP (Nada Nada Discos)
Barcelona, Spain.
Captivating, alluring, charming, ah, bewitching maybe even. Basically any word that means it is capable of capturing and holding your attention. Also post-punk.

Crazy Spirit - Third 7" (Toxic State)
New York, NY.
Singer either has snot dripping down the back of his throat or is possibly an alien that has escaped a secret government laboratory. Probably both. Sometimes called "mutant punk" but not by me.

Deny The Cross - Alpha Ghoul LP (Tankcrimes)
California/NYC.
Remember powerviolence? It's basically death metal, hardcore, and punk all at one time. And holy shit, is the production rich on this one. Posers need not apply.

Efialtis - Self-Titled 7" / Κολοσσιαίο Γυναικείο Κεφάλι 7"  (Static Shock / La Vida Es Un Mus Discos Punk)
London, UK.
Moody punk music for modern times. Sounds cold and warm at the same time, which isn't an easy thing to pull off. Would have preferred if these two 7"s were just one seven song 12" 45 RPM-er, but hey, whatevs.

Fried Egg - Delirium 7" (Negative Jazz)
Richmond, VA.
I feel like there's a lot of fried eggs stuff going in punk lately? Whether it's art work, song titles, or in this case, the name of the band. I used the question mark back there to signify that I'm not really sure, and as an invitation for you to weigh in if you'd like.

Fucking - Intimacy Issues 7" (Self-Released)
Minneapolis, MN.
Hateful and violent but tender and awkward. Just like the act of fucking. Also pro-littering. (Look for an interview soon in Maximum Rocknroll and/or Soda Killers.) #NukeEmAll

G.L.O.S.S. - Trans Day of Revenge 7" (Total Negativity / Nervous Nelly)
Olympia, WA.
The opening track is called "Give Violence a Chance", which is something I've been considering more and more lately.

Gag - America's Greatest Hits LP (Iron Lung)
Olympia, WA.
I have a fellow pretty liberal friend that lived in Olympia for a couple years but had to leave because, and I quote, "I couldn't stand that everywhere I went some 20 year-old college kid was trying to out-left me. It was like, 'Dude, I'm just trying to get a cup of coffee; I don't need to hear your freshman take on socialism.'"

Good Throb - Self-Titled 7" (La Vida Es En Mus Discos Punk)
London, UK.
There's a song on here called "The Queen Sucks Nazi Cock." So, like, what are you waiting for? Go get this, you idiot.

Haram - What Do You See? 7" (Toxic State)
New York, NY.
If nothing sounds like this, how can you describe it? Like this: The Future.

In School - Cement Fucker 7" (Thrilling Living)
New York, NY.
The guitar is weird. Subconsciously it takes over, even when the vocals and drums are more obliviously present. Like, you think you're really digging this awesome singer and the rhythm, but what's actually going on is you're being hypnotized by sneaky axe wankery.

Life Fucker -  Self-Titled 7" (Static Age)
Berlin, Germany.
Aside from some green-bottled beers, I still tend to associate Germany with very terrible things. But this record is the opposite of terrible. How much art can you take? Exactly this much. (I've used that line before, but nobody will notice.)

Lumpy & The Dumpers - Huff My Sack LP (La Vida Es En Mus Discos Punk)
St.Louis, MO.
Drink it in deep, slime-chuggers. This could be gross-out punk's defining, and perhaps final moment.

Marbled Eye - Demo cassette (Self-Released)
San Francisco/Oakland, CA.
Post-punk. The J-card art rules. Unlike this description.

Mommy - Songs About Children LP (Toxic State)
New York, NY.
Concept album about the terrible things that happen to kids. So depressing, so yucky, but holy shit, so good. Musically, it's very hard to describe. In a word: crazy. It feels strange to like a record about horrible stuff yet here I am.

NASA Space Universe - 70 AD LP (Feel It)
Richmond, VA.
What's funny about this is right when you're like, "OK, so this is another one of those mutant hardcore punk records", they throw some cool hook at you that seems totally out of place that makes you go, "Goddamn that's tight; pretty sure I like this a lot now."

Piss - Self-Titled 7" (Static Age)
Berlin, Germany.
To quote my good friend The Dark Horse, and completely out of context, "blood, shit, piss, and cum." So we've already have bands named S.H.I.T. and Piss. In 2017 I wanna hear records from Blood and Cum. And they better be as nasty as this.

Primetime - Going Places 7" (La Vida Es En Mus Discos Punk)
London, UK.
There's a part in Chris Jericho's first book where he talks about the language barrier in Japan and the funny stuff that another wrestler would ask him, such as, "You like rock 'n' roll sex music?"

Pure Disgust -  Self-Titled LP (Katorga Works)
Washington D.C.
This speaks to the current climate of fucked-up shit in this country, and the world in general. But you know what I think about a lot? Like way more than I should? The Mark Gonzales chair scene in Gummo. Why?

Rakta - III LP (Iron Lung)
São Paulo, Brazil.
This band tests the limits of what is considered punk and the results are truly awesome. The medley track "Filhas Do Fogo / Conjuracao Do Espelho" is easily the best song I've heard this year, of any genre.

Red Death - Deterrence 7" (Lockin' Out)
Washington D.C.
You know what would be cool, is if one of you would make me a mixtape of '80s thrash that doesn't include the Big Four.

Rixe - Les Nerfs A Vif 7" (La Vida Es En Mus Discos Punk)
Paris, France.
This is Oi! revival done exactly the right way. Don't be surprised if every punk band in 2017 that doesn't sound like Anxiety sounds this one.

Sick Head - Music Time cassette (Self-Released)
New York, NY.
I get so goddamned mad at myself sometimes. It's easy to pretend I'm the coolest guy ever but the reality is I'm a fucking wreck. And music like this feeds into my disease. Thanks for nothing, punk.

Silent Era - Self-Titled 7" (Square One Again)
Oakland, CA.
Ya' know, the '90s weren't so bad. I mean, I'm not going to start wearing baggy jeans again anytime soon, but some of those alt bands that had videos on MTV were actually pretty good. Like the Cranberries. They were decent, right?

Strutter - Self-Titled 7" (Beach Impediment)
Austin, TX.
Smash your head on the punk rock. Or if you're feeling up to it, puke your brains out on the punk rock.

Vaaska - Futuro Primitivo 7" (Beach Impediment)
Austin, TX.
A while back there was some great graffiti scratched into the stall door in the bathroom at my work. It said, "Hail Satan. Suck cock. Metal rules", and was accompanied by a crudely etched pentagram. I took a picture of it. I kind of want to make tee shirts of it but may settle on stickers or buttons. Or maybe nothing at all. What an incredible saying though, am I right?

So there, that's 30 of 'em. Here's the rest.