Digging Like a Dog

(mostly) Northeastern Report

Oh, beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly,
And play the dead march as you carry me along;
Take me to the valley, and lay the sod o'er me,
For I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong.

A couple of cool new records I've been listening to a lot lately are both sort of fall-out albums from the noise scene. Phemale does tripped out cabaret style songs on his super limited debut LP "Silk City", out now on Red Scroll Records.  You've got to catch the live act...costume changes between every song.  First guy since Russian Tsarlag who does this kind of stuff that I can really get behind.  I hear there is a tape on Elm City Records too that is definitely worth tracking down too. I've also been playing Form A Log "Two Benji's" LP on Decoherence a lot recently. This is not as techno as the Container or Profligate material (both guys are members), but deftly straddles the line between rhythm and noise. Speaking of which, there are 2 new Profligate 12"s that you need to buy for your weird rave. Find that shit! Though as far as noise goes, no one is more noise than Noise Nomads. New LP out now on Western Mass institution Feeding Tube Records. Byron Coley writeup and purchase power available from their website. Distro via Forced Exposure

The new LP by Daniel Bachman, "Jesus I'm A Sinner," is his best work yet. I should know, seeing as I put out his first record and it's been topped twice now, both times by the super folk purist label Tompkins Square.  They've also got limited new vinyl by Daniel's bro Ryley Walker and the immortal Michael Hurley.  On the folk front I'm also still digging Asa Irons (ex-Witch and Feathers) "Knife Gift Debt" which can be streamed or purchased on vinyl here.  Very somber and beautiful folk album with an allstar cast of Maine musicians.  Maybe you'll find him playing a party at Taboo's house???  That band right there, one of the best bands in America right now and they actually do have internet, despite what has previously been reported.

One of the most surprising tapes I've heard in recent memory is the Power Masters discography-so-far self released cassette - amazing hardcore/garage/weirdo band from Providence.  You've got to have balls to use that name in that town. Mad props. Check it out.  More quality New England punk rock from Hoax who have self released a 12" that comes with 5 huge posters. Amazing!  Peep.

I've also really been liking the recently reissued Idea Fire Company album "Rags To Riches."  This 2005 cassette is now available on vinyl from Recital Records.  IFCO is one of the most studious bands in the Northeast.  I wouldn't fault you if you'd never heard them and certainly wouldn't if you'd never seen them live.  I would wager 75% of their fan base is overseas.  There sound is just that SERIOUS man. 

Don Gero's first release (out via Primordial Sounds) is a very focused and well recorded drums and triggers set. This guy is previously of Boston and the band Arvid Noe, now on the west coast. Find this dude in Oregon or somewhere and make him play your basement!  Also on the Boston front, we have the upstart label BUFU Records.  They're doing more of a rock thing, but I really like the super tight surf madness of Tsons of Tsunami (Guerilla Toss side-project) and the cartoony and technically proficient sound of Designer and it's also great to see ZEBU! get a 10th anniversary compilation tape. BUFU also has the first 7" by MA band Aykroyd who offer two nicely done post-punk/psych tracks. This is the kind of incredibly active label this town needs! My newly adopted hometown has had a string of really great bands of late.  If you're into nice female fronted garage pop, check out Saralee who have an LP out on Ride The Snake and a split tape with Giving Up on Sophomore Lounge.  Last but not least on my beantown radar are Knight Howls, the all-vocal duo of Arkm Foam and Frank Hurricane (who probably has like 8 other releases out right now...I'm hearing rumors of a double LP on Feeding Tube).  These guys hoot and holler their way to the pressing plant on their first vinyl release. Find Foam's contact here, and also pick up a Frank Hurricane tribute tape with j-card and mini-poster by Josh Burkett. Oh and also shout out to my boy Mark Johnson who has two new tapes on Anonymous Dog, one with Hunnie Bunnies and one as Truck Stanley's Night Dreams.

I've been getting super gacked-out on the Gem Jones release on Night-People. It's a totally fucked version of old school R&B boogie woogie stuff.  Music of the highest order. This tape is from the last batch or maybe two batches back, but I just really started getting into it based on the recommendation of  The Savage Young Taterbug, who's short tour tape, "Journeyman's Cheddar," is a recent favorite of mine. Tater's tour pal Tracey Trance was also trucking with a great new cassette called "Keep It Up."  You probably can't find those last two tapes anywhere though...

Brattleboro, Vermont's The Happy Jawbone Family Band never fail to jah-maze. Their new self titled LP on Mexican Summer is the cleanest thing they've done yet and the song writing is top notch. This record is growing on me with each listen.  I wanna go bone deep... What else is new in Brattleboro??? Oh yeah, great first 7" by Danny Bissette on Rarebit Records.  Danny is perhaps the most secret member of the scene up there.  UPDATE: you can purchase the 7" and some other great tapes at www.rarebitrecords.com Chris Weisman, Ruth Garbus and the Great Valley continue to make killer music up there and expats Blanche Blanche Blanche (OSR Tapes forever) and King Tuff are making waves in New York and LA respectively.  BBB have an especially great new LP out now on Whart Cat Records called "Breaking Mirrors". Check it out!!! 

Okay, that's all for now. Keep sending in those tapes and I'll keep finding people to review them.  I think this is the steadiest stream of new posts we've had in a while.  Also if you're interested in writing for Cassette Gods and you live in the Boston area, send me a note at cavebears at g-male dot (honey) comb.

Oh yeah, one last shout out to my boys The Phish From Vermont, who totally slayed Fall tour.  Way to go guys!

bet you didn't see that one coming...