Archive for September, 2003

  • Rob Spectre
  • 30
  • Sep
  • 03

Those long-promised words on my new favorite band are here with a new, unpublished installment of Virgin Ears. The record – Myxomatosis Failed – can be found here or at Zog 19 October and in the general Midwest at various points in late November.

The rebirth of the CD as a valuable, singular commercial product is beginning, slowly but surely, on the lesser traveled highways and byways frequently pounded by the ever-growing independent music movement in America. In perhaps the best example yet of what the 21st Century record will look like, traveling rock n’ roll minstrels ilyAIMY’s full band debut Myxomatosis Failed is slowly finding CD players quite literally through backpack distribution. Low budget, high value, and eminently replayable, this tense, percussive haunt of ilyAIMY is refreshingly free of pretension, a conspicuous absence of a plague killing contemporary music like a den of boil-covered rabbits.

The first striking distinction of Myxomatosis Failed is the simple rediscovery of the importance of product packaging. The recently popular four-panel cardboard case has been saved from its usual throwaway status with two different panoramic scenes that just make sense with each other, immediately giving the album the air of a complete work as compared to a collection of radio-ready singles. The genuity and ingenuity of the case seems insignificant until compared to the usual rabble popped out by low-budget affairs, where the art is almost an afterthought of the album and more often than not finds more usefulness holding up a pilsner in a dorm room than contributing a statement to the record. ilyAIMY blurs this distinction, providing ample eye candy to facilitate another sense for the listener.

However, for the listener too a unique surprise awaits. Though these troubadours may pass as a folk act, the record is such a distance from Dylan as Normandy is to Newport. More fitting genre placement for the group would be in the growing acoustic tradition beginning with the first less amplified releases from The Deftones, a darker side of your grand-dad’s standby. Blending the soul-stirring speed of full-stroke mariachi with the minor and mathematical progression structures of Mudvayne, these singers of slight R&B inspiration aren’t afraid to rake a little muck; the gut-rending growl of Rob Hinkal marking tracks like Chalk Pit and Loosen as soundly as the alternately sonorous and sultry song of Heather Lloyd on Sever. Succinctly, this Baltimore pair delivers, pound for pound, more actual angst than any three Papa Roach clones combined.

However, the album – like most independent affairs – is not without baggage. The album’s initial coherence begins to unravel by the center of the disc, with the mixture of live, studio, and radio recordings of widely varying production value jarring the record’s continuity making the journey from Track 1 to Track 12 much like a country road in a jeep with a blown suspension. Additionally, several songs begin with riffs that seem a bit too familiar, giving an undue amount of repetition to an already successful formula. But, the prognosis for this disc is far less fatal than those for our unlucky footed furry friends, as these complaints are dwarfed by the immense value of Myxomatosis Failed: a record that is everything that Evanescence could have been.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 28
  • Sep
  • 03

ilyAIMY is off for a stretch in Pennsylvania, but worry not RI Shaft fans for they will be returning 19 October and yours truly will be joining them for some crazy wicked drumming. Check out the mp3s that are available but, most of all, pony up the dough for their disc when they are in town. The artwork *alone* is worth the ticket to this boat ride, and the record itself is very unique and sufficiently hard rocking.

I’d write more about how they are my new favorite band, if it wasn’t for my current shit paper dilemma.

So, the toilet paper that came with my new place finally ran out today, which was no problem as I had the prescience to go purchase a gigantic brick of 12 rolls a few weeks ago for just such an occassion. Soft, quilted two-ply waiting gently like an immigrant worker in a Nebraska meat packing plant – cheaply purchased and ready to do the shit job without a peep of aversion. And it did its job well, nary a complaint from my end, executing its given function with precision and care. However, when I went to place it in the appropriate station across from my toilet I found that it was too goddamned big to fit on the roller!

What the hell is that? Isn’t there some sort of North American, if not global, standard distance from the wall shit paper rollers have to be? Am I the *only* one in New England that has to literally stuff the roll into the damn wall to get it to fit, thereby destroying the primary functionality of a roll of toilet paper inherently has in the first place?

I think I’ve found a new cause.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 27
  • Sep
  • 03

Holy crap dude. This festival was *unbelievably* good. In start contrast to the funky shit with the puppets, this fest was nothing but 3 hours of superior musicians and poets doing their art. Among my favorites were a duo from Baltimore called ilyAIMY. Jumpin’ Judas Priest dude, these guys bring the rock.

I’ll be playing drums with them in the future. More on that tomorrow. Now I gotta pass out.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 25
  • Sep
  • 03

With a cast like this how could the film possibly be bad? I finally saw Masked and Anonymous last night after waiting for what seemed like forever, a film with a cacaphony of major stars in cameo roles all rotating around the protagonist Jack Fate, played by your friend and mine Bob Dylan.

The film’s dialogue was full of carefully thought responses to seemingly ordinary small talk and illustrations of the sacred in the ordinary, and – of course – perhaps the best soundtrack of the year controlled entirely by Dylan himself. A young girl singing “The Times They Are A-Changin’” a-capella absolutely sent the goosebumps up my arms and made me want to share something with you .plan fans that Howie and I recorded as an afterthought during the Fireflies sessions.

This is a far less eloquent review of the film than I care for, so maybe I’ll come back and try to fix it. Or maybe not, and hope the ordinary can pass for brilliant for a film containing such a theme so predominantly.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 23
  • Sep
  • 03

So. What the hell.

I turn my back from the street outside the front office of my work for 1 hour. And the road got mulched. As in, a big machine came along and mowed it up like a goddamned urban rototiller. All of it. The whole *thing*. Wherever there was road before, there is not mud and asphalt chips.

What was wrong with the road before is not evidently clear, but it must have been pretty serious. Cause it’s all gone now.

All of it.

Seriously.

Maybe they’re going to put in a new garden.

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