Saturday, November 3, 2012

16 or 17 Reasons To Attend The Buffalo Decency Rally III

The Buffalo Decency Rally III
Saturday 3 November 2012.  6 pm until ????
at Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle .
informally known as "The Polish Library" which is welcoming ethnic club on Buffalo's east side.
located  at 612 Fillmore.  GPS it, nerd---it's very close to the 33/Kensington Expressway Science Center exit.  $5.
                                                                  bands perfoming:
Ancients of Earth, 6pm (upstairs)
Real People, 6:30pm (downstairs)
Wreckage, 7pm (upstairs)
Small Axe, 7:30pm (downstairs)
Beardage, 8pm (upstairs)
   Water Torture, 8:30pm (downstairs)
   Total Overcomers, 9pm (upstairs)
Cages, 9:30pm (downstairs)
    Human Touch, 10pm (upstairs)
Plates, 10:30pm (downstairs)
   Gas Chamber, 11pm (upstairs)
   Returners, 11:30pm (downstairs)
      Jack Topht, midnight (upstairs)
         Mallwalkers, 12:30am (downstairs)
      Malarchuk, 1a.m. (upstairs)     
Curated by the dashing Aaron Weese, the man who unearthed the welcoming AMLADC™ as a music venue.  Used mostly for larger shows due to it's proximity to the city and large space, although the upstairs has a small, stage-less, more intimate space where bands will also be performing giving you little time to grab a drink, go outside for a smoke--or a fantastic bite to eat at the mobile AMY'S PLACE FOOD TRUCK (it's not just for veggie heads, either!) in between.  I've been stalking this truck and have been delighted on each occasion.
The Polish Library is an cool, multi room, separated smoky bar offering a wild selecting of Eastern Bloc Beers and a character not found in many places.  The price is right, they will inevitably run out of it and it packs a punch.  and you can enjoy a Poppe Shoppe™ cream soda after to enhance your hangover or replace the booze with altogether, if that's how you roll.   The club was established in 1895 and is named after a national Polish Poet, activist and political writer.  Active in Poland achieving independence, he wrote Lithuanian folk songs.  Yes, I've read up on the man.

Though i won't be breaking down each band and why you should give them 20 or so minutes of your life, i can tell you that this year is more varied than in years passed and that's no slap in the face of the 2 previous rallies.  Both have been high energy, highly populated all you can eat buffet's of Buffalo bands, mostly of the louder/heavy variety.  Last year, the Rally had to reloacate to the Dnipro Ukranian center, an absolutely beautiful structure with an even more cavernous room.   The sound suffered, but the exception to any accusations this mega-show is one-dimensional was the dramatic Cages filling the enormous room with a voice that needs to be heard to be believed.  This is complex, post-something I am not fit to properly describe, filled the room backed with guitar shards and solemn sounds. Maybe the most challenging act on the bill.  The band has releases on labels in other countries and probably should be witnessed by the discriminating Buffalo music fan.  I wouldn't be surprised if Cages were much more well known outside of the city.  Here is a chance to catch something powerful without power chords. 
Water Torture are two fellas who have been a rhythm section for several years now, musically attached at what's left of their brain cells.  This speaks nothing of their intelligence and more of their approach to life and blasting bass and drums purging self decribed grindcore violence.  They have a new 7", too.   WT have wittled things down to just the two of them (some past projects included first year crowd pleasers, Inerds and a quarter ounce of others).
Gas Chamber plays it darker, and their latest 7" is a well put together package that perfectly exposes the bands leaning towards, dark, unpleasant realities.  They are beyond a band at this point-they are a unit; a pack.  They take what they do very seriously--as it should be, and the result may be too much for some to handle, but they wouldn't have it any other way.  And that's a beautiful thing.   Meanwhile, Mallwalkers boast a expanding horn section (but don't get the wrong idea), a second vocalist (Jamie from the crushing Human Touch who are also playing and have a new 7" on Feral Kid, too) alongside the braintrust of Handsome Dan Carosa and are in it for the fun, but have excelled as they have continued and evolved--especially the inventive guitar work of this soulful punk band that leans toward the fun, the dancing, the getting out of the malls and into the goddamn streets.  Several vinyl and tape releases in and some great press last year, if they can keep the gang together, are poised for bigger things. 
Buffalo's Returners  are among the best bands in town at the moment, a post-punk jugernaut that picks up elements of mark's record collection and, along with familiar bandmate Tony F. on bass (the prolific Dr. Stephen Floyd adding essential left guitar and Renee Roberts on drums) creating some of the best indie rock in the city, hands down.  It wouldn't be pandering or a stretch to say they are among Buffalo's top bands and upcoming releases are highly anticipated.  For now, the demo is what we have to work with.

Perhaps the longest running band on the bill are Buffalo natives Small Axe (they live in the capital district now, i think--though thats off the top of my head and it's 5 a.m.).  This band has been at it, in one incarnation or another, playing garagey, heady psych-stoner rock since the earliest days of the 90s when Asbury Alley was a haven for a social miscreant like myself.  Still going strong and more equally relevant well over a decade later, they will be joined by the young but no less heavy Malarchuk , a heavy duty Sabbathy, driving rock band.  Undoubtedly Malarchuk will be labelled 'stoner', 'doom' 'downer' and whatever people who write about music (oh shit...) grab to in a lazy way of describing heavy rock and roll, done well--but not overcooked. They are a young band but boast a healthy pedigree of d00dz who know what the time is, so to speak.
Equal parts buffalo-rochester punk rock blasters Beardage bring it in your face, and keep it straight forward.  Fronted by Kevin M.--a man who will certainly be brought up years from now (as he is already) as among Buffalo's wildest and best frontmen.   But it ain't just antics here, it's adrenalin rush backed by Adam (fun rochester guy with the banter) and mild and wild Foster bringing the intense riffage. Great songs when so many many bands get the sound right and forget they need hooks to back it up.    You'll also get music from yours truly, via Plates.   And the eccentric rapper Jack Topht, who I've admired since his days playing 3 or 4 instruments at a time in Next Syphilis years ago. 
Curater Weese and his powerhouse drummer Steve K (or is it a C.?) in hibernating Sonorous Gale will be playing as The Total Overcomers who I'll be catching for the first time.  The same can be said for Real People and Wreckage  -- a hardcore band featuring ex-members of Get Back Up and Buried Alive. Both bands have new recordings from 2012 available.  Check out their links.  

And let us not forget the mysterious, quietly crushing sounds of Ancients of EarthAoE appeared on Warm Bath Label compilation 7" Buffalo Brutality last year but head towards spacey, sparse, quiet and beautiful instrumentals.  An interesting band captured on tape by Mr. Ski Mask at his fabled and always improving Electric Pumpkin Patch Studio.

Hopefully, the preview was helpful--maybe you already know or maybe you're in a band.  There are certainly some great bands milling around town right now who are NOT playing this show, but here's a chance to catch a good lot of them on one special night at one special place.  Do it.  Adam Mickiewicz would have wanted you to.

Good Morning.
 --sleepy anchovies
   5:38 a.m.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Autumn Incoming, Upcoming and the Usual Blah Blah Blah

It's fall and that's a bittersweet time of the year for me--my favorite season but also a time to remember some lost people who too loved fall or left this world in the fall.  The leaves are blowing inside (sometimes faster than the customers), the neighborhood critters are seeking warmer hangouts and lots of killer music to sooth the pain and prepare us for the inevitable cold.

The last month or so has been littered with some killer shows--some bands we watched "grow up" like thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall (but even their growing audiences haven't changed their attidudes, personalities or great music a bit), some who had grown up and left us only to return for a brief moment ( Hot Snakes earliest lineup passed as close as Toronto and let me say i HATE going to shows in Toronto--mainly the drive home, but the 'Snakes brought their a-game the the Horseshoe on this night and were stunningly great even tossing in an old Drive Like Jehu song towards the end), our own production (seed planted by terminal-boredoms Chuck Barrels) of Nobunny, Apache Dropout, Bad Sports and support from 2 of Buffalo's top acts-Mallwalkers and White Whale.  Memphis' CHEAP TIME made their third (underappreciated) stop through Buffalo in support of their third lp--the killer-pop of 'Wallpaper Music'.  Godspeed You! Black Emperor took a decade to put out a new album and pass through town,
I missed the saucy and talented Frankie Rose and attended a wedding while Rocket From The Tombs set Mohawk ablaze (again?!) but perhaps the top of the heap was the Pleasure Leftists playing to firewood stealing/no cover paying Rochester cretins (this one set up by the handsome young Get Mugged Gaffney) in a rented park cabin in an otherwise dark and deserted wooded area of Pittsford, just outside the crotch metro area itself.  The Pleasure Leftists bring a dark, brooding and erie brand of british post-punk (ala Joy Division--weak reference point, i know but it's true) with possibly the strongest female vocalist in any band on the planet at this time.  Incredible presence and projection from an otherwise humble front-woman leading this awesome quartet out of Cleveland.  Probably the best touring band i've seen all year, or at least up there at the top.  They have a 12" on Fan Death we occasionally stock--it's absolutely essential and crushes many of our top sellers of similar stock.  Look for a new batch of songs on the supercool HOZAC label hopefully by springtime.  Take a listen to their track "SUITS" from the self titled 12" and some poor sound quality live footage won't be far.
So, whats new?  Well in anticipation of Indie Black Friday, there have been a plethora (yes, El Guapo i do know what a plethora is and you do, indeed, have a plethora of pinatas.)

In the last update, a few of the bands mentioned, as well as in the above paragraphing mentioning some significant national tours, have bequeathed upon us brand new albums.  Thee Oh Sees 'Putrifiers II', Ty Segall--almost as ridiculously prolific as his pals thee Oh Sees put out a raw, killer 2x 10" 'Slaughterhouse' and has since, back to the Drag City label, released some more of his best work in years on the TWINS lp (theres also a 2 track 7" teaser which preceded it) which may not be quite as raw as Slaughterhouse but is full of thick guitar/drum pounders with melodic intentions that almost seems effortless for this young fella.  Both Twins and Slaughterhouse may be two completely different and essential beasts--and beasts they are, they leave last years Drag City debut 'Goodbye Bread' in the dust.  Where Slaughterhouse was for the fans who have been following Segall all along, TWINS will be the record to, not only keep the fanboys and girls happy, but break him into a much wider audience.  With the hype behind him and the killer tunes to back it up--expect Segall to be reaching a much wider audience while he continues to do what he was dropped on to this earth to do--produce killer rock and roll music.  If he weren't busy enough writing, recording and touring relentlessly, Segall (who toured with Mikal Cronin who played bass in 'the Ty Segall Band', he remains a reoccurring drummer in the cool as shit SIC ALPS who also have recently released a brand new full length--a self-titled lp.  Don't overlook the "underlooked" Sic Alps if yer a fan of the above mentioned artists--they are weirder and won't be filling huge clubs with fratboys trying to crowd surf, but they are no less an essential piece of this puzzle often drawing weirder pop-psychedelia with big chunks of Syd Barrett influences.  Their consistency has been puzzling on essential lp's like US EZ--but when they're on, they are ON.  The double singles collection is a great starting point, but what i've heard from 2012s Sic Alps is no slouching point (is that a term?  it is at 5:42 am).   Aw screw it, here's the video for the track "Glyphs".  Sic Alps also are on Drag City, the label who recently has offered up a fine reissue of Royal Trux "Accelerator" (1998) and their "untitled" lp's--both in stock right now.

                                            Sic Alps video taken from Sic Alps lp 2012   

A little late, as this update tends to be--were some key releases from a few upstart bands as well as some real winners from artists we haven't heard anything new from for awhile.  Godspeed You! Black Emperor put out their first lp in nealry a decade which is still in stock (barely).  From the Matador Group--Cat Power (Chan...meow!!!) has been mulling around 6 years before her highly anticipated SUN lp hit the shelves on the same day as The Xx's 'Coexist'.  The Deluxe version of Coexist was delayed and has arrived and in stock along with their self-titled  debut which remain at their lowest prices anywhere!   Don't be ripped by lazy, big box stores selling "hot new bands for credibility" at laughable prices--well you won't be laughing when you realized you paid $10 more than our list price.   That will always be the case as we tend to order direct to label or true independent distributor. 

Often stores will reap the 'cred' of calling themselves INDEPENDENT when they are bringing in inflated priced product  from the great satan companies who still don't get it.

Apache Dropout's second lp is fitting for Halloween but don't expect campy spookrock--anyone who saw their performance with NOBUNNY knows this upstart band is full-on midwestern weirdo psych-garage stripped dowwners rising from the basements of Lafayette, IN and even into the grimy paws at Pitchfork™ (who also loved them) .  By the time their rickety van hit Buffalo, they had a room full of rabid fans complimenting their brilliant set.

Pinback, Dinosaur Jr (who continue with the original line-up who brought it all back on the stunning FARM lp) both return with their unique, seminal sounds all their own. 

On the locally bred front, most recently, comes a beautiful third lp and 7" single from Roger Bryan/the Orphans (a band loaded with some of Buffalo's ace songwriters/players/bartenders/recording engineers/record collecting dudes) --"37" which is released on the bands own Harvest Sum--an outlet for a band who should probably be on a much larger label to distribute such hard efforts. 
On a darker, much more aggressively brutal front comes the ingeniously packaged GAS CHAMBER 7" compliments Warm Bath Label--another pro-quality underground local label run by the paychecks/beer ca return money of it's braintrust.  The first Gas Chamber 7" and the longplayer along with an amzingly well shot and recorded RUNNING FOR COVER DVD documenting one of our most well remembered and important hardcore units final two shows.  One shot at the ol' Sit-n-Spin (the shop which became Spiral Scratch) and the finale at Kitchen Distribution.  Essential and available only here or through Warm Bath Label.

WATER TORTURE a familiar 2 piece bombastic duo who have really come into their own with this most recent project of just the two of them, have a 7" (acclaimed in many reviews nationally) out that is going to sell out, seasoned veterans OLD GHOSTS (lp & 7") -who happen to be our source for an occasional offering of DEAD HEARTS (reunion show in the works).
cassette label DRUG PARTY continues to offer us their killer releases on cassette format which has been the choice of voice for non-related but no less worthy recent works from reborn songwriter (currently finishing an album backed by the mysterious Magi Chipi) Bill "Tracy Morrow" Nehill (each with individual hand drawn cover art) and Area Denial.

 The Numero Group, outspoken critics of the darker side of Record Store Day, is a fine re-issue label known for unearthing obscure gems (from soul/classic r&b to power pop) and beautiful packaging with great sounding (and looking) records.  " Buttons: From Champaign to Chicago " is 2 lp's worth packed with obscure power pop gems previously only known to rabid collectors with fat wallets.  Obviously a regional compilation, the Numero Group is the real deal and this twin set is bringing that out into the open.  At a price that seems like a steal, they also prove that labels charging $20 for a bare bones, single lp with half-assed packaging are once again, ripping off the customer or squeezing the retailer.   This comp has been largely ignored in the shop since it's arrival and I'm warning you not to pass it by as they were probably pressed in a limited quantity.

More reissues of note.
Sugar - Copper Blue
Sugar - File Under Easy Listening
Following the breakup of the legendary hardcore to pop band Husker Du both song writers/vocalists Bob Mould and Grant Hart embarked on solo careers. Meanwhile, bassist Greg Norton continued to sport his fantastic mustache and became a chef leaving music behind.  the others weren't finished.   A messy breakup it was, Hart struck first with his criminally underrated Intolerance which SST (Huskers label for much of their career) which was recorded all by himself with pointed songs aimed at his former bandmate, drug abuse, etc.   Meanwhile, Mould was taking the high road recording a few well received lp's before settling into a "band".  When Copper Blue first came out, I recall being blown away and stunned--it's not that the prior solo albums were that bad--this was just so much MORE.  What i was craving.  Intense was the (attached to this reissue making it a double lp) Beaster 12", some of Moulds angriest, most aggresive songs since the Husker days but not without the trademark melody.  Also included are a batch of b-sides and an entire live show.  Holy crap.  File Under: Easy Listening continues on attaching an extra disc of b-sides and boisterous live material.  Essential.

the Men - Immaculata  Prior to the Men gaining notoriety with their last two Sacred Bones releases--they debuted with Immaculata (as a full length) with a limited pressing of 500--which are obviously all gone by now.  Thanks to the supercool Deranged Records, this is now available again (along with their 2 latest) just in time for their passing through Buffalo on November 12th.  8 songs of desperate, fuzzed out, riff laden punk/post-punk that is both dreamy and droney--a sign of incredible things to come when Sacred Bones picked them in 2011 for the highly acclaimed "Leave Home" lp, a more aggresive, louder and noisier foray and this years all-over-the-map "Open Up Your Heart".  In Stock.

Monoshock - Walk Into The Fire  "A Buried Treasure" (MOJO mag), which Julian Cope declared "a Barbarian Classic" this mid-90's (1995 to be precise) garage-psych opus taps into the Stooges "Funhouse" along with earlier seminal bands names dropped such as Blue Cheer, Hawkwind and Amon Dull II blending into a monstrous double-lp masterwork which has been highly sought after 20 years after it flew--rampaged it's way under the radar of phony grunge rock and other alt.bullshit.  Hashtag that.  Revered by many of it's hometown bay area bands such as Comets on Fire and the Wooden Shjips as a prime influence, this reissue is beautifully (how that word works its way into a Monoshock write-up is beyond me) with extensive liner notes and a heavy cardboard tip-on gatefold jacket.  What else could be expected by the excellent S-S records who probably tossed a download code inside as well.  Fans of the heavy psych-punk genre should not miss this one if their lives depend upon it. 

Of course there's a lot more to mention, but this has taken 3 days to complete and we should let you in on these things before they're gone.   Some other notable incoming that I'll talk about more next time is a few Siltbreeze reissues of note: Dead C "Harsh 70's Reality" 2x lp .  Originally released in 1992, this was the bands fourth outing, an ambitious double album and with it preceding two well received albums--it had huge shoes to fill.
'People say that rock music died with the passing of Kurt Cobain. But The Dead C slaughtered it in its sleep with this tremendous set of grinding thud. It is in every sense the ultimate post-rock album. To hear it is to understand why one scribe back in the day referred to their sound as “a garbage truck backing over the abyss.” A legendary release from a legendary band on a legendary label.'
Then, a world away in Australia was Flying Nun's obscure Max Block "Air Ache In The Belly Of The Leech".  Few ever got their paws on this bands (who soon after became the Renderers) because it never saw official release.  Until now, that is in which this long player has pressed it along with some odds and sods for side 2.  Says Siltbreeze: "the Max Block pushed different boundaries than other active Christchurch bands at the time; they came out slinging a brain-splattering goo of art-spaced, Pere-Ubu-seared cerebellum, and frenetic, Mars-fried medula oblongata."  It's quite good stuff as well and is limited to 500 reissued copies. 
The Feeling of Love - Dissolve Me  This french band first caught me with their second long player, OK Judge Revival -- a Velvetsy influenced (with inspiration from the Fall/Country Teasers) romper of an lp that we were pushing before the fire in the shop. (my copy has charred corners but otherwise no fire-damage) It quickly became a staff favorite and has certainly aged well since it's 2010 release.  In that time a 12", Suck/Soul/Porn (2009) seemed like it should be wedged betwixt the 2010 lp and this, the incredible Dissolve Me lp released stateside on Kill Shamen.  Saving my favorite record of the lot for last, (Jesus Christ, i forgot to mention the Avengers self-titled classic seeing an official release for the first time, yet bootlegs have been readily available all along-Four Men With Beards has unleashed this.  Proper. sorry. back to what i was saying...) Dissolve Me is the best album we (myself included) didn't hear that was released in 2011. Probably one of the best bands we haven't heard of that we would dig, a shift in gears to the synthy/guitar driven follow the dots masterpiece that will catch you right away.  Key words overused like psych/synth/guitar/dreamy/droning/garagey (ever so slightly) all finally fit as each song is a new direction so subtle you'll barely notice as it unravels and shifts gears song to song.  It's the record I put on and whoever happens to be listening asks "who is this?"  It's time everyone discovers this way overlooked band before they DISSOLVE.  Their releases are not always long-lasting so grab them while you can.  This is fantastic record that is a familiar cat that is all it's own, minimal enough but not aping anything in particular--but a dose of Spacemen 3 if you require a name drop.  Getting the sound AND getting the songs right on.  What else can I say?  Discover this band any way you can.  Right now Dissolve Me remains where i set it the day it came in.   A+.  The best was saved for last this time. 
Here is the opening track in YouTube form:

 Thank you for reading, feel free to leave a comment or spread this along.  this is our website for now and I hope it's helpful for keeping you aware of what's been coming in and some of the more obscure stuff I know you will dig. 

next update:
 Buffalo's Third Annual Decency Rally Preview/Indie Black Friday/More Stock/a peek into our thousands of incoming used records/Our 4 Year Anniversary In-Store Customer Appreciation Party.

phew.  Happy Halloween, folks.

 11:27 p.m.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Shame on me...not an update since the chaos/good time that was Record Store Day '12.   They even changed the format so i'm not sure how this will turn out, but let's catch up with some new incoming stock and backtrack on a few cool shows we had in the Dungeon.

First, a cassette only release for Bill "tracy morrow" Nehill--Spiral Scratch's Comeback Playa of the Year.  As usual, an emotional, soulful set of some new songs and a few crowd-pleasing oldies. Bill has also returned, full throttle as a Scratcher, a consultant and one of our best pals since day 1.    Tapes, tapes, tapes...they are coming out as cheap, throwback ways for bands to quickly unleash their sounds.  Even an all-cassette label, Drug Party (whom we've talked about when they first fired up) is probably the most active.

A bit louder was the raging hardcore of Buffalo's BetterXTimes (whom i happen to dig quite a bit sprouting from a genre i am quite picky with) hosting Clevelands AGES along with Juggernaut  and another Ohio touring band called Juggernaut.    A fun show that didnt leave the joint stinking of beer and armpits.

Stay tuned for upcoming events at the Scratch by either liking our non-overbearing facebook page, twitter, .  

Another exciting thing is we actually sorta won something significant--Buffalo's Best Hipster Hangout.   A little taken aback at first as such an odd category was created and we ddint know we had been picked until the night of the awards--in BUFFALO SPREE magazine.  Look, we're all hipsters in this msuic thing we're all hooked on, so let that not scare you away.  You will never run into a room full of beret wearin', thrift store dressed music snobs--we're open to hipsters from all walks of life...including frumpy, down to earth music lovers super stoked to find that Near Mint copy of Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers in the dollar bin to run home and spark one up to.  I'm still not sure what makes someone a hipster...if it's an insult or a compliment.  Would you rather be a square?  I dunno...but if you pass through our doors, you're instantly alright by me (until you piss me off).

Another bit of exciting news is that we will turn 4 'round Halloween time.   Recalling the night fire nearly sunk us (and thanks Rise Above Tattoo guys--the coolest tattoo joint this inkless dork can ever claim), never thought we'd be trudging through another 2 years.   Thanks Buffalo, and all visitors who've supported us.   Most of all, thank you for your patience.  Sometimes it all gets overwhelming and those special orders just cant go out or can't be found and sometimes it was my fault.  Sometimes people ordered records only never to return.  Often, it was crap we couldnt give away.   And since a lot of vinyl is  non-returnable, hurt.   But with the help of some great friends (you will see them behind the counter from time to time), we are really back on our feet with a vengeance and super excited about some new releases from thee Oh Sees 'Putrifiers II' lp (due in any day now), Ty Segall Band 'Slaughterhouse' 2x 10" (while i don't care for the 10" format, this is a fuckin' killer release in a long line of 'em from Segall and other bands/projects he's been associated like Sic Alps, his recent collaboration with White Fence and Mikal Cronin (Moonhearts) and basically everything he's put out as Ty Segall/Ty Segall Band.   Both of these recent releases come from In The Red Records--a label we love and you can trust.  It's certainly more prolific than the garage-punk label it started out as back in the early 90s.  Recent releases from the Intelligence, Cheap Time and Timmy's Organism attest to that.    

New releases from Sigur Ros (a 2xLP and a 10"), Animal Collective, Cat Power, Bukkake Boys, Passion Pit, Fiona Apple, Neon Piss, King Tuff, Fresh & Onlys, Dinosaur Jr., Puffy Areolas, Merchandise, Buttons Comp from Numero Group (the label who had the costanas to call out Record Store Day last year in an interview I probably posted, Royal Trux, Japandroids, Monoshock and more,  along with recent locally bred bangers UTAH JAZZ, Water Torture, Hubris (CD only) and killer reissues from STEREOLAB, APHEX TWIN, LEE HALEWOOD, TALK TALK and the recently bootlegged and finally official reissue of primal texas punks DICKS (Kill From The Heart, These People & Peace? 7".

A new release, the first in 6 years or so,  from Cat Power has been lauded in the music press as her best work since the Greatest LP (so we re-stocked it so you could decide).  It's street date is 9-5, a rather popular release date for a bunch of new albums...though one of the higher anticipated releases, the XX "coexist" lp has been bumped to late September, so i thought to treat you to a new track from it.  ANGELS .  

As you probably know, Spiral Scratch Records will be turning 4 and we figured we'd treat you to a cool show that is way too big for our dungeon venue--so Clint welcomed it at his humble Funeral Home in Riverside--NOBUNNY, APACHE DROPOUT, BAD SPORTS supported by our own WHITE WHALE (gruff, but loveable and one of he best in town--the same can be said for...) and MALLWALKERS.   We'll have a full-on distro marked way down along with Terminal-Boredom and Feral Kid distros...but make sure to check the bands merch tables first because you can come visit us anytime.

Lastly, for this overdue update, don't sleep on the massive amounts of killer used stuff ranging from original Buddy Holly lp's to first wave punk, 90's prog metal (every Opeth lp, o.g. pressings and other stuff of that ilk), recent indie, punk and lots of classic rock, deep cuts and prog.  our jazz section is bigger than ever, too.   So yes, things dipped for awhile, i blame the heat, but we're back on our feet and we're going to be more stocked than we have been in a long time.  We have also been selling lots of great, vintage turntables, receivers and even used guitars and basses!  

Though we're sure to miss our flip-flop wearing neighbor named Smook, we're pretty stoked to have a retro-everything (from candy to furniture) opening soon next door in the haunted house of crackheads!   A bit of normalcy...if they only knew...but Bald Bill nor I have the heart to scare them off!   We wish them the best.

Thats all for now,'ll be hearing from us regularly once again and with guest contributions, too!
9-3-12   4:32 a.m.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Record Store Day Report!'s upon us once again...the quickly-becoming-a-national-holiday, RECORD STORE DAY. this is a day constructed to help pump some interest (and ca$h) into INDEPENDENT record stores (brought to you by the kind folks at ADA, warner brothers, wea, emi and more...heh).

By now you've seen the list. Just be aware that by this, the fifth RSD, there are PLENTY of amazing RSD exclusives that are not on the list, not approved by Record Store day, Inc--but possibly crucial to you as a music fan/collector. Some of these releases are as popular as the ones on the official list. Trouble In Mind will be releasing their annual 4-way split 7" single, for example. Revelation will be re-issuing some classic hardcore records (Farside "rigged" and others) and Matador will be offering exclusives from Sigur Ros, St. Vincent and Mclusky's amazing Do Dallas album--a british powerhouse of an album that any Jesus Lizard, early Touch and Go or Amphetamine Reptile fan outta check out--produced by Albini for extra kick. The band dissolved and members formed Futures of the Left after. I digress. What are we getting?
Well...i don't really know everything we're getting (except what I've mentioned so far. Want to know more? There are releases from LCD Soundsystem (12"), Destroyer and more.

Wanna see the official list? its right here . This year we'll be getting more titles than ever...both from that list and those that don't appear on the list. No real list yet, but that will come.

Since we're opening at 10 a.m., there will be a coffee station. We will have some of Buffalo's best bands and songwriters in our dungeon. In between, as usual, we'll be slinging some cool records while you shop. We're real excited this year and hope to see you.

what are we getting? well...let's see. we are normally a top 40 free zone (and thats the way we like it) and that won't change on Record Store Day. anyway, here are some of the goods:
Stax Singles Box
Tomahawk 3 lp Box
Lemuria 7"
Luna (2 different reissued lp's)
Uncle Tupelo (all 3)
Nobunny 7"
Sigur Ros 2x lp
Mclusky "do dallas" lp (staff favorite!)
Deatchcab For Cutie
m. ward

Arcade Fire 12"
Rainer Maria lp
Snapcase "Progression Through Unlearning" lp
Pussy Galore (first 7")
farside Rigged lp
Sensefield lp
Poison Idea 'Pick Your King' lp
Destroyer "Rubies"
The Cure
Devo "Live 1981"
Tegan and Sara
Trouble In Mind 4-way split (with Mikal Cronin)
plenty more rsd, loads of unseen used stock and our biggest backstock ever!

Yeah, thats the new shirt--a limited run for the occasion. we also have totes and slipmats with the old design done by mark hatley. all printed, with pride, in the USA by our good pals at ArgyBargy Printing.

lastly, but most importantly...the scratch dungeon will host some of our favorite bands and songwriters. starting at 11-ish with bill "tracy morrow" nehill. Also performing is Tony Flaminio, Returners, Matt Smith & the Immediates, White Whale, Brown Sugar and more...

i gotta get some sleep so i'm nnot trampled tomorrow, folks. see ya at 10 am! we wont be late--promise!

1:22 a.m. e.s.t.

Friday, February 3, 2012

winter (hardly) driving out of town concert calender

the out of town concert/show calender. ahh, the shows that pass over our market...they are not to be overlooked. though some of these bands will, indeed, hit buffalo (the Spits, for example, will be playing Soundlab in February), here is the winter show listings for the surrounding areas (4 hours driving, maximum) for you to check out. a printed version is always tacked to the bulletin board in the shop. as always, compiled by Chief Consultant and heavy dude-- Chuck "Filthy Rich" Barrels: editor of terminal-boredom. com.


2/4 = THE SADIES @ Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON

2/6 = ICED EARTH w/SYMPHONY X @ The Phoenix – Toronto, ON

2/7 = THE KILLS w/JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD @ Kool Haus – Toronto, ON

2/10 = LADYHAWK w/JULIE DOIRON @ Parts & Labour – Toronto, ON

2/14 = ENGLISH DOGS w/THE CASUALTIES @ Opera House – Toronto, ON

2/14 = VERNOICA FALLS w/BRILLIANT COLORS @ The Garrison – Toronto

2/14 = DIE ANTWOORD @ The Phoenix – Toronto, ON

2/18 = THE QUEERS w/THE ATARIS @ Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON

2/19 = THE QUEERS w/THE ATARIS @ Bugjar – Rochester, NY

2/21 = EVERY TIME I DIE w/TERROR @ Opera House – Toronto, ON

2/21 = SHARON VAN ETTEN @ Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON

2/22 = DROPKICK MURPHYS @ Sound Academy – Toronto, ON

2/22 = HOAX w/SQRM @ Now That’s Class - CleveOH

2/23 = CROCODILES @ Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON

2/23 = HOAX w/SQRM @ Siesta Nouveaux – Toronto, ON

2/24 = LES SEXAREENOS @ Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON

2/25 = VILE INTENT w/GAS CHAMBER @ Siesta Nouveaux – Toronto, ON

2/25 = THE SPITS w/TV GHOST @ Silver Dollar – Toronto, ON

2/27 = JANE’S ADDICTION @ Massey Hall – Toronto, ON

3/2 = THE WALKMEN @ The Phoenix – Toronto, ON


3/6 = DEICIDE @ Opera House – Toronto, ON

3/8 = POLAR BEAR CLUB @ Bugjar – Rochester, NY

3/10 = YOUNG PRISMS @ Drake Hotel – Toronto, ON

3/14 = BLACK KEYS w/ARCTIC MONKEYS @ Air Canada Centre – Toronto, ON

3/14 = HOUNDS OF HATE @ Siesta Nouveaux – Toronto, ON

3/15 = ODDFUTURE @ Sound Academy – Toronto, ON

3/15 = REV. HORTON HEAT @ Beachland – Cleveland, OH

3/15 = DIRTY BEACHES @ Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON

3/21 = TREBLE CHARGER @ The Phoenix – Toronto, ON

3/22 = ALL PIGS MUST DIE @ Now That’s Class - CleveOH

3/23 = THE MEN w/ RATIONAL ANIMALS @ Bugjar – Rochester, NY

3/25 = THE WEDDING PRESENT @ Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON

3/25 = MAGNETIX w/X-RAY EYEBALLS @ Now That’s Class - CleveOH

3/26 = MAGNETIX w/X-RAY EYEBALLS @ Bugjar – Rochester, NY

3/27 = ANDREW WK @ The Phoenix – Toronto, ON

3/28 = NIGHT BEATS w/TRMRS @ Now That’s Class - CleveOH

3/29 = OF MONTREAL @ Beachland – Cleveland, OH

3/29 = PSYCHEDELIC FURS @ Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON

3/30 = MAGNETIC FIELDS @ Sound Academy – Toronto, ON

3/30 = JUCIFER @ Now That’s Class - CleveOH

3/31 = CURSIVE @ Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON

4/4 = NADA SURF @ Opera House – Toronto, ON

4/7 = RASPUTINA @ Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON

4/8 = THE ENERGY @ Now That’s Class – CleveOH

4/10 = WYMYNS PRYSYN @ Now That’s Class - CleveOH

4/12-13 = YUKON BLONDE @ Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON

4/13 = HOWLIN RAIN @ Beachland – Cleveland, OH

4/14 = LUCERO @ Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON

4/15 = DISAPPEARS @ The Garrison – Toronto, ON

4/17 = THE ACACIA STRAIN @ The Annex – Toronto, ON

4/19 = DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE @ Massey Hall – Toronto, ON

4/21 = RACEBANNON @ Now That’s Class – CleveOH

4/24 = FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE @ Beachland – Cleveland, OH

4/28 = URBAN WASTE @ Now That’s Class – CleveOH

5/10-12 = HORRIBLEFEST VII @ Now That’s Class - CleveOH

7/19 = BEIRUT @ Sound Academy – Toronto, ON


new instocks/week of 2.7.12

Mark Lanegan Band - Blues Funeral Mark Lanegan's (Screaming Trees) first lp since '04 [Bubblegum] is no let down, or let up. Joined by the likes of Greg Dulli and Josh Homme, this anxiously awaited album does not disappoint.

Fucked Up - Year of the Tiger 12"

Mistreaters - 2xlp Those who recall the initial Rust Belt Revolts, they would recall Milwaukees blistering soul infected garage punk's, the Mistreaters. The Mistreaters called in quits a few years back and Kevin, the bassist started a label--the one who put out this double lp set of singles, non-lp-tracks, comp tracks and unreleased gems. Criminally unknown in the mainstream, anyone into wild garage rock would be doing themselves a disservice to not check out the defunct Mistreaters who also have albums on BigNeck, Estrus and now, Dusty Medical.

Horrid Red - Celestial Joy HORRID RED first appeared in 2010, emerging from the ongoing German / Cali Kraut-Punk institution that is TEENAGE PANZERKORPS (est. 2001). While that band is known for its violently propulsive sound, Horrid Red was established to explore the more elegant and arcane aspects of post-punk & pop.

Head On Electric - Sleep Slaughter Sheep - Already rumblings for album of the year, Milwaukee genre crossers dabble in catchy-garage punk, surfy-psych, dreamy numbers and beyond. Never underestimate the powers of Wisconsin.

Head On Electric - Sleep Slaughter Sheep - Already rumblings for album of the year, Milwaukee genre crossers dabble in catchy-garage punk, surfy-psych, dreamy numbers and beyond. Never underestimate the powers of Wisconsin.

OCS (Oh Sees) Songs About Death & Dying Vol. 3 (early material, reissued 3rd lp in a limited edition of 700 hand numbered copies. Silkscreen covers. Essential for fans of the band.

Poison Idea - Darby Crash Rides Again (2x lp set of early album plus earlier demos, outtakes 7 live. lots of great pictures inside the gatefold.)

OM - Live At Jerusalem (reduced price!)

IRON LUNG - Sexless/No Sex reissued.

Lost Sounds - 7" Their first 7" and some of their strongest tracks, ever. Originally on SolidSex LovieDoll labeland worth 3 figures. Now can be yours for 5 bucks. silkscreened covers, 4 songs.

restock action:


the xx - xx

kurt vile-smoke rings for my halo

king khan & bbq show - s/t

t. rex- the slider, tanx

spits - I, II, V

beirut - the rip tide

thou - summit

used section explosion! crass, grateful dead, jacko, red fang (and lots of stoner), james brown, zeppelin, nebula, pink floyd, the datsuns and tons more. incoming rack packed and tons of leftovers from Clutter III flea market. Also, a load of used 7"/45's including over 20 beatles or beatles related 45's. dig,dig,dig.

anchovies 2.5.12 4:27 p.m.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

More lists, Buffalo '11 and new instock report

So a few more lists came trickling in following the last post.

Pat Shanahan...a man who needs no introduction, but will get one anyway. Lead man of the soon-to-be defunct hardcore punk outfit Everything Falls Apart (bunch of records increasing in quality with each release) and tours...some overseas. Also 1/3 of White Whale, a post-punk juggernaut an arguably the best all around band operating in the Queen City at this time. In addition to this and that, Pat publishes SUBJECT zine and #2 just came out and is available at Spiral Scratch or wherever Pat is at that particular time. It's a quick, good read. Interviews with significant bands and released in a timely manner...welcome back print music zines and screw yer blog Anchovies!!!
Pat Shanahan's Top 11 records of 2011

1. GG King - Esoteric Lore
2. Predator - S/T
3. Plates - S/T
4. Brain F - Sleep Rough
5. Puerto Rico Flowers - 7
6. Brown Sugar - Sings of Birds and Racism
7. Total Control - Henge Beat
8. Mind Spiders - S/T
9. Shitty Limits - Speculate/Accumulate
10. Marked Men - On/The Other Side
11. Video - Leather Leather

Brian Kedzierski. The brains behind on the long running Gold Soundz Radio Program on 91.3 fm WBNY in Buffalo...a staple of indie and beyond music that is never "mailed in" like the Sabres, who he loves so much. Always informative, always a cool listen. One of WBNY's longest running jocks/radio shows. Back in the days when radio was king, your stinky podcast hadnt been invented yet and the local show covered the significant bands of the local scene, Brian was a huge part of that (until some know-nothing clowns ran him out). One of three jocks who uses the turntables. Also, a really nice guy. anyway, here's his list:

I knew I probably acquired the smallest amount of new rock ever, last year. So I was beginning to think I would be unable to get to eleven, but I found a few. In no particular order:

The Joy Formidable- “The Big Roar” (Atlantic)

Not paying for my television can sound like an insurmountable bump to most people who love wires cramming things into their lives, but I found a gem. Cool TV, which I recently found is now available on cable, comes to me via WNYO’s only digital sub channel. It is all music videos, including live performances now included on DVD from bands from the black and white era to today. I was humming Black & Yellow before most people at the mall, and I also found this Welsh band. “Whirring” was the song I saw a few times, which I u-tubed the band and then saw them in Rochester this past September.

Thee Oh SeesCastlemania (In The Red)

By great recommendation from Anchovies, I listened to this band and saw them at the Bug Jar in 2010 (sadly missing them last time around.) Good to know the band didn’t break up, as I originally thought when reading inside this disc John Dwyer recorded all the songs himself (save for two vocals by Brigid Dawson.)

LowYou May Need A Murderer” DVD

This quiet, look into the lives of couple Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s lives at home in Duluth, with their two children, Mormon faith, and on tour. There are some unplugged snippets of Low songs as well.

LowC’Mon” (Sub Pop)

Low’s ninth full length, and third for Sub Pop. A mix of their known slo-core style, along some recent bombast. Haunting and solid as ever.

The Raveonettes Raven In The Grave” (Vice)

Danish duo of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo’s fifth full length recording. More of the Raveonettes style that has been heard since Lust Lust Lust: Something that can be performed by two people on stage rather than a full band, less of a stab at charting on Billboard. Lyrical material a bit darker on this one though.

SloanThe Double Cross” (Yep Roc)

Halifax, Nova Scotia four-piece’s 10th full length in their 20 year history. The one band I have followed the longest. Most likely because they never gave up! I’m not wishing they would, although their 7th, Action Pact (a hefty stab by the band at breaking in the US), left me wanting something different. They came back hard with their 30 song Never Hear The End Of It, and now The Double Cross has them remembering some good pieces of past work without entirely re-recording past songs.

Men “Talk About Body” (Red/I Am Sound)

Some electronic dance music from Le Tigre member J.D. Samson and company. Some naughty lyrics effecting themes of sexual compromise and LGBT awareness. Slick sounding but would probably work way better with a few rickety synths and sweaty armpits in a living room.

Dum Dum Girls He Gets Me High” (Sub Pop)

A four song e.p. follow up to their 2010 debut I Will Be. More of the same style from I Will Be along with a rousing rendition of The Smiths “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.”

The Pixies have not released any new music, but have been on a Doolittle 20th anniversary tour for a couple years now. Watching them play the whole album plus b-sides in Rochester this past November was a treat.

And the final item, which is actually number one on the list, is getting engaged to my wonderful lady Jessica, this past spring. She has recently started helping out Anchovies with Thee Scratch, which makes her all the more desirable!


Adam Mayes/ sales guy Cobraside Distro/West Side correspondent

1. William Shatner- Seeking Major Tom
2. Blood Orange- Coastal Grooves
3. Jeff the Brotherhood- We Are the Champions
4. J Mascis- Several Shades of Why
5. Tom Waits- Bad As Me
6. the Oh Sees- Carrion Crawler/the Dream
7. Black Lips- Arabia Mountain
8. Spits- Spits (5th)
9. Wooden Shjips- West
10. Boots Electric- Honkey Kong

So, let that be the final nail in 2011. A great year for music, indeed--and a bad year for you to stop paying attention. Some folks say they don't follow new music but when did any of us "follow along"? We've always had to dig for the jewels. Before the internet, it was strictly the zines and older generations passing down the knowledge. Get a catalog in the mail and read about some band called Husker Du. Now with the internet some think it's easier...but there's just more shit out there, more poorly written reviews and blogs and just too many bands. So maybe it's harder...but you still have us to help you along. Where'd that Moonhearts record go, anyway?

Overlooked from the initial "Lists Post", on purpose, was the onslaught of Buffalo bred releases of note from last year. here are a few 12" releases that made their way into Spiral Scratch (if they didnt, we probably didn't get to hear them) and were significant enough to be mentioned herein.

Like a Panther-Rockpile lp This band is an island and that makes for desperation, unique sounds. A true indie band with noisy tendencies that is finally getting some notice in various online music sites, Rockpile is the result of more than a few years of a band making a record for themselves. It's a good one at that and hopefully the world starts to notice, though we told you so the day they were brought in. Oh, Bret used to be in Mockba in case you're keeping score. His lady plays drums and has evolved, over time, into a force on the traps.

Brown Sugar - "Sings of Birds and Racism" shit, man...this record was enough to make me hang it up altogether. It's a benchmark kind of record that will be looked back at in years to come. This is hardcore punk the way i've always wanted it to be like around here, but is the exception...and always has been in Buffalo. By the time Brown Sugar made their debut longplayer, they had become more than just a hardcore band...the influences and whatnot had made their way into the songwriting. (For further evidence, seize a copy of the Tropical Disease 7" on Fashionable Idiots (in conjunction with Feral Kid Records) for further weirdness and more-than-by-the-numbers-hardcore. Unreal. A month-long tour shows they mean business. Now just keep it together to make some more records, doo's. This is not just a local band as they are revered nationwide.

Mark Norris & the Backpeddlers - Songs of Guilt & Revenge - Once upon a time, Mark Norris led the local juggernaut Girlpope--a band most noted for killer live sets, cover sets (Slade sticks out) and a key influence on a garage rock scene that would emerge in their wake. Unfortunately, Girlpope disbanded before their time and years later Norris would make, in my opinion, his best set of recorded songs in his musical career. Backed by some respectable hired guns (and facing tragic circumstances in his life) Songs of Guilt & Revenge transcends so much nationally hyped flavor of the month garbage and once again shows Buffalo how it is done. In my opinion, it's the best thing he's ever done-- Norris' finest hour (or however long it is). A key local release of '11.

the Fucking Hotlights - High Society Torture Party Controversial superstars? High Society Torture Partiers? Dirty rock and roll hep cats? You love 'em, you hate 'em--it doesn't matter because Buffalo does need a band (or three) like this. First off, and this is important, this is a great looking record--a fine detail often overlooked by bands laying out their best hand. It sounds good, too. Grimy rock and roll from the AmRep school of noisiness. The live show is certainly a site to behold, but the record puts the songs in a more enjoyable light (unless you've had 12 beers and want the hot-n-handsome Johnny Toohill rolling your ankles while the band calmly delivers the soundtrack to his mental breakdown. I suppose either way, you're getting your moneys worth.

Lieutenant - LP Buffalo Hardcore fans have waited a long time for the release of this bombastic explosion of pure hardcore. They even got together one night and played an overwhelming set to commemorate the occasion. Featuring members of Resist Control (Matto), Gas Chamber (Pat Bolger), Lemuria (Alex Kerns) and local hero/jack of all trades/now ex-pat Eric Ellman–calling this a supergroup would be unfair and corny, yet ultimately true as all of the members are currently in other actively successful bands and 3 out of the 4 run record labels, all of which had a hand in releasing this. Matto’s Peterwalkee label, Bolgers’ Warm Bath Label and Kerns’ Art of the Underground all have their stamp on this slab–limited to 300 copies (100 which are colored). I’d give this one about a month or so to sell out. A snapshot of Buffalo activity right now, though the band is most likely not functioning on a regular basis–this document will be an essential album regardless. Probably sold out at this point, but do yourself a service and keep up on the activities of the labels who released this (all locally based). Peterwalkee, WarmBathLabel and Art of the Underground.
That is all for now as far as local bred LP's that passed through the shop in 2011. We are aware other great lp's came out, too. We'll get to those next post, along with the slew of amazing 7"'s and cassette tapes (Mallwalkers tape-only debut, Utah Jazz) and the hardworking labels that produced them.

One more thing not to be overlooked is Matt Smith's (HiLo Studio) digital only lp that he made, on his own, in his own studio. If there's justice in 2012, it will find a proper release and these songs will be heard live.
Until then, they can be found at : HERE
The name of the album is Immediate Concerns and features 8 killer tracks recorded on the eve of Christmas Eve, 2011. Hopefully physical copies and a backing band (featuring me!) are in the near future. meanwhile, Smith is part of Roger Bryan & the Orphans--who themselves released a critically acclaimed lp in '11 as well.

Rational Animals - Bock Rock Parade Technically not "local", these critters from Rochester have come a long way from the first time i saw them bashing on their instruments in a stinky basements to the weed(ing out)-rock punk they have evolved into, mining later-era Black Flag terrain though not aping it--putting their "upstate ny" stamp all over it. I guess you know what i'm getting at. Don't pass by their 7" singles, either...but this lp is a band growing up and dropping out. Too cool to overlook and we went out of our way to make sure these were in stock. Raised by Feral Kid and "matured" (probably use that term loosely) with their debut lp.

Thanks for reading. Here are some recent in-stocks:

Cheater Slicks - Our Food Is Chaos lp (early works with Alpo from real kids on bass!)
Cheater Slicks - Guttural Live
Florence & the Machine - Ceremonia
Cut Copy - Zonoscope
Electric Wizard - Black Masses
GG King - Esoteric Lore
the Saints - Eternally Yours
James Blake
Beach Boys - Smile Sessions lp (restock)
Yuck s/t
Foster the People - Torches
Culo - Life Is Vile...and So Are We
Intended Play: $1.98 lp featuring Matador?True panther Sounds artists and unreleased tracks from Fucked Up, Stephen Malkmus, Girls, Ceremony, Cold cave and more. 2 bucks!!
Black Keys - El Camino
Nothing People - Smells Like Metal
Mark Lanagen Band - 7" with exclusive b-sides
Guided By Voices - Let's Go Eat The Factory
Howler - America Give Up
Real Estate - s/t
Total Control - Henge Beat (final copies, out of print until further notice)

tons of used stuff, restocks and more in-stocks expected early the week of january 23rd.

also new in store are some beautiful, framed silkscreens and posters of the likes of the Who, MGMT, Hendrix, Kiss, Roky Erickson and more. Large full size and smaller sizes...none over $20. we also have a ton of new buttons made locally by Bit Part Buttons.

Dig Buffalo's indie record shop. Why shop anywhere else? Why?! Oh, because you like wasting money? Well that's not smart. We always order direct and, at the moment, order exclusively from independent distributors. Oddly enough, it's cheaper that way and we don't deal with corporate vermin. And you pay less and that's really all that matters.

5:47 pm

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2011...these all go to '11

2011. Coulda been a good one for you or a shit one. Either way, you'd have to have had your head buried deeper than a rabbit hole to miss even a handful of the great music that was released last year. It seemed overwhelming at times to even keep up with new stuff that was coming out from all directions. Some would-be classics, perhaps. And what else is there when all is going bad? Music. And regardless of sales graphs and numbers-- '11 was a great year for music. Standout albums, ep's, reissues and even the occasional "fan club release".
Speaking for myself, i could't possibly make a complete list as I didnt hear enough stuff to call that a fair, definitive list. It's a chunk of stuff that, as i spend my days behind a counter at Spiral Scratch, listened to repeatedly and was moved by in some form. But what's my opinion worth over any customer or "helper"? So instead of this post being about me--it's about others whose tastes i value as much as my own. Some even more. Never fool yourself about record store workers who sneer at you...they are merely humanoids who chose to work at a record shop (good move, too) over the local convenience store or cubicle hell. Your opinion is as worthy as anyone's (in most cases...but I still don't get the Black Keys, I'll trust they do something for you.) It's more about how important these releases were to us and that we took the time to express ourselves about them via this sloppy blog. We hope you get satisfaction, information and pleasure from, too.
2011 ended hard for me but I can find good in it. I did, and i too made a list. Lists spark debate sometimes, they can make you take a second look or totally question someones taste. Best case, they introduce you to something you may have missed. So without further ado, let's check out what Spiral Scratch and our friends found good about 2011. In no particular order...

Caitlin Hogan-Lazar
part-time employee, (sub)culture expert, soon to be "worlds greatest mom" and Spiral Scratch interior designer/organizer.

Best Album: Davila 666 - Tan Bajo
tie: Puerto Rico Flowers - s/t

Best 7": Diarrhea Planet - Aloha

Best reissue: John Spencer Blues Explosion - Now I Got Worry

Best song: Brain Flannel - Hand's in the Jar

Best show: New Pornographers @ Town Ballroom

Best new drummer in Plates: Jordan N.

Best cover song: Fatal Figures - Combination Pizza Hut Taco Bell (das racist)

Best Album Cover - Washed Out - Within And Without

Best Flyer- Cages, Sonorous Gale, River of Ichthyosis @ Mohawk

Best New Zine - Subject #1 (pat shanahan)


Derek Neuland - part-time employee, consultant, CEO of Bit Part Buttons and general 'sweet dude'. Also, one of the Thirsty Dudes* and zinesmith. A crucial asset to our little shop here. Derek responded swiftly with lists aplenty. Enjoy...

Top 11 Albums:
Fucked Up - David Comes To Life Dead Language - s/t Lemuria - Pebble Pains of Being Pure At Heart- "Belong" Joyce Manor - s/t Wild Flag - s/t Jay Z/Kanye West - Watch The Throne Shoppers - Silver Year Oathbreaker - Maelstrom Ke$ha- I Am The Dance Commander + I Command You To Dance:The remix album Big Eyes- Hard Life

11 Best Live Bands

Crystal Castles
Big Eyes

Joyce Manor Ume Procecession Lemuria Off With Their Heads Pleasure Leftists Screaming Females

Anchovies - owner, Spiral Scratch, big jerk and sloppy looking guy living a dream as long as I can while the rest of the world crumbles around me. I also love music, my mom and old lady, and miss a bunch of folks a lot which makes me crabby sometimes. here are some things that made me very happy, in no order at all, in 2011.

11. Human Eye - They Came From The Sky
Not their first, though most definitely the apex of Timmy Vulgers Human Eye. A bit weird, surrounded by incredible musicians--this may be his crowning achievement so far. Timmys Organism was no slouch either, but TCFTS is a whopper of an album that must be heard.

11. Total Control - Henge Beat - Don't ever let anyone tell you Australia isn't the home of the some of the best rock and roll ever made. You can take the Saints who owned first wave punk and go in all directions. Currently, Eddy Current Suppression Ring have caught the ears of the masses, and with good good reason. Mikey, who plays guitar with the breaking ECSR is also a key cog in this ace aussie outfit. Post-punk, some electronic, some rave up rockers--often herky jerky--Total Control strung it altogether (overshadowing several other great aussie releases) in seemingly effortless, perfection. This is real deal music, folks. Hey, I dug the ICEAGE record but it pales in comparison to this gem. Do not overlook their half of the tour split with thee Oh Sees whom they opened for across the US in 2011. Which leads me to...

11. Thee OhSees/Total Control/Paul Cary @ Bug Jar, Rochester, New York.
Ok, i was turned on to the Oh Sees by my pal Richie right about the time peanut Butter Oven was released. Shortly after, the amazing HELP came out and since then I've been preaching curious customers in their direction as best I can. Yes, Dwyer & Co. release an album every few months and they are not always perfect but considering the body of work to excellent quality, thee Oh Sees deserve every accolade they get. The 2011 lp was no slouch at all (both of them!) notwithstanding. Seeing them twice before, by the time this show happened thee Oh Sees had finally caught on way passed the small garage rock set that was the scene they emerged from. A packed house, half traveling from an hour west (that's here) and a body of new fans. My little secret had gone viral. I could have found a million reasons to say i enjoyed the other shows better, but this was the best show i'd seen all year. Adding the awesome Lars Finberg on second drum kit--this band is in peak form, commanding and just a mindfuck of a great performance. Total Control killing it right before (albiet some sound issues) was nearly as potent, but this was thee Oh Sees show and extending jams showcased how "on" this band is. You will NEVER see a show like this in an arena, not even the Town Ballroom. This is how rock and roll was meant to be viewed--and while thee Oh Sees are confined to small clubs, they will probably destroy it every night. My favorite show of the year. Traveling in a car full of cool was just gravy.

11. Brain F = - Sleep Rough - Punk rock with a girl singer. Not my usual cup of tea, but this lady sings/talks in such a unique and effective way (with male vocals responding) while the music is quite raucous, rough and grating. It takes a few listens, I suppose--but probably one of the more unique and killer punk albums in quite some time. the songs become catchy while maintaining a rowdy edginess. The singles are even more raw, but this album flows and evades comparisons.

11. Dayang q-t 50 scooter - nothing non-musical or human lifted my will to live like the $500 scooter i bought myself towards the end of the summer. Never would i have thought i'd end up on two wheels and speed just ain't my thing, but this scooter (which took some heavy vandalism and bad luck) was my favorite toy/vehicle ( i kinda destroyed the rest anyway). I am a lonley scooter nerd and plan an upgrade in 2012. maybe I'll make a friend who has a scooter and we can start a gang. 800 miles in 3 months. farthest trip: Buffalo to Lewiston and back.

11. Homostupids -Strawberry Orange Peach Banana lp
I almost forgot how this is far and away, my favorite Homostupids release since the first single. It's certainly not for everyone, but it's for me, man. Spinning off was Steves'amazing Pleasure Leftists 12" which is 180 degrees of difference--an outstanding Joy Divison-esque fronted by a killer female vocalist. I'm combining both of these releases into one since I wasted one on a stupid scooter! (ok, yer not stupid...but was it necessary??)

11. Sex Church - Growing Over A band we were fortunate enough to have booked and decided to have play in our own dungeon. The vibe, lighting and sound were all perfect that night, too. Those lucky enough in attendence saw a truly great band deliver the goods. meanwhile, since the early singles and subsequent 12" from last year, Sex Church is on a steady incline of improvement. Growing Over is yet another cerebral, post-punk, dreamy psych-guitar (and hooks) and effects driven piece of beauty. It was a pleasure to continue being sold out of them and knowing people had caught on to Sex Church without any (criminally unfair) online hype or chatter.

11. Psandwich - Northern Psych - Ron House is back (Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments) and although we never were able to stock this semi-obscurity due to its lack of availability, i'm not sure i listened to a record more than Northern Psych. The man can not only dance, but still belt it out in a love it or hate it cowl. Not every song is great, but the majority are serious winners. Advice: seek this out or i'm going to drive to Columbus Discount headquarters and grab some for stock.

11. Eddy Current Suppression Ring - So Many Things (double lp singles comp)
Spanning the first single, to scarce early versions of early songs to the different side of ECSR (demons demands among other longer, droning jams that are longer and more hypnotic than their typical lp tracks), this comp is really an essential release to one of Planet Earths greatest bands.

11. GG KING - Esoteric Lore - Almost passed me by, one of two shockers that I discovered in the last weeks of 2011. Ex-Carbona, this surpasses my beloved Carbonas (much different) and anything previously heard from GG King (two good singles). But this is just phenomenal. A dark, punk masterwork? Do i speak too soon as I haven't had 12 months to absorb...all I know is I can't stop listening to it and I apologize for not having stocked this. If there are any left, it is on order. Another is Mikal Cronin (Moonhearts) stunner of a solo album (in stock!) which was sent to me from Buffalo ex-pat (and all around nice guy who works for a distro we like) Matt Byrne. Produced by Ty Segall (and crazy flute by John Dwyer) this is more of a killer pop album with garage rock undercurrents than a garage lp. Some real sweets on this album that truly needs to be heard by garage and indie nerds alike--both will appreciate the talents of Cronin.

11. I'm leaving this slot, the final (even though there is no order here) open to those great albums i just didnt spend enough time with--but i know i will and i know i'm digging them already. Kitchens Floor (their second?) "Look Forward To Nothing", the Men "Leave Home", Pheremoans - "It Still Rankles", Tyvek "fast metabolism" ok--this is a top 11 but i simply ran out of room, and the vast number of crucial reissues or unearthed stuff like the Saints "Eternally Yours", Poison Idea "Darby Crash plus" 2x lp. Also absent is the onslaught of Buffalo bred music i have purposely left off so I can go into depth in a future post. I'm rambling...let's hear from the the others.

Andy Czuba. Another consultant, part time counter jockey and straightenr up of all things unorganized. A solid dude...but they're all solid, or they wouldn't have keys to the place on their keyrings! Also, a wildman in hardcore band the Strangers.

- Encoffination - O Hell, Shine In Thy Whited Sepulchres-
-Trap Them -Darker Handcraft
- Deafheaven - Roads To Judah
- Zola Jesus - Conatus
- DJing for the first time
- Throwing awesome shows for Trap Them, Gaza,
and Weekend Nachos
- Seeing Thou and Wolves In The Throne Room in the
middle of the woods in Vermont
- Rescuing my 3rd cat, Coach Dad
-Rescuing a several week old kitten from the outdoors where it would
have surely died
- Taking up Photography and having photos appear on
records and in magazines
- New job that I actually don't hate
Large event co-ordinator, spiritual guidance, Record Store Day counter princess and all things indie rock consultant--this post would be incomplete without the input of our better half. Remember...behind every sloppy, poorly dressed, immature and disoriented man, theres a ...wait a minute. thats not the saying! Lets just get to the list. as with most of these, there is no particular order.

Top Albums

-Zola Jesus - Conatus
-Wild Flag - s/t
-Vivian Girls - Share The Joy
-Real Estate - Days
- Atlas Sound - Parallax
-Cut Copy - Zonoscope
-St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
-Bon Iver - s/t
-PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
live shows
-Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings/Charles Bradley @ Town Ballroom
-Mark Kozelek (solo acoustic) The Mansion House, St. Catherines, Ontario

Chuck Barrels, CEO , co-host of Scratch -n-Sniff Radio, musical mastermind, ultimate Scratch consultant and one of the greatest dudes walking earth. A true man's man (whatever that means). His name is actually Richie. Here is his list.



Disclaimers: listed in no particular order; no local bands included so no one is offended; all products were released in the 2011 calendar year.

1) HUMAN EYE “They Came From The Sky” LP (Sacred Bones)– I never thought a band could be as cool as Hawkwind, but then again I never thought a mutant like Timmy Vulgar could exist on this worl either. Best record of 2011, whether MRR wants to covert them or not.

2) FEEDERZ “Ever Felt Like Killing Your Boss?” LP (Broken) – reissued for the second (third?) time, this is one of the most underrated classic punk LPs from a band that also never really got their due. Sick stuff.

3) POSION IDEA “Darby Crash Rides Again” LP (TKO) – the earliest recording of PI, 1981-82 demos and a live radio set from ’83. Fantastic sound considering the source material, great liner notes from Jerry A, gatefold with photos, etc…Pig Champion’s guitar never sounded so primal.

4) TV GHOST “Mass Dream” LP (In the Red) – if you saw them kill at Soundlab, you know what I’m talking about. The A-Side of this might be my favorite sequence of songs all year. Weird and scary and punk.

5) HOMOSTUPIDS “Strawberry Orange Peach Banana” mini-LP (Fashionable Idiots) – AMERICA’S GREATEST BAND unleash another masterpiece. This one is their ‘Dark Side of the Moon’.

TYVEK “Fast Metabolism” LP (M’Ladys) – the LP they should have released a couple years ago finally sees light as it should have been presented. DIY art-punk of the highest caliber.

7) CHEATER SLICKS “Our Food Is Chaos” LP (Almost Ready) – essential early recordings from the masters of misanthropy.

8) SEX CHURCH “Growing Over” LP (Load) – if you were transported to another dimension during their performance in the basement of the Scratch like I was, you should already own this. If you missed it, you should immediately buy the best guitar-psych record of the year.

9) GG KING “Esoteric Lore” LP (SOD/Rob’s House) – ex-Carbonas frontman puts together a schizophrenic KBD/goth/metal classic.

10) Folded Shirt s/t 12" (Fashionable Idiots) – pure genius. That’s all I can say.


Last, but not least is the bearded lothario. The man who defies space and time constraints in the name of rock and roll, screen printing , and just being a great man. He hasn't manned the counter in some time due to his busy schedule, but we hope to have him back as soon as he is able. He also runs the wildy prolific Feral Kid Records with the fruits of his labors, nearly single-handedly giving the Buffalo punk scene a voice on vinyl. Somehow, he found time to make a 2011 retrospective list. Read on...

Top 11 of '11

Any moron who makes blanket statements saying that no good music comes out anymore is CLEARLY not paying attention or listening to the right records. This year was insane!!!! There are far too many good records, and I won't cheapen any of them by attempting to put a numerical order to these. My top 11 records will be listed in alphabetical order and are my favorite 11 records of any format that came out this year.

The Beach Boys - SMiLE LP Capitol Records
I'm not gonna spend too much time bothering to talk about this one. What could some chump like me say that hasn't already been said about this record? The sticker on the shrink wrap of SMiLE refers to it as "The Most Anticipated Record In Rock 'N' Roll History". It's the shelved recordings that were to be the followup to Pet Sounds in 1967. What else really needs to be said? I can understand someone's skepticism, but It's actually quite good and a lot darker at times than people seem to think The Beach Boys are capable of. After hearing this record I can certainly see why the recording of it led to some mental breakdowns for Mr. Wilson, or maybe it was that pesky kid next door….who knows? Either way; dark, goofy, catchy, beautiful record.

Brazilian Nuggets Volume 1; Back From the Jungle LP Groovie Records
I am an absolute sucker for compilations such as these. This is the first of a three volume set which i cannot WAIT for the next two to become available. Every aspect of this LP rules; from the killer artwork, to the full color photos in the gatefold, to (most importantly) the music contained within the grooves! The archaeologists at Groovie Records have exhumed a cavalcade of hits here. It spans a pretty diverse realm of tunes from the '60s and '70s in Brazil. Dingy garage gems are intertwined with weirdo psych influenced jams and bizarre rock 'n' roll type tracks which WOULD be some very anthemic songs if they weren't cursed with their obscurity due to the oppressive regime of Brazil at the time. Anyways, this comp rules. Pick it up if you dig any aspect of garage rock, psychedelia, pre-punk weirdness, or have an interest in world music.

Davila 666 - Tan Bajo LP In The Red Records
I had been hearing good things about this band for a while now and snoozed on them for far too long. The snooze button was intentionally hit once again though even after hearing the praise of this LP. I just couldn't get past the godawful cover art of this one. It's terrible! It truly looks like nothing I would ever want to hear. All of that, however, melts away once you actually hear the record. These songs are incredible and will be stuck in your head like the worst radio pop songs….the difference is that these songs are actually GOOD! Be prepared to possibly seem culturally insensitive as you WILL be singing these songs at high volume in the shower even though they may not be in your native tongue. Hopefully any Puerto Ricans within earshot will understand the sheer power of these poppy garage rock gems and not be offended by your poor spanish; misinterpreted and sung at high decibels.

Dead Language - s/t LP Iron Lung Records
This behemoth record has received a good amount of hype since its release, and with good fucking reason! It's unreal! The angriest hardcore record I've heard in a long fucking time! There is NO reason for anyone reading this to not have this record. I mean, come on, its IRON LUNG with local madman Dave Bailey (Gas Chamber, Solutions, Cages….) on bass with the dude from No Comment singing and also has dudes from Walls and Pig Heart Transplant doing other things (not entirely sure who did what so i don't wanna give the wrong info).

Death Trap - No Hicks EP Feral Kid Records / Warm Bath Label
Alright, I recognize that it may seem a bit screwy that i am putting a record that I released on my Top Records of the Year List. Egomaniacal, huh? Well I don't care! It's THAT GOOD! This record has been in the making since 1984 and only saw the light of day this year (even though the labels on the record say it came out in 2010, it did not). This record deserves ANY sort of excitement that it creates. Death Trap is the missing link between KBD punk and 80's hardcore. How in the world this had gone 27 years without seeing the light of day is the most monumental travesty that I can think of. Having been listening to these songs very regularly for the last number of years while we worked out the specifics of the release, I can honestly say that they do not get old or lose their edge. Truly the best kept secret in punk! Buy this record and bow down to the mighty Death Trap!!

Group Flex - Flexi 7" Compilation Castle Face Records
In 2011 aesthetics cannot be overstated. We live in a time where people don't think they need to buy records because the music is instantly available at their fingertips without spending a cent. Well my friends, this comp is a perfect example of how to break people away from that mindset. It's BEAUTIFUL! This is a steno bound book containing 5 flexi 7"s (and one record pressed on cardboard, yikes) each with a different band on them and cool artwork. You turn to the flexi you want to listen to, put the book on your turntable, and play the whole damn thing! AND it actually sounds really good. This is truly a work of art. Bands include; Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin, The Fresh & Onlys, Barb Wires, and Blasted Canyons and the whole thing is very listenable. Super catchy and memorable tunes by most of the bands.

Human Eye - They Came From The Sky LP Sacred Bones Records
Human Eye is another band that I had seen live before being aware of their recorded output. After seeing them for the first time a few years ago, and taking the time necessary to pick my jaw off the floor, I was eventually able to slowly make my way over to the merch table and somehow formulate the words necessary to explain that I wanted to purchase anything they had for sale, though it was probably just a lot of grunting and pointing. Human Eye's records up till now are good, don't get me wrong, but I've always felt that there was something missing. Whatever the hell it was, they FOUND it on this LP. It's INSANE! I don't even know how to begin to review it, its just plain bonkers! To fully experience Human Eye, I must insist that you go out and see them, but this record is the closest that i think they will ever get to capturing the intensity of their live show.
Lieutenant - s/t LP Art of the Underground / Warm Bath Label / Peterwalkee Records
Roughly seven years ago I was lucky enough to see this bands beginnings at their first Buffalo, NY appearance. It was pretty awesome then, and in 2011 when they played again it was mind-blowing! This LP has been talked about around the area here for a very long time and now that it has finally seen the light of the day I couldn't be happier. Four of the heaviest hitting dudes in the local area really upped the ante with this record. Pissed off fast hardcore punk with killer riffs, heavy drums, and demented vocals. Oh, and that pretty bass outro, FUCK! WELL worth the insanely long wait!

Organized Sports - "i'm So Proud of Him" LP Bulkhead Records / HIV Town Records
This year i was not only lucky enough to get into this band, but was blessed with seeing them in three different cities; Cleveland, Buffalo, and their hometown Portland, OR. From the first night seeing them i was floored! This is my kinda hardcore, pissed off from start to finish, and incredibly sincere. Super entertaining live, and the record does not disappoint. There is no bullshit on this LP whatsoever. If you like old sounding, pissed off hardcore-punk, you HAFTA like this band.

Rational Animals - Bock Rock Parade LP Katorga Works Records
Rochester, NY's unwanted bastard child returns with their third release to date, this time with their debut LP - Bock Rock Parade. I am a very biased man when it comes to this band, having put out all of their releases up to this point, but i had nothing to do with any aspect of this record. I can't help but WISH that i did though. It rules so damn hard! The riffs have gotten a bit more complex from the first two EP's and at times almost seem like they could be the song playing as you ride on a carousel. Even with the circus riffs though, the grit on the solos and the anger and desperation coming through on the vocals make this one downright disturbing record. I challenge you to be in a good mood while listening to this, and i mean all of that in the best possible way.

Shoppers - Silver Year LP Feeble Minds / Dugged Conscience
This has been one incredible year for western and central NY bands putting out killer records. Shoppers "Silver Year" LP is no exception to that statement. I've seen this band a handful of times over the last few years, and watching them progress to this has been awesome. Silver Year is a masterpiece. This record is really dark and disturbing in musical and lyrical content. When i got it on cassette before the LP came out, I couldn't stop listening to it. I just let it play over and over and over again feeling that there was still more to grasp from it. I feel like there should be more said about it, but STILL am not able to adequately put it into words. I love this band, and this record. They're becoming a touring machine, so do yourself a favor and find a way to catch them.

Wait, there's more to come...a few customers submitted lists! Without their permission, here they are!

Joshua Cerretti posted:
Good Luck 'Without Hesitation'

Office of Future Plans 's/t'
Pygmy Lush 'Old Friends'
Roll the Tanks 'Broke 'til Midnight'
Hawks and Doves 'Year One'
Bridge and Tunnel 'Rebuilding Year'
Star Fucking Hipsters 'From the Dumpster to the Grave'
Elliot Brood 'Days into Years'
Scorpios 's/t'
Mastodon 'The Hunter'
Samiam 'Trips'.
I think that's 11.

"Uptown" Bobby Ellis, browser and man about town:
Ice Age - 'New Brigade'
Real Estate - 'Days'
Twin Sister - 'In Heaven'
La Sera - 'La Sera'

Total Control - 'Henge Beat'
Destroyer - 'Kaputt'
The Beets - 'Let The Poison Out'
Sea Lions - 'Everything You Always Wanted To Know...'
Thee Oh Sees - 'Carrion Crawler/The Dream'
Pure X - 'Pleasure'
Men - 'Leave Home'

Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to write about the records you loved or the good times had in 2011. If you'd like to contribute a top 11 of '11 list, it's not too late. send us an email at spiral scratch records and we'll post it. In the meantime, we'll do our best to re-stock many of these and keep the best of '12 coming in as we can. remember--you are the shareholders and you keep us alive, no multi-millionaire backing here. but we shall grow in the coming year and keep you supllied with the best music available. you can help letting us know just what that is, too.

part 2 forthcoming.



5:39 a.m.