Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hook Branson

No, not the practice of disemboweling Richard Branson with a rusty meat-hook, not that there's anything wrong with that, but a strange and ungainly melange of a couple of memes I've been following. Let's get rid of the shortest one first. New York Magazine manages to visit Red Hook without propping the mighty Lillie's. According to at least one scumclown the place is still open, and sells good barbequeue, so it must be that they hate lesbian limey cowgirl singing bartendresses. Shame!

The other thing we wanted to talk about is Rocket From The Crypt. We were, until about five minutes ago, completely unaware that they were to split up. This news has been a tad difficult to digest, even if we did include a somewhat barbed aside in our post from a week ago. Holy balls b*ggery! Turns out the Hot Snakes have disbanded too!

Which news probably ends our credibility for ever as a purveyor of reliable and timely information regarding garage rock. But does leave us free to speculate as to what John Reis, Jr, aka Speedo, might like to do next. The smart money would be on him making it in soundtracks, even though most movies these days seem to want music that sounds like the Crystal Method, which is a pity. Speedo is an undoubtedly gifted arranger, occasionally visited by a strong melody as well, although not as often.

Also, it should be noted, an infuriating bastard, but if you've been the scene king of San Diego as long as he has, this is probably to be expected. a laddy of our acquaintance once met him at a show at the Bowery, and started babbling about how much she had enjoyed the show, capping the torrent with a "you must think me very square." To which Speedo replied "no, it's more circle", a retort that is most definitely not genius, but gives you some idea as to how his liner notes read. For more, read his latest missive at Swami, where we last sent you to buy Hot Snakes merch.

But there was magic somewhere between the squally, scrappy, punky early stuff like Paint As A Frangrance and the later, more baroque stuff (Cellos? You idiots, you have commited the exact same act of self mutilation as almost finished Therapy?)!). And it was called Hot Charity.

Hot Charity was originally limited to 1000 copies or something, and we were very pleased with ourselves to pick up a copy at a long-forgotten record store in Cambridge. It was quite possibly the first vinyl we ever purchased, and had the stickers on the wrong sides. This has unfortunately not translated into one meelion dollars potentially on eBay. But we still love the album very much.

It has more tunes than most of the other RFTC records. It is shorter. It has more backing chanting. And Speedo disclaimed the use of advanced recording devices. It was, in short, the perfect first candidate for the LP recording software. We will post our favourite song ever, a song we love even more since, because of the aforementioned sticker mix-up, we thought it was first on the album. They never play it live, and have only about two more chances to do so. Needless to say, the farewell shows are good and sold out. If there really are fairies, now's the time to make us believe.

Rocket From the Crypt - "Cloud Over Branson" (scratchy vinyl recording)
Buy "Hot Charity" here. Not the vinyl, but that deosn't make you a bad person.


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