Total Control & UV Race live in Atlanta ’13

Oh hey, internet. How you? Me good.

Of course, I’d be lying if I said I’ve not been dying to post to the Chunklet site and read/fawn all over the accompanying comments, but we’ve been overrun by bots. Bots! In 2013! Can you believe that nonsense? Anyway, I’m sure you’re curious where to get Gucci bags, but the comments have been suspended until a new website design can be sorted out.

In the meantime, my show so far for 2013 (apart from a scorching Loincloth who played to 20 people on the same stage a month earlier) is Total Control and UV Race at 529. It’s rare that a show bonks me over the head where I make absolutely sure to carve time out for it, but here is such a case. Two of Australia’s finest (with Austin’s own Paraquet Courts opening) played in a veritable shoebox. A perfect room for this? Oh, you better believe it.

UV Race at 529. Photo by Mike White

I’m not going to bore you, dear reader, with descriptions of both bands’ sets, but instead (and entirely with their permission) I’m including live recordings. Yeah! Just like Southern Shelter or NYC Taper or something. How d’ya like that?

A stellar pair of performances and hey, Total Control share more than a couple new tracks which you can spot on the set list (see below, wise guy).

Total Control at 529. Photo by Mike White

Thanks to Sloan for helping polish this recording up slightly.

Also, to those numb nuts that care about this stuff, here’s a lossless version of this admittedly trashy performance. And UV Race and Total Control by themselves.

Total Control – Live in Atlanta ’13

UV Race – Live in Atlanta ’13

Man…or Astro-Man? Defcon 5,4,3,2,1

Man or Astro-Man? have returned to earth for the human masses and after years of hibernation they are now unveiling their finest recorded work to date. It has been nearly 12 years since the band last released their intergalactic sonic wave forms, and the new album, Defcon 5…4…3…2…1 is here now with a striking validity that the band is unquestionably as both tuneful and energetic as they ever have been. The record combines ever-familiar Astro audio tones and the well-established playing ferocity that MOAM? are known for, but yet now, there is an undeniably evolution to the band that is both intuitive, logical and well crafted. Defcon is here and is here with imminent purpose.

Always known as an unstoppably powerful live band, in 2010, the original lineup of Birdstuff, Coco and Star Crunch reformed to play a series of shows, and since then, they have been putting on some of the best performances of their career. Recorded with longtime Astro copilot, Steve Albini in Chicago, IL and also with Daniel Farris of Denial Labs in Birmingham, AL, the new album finds the band bringing their unique powerful style of Science Friction back to greater humanity in supreme form. It seems Man or Astro-Man? haven’t missed a beat, and the newly recorded material finds the band being as inventive and propulsive as ever. Now put on your space helmet on and strap in. The countdown begins now…

Available for preorder now!

Here’s a link to just the record.

And if you want to get the record/shirt bundle, click here.

And if you want just the t-shirt, click here.

Jason Molina RIP

Monday, 10AM. Not the time you expect to get a telephone call from an old friend. But sadly, I’m accustomed to it. Far too much.

On Saturday night, March 16, 2013, Jason Molina, the songwriting force behind Songs:Ohia and Magnolia Electric Company died from a body that had been drowned in alcohol for years on end. He was far too young to die and his friends and fans have experienced a massive loss. Jason was 39.

I first met Jason back in the 90’s when touring musicians would book shows on a pay phone while on the road. Jason was having difficulty booking a show in Athens (I was living in Atlanta by this time) and I arranged him to have a show at a tiny bar on College Ave. That was 1998. After that, we became quick friends. He toured the South routinely and would stay at Chunklet HQ and we’d trade quirky stories and laugh our asses off.

Jason was great by himself, but once he had the touring entourage that became Magnolia Electric Company, he really shined brightly. Maybe too brightly.

What many of us were slow to find out is that Molina had a pretty significant drinking problem. This disease, which snuffed out his life, controlled Jason for most of the last decade.

What made Jason so endearing was his lack of pretense. For as intense as he wrote, he was a goofball. But maybe, just maybe, his music was alluding to what was fighting inside him. The demons. The ghosts. The pain. The disease.

I get it. And, sadly, I get it all too well.

Jason Molina by Wes Frazer

About a year and a half ago, I wrote an impassioned plea to Jason’s fans. His estranged wife and bandmates would direct people to the post to better understand what he was going through. As a friend and a fan, I didn’t want to sit passively while he killed himself. Of course, even with all of his friends never leaving his side, he cashed out on Saturday night in Indianapolis with nothing but a cell phone in his pocket. My sincerest condolences go to his family who received the news.

Jason leaves behind him an enviable body of work that will be continually rediscovered because what Jason wrote wasn’t fashion. It was his heart. It was his love. It was his demons. And ultimately, it brought his life to an end.

God’s speed, Jason. God’s speed.

(including a live performance Jason did a block from my house back in ’05.)

Me, JMo and touring bro at Barrie Buck’s, 2005

Jason Molina – live on Newton Ave ’05

Man…or Astro-Man? Scheduled To Release Second Volume of New Material in November

Man or Astro-Man? return (yet again) with more new material. In 2010, the original lineup of Birdstuff, Coco and Star Crunch reformed to play a series of live shows, and since then, they have been putting on some of the best performances of their career. This is the second installment in their Analog Audio Series and their string of hits show no sign of slowing down. "Communication Breakdown Pt II" and "All Systems To Go" are two tracks that will appear on their upcoming full length and "Chemical Cats" is exclusive to this release. Enough with the filler, here comes the killer.

Packaged in a custom chipboard, die-cut cover with an acetate window and sealed with a foil sticker.
Recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio
Cut direct to lacquer at Chicago Mastering Service
Artwork by Aaron Draplin (
Available exclusively on light green vinyl only at
First 200 copies available on clear vinyl (only one per customer/order)

Side a: Communication Breakdown Pt II

Side b: All Systems To Go/Chemical Cats

There’s also a new reprint of Vol 1 of the astro single on RED vinyl for those of you that care about that sort of thing.

Chunklet To Go Go at Vice: An Update

You Know The Jolly Show Must Go On: Bill Doss 1968-2012

I’ve come to the point when I get an unexpected call from a friend, I’m dreading what I’m going to hear. About 30 minutes ago, one of my best friends Andrew Rieger called to tell me that Bill Doss had died.

Bill. Billy. A fellow freak. Dead. The cause has yet to be determined.

Bill Doss and I met each other in the din of Athens of the early 90’s when nobody outside of town cared about us. Cheap rent. Cheap booze. Good times. Let’s do this. Bill was always flanked by his childhood friends from Ruston, Louisiana, Jeff Mangum and Will Hart. At that time (late ’92/early ’93), they were in a band called Synthetic Flying Machine who were always considered nothing other than weird by Athens standards. Syd Barrett backed by the Minutemen. That’s how I think of them now, and still thought of them back then.

Bill had been recently discharged from the U.S. Army (as witness by his issued combat boots he wore in town) and was growing his hair out and expanding his mind in the Classic City. Athens was still a small town then (at least among those that weren’t students) and we’d run into each other everywhere. We had a mutual love of drone, noise and krautrock, not to mention a similar sense of humor. We just clicked. Very fast. And it still feels like yesterday.

Julian and Bill, Atlanta ’96

Synthetic Flying Machine would appear infrequently as Jeff was always traveling and Bill would tour with Chocolate USA. It wasn’t too far along before the Olivia Tremor Control (always note the "The" as it’s part of their name) started playing in town. Jeff named the Olivias as the Olivias named his new band, Neutral Milk Hotel. And so it became.

The gang of misfits and oddballs in Athens continued to grow, morph and develop. By the time I got up the guts to ask Will and Bill if I could release an Olivias record, they were mentioned far and wide, but rarely, if ever, in town. It was still a blissful and talented vacuum of naiveté. To call those years good times would be an understatement. Funny enough, the very first time I smoked weed was under Bill and Will’s direct assistance. He might be embarrassed by this fact, but like almost everything with Bill, he’d probably laugh and move on.

As things go, house parties led to coffee houses led to opening gigs for touring national bands and, eventually, The Olivias were established in Athens and got a record deal with Flydaddy and a well-connected booking agent. He toured. I worked. He came home. I toured. He went back on tour. I went on unemployment. It’s the age old story….

Oddly enough, when I left Athens to actually make a living wage in Atlanta, Bill and I still were close. I put on a number of Olivia shows at the Echo Lounge and we’d run into each other at out of town gigs. Always. ALWAYS. Always a great time. Smiling. Laughing. Bill.

Will, Eric, Bill and John, Athens ’95

He and his wife were very supportive of me during very difficult times and would routinely check in on me during some particularly trying times in the late 90’s. Bill was a bro. And as you go through life, you get very few of those. I’ll always cherish that about Bill.

And I’ve not even mentioned Bill’s musical prowess because, well, it all speaks volumes for itself. Yes, Bill was good. Will was good. Talented. But together? Forget it. They were a powerhouse. Unquestionably. Bill’s permanent legacy is his music. A wide swath of material that you wouldn’t imagine that came from a kid from the flatlands of Northern Louisiana. Bill left an indelible impression. No doubt.

Billy D is survived by his companion of over 20 years, Amy (who he continually dedicated "Jumping Fences" to while on stage), his other companion Will Hart, a loving family and a virtual army of friends and fans.

Out of respect to Amy, Will, the Olivias and the Doss family, please know that any memorial or funeral arrangements will be posted here for all those coming out of town.

UPDATE (2AUG12): Join us for a celebration of Bill Doss’ life. Saturday, August 4 from 2-4p.m. at the 40 Watt Club, 285 West Washington St. Athens, GA. (further arrangements are being made)

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make donations to Nuçi’s Space, a local musician support & resource center.

Bill’s personalized guitar. Landfill ’95.

Man…or Astro-Man? Release Brand New Material Leading Up to Full Length Next Year

Man or Astro-Man? return with their first new material  in well over twelve years. In 2010, the original lineup of Birdstuff, Coco and Star Crunch reformed to play a series of live shows, and since then, they have been putting on some of the best performances of their career. This record jumpstarts a series of singles that will culminate with a full length release in the beginning of 2013. Recorded with longtime Astro cohort, Steve Albini, this first installment in the Astro Analog Series finds the band bringing their unique brand of Science Friction  back to the masses in supreme form. As all their recent live shows have proven, Man or Astro-Man? haven’t missed a beat, and the newly recorded material finds the band being as inventive and propulsive as ever. “Defcon 5” and “Anti-Matter Man” will appear in some form on the impending full length and “Mr. Space” is exclusive to this release. Now put on your space helmet on and strap in.


Packaged in a custom chipboard, die-cut cover with an acetate window and sealed with a foil sticker.

Recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio

Cut direct to lacquer at Chicago Mastering Service

Artwork by Aaron Draplin (

Available exclusively on orange vinyl at


Chunklet Releases Exclusive Vinyl Single by Chicago Legends: TAR

Tar. The Chicago four-piece packed it up after a set at the Lounge Ax in 1995. And here, seventeen years later, they’re returning to perform this summer at the PRF BBQ in Chicago. To honor the occasion, Chunklet Industries and Tar are proud to bring you a limited 7" featuring two previously unreleased songs. "Feel This" and "Hell’s Bells" were recorded during the Over and Out sessions and have been unheard since. "Feel This" is practically two Tar jams crammed into one (and that very well may be the case) and yes, "Hell’s Bells" is an AC/DC cover complete with service desk bell. Much like the magicicada, Tar is back for now. But get in on it now or you’ll have to wait another seventeen years.

Read an early (glowing) review over at Still Single.

Tom, Whitney and Marc use the Winger, 1993

Production details:

Two exclusive, previously unreleased tracks from 1995’s Over & Out sessions.

Cut direct to lacquer by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service

Download code for 320kbps MP3 and FLAC files included

Limited to 300 sellable copies worldwide

Purchases from the Chunklet site include a free pack of Tar matches.

Aluminum guitars sound best.

(paypal is also available)

Let The Spring Cleaning Begin! 25% OFF!

Y’know, having a baby makes it really hard to just throw stuff up on the Chunklet site to entertain and amuse you, but that’s not to say that I’ve not been busy. The Codeine box set is done (!!!!) and The Jesus Lizard "Book" project is nearing completion. Also, the Indie Cred Test [Penguin edition] is due out in August…..

So how do I try to encourage you and yours to help free up some space here at Chunklet HQ? With a 25% discount at the Chunklet store, that’s how!

Until the end of April, enjoy a 25% off discount on all purchases at the Chunklet site. Vinyl. Books. Mags. Shirts. Everything.

All purchases will also receive "We’re All In This Together. Except You. You’re A Dick." and "Vinyl Is Killing the MP3 Industry" stickers for FREE. Yes. We’re that stupid nice here.

Or just stupid. Your call.

Hell Hath Frozen Over: Chunklet To Go Go on Vice

Hey stranger. How goes it?

Well, I’m sure many are wondering (or possibly trying just to ignore) what’s going on over at Chunklet HQ. All I can say is ‘tons’. Working on new records, the Indie Cred Test for Penguin, the Codeine box set design, and of course, The Jesus Lizard "Book" project. So yeah, busy. And did I mention I’ve got an 11 month old demon-in-training?

In the interim, the jokers at Vice have asked for us (meaning Chunklet contribs) to poison their site. And hey, what do we have to lose? So a handful of writers (including yours truly) have penned venom for those Viacom stooges. And yes, they pay, like, way better than any alt-weekly ever has. *cough*

Death to Norwegian Black Metal

Local Music: The Genre

Snobby Record Store Clerk Therapy: Portland

Slayer Has Some Cool T-Shirts

How To Sell Records Like The Smiths


The Sad Cult of Steel Panther

What If Rock Music Were A Board Game?

Record Store Clerk Therapy: It’s An Adventure

Bring In The String Section: AxCx

Bring In The String Section: Obits

The Indie Cred Test Is Coming Out On Penguin! Buy Our Edition Cheap!

About three months ago, somebody from Penguin purchased a copy of The Indie Cred Test from our website. And, well, I didn’t think anything of it. However, two weeks later, they emailed me and we started discussing having them release it worldwide….and really, who am I to say no?

The Indie Cred Test will be coming out on Penguin/Perigee in the fall! Yep!

So that’s the good news for Chunklet, and this is even better news for our readers. Seeing as how we’ll be unable to sell our edition in a few months, we’ve decided to bundle up all three of our books for a special discounted rate.

For $29.99 you get the Overrated Book (Last Gasp), The Rock Bible (Quirk/Chronicle) and The Indie Cred Test (Chunklet). Yes, that’s over 500 pages which comes down to, like, a penny a page or something (I was never good at math). In addition to the three books, we’ll also throw in some of the "We’re All In This Together" and "Vinyl Is Killing the MP3 Industry" stickers. Like, for nothing!

The Indie Cred Test was voted one of SPIN’s top 10 books of 2011, Aquarium Drunkard seemed to dig it, The Village Voice tolerated it and even the jokers at Pitchfork interviewed me about the book. Yes, contrary to many a local press writer, I can actually write. Or, er, kind of.

I know we should’ve announced this deal to you back in November when you were trying to figure out what to get that special someone, but we couldn’t announce the Penguin deal. So, well, time to buy early for Valentine’s Day, I guess. Deal with it.

Where In The Hell Is Jason Molina?

You know, talking about the current state of indie rock can be like a turd staring back at its own reflection, but as somebody that has been around for a while, I can honestly say that some of my favorite musicians are my friends. Truly.

I’ve known Jason Molina (of Songs:Ohia and Magnolia Electric Company fame) so long I can barely remember how I met him. I vividly remember helping him set up shows while he was on the road back in the late 90’s. While he was calling me on a pay phone. From Texas. Collect. And sure, he was always a bit weird, but JMo quickly became a friend.

The funny thing to keep in mind is how he’d beg me to never let up making fun of him in Chunklet or when he performed on stage. Amidst his songs of solipsism and ghosts, I always thought to myself how human he always wanted to be. Much like his country heroes, Jason had demons. And his demons caught up with him.

About two years ago, the phone calls started. Odd, disjointed phone calls. The kinds of phone calls where I’d remind myself to get a tape recorder to document the weirdness. Calls from Jason (who was living in London at the time) would wander aimlessly. The kinds of phone calls where you’d say to yourself "Is this a prank?" or "Is he okay?"

A tour with Will Johnson was scrubbed and then….

JMo. At the Bottletree. c Jonathan Purvis

About a year ago, it became abundantly aware to me what was going on. Jason is an addict.

It weighed heavy on me. I’d call his bandmates and mutual friends to get to the bottom of "what’s up with Jason." It appears that his drinking had caught up with him in monumental fashion. Rehab in England. Getting arrested. Drinking. Being flown back to the states by friends in Chicago so they could keep an eye on him.

It was then (about six months ago) that the calls from Jason became…..just…..desperate. Without knowing that he was even in Chicago (he was still using his UK phone), I’d get disjointed calls. He’d sing new songs to me. He’d cry. He’d pass out. He’d laugh. He’d remember some stupid random story about us singing a song together on stage in Virginia. More crying. Dead air. Drifting. And again, this wasn’t the JMo I knew. It bothered me then as it does now.

However, with respect to Jason, I didn’t make a public spectacle of it. It was Jason’s personal life, and I decided it best to honor his privacy. But this last week I checked the Magnolia Electric web site and realized that a (quasi) press release about Jason’s condition has been public for the last couple of months. But really, I still don’t think people know. And well, I just would hate to idly sit while Jason drinks himself into a coffin. So here I am rambling about my pal JMo on a Saturday night.

MagElCo. At the Bottletree. c Jonathan Purvis

Jason is sick. Apart from being an insanely talented and prolific musician, he’s truly a good guy. However, he’s got a problem with alcohol. And it’s destroying him.

Without boring you with the sordid details of his past few months, he’s at (yet another) rehab clinic. He’s now being attended to by family in West Virginia and is hopefully on the mend. Let’s hope. Or pray. Or whatever.

Please click on this link to read the Molina family’s press release (along with a Paypal link to donate $$$$). I know many outside the US will read this and fail to understand the fucked nature of the American health system, but he’s got to pay out of his pocket to get better. So there it is. He needs money.

So I’ll leave it at this. Jason Molina is not well. However, you could assist in his recovery.

I hope this helps.

I love you, Jason.

Torche & Part Chimp Record A Split 12″ Release On Chunklet For PC’s Final US Tour – PREORDER NOW!

Five years ago, during SXSW, Chunklet put on a 20 band bill in two parking lots in north Austin. Two bands met and became immediate fans of each other. Torche, who were still a brand new band and at SXSW at Chunklet’s request, and Part Chimp, the noise titans from London who were touring the States for the second time. And well, on that steamy tarmac, a love affair was born.

Almost immediately thereafter, we all started discussing a split release featuring the two bands, and sadly, it takes the pending dissolution of Part Chimp at the end of this year to make it happen. Yes, this is the final Part Chimp release here in the States and the penultimate worldwide.

Part Chimp turn in two scorchers, Dr. Horse and The Watcher while Torche send a love letter to the boys from Dayton and cover three Guided By Voices songs (Exit Flagger, Unleashed! The Large Hearted Boy and Postal Blowfish).

This, Chunklet’s 9th 12" release, will be available only during the band’s tour up the East Coast in November and here for a limited time. Edition of 500.

Some details:

– It will ship the same week as the Torche/Part Chimp tour.

– The cover artwork (featuring Gorillas and Yeti’s fighting in a future we’ll hopefully never witness) was done by the world-renowned sci-fi illustrator Trevor Claxton.

– The type was hand drawn by Nolen Strals from Post-Typography and Double Dagger.

– Copies purchased off of the Chunklet website are available in black and colored vinyl for a very limited time and on the Torche/Part Chimp tour in early November (while supplies last).

SPECIAL CHUNKLET EXCLUSIVE! All copies purchased off of the Chunklet website will be personally signed by the artist Trevor Claxton!

Torche/Part Chimp US East Coast Tour Dates:

Sat 11/5 / Motorco, Durham, NC
Sun 11/6 / Strange Matter, Richmond, VA
Mon 11/7 / Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia, PA
Tues 11/8 / The Met, Pawtucket, RI
Wed 11/9 / Mercury Lounge, New York, NY
Thur 11/10 / DC9 Nightclub, Washington, DC
Fri 11/11 / Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte, NC
Sat 11/12 / The Earl, Atlanta, GA

The Jesus Lizard “Club” To Be Released by Chunklet This Fall on 2xLP Gatefold Vinyl

Chunklet  is beyond thrilled to announce the release of “The Jesus Lizard: CLUB” on 2xLP gatefold for worldwide distribution on December 6, 2011.

This is the vinyl soundtrack to the DVD which came out in September. "CLUB” is the definitive document of the The Jesus Lizard reunited for their first American performance in over a decade at the Exit/In in Nashville in 2009.

It was a tour that was heralded the world over, with stops at festivals and clubs all over the world. Sasha Frere-Jones, writing for The New Yorker: "It may have been the only reunion show I’ve ever seen where I forgot almost immediately that the band hadn’t played together in more than a decade."

Featuring the entire evening’s performance, “The Jesus Lizard: CLUB” goes inside a fan-favorite set list of an incendiary performance from one of the greatest bands of the modern era. “CLUB” is being released as a double-LP in a gatefold jacket. A one time edition of 1,000 copies. Mail-order copies available on colored vinyl.

Edition: 1,000 copies. Colored vinyl via mail order.
Recorded by Ryan Malina
Mixed by Buckley Miller
Mastered by John Baldwin
Vinyl lacquers cut by Pete Lyman at Infrasonic
Pressed at RTI

Side 1:
Destroy Before Reading

Side 2:
Blue Shot
Killer McHann
One Evening
Then Comes Dudley

Side 3:
Monkey Trick
7 vs 8

Side 4:
Fly on the Wall
My Own Urine
Dancing Naked Ladies
Bloody Mary
Wheelchair Epidemic

Chunklet Reissues The Olivia Tremor Control’s Records On Deluxe 2xLP Gatefold

If you had just a passing history of what we do at Chunklet, you wouldn’t think that we’d be reissuing both of the Olivia Tremor Control records, but well, we’re beyond tickled pink that we’re doing this.

I met Will, Bill and Jeff back in either late ’92 or early ’93 when they were called Synthetic Flying Machine and were this weird, clangy, noisy version of Syd Barrett meets the Minutemen. Saw ’em play routinely at Frijolero’s, Club Fred, Downstairs and Hoyt Street North. And yes, they were fantastic. I guess Athens was the wild west back then because we gravitated towards each other very quickly and became best buddies.

When Jeff went to Denver and did Neutral Milk Hotel and Will and Bill started The Olivia Tremor Control, things got very exciting. VERY. EXCITING. Everybody knows of Jeff’s pedigree at this point, but the three of them couldn’t get arrested in Athens. How do I know? Well, there was a 3k word interview I wrote about The Olivias for the Flagpole that was decimated to 300 (!!!) words and it was that article that jumpstarted Chunklet. True story.

I will refrain talking more about the Olivias until my autobiography is sold to Simon/Schuster, but trust me. I’ve got tons of great, funny stories.

In the meantime, here’s the news everybody wants. Chunklet is reissuing Dusk At Cubist Castle and Black Foliage on deluxe vinyl gatefold for the first time since their original release. Super sturdy Stoughton tip-on jackets, tons of great artwork and Black Foliage was completely remastered from the original tapes (and sounds 100x better).  There’s also a special Dusk/Foliage/t-shirt bundle available until the record’s actual release.

The band has also been generous in opening their tape vaults to give fans over 3 hours of rare/unreleased/live material between the two releases via download card. I’m beyond excited to be working with the Olivias again, and I hope you enjoy all the hard work we’ve put into making this something special for old and new fans alike.

Can you come down with us? Can you believe with us?

Record Store Humor, Mel Blanc and 1951 Los Angeles: Thanks Capitol!

From the same label that would bring you Coldplay, Kylie Minogue and Letoya, Capitol Records had money to burn sixty years ago, and here’s proof!

Starring the greatest vocal talent ever to walk the planet, Mel Blanc plays a record seller in Los Angeles and "somehow" ends up at the Capitol Records bldg (before Frankie souped the joint up in the 60’s). Watch as Billy May plays the hapless customer who bumbles into Bozo The Clown and then rubs elbows with Les Paul and watches Dean Martin in session.

The record geek in me was loving watching a laquer getting cut on an old Scully lathe, but this 30 minute movie is an absolute gem. Worthy of your time and, you know, it almost makes me yearn for a time when the record business actually existed.

Tenement Halls: Where The Hell Are They? (+5 New Songs)

Chris Lopez was the first person from Atlanta I met when I actually came into Atlanta. I had arranged for backline for two shows that Chicago’s Tar were doing with Man…or Astro-Man? in ’93 and they knew him from Dirt when they’d played with them. Cabbagetown was a far different sight now (which is a book in itself), let alone when I moved to the neighborhood in ’98. Chris was quiet, but friendly and polite.

Over the years, I saw Chris routinely in Athens when the Rock*A*Teens were starting and with about the same frequency when I moved to Atlanta. Rock*A*Teens were, and continue to be, this glimpse into a soul-tinged gothic South. And I say this often, but I couldn’t imagine them being from anywhere other than Atlanta. It just fits. (Check out the "A Major Motion Picture" CD I did over here.)

When the Rock*A*Teens disbanded, Chris continued to perform the occasional gig around town. First as Chrisanthemum and then as Tenement Halls around ’03. Listening to their one full length is about as close to perfect as you’ll get. And christ, that record came out six years ago and I still listen to it routinely.

Lopez and Fran from Tenement Halls at 40 Watt ’08. cMike White

Live performances were rare and usually required persistence. The last two times I had him play shows I did were both with Harvey Milk (due mostly to Tanner’s affiliation thru Seersucker), but that was ’08. Chris’s last last local performance was in ’09 as a warm-up for the Merge anniversary gig that he played later that week. However, there’s not been even a peep since then.

Now granted, Chris has a day job, a wife and a son, but even keeping ear to the ground yields no information. Occasional talks with his wife show her as a big fan of his as well. And yes, she’d love him to write and play more. Whenever I run into the members of Tenement Halls at bars or parties, their responses are equally as puzzling. In fact, the general response is "I’ve not heard from him." Such a goddamned pity.

Well, as a fan of his, I know I’m not alone. And furthermore, I know many of those fans live far from Georgia, and (thanks to no touring to speak of) many have never even had the opportunity to see them perform. And that’s where I step in.

The last couple times that Tenement Halls performed at the EARL, they played a total of five new songs. Much like Knitting Bells, many songs are directed towards his new (and happy) life with wife and (new) child. Will he ever record these in a studio? Who knows? But I know how many times I get asked about Chris and the Tenement Halls when I travel and I feel it a gift to those people that I include these live recordings from The EARL which were handily mixed by good pal Curt Wells. Please enjoy.

Tenement Halls – Am I Your Man? (unreleased live)

Tenement Halls – Closer To Heaven (unreleased live)

Tenement Halls – I Can Feel It Coming On (unreleased live)

Tenement Halls – Ink Black Sea (unreleased live)

Tenement Halls – West End Rail Line (unreleased live)

So In This Scene, I Get A Boot To The Nose…

Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Oh yes….

So back in 2009, I was able to convince a bunch of pals to convene with me in Nashville for The Jesus Lizard’s second smallest club gig during their reunion tour. And was it worth it? Like duh.

About half way through their set, Yow was somewhere atop the crowd and his boot swiped my nose and blood came out forthwith. It’s a rock show. These things happen. But it happened to me. And my glasses. Oh well.

Unbeknownst to me, the show was being filmed and recorded by the same folks that did the Silver Jew and We Fun documentary and, welp, they got themselves one barnburner of a show. No doubt.

Fast forward a year later and the producer calls me up and asks me to design the artwork and in return, I get….a producer credit? Like I’m gonna turn it down. (Therein doubling my IMDb page!) So yeah, CLUB is coming out in August and here’s a preview. Just know that much unlike the rather substandard MVD release a few years back, this current *cough* MVD release will leave the room leveled. Trust me. I’ve watched this sucker enough to know. And hey, maybe you’ll hear the soundtrack on vinyl one of these days….

And hoooooly shit is the new Purling Hiss a smokin’ platter! Buy now.

Cows – First Demo from ’86

Ah Cows. What’s there to say that’s not already been said? There’s not a band from the Amphetamine Reptile Records roster that more perfectly embodies the labels sound and aesthetic. To call Cows twisted and demented is to put it mildly. But hey, I’d like to think if you’re reading this you’ve already got a pretty good grasp on what they were all about.

Although AmRep released the majority of their material, there was the classic "Taint Pluribus Taint Unum" full-length that was released by Treehouse Records in the late 80’s. Although the record has been out of print for almost twenty years, the record suspiciously pops up on eBay by the label who put it out. So hey, maybe it isn’t as out of print as we’d be led to believe, huh?

Back in the fall of last year, I went up to the 25th anniversary celebration of AmRep in Minneapolis in the back parking lot at Hazelmyer’s bar/restaurant Grumpy’s. The Thrown Ups, Janitor Joe, Freedom Fighters and other AmRep alum reunited to perform. And for that, a hearty thank you to those bands. But the fact that Cows didn’t perform was a deafening omission to an otherwise perfect weekend of performances. No question about it. The band’s unique front man, Shannon Selberg, made a cameo and I could’ve sworn I saw one of their drummers lurking around. But Kevin and Thor, the bass and guitar of the band, were nowhere to be seen. I mean, what the hell? Such a let down.

While I was in town, I met up with old pal Lori Barbero who’d promised me a chance to raid her massive collection of 80’s recordings. Sure, Lori was the drummer for Babes in Toyland, but what you’d probably not know is that she recorded quite meticulously in Minneapolis throughout the 80’s. Soul Asylum? The Replacements? Run Westy Run? Magnolias? Prince? Yep, all of ’em. Die Kreuzen? Meatmen? Naked Raygun? Live Skull? Pussy Galore? Scratch Acid? Uh huh. Multiple times. In addition to the live recordings (which took me months to transfer back at Chunklet HQ in Atlanta), there were many demos that I never knew existed. And yeah, this Cows demo from 1986 was one of them. Actually, I have two separate versions of this from her collection and this is one.

This demo predates any known material that circulates of this legendary noise band. And well, isn’t giving back to you what I’m here to do? I mean, come on.

Download: Cows singles and Taint Pluribus.

Cows-first demo ’86-Tourist

Cows-first demo ’86-Red House

Cows-first demo ’86-Camouflage Monkey

Cows-first demo ’86-Sittin’ Around

Cows-first demo ’86-The Pictorial

Cows-first demo ’86-Mother (I Love That Bitch)

Cows-first demo ’86-Weird Kitchen/Shakin’ All Over

Cows-first demo ’86-Cow Jazz/Car Chase