This Buzz Kills Artists: An Interview With King Buzzo

Releasing two albums and several singles per year might seem like a lot for some musicians, but its just business as usually for Melvins frontman King Buzzo who has spent much of the year touring to promote his solo record This Machine Kills Artists. He’s playing his new stuff mixed in with with some very unexpected Melvins choices which sounded fucking amazing on acoustic. Next month, the Melvins will release Hold It In with a lineup of Buzz and Dale along with Butthole Surfers Jeff Pinkus and Paul Leary. I caught up with Buzz when he stopped by Brooklyn where we talked mostly about baseball, but also about music (which he is also known for).

A King Buzzo acoustic record, is one of those things that when I mention it to people, they might say something like, “Who would want to hear that?” But once you hear it, it makes total sense.

It doesn’t sound like it would work on paper.

A few months back there was a video of you playing Revolve acoustic. Did that inspire the album or were you planning the album before this?

That was for Ernie Ball. [Revolve] was their favorite one. That was a test to see if it would be worth doing. I never do anything by chance. My stuff is meticulously planned out.

Did you write these songs specifically to be acoustic, or is it unrecorded songs that never made it to Melvins albums?

They could have been Melvins songs, but I would have done them differently. Some of the riffs may have been old riffs, but I just write songs. Some of them are finished and some of them aren’t. I just take it from there. I have to think of how it will fit with the drum parts and the bass parts. That’s not happening with this, so I have to think of how to make it work by itself.

You just turned 50. Les Claypool also turned 50 and released an acoustic album. Is that the thing to do?

I don’t know anything about his record. It’s Primus songs, isn’t it?

It’s Country versions of Primus songs and other covers.

I refuse to do a country album. I’m not sure I love Country as much as everybody does. I like Les. He’s always been nice to me. More power to him. My album’s 17 originals songs. This is the first one where it’s just me. Technically this is my second, but the first was just an EP. That was just me and Dave [Grohl]. This is the first one that’s just me by myself. Just me and an acoustic guitar.

Is it tougher to deal with loud people or hecklers with just the acoustic guitar?

No. I can deal with hecklers. I’ve dealt with that for a long time. [I’m also going to note that there was indeed a very loud and drunk person in the audience that night. He wasn’t heckling but having a good time which was louder than the guitar. Security removed him during the second song which got a bigger ovation than the song itself (and the song was Dwight Fry, so it did get a fair bit of applause)]

You’ve been telling a lot of stories about other artists between songs on this tour?

I might tell one of those tonight [The Mike Patton story from this very show is embedded at the bottom of the page]. I told the Iggy Pop one last night. They’re either self-deprecating or me talking about how much I like them.

Photos by Matt Adams.

Since you have a lot less gear to unload and set up, do you have more time in the cities to catch a ballgame or anything?

I’m here to do one thing. Vacation for me is being at home.

What’s your favorite ballpark?
Dodgers Stadium. I’ve been to a lot [of stadiums], but I certainly haven’t been to all of them.

And the Dodgers are your number one team?

I’m a baseball fan in general. I live in LA, and I like the Dodgers. I’ve seen them more than any other team, so I guess so. They’re like the Yankees of the National League, or arguably St Louis is. I like the Dodgers. I don’t really hate any team. If I lived here, I’d go to Yankees games and I’d go to Mets games.

Is this going to be their year?

They’re fully capable of blowing it, as is any team. I think it’s going to be the A’s and maybe the Pirates.

Pirates had a rough start. They’re not the team they were last year.

They’re doing OK. I don’t know. We’ll see.

I’m a Cubs fan, so I look at the standings from the bottom up.

Cubs always have a tough time, and I don’t know why. They have money. They’re not paying off the stadium. I don’t understand why it never works. It doesn’t really make sense to me. Tampa Bay can be a contender, and the Cubs have a lot more money than them. I don’t know what the fuck’s the problem.

I guess they’re building a farm team and want to wait until they have enough good players to bring up at once.

OK. So fuck the fans this year. Fuck that. “We’re building.” Oh great. So I’m supposed to sit here and buy tickets while you’re building. Fuck you. Get a team that fucking wins. You play baseball for money. That’s what you’re doing. You’re not going to play to win? You’re trying to win a World Series. Everything else should be second.

They really need a bullpen. Their closers have blown a lot of games.

I don’t know what their problem is. I can’t figure it out. They had Greg fucking Maddux and they couldn’t win. I don’t know what it is. I don’t believe in curses.

How do you feel about the designated hitter?

I hate it. I think they should get rid of it. I’m totally against it. It’s not baseball. It’s fucking bullshit. Make the goddamn pitchers get out there and hit. National League baseball’s always been better. There’s more strategy involved. The designated hitter is stupid. Greinke from the Dodgers is a good hitter. Greg Maddux was a great hitter. He never played for the American League. I think he said he wouldn’t. National League baseball is better. It’s a different game.

They only really train for the one specific thing now.

The pitchers? American League pitchers have a harder time. It’s not as good baseball. It’s boring.

National League has all the great  pitchers now. Giants and Dodgers.

The Dodgers have amazing pitchers as long as they don’t get hurt. A lot of things can happen. It’s a long season. Kenley Jansen’s good. I like him. The bullpen’s OK. I think their starting pitchers are second to none. What they need is a little more hitting. Not much more. They got a good team.

The Phillies have some good pitching too.

I like that one kid from San Diego [Cole Hamels]. I always liked the way he pitched. He was pitching when they won the World Series. I like Lee, but I don’t know how well he’s playing this year. I like him though. I think Clint Lee’s a good fucking pitcher. But I’m not into the designated hitter. They’ve got to get rid of it. You can still hire a guy that’s a DH. Just let him pinch hit.

NL is more defensive.

It’s more strategy.

King Buzzo at the Wick in Brooklyn.

Back to music. What else can we expect in the future?

We have a new Melvins album coming out in October. It’s completely finished. We’re redoing the Night Goat 7” reissue. I can’t remember if it’s going to be a 10” or a 12”.

All the same songs from the original single?

Yeah. It’s hyper-limited. It’s going to be really cool.

I also saw that you also have the Station to Station single with Thirlwell here. Who picked that song? It’s a great choice.

We did. I don’t think anyone’s ever covered that. The B-side is Breaking Glass.

I‘m not as into those Brian Eno albums as everyone else is.

You gotta get over that.

I love Scary Monsters which is right after that.

That’s a great one. I like all those records.

I like most of his catalog.

…up to Scary Monsters. And I don’t really like the first album.

I think Outside is one of his good newer albums.

Heathen is a good one. I listen to about six albums of Bowie. Diamond Dogs might be my favorite.

This is a question I ask everyone, but I’m going to try to make it topical [which it would have almost been if I’d transcribed this interview quicker]. If you replaced Ace Frehley in KISS…


Well I usually ask “if you were in KISS”, but since you’ve been taking some flack…

That’ll be big news for about the next two minutes.

So what would your KISS makeup be?

I would just do blackface. I’d get in a lot of trouble.

You’ve taken a lot of flack in general for talking about other musicians. Who has the whiniest fans: George Thorogood, Dave Grohl, or KISS?

George Thorogood fans didn’t say anything because they’re too old. I never saw any Dave Grohl fans saying anything. Most of the people that say stuff just say, “Who the hell’s this Guy?” I wouldn’t have noticed if someone didn’t point it out to me, because they thought it was funny.

Who would be the best singer for a Nirvana reunion out of Kim Gordon, Lorde, Joan Jett or St Vincent?

I don’t know who Lorde or St Vincent is.

They all sung with Nirvana at the Hall of Fame.

When Kurt was alive, all he ever talked about was Joan Jett.

Well that’s perfect then.

No. He never liked that crap. Joan Jett. Who cares? The last song of hers that I liked was “ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb.”  She perpetuates the myth of the lame female musician. There’s not going to be a [Nirvana] reunion. They already did it with McCartney. Dave Grohl won’t even play those songs with the Foo Fighters.

Queen’s now playing with an American Idol winner.

Well, they got nothing else to do. I don’t blame them for doing whatever they want. Keep themselves busy. Besides, who cares? They wrote all the music. As far as a Nirvana reunion goes, we won’t hold our breath. I wouldn’t go. They should get Lemmy before he dies. Or Gene Simmons.

Gene always said that people come to see KISS and not the members.

I agree. It’s marketing. They don’t even take it seriously.

Do you think Melvins fans would care if Gene Simmons was your next bassist as long as he dressed like Jared?

They’d be into it.

Back to the Hall of Fame for a minute. KISS didn’t play their induction because Gene wanted everyone who has ever been in KISS to perform, but the Hall of Fame people wouldn’t allow it.

Fuck the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s a joke.

Yeah. Madonna and Michael Jackson are in it.

Yeah. But Deep Purple’s not. That kind of stuff is totally stupid. I agree with the Sex Pistols’ letter. When they got inducted, they didn’t go. That’s exactly what I think.

People say they’re the boy band of punk. That everything was manufactured by Malcolm McLaren.

I never heard a boy band that sounded like that. God Save the Queen is a fucking great song. It’s heavy metal to me. I think it’s an amazing record.

I’ll give it another chance. They’re one of those bands I never got into. Black Flag is another one is another band that a lot of people I like and respect love, but I never got it.

I don’t know what to say. [blank stare]

You can tell me. I can tell by the way you’re looking at me what you’re thinking.

They’re an important band.

I don’t disagree that they’re important. It just never clicked for me. I think I was born too late to really appreciate punk. By the time I was in high school Green Day was popular.

They’re not punk. It’s K-Mart style punk. I don’t like all of [Black Flag] either, but if you can’t listen to a song like Slip It In or Damaged II, or anything off of the Everything Went Black record. If you don’t like those  songs, you’ll probably never like Black Flag.

People usually tell me to listen to My War.

That’s not their best record. Damaged is good. Jealous Again is a really good record. That’s probably their best one.

I’ll give them another listen. What’s next for you after this?

I’m finishing this US tour. Then I’m go to Australia and do the same thing. Then I go to Europe and do the same thing. I’m back on the 22nd of September. Then we’re going to do a few Melvins dates after that.

Cool. Thanks for talking to me.

My pleasure. Thank you.

In honor of Melvins, KISS, and baseball fans alike. Here is the Detroit Rock City/Star Spangled Banner 45 from a few years back.

Boris likes a lot of little things to kick.

Detroit Rock City

Star Spangled Banner

OBNOX Release Raw, Hook-Filled 12″ titled “The Juke That Sat By The Door”

Sometimes the greatest moves are made in the spur of the moment. One semi-quiet day at Chunklet HQ, we hit up OBNOX mastermind Bim Thomas (also of Puffy Aereolas, This Moment in Black History, Bassholes, et al.) and asked if he ever wanted to release something under our moniker to keep it in mind. Thinking nothing other than  our love of his work on 12XU and countless other labels, we went about our day. Six weeks later, Bim turned in “The Juke That Sat By The Door” which is stuffed to the gills with Nox jams. Bim went back to the basement and knocked out pop gem after pop gem. F’rinstance, “Sit Yo Ass Down” is so damned hooky that the wife of Chunklet CEO Henry Owings hummed it thru the duration of their vacation this past spring. True story. This glorious 12” EP is yet another celebration of the ceaseless creative mind that Bim Thomas has been unleashing from Columbus, Ohio since the ‘90s. Limited to 450 copies. 50 on red vinyl (available only direct thru Obnox), 50 on clear vinyl (available exclusively thru Chunklet mail-order) and the rest on black.

Aug. 6-Ace of Cups 2619 N. High St. Columbus, OH.
Aug. 7-Backdoor 207 S. College St. Bloomington, IND.
Aug. 8- House Show @945 Morris, Indianapolis, IND.
Aug. 9-Mini-Bar 3810 Broadway St. Kansas City, MO.
Aug. 10-Replay Lounge 946 Massachusetts St. Lawrence, KS.
Aug. 11- 3 Kings Tavern- 60 S. Broadway Denver, CO
Aug. 12-Diabolical Records- 238 S. Edison St. Salt Lake City, UT.
Aug. 13- The Crux- 1022 W. Main Boise, ID.
Aug. 14-TOTAL FEST @ Zacc 235 North 1st St. W, Missoula, MT.
Aug. 16-The Aquarium 226 Broadway, 2nd Fl, Fargo, ND.
Aug. 17-7th St. Entry 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN
Aug. 18- House Show St. Paul, MINN.
Aug. 19-Mickey’s Tavern, Madison, WI
Aug. 20- Trumpet Blossom 310 E. Prentiss St., Iowa City, IA.
Aug. 21- Eronel Cafe 285 Main St., Dubuque, IA.
Aug. 22- Circle-A-Cafe 932 E. Chambers St. Milwaukee, WI.
Aug. 23-Wally World 5301 Belmont Ave. Chicago, IL
Aug. 24-The Owl 2521 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL
Aug. 25-Spot Tavern 409 S. 4th St. Lafayette, IN
Aug. 26-Ace of Cups 2619 N. High St. Columbus, OH
Aug. 27-Stone Tavern 110 E. Main St. Kent, OH
Aug. 29- Happy Dog 5801 Detroit Ave. Cleveland OH
Aug. 30-Roche Bar 405 Quay St. Port Huron, MI
Sept. 2- Comet 4579 Hamilton Ave. Cincinnati, OH
Sept. 3-Pussy Palace, 1007 McKennie Ave, Nashville
Sept. 4-Pilot Light- 106 E. Jackson Ave. Knoxville, TN
Sept. 5-HOPSCOTCH FEST @Slims 227 S. Wilmington St. Raleigh, NC
Sept. 6-Worlds Famous 351 N. Hull St. Athens, GA. (Chunklet Record Release)
Sept. 7- The Earl 488 Flat Shoals Ave. SE., Atlanta, GA (Chunklet Record Release)
Sept. 8-Murphys Bar and Grill 1589 Madison Ave., Memphis, TN
Sept. 10- Howards Club H, 210 N. Main St., Bowling Green, OH
Sept. 13- Beachland Tavern 15711 Waterloo Rd. Cleveland, OH
Sept. 25-Ace of Cups 2619 N. High St. Columbus, OH
Sept. 26-CROPPED OUT FEST@ American Turners Club 3125 River Rd. Louisville, KY
Sept. 27-GONER FEST @Hi-Tone 412 N. Cleveland Ave., Memphis, TN
*Sept. 28-Nashville, TN
*Sept. 29-Dayton, OH
Sept. 30 Gooskis 3117 Brereton St. Pittsburgh, PA
Oct. 1- Annabells 784 W. Market St. Akron, OH

Hear some jams here.
UPDATE (13SEP14): Vinyl is sold out at Chunklet HQ. Try finding it at your local record shoppe!

Don Caballero’s First Recording Ever To Be Released!

PREORDER! Ships on/around 1 June 2014.

UPDATE (27 May): Due to production delays on the bonus record, preorders won’t ship until late June. A million apologies.

December 1991. Mere months into their existence, a three-piece Don Caballero drove to the Carnegie Mellon campus and knocked out eleven songs. On this, their earliest-known studio recording, the nascent Pittsburgh titans crank out jams that would appear in different form on early singles and their debut full-length, For Respect. Two songs would never make it onto a proper record and are here for the first time ever. As a special bonus, the band’s second live show is included as an additional download along with the record.

Lacquers cut at Chicago Mastering Service
Gatefold jacket
Download code includes bonus recording ("Look At Those Ellie May Hands Go!") of Don Caballero performing live in Winter ’92. Their second show ever.

Mastered by Drew Crumbaugh
Lacquers cut by Bob Weston
Vinyl pressed at Erika
All copies thru mail order on CLEAR VINYL which is unavailable in stores.


"Look At Those Ellie May Hands Go". The live recording provided on limited black vinyl with all orders. NOT AVAILABLE IN STORES! Of course, while supplies last. To be clear: "Five Pairs" on clear. "Ellie Mae" on black. Got it? Good.

Don Caballero’s first t-shirt is also being reprinted. Discharge print of Don Caballero’s first t-shirt made back in 1992 (from the band’s original files) on a Gildan 100% cotton t-shirt. Forest green shirt. White ink. Reads "Still The Best" on the left front and "Don Caballero Hi-Fi Est. 1991" on the back.

Kraftwerk/Neu! on German TV 1970

I’ve been looking for the entire performance of this legendary group for twenty years and here, for the first time, we can all enjoy it. The early Kraftwerk with Klaus Dinger from Neu! on drums. MP3s included for extra enjoyment.

Kraftwerk – Stratovarius

Kraftwerk – Ruckzuck

Kraftwerk – Heavy Metal Kids

Kraftwerk – Improvisation 1

Chunklet Staff’s Top 10’s (or whatever) of 2013 – Part Finale

Ben Johnson’s Top Lists:
Top Regular Things I Liked:
Purling Hiss – Water on Mars
Brotman & Short
Exhaustion – Future Eaters
Human Eye
Spray Paint – s/t
Cuntz – Aloha
Life Stinks – s/t

Things I Actually Loved But Not As Much As Previous Things By The Artist, So It’s Like They’re A Dud Even Though They’re Totally Not:
Ty Segall – Sleeper
Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin
Fuzz (the band)

Things I Listened To Again At The End Of The Year And It Turns Out I Enjoyed Them More Than I Thought I Did:
The Holydrug Couple
Jacco Gardner

Top Last-Minute Late December Things That Would Skew People’s Lists With A Recency Bias If Anybody Was Still Paying Attention:
Angkor Wrack LP
Lovely Legs 7"

Top Regular Reissues:
The Clean – Vehicle
Martin Rev
King Tuff – Less Than $75 To Hear "Sun Medallion" On Vinyl Whenever I Want

Top "not gonna pretend I knew about or was into this the first time around" Reissues:
Afflicted Man
Death Trip

Top Things I Did Not Get A Chance To Listen To Because I Am Not Made of Money But Would Probably Love If I Did:
Gap Dream
Mikal Cronin
Devo Hardcore Demos

An Embarrassing, Exhaustive and Disorganized List of Records That I Bought During 2013 (Some Which Might’ve Actually Come Out Before This Year) by Henry Owings

Basic CableI’m Good To Drive (Permanent)
Billy BaoBuildings from Bilbao (Burka for Everybody)
Black BugReflecting the Light (HoZac)
Blind ShakeKey To a False Door (Castleface)
Bowl EtherealFive Minutes (self released)
BrainbombsDisposal of a Dead Body (Skrammel)
Buck Biloxi/Legendary Wings-Split (Pelican Pow Wow!)
CaveThreace (Drag City)
Cellular Chaoss/t (UGExplode)
Counter Intuitss/t (Pyramid Scheme)
CuntzSolid Mates (Homeless)
DasherYeah I Know (self released demo)
Destruction Unit-Void (Jolly Dream) & Deep Trip (Sacred Bones)
DiätEveryday 7" (Iron Lung)
DisappearsEra (Kranky)
Double Dagger333 (Thrill Jockey)
Endless BoogieLong Island (No Quarter)
Endless Bummer-7" (In The Red)
Enjoy The Experience: Homemade Records 1958-1992 (Sinecure)
Ex-CultMister Fantasy 7" (Goner)
Fuzzs/t (In The Red)
GoatStonegoat/Dreambuilding 7" (Sub Pop)
His Electro Blue VoiceRuthless Sperm (Sub Pop)
HoaxLP (self released)
Holly HuntYear One (Roofless/Other Electricities)
Kitten ForeverPressure (Guilt Ridden Pop)
LiberezSane Men Surround (Self released)
ManateesCat Food 7" (Pelican Pow Wow!)
Mikal CroninMCII (Merge)
MugstarCentralia (Self released)
ObitsBeds & Bugs (Sub Pop)
ObnoxCorrupt Free Enterprise (12XU)
Old BabyLove Hangover (Karate Body)
PontiakInnocence (Thrill Jockey)
Raspberry BulbsDeformed Worship (Blackest Ever Black)
RunningVaguely Ethnic (Castle Face)
Satanic RockersFu Kung (Alberts Basement)
Spray Paints/t (S-S)
Survival Knife-both 7"s (Kill Rock Stars & Sub Pop)
The Mantles
Long Enough to Leave (Slumberland)
The Pamperss/t (In The Red)
The ReadymadesI’m a Man, I’m a Flower (Mt. St. Mtn.)
The Ukiah DragJazz Mama Is Cryin’
Tony MolinaDissed and Dismissed (Melters)
True Sons of ThunderStop and Smell Your Face (Goner)
WhoresClean (Brutal Panda)
Women’s Work6 (self released)

Recommended Reissues from 2013 by Henry Owings:
Cosmic Psychos-Goner/Aarght! reissues
Scorched Earth PolicyGoing Through a Hole in the Back of Your Head (Siltbreeze)
The Hugh Beaumont ExperienceThe Cone Johnson EP (Cheap Rewards)
TeengenerateGet More Action (Crypt)
New Bomb TurksDestroy Oh Boy and the 10" (Crypt)
Primitive Calculatorss/t/The World Is F*cked (Chapter Music)
RodanFifteen Quiet Years (Quarterstick)
Anything on Superior Viaduct

Chunklet Staff’s Top 10’s (or whatever) of 2013 – Part Deux

Nick Blakey’s Five New & Five Old for 2013
1. Lenny Lashley’s Gang of One: Illuminator (Panic State) What, you didn’t think someone like Lenny Lashley could come out of the beat ‘em up and ask no questions assault of Darkbuster showing that he does have, in fact, another side? Well, sure, lose just about everything and try to put yourself back again and this is what you get: good, honest songwriting that draws equally from Cash, The Clash, Cohen, and Hardin (not to mention a good dose of Bragg.) And if “Anti-Xmas” or “Hooligans” doesn’t at least make you sit up and pay attention, then maybe it’s time you stopped listening to music altogether.
2. Mark Eitzel: Glory (Décor) America’s greatest living songwriter delivers yet another moving home recorded album in the vein of the previously brilliant Klamath, Brannan Street, and Candy Ass that makes up for the not as pleasing professionally produced and recorded sidestep that was Don’t Be A Stranger. This is Eitzel at his very best: raw, emotional, warm, and alone. Stop agonizing over the death of Elliot Smith (he was a fucking hack anyways) and pick up this album now. It will distract you, convert you, or make you want to kill yourself. Cheers!  
3. Bruce Gilbert and BAW: Diluvial (Touch) The former secret weapon of Wire and Dome returns to wow us once again, this time in collaboration with husband and wife duo BAW. This album discusses the inevitable Waterworld our planet will become and frankly it frightens me so much that I have yet to make it all the way through. Worth it for that reason alone.
4. The Guild of Funerary Violinists: The Art of The Funerary Violin (Mississippi/Change) Stunningly beautiful, somewhat mysterious LP of a genre I was completely unfamiliar with put out by the always incredible Mississippi Records folks. There are armchair snobs out there who will wonder openly why this isn’t pitch perfect or pristinely played, but one must remember if you’re playing solo violin at a funeral you probably didn’t make it to the orchestra try-out’s in the big city. Warren Ellis fans should definitely check this out.
5. MOON: EP (Wrong Island Communications) So you didn’t think they made techno records like this anymore? They do and MOON (who has some familial ties to LCD Soundsystem) does. While you’ll swear this was made by someone of a vintage persuasion with years of experience in sweaty nightclubs, it was actually made by a teenager on borrowed equipment before he ever played a live set. Hey, believe me, I was shocked by that too. 
6. Elder Otis G. Johnson: Everything – God Is Love (Numero Group/Holy Spirit) Somehow, someway in a suburban Detroit Pentecostal Church in 1978 a homemade gospel album was created by one Elder Otis G. Johnson that sounded uncannily like a fusion of early Suicide and those moody, brooding slow jams Prince was doing around the time of Purple Rain (such as “The Beautiful Ones”). It also, at times, sounds as if a random and unable parishioner is helping out on keyboards. Regardless, this is one record that has to be heard to be believed. Bonus: Elder Johnson is still making and releasing music on the internet.
7. Patrick Cowley: School Daze (Dark Entries/HNYTRX) The late, great Patrick Cowley is noted for being Sylvester’s best collaborator (“Do You Wanna Funk?”), Donna Summer’s best remixer (the punishing 20 minute version of “I Feel Love”), the creator of Hi-NRG (what came after is not his fault), and one of the earliest AIDS casualties in music (he died a year before Klaus Nomi.) He also scored some gay porn soundtracks in his spare time, and those can be found on this lavish double LP set. And sure, it’s ok if you want to say you only bought this for the liner notes.
8. Cybotron: Enter (Decision/Fantasy) Gorgeous reissue of this Detroit proto-techno classic. Clean lines like the hood of a Monte Carlo, warmth and comfort like the back seat of a Sedan DeVille, darkness lurking like the gas tank of a Pinto. Maybe one of these days we will be blessed with a reissue of the pre-Cybotron Richard Davis 45 “Methane Sea” which is frankly the only thing missing here.
9. Various: The Ecstasy of Gold series (4 volumes) (Semi-Automatic) Awesome and frankly spellbinding compilations of Spaghetti Western soundtracks that despite being named for a Morricone standard the big man is nowhere to be found here. Guaranteed there will be films and composers you have never heard of and after listening will wonder why you hadn’t. Hell, just buy these for the cover art alone.
10. Slayer: entire catalogue on vinyl (American) Never mind their later shit: Reign In Blood, South of Heaven, and Seasons In The Abyss should be required listening for any person who calls themselves a fan of metal (or frankly of music in general.) If you don’t own one of these already, you have no right to claim you know the real reason Jeff Hanneman died or that the guy from Exodus who replaced him sucks.
Nick Blakey

Amanda Nichols’ Top Ten
10. Nile Rogers everywhere!
9. The Satanics at the Middle East on Halloween.   The alter-ego of the Titanics got their “peace and love Satanism” thing going this year for one show on Halloween. One of those shows I didn’t think I’d ever get to see.
8. The David Bowie record that came out this year sounds better on a turntable than on an iPod. It’s a different experience entirely. 
7. The In Out’s Agenda E.P.  Side two sounds like (good) Dinosaur Jr. “Poseur Alert” cracks me up.
6. Parlour Bells “Bachelor Hours.” The video is beautiful, and the song? Well, anyone who gets the line “it’s like St. Patrick’s Day in this motherfucker” without sounding like they’re trying too hard to be abrasive deserves to be heard. 
5. Lenny Lashley’s Gang of One –“Anti-Christmas.” Who would’ve guessed that one of the guys from Darkbuster could make like Johnny Cash?  He’s been touring with the Street Dogs lately and they’ve been doing this tune live.
4. Township.  Just see them. 
3. Videodrome Discoteque’s custom mix of Scissor Sisters’ “Let’s have a Kiki.” Videodrome exists in the land in between classic MTV, Studio 54 and a hangover after a really memorable David Bowie concert. They made this video for fun, and it sums up all that is awesome about attending one of their shows.
2. Gene Dante and the Future Starlets– “We Are All Whores.”  The song’s a great commentary on our selfie-obsession, but did you know that the lead guitarist is Scott Patalano from Mistle Thrush?
1. Telegram – “Follow.” Did you happen to see the Nightingales when they toured with their really young guitarist? This is his new band.  See them before the tickets are too expensive.

Craig Lieske RIP

Pete Wilkins’ Top Ten of 2013
The BeesVoices Green and Purple 7" (UT records) – Essential garage dementia for moptops and rockers, fuck the squares
CuntzSolid Mates LP (Homeless) – Antipodean repetetive mongdom that is way more punk than you are
BasicallyJohnny Moped DVD – Top drawer doc directed by the captain son – stick it in ‘er lughole
Flowers – Live and on 45 – witnessed 3 great performances and a couple of great 7"s  from this London twee piece, the forthcoming LP on Fortuna Pop should see them household names
Sleaford ModsAusterity Dogs LP (Harbinger Sound) – yeah yeah, everybody is on this but it’s still one of the most honest records you’ll hear, plus it’s got lots of swearing which IS big and clever
Paul Messis Case Closed LP (State) – The Sussex kid does it again on his 2nd album, peerless garage rock that only a handful ever truly nail, he’s not into garage punk – he IS garage punk
NubsJob 7" (Last Laugh) – KBD Klassik, pissed off perfection in a spot on reissue
Lee HazlewoodThere is a Dream I’ve Been Saving box set (Light in the Attic) – okay okay full disclosure, Henry is a great friend BUT we’ve been friends well long enough for him to not expect me to just blow smoke up his arse, this box set is hands down my favourite thing I got last year, just perfect music/design/execution, i still look at this everyday and just marvel at it. So much went into this and it shows, and Henry didn’t even use his trademark font size fuck up like he did on the live Jesus Lizard LP cover – the boy done good.
Sam KneeA Scene in Between book (Cicada press) – holy shit more nepotism, Sam is my oldest friend but that only accounts for a tiny part of why this book is so great, They say "if you remember the 80’s, what the fuck are you still doing posting top 10s on blogs you irrelevant old bastard" and they may be right, but if you wanna know what being a kid in the UK was like when you didn’t conform then this is year zero.
The Nightingales – Live in Preston at the Peel all dayer – Just formidable, no looking back from Robert and the crew, just flat out commitment to culture.

Oh and a late entry, I mean 2 years late cos this Chinese cracker came out in 2011 but i’m such a goon that i rarely reach the vanguard these days:
The Offset: Spectacles LP (Rose Mansion Analog) – Far East and Far Out Cantonese VU worship that does it right.

Remain untamed in 2014.

Dr. Jonathan Waks’ Top 10 Sandwiches thus far- Based on Universal appeal, longevity and
(Department of Happiness and Ritual Circumcision Run by the Earl of Sandwich)

1. Peanut Butter and Jelly– This blast from your past remains a contender
2. Bahn Mi– A relative newcomer to the world fusing French and Vietnamese
deliciousness, but it is here to stay. (There is a sriracha shortage)
3. The Hamburger– There is not a corner of the earth without one.
4. The Falafel– fun to say and to eat- this one brings out the heat and even
works for the vegetarians.
5.  The Grilled Cheese– It comes in many forms from around the world- the
Cuban, the montecrisco, the Panini- but you mix toast and cheese and this
stands the test of time.
6. Burrito– They made the wrap a reality but its Latin older brother is
still king
7. Crepe– It is the omelet you can each with your hands and anything goes
inside of it.
8. Deli– This is a real general category for the turkey and Swiss, egg
salad, ham and cheese lovers.
9. The Pulled Pork– BBQ made its own and it was deemed good
10. Italian hot hero– Meatball Sub, Eggplant parm, Chicken Parm- You know it
when it comes out hot and saucy.

Chunklet Staff’s Top 10’s (or whatever) of 2013 – Part One

Aaron Draplin, Draplin Design Co.’s Top 10
1. PolvoSiberia
2. Red FangWhales and Leaches
3. Flaming LipsPeace Sword EP
4. CalifoneStitches
5. SebadohSecret EP
6. Uncle Acid & The DeadbeatsMind Control
7. Lord DyingSummon The Faithless
8. Scud Mountain Boys Do You Love The Sun?
9. The DelinesColfax
10. John MorelandIn The Throes

Dave Hofer’s Top Releases of 2013
Artifacts Between a Rock & a Hard Place (Artifacts) REISSUE
A$AP FergTrap Lord (RCA)
A$AP Rocky Long.Live.A$AP (RCA)
Blasted DiplomatsBlasted Diplomats (BLVD)
BotchWe Are The Romans (Hydra Head) REISSUE
The BronxIV (ATO)
Danny BrownOld (Fool’s Gold)
Cave In Until Your Heart Stops (Hydra Head) REISSUE
Dillinger Escape PlanOne of Us is the Killer (Sumerian)
Discordance AxisJouhou (Hydra Head) REISSUE
El-P & Killer Mike Run the Jewels (Fool’s Gold)
Ghostface KillahTwelve Reasons to Die (original Adrian Younge mix & Apollo Brown remix) (Soul Temple)
Gigan – Multi-Dimensional Fractal Sorcery and Super Science (Willowtip)
Heliocentrics13 Degrees of Reality (Now Again)
Ill BillThe Grimy Awards (Fat Beats)
Immolation Kingdom of Conspiracy (Nuclear Blast)
Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – Kismet (Self-released)
NailsAbandon All Life (Southern Lord)
Nedelle Torrisi Nedelle Torrisi (Self-released)
Denmark Vessey & Scud OneCult Classic (Dirty Science)
Wormed – Exodromos (Willowtip)

Jordan Mamone’s Top 10
1. VHK – Veled Haraptat Csillagot! (Bite the Stars!) (Full Contact/Ektro)
2. SwansNot Here/Not Now (Young God)
3. HebosagilLähtö (Full Cotact/Ektro)
4. Live Skull Bringing Home the Bait (Desire)
5. Toiling MidgetsLive at the Old Waldorf, July 21, 1982 (Full Contact/Ektro)
6. Pissed JeansHoneys (Sub Pop)
7. CircleSix Day Run (Full Contact/Ektro)
8. The Garbage & the FlowersEyes Rind As If Beggars (Bo’Weavil/Fire)
9. Live Skull Live Skull (Desire)
10. Mamiffer & CircleEnharmonic Intervals (for Paschen Organ) (Sige/Ektro)

Michael T. Fournier’s Top 10
Buke & Gase General Dome
Coliseum Sister Faith
Grant Hart The Argument
His Electro Blue Voice Ruthless Sperm
JandekSong of Morgan
Mark Kozelek/DesertshoreMark Kozelek & Desertshore
Party Animal s/t
RodanFifteen Quiet Years
v/a Cut The Shit! Vol.1

Mike Faloon’s Five Great Records
1. Big Kitty Recordings of Ferns (Teaberry)
2. David Kilgour – “Christopher Columbus” b/w “Shifting Sands” 7” (Merge)
3. SebadohDefend Yourself  (Joyful Noise)
4. SuperchunkI Hate Music (Merge)
5. WorriersCruel Optimist 12” EP (Don Gionvanni)
Mike Faloon’s Five Great Books
1. Sean CarswellMadhouse Fog (Manic D)
2. Mickey Hess The Novelist and the Wrapper (Self published)
3. Matt Kindt Mind Mgmt: The Manager (Dark Horse)
4. Matt KindtRed Handed (First Second)
5. Rev. Norb The Annotated Boris (Bulge

Antonio DePietro’s Top 10 sad, male, white singer/songwriter albums for 2013
1. Bill CallahanRiver Dream
2. Kurt VileWaking on a Pretty Daze
3. Cass McCombsBig Wheel and Others
4. PhosphorescentMuchacho
5. James BlakeOvergrown
6. Ty SegallSleeper
7. Mutual Benefit Love’s Crushing Diamond
8. Andrew BirdI Want to See Pulaski at Night
9. Original Soundtrack RecordingInside Llewyn Davis
10. DrakeNothing Was the Same

Ryan Ridge’s Top 10
1. Bill CallahanDream River
2. William Tyler Impossible Truth
3. EluviumNightmare Ending
4. Kurt VileWaking on a Pretty Daze
5. FoxygenWe Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
6. Jonathan WilsonFanfare
7. Yo La TengoFade
8. Charles BradleyVictim of Love
9. Blood Orange Cupid Deluxe
10. Parquet Courts Light Up Gold    

The Olivia Tremor Control’s 1997 BBC Peel Session Unearthed and Released by Chunklet Industries!

1997 was a big year for The Olivia Tremor Control. They were riding high on the release of their debut double album “Dusk At Cubist Castle,” and touring the world relentlessly. During a visit to the UK in March, illustrious tastemaker DJ John Peel requested the band to visit his studios to record for his radio show. Seventeen years later, “John Peel Session” is released.

“John Peel Session”
features a couple never-before-released songs amidst the three tracks. A radio session that has been officially licensed from the BBC, this is continued evidence of a band that is in further need of celebration.

I’m Not Feeling Human
Suite One:
Memories of Jacqueline 1906 / The Giant Day / Outer Themes / Green Typewriters
Suite Two: Frosted Ambassdor / Green Typewriters / The Princess Turns the Key to Cubist Castle / Looking for Meaning

First 200 copies available on clear vinyl
Red vinyl available exclusively thru Chunklet mailorder

Cut direct to lacquer at Chicago Mastering Service
Pressed at RTI
Officially licensed through the BBC
45rpm 12” record housed in a Stoughton tip-on jacket
Includes download code


Tar ‘1988-1995’ 2xLP via Chunklet Industries

What can you say about Tar? They were a band that existed in a very fruitful time for rock music to spin out of punk. When Tar started out in 1988, out of post HC/skate rock outfit Blatant Dissent, there were no eyes on anything remotely underground. You had to know people, or at least listen in on the right conversations, to figure out your ass from your elbow. It was a time when, if you were playing non-mainstream music, you would have to start riots and destroy venues, or smear yourself with shit and eat used tampons to get recognized in the media. When Tar called it a day in 1995, at least two bands they toured with, and five bands with whom they shared rosters on both the Amphetamine Reptile and Touch & Go labels, had signed to majors. What happened in between is history. And history is what we are here to celebrate.
Even in their heyday, there weren’t a lot of bands like Tar, either in their hometown of Chicago or anywhere else. There were bands that had the choreographed stage moves, the short hair, the loud amps, the promotional matchbooks, but few if any could manage what Tar did, which was to create a new, strict, limited vocabulary for rock-based music. Since you can’t spell “guitar” without “tar,” their use in the band went uncontested. They had two really cool ones at that, belonging to deadpan frontman John Mohr and bassist Tom Zaluckyj, forged out of aircraft aluminum, which built one of the foundations of their sound: prolonged sustain, chords that rang out as long as they could hold out. So that was a thing.
The rest of the Tar rulebook worked as such: capture the sound of three guitars playing different notes at the same time, discover harmonious sound in the discord that could erupt from the potential incompatibilities, and no leads, no solos, no posturing. What resulted was an architected noise, completed by Mark Zablocki’s second guitar and Mike Greenlees’ clean, solid drumming (and until 1991, bass guitarist, Tim Mescher) that sat firmly in the midst of the ugly American overkill of Midwestern noise rock, but with eyes on the shimmering expanses of shoegaze from afar. Studio engineers worked with the band to exploit the capacities of this approach; Steve Albini fused the guitar tones together on their 1991 album Jackson, while Brad Wood found synergies in the spaces between them for the subsequent release 1993’s Clincher EP.
Their approach seems deceptively simple, but mindbreaking thought went into how that sound came to be. They had peers in both Savage Republic’s desert psychedlia and Glenn Branca’s and Rhys Chatham’s guitar orchestras, but none of those artists were able to apply those ideas to catchy, driving three-minute rock songs the way that Tar could. When Tar broke up, other bands weren’t citing them as a primary influence in what they were trying to do with their own music. In essence, rock gave up on Tar; bands no longer got beaten up for having someone playing a synthesizer, and the group’s legacy was buried by history.

Tar reunited for local performances in 2012, and to commemorate, longtime fan Henry Owings released a two-song 7” on his Chunklet label featuring session outtakes from the band’s final album, Over And Out. Now, the fruits of their labor can be found in 1988-1995, a double album which dutifully collects all of Tar’s in between moments: 7” singles, splits, compilation tracks, unreleased material, and their entire John Peel Session. These 21 tracks reveal the hidden history of Tar’s progression from mechanized thrash into gracefully strong, peerless rock-not-roll, and that even appearances on tour singles and multi-band collections were reasons to bring their A-game.
Over fifteen years have passed since Tar’s initial demise, and 1988-1995 presents a band due for serious re-evaluation as deafening iconoclasts of independent music.
Doug Mosurock

• Contains every non-12” vinyl release by Tar, including all singles, compilation tracks, unreleased, and a 1992 Peel Session, and covers of songs by Pere Ubu (“Non-Alignment Pact”), Jawbox (“Static”), AC/DC (“Hell’s Bells”), and Dobie Gray/Bryan Ferry (“The In Crowd”)
• Cut direct to lacquer by Bob Weston at CMS
• Download code included
• 21-track double-LP housed in an expanded jacket, with liner notes from many of Tar’s comrades
• Bonus digital download features Want/Need, over two hours of live Tar recordings from the band’s archives, spanning every period in the band’s development.
• 2xLP ltd edn  – one time pressing
• Aluminum guitars sound best
• Limited Tar bundle available with t-shirt

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