Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Vinyl Vednesday 2/16/2011

[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick measuring contest, but it usually turns out that way. I just got back from a business trip to D.C., so all of the picks this week come from Washington/Virginia. E-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: Cloak/Dagger’s “Kamikazes” seven-inch (2007) on black, Fugazi’s Steady Diet of Nothing (1991) on black, and Strike Anywhere’s Iron Front EP (2009) on clear green.

Place of Purchase: Cloak/Dagger came from Smash Records in D.C. Fugazi was a Repo purchase. Strike Anywhere was ordered directly from Bridge Nine Records.

Thoughts: Even though I only had 24 hours to conduct business in D.C., I still found time to hit up a record store. I picked Smash Records since it was only a few blocks from my hotel (Later I found even more stores nearby. Clearly I need to investigate). One of my picks was this seven-inch from Cloak/Dagger. The A-side, “Kamikaze,” comes from the band’s Jade Tree debut, We Are. The B-side, “She Cracked,” is just as good. Both tunes are very much in the Black Flag/Stooges vein, which has always been C/D’s strength. Not that I’m trying to be hyperbolic, but these tunes sum up rock ‘n’ roll’s entire history.

Any post about music from D.C. needs to mention Ian MacKaye. So here you go. A Steady Diet of Nothing took me a little longer to get into than 13 Songs or Repeater, if only because it’s a little bit slower and more dissonant. But it’s still Fugazi –post-hardcore starts here. MacKaye’s song “Reclamation” always stayed with me: “There are our demands / We want control of your bodies / Decisions will now be ours / You carry out your noble actions / We will carry our noble scars.” Mix those words with shredding guitar.

Good God I listened to so much Strike Anywhere yesterday. The one thing I was missing, though, was Iron Front EP, a collection of two songs from the band’s last full-length of the same name and two left off. All four rock face hard. What I loved about Strike Anywhere is two-fold. 1). Their songs are so fast and melodic and loud. Frontman Thomas Barnett sings every line with the utmost urgency and sincerity. 2). No matter how bad the world seems in the band’s songs, there’s always a tinge of hope for a better tomorrow.

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