Moss Lime: July First (2014)

MOSS LIME: July First (2014)

I can’t stop listening to this over and over and over.  I discovered this at Casa del Popolo when one of the bartenders left their song “ice cream sandwiches” and “july first” on loop for twenty minutes before diligently leaving the building for like 45 minutes. I tried to look up the lyrics “I don’t give a rat’s ass, I don’t give a rat’s ass, I don’t give a rat’s ass” on the internet surveillance superhighway, but found nothing. Turns out it’s because they don’t exist – they’re a montreal band, and their cassette only EP (cassette?? wtf is wrong with the kids these days – don’t they know what 5 1/4″ floppy disks are?) hadn’t even been released yet.

Well it’s out now, and if you aren’t driving a 1986 Chevrolet Camelotte with a tape deck in it and have no way to listen to this magnetic masterpiece, you can find it onlines legally here.

From the sound of it these are some young quebecois ladies who despite only having learned how to play their instruments a few months ago (according to this interview), have nonetheless figured out how to write, squeeze, pluck and thump some highly entertaining songs, while chewing on valiums together and singing them in unison in english with sultry laid back french accents never exerting more vocal energy than it takes to mumble and occasionally sounding like they have dollarama “sexy” halloween dracula teeth taking up space in their mouths.

The fact that the guitarist sometimes flubs her notes, and the drummer and bassist are invariably sloppy doesn’t detract from the music in the slightest.   It’s all just part of the ultra laid back xanax buzz festival charm. And no, they don’t sound like the Shaggs. I have no idea what to compare it to. It’s like the Dead Milkmen but mellow hip females instead or angry nerdboner boys.

Nevermind the Ramones and their œuvre of three chord masterpieces.  The guitarist in this band doesn’t even waste her time with any fucking chords at all.  If the guitar ever plays two notes at once, it’s usually on separate tracks, except on “Sac-à-douche” where she does play two notes at once a few times on the main riff.  Out of five songs on this tape there are no less than three zero-chord masterpieces – as in three of the songs are marvelous, one is just excellent and the other is an instrumental so who cares.

And just because they’re ladies doesn’t mean they don’t come equiped with the giant scrotes that it takes to include an instrumental track on there despite barely knowing how to play those instruments – though frankly, that’s the only track that I don’t really care about.

Lots of dinky riffs, and clean sounds (production is really perfect on this record) and entertaining lyrics:

I don’t want to tell you
I shouldn’t have to tell you
I don’t want to tell you
I shouldn’t have to tell you

Bring me dinner
Bring me dinner

She’s a joke
She’s a waste of time
She’s a joke
She’s a waste of time

What the hell is that about?  Who knows, but I love it.  And that’s my least favourite song.

The other three songs meanwhile are just burned into my consciousness.  I hear them whether my headphones are playing or not.  One of them “Calabria 2014” is a cover of “Calabria 2007” which was apparently a hit back in the day, when I was already too old to give a shit. One is called “Sac-à-douche” (you wont find that translated in an French-English dictionary, but you can figure it out) and the other one is about not getting ice cream sandwiches and beer.

OK, I’ve had enough writing this, I need to go back to listening to it.

My two step recommendation:

Step 1: go buy a 1986 buick for $200 so you can have a tape player

Step 2: go buy the Moss Lime tape for $7. It’s worth it.

Oh yeah and they’re playing a show this Wednesday, Nov. 4th which is probably months after you’re reading this, so maybe you want to skip the buick and opt for one of those back to the future Pontiacs instead.

John Zorn: Psychomagia (2014)

JOHN ZORN: Psychomagia (2014)

John Zorn is slowing down somewhat in his old age, having only released 14 albums so far this year.   While fresh young pups struggle to put out an album every year or two, and big megasaurs like U2 have to push and crouch and huff and puff to squeeze and clip one out every 5-7 years, Zorn is busy spraying out a new one every three weeks or so.

Contrary to what you’d expect from hyper-prolific, living-legend avant-garde wiseasses, most of these albums are actually pretty fucking good.  This one on the other hand, is really, really fucking good.  His weird cheesemaster phase where he’s making more and more palatable and conventional music (which started way back in 2001 with “The Gift” and which I tend not to be super fond of), is really starting to bear some sweet-ass fruit.

In general, instrumental rock music and rock/jazz fusion bores me to death. My attitude towards that stuff is basically “if you need to masturbate, do it in private in your bathroom.  Doing it inside of my ears is just fucking rude. Sing me a song or tell me a story. Make yourself useful.”

But despite this being straight up rock format, drums, guitar and bass and playing surfy metal tunes with no lyrics, the looseness and virtuosity of the musicians make this a wonderful listen worth coming back to over and over.

I don’t know what’s written by Zorn and what’s improvised by the band (the band is Abraxas and zorn doesn’t play), but either way this is rock music made and played by actual virtuoso musicians, who have both the skill end energy to breathe life into the music. You don’t need words, the music is the words.

Well, why the hell are wasting your time reading this? Get this record and rock the fuck out.