Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fun In The 80s Sun

Sunday is (usually) TV Theme Song here at Pop Zeus!


Gary Stockdale "Jumpin' The Gun"

[right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

But today I'd like to talk about the films of Andy Sidaris. Sidaris has been the director, writer, and producer of twelve films since 1985. He has a simple plan for his films: babes, bombs and bullets. In fact, that's the name of the 12 DVD collection of his films that i've recently acquired. I remember watching these films as a young man on Skinemax and being thrilled that some filmmaker was finally getting the point. If you're going to make a cheap action movie with boobs, CUT TO THE CHASE!

No one wants to watch one of these movies where a bunch of bad actors talk about dossiers and homing devices aimlessly for 80 minutes and the last ten minutes have some pathetic explosion. We want something to happen EVERY TWO MINUTES. That's why you're on cable. Well Sidaris gets the point in the movies i've watched so far. Although I am thinking of doing my own cut of all of his films chopped down to just thirty minutes of his best scenes. Until then, enjoy this scene from 'Picasso Trigger' and understand what i'm talking about immediately. There's a reason why Joe Bob Briggs loved these movies so much.

And of course every film had its own wonderfully cheesy theme song. "Picasso Trigger" is no exception. "Jumpin' The Gun" was performed by Gary Stockdale, and according to the film's credits it was written by Stockdale and two other guys. That's right, it took THREE PEOPLE to write this song. Bask in the 1980s glow.

  • andysidaris.com
  • Back To Bassix


    Robert Pollard "Supernatural Car Lover"

    Robert Pollard "Rhoda Rhoda"

    [right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

    Until recently Robert Pollard had been letting me down a little. Ever since the break up of my favorite band of all time, Guided By Voices, Pollard's releases had been leaving me a little less than satisfied. Particularly the Keene Brothers' 'Blues & Boogie Shoes', a record I hated so much I wanted to throw it out the window of my car. I didn't however, out of my respect for the man who wrote such classics as "Flat Beauty" and "Submarine Teams".

    Pollard's newest offering, "Normal Happiness", is a breath of fresh air for me. He's still progressive as ever, trying out new styles here and there (such as the prog freak fest of "Gasoline Rag"), but he remains grounded in his greatest abilities, melody and song writing. "Rhoda Rhoda" is a call back to a simpler GBV brand of pop, and "Supernatural Car Lover" makes me think of the days when Pollard longed to be like his heroes in early R.E.M.

    Needless to say, I'm back on the wagon (or is it off the wagon? I can never remember) and when he comes to town i'll be right back up there, sweating and drinking and singing along with all my favorite fish.

  • robertpollard.net
  • How I Spent College


    Spent "Minty Ballard"

    [right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

    Back in college I was solidly rooted in geeky indie rock. I never wore horn rimmed glasses or trucker hats but I loved the music. I still do. In film school I was assigned a video project, which I procrastinated until the last second of course. The day before I was supposed to go into the editing room with my footage I scrambled to shoot something. I ended up shooting various things around my bedroom (a basement) and do some crude stop motion animation with Star Wars action figures. There's some Marvel Comics guys in there too I'm pretty sure.

    Once in the editing room I realized I didn't know what I'd be cutting this stuff to, so I looked in my backpack and found the only CD in there, Spent's 'Songs Of Drinking And Rebellion". I chose my favorite track, "Minty Ballard" and went from there. I added some footage from an old kid's show, the "New Zoo Revue", dropped in some other shit, and there it was. A work of outsider art to behold. And now that i've exhumed it from it's dusty grave, it's yours to behold.

    Brand Neu God


    Neu! "Hallo Gallo"

    [right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

    And now for some Krautrock. Germans Neu! (pronounced NOY! like the Noid, avoid the noid, because he ruins pizzas!) offer to you "Hallo Gallo", a nine minute opus that is a perfect song for driving through the desert, the mountains, or even the Autobahn, because as 80s rockers Ampage told us, there's "no speed limit on the Autobahn!"

    Get A Faceful


    Facedowninshit "Born In Fucking Chains"

    [right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

    Let's give big ups to Facedowninshit, first of all for having such a great band name, second of all for having the guts to go out and perform at clubs with that written on the marquee. Facedowninshit played this past year's South By Southwest in Austin, TX and I was THIS CLOSE to going to see them based on their name alone. I opted for something else unfortunately.

    Its unfortunate because Facedowninshit's brand of metal is actually pretty unique. Not for everyone sure, but certainly right up my alley. It basically sounds like what the streets of Los Angeles will sound like on the last day of the world, insane screaming, tearing your own skin off, killing without remorse, you know, light topics like that. I use Los Angeles as an example because, well, come on, have you ever actually BEEN here?!?

  • facedowninshit.com
  • Capt. Obvious & The Dicktards

    ampage cvr 1

    Ampage "Autobahn"

    [right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

    First of all, props go to Tony of Record Robot fame for digging this one up. Ampage was one of those Hollywood Sunset Strip hard rock bands that partied hard and rocked even harder. Well okay, it's probably the other way around. My question is are they called Ampage because of like, the volume of their amplifiers or were they once called Rampage and at their first show it got spelled wrong on the marquee and they just decided "fuck it, we'll call ourselves that". These are the quandaries that keep me awake at night.

    Ampage informs us through the majesty of song that there is "no speed limit on the Autobahn". Well duh. Everyone already knows that, Ampage. What's your next single? "The Drinking Age In Canada Is 19"? Already knew that too. A more helpful song would be something like "Monster Island Is Actually A Peninsula". Actually, thats a cool song title. I'm gonna go write that one right now.

    Obviously the band wasn't very well documented as the above photo of their record 'Champagne and Caviar' is the highest quality one I could find. Ampage is currently in the studio recording their latest record "The Statue Of Libery Was A Gift From French People".

    Yr In A Laundry Room

    cobain and kat

    Nirvana "Opinion/D7"

    [right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

    I've recently become a frenzied fan of Continuum Books 33 1/3 series, a series of books written about 'classic' records by rock journalists, fans and artists alike. I 've been snatching them up by the boatload every chance I've had. The best thing about these books is that they're relativelyy cheap and short, I read two of them on a recent plane ride to Chicago.

    One of the more interesting ones I've read (by the way I'll warn you right now, the OK Computer one is TERRIBLE) has been Nirvana's 'In Utero' written by Gillian G. Gaar. It documents the relatively easy process of writing and recorded this fantastic record and then some of the corporate sleaze bag bullshit that ultimately ended up slowing it's original release. I remember buying this record the day it came out, on my birthday, riding my bike over to Wind Records to pick it up.

    Gaar repeatedly made allusions to Nirvana's 'With The Lights Out' box set in her book, a collection that I had not purchased to this point because despite how much I have always loved Nirvana, I really didn't want to fork out a shit load of money that would end up in the pockets of one Courtney Love. I have a seething, deep hatred for that woman. I would go into it, but it would probably require an entire other blog, and I have enough trouble keeping up with this one.

    But reading Gaar's book I decided to cave and go buy it. Used, however. I found that a lot of the material on the box set was stuff I already had from bootlegs I used to buy at record shows in high shool. And one of the songs I expected to be on there wasn't. The bootleg I bought years ago has a song called "Opinion", a song featuring Cobain alone with a guitar and recorded on what sounds like a cheap boombox. On the version I have, it segues into the marvelous cover of "Dementia 7", which CAN be found on 'With The Lights Out" but i think is a slightly different version. Anyway, today I offer up to you the version i've been used to hearing since the 90s, "Opinion/D7".

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    This was poorly recorded, Davey.

    Sunday is TV Theme song day here at Pop Zeus!


    Okay, well i had the idea to do "Davey & Goliath" for today's TV theme song, but damn me if i couldn't find an mp3 of it ANYWHERE. So i got the next best thing. But first, if yr not familiar with Davey & Goliath, let me fill you in. It was a Christian themed kid's show from the 1960s created by Art Clokey (of Gumby fame). It's claymation characters faced real life Christian conflicts every week and they used to make us watch it in school (I went to a private Catholic school) during lunch. Later on they let us watch "What's Happenin'" instead, which I greatly preferred. But I did always enjoy the claymation work of Art Clokey. I was a big Gumby fan as a kid, so Davey & Goliath WAS kind of cool.


    Okay, cut to years later when I'm in college and a member of Chicago punk outfit The Deficients. One night the band was watching MAD TV (i know, why, right?) and there was a sketch based on Davey & Goliath called Davey & SON OF Goliath, which put the Son Of Sam spin on one of our childhood favorites (no we were not a christian punk band, but we did play with one once and they were better than us. Oh who am i kidding everyone was better than us). At the time we thought it was HILARIOUS. I've since tracked the sketch down on YouTube and found it to be less than hilarious. Judge for yourself below.

    Anyway, when it came time to record our first record, 'The Great Roller Rink Scandal', we decided to write a song about the "Son Of Goliath" cartoon called "Goliath Needs Blood". Quite possibly the dumbest song we ever performed (and we performed a LOT of stupid shit), the other members the band have always said that their favorite part of the recording process was watching me record my vocals for this song. And if you actually make it through the entire thing you can probably imagine why.

    The Deficients "Goliath Needs Blood!"

    [right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

    Oh and if anyone has the ORIGINAL Davey & Goliath theme song could you toss it my way? It would help make this post make a lot more sense.

    Davey & Goliath Website

    Seriously, though. Fuck your couch.

    Champ Bailey "Fuck Yo Couch"

    [right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

    By now, everyone on the planet has enjoyed Dave Chappelle's Rick James/Charlie Murphy sketch. But the Bay Area's Bailey has read into it perhaps a little more than the throbbing throng (!?). "Fuck Yo Couch" uses the selfish act of defacing one's couch as a metaphor for all things gangsta. A deep inflection or just an excuse to sample Chappelle saying "Fuck yo couch, nigga!" repeatedly? I'm not going to try to answer. The single comes off of the record "Champ Bailey".

    champ bailey broncos

    No not THAT Champ Bailey.

    champ bailey

    THIS Champ Bailey. I can see why you were confused though.

    Where Walks The Behemoth


    My Morning Jacket "Lowdown" (live)

    My Morning Jacket "One Big Holiday" (live)

    [right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

    I first heard of My Morning Jacket when they opened up for Guided By Voices a couple years ago. I remember chatting with them in San Diego after the show, and although I was extremely impaired they seem like lovely chaps. Since then band leader Jim James has fired most of those lovely chaps and the band has become a behemoth of Wilco proportions. I don't want that to sound like he hired a bunch of douche bags to fill his new band, I've never met them. I'm sure they're all nice.

    I can pinpoint the moment when I knew My Morning Jacket was not a small time approachable set of peers anymore. It's when I heard their "Magheeta" in a Coors Light commercial. It made me a little sad because of all the beers they could have put their song in a commercial for, it had to be the nastiest, most watered down concoction of them all. I took it as a sign that they're records to come would be just as watered down.

    Well, I wasn't entirely right. 2005's "Z" was a departure for them, but I wouldn't say it was a bad record. I played the shit out of it, after all. "Z" launched My Morning Jacket into an entirely new stratosphere though, and a new kind of audience. Now they're audience was no longer full of music loving (obsessed) nerds like me, but instead those who may have heard that one song on the radio and decided to check them out, and maybe pick up some tail in the process. So in order to appeal to these new fans expecting a big rock show, My Morning Jacket beefed up their live act.

    This is where "Okonokos" comes in. While it showcases their best songs, (the very best coming from 'At Dawn', in my opinion their greatest record to date) it pumps them up to arena rock standards. I guess the greatest question is: Is this a bad thing? I'm torn on the answer. While 'Okonokos' provides an enjoyable listen at first, I don't know how many times I'll be going back to it. I'll probably just continue to wear out 'At Dawn' and pine for the days when they played "Phone Went West" (absent from this double live set) in San Diego, and it was the one song everyone wanted to hear.

    Slapped By The Mastodong

    blood mountain

    Mastodon "Bladecatcher"

    Mastodon "Colony Of Birchmen"

    [right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

    Seriously. There is no one rocking harder than Mastodon right now. Ever since I heard my first song by them ("March Of The Fire Ants" from 'Remission') I knew they were going to be one of my favorite current bands. They dare to mix prog with straight up metal. Okay, it's been done before, but it's never ROCKED like this. Mastodon will come to your house, kick your ass, get you fucked up, then make you coffee and kick your ass again. I'm not kidding. They came to my house and did that!

    Mastodon is also progressing musically with every record i hear by them. On their latest release, 'Blood Mountain', the guitars make you dizzy and the drums make you seriously consider that drummer Brann Dailor might just be a cyborg or sorts. On "Bladecatcher" (the name alone is bad ass) the guitars spiral over drum fills thought impossible by most mortals.

    "Colony Of Birchmen" (once again a thrilling title) employs the help of Josh Homme, celebrity dickhead and former Kyuss member, the band that I USED to think rocked until I heard Mastodon. Homme adds his usually gloomy doomy vocal stylings to the more straight ahead rocker. Does the song need him? No. It rocks enough already. In fact the song may not even need Mastodon anymore. Its become its own entity. In fact right now the song "Colony Of Birchmen" is threatening to destroy the eastern seaboard. Look out Utica!

    Still Sweet, But With A Bitter Aftertaste


    Lemonheads "Pittsburgh"

    Lemonheads "Become The Enemy"

    [right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

    Hot on the heels of my 'Hate Your Friends' post a few weeks back, the Lemonheads are back! I will admit I had a special fondness for their records back in high school, particularly 'Come On Feel The Lemonheads'. So when I read that there was a new Lemonheads record I was intrigued. What intrigued me even more was when I found out Evan Dando's new band was comprised of former members of the Descendents and that the album would be released on Vagrant Records. A return to the form of 'Hate Your Friends', perhaps?

    Well, no, but a return to form nonetheless. 'Lemonheads' is a mixed bag. Dando has never been lauded as a genius lyricist, although he had his clever moments here and there (If i was a booger/would you blow yr nose?). Now I just got this record and have listened to it maybe twice, but I can pretty much say that the two tracks here are the only ones I like off the record. When Dando starts trying to write country songs like "Baby's Home" (i think that was the one. I told you I only listened to it twice!) I turn off. But "Pittsburgh" reminds me of the good old days, kind of like "Rest Assured '06". I'll let you all know individually if my opinion changes.

    No Alarms Anna No Dubprises


    Easy Star All Stars "Airbag"

    Easy Star All Stars "Paranoid Android"

    [right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

    I've talked up the Easy Star All Stars a great deal, most notably their 'Dub Side Of The Moon', a reggae tribute to Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon'. I'll get around to putting some tracks from that someday, I swear. Well where I thought 'Dub Side' was pretty good, the All Stars are back with something that I'm actually REALLY excited about. With 'Radiodread', a note for note reggae version of Radiohead's 'OK Computer', the All Stars have really strived to achieve perfection.


    The arrangements are beautiful on this record, and the appearances by reggae superstars like Sugar Minnott and Toots & the Maytals add to its mass appeal. As soon as I read about this record I knew I had to go buy it without ever hearing it (actually I do that quite a bit), but as soon as I heard the horn charts on "Paranoid Android" I realized that I was getting way more than I expected. This isn't some goofy novelty record, these musicians took this seriously.

    Released on their own record label, Easy Star Records, the All Stars are now touring behind this record and i'll be damned if I don't go see them. They're playing all over SoCal in the coming weeks. Seeing as they tend to lean toward prog rock in choosing what to record, here's to hoping they don't decide to re-record Queensryche's 'Operation: Mindcrime' next. I'd rather hear them do Tool's 'Aenima'!

    Corporate Whores Make Good, Film At Eleven


    Silversun Pickups "Lazy Eye"

    Silversun Pickups "Well Thought Out Twinkles"

    [right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

    I was torn when it came to giving the Silversun Pickups the benefit of a listen. Two friends whose musical taste I greatly admire gave me polar opposite reviews. One said they were a great, innovative band who was not to be missed live, and the other said they were just some corporate shill band put together by record executives. The band being from L.A., i leaned toward believing the latter. But one day during one of my weekly raping of my bank account at Amoeba Records, I decided to pick up their record 'Carnavas'.

    Seeing as i'm writing about them here, its obvious that I agreed with the first friend. They may be from L.A. and they may be corporate whores, but they remind me of the good old days of 90s alternative rock, plain and simple. The driving fuzz behind "Well Thought Out Twinkles" opens the record, harkening back to a time when every band wanted to sound like Nirvana, but no one ever got it right. The way the guitar devastates everything in the mix when it comes in leads me to believe that these pigs suckling at the teat of the corporate monster believe in at least one thing: keep it simple.

    Silversun Pickups Websitew

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Where's Rufus Truthfist?!?

    de ala soul all good

    De La Soul "All Good?"

    Here's a forgotten gem from De La Soul. You may be thinking this is some sort of old school 80s hip hop track, given the appearance by Chaka Kahn and the fact that its well, De La Soul. But "All Good?" actually comes off the group's 2000 release 'Art Official Intelligence' and bumps right along with such De La classics as "Potholes In My Lawn" or "Me Myself & I". Whether or not the track is all good is entirely up to you. It's kind of like those old "Choose Yr Own Adventure" books. Now THOSE were from the 80s!