Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dead Moon - Echoes Of The Past

The tale of Dead Moon is a story within a story. The band itself helped set the standard for bands of this region: the sly sense of humor, ethos, and raw energy that bands from the Pacific Northwest are reknown for. From 1987 til 2006, Fred Cole, his wife Toody Cole, and Andrew Loomis consistently churned out an amalgamation of punk, garage rock, and country music that was beyond reproach. Dead Moon is often discussed with great reverence by many, even if they aren't familiar with the band's bounty of material. Their reputation precedes them.

Within the tale of Dead Moon is that of Fred Cole. Fred began playing in bands at the age of 13, starting The Lords in 1964. By the age of 15, Cole was being touted as "the white Stevie Wonder". Cole started and played in a beavy of bands between 1964 and the conception of Dead Moon in 1987 including (to name a few): Deep Soul Cole, The Weeds, The Lollipop Shoppe, Zipper, King Bee, The Rats, The Desperate Edge, and The Western Front.

44 years. 44 years of playing in bands, touring and recording. It simply boggles the mind. I could only dream of such perseverence!

While Dead Moon eventually called it a day (fear not, as both Fred and Toody have since started a new project called Pierced Arrows), their legacy is an enduring one that will only grow and develop with time. It would be incredibly difficult to make any attempt to designate one specific record to encapsulate their genius. With that in mind, I have decided to share the band's self-compiled 'best of' collection (released by Sub Pop in 2006).

You can buy other available Dead Moon merchandise (including the DVD 'Unknown Passage') here.

Echoes Of the Past - Disc One:
Echoes Of the Past - Disc Two:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Vast Majority - I Wanna Be A Number 7"

Vast Majority formed in 1979 after vocalist Scott Telles had been hyping his own fictional outfit called Shit Snotnose and the Scabsuckers. The band was eventually flyerbooked and decided to get together and write a few songs.

I Wanna Be A Number reflects this haste and lack of experience. To be truthful this record has some of the worst drumming and bass playing that comes to mind. And yet there is a quality to this record that keeps me coming back for more. The catchy vocal hooks perhaps? The melody that I keep humming 20 minutes after I listen to the song? Even I am unsure what brings me back each time.

After being featured in Killed By Death 8.5, this rough and tumble single now fetches for a pretty penny. Thankfully all you need to do is check out the link below for this punk rock gem.

J.F.A. - Blatant Localism EP

J.F.A. represent an embrace toward the innocence and strength of youth and the purity of a life before bills and 9 to 5 jobs get in the way. Founded in 1981, this foursome of skatepunks from Phoenix AZ played their first show opening for Black Flag. They very quickly generated not only a strong local and regional following (due to their geographic proximity to southern California) but also a strong national following due to their being consistently covered by Thrasher Magazine that would continue throughout the decade. Their songs focused on the toils of daily life, ageist marginalization, and the frustrations that arise from such generalizations.

Their debut EP, Blatant Localism, is a classic within most hardcore circles, with its surprisingly quality recording, lightning-quick pace, and catchy melodies. Check it out at the link below.