milk crate, 'cus some old music is good music

Son of Sam “Songs from the Earth” Nitro Recs. So Serious! A who’s-who of would-be Satan-worshipping Danzig-era death-rockers and a guest appearance by the man himself - who I seem to recall comparing to Roy Orbison in stature, following a show at the Ritz a million years ago. This disc is actually funny. The chorus of voices chiming in on the choruses - erasing the boundaries “between punk, metal rock and goth.” I think it’s only for die-hards. - Ment.

Toni Brown “Dare to Dream” Relix, Brooklyn NY. OK, so I think I listened to the advance for this CD, and reviewed it in a past Rag. This one was possibly already in the crate by that time. But that’s what the crate is all about. Music checks in and it doesn’t check out - sometimes for a long time. I wish I’d checked this out sooner. Brown has a straightforward, mellow approach to music making - kind of the way you’d expect a Garcia disciples to approach the craft. Sweet is her “Can’t Find My Way Home.” Gershwin’s “Summertime” is sung as though words were an afterthought to the very soulful picking. I don’t think she needs to cover anyone’s music, but Brown mostly sings with a vulnerable unpretentious tone and plays like a hippie angel. ‘nuf said. - Ment.

Fluffer “by Volcanic” Rut Recs., Watkinsville, GA. The metronome was no doubt ticking in this recording studio. I’m not sure the band was paying attention, the pace must be controlled. Ask yourself this: Will “I Kissed Nancy Sinatra” mean anything to folks 100 years from now? It might. I had a song 15 years ago about Dorothy Stratton, and I’d venture 90 percent of Rag readers haven’t a clue. But just in case Sinatra doesn’t rope you in, that song - the first on this four-year-old disc - takes place in the club where River Phoenix bought it. River doesn’t ring any bells? Think these folks like the Doors? Have I reviewed this relic before? Ah, forget it all to hell. - Ment.

The Flashing Astonishers “the star-off machine” Lo-fi DIY indie band from Western New York Does Good. Looks like these folks severed several ties with labels or promoters before hashing together this self-released rock and roll gem. Vocals through a bull horn or somethin’ make it sound kinda familiar. This is not complicated music, not by a long stretch. But There are stories being told. Reviewers listening to the band around the time of release pegged a sound dating five years earlier. I think this disc came five years ago, so we’ll say it’s near a decade. Somehow, it sounds modern again. Koala Syndicate. po box 35070 Syracuse NY 13235 - Ment

Godsmack “Awake” Republic/Universal - Missed the Godsmack wave? Didn’t catch them on your favorite 2003 Summer Loud Fest? That’s because it may be over for these folks, except in the minds and hearts of hard-core hard rockers. Melodramatic music has been around for decades, right? Centuries even. But Somehow this stuff leaves me cold, unlike, say, Rob Zombie, who’s got guts and a sense of humor. Sure you can bang your head to this stuff. And I’m sure the teeny-boppers are all still fans - Godsmack will go down as more than just a flavor of the week. But what have they done lately? I’m going back in the cave. Oh, O.K. I give in . This stuff kicks, a-double-kick, double-kick, cymbal, cymbal, A-double S. A-double S. -Ment

“Take a Bite Outta Rhyme A Rock Tribute to Rap” - compilation, Universal. Back in 2000, before we lived in a “changed world,” hahhh. Oh, yeah. The CD. Surprisingly listenable, from Insane Clown Posse’s “Posse on Broadway” to Driver’s “White Lines (Don’t Do it) and even “Boyz-n-the Hood,” lackadazically whacked by Dynamite Hack. All classic tunes from the 80s and 90s that you heard blasting out of boom boxes or jeeps, even if they weren’t your usual fare. It came out around Halloween that year, so I guess it was both a trick and a treat. On the surface, one might think it was going to be awful, then it turned out tasty. - Ment

A.F.I. “Shut your mouth and open your eyes” Nitro, Huntington Beach, Ca. Ayeeee! Gummie Bears they’re chewing on my brain! They’ll chew on yours too. Speed, speed speed. Every A.F. I. disc I listen to does the same thing to me. I question whether I’ve chugged too many mugs of coffee-coffee. So much angst! So much fury. They sound about 16 years old. Maybe they were. This one appears to have landed in the bottom of the crate in 1997 (color me ashamed) - Ment

World Music John O’Conor “MY Ireland” - After 9 Recs. Have I mentioned more Irish music has been a part of my life these past five years? It probably has to do with the company I’m keeping. Not that anyone’s Irish or anything. The traditional Irish tunes contained herein are peaceful piano-rich tracks that travel smoothly through the air with full philharmonic backing. O’Conor’s got the credentials, too. At this time of release, he was director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Perhaps still is? Feel that chilly mist on your face! - Ment