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How To Give Yourself Tinnitus, In Eight Easy Steps | Curated by Ross Menze

1. The Procedure Club (New Haven)

“Seven Days Later” S/T CD, Scribble Kite

Like a track off Psychocandy, you want to play this really loud but it makes your ears hurt so much but then you still do anyway.  Between the blankets of digital hiss and clipping and the authentic c86/twee/gaze source material they are mining, Adam and Andrea’s tunes don’t ever get too cutesy or watered down, as can be problematic with modern attempts at “indie pop” stylings.  There is a wonderful interplay between warmth and cold in this song, the 1st off their self-titled CD from 2008.  Definitely one of my favorite New Haven band’s that somehow I haven’t seen live yet.

Related and recommended:

Human Pontiac Rad synth punk/wave solo project that would make the late great Jay Reatard proud.

GroovskiSome seriously ripe, dark psych rock cruising at motorik speed that I found out about ten years too late.

Common Bond = Adam Malec, who apparently has lots of tricks up his sleeve.

2. Permanent Feels (New Haven)

“Meet Me at the Arboretum” S/T c27, Never Heard of It

Perfect demented pop summer jam if you are into getting it.  Dig that guitar lead booboo…  This song sounds equally great coming out of Grado Labs SR80’s or a ’94 Ford Taurus stereo on full blast.  Makes me feel like I am sunbathing on a cloud, eating cheeseburgers and drinking Shirley Temples with a few doses dropped in for good measure.  Put this on your mix tapes or blow me where the Pampers is.

Related and recommended:

Medication – Straddling the line between melancholy and hope, bummer and stoke, Medication doles out some highly contemplative low-fi garage folk/pop that perfectly complements staring out of a window for an extended period of time.

Estrogen Highs – Local purveyors of calzone rock.  Bad people, good music, actually.

Sudden Walks – Defunct western CT band of youngster punksters who probably liked to sit around eating vegan Chinese food and brag about whose Teengenerate and Reatard’s singles were rarer.

Common Bond = Stefan Christ; grapefruit fan, gun enthusiast, and proud member of the DIY Hatebreed Tattoo Club.

3. If Jesus Had Machine Guns (New Haven)

“Meaning” Vol. 3 (The Casio Sessions) CD, Nuntius/Enemies List

Blizzizzoo slow jam from James Patterson’s laptop pop project obsessed with all things John Maus and Ariel Pink.  Dreamy hunk vocal and sunshine melody for cruisin’ easy with your true boo.  Quite the prolific songsmith, James is currently writing for his fourth album and has enlisted the help of Jamie Sarfeh and yours truly for augmentation in studio and on stage.

4. Female (New Haven/Bristol)

“03” Frozninfent CDR, Filth Forever

Ritual synth gong provides the glacial pace for subtle industrial elements to creep in and out, creating an uneasy landscape of impending doom.  Listening at substantial volume and/or with headphones brings out the depth and delicacy of the composition.  The brainchild of the illustrious, multi-faceted Michael Jack Patrick Donahue, more recent Female tracks have changed focus. “Possession Attention” for example, conjures up the ghosts of Factory Records to present dark-funk party music for worshipping Satan and getting naughty in the dungeon.  See you on the dance floor…

Related and recommended:

Barnes – Michael’s “filth concrete” outfit with Nick Grenerud.  Read the complete description and listen to a track from Kryssi Battalene’s mix featuring Barnes in the 2.15.10 issue of The Dirty Pond.

5. Birth of Flower (Bristol/Southington)

“Hidden Bombastics” Moths, Self-released

Also hailing from the fertile musical breeding grounds of Bristol is Birth of Flower.  This track starts off sounding something like 154/Chairs Missing-era Wire, and continues on musically with nods to the Fall and turn of the 80’s NYC, while bassist/lyricist J.W. Tillman’s effervescent vocal stylings weave a diatribe of political dissent that evokes Jello Biafra in depth and delivery.  Definitely check out this group of smarty punx live if you get the chance; they will not disappoint.

6. Squires (Bristol)

“Gloria” Going All the Way with the Squires LP, Crypt Records (also issued as an Atco single and comp’ed on various Pebbles editions)

Last but certainly not least in my Bristol trifecta… I had a hard time deciding between their classic garage/folk rave-up “Going All the Way” and the covered to death Them (featuring a young Van Morrison) hit, but ultimately went with the cover since I am all about feel good rock and roll.  The vocal really takes a back seat to the guitars on this version, but what you get is two and a half minutes of sweet R&B riff raffin’ perfect for smokin’ a doob and smiling about being alive.

7. Gary Higgins (Litchfield County)

“Looking For June” Red Hash LP, Nufusmoon/Drag City

70’s folk rock number from a down on his luck longhair, recorded on the eve of an impending jail term.  A steady tempo, earnest vocal and fine guitar interplay make this a standout track for me, though Red Hash should really be consumed whole, as there are satisfying moments to be had throughout.

8. Roger C. Reale and Rue Morgue (New Haven)

“Madonna’s Last Stand” Radioactive LP, Big Sound Records

I absolutely live for this shit.  Raw, up-tempo, pure rock and roll.  The intro syncopation of the driving guitar and half-timed drum beat revs shit up for about twenty-seconds to get your fists pumpin’, and then it’s unrelenting party time for a minute forty.  Great guitar grit, mids cranked up to 11 and a bit o’ chorus on top.  Delicious.  That I can look right in my own backyard for a fix this good and not to Boston (Real Kids) or even worse Australia (Saints) is something special.  The pedigrees of this power-trio are impressive; drummer Hilly Michaels spent time on the road and in the studio with Sparks in the mid-70’s, playing on their 6th LP Big Beat.  Guitar-slinger G.E. Smith went on to front the Saturday Night Live band as musical director for ten years, touring with Bob Dylan, playing with a whose who of rock royalty and writing the Wayne’s World theme song along the way.  Sadly, RCR and Rue Morgue’s 2nd LP was never completed, despite the promising additions of guitarists Jimmy McAllister, who did time in Sparks, and Mick Fucking Ronson, Bowie’s axe-slinger on all the early 70’s LP’s.  Plus a cover of the Beach Boys “You’re So Good To Me”?  Woof…

Ross Menze plays in If Jesus Had Machine Guns, Iron Hand, and Abraham King; he has also played with Tombstone Minds.  In his spare time, he designs logos and flyers.  He attended the University of Connecticut.

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