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5/16/2001

We neglected to mention last episode that we got the new facade on the Degenerate Press home page!
http://www.degeneratepress.com/
It's the embryo stage of a slow growth process we're planning for the site. Stay tuned for more.

EAR PLUGS
We got a big stack o' CD's a while back and finally got around to reviewing 'em. It ain't my fault they all reminded me of the 80's
Three new ones from Shut Eye Records came in the mail. The Indicators sent us their new one, Beauty is a Whore. This band has improved vastly in the last year or so, and this CD shows it. But it's still lacking something - not in the quality department, the sound a mixing on the disc is excellent, nor in the talent department, the musicianship is fine, but it sounds a bit too much like a lot of stuff you hear every day if you're a 99X listener - nothing stands out. It's consistently good, but forgettable - a common problem in the current radio wasteland, so maybe these guys are about to hit the bigtime, but for me it needs a little kick - more energy, a different instrument, something. http://indicators.tripod.com for more.
Pete Knapp is also featured on the Atomsplit EP Gangway. This has a little extra something, with a little Foo Fighters flavor, fuzzy guitars, nice hooks. This has strong one-hit-wonder potential, but unfortunately there's only 4 songs on the CD so it's tough to tell if they've got more in store, particularly since all 4 tracks sound much alike. They have a tune on a compilation CD reviewed below that is a bit more different that these 4 tunes, but has such a 99X feel I can't help but wonder how long it is before you'll be hearing this every 50 minutes on commercial radio. They're online at http://www.atomsplit.com
Another from the Shut Eye label is the American Diesel Machine compilation with some 20 tunes by various locals like Atomsplit, The Ajax Heavies, and more. Like any compilation, it has its strong points and weak moments. But about half of it sounds like it could have come from the same band. The weird thing about all the Shut Eye stuff mentioned here is it all has a strong 80's influence. I'm not saying that's a good or bad thing, but I couldn't help but thing about the Rhino New Wave Dance Hits of the 80's collection we've got at DP HQ while listening to a lot of this stuff - very Knack-ish. So if you miss the good ol' days and want some new music with the old feelings you might really like the American Diesel Machine compilation.
At the Punk Rock Prom we mentioned last week we picked up My School, the CD from Nowhere Squares. Live, they come off as a David Byrne doing Dead Kennedys, a weird mix of Weird Al, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lewis. The CD has a hint of Devo in that mix, with fewer synthesizers and more guitar but the quirky tunes and robotic rhythms are definitely there. It's tough to imagine something this odd coming out of Alabama. No, I'm not insulting our neighboring state, my two favorite acts, Immortal Lee County Killers, Drive By Truckers, both hail from 'bama. But you can hear the state screaming through ILCK and DBT - but the old South is nowhere to be found in the Nowhere Squares CD. Instead, it's energetic geek rock sound that sounds like a lost band from the 80's that you wish you'd discovered back then. It's a fun CD, as fun as their live act, and the only one in this week's stack that I've listened to several times and enjoyed every track every time. Worth picking up.
Meanwhile, if you own a TV you're aware of the Reality TV craze. The only one of the bunch we watch is VH1's Bands on the Run. It's got the petty disputes of Survivor, with the arduous work outs of Boot Camp, and the sleaze of Blind Date all mixed together with mediocre music - which is where the show fails. The four bands (narrowed down to three in last week's episode) pretty much suck and VH1 apparently knows it because they never show more than a few seconds of any of the acts actually playing. Unfortunately the made-for-TV-lineup Josh Dodes band, with minorities and both sexes represented, were the losers so it's down to all white faces, and one all girl band. But due to the way the competitions are set up the acts must sound a lot a like in order to compete in the same venues, as they often do, so you won't see anything too divergent from the mainstream mediocre crap they've selected. But it would be cool to see a local act, even if I hated 'em, on the show so if you're in a band and wanna be on TV check it out:
**** - VH1 AND MP3.COM SEEK BANDS FOR TV - *****
VH1's reality TV show "Bands on the Run" is looking for musicians to appear in future episodes. "Bands on the Run" sends four rock groups on a trek across the country to compete in different venues on the same night. In hotel rooms, clubs and on the highway, the show offers a shot at stardom and explains to the world what the rock life is like in the trenches. Do you think your group has a distinct sound, outgoing personalities, and the potential to become rock stars? Looking for: ROCK BANDS with 4 or 5 MEMBERS, all 21 YRS OF AGE OR OLDER.
Please submit: -A demo CD or tape -A bio (please include your contact number and email address) -A photo or separate photos that clearly show the faces of your band members -Any video featuring the band, whether it's a music video, interviews, performance footage, or just home video (if you want to grab a camcorder and interview each other, it wouldn't hurt) Please make sure you include the following information: - names and ages of all band members - names of venues you play most often
VH1 BANDS ON THE RUN Reality Casting 2600 Colorado Ave. - Suite 319 Santa Monica, CA 90404 Submitted materials will not be returned.

BLASPHEMY
This report both excites and terrifies me:
http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/science/05/08/brains.robots/index.html
One thing that bothers me about the article: "What happens after medical advances allow humans to replace broken biological parts with new mechanical ones? The human race could inadvertently divide along the lines of biological haves and have-nots" Uh... isn't this the way it is NOW? Those who can afford medical care get it, and those who can't die, whether it be organ transplants, mechanical limbs, or simply vaccinations.
"The rich stay healthy and the sick stay poor." U2, from God Part 2

Now, from the future-in-the-present to the past-in-the-present, The Tabernacle has Kip Winger on June 2, Mother's Finest on June 16, The Go Go's on July 25, and Pat Benetar on July 27.


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