I run Exiled In Eugene.
I play music as Entresol.
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The Dandy Warhols “The Dandy Warhols Come Down” (1997 Capitol)
This record, much like last Friday’s Starflyer 59 album, didn’t grab me initially. I wouldn’t say that I was too young, but I would definitely say that an older version of myself wouldn’t have rejected the album initially for not being what I had expected it to be. No, I wasn’t a pre-existing Dandy’s fan, stoked as fuck on the prospect of a repeat performance of ‘95’s Dandy’s Rule, Ok? I wasn’t too cool for school. Actually their debut wasn’t even a blip on my radar, due to a super-restrictive upbringing, I had to sneak a lot of music, so my window to the world was a small one that mostly depended upon unpaid BMG and Columbia House memberships (in my day we had to commit actual fraud or physical theft to steal music. We also rode dinosaurs everywhere. It was badass).
My preconceived notions were minimal. I didn’t know about the Brian Jonestown Massacre debacle. I didn’t pick up the album because it was produced by Tony Lash (Though I totally got into Heatmiser years later). Embarrassing as it is, I lived 2 hours from Portland at the time and didn’t even know The Dandies were from Oregon. The rock that I lived under was pretty spectacular. I DID, however, have cable. Cable meant MTV (which meant music back then), which I wasn’t actually allowed to watch, but the parental gestapo wasn’t as omnipresent as the deity that I was raised on… which resulted in falling in love with “Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth.”
The song was pop fucking gold. Pure syrup, made for pouring into eager ears, and a chorus that got stuck in your head for days AND made you feel rebellious, singing about heroin being “so passe.” Not to mention the irreverent camp of the video, mocking celebrity while sporting dancing hypodermic needles? The rush I felt was undeniable. It felt like breaking all the rules, and all the while, I was unknowingly falling in love with pop music.
I was sold. So Josef Manetti (who coincidentally STILL probably owes BMG some money) placed an order. It was mostly the usual punk rock stuff that I was hiding from my parents: Ramones, Rancid, Bad Religion, but also I eagerly included Dandy Warhols Come Down. The finger-tapping commenced.
When the albums arrived and I sat down with Come Down for the first time, it wasn’t love at first listen. It wasn’t hate, by any means. I dug the other pop gems on the record pretty much right away. “Boys Better”, “Minnesoter”, and “Every Day Should Be A Holiday” wound up on a bunch of mix tapes that school year. Hell. “Cool as Kim Deal” might have even been the first song I learned how to play on the guitar. However my punk rock attention span (about 3 minutes a track or 30 minutes for an album) prevented me from really getting into the record.
Fast forward about 5 years to the drunken summer after I’ve dropped out of community college. My apartment is a dive full of kids who passed out the night before. I work at a gas station, pop pills and crush 40’s in the cooler at work. Life has taken on a slightly darker, slightly more bitter realism. One night after work, the roommates and myself are drinking and watching Burr Steers’ coming of age masterpiece, Igby Goes Down (I still firmly believe Kieran to be the alpha Culkin) and “Boys Better” comes on, not in the background, but as the dominant soundtrack to a scene and I get a little reminiscent. When the movie ends, I disappear to my room to dig out my copy of Come Down.
This time the album plays altogether different. Rather than some great upbeat pop tracks, punctuated by bummers and filler, I see the album for what I still kind of think it is: a thoroughly bipolar piece. The sophomore release is like a collection of opium den slow-burners paired with perfectly crafted pop gems. Equally capable of putting your head in the clouds or the fucking gutter, The Dandies showcase the complete wealth of their moodiness without ever going too over the top, or blatantly providing the soundtrack to an advert for jeans (cough cough 13 Tales Of Urban Bohemia… and every record after).
Though it may be a simple case of discovering a record at the right time and place in my life, I can safely say that Dandy Warhols Come Down is one of those records that seriously helped shape my palate for rock and roll, and is definitely one of my favorite records of the 1990’s.
For more stuff like this, check out EXILED
Dissociation Songs (In The Key Of F)
Opening with heavy distortion and some charming, intentional dischord, Settler’s Dissociation Songs (In The Key of F) is three short angst-ridden punches. The Hudson, Massachusetts three-piece bring an emotive arsenal à la Jawbreaker/Sunny Day Real Estate (but if those dudes had grown up in the aughties post-hardcore boom).
The muddy, lo-fi mix on stand-out track, “You Are Alive (I Am Alone)” should sound excellent on vinyl, is the perfect capturing of what a basement show was meant to sound like: vocally enthusiastic, dense with noise but somehow acoustically hollow. Already out digitally, but dropping on September 15th on 7” vinyl, Dissociation Songs is a great introduction to a band worth keeping an eye on. - Joshua Isaac Finch
[sometimes I write record reviews. There are more of em at Exiled]
The lookout from the bike path on the overpass was deserted. The wind cut through Leslie’s hair and parted it wildly, unnaturally. Eyes squinting against the rush, hair askew, this perch was his favorite place in the world. Looking out across the quiet city, lights flickering out slowly, roaring traffic became murmur, became whisper, became pin-drop. This didn’t exist in a real city. This quiet. This solitude. The feeling of being big and insignificantly small at the same time.
Even the junkie-vampires and cops were in hiding.
The way that bumper to bumper bustle, and rush hour cacophony could buckle under it’s own weight to give way to this warm and terrifying silence fascinated him. The stark contrast of 4am to 4pm. The process was awe-inspiring. Everything in it’s right place. Every last one of the toys, obediently putting themselves away only to be dragged by their own tired feet out into the deafening roar of daytime all over again. And in between, this completely pristine pause; it was the kind of peace that let one feel both isolation and utter dominion.
His eyes dropped to a sudden brushing at his feet. A small, very obviously homeless cat, mangy and scrawny, had mistaken him for a source of affection. Ribs showing through a patchy coat, (only semi-present) the tiny beast was obviously in a state of malnourished misery. Not even capable of a proper “mew”, it nudged with it’s face, emitting a strained and pitiful sound. He cringed away, disgusted at the passel of diseases it, no doubt, possessed. And still, he found himself drawn to scoop it up, feel how soft it’s fur was, how deep and vibrato it’s purring. Drawn to pull it close and rend the lid from the jar, to reach inside and pluck out the soul, or whatever it was. However, he knew, that wasn’t how it worked. Life is an intangible. It cannot be touched, can hardly be manipulated. It cannot be relocated or transplanted… only removed. Only destroyed.
He let the final bite of his greasy fast-food burger drop to the ground where it was greedily accepted as he turned on his heel to return to the car, hazard lights punctuating the darkness.
fuck every last one of you people. Well, almost all of you.
I found an old self portrait I took several years ago that still accurately describes how I feel
I Am A Monster || Photographer: Mirah (http://mirahxox.tumblr.com)
do not remove credit