Thursday, June 19, 2008

Introducing Mike IQ!

So we're served with another post on Augenmusik blog; this one a little bit different from previous ones. First off, it's by a new contributor, my dear friend Mike IQ. Mike is a lifelong New Yorker and old friend who's spent time with me in all sort of musical pursuits, from various bands to checking out shows in dirty squats and swanky clubs, to DJ-ing Manhattan bars, to all other sorts of hijinks. He recently came off a stint at with his show Steady Nerdin'. His musical taste is informed and all over the place, so I thought he'd be an ace fit. He liked good tunes, doesn't mince words, and doesn't have much patience for hype or drama. As a way to introduce the readers to him, he thought he might just put his iPod on shuffle and muse about whatever tracks came up. It seemed fun for him, and made for a good read, so in addition to more contributions by him, we're hoping he continues with this format every now and again as well....


Prince Buster and Judge Dread – Taxation
From She was a rough rider
The reggae/ska/rocksteady stalwarts talk about “Taxation without representation.” I’m a sucker for both these guys and you probably should be too. Go read about them on allmusic.

Big L – Size Em Up
From The Big Picture
I don’t think that L’s deification in true school hip hop circles is at all undeserved. Aside from his sick flow, his superb wordplay this is one of those tracks that really conveys his personality. He’s cocky, hotheaded and arrogant and he’s liable to eat your ass up. Throw ya L’s up!

Charlie Feathers – Stutterin’ Cindy
From This Little Show
I originally got into this cat thanks to the Songs the Cramps Taught Us compilation series that, not surprisingly, showcases songs that the Cramps covered. This is the guy who wrote “Can’t Hardly Stand It,” which is such an ill, infectious song and I think the first song I learned to play on guitar (which probably isn’t saying much since I’m no Ivy Rorschach.) Anyway, this one is live or a demo or something – it’s off his “This Little Show” record – I think it’s some kind of bootleg. It’s vintage rockabilly of the highest order.

Nick Cave – Omalley’s Bar
From Murder Ballads
This is 14+ minutes so I can’t listen to it right now. That doesn’t detract from the fact that Nick Cave is the best guy in the world or the fact that I, and not you, am going to see him again this Fall.

Prefuse 73 f/ Ghostface and El-P – HYF
From Surrounded by Silence
Highly infectious beat by Prtefuse and surprisingly El-P and Tony’s skills and egos don’t cause the track to kill itself, but rather work together. Great hook and El gets dirty, vintage Co Flow style (not to detract from his solo material but this proves that when he wants to, he knows how nod heads.) There’s clearly mutual respect and it doesn’t feel like Tony phoned this one in from his secret Wu Tang (or Theodore Unit) compound. There’s interaction on the ad-libs and that’s rarely a bad thing with MC’s of this caliber. It’s dirty, it’s street and it’s fresh. I could listen to this track 10 times in a row. Peep Ghost’s second verse – it’s classic Tony and yet another example of how he could probably read from the phone book and make it sound dope.

Newcleus – Auto Man
From Jam on Revenge
If you don’t know who Newcleus is, you better axe somebody. You can axe me. If you were born in the mid-seventies and lived in New York, there’s a good chance that their classic “Jam On It (wicky wicky)” was one of the first rap songs you ever heard. It certainly was for me. But it wasn’t till a couple of years ago that my man Karun played me the whole LP. It’s got a super dope Funkadelic-looking comic strip cover and is full of electro hip hop goodness. I’m not crazy about the sung vocals on this joint but the instrumental sections and the beat as a whole are quite fresh.

Redman – Can’t Wait
From Ego Trip’s Best Hip Hop Singles of ‘94
Youngins who think that Redman is just a character actor or inextricably linked to Method Man would be wise to check out joints like this. It’s got that nice, warm early nineties vibe that makes you feel so young and good. Almost brings a tear to my eye. There’s a 21 Jump Street reference too. Also, for all you true rap nerds, he drops a line that Kriss Kross later used as a hook when they tried to come thugged out in the mid-nineties – "Please/My whole crew’s making cheese/tonight’s the night baby/so suck up on these.” If you never heard that track, consider yourself lucky – being So So Def OGs does not allow a little kid novelty act to make a G record work.

Dwarves – Blast
From The Dwarves must Die
What can be said about the Dwarves? They’re raw and nasty hardcore from the Pacific Northwest and they have an album called “Thank Heaven for Little Girls.” What’s not to like?

Witch Hunt – Life in a Box
From …As Priorities Decay
My homegirls out of Jersey/Philly, they’ve been at it for a while and on tracks like this one you can hear how they manage to make passionate and original-sounding anarcho-punk that synthesizes disparate influences. This is one of their older records. Theyv’e done a lot since. Go check ‘em out when they come to your town. They tour a lot and they bring it live.

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – You Made Me Love You
From Voodoo Jive: The Best of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
This song is performed by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.

Black Anvil – 777
From Test Mixes
Another friend of mine – you may know Paul from Black Anvil from his other band, Deathcycle (one of the only New York area hardcore bands worth a piss these days,) or from his previous projects, Long Island hardcore stalwarts Kill Your Idols and New York hardcore pranksters Down Low (known for penning songs with titles like “Crack Bitch.”) Here Paul branches out into black metal of raw, dirty and ferocious kind. I swear, Paul is the only person I know with whom I can carry an infinite e-mail conversation about Von ( This one’s got a lot of dynamics and character and a big Celtic Frost influence and that’s never a bad thing.

John Fahey
From Volume 6: Days Have Gone By
Another gentlemen, who like Mr. Cave, could do no wrong. Pretty much anything you can find by the late Mr. Fahey is guaranteed to be great and he put out 364,023,405 records! No shit! His shit basically remained meandering, strange bluegrass/folk instrumental guitar pieces (with the notable exception of his later electric period which approached atonality yet with its feet firmly planted in blues and bluegrass and, for some reason, awesomely reverb-laden surfish guitar tones,) and this is no exception. This one’s a slow, short somewhat somber number

Material – Upriver
From Memory Serrves
I’ve been meaning to listen to these guys forever – they’re part of the post-punk canon apparently. This is a Bill Laswell project and Bill Laswell’s got the Midas fucking touch, baby (check out his record with Jah Wobble or his Trojan Dub Massive Volume 2 comp.) They play extremely strange , extremely funky instrumental new wave with violin and other idiosyncratic instrumentatuion. It’s also quite fucking awesome. I need to listen to more of this. I am a sucker for sleeping on Material. Don’t be like me. Don’t sleep.

Celtic Frost – Dethroned Emperor
From Morbid Tales
I love On to Mega-Therion and (especially) Into the Pandemonium as much as the next hessian, but for my money nothing lays down that slow, clunky brutality that the Frost is known best for like Morbid Tales. You’re not metal if you’re not at least acquainted with this record.

Acid King – Dry Run
From Zoroaster
I tried unsuccessfully to immerse myself in the burgeoning stoner rock scene a few years back. Like any other style of music, there’s a lot of chaff for every one piece of wheat (or vice versa – I’m assuming you want the wheat, unless you’ve got that allergy which I think I kind of have. Also I don’t really know what the fuck “chaff” is – don’t warplanes launch it to confuse enemy radars?) Any way, Acid King are an exception because they keep you hooked in with truly psychedelic jams and great female vocals.

Until next time, kids.

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Blogger steady said...

That's Steady Nerdin' not Straight Nerdin' Dan! Steady Nerdin' like the Ice Cube song Steady Mobbin', geddit? Go to the website, click on the blog and then search for "steady" and click on any date that pops up to hear my show from that date. The rest is self-explanatory.
Fix that shit, meng! Episode 2 coming very soon!

Mike IQ
Steady Nerdin'

8:21 AM  

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