Monday, May 13, 2013

Check Out: TV Eye

Do you like The Dickies, The Vindictives, The Zero Boys and Supernova? Well you should, moron.

And since you do, these guys are right up your alley. This Swedish band plays short. snotty punk blasts (most songs around the 1 minute mark) with some of the goofiest lyrics I've ever read. Some examples:

Working on a plantation
picking bananas
Working for Fyffe
packing the banana

Fyffe times better
Fyffe times better
It's a yellow curved fruit they call...BANANA!

Last week I divorced my wife
Now she's no mrs but a miss
all the cooking and cleaning
is now my business

I've bought a table and a fucking chair
and a cuckoo-clock...the price was fair
I have to buy a new home 'cause I was thrown out

Yep, those are all the words. You might not be scribbling their lyrics in your trapper keeper anytime soon, but the songs are catchy and fun, and there's a lot of them. One of their albums is available for "name your price" and another 10 song 7" is just $3. Definitely worth it for a smile and some toe taps.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Seaweed - Beasides

I got into Seaweed a little late. I didn't really check them out until Spanaway came out, by which time I'm sure I missed them playing Madison and Milwaukee plenty of times. I saw them briefly in Chicago in 1994 on a sort of strange bill with Green Day, Bad Religion and All, but missed most of their set. A fitting sounding lineup now, and on the heels of all of their major label debuts, but at the time I wasn't sure how many crossover fans there were for all those bands.

I'm still not quite sure how Seaweed fared in the punk game back then. They were on Sub Pop who were known for, well, you know. Might have been a reason I steered clear of them for a while. (The band Male Bonding might suffer a similar fate being on the same label, which I now associate with boring "indie" rock, even though they sound more like 90's melodic punk.)

It's hard to pick a favorite Seaweed album. Weak, Four and Spanaway probably get equal listens, but I still pop on Despised and Actions & Indications sometimes. I can't say I listen to their earliest CD that much. But it's nice to hear their growth over the course of these b-sides.

After their initial breakup, the singer had a mellower band called Gardener who released an album on Sub Pop. He also had a band with the guitarist from Verbal Assault and a guy from Sunny Day Real Estate called Not From Space. They only released a split EP and they sound amazing on paper, but they still don't come close to Seaweed.

There aren't really bands like this anymore. It's easy to copy the poppy punk formula, but not many bands can do a good job with decent, hard-edged, melodic punk, much less be so unique and prolific. They have a new-ish 7" from 2011 on No Idea Records too that fits in nicely with their discography. Not sure what their status is now, but I did finally see a full set of theirs at The Fest in Gainesville a few years ago.

VA - The Estrus Lunch Bucket CD (Estrus, 1990)
   01) Bewitched (Beat Happening)
VA - Fortune Cookie Prize (Simple Machines, 1992)
   02) Foggy Eyes (Beat Happening)
Measure CDep (Sub Pop, 1992)
   03) Measure
   04) Turnout (Alternate Version)
   05) Taxing (Demo)
   06) Baggage (Demo)
Bill CDep (Sub Pop, 1992)
   07) Pumpkin (Wwax)
   08) Squint: The Killerest Expression
Go Your Own Way CDep (Sub Pop, 1992)
   09) Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac)
   10) Losing Skin (Remix)
   11) She Cracked (Jonathan Richman)
Kid Candy Promo CDep (Sub Pop, 1993)
   12) Kid Candy (Radio Edit)
   13) Sing Through Me (The Dehumanizers)
   14) Shephard's Pie
VA - Jabberjaw - Good To The Last Drop (Mammoth, 1994)
   15) My Letters (The Fastbacks)
VA - Oh, Merge (Merge, 1999)
   16) Brand New Order
VA - Patchwork (Mere Exposure, 2002)
   17) Days Missed Dearly

Seaweed - Beasides (vbr 0)