Lame cover art

It’s my birthday, and I’ve got a present for you. You can probably tell how old I am now from its title. Don’t make me say it out loud. This album is a collection of stuff I didn’t put on the other albums — but that needed to get off my consciousness and off my mind to prepare for the next phase of whatever. It all makes for kind of a cool album, actually.

Listen and download here. When it asks how much you want to pay for it, don’t feel the least bit bad about entering 0 if that’s what you want to do.

Glam-Racket has this really cool post about Gonn, the 1960s garage-rock band from Keokuk, IA that wrote and recorded “Blackout of Gretely,” rediscovered by punk rockers in the ’80s and now considered a proto-punk touchstone, and which can be found on the Nuggets box set (as well as the posthumous compilation The Loudest Band In Town). Also check out the follow-up post with the video of The Fuzztones covering “Blackout of Gretely.”

I need to keep more on top of things worth posting here. Anyway, my old buddy and former bandmate Stacy Peck used to play drums in this band out in Seattle called Telepathic Liberation Army, and while she was doing that, they recorded an album, and that album is out now on Don’t Stop Believin’ Records. Get it here. I’ve heard rough mixes of a couple songs and it’s badass stuff.

And if you’re interested in what Stacy gets up to since, check out Pony Time. Word is they’re working on a cassette album.

Lou Barlow is kind of one of my personal heroes. I love his songwriting, his voice, his distinctive bass playing in Dinosaur Jr., and just his general approach to his various musical projects, whether it be Sebadoh or Sentridoh or Folk Implosion or solo stuff or whatever. Dude keeps it real.

I’m pretty sure I drove right past him, walking down the street, crossing a bridge in Minneapolis, just after the Dinosaur Jr. show I went to up there a couple years ago, a block or two down the street from the venue. It sure looked like him. To this day one of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t stop the car and offer him a ride. If it was indeed him. I should have at least checked.

Anyway Lou’s got a new record out on Merge called “= Sentridoh III” that I’m really interested in, wherein he’s teamed up with The Missingmen, the same group of guys who have lately backed up another personal musical hero of mine, Mike Watt. I’m not sure if Watt is himself in involved with the project, how bad-ass would that be?

But in any case, what I’ve heard/seen of this sounds great. And what that is, is this free mp3 from Merge of the new EP’s re-make of the classic Sentridoh song “Losercore,” and this video for “On The Face”:

Lou Barlow + the missingmen – On The Face from Merge Records on Vimeo.

I’ve been having a hell of a good time working with Dan and Jeff on this Fetal Pig reunion show. If you heard the tracks from their cassette EP I posted a while back and thought those were something, they don’t quite do justice to the material we’ve been working up. Seems Fetal Pig had a pretty productive period writing songs after coming out with that tape, and we’re doing a set that pulls pretty heavily from that stuff. And that stuff takes the heavy prog angle of the band a few steps further yet. It’s really expanding my bass vocabulary in ways that I hope will come out in future projects.

Distant Trains was actually going to perform live! There was an early show scheduled at the Mews with My Empty Phantom and Blutiger Fluss next month, but My Empty Phantom canceled so the whole show was scrapped. My plan was to do kinda much like what my solo shows have been in the past, except with bass instead of guitar. I think it’s a good outlet for the heavy intense side of what I’d been working on, whereas I plan to also do a more folky thing, without the drum machine, as just Chuck Hoffman. Might get myself an acoustic guitar for that eventually.

Anyway that’s pretty much all I have right now. I have a bunch of albums that have come out recently that I want to write about, and probably will soon, once I get a couple more listens of them in.

From Fall of 2003 for a couple years after, sometimes off-and-on, I was in this far-out improvisational/noise/post-rock band with musical inventor Tom Vanderwall and drummer/pedal steel guitarist Phil Sterk, at that time best known for his work with A Is Jump and Why Make Clocks. We put out some CD-Rs, had some cool t-shirts, played some shows. I still occasionally hear from someone who really dug what we were up to, often wondering where they can still get our recordings. Now you can get them here. Check the new “Albums” link up in the main nav above.

Fuck yeah.

I just had practice earlier today with the reunion lineup of Fetal Pig that’s going to be performing at Vaudeville Mews July 23rd. The lineup is the brothers Hutchison and myself (interestingly, this same lineup has performed as Why Make Clocks once, at The Replay Lounge in Lawrence). It was awesome. Des Moines old-skoolas ought to get your asses out there for this show — Going To Grandma’s will also be doing the reunion thing on that show (same Hutchisons are involved).

Just yesterday, I put out How To Decompose: The Best Of Exit Drills on Bandcamp. Exit Drills, originally named E.D.I.T.H., was a band I formed with Stacy Peck, Matt McGuire, and Josh Schneiderman in 1999. We had a nervy, angry noise-punk sound that’s still quite unlike anyone else I’ve heard, but if can imagine a cross between Mission Of Burma and Pussy Galore doing a snarky take on themes of paranoia and social disconnection, you might be in the general neighborhood.

So a couple years ago I thought it would be cool to compile an album of the best versions of as many Exit Drills songs as I could, pulling from various recordings, including live versions. A good chunk of this CD in fact comes from our set at a “battle of the bands” thing that The Reverb put on in March 2003, because I think we really nailed that set. The band lineup at that time was myself, Josh, and Peter Vanderwall, who some of you may remember as the drummer of A Is Jump before Phil Sterk. In Exit Drills, he was on bass. So I selected tracks, burned up a few CD-Rs and printed some covers, thought I’d put them in with my own CDs on the merch table at my shows.

Well now you can get it as a download. As with all my stuff that I put out on Bandcamp for download, it’s a name-your-own-price deal with no minimum, which basically implies that it’s free (just enter 0 for the price) unless you just happen to be feeling generous. However, be advised that any money you put in there goes straight to me personally. It might pay my web hosting bills, I might buy beer with it. If by some weird trick of fate it starts selling like mad, then I’d have to start thinking about Stacy’s cut, and Josh’s, and Peter’s, and Matt’s, and Kevin’s, and Aaron’s.

Every member of Exit Drills or E.D.I.T.H. during its history is heard on here somewhere. There are tracks from our very first show, and one from our very last. There are tracks from the recordings we did with Brian Cox in Cedar Rapids, one that we recorded with Joe Terry of The Poison Control Center (who started out with an actual poison-control-center theme similarly to how Exit Drills started out with a fire-safety theme, by the way), some of our own homestyle recordings, and a whole lot of stuff off of board tapes from gigs.

While you’re over there, you may want to check out my solo stuff too. Both of them include some remakes of songs that Exit Drills did first.

Albeit an acoustic one, I suppose. Details on their blog.