Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Snake Apartment and Jordan Rain.
Listed: Snake Apartment + Jordan Rain
Snake Apartment splits its time between Providence, RI and the Bay Area. They sound like a noise rock band that works for the place that services portable lavatories. Their new record is called Paint the Walls and is now out on Parts Unknown.
Ugly American rock music and whatever else is near the turntable, or some records to listen to for the grunge revival of '08. get a leg up friends.
1. Green River - Come on Down lp
Here we go - arguably the record that started it all for sweaty long haired dudes wearing flannel all year round. slowed down hard rock jams, surprisingly thick fuzz bass, and nasal singer who barely hung with the melody. Sticks with the 70's rock vibe more than the records that would come later, but that's alright by me.
2. Tad - Salt Lick lp
HEAVY. the man, the band, the legend. I don't like to play favorites, so check all the records that are foolishly being passed over in dollar bins round the country. Let the gruntruck records lie though.
3. Mudhoney - "Touch Me I'm Sick/Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More" 7"
If there is only one record with a toilet on the cover in your collection, make it this one. Passively pissed and miserable, you can feel the sticky floors when the needle hits. Sub Pop should just give these away with every order.
4. Thrown Ups- "Smiling Panties" 7"
Bronze star winner for achievement in rock music, and runner up for most toilet humor for men over the age of 13. This is angriest, slowest, mind boggling record on the list. It's like a creepy old men version of flipper, and it's a fantastic record that I can only assume was an influence on the brainbombs and other misanthropic sludge of the current decade. Get all the singles as they are available in a variety of handy formats.
5. v/a - Sub Pop 200 3lp
One of the best rock compilations ever. non stop downer hits from bands who were to become huge, bands that were to show in up in spin occasionally, and bands that would never get the recognition they deserved. Highlights include Soundgarden's boogie rock inside joke complete with adolescent answering machine shenanigans, the best Green River and Swallow tunes, and the song that I play when it's time to make guests leave - the Thrown Ups' 'You Lost It'.
6. Steel Pole Bathtub - "Bozeman/Borstal" 7"
Somehow whinier, noisier, and catchier than most of the other records on this list. And with samples! Ape it before it apes you. And send boner records some of your money.
7. God Bullies - "Fear & Pain/Kick it to Sleep" 7"
God I got a concept, let's do a goth/dirge punk crossover. It's gonna sound like Mighty Sphincter on ludes. Genius. And with samples!
8. L7 - Smell the Magic lp
Fuck the 'Serial Mom' bullshit, fuck the MTV videos, man fuck that first lp on Epitaph, too. This lp is the shit you want. Couple of chords, a catchy as fuck opening riff, and some pre-pretend we're dead i could give two shits about tampons vocals. Too dumb to be metal and too slow to be punk. Bonus points for the faster pussycat and vixen jabs. Maybe it was ballsy at the time. Right on thru gals.
9. Action Swingers - "Blow Job" 7"
Speaking of which, this list needed more records about oral sex with endless guitar soloing over budget tempos.
10. Melvins - Gluey Porch Treatments lp
Thought i would forget this slice of mud. I didn't forget Killdozer either, I just am short on time and can't list every record that wears its filth to bed.
11. OSS - Because We're All in This Together cd
Ok, this isn't fair at all. this disc didn't come out till at least 8 years later, but there is a spiritual kinship here - ugly bass, ugly blues, ugly yells. They aren't from Seattle, but it rains a shitload in providence too. We just don't always need guitars to feel miserable.
Jordan Rain exited Seattle in the mid-90s for the northern wilds of Bellingham, WA and the strong community of musicians and artists based just south the Canadian border. With a long history in the Seattle/NW underground music community Jordan has explored hardcore/punk/queercore (Behead The Prophet NLSL), county-shed/groove/noise-blues (Reeks & The Wrecks), swing/doo-wop/soul (Basement Swing, Alamo Social Club), and the occasional free noise collaboration (Noggin). For the past few years Jordan has been hosting the regular Yogoman's Wild Rumpus DJ sets with dance music from around the world and spanning the ages, but focused on Jamaican Rock Steady/Reggae/Dancehall and American Soul/R&B/Hip Hop. The combination of such a wide array of styles has been brought to the fore-front on Jordan's recent solo album, Street Lights (Pool or Pond), which he performed and recorded each instrument/vocal through the pinhole mic of his iBook. Jordan looks back at Street Lights to list the influences for several of the songs on the album along with a few of his all-time favorite artists. In 2007, Jordan will be releasing a record by his full band, Yogoman Burning Band, and touring the northwest.
1. Jamaican Rock Steady music
Rock Steady is a general category of Jamaican music from the mid 60's that I generally fall back on for general listening and musical inspiration. I drew a lot from this genre in the last few songs of my first album, 9 Jordan Rain Song, on Murder Mountain Records. Rock Steady has a common listenability with it's sweet vocal harmonies, bubbling guitar & piano rhythms that set the framework for very subtle but outstanding drumming (some of my favorite). Top bands include Techniques, Clarendonians, Ethiopians, the Maytals and Roy Shirley, with too many others to list.
2. 1960's African music
Artists like Franco, Orchestra Baobab, and the entire album Kampala Sound: 1960's Ugandan Dance Music hit me in the same way that Rock Steady music. While the rhythms are slightly different, 1960's African music has a warmth and beauty that I rarely find in any other form of music. The guitar playing in this music is by far the most inspired I have ever heard and the vocals are lush.
3. New Orleans Music
Another source of rhythmic inspiration I tend to glean from includes groups like the Meters, the rolling rhythms of New Orleans early jazz and brass bands (old and new). The modern rap/hip-hop/trunk shaking style that comes from NOLA is infectious, moves me and was a primary influence on the song “Street Lights.” A combination of elements from New Orleans music, the Maytals and early Country Blues contributed to the sound of “If You Don't.”
4. Dirty Three
These Australian fellows are one of the best bands I have ever seen live. My favorite Dirty Three concerts have been up in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. For some reason it just seemed like a better place to see them than Seattle. In Vancouver, people appear to be more open, vulnerable and receptive to music and Dirty Three are the type of group that can bring the audience to tears or ecstatic joy (No offense Seattle, your just too sophisticated).
5 & 6. Outkast and the Stooges
Atlanta and Detroit's finest both indirectly influenced the song “Seattle Sucks a Big Ass Chode.”. I realized after I wrote this song that the combination of these two bands' sounds were an unconscious influence on its energy and delivery. What is synonymous with these two groups is their distinct style within their genres. Outkast isn't afraid to mix in outside styles to achieve a certain sound and Iggy tells It like it is. The way I delivered this song vocally is what reminds me of Outkast and the groove and rough vocal quality is more of the Stooges vein. Lyrically, this song is about my experience of relating to people in the underground music scene of Seattle during the mid 90's. Now that the dust has settled, post Microsoft boom, I think Seattle is socially better, but the sterility, cliques and stuffy elements at that time were what drove me up to Bellingham. To me, Bellingham people seem less restrained and a little more wild. The nature of the town allows people from and into different walks of life seem to more easily co-exist.
7. Curtis Mayfield
I definitely thought of Curtis listening back to “Doot Doot.”. He is a kind and beautiful soul who's music has always been akin to my spirit. I found the album entitled Curtis years ago and really feel close to its songs. I haven't researched Curtis' life in detail, but just through his songs I feel he took a humble yet honest and direct approach towards his message, for which I aspire to carry the torch. Curtis was much like a folk artist in his reality based lyrical content, yet it was set to the musical backdrop of doo-wop, soul and funk music (his cultural context). This unique combination lyrics and music explains why he was also greatly revered by Jamaican artists of the Rock Steady era, since there was a synonymous push in the transcendence of the tough living conditions and racism (for Africans in America & Jamaica) through unity and making a positive change despite the circumstances can be heard in both Rock Steady and the music of Curtis.
8. Meixing Ruby Jane North Rain
My daughter, Meixing, directly influenced me to write “All Around and Upside Down.” I'm glad she got to record and sing it with me while she was just 2 years old. Meixing (means beautiful star) has been an inspiration to me since she was born and gave me the push to really pursue my musical dream seriously. I realized after Meixing came into my life that there was no more time to mess around. It brought an immediacy to live out my aspirations not only for my own sake but for her as an example. Also, Larry Yes, an amazing singer/songwriter of Portland, Oregon was recruited to help me write the ice cream shop verse at the end of the song. Larry has a dreamlike and ethereal yet playful quality to his soul and songwriting that I thought would work well for “All Around…”.
9. Rural Arabic/Northern African music
I know, I keep listing these vague categories of music as influences but there often aren't any specific artists to list when working in an inspired state with music, it's just whatever comes out of the collective/creative unconscious in the moment. I recommend checking out any of the Nonesuch/Explorer albums of these regions, which seem to be field recordings, very raw and live sounding.
10. This Mortal Coil
I could say that This Mortal Coil is an influence on the song “Microwave Drifter” though it wasn't what I was thinking of when it was created. I was sort of hazily distraught and entertained with the reality of cooking my food in a microwave because I needed it quickly and didn't feel like cooking. This Mortal Coil is a 4AD collective of musicians who came together to create a few albums. They made very beautiful yet haunting sounds.
By Dusted Magazine