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LITERATURE» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
MUSIC» The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
MUSIC» Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
Unlike anything that crawled out of the gutter known as the Bay Area punk scene of the late 1970s and early '80s, Flipper, at least on paper, made no sense. On one hand, there was Falconi whipping up squalls of distorted noise with no regard for conventional guitar playing. Off on their own, Loose and Shatter plotted in secret, spitting out weird lyrics and working out slow, nihilistic bass lines in rudimentary fashion. All the while, DePace pummeled away, steady as can be. Strange as it sounds, all those contradictions made for compelling theater.
Described in the liner notes as an "ugly beauty," the live incarnation of Flipper was thrilling and unpredictable. No two shows were ever the same, as the new, archival DVD, Flipper Live: Target Video 77 - 1980-81, makes abundantly clear. Comprised of rare footage from two shows, the video - dug out from the archives of California punk documentarians Target Video - revisits a 1980 concert at Berkeley Square in Berkeley, California, and the band's moment of glory when opening for industrial legends Throbbing Gristle in 1981.
Staged by Target Video with a crowd full of friends and family of the band, along with other assorted misfits, the Berkeley Square show finds a relaxed Flipper in all its sloppy glory. Flashes of brilliance come with the groove-oriented pull of "Low Rider," the split personality of "Friends," and the cataclysmic morass of "One By One." It includes the only known video of Flipper drunkenly careening through "The Wheel," with friend Denny DeGorio adding his own touch - an improvised reading of The Rolling Stones' "Shattered." Not the most professional of performances - wrong notes and false starts abound - it's as fun as any basement show you've ever been to, and Berkeley Square, neon colors puked all over its surfaces, is the perfect site for such a party.
Darker and more unsettling, the Kezar Stadium show was something else entirely. Backed by disturbing video imagery, Flipper, despite constant equipment outages and the hostile vibes emanating from the crowd, plowed through its set with purpose and smoldering anger. Seething, black-hearted versions of "Shine" and "One By One" cry from the depths of a private hell, while "Nothing" sees no future in anything and poisons minds. Battered and bruised by distortion, "Low Rider" assumes a new identity here, one that's disinterested but more dangerous. And when Falconi destroys his guitar in a fit of rage, Flipper has thrown down the gauntlet - beat that, Throbbing Gristle.
Packaged with a more recently made video of Flipper's most known song, the monumentally stupid but infectious as hell "Sex Bomb," Target Video77: 1980-81 reveals the many sides of a band that is just now resurrecting itself, with former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic playing the part of Shatter, who died of a drug overdose in 1987. Welcome back, Flipper. You were missed. SEE ALSO: www.markprindle.com/flipper.htm
SEE ALSO: www.targetvideo.blogspot.com
SEE ALSO: www.mvdb2b.com
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he'll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.
See other articles by Peter Lindblad.
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