Channel: Growing Bored For a Living
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Haven't done anything "out there" for a while.....

....and so, with that, I give to you on this Labor Day what I assume to be The Best Big Black Post,
Ever.......WHO THE FUCK IS BIG BLACK??????? Well.......

From Evanston Illinois, mid 1980's, Big Black consisted of singer/guitarist Steve Albini, guitarist Santiago Durango, and bassist Jeff Pazzati, the latter two coming from Illinois legends Naked Raygun (Pazatti would later be replaced by Dave Riley.....they employed no drummer, preferring the creepy, ugly, noisy sound of a synthetic drum machine.

They were "their own men", so to speak, I'll offer up a quote from Albini which I think summarizes things fairly well:

"It meant nothing to us if we were popular or not, or if we sold either a million or no records, so we were invulnerable to ploys by music scene weasels to get us to make mistakes in the name of success. To us, every moment we remained unfettered and in control was a success. We never had a manager. We never had a booking agent. We never had a lawyer. We never took an advance from a record company. We booked our own tours, paid our own bills, made our own mistakes and never had anybody shield us from either the truth or the consequences. The results of that methodology speak for themselves: Nobody ever told us what to do, and nobody took any of our money"

Personally, I appreciate such sentiments at times, we never do know how "real" they are or whether
such sentiments are simply attention grabbing mechanisms....after all the Clash, Rage Against the Machine, Gang of Four, among others, DID NOT "work for free", all willingly accepting a paycheck at the end of the day (I always did a laugh from Gang of Four's "At Home He's a Tourist"'s lyric "Down on the disco floor....they make their profits....with the thing they sell.....", presented in a manner that made it, to me at least, soun as though Gang of Four records were free of charge....amazingly, they costed as much as anyone else's)

Anyway, though, Big Black pretty much made their own rules...this is VERY abrasive and hard , in particular at the beginning....the 1982 EP "Lungs" is nearly unlistenable, brutal guitars, jackhammer-ish drum machine, and fun lyrics about child molesters and crack addicts. Their next release, 1983's "Bulldozer" EP is somewhat more enjoyable, I guess, if you are don with stuff like "Pigeon Kill" (I'll let you find out for yourself).

Riley replaced Pazatti before the 1985 release of their third EP,
"Racer X", again, if you are completely unfamilair with them and follow their developement, you can hear that "something" is going on here.....the first full-length, "Atomizer" was released in 1986 and myself as well as maybe the other 6 people who have heard it consider it one of the great-lost-unknown albums of that bleak decade. The ideas from the earlier EP's are fleshed out here...the music is as chaotic and violent as ever, or in its own way, more so, and the lyrical subject matter.....well, it's some sick sick shit, listen for yourself as long as you are not easilly disturbed...."Jordan Minnesota" , just to name one, involves a huge child molestation scandal in the city of the same name, not for the faint of heart, a brilliant and terrifying album. THIS IS NOT LETS GET DOWN AND PARTY MUSIC......I cannot emphasize this fact enough. You need to be prepared, as well as be in the right frame of mind, at times, Big Black can make the bleakest work of Nine Inch Nails, say, sound like Stryper.

A 1987 EP "Headache" was made up of some leftovers from "Atomizer", and one would in general think that this bunch would call it a day at this point, having in the can one "accidental classic" album ("Atomizer").....they announced that they would end it, after the release of their second LP "Songs About Fucking"......"Songs About Fucking" is their best-known and most commercially successful, (if that is the term for which I search) album, it's not bad, but by no means is it "Atomizer", the one you want if you want only one.

So, post -"Songs About Fucking" stuff from these unknown
"legends"?  Well, we have the live release "Sound of Impact", which I assume generates the feel of their live shows (was not fortunate enough to have seen them), includes versions of all their most chilling shit "Jordan Minnesota", "Pigeon Kill", "Big Money", it could, I suppose, pass for a sort of ironic "greatest-hits-live" package. "Pigpile" was aner live recording, from 1987, which was released several years later (I prefer "Sound of Impact" for what it's worth)....I have a three track-single, "Heartbeat", which I may as well throw out there, and a RARITIES album, of all things, which actually DOES contain some rare and interestsing stuff. I think there are a couple more singles (other than "Heartbeat") around that I don't have, they may or may not be incorporated into the rarities set, and I had a friend who had a release titled "The Rich Man's 8 Track Tape" which I either didn't copy or lostor something......

Anyway I think you'll get the idea what they were about.....if you are/were a fan of post-punk, Industrial, "Nine Inch Nails meets Public Image Ltd with lyrics from GG Alin" (ever think you'd hear THAT description?) this may be for you....it will not be for everyone, no question, so enter with caution.

Interested indeed in what you all have to say, especially those of ya unfamilair with all this here.....I think "Atomizer" is probably one of the 20 best rock albums of the 1980's, many people, well, don't.....it's all here for ya, if ya want it, if not, something else tomorrow!

Good to be back!

LUNGS EP-01 Steelworker/02 Live in a Hole/03 Dead Billy/04 I Can Be KIlled/05 Crack/06 RIP

BULLDOZER EP-01 Cables/02 Pigeon Kill/03 I'm a Mess/04 Texas/05 Seth/06 Jump the Climb

RACER X -01 Racer X/02 Shotgun/03 The Ugly American/04 Deep Six/05 Sleep!/06 The Big Payback

ATOMIZER-01 Jordan Minnesota/02 Passing Complexion/03 Big Money/04 Kerosene/5 Bad Houses/06 Fists of Love/07 Stinking Drunk/08 Bazooka Joe/09 Cables (Live)

HEADACHE EP-01 My Disco/02 Grinder/03 Ready Man/04 Pete, King of Detectives

SONGS ABOUT FUCKING-01 The Power of Independent Trucking/02 The Model/03 Bad
Penny/04 L Dopa/05 Precious Thing/06 Columbian Necktie/07 Kitty Empire/08 Ergot/09 Kasimir S Pulaski/10 Fish Fry/11 Pavement Saw/12 Tiny, King of the Jews/13 Bombastic Intro/14 He's a Whore

SOUND OF IMPACT-01 Ready Men/02 Big Money/03 Elephant Joke/04 Yanomamo Indians/05 Pigeon Kill/06 Passing Complexion/07 Crack Up/08 RIP/09 Jordan Minnesota/10 Steelworker (Short Fragment)/11 Cables/12 Pigeon Kill/13 Kerosene/14 Bad Penny/15 Deep Six/16 RIP/17 Rema Rema

PIGPILE-01 Fists of Love/02 L Dopa/03 Passing Complexion/04 Dead Billy/05 Cables/06 Bad Penny/07 Pavement Saw/08 Kerosene/09 Steelworker/10 Pigeon Kill/11 Fish Fry/12 Jordan Minnesota

HEARTBEAT SINGLE-01 Heartbeat/02 Things To Do Today/03 I Can't Believe

RARITIES-01 Hunters Saftey/02 Il Duce/03 Burning Indian Wife/04 Rema Rema/05 In My House/06 The Crack Up/07 Every Man For Himself/08 Strange Things/09 Newmangenerator/10 Jump the Climb/11 I Can Be Killed/12 Unknown/13 Live In a Hole/14 RIP (1982 Demo)/15 Kettle  Cake (With Zenigeva)/16 The Model (With Zenigeva)/17 I Hate You (With Zenigeva)

Never accuse me of being complacent......I know some of you
will hate this post, but if a couple of you try it out and find something that to you is new/cool, mission accomplished! And,I  don't care what ANYONE says "Atomizer" is a damn fine ***** album, one of the best of it's decade!

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