REVIEW: Todd Congelliere: People In The Sand E.P.

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Todd Congelliere (you may know him from F.Y.P. and Toys That Kill) is here with a solo EP. Out on Ol’ Tennis Shoes records. This is about as solo as a solo recording can get, it’s mostly Todd and a guitar, there’s some other things thrown in here but you should get the idea. Very different from the bands he’s been in, but still somehow keeps that odd level of weirdness that I love. This is a great record.

‘Too Many Choices’ Too many choices in life can be confusing and overwhelming. This sums it up pretty well. The song is just Todd and a guitar.
Bottom of the Sea’ We’ve got a lot of weird added elements added in here. Playing a glass cup it sounds like? One of those slide whistle toy things? I’m just speculating here. But the guitar is definitely back. All of this comes together to make a pretty great song, about moving to the bottom of the sea.
‘People In The Sand’ This is more of a full sounding than the other songs somehow. The same formula is there, Todd, guitar, bells, a glock? But regardless this is my favorite song. It makes me want to lounge on the beach in a hammock with an alcoholic beverage in my hand.

1. Too Many Choices
2. Bottom of the Sea
3. People In The Sand

REVIEW: Dangerous Intersections I-VI (Traffic Street Compilations)

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Traffic Street Records is still a pretty young label but they’ve established themselves as a standard for quality, besides the great 7″s and splits they’ve put out so far they’ve also got a great series of compilations going for them. It’s rare that I look forward to a comp coming out but it’s rare a series of them is constantly this good. So far Traffic Street’s Dangerous Intersections has made it up to volume six so I figure may as well just go through them all here. Six volumes, four songs, four bands, seven inches.

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Dangerous Intersections I

Released on January 29, 2009, classic cover art by Dick Crawford. Now out of print but here’s the stat’s anyway 300 black, 103 blue-green-silver mix.
First of the Dangerous Intersections series is by Rational Anthem, a fairly average punk song, honestly not the band’s best stuff but it’s still a damn good song. Iron Chic is up next with a pretty melodic song, reminds me of some Hot Water Music jams, I approve of this song and would like to hear more from this band. Amen and the Hell Yeahs, long fucking name, but they’ve got a song about drinking so it’s alright. And closing things out on this first volume is the Unwelcome Guests with a pretty good song. This might be the best song on here if it weren’t for Rational Anthem. Overall a damn fine four song comp.

1. Rational Anthem – Of Kids Left in Cars With Windows Up
2. Iron Chic – I Never Get Winded
3. Amen and the Hell Yeahs – Brothers and Sisters In Bourbon
4. Unwelcome Guests – Floating Away

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Dangerous Intersections II

Released on February 22, 2009, Lauren Measure supplied the cover here, which has really grown on me, I’d hang this thing up on my mantle now….if I had a mantle…and a painting of this big enough. As for the pressing of this one we’ve got 354 black, 117 yellow surprise, 24 citrus, 5 lemon-lime, 4 orange, 3 toilet water.
Volume two has Basement Black starting things off not a bad song but somewhat forgettable, I imagine this would fit well in the middle of a full album. Dead Mechanical is next on the list and they bust it out with a fucking awesome song, worth the price of admission just for this one alone. Pretty Boy Thorson & The Falling Angels, another band with a fucking long name, unfortunately I don’t really care for the song they’ve got here but I’m sure it’ll appeal to a lot of other people, they’ve kinda got a Lucero thing going. The Measure [SA] ends volume two, as normal they offer up a damn good song, these guys rule a whole fucking lot. Dangerous Intersections II had more weak links than volume one but with Dead Mechanical and The Measure [sa] on it, there’s no way you can go wrong buying it.

1. Basement Black – Freedom or Beer … Whatever, Dude
2. Dead Mechanical – Poison Bearer
3. Pretty Boy Thorson & The Falling Angels – Start Me On Interferon
4. The Measure [SA] – How to Thrash a Million

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Dangerous Intersections III

Released on May 13, 2009, cover art that reminds me of a pretty awesome flyer for some reason by Gord Lafler. Record nerds, 301 black, 150 sour grape, 54 crystal scum.
Volume three, The Closet Fairies, things get real fast, real fast, great opener. Apocalypse Meow follows with another great song, volume three is half way over and highly enjoyable with high energy and fun falling out of its pockets. Where can we go from here? Well The Dopamines come in and answer that with a song that i fucking love the title to. And as normal The Dopamines are awesome. The closer is Todd Congelliere, you may know him from F.Y.P and Toys That Kill. A slower song than I had expected not only because of the performer but also the previous three songs set a fast pace. This also sounds like it was recorded in his bedroom, which isn’t bad, I fucking love it. Volume three is the forerunner of awesomeness at this point, I’m actually kind of blown away at how good this one turned out.

1. The Closet Fairies – SKUMPUNK
2. Apocalypse Meow – Babies Got It Made
3. The Dopamines – My Future’s So Bright, I Have to Wear Night Vision Goggles
4. Todd Congelliere – Channel 11

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Dangerous Intersections IV

Released on May 22, 2009, Stewart Breaks brings my personal favorite fucking cover art of the Dangerous Intersections series. 320 black, 175 sky blue, 70 sky grey.
The Strait A’s open Dangerous Intersections volume four, and well, this song is kinda great. Like Bats follows them with a really fucking cool song, this is probably the best song up to this point on any of these. However they’re followed by one of my favorite discoveries of 2009, Rumspringer. I do like the Like Bats song just a bit more, and that’s saying a lot because Rumspringer is really fucking great and this is no exception. Last is Barrakuda McMurder, Steinways fans know what’s up. They have hands down the best song title in Dangerous Intersections history. Too bad it takes about as much time to say the track title as it does to listen to the song, coming in at under a minute, it’s a fun little song but almost gets dwarfed by what was ahead of it. overall, I thought volume three kicked a lot of ass (and it very much does), but volume four just takes it to the next level.

1. Strait A’s – Go Away
2. Like Bats – Sleepwalker
3. Rumspringer – No Lights On
4. Barrakuda McMurder – I Broke Up (With My Girlfriend (So That I Could Write Pop Punk Songs About It))

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Dangerous Intersections V

Released on August 26, 2009, I’m still on the fence as far as this cover goes done by Brett Wensel. 330 black, 167 mineral water, 60 brown trash.
Pretty excited to be listening to all of these right in a row, let’s get going with Dangerous Intersections V. Troublemake opens it up with a great into song, actually it’s just a great song in general, I’ll be looking for some more Troublemake stuff soon. The long named bands is back with The Legendary San Diego Chargers, lucky for them, they’re really good despite their name. A catchy rock jam lets me look past the name of the band. Shang-A-Lang comes in pretty startling after that song, loud, fast, unorganized, I can take a pass on this one. Ending things is another long named Andrew Jackson Jihad, I recently really learned to appreciate these guys, due to a big part of this Billy Joel cover, good stuff. Dangerous Intersections V gets another big thumbs up from me, due in big part to the MVP Troublemake.

1. Troublemake – Use Six or Seven Times and Destroy
2. The Legendary San Diego Chargers – Fred and the Kids Are Dead
3. Shang-A-Lang – Don’t Bring Him Around
4. Andrew Jackson Jihad – You May Be Right

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Dangerous Intersections VI

Released on March 4, 2010, Ryan Agate boasts a wicked cool cover for the latest installment. 333 black, 180 barbicide, 60 UK yellow, 5 smokestain.
Lastly we’re at the final installment (for now) of the Dangerous Intersections series, the long named bands are back again, No High Fives to Bullshit starts us off I really don’t like this song, it may grow on me, but I wouldn’t put that as a reflection on the band because No High Fives to Bullshit has done some pretty good stuff, they can’t all be hits. The Manix have the second song on this thing, and it’s exactly what I needed for some energy, love this song, I’m now stoked on  The Manix. The Humanoids up next, with a pretty good punk song, good stuff here too. And for the final song of the record we’ve got The Taxpayers with a downbeat song, lots of slow guitar strums and slow-paced singing for the first minute until it picks up into something that seems to try a little too hard. I’d give The Taxpayers another try but this song left a bad taste in my mouth. Dangerous Intersections VI was pretty good, much like all the others. It’s a quality series of compilations, looking forward to the next volume already.

1. No High Fives to Bullshit – My Friends?
2. The Manix – Red Truck
3. The Humanoids – Pride by the Barrel
4. The Taxpayers – The Lights

Get Dangerous Intersections I-VI from Amazon HERE

Weekly Label Profile: Recess Records

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Name: Recess Records
Lifespan: 1989-current
Web Site: http://www.recessrecords.com/
Notable Releases/Bands: Beatnik Termites, Ben Weasel, The Dwarves, F.Y.P.,I Spy, Propagandhi, Screeching Weasel, Toys That Kill
Info: Started in 1989 in California by Todd Congelliere to put out F.Y.P. records Recess Records has done pretty well for itself since then. They’ve gone from being run out of a bedroom to an apartment to a real warehouse. They’ve put out your small bands that most people don’t know to legends like Screeching Weasel. And are showing no signs of slowing down the punk rock.

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