Monday, November 26, 2007

-AUM 87/Casio Action Front split 'Get Ready for Yuppie Cleansing' Released!-

$6 USD

Clocking in at a blistering 19 minutes, this debut for AUM 87 and second release for Casio Action Front, features slices of dark ambient rubbing elbows with analog punk, fierce tones, machine noise, and sound collage. Drawing on the sonic energy and short song structure of rock&roll, and conceptually influenced by Nichiren's Final War, the unreality of things, the Bonnot gang, and prewar Japanese militarism, this CD is a must have for fans of noise, Nurse With Wound, synthetic crust and the musical equivalent of xerox graphic design. Copies are limited so act fast! Tracks include:

Casio Action Front

1. For Kita Ikki 30000
2. Smash N Grab
3. Crush

AUM 87

4. Satysiddhi
5. Saishu Senso
6. Shell Shock
7. Board Walk

For ordering information contact Ean Frick at To listen to some of the tracks listed above please visit these sites:
  • Casio Action Front

  • AUM 87
  • Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    -Architecture of the DDR-

  • Architecture of the DDR

  • Get up off your slick pleather couch up in your Stasi-bugged, Philip Johnson designed apartment and get ready for this blog exclusive, internet only release of 'Architecture of the DDR.' Brought to you by the good folks here at EFK Unlimited! Retro-modern authority has never sounded this good.

    Monday, November 05, 2007

    -The Convenience Store and American Democracy-

    What images come to mind when one utters that word so common to our cultural vocabulary: democracy? Poll booths, perhaps? Politicians engaging in a televised debate? Or how about an enthusiastic crowd of flag wavers celebrating the majoritarian spirit? Sure all these things would be correct, but only because there is no right or wrong when it comes to cultural signifiers. I guess the answer I was looking for would be my answer, for when I hear the word democracy I think of a 7-11.

    Now the reader may think I am being facetious or droll. Cue liberal arrogance: “Oh, those stupid Americans, all they care about is crap food and don’t give one iota about politics! Hububububb...” But no, I am being entirely serious when I say this. For not only do I think of convenience stores when I hear the word democracy, I find them wholly representative of American democracy, in fact, I feel they are better examples of American democracy than the electoral process.

    For one, they are entirely characteristic of the individualism which makes our country unique. One goes to a Store24 or Tedeschi’s to please one person and one person only: themselves. You don’t buy presents there for other people, if one of your friends asks you to get them something there you probably reply, “Why don’t you just fucking come along!?” I know I do. This is also where the convenience store is superior to electoral democracy. Given that America is such an individualistic society, a collective endeavor such as voting in a major election usually entails some degree of bullying towards minority opinions. Those who support unpopular or third party candidates are usually accused of “throwing their vote away”, while those who choose to abstain all together, either out of principle or apathy, have their Americanness questioned (something quite absurd given the innateness of such a quality) or are goaded for not making their voices heard. I have always found these badgering tactics to be quite at odds with the ideals of democracy, which is why I prefer the convenience store brand. The convenience store doesn’t care if you think you’re too good for a tray of Oreo’s at 2 AM or you would rather go to Spag’s if not for the fact that they closed years ago. The convenience store will continue to exist with or without your patronage. In this way convenience stores operate parallel to the political system, for no matter who you vote for, if you vote at all, the system will remain in tact.

    Another way convenience stores exemplify American democracy is the manner in which they are all inclusive. One of the biggest criticisms of our political system is that average Americans aren’t fully represented or even at all. So you don’t make a quarter of a million dollars a year solely on the stock market, so you’re not an upper class minority with a trendy victim status that will send you right to the top of the academic establishment, so you don’t have a financial stake in the rebuilding of Iraq, so your one and only concern isn’t the survival of Israel by whatever means necessary, boo-fucking-hoo! That’s why the convenience store is there for the people, the American people. It doesn’t matter if you get up a 5 AM to go to work or you’re just getting home from an all-night shift, if you’re drunk or high, rich or poor, a nun or a prostitute. The convenience store is there to offer cheap comfort food, cigarettes, daily newspapers, soda and candy for you, you exclusively and anybody else that walks in with enough money.

    The most important aspect of convenient store democracy, however, is the abundance of choices. If you look at the upcoming presidential election what are the choices? A black guy, a woman, that guy from Law&Order, a Mormon, that guy that likes 9/11, and that midget with the hot wife (you know, for the porn fanatics). But go to a convenience store for, say, salt and vinegar potato chips and you have a wide variety of choices between Cape Cod, Utz, Lays, Pringles, and Wachusett. If you want a soda to wash those down with you get another great array of choices. Now while I find that there are greater and better choices, and thus more pluralism, in convenience store democracy than there is in electoral democracy, I still find that they provide useful analogies for one another. Take for instance the recent fad of energy drinks. One can find at any convenience store a whole section in the beverage aisle devoted to them. But whether you buy a Red Bull or an Amp or a Monster, you’re still getting an energy drink. The same is true with the upcoming election. Whether you vote for that black guy who danced with Ellen DeGeneres or that lady who spoke at Wellesley or that guy who said freedom is about authority, you’re still just getting a professional politician. In other words, someone whose job it is to make you feel like they will represent your interests, no matter how contradictory, while upholding the same police state, the same cultural nihilism, and the same war in Iraq (with the probable addition of some new ones) that you’ve all seen before.

    Now I’m not writing this for the sake of contributing another essay to the “Voting Sucks” genre, in fact, I may actually vote in this upcoming election, a first for me. See I’m a Ron Paul guy and if we’re going to continue using the energy drink analogy, he’s the TaB Energy of presidential candidates. He comes from the big, bad GOP just as TaB Energy comes from the Coca Cola Corporation. What he has to say, though, is entirely unique for someone running for president (especially these days) just as TaB Energy has an exquisitely unique taste, somewhere between pink jelly beans and synthetic star fruit, and both are more than refreshing. TaB Energy may be new to the market but it is an update on the old TaB cola, the original diet soda, just as Ron Paul’s platform is an update on old school Constitutionalism, or in other words, the ideas on which this country was founded. But sadly, Ron Paul will also go the way of TaB Energy which has already been discontinued. And so years down the line, just as people will be milling about with their friends saying things like, “Hey, do you remember a few years ago that TaB Energy stuff or even before that, OK Soda!?”, people will also be saying, “Do you remember Ron Paul? He was that doctor from Texas that ran for president, had a lot of good things to say, simple and to the point, but still great things, much like common sense.”

    So what is my point? Merely that if next November 4th you find yourself in a Store24 rather than a voting booth feel content that you are practicing a more authentic form of American democracy than the one we normally hear about.