Spread out across venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn, this year’s CMJ Music Marathon provided a glimpse at some of the year’s best emerging artists in addition to a healthy lineup of veteran performers. With five days of showcases and concerts to attend, the festival offered something for everyone, with bands representing a variety of genres.
In 1998, Swedish hardcore outfit Refused addressed a letter to its fans, proclaiming, “Refused are fucking dead.” Most were left longing for a reunion, particularly without seeing the band get its due for its ahead-of-its-time swansong, The Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombination in 12 Bursts. Now, after nearly 15 years, those fans finally got their wish, and a bunch of grateful Americans are seeing the band live this week and next.
Fresh on the heels of its self-titled, full-length debut, Off! has just released a video for “Cracked,” the first part of a trilogy to be completed in the coming weeks.
Directed by Whitey McConnaughy (Superchunk, Red Fang, The Thermals) and featuring comedians Randy Babcock and Andre Hyland, the video highlights the competitive world of sign-spinning gone awry.
“Wiped Out”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Off_Wiped_Out.mp3|titles=Off!: “Wiped Out”]
Sixteen tracks, sixteen minutes, and zero apologies — the first full-length album from Off! is exactly as one would expect. Led by Circle Jerks singer Keith Morris and Burning Brides guitarist Dimitri Coats, the side-project-turned-top-priority is an exercise in punk aesthetics, from the über-short running times to the incensed attitude.
Each week, Behind the Counter speaks to an independent record store to ask about its recent favorites, best sellers, and noteworthy trends.
If you’re into rare vinyl, punk music, and a truly diverse selection, Hits and Misses Records in Toronto, Canada is the place to be. Owner Peter Genest is a veteran of the record-store scene, having opened shops in Portland and Seattle in the ’90s before making the move up to Toronto. We spoke with Genest to see how the Canadian metropolis stacks up against his former Pacific Northwest haunts, and to find out which records the store has been spinning the most lately.
Which albums has your store sold the most over the past month?
Hands down, the OFF! box set
The first two Discharge LPs reissued on vinyl
The Forgetters: s/t double 7″
Urban Blight: Total War 7″ (local hardcore band)
The Cramps: Memphis Poseurs
The Parting Gifts: Strychnine Dandelion
White Wires: WW II
Cocksparrer: Shock Troops reissue
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart: Heart In Your Heartbreak 7″
Iron Lung: Life. Iron Lung. Death.
What are some of your favorite new records?
The Queers: Back To The Basement
Wheels On Fire: Liar Liar
Motörhead: The World Is Yours
OFF!: s/t box set
Protex: Strange Obsessions
Ceremony: Rohnert Park
Demon’s Claws: The Defrosting Of…
Nine Pound Hammer: Country Classics