Left of the Dial Magazine

LOTD Testimony

Left of the Dial knows that today's rat packs, indie rock wannabes, and punk-of-the-month bands are tomorrow's bargain bin dust collectors. They have a shorter shelf life than a corroded alkaline battery. We are interested in the people who make music that transcends genres; in fact, we think genres are boring. It's people and art that matter. We don't buy into the cult of the new. FACT: Most magazines are really industry mouthpieces that are full of hype, gloss, and fake careerism. We also know that most zines are little clans that are as faceless and warmed-over as last week's Spin. It's time to go beyond the common and expected. LOTD is for those people who still have music on fire inside them. For rockers who are under the spell of books, and for those people who think that music doesn't belong to elite critics. Wits and raw talent are the message: LOTD is the transmitter. Now, stake your claim. Here's the new heresy and rebellion.

March 2, 2007

The Alternate Routes/ Good and Reckless and True: Vanguard

Filed under: Reviews — leftofthedialmag @ 6:28 pm

This actually avoids recklessness altogether, well, if you imagine that it was groups like early Jason and the Scorches that begat raw and rootsy country behavioral disorders. In a vein similar to Mathew Ryan and Mathew Rouse, without as much sharp-eyed intelligence and soulful crooning, this Nashville-recorded, MTV friendly (they get featured on The Hills), adult roots radio pop is pleasant but weightless, an elevator kind of aural backdrop that keeps the humming intact but also glides away quickly before penetrating your memory foam. “Time is a Runaway” feels like Volvo fodder for September afternoons, “roll your windows down/the summer’s nearly gone/ and only hours stand between you and the cold.” Likewise, “Endless Conversation,” with in-built speed and push, also relies on the motif of time: “”Passing are the days and I see that I’m fading like the sun,” the singer notes, leaning on a Robert Frost kind of vibe: he’s a little wise, impatient with small talk and “endless conversations,” and longs to fill the blank moments in life with something more visceral, “a new solution,” as he suggests. (more…)

February 28, 2007

The Queers/ Beat Off : Asian Man re-release!

Filed under: Reviews — leftofthedialmag @ 1:43 pm

There have always been punk intellectuals who wrap their ideas around nifty concept bands with their posturing and quasi-ideological point-by-point musical “daring” and inventiveness, then there are the purists who like their punk primitive, quasi-retarded, and retro to the bone. Well, The Queers have perhaps been able to tap into the craniums of both, producing a kind of bubblegum punk that has severe debt to everyone from the Ramones to the Hard-Ons and The Boys and just about any mongrel rock’n’roll act on the planet with a penchant for hi-octane buzz pop, but somehow they do it without guile and fake careerism, relying instead on gutsy sincerity and an unruffled approach that makes even jaded “thinkers’ appreciate their beer swill bounce and tame-proof tenacity. In this re-release, the sound is superbly etched into your cranium with crafty crystalline clarity, the band is in full-form dork glory, the songs pungent and powerful, the surf and skateboard meters in red hot abandon, and the essay by Ben Weasel is thoughtful, historic, and as dedicated to reviving an appreciation of this troop as much as it is a kick in the leg to those who favor bland and doomed poseurs and pretenders. Granted, in matchless irony, the song “Ben Weasel” does jest, “He rants and raves/he always flips my lid…He’s an asshole/he’s a jerk…” but he’s so cool because “he loves the kids” instead of exploiting the hell out of their lovelorn dissatisfaction and clueless money urges. (more…)

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