Friday, May 22, 2009

BLACK VELVET FLAG - come recline with... (LP) Go Kart Records #GKLP008

I have sent Erich a digital version once and he answered with "the perfect nails into the coffin".
Yes, here it is: the nails into hardcore punk's coffin. A big "fuck you" towards exaggerated nostalgia and historiography. It's like the end scene of "American Hardcore" with Keith Morris' statement.

Black Velvet Flag were three guys covering the Westcoast classics they grew up with with their definition of lounge music. Lounge music, a music that is used for non annoying1 background sounding in bars, hotels or malls, is in every way the total opposite to those originals. And it just fits! It sounds like late Frank Sinatra, muzak, lounge and elevator jazz and new bossa jazz with horrible 80ies pop themes.
Although the record got some attention in many magazines and the band having articles in well known newspapers (some of them are featured on the Black Velvet Flag movie homepage) only a few seem to know this record. I always have to copy it to friends, when I try to share my joy with them. Go Kart Records even do not list the record or the band any more on their homepage! Why?
There is even a movie in existence documenting their tour experience but I have never seen it. It was finished in 2003 and it never was up for sale as DVD. The homepage works but there is no contact address etc.. If anyone can help me out here: please drop me a line.
Back to the record - one of the best Go Kart Records ever did: the cover is a wonderful rip off of the The Decline of Western Civilization compilation LP cover with Jeff, Black Velvet Flag's singer, doing a perfect imitation of Darby Crash. I am not sure if the interviews in between are just fake or if they are from the filmed material, I did not rip them separatly unlike the CD version.
When I first got it I tried to find out who did "I shot JFK" for weeks until I was told that this is their own song. I didn't get it since the lyrics easily could have been by Angry Samoans, White Flag, Vandals, Fear or even the Minutemen. My favourite tracks are the Suicidal cover and an overwhelming, mind blowing "I Don't Care About You" by Fear. A fucking highlight, it just blows: Everything brutal and cynical in the original it comes back here, intensified and like a suckerpunch. The lyrics in combination with the music of Black Velvet Flag and Jeff's sublimial staginess, sorry, but it doesn't get any better. The whole album was recorded live at CBGB's.

There is a crack at the end of "Institutionalized" and I tried to remove it but it didn't work. I washed the record but it still isn't gone - no scratch on the record at least not visible to me. Sorry.

They never recorded their second album, and this is their only output known to me - besides their own song being on the "Go Kart vs. the Corporate Giant" CD compilation. The vinyl version does not pop up very often but you all should get the CD version easily at Amazon etc..

Enjoy this big middle finger now!

BLACK VELVET FLAG - come recline with... (LP) Go Kart Records #GKLP008

side a:
1. Wasted (Black Flag)
2. Amoeba (Adolescents)
3. Group Sex (Circle Jerks)
4. I Shot JFK
5. Institutionalized (Suicidal Tendencies)

side b:
1. No Values (Black Flag)
2. Media Blitz (Germs)
3. I Don't Care About You (Fear)
4. Code Blue (TSOL)
5. Stepping Stone (The Monkees)
[OGG Vorbis, maximum quality, password: antithesis, mirror 1, mirror 2]

Black Velvet Flag - The Movie
Go Kart Records

I found it very annoying - ever been in a mall where they played Chet Baker or Nuyorican Soul? Don't think so.

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