Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Of Ox Fanzine & Titus Andronicus

So I get the new issue of (cool glossy German music mag) Ox Fanzine in the mail the other day and am happy to see it has three features in it from me, on The Rebel Spell (RIP Todd Serious), the Flesh Eaters, and the Reverend Horton Heat, all translated into German and nicely presented, as always.  The editors often shorten/ condense my interviews, but Ox has the advantage of being written in a language that I cannot read, so I can't quibble or complain about the changes; so my relationship with my editor - a vegan punk true believer with only a little patience for metal and none at all for "hippie stuff" named Joachim Hiller - remains solid after some ten years of submitting to them; they've run stuff by me on the Subhumans, Pointed Sticks, DOA, Swans, Nomeansno, the Residents, Gary Floyd, Motorhead, and many, many others, and continue to take pieces I submit. 

Besides publishing me (!), perhaps one of the coolest things about Ox is that they put out a sampler with every issue, and many of these actually have awesome music on them. The one that comes with #121 is particularly pleasing; not only did they run the title track from The Rebel Spell's final and maybe best album, Last Run - which I helped set up, yay me -  but the first track on it is Titus Andronicus' "Dimed Out," which is probably the most exciting new punk song I've heard since I first dropped the needle on Zen Arcade. Without the benefit of a lyric video, I'd mistakenly assumed that the lyrics were in some other language, so blustery and spastic is the delivery, but now that I've read the words I like the song even more. Understand that I've been ignoring all the glowing Pitchfork and Straight articles on them, because, you know, I don't actually read the music press that much - I have more than enough to keep me busy, listening to the bands I already know and like, and prefer to stumble onto new ones quite by accident - including by means like hearing a song on an Ox sampler. I'm similar about movies: I usually only read reviews of films I've actually already seen...

Anyhow, here's a nice surprise: I sit down to Google Titus Andronicus, having decided I like them, and the first thing I see is, they're playing the Biltmore October 3rd! So I gotta go to that. It's an early show, too, which works just fine for me, as lame as it seems that clubs do that. I've picked up the new album, The Most Lamentable Tragedy, but haven't spun it yet. I've listened to "Dimed Out" about a dozen times, though. Great stuff. I'll get to the rest soon enough - I gather it's quite a varied album!

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