Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens (2018) by Joel Goodman

This is a full stream of the Hot Snakes latest offering, courtesy of Sub Pop itself. There was quite a lot of excitement leading up to the release of this album and thankfully it didn’t disappoint. Hot Snakes’ records have gotten progressively better and better since releasing their first album Automatic Midnight in 2000, and with Jericho Sirens they have matched, if not improved upon their previous record (2004’s Audit in Progress.)

Standout tracks include Six Wave Hold Down, Psychoactive, and my favorite track (and maybe my favorite Hot Snakes song, period) Death Camp Fantasy.

The Lavender Flu - My Time (2016) and Vacuum Creature (2016) by Joel Goodman

Those of us lucky enough to have been in Portland in the early 2000’s have a lot to be grateful for. We had something of a renaissance going on there for a minute, with amazing bands like Fireballs of Freedom, The Exploding Hearts, Junior’s Gang, and The Hunches playing what seemed like every night at one of the many smoky and sticky-floored bars and clubs that made up Portland’s punk rock circuit. We had a little of everything from the punk and punk-adjacent spectrum of genres, from power pop to garage rock to New Wave and literally everything in between. And the best part was that is was all good. Every band seemed to be musically literate to a ridiculous degree, and capable of and willing to break new creative ground and take chances.

Perhaps no other band embodied that trail blazing spirit more than The Hunches, who put out three flawless LPs and a handful of 7”s in their all-too-brief tenure. The Hunches were always the best band on the bill, no matter who was playing. To me, the best memories of first five years of the new millennium will always include watching The Hunches play Dance Alone on the second floor of Billy Ray’s on a Friday night. After they split up, the four members of the Hunches spent the following years starting bands such as Phantom Lights, Sleeping Beauties, and the subject of this post, The Lavender Flu.

The Lavender Flu is the brainchild of guitarist and vacuum cleaner player Chris Gunn. It’s as interesting and listenable as you’d expect from the guy that wrote The Hunches music, and maybe even more varied than you’d think going in. Gunn covers all sorts of ground with his new band, from indie rock to kraut-rockish psychedelia, and somehow manages to make it all sound fairly cohesive. The debut double LP from this band was released in 2016, and I’m posting two songs off that here. The first is a Bo & The Weevils cover and the second is an experimental, spacey original that sounds like two different Eno songs played simultaneously.

Futurisk - Army Now (1982) by Joel Goodman

Synth punk will now and forever be one of my favorite sub-genres of music, and I think this is one of the better examples of it. It’s not one of the best known examples, which is a shame. Futurisk was a short lived but very good band whose only LP saw a reissue a few years ago. Copies of Player Piano go for about $45.00 on Discogs, and it’s worth every penny in my opinion. If that’s too rich for your blood, you can get it on iTunes as well. This jam is my favorite of theirs (my three week old son seems to like it too), but you should do yourself a favor and give a listen to everything these Floridians did, because it’s all good.