doncbruital on 02/16/2010 at 02:07PM
The realm of home recording may be a pretty righteous place, full of patron saints and young apostles and the whole liturgical bit, but it's no dour zone of straight-faced worship; in other words, no dress code in this cathedral, no way--home recording is really more of this paradise of impish subversion, where the boring mainstream is reliably mocked, slandered, and taken to task. Using tried-and-true guerilla methods, the underground can really make a go of winning the hearts and minds of the listening population, and though alright, the mainstream may occasionally push back, these losing-battle efforts usually look sort of dumb. Of course there's no doing away with home recording--it's the advancing industry's pace-keeping mischievous twin: for every Garageband, there's a Garbageland, and U CAN UNLEARN GUITAR, satirist saint in the ever-growing pantheon, will have the last laugh.
UCUG began life as the shadow project of a four-track band (called, yeah, U Can Learn Guitar) which harnessed guitar, turntables, and the Suzuki QChord's bank of corporation-imposed sounds and samples in an effort to explore with hyperbolic bravado the straight-faced world of overblown music. Before long the push to Unlearn subsumed its twin impulse, and Garageband and other feature-rich DIY enablers found their way into the project's anti-aesthetic maw. Using these and other tools of the master, UCUG's library of noisy subversion grew--and found a handily righteous partner in communicating its message, namely this here Free Music Archive. Indeed, the album Garbageland is, by ringleader Andrew Unlearny's admission, a direct result of the FMA's existence, it having placed instant feedback from the sacred underground within easy reach.
So light your candles or get down with a sacrifice or affect whatever mechanisms of worship you deem appropriate; there are, after all, 59 U Can Unlearn Guitar tracks up at the FMA, and such a gift deserves some thanks. Below you'll find the tiniest of samplings; the songwriterly and elegiac "High for the Hogs," the lifealteringly NSFW touring-blues anthem "58 Days on the Road" and the epic Garbageland manifesto "Newest Zong, BuhBuhBaybeee." I'd urge you, reader, not to stop here, but I'm certain you won't, not once you've heard the good news. The gospel of home recording's here to counter that industry spiel--unlearn it, brother, and preach on.