While we’re recharging our batteries and uprooting our lives over here, I thought I’d start a series of posts to pass the time and have some fun. Upsetlists are EP-length transmissions, upsetting set-lists, malfunctioning time machines, flashes of divine recombination. A coupla-song podcast. This one is scuzzy and sweet like moldy honey:

1) Crop Circle Hoax – “Fail” Sorry About the Deformed Heart (1994): I was searching for info about former Merge Records band Spent (tourmates of Superchunk and Seam, therefore probably awesome) and found this split-LP between Spent, Lambchop, and Crop Circle Hoax. Spent turned out to be as awesome as expected. I was excited to finally hear Lambchop (very early stuff) having heard of them for a while. But the surprise was Crop Circle Hoax, a band like Lambchop on two fronts: from Nashville, impossible to Google. Crop Circle Hoax was love at first listen for me. After too much time following dead links, Google finally suggested the seemingly obvious, a website that hosts every one of the band’s songs.

2) Unfun – “Nuclear Son (Siren Songs cover)” – Shores of Lake Erie (2014): Vancouver feedback lords Unfun cover Vancouver gnarly punks Siren Songs and reveal a perfectly melodic pop tune.

3) Radiator Hospital – “Detroit Diamonds (Sacred Strays cover)” – Mall of America (2013): Philly’s Sam Cook-Parrot writes a good percentage of the great songs being written now. This one’s a cover, though, of Detroit’s Sacred Strays, who are releasing their first album in November.

4) Party Drag – “Grieving Street” – Demo (2011): Gainesville band delivers a spacey riff for the ages. They’ve been slowly posting songs ahead of what should’ve been a new release this year, so I’m stoked for that possibility. The last update was in July, though…

5) Kaia – “Off (Dance Remix)” –  Ladyman (1998): When I used to work at a car dealership, I had to clean the trade-ins that had sat on the lot for too long and were being sent off to auction. One was a van with a Subpop bumper sticker and anther that said “Drum Machines Have No Souls.” I only sympathized with the former. On the latter, I crossed out “No” and wrote “Softer” instead. I offer this song in defense, along with Grand Slam’s (aka Phil Lynott’s) “Sisters of Mercy” and The Clash’s (aka Joe Strummer’s) “This is England.” Kaia Wilson was a member of Team Dresch and The Butchies, as well as the co-founder and operator of Mr. Lady Records, one of my favorite labels ever.

Author: Mike Ostrov

Mike Ostrov relays the history of popular song on message boards and under rocks.