Showing posts with label Zodiac. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zodiac. Show all posts

''Year Of The Dragon''

See where we came, came to this place, the place that has become our reality... 
Sleeve - Front

Sleeve - Back

Vinyl - 'A' Side:
First press on white vinyl

Vinyl - 'B' Side:
First Press on white vinyl

Insert - Front:
Dragon image by Andrei Bouzikov

Insert - Back:
Lyrics & credits

Flexi disk:
Left: The 7" flexi comes with the white vinyl version and has an edited version of Year of The Dragon.
Right top: Records bought direct from Tank Crimes often include some nice bonus stickers.
Right bottom: Sticker from celophane cover; no need to keep these if you don't have some kind of OCD


Tracks: Year Of The Dragon B/W I wanna be a Yank / Disorder
Year: 2014
Label: Tankcrimes
Matrix A 117554E1/A YEAR OF THE DRAGON

Pressing Info: 
First Press: 2000 White vinyl
Second Press: 1000 Black vinyl
Test Pressings: 20  (The TP's include a test pressing of the 7"; these are on white flexi but have no foil stamp)

Lyric sheet as above

White vinyl + 7" flexi
Black vinyl

Black Vinyl - Second Press - 'A' Side

Black Vinyl - Second Press - 'B' Side


Year of The Dragon: 

Influenced by Ride the Lightning and Humanity is the Devil. 
Dragons are not real. 
(From credits on insert)

Chris Cory of MIND ERASER made this shortened edit of the 19-minute long Year of The Dragon that we released this year (2014) on Tankcrimes records run by our friend Scotty Karate of Oakland. This is an edit of that edit. It appeared on a flexi (our first flexi) included in the first pressingsof the YOTD 12". Fun Fact: Scotty booked our first west coast tour back in 2004 and we have been promising him a record since then. YOTD reflects that it sometimes takes 10 years to make good on a promise. 
(Above text taken from liner notes in Mixtape 5) Nerd fact: The Looking for Gold 12" and the fake Dangerous Fumes 7" were sold on the same west coast tour.

Year of the Dragon on Tankcrimes, April 2014 (Post on FU Website - Oct 1, 2013): Hey all, we’re very happy to say that our friend of many years – Scotty Karate of Tankcrimes – will be putting out Year of the Dragon next April. He booked our first west coast tour. We’ve stayed at his house probably 50 times. He is like a lover who understands us deeply. Dragon is 7/12 in the zodiac series. Hare is #6 and is recorded and coming out sometime in 2014 too.
Year of The Dog
(Tankcrimes Bed where FU stayed probably 50 times)

'B' Side:

The 'B' side features two covers of early Toronto punk bands; "I Wanna Be a Yank" by Cardboard Brains and "Disorder" by The Ugly's.

PG Banter (Post on FU Website - March 6, 2014): A few weeks ago we rolled out of bed on a Saturday morning and into the Horseshoe Tavern. We set up in the empty club, and played four songs from the hallowed history of Toronto punk, as written by The Last Pogo back in 1978. With the exception of “Picture My Face,” which at this point has been fully canonized into the Canadian Punk songbook, the songs we chose are from only slightly more shadowy corners of Toronto’s birthing punk scene. You also get a minute of quality PG banter about the Last Pogo from myself and Pink Eyes
More info here
Watch everything here

Or watch 3 of the vids below.

Commodity Fetishism

Test pressing pics: Courtesy of Scotty at Tankcrimes

12" Test Pressing - 'A' Side
12" Test Pressing - 'B' Side & 7" Flexi Test Pressing

Desk of The Year
(Tankcrimes Office)

Year of  The Deep Dream

''Year Of The Tiger''

So filled with sorrow, so filled with hate, otherwise empty, a relic of grace...
Sleeve - Front

Sleeve - Back

Vinyl - 'A' Side

Vinyl - 'B' Side

Inert - Front:
Tiger image by Rico White

Insert - Back:
Lyrics & credits


Tracks: Year Of The Tiger B/W ONNO
Year: 2012
Matrix A: L-20653M-A OLE-974-1 ⓤ
Matrix B: L-20653M-B OLE-974-1 ⓤ
Pressing Info: 

Lyric sheet as above

No variants


Promotional info:
Since 2006, Fucked Up have been releasing an annual 12" single on each Chinese New Year. "Year Of The Tiger" is an anthemic progressive rock masterpiece featuring guests Jim Jarmusch, Annie-Claude Deschênes and Austra. The 15-minute long track features the band's familiar layers of guitar and roaring vocals, taken to a new level with the addition of piano, Jarmusch's dark recitations and Deschênes's gorgeous crescendos, in this menacing but uplifting story about the predation of predators. $1 from the sale of each record donated to the Save The Tiger fund.

It's about a Tiger (From Pitchfork review):
Total running time of Year of the Tiger: 37:35. Total running time of the Ramones' debut album: 29:04. Total running time of Nick Drake's Pink Moon: 28:22. Total running time of Fela Kuti's Expensive Shit: 24:13. Let's call this an album, OK? In any case, Fucked Up have been releasing long songs for each year of the Chinese Zodiac since 2006, although they're running a little behind at the moment. (The Year of the Tiger ended in February 2011; we've passed through the Rabbit Year and are now in the Dragon Year.)

Year of the Tiger is a pair of tracks that have been around for a while-- the band claimed to have finished the title song almost two years ago. It's the first music we've heard from the band in a while that doesn't have some formal connection to their David Comes to Life project. "Year of the Tiger" itself is a 15-minute song with a very long lyric (apparently by guitarist Mike Haliechuk) about an aging tiger approaching his death.

Julius Evola 'Tiger Riding'  reference from "Looking For Gold"

Onno Video by Sandy:

Fucked Up "ONNO" from Sandy Miranda on Vimeo.

Rather than subjecting the lyrics to the usual CSI nonsense, and partly as a result of it being Christmas Day 2014 and also as a result of recently being advised by a wise man (Fat Bob) to not over-analyse something (Looking for Crass references in Hard Skin) and just let it be amazing, the rest of this post has nothing to do with Tigers, but instead joins some dots between Fucked Up and some other amazing bands that have helped make living out of life for me this year and who I would never have found if it hadn't been for taking a punt on "Chemistry of Common Life" a few years ago; a punt made mostly because  the name of the band included a very naughty word...

S.H.I.T. (Another Video by Sandy)...

S.H.I.T. - A Concert Film from Sandy Miranda on Vimeo.

There are plenty of proper connections between Fucked Up and S.H.I.T., but leaving those aside and sticking with personal and tenuous ones, S.H.I.T. played at the Static Shock Weekend this year in London, it was like being in a mad tribal frenzy. Tom Ellis, who himself has a few connections with the FU thing / FU people, organised the event and was left holding the speaker stacks to stop them falling into the crowd:

Hank Woods & The Hammerheads played the Static Shock weekend too; they manifest equal levels of tribal frenzy, as this video of their show at 538 Johnson gig illustrates:

Likewise Una Bestia Incontrolable, also at 538 Johnson and also featuring double drummers, the same regulars AND Hank Woods man in crowd minus trousers:

He's minus everything else in Dawn of Humans, but I've not had a chance to give them attention yet.

Finally have also realised there are some pretty decent bands on my doorstep, so will be spending some ego death time with them in 2015.

''Year Of The Ox''

I'm the ox who broke my chains, so I could fly away...
Sleeve - Front:
Merge Records Press
Sleeve - Back:
Merge Records Press
Vinyl - 'A' Side

Vinyl - 'B' Side
Lyric Sheet - Front:
Year of The Ox

Lyric Sheet - Back:
Solomons Song

Stats #1 - Merge: 

Tracks: Year Of The Ox B/W Solomon's Song
Year: 2010
Label: Merge Records
Matrix A MRG-391-A WG/NRP
Matrix B MRG-391-B WG/NRP

Pressing Info: 
First Pressing: 2175
Test Pressings: 5
(Thank you to Wilson Fuller for the pressing info!)

Lyric sheet as above

Stats #2 - Matador: 

Tracks: Year Of The Ox B/W Solomon's Song
Year: 2010
Label: Matador Records
Matrix A OLE947-1 BA13859-01 A1 MRG-391-A
Matrix B OLE947-1 BA13859-01 B1 MRG-391-B

Pressing Info: 

Lyric sheet same as Merge but slightly different paper

1. Merge Press
2. Matador Press

Sleeve Front:
Matador Press (Top) has brighter print + different text at bottom
Sleeve - Back:
Matador Press (Top) has brighter print, different text at bottom and barcode sticker.
Label - 'A' Side:
Matador Press (Left) has different address on LHS 
Label - 'B' Side:
Different logos at top


Promo Info (Merge Records): 
Recorded over 6 months by Jon Drew at Giant Studios in Toronto, Year of the Ox is the band's fourth record in the continuing 12 year cycle and adds to its evolving retinue of guest musicians. The patient and building Year of the Ox features Nika Rosa Danilova of Zola Jesus for a guest vocal passage and Toronto's string quartet, New Strings Old Puppets. The b-side "Solomon's Song", a gothic vampire love tribute to Twilight, features a 5 minute saxophone solo from Aerin Fogel of the Bitters and heavy synthing from Trust.

Solomons Song (LFG Post Aug 09 2010):
It's not really about vampires, but we told everyone that it was. What it's really about is sex, and we copped the lyrics straight from THE BIBLE. You can read them when you buy the record, ok?

An interpretation (From Guest Review on American Aftermath):
The A-side is the title track, which opens with a strings, both haunting and hollow sounding, repetitive and tense.

More weight on the back of the aging ox (Youtube screenshot)
The lyrics revolve around life of work-ox. Plugging ahead, never falling out of line. The riff plugs along with the ox whose days are all the same and has no identity beyond labor value. Over time, the need to increase productivity forces more weight onto the back of the aging ox and that increased tension is shown brilliantly through the music. But, like Boxer, the Ox “Will worker harder.”

The Ox displays self-awareness in the second verse where he realizes that “the turning world rests on my heels.” Economic progress is in the hands of the workers and by the fourth verse, the Ox realizes the tyranny of work and breaks free.

The freedom is not without pain as he looks back at the world he’s left. However, in the absence of the yoke, the Ox grows wings and flies away from the brutality of his masters. The strings return playing a celebratory tune of emancipation and promise for a better world.

The climax of the story takes place over the bridge where Abraham is joined by Nika Roza Danilova (AKA Zola Jesus), the haunting voice of freedom, whose clean female vocals contrast Abraham’s brutal intensity and collide before the Ox’s majestic declaration of independence from his masters.

The ox flies away and the track closes with the familiar strings.

Sleeve Notes:

Front: 'Ox Flying Away' by Susan Gale (No other info available - assumed to have been commissioned for the record)

Back: Les trésors de Satan (1895) by Jean Deville.

(From Wikipedia): During the last decades of the 19th century, many people in the West reacted to the materialism and hypocrisy of the period by developing an interest in esoteric, occult and spiritual subjects. The enthusiasm for these ideas reached its peak during the 1890s, the decade when the Belgian painter and writer Jean Delville was at the height of his powers.

Though Delville frequently wrote about his ideas, he almost never discussed his paintings. He left the interpretations to the viewer, and as a result his best pictures have an air of mystery and intrigue.

Satan’s Treasures depicts Satan with a wild, fiery head of hair and huge red tentacles instead of wings. Scarlet waves surround his left arm, as he presides over a river of unconscious men and women. The nude bodies of these figures appear orange and yellow in reproductions, but in the original they are a subtle mixture of acid pinks and yellows, highlighted with touches of green. They lie transfixed in the centre of a luxuriant coral reef, surrounded by coins, jewels and strange fish. Beyond the reef one can see vast vistas filled with jagged rock formations, and painted in shades of orange, yellow and brown. Though the full interpretation is again left to the viewer, it clear that Satan’s Treasures is not a traditional vision of hell. It reveals a fascination with decadence and the erotic which was typical of Péladan and the period in general. At the same time, as in the Portrait of Mrs. Stuart Merrill, there is probably an underlying theme of initiation.

Delville was a great admirer of Eduard Schuré’s The Great Initiates, and it could well be that Satan’s Treasures is inspired by an episode from the Initiation of Isis in Schuré’s book. In the relevant scene, Schuré describes the novice’s failure of an early test, the temptation of the senses. Wrapped in a dream of fire, the novice becomes drunk with the heavy perfume of a seductive woman, and later falls asleep, after wildly satisfying his desire. This failure is described by his hierophant as a fall into the abyss of matter.

Delville’s vast undersea world, ruled by Satan, is almost certainly an image of the material abyss. Satan, lord of the physical realm, presides over its sleeping inhabitants. Wrapped in delusion, the dreaming men and women are mesmerised by Satan’s spell, and trapped by their own desires. Satan’s “treasures” include not only their sensuality, but also their attraction to worldly riches, represented by the pearls, coins and corals which surround them. Above all, the entranced people themselves are the treasures of Satan.

''Year Of The Rat''

Only a broken mind can understand that life's a trap when you're a rat.
Sleeve - Front

Sleeve - back

Vinyl - Printed labels
See below for stamped variants


Tracks: Year Of The Rat B/W First Born
Year: 2009
Label: Whats Your Rupture?
Matrix A ?0109 A
Matrix B ?0109 B

Pressing Info: 
3000 12"s
300 With white labels, most stamped, some with and without sleeves
No Test Pressings
(Thank you to Kevin Pedersen for the pressing info!)

Lyric sheet as above

  • Regular - Printed labels, picture sleeve
  • Stamped - White labels hand-stamped in black ink, picture sleeve
  • 'Test Press' - Same as above stamped version, but with generic white 'DJ' sleeve and no insert. Made available at shows before the artwork was available, subsequently misidentified by 2nd hand market and sold as test pressings.
  • Blue Stamp & Other Stamp Variants - White labels. A handful are stamped with blue, rather than black ink, there might also be a few with purple ink. The colours don't have a use / meaning and maybe just came about because the black ink was running out. The one pictured below came with a picture sleeve. There are also a few with blank labels that should have been stamped, but got missed...
Stamped labels - 'A' Side

Stamped labels - 'B Side'

Blue Stamp - there seem to be a handful of these out there.

'Test Press'(i.e. Vinyl and labels same as other stamped variants, but with generic DJ sleeve and no insert.
The one on the left is the special 'upside down logo' variant...)

From LFG Jan 23 2009Finally, some of you may have noticed that in New York and Philadelphia, a few copies of the Year of the Rat 12" accidentally slipped into existence. If you got one, you are lucky. The rest will be released with a real cover and etc around the same time as No Epiphany, and we should have both in time for the UK tour in March.


From FU Merch Table: 3rd in the series of releases coinciding with the Chinese Zodiac. 'Rat' is a Krautrock-influenced 12 minute blast with a massive finish. Recorded in the same studio as "What's The Story, Morning Glory?" in London and mixed in Toronto. The b-side is an original which treads somewhere between ugly glam and an FU take on Thin Lizzy style guitar harmonies.

Mixed Metaphors (Years of Rats):
Rats have appeared several times in the Fucked Up story; a few previous examples are outlined below, along with the usual cut and pasted random quotes. Some might be relevant to this release.

In their expanded interpretation of Marxist theory, the situationists asserted that the misery of social alienation and commodity fetishism were no longer limited to the fundamental components of capitalist society, but had now in advanced capitalism spread themselves to every aspect of life and culture.[1]
Dream of life on the other side.

The "Baiting The Public" artwork was discussed in a LFG post dated December 2010:
The front image is meant to be a metaphor for what we thought we were in punk, and what punk was in the world (we were really into punk at that point) - a pack of rats running over a proper looking young woman in bed.
The proper looking young woman is asleep, her body is present, but her mind, if it's active at all, is in a dream state, she's oblivious to the rats running over her in the real world. The LFG post goes on to describe the record as being a tribute to the actionist and situationist movements - the following is cropped from Wikipedia:

 Another important concept of situationist theory was... the construction of situations, moments of life deliberately constructed for the purpose of reawakening and pursuing authentic desires, experiencing the feeling of life and adventure, and the liberation of everyday life.[1]

Hunch my back and bear my teeth,
I'll kill you to get the things I need.

"Dance Of Death" repeated the use of sleeping woman imagery, this time the subject is passively accepting death and the song is about...
...the imperialist lifestyle and how its been perfect and reproduced to such a dazzling extent, that people within it are convinced that it is the best way, and that they love it. Its like Stockholm Syndrome, when a captive begins to love and revered the captor. The Harbinger’s spiders laid their eggs inside all of our heads, and convinced us to keep dancing in the muck, because we love it.
"Year of The Rat" seems to take on these themes, in describing the rat race from the rat's perspective.

The push for more provokes the greed,
I struggle for the space to breathe.
Tails connect and pull apart
Friends whose tails strangle the hearts
of friends whose tails are wrapped around
The necks of friends together bound.

Moving on to the Fucked Up / Haymaker Split , which combined rat and Nazi imagery, this time probably referencing state propaganda and the Pied Piper of Hamelin...

The Pied Piper also featured in the first ever post on the Looking For Gold Site, the post is copied below, for posterity:


And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeking
In fifty different Sharps and flats

Welcome to the FUCKED UP log.

Going back a step, the Haymaker split references Philip K Dick's "Black Iron Prison", which could describe the imperialist lifestyle:
Everyone who had ever lived was literally surrounded by the iron walls of the prison; they were all inside it and none of them knew it.

This ball of fear that grows together,
The want for freedom becomes the tether.
A thousand rats and appetites pull,
A thousand ways to bind it tighter.

Take my chance to grab an inch,
When something snares me I don't flinch.
When it pulls I just pull back,
I feel my liberty losing slack.

The fade out on the YOTR includes the "You'd better be prepared to pull the trigger" quote from John Mcain, which maybe expands the rat-race theme to its natural conclusion on the world stage. Likewise the "47   05" on the above insert might reference May 1947, the start of the cold war arms race. Or maybe not.

Reaching up to touch the sky,
The sun, the centre of my mind.

The End
The last ever post on Looking for Gold was David Eliade's top 10 list of Fucked Up Songs. Baiting the Public and Year of The Rat are 1 & 2. (It might not be the last post forever, but it was the last post before a long break)

And Finally
Rats Love Music, became a real thing with the release of this record (according to the credits). Rats Love Music is a subsidary of Hidden World Enterprises

One last thing...