SXSW 2008 has ended
Saturday, March 15 • 8:00pm - 8:30pm
Home Blitz

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Home Blitz is 21-year-old Daniel DiMaggio from Princeton, New Jersey. He recorded and released his first two singles on his own. When the first one showed up in my mailbox in '05, it was just what I was waiting to hear. The underground had drifted so far into abstract space that I was longing for something direct and simple. That first record was a magic whirl of early Modern Lovers, Big Star, and Flamin' Groovies circa '72 . . . but with a casual no-fi vibe that sounded closer to the first couple Harry Pussy singles. Huh?! Yeah. Just about (non-)perfect! On this new Home Blitz CD release, Gulcher Records has collected those first two singles (way out of print), material from a cassette release, a new HB 12" EP, and two otherwise unavailable tracks. From the first single, "Apocalyptic Grades 2005" is a powerpop/postpunk hybrid with guitars that sound like the Fall circa '78 covering the Flamin' Groovies. On the very bratty "AC S.S.," it sounds to me like early Screamin' Mee-Mees crossed with early Modern Lovers. But my favorite from that first 7" is "Hey!" It comes on as if Big Star's Radio City had been recorded under the more addled conditions of Alex Chilton's Like Flies On Sherbert. It starts like a great noise-drenched powerpop anthem . . . "I got the gift that keeps on givin'/It's called electric guitar!" . . . but soon stops midstream. "I gotta get some gum," the singer complains. It picks up again after the song's imaginary bridge. A second guitar comes in . . . melodic and overloaded like a perfect 1969 Lou Reed guitar fill. The second HB 7" was Live Outside, released in '06. On this one, Daniel dragged his instruments and battery-powered amps onto the street in front of his house and "performed live w/o audience on the corner of Mercer and Hibben Streets, Princeton, NJ." Is it the first powerpop field recording?! "Stupid Street" has Daniel narrating his own song, describing his surroundings, before he suddenly spits out the first line of the song, "Hey girl, I'm gonna cut your spine!" So sweetly vicious. "Feeling Cold" again documents the Home Blitz street scene, this time purely in song. Like, it's November in Jersey, and yer freezin' yer ass off recording on the sidewalk! It's a perfect Modern Lovers/Half Japanese-style pop tune, with maybe one of the all-time great fallen-apart guitar solos. "I feel like ridin' bikes tonight/But mine's been in the shop all day." The next Home Blitz release was a 2006 split cassette (with Friends & Family), which shows Daniel's interest in more overt "experimental" sounds: de-tuned guitars, ambient rumbles, electronic squiggles, free clatter, instrumental introspection. But even in this setting, he comes up with a tune like "Benches" . . . just acoustic guitar and vocals, with a bit of overdubbed electric leads . . . which reminds me of Big Star's version of Loudon Wainwright's "Motel Blues." There's also a cover of Public Disturbance's "Bored" (don't know the original), which sounds nothing like the punk-rock I expected. Instead, it comes across like a darkly shimmering psychedelic ballad. And "GT Performers" is a frantic punkrocker (no noise) about "takin' chances and makin' friends." From the upcoming 12" EP on Parts Unknown come five more winners. "Right Cut Even" (Rick Derringer having a powerpop breakdown), "Little League" (autobiographical angst hammered home by verses of Beefheartian power blues and a couple choruses of powerpop explosion), "Flying" (with cool bursts of mid-70s double-lead unison guitars), "Something 2 Do" (more Beefheartian angles + L.A. hardcore circa '81 + Pistols-influenced UK powerpop), and a cover of Slade's "My Town" (whacky!). Rounding out this CD collection is a much wilder 4-track version of "Little League" and the otherwise unreleased "A.F.F.," one of the best tracks here. Again defying logic, Daniel turns a very personal tale into an excellent blast of powerpop/punkrock with stuttering freejazz sax and several odd time changes. The story itself seems like a mystical revelation from younger years or maybe just an imaginary childhood friend: "Well, there's an actual physical feeling living in the air/And I'd like to make it feel at home but you know I'm scared" . . . Eddie Flowers Slippy Town August 2007

Saturday March 15, 2008 8:00pm - 8:30pm
Blind Pig Rooftop 317 E 6th St

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