The Cutout Bin

A collection of discarded or otherwise forgotten music.

-My fileserver is free, and you get what you pay for... so try rightclicking the mp3s and selecting "save link target as". You may have to do it more than once.

-Please see post #1 "Begin the begin" (3/24/06) for the raison d'etre for this blog. If you object to your music being posted here, email me and I will remove it.

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Repo Man's got all night, every night...

Friday, May 05, 2006

More Fun With Firearms

In all fairness to our hapless DEA friend (see "Irony", 4/14/06), he's not the only guy who has a problem handling firearms on the job.

On the surface, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi seems like a badass. As one of the prime movers behind the "insurgency" in Iraq, he's responsible for ordering the deaths of thousands of Iraqi soldiers, police and civilians, as well as a number of US/coalition troops. He personally beheaded American civilian Nick Berg, and broadcast the video to the world.

Though he may be handy with a sword, this video shows al-Zarqawi doesn't know the first thing about automatic weapons. In fact, he looks downright scared of it. How embarassing must that be, to be a bigtime terrorist murderer and not even know how to clear a jammed weapon? Even cooks and file clerks in the US army know that much. Hell, I've never had military training of any kind, and even I know how to clear a jam. Also, he swings the weapon around like a drunken sailor, inadvertantly pointing it at his compatriots. That's what's called "poor weapon handling", and would get your ass in a sling in any competent army in the world. Obviously, al-Zarqawi hasn't spent too much time in the field. He talks a good game about jihad, but when the lead starts flying he's in the rear with the beer, like all good chickenhawks.

As a bonus, make sure you watch the end of the clip, which shows the M249 being handed off to an underling, who promptly grabs it by the hot barrel and burns himself.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Pluck Theatre

Doug Cowan- Guitar, Vocals
Steve Gerlach- Bass, Vocals
Jeffery Spring- Drums

Hometown- Portland, Maine

In the summer of 1991, I saw Pluck Theatre open for Buffalo Tom at Zootz in Portland, ME. I was underage at the time and Zootz was a 21+ club, so I lied my way in by telling Chris Colburn (BT's bass player) I was a writer for Face, the local music magazine. That way I went into the club with the band, and the doorman didn't check my ID. I had written a couple album reviews for Face, so like all good lies, it had a kernel of truth. I felt kinda bad for the Buffalo Tom guys though- they were really nice to me, and let me interview them and drink their beer like a real reporter.

Anyway, I'd never heard Pluck Theatre before and they didn't really do anything for me, except for having excellent taste in covers- they did the Replacements' "Color Me Impressed". Buffalo Tom were great though- they were doing a warm-up gig before recording "Let Me Come Over", and as much as I love that album, my memory of the show is 10 times better.

The following January, I was driving to my girlfriend's house and listening to WMPG, the University Of Southern Maine campus radio station, which in those days put most other college stations I've ever heard to shame. A song came on I'd never heard before that hooked me immediately- I had no idea who it was. As soon as I got to my girlfriend's place, I ran inside and called WMPG- "what was that you were playing two songs back"? It was "Leonard Cohen's Bones" by Pluck Theatre.

Cowan and Spring had self-released two 7" singles as a duo under the Pluck Theatre name before adding Gerlach in 1991. In January of 1992, they released "Fish Or Cut Bait", an 8-song cassette album. I loved it immediately, proving that I am, in fact, able to change my mind occasionally. It was a perfect soundtrack for the short days and long nights of a cold Maine winter.

"Fish Or Cut Bait" was followed by the "Five Finger Disco" CD in 1993 (released by local record store chain Bad Habits), which unfortunately was somewhat wanting compared to it's predecessor. The songwriting wasn't up to the standard of their previous work, and the CD didn't even sound as good as the cassette. I'm not sure when they broke up, but Pluck Theatre never issued another recording.

Leonard Cohens Bones.mp3


Follow Bliss.mp3

"Leonard Cohen" and "Salutation" are off "Fish Or Cut Bait", "Follow Bliss" comes from "Five Finger Disco" (1993, Bad Habits Music).

Doug Cowan now has a band called Bullyclub-

You can hear a stream of the mighty WMPG here-