Levi Eleven is a local musician and fashioner of band paraphernalia with his merch operation I Heart Machine (iheartmachine.com). He used to write “Retrospeculative” reviews of movies he saw as a kid for the Alibi’s blog. He also plays guitar in some bands that don’t yet have names. You might have seen him around. Here are five random songs from his collection.
1) "Richard III" • Supergrass • In It for the Money
“About a week after I moved to San Francisco in 1995 I was in a record store when a girl handed me a promotional bag of crap.
‘Who is this?’ I asked, a wide-eyed, small town cliché.
‘Only the NEXT BIG THING,’ she replied, and her eyes rolled so hard it erased Supergrass from my mind for the next seven years. I was mad at her all over again when I found out they were one of my favorite bands.
But they weren't the next big thing, or ANY thing in the United States really. They are sadly overlooked, even by those anglophiles who go so far as to fake the accent.”
2) "Inflicted by Hounds" • The Jesus Lizard • “The Jesus Lizard”
“This song is OK ... I guess. This EP is the last Jesus Lizard thing I bought. I just kept buying them, and even hunting down ones I'd missed, well after they lost the inspired rawness and the key to my heart. Put David Yow on a major label and take away the Steve Albini production, and you go from a howling madman to a singer that is just not a very good singer.”
3) "Easy" • PJ Harvey • 4-Track Demos
“She does not need anything more than her voice. I'd listen to an album of her voice mails. I'd drink a glass of her sweat—not in a sexual way (though this is a SEX album), but I would make up some pagan ritual hoping to gain her powers.”
4) "I Drink the Wine" • The Murder City Devils • In Name and Blood
“I love the organ in this song, and in general the organ is what elevates this band—take it out and they could be any number of local bands from any town with influences all over their sleeves. I once thought they would fill the horror-punk shaped hole in my heart left by finally overplaying The Misfits, but it didn't quite take. That space is now for rent, but it's in a run-down neighborhood.”
5) "Heart Skipped a Beat" • The xx • xx
“I just put this band on my iPod yesterday to check them out. It was suggested to me, and I have not even listened to it yet ... it's pretty good. When did this come out? I'd wiki them, but would hate to ruin it by finding out they are the NEXT NEXT BIG THING. I better just listen to the rest of the album ... ”