COLLECTION SELECTION: Austin Skiles
Monday August 19th 2013 at Trenchermen- the bar belongs to Austin Skiles, multi-tasking multi-venue bartender/musician who works the stick for La Sirena Clandestinaand Barrelhouse Flat, and works the pick for his outlet outfit Power Haunts. Skiles, the 26th local music appreciator we’ve featured at Trenchermen, will conjure the vibe from a minimal vinyl stash, representing a unique angle of his musical biography, a short stack of sentimental artifacts from his Hardcore days in Nebraska, blended in with a handful of reticently-collected LPs that he’s allocated for ritualistic listening. What the hell does that mean, you ask? See below.
There wouldn’t be any ritualistic listening on this day; the belt on his vintage hi fi snapped…so we had to listen to music the old-fashioned way: via iPod.
Though tactilely unsatisfying, an album by Seattle dreamy garage pop band Chastity Beltsounded fantastic coming from his old-fashioned iPod, and made for good vibe while we starting going through his records.
Like a true bar man, he stores most of his records in a Tenzing Wine and Spiritsbox (a la Bradley Bolt, who rocks the Southern Wine and Spiritsbrand vinyl storage).
The origin of Skiles record collecting goes back to his DIY days in Lincoln, Nebraska, collecting 7" singles from his friends’ bands off grimey merch tables.
In that unsorted stack I found this split 7" half-featuring legendary Chicago thrashers Haymarket Riot, who apparently had some sort of presence in Skiles’ local zone - this split was released by Lincoln-based label Caulfield Records.
I was a little thrown off by this one - Skiles explained that this was a 7" by noise group Camera Obscura - no relation to the more famous Scottish chamber pop group who apparently won the popularity battle, causing the rockers responsible for this 7" to change their name.
Copyright infringement started proving itself the thematic thread of his record collection. This is an out of print copy of The Faint’s 3rd album Danse Macabre;they had to pull this first pressing from the shelves since the cover photo was unauthorized.
This album by The Oxes had some seriously explicit artwork - the front and back covers along with the insert depicted the story of a woman roofie-ing the band and then taking advantage of them. There’s almost a dozen unobscured cock shots, hence the label pulled the record from the shelves when they realized what they had done. But not before Skiles scooped up a copy.
Skiles also had an old record by epic-riffing Drag Citylegends The Champs - released before they changed their name to The Fucking Champs, which they were forced to do by threatened litigation from a predating rock band also named The Champs.
Speaking of epic riffage - Skiles owns a nice copy of Ride the Skies by Lightning Bolt. One can only hope the mood calls for this record on Monday at Trenchermen. Doubtful, however. I’ve often likened Lightning Bolt to the sonic marriage of Free Jazz and Drag Racing.
No doubt the mood will call for a few Prince tracks from the original Batman soundtrack. It’d be most excellent to recreate the scene where Joker gasses everyone in the restaurant and jams out to “Partyman” while painting over all those masterpieces.