Kevin Hall (Couch Slut)

Kevin Hall

In this offering, we get up close and personal with Kevin Hall, bassist in the New York band Couch Slut.

The first record I ever bought with my own money was…

Beggars Banquet by The Rolling Stones. I was in high school and a small mom/pop record store that no longer exists had recently opened on the main street in my small midwestern town. I recall the sleeve being in rough condition, but the record itself was more or less fine. It probably cost like $3. At this point, it is probably my least favorite of the 5 Stones records I own (Exile On Main St. > Sticky Fingers > Goats Head Soup > Let It Bleed > Beggars Banquet).

The record that made me want to make music was…

Fun House by The Stooges. In middle school, I saw the Sex Pistols documentary The Filth and the Fury and loved the Sex Pistols’ cover of “No Fun” by The Stooges at their last show, part of which is shown in the documentary. Having heard this, a few years later, after I’d acquired a record player, I went looking for a copy of The Stooges’ self-titled album, but the mom/pop record store in my town only had Fun House. Today, Fun House is my favorite album (bet this is the first time you’ve read that!!!). I don’t know that it made me want to make music the most of any record I’ve ever listened to, but the combination of the band being from Ann Arbor, MI (about a 45-minute drive from where I grew up) and making a record I found absolutely incredible with limited musical complexity made it seem like something I could potentially do in a way that even a band like The Ramones, being from NYC, didn’t.

The record I’ve played more than any other is…

Paranoid by Black Sabbath. This was one of the first albums I bought after getting a record player. It remains my favorite Sabbath album to this day, which probably puts it at #2 or #3 on my list of favorite albums. Playing along to songs from Paranoid (and later, Sabbath’s self-titled album) was an important part of my early development playing bass and guitar.

The record that always make me feel good is…

Journey In Satchidananda by Alice Coltrane. I didn’t get into Alice Coltrane until maybe 5 years ago. Her harp playing and the drone on the first track usually pushes me toward a comfortable and peaceful place emotionally. I find her music generally to be pretty life affirming (including my favorite, Ptah, The El Daoud, which is a bit darker).

The record I turn to when I’m feeling down is…

Second Edition by Public Image Ltd. Same songs as on the original Metal Box 3 x 12”, 45 rpm LP release, but on just 2 x 12”, 33 rpm LPs – and therefore shittier sound quality. Historically though, this album has always served as a sort of psychic anchor for me personally. My mother bought this, along with PiL’s live album Paris au Printemps, for me as a Christmas present when I was in college. Second Edition/Metal Box is a top-10 album for me.

The record with my favorite cover art is…

Pusha T - DaytonaDaytona by Pusha T. This record isn’t the best work my favorite active rapper has done, in my opinion, though it was my favorite rap record of 2018. The cover, which I believe was chosen by the album’s beat maker, Kanye West, is a photograph of Whitney Houston’s bathroom covered in drug paraphernalia. When this came out, many thought the cover was in poor taste (and maybe it was, I do not care either way), but given that the raps are largely informed by or specifically about selling drugs, I can’t think of a more appropriate cover than this disgusting scene showing the user’s end of the user-dealer relationship.

The strangest LP I own is…

Dropdead’s 1998 self-titled LP. In terms of the LP itself, the strangest one I own is this 2010 pressing of this excellent record. It’s clear vinyl limited to 257 copies and side A plays inside-out. I bought it before a show in Norfolk, VA when Couch Slut was on tour in September 2017. I’m amazed and thankful it made it home with me in one piece.

The rarest LP I own is…

Probably one of these two:

(i) Maumee City Madhouse (bootleg) by Necros. Necros were an early US hardcore band from my hometown. I’d heard of them in high school but didn’t really check them out until college, and I didn’t really get into them until sometime during the pandemic. Their 1981 7” Sex Drive was the first release on Touch and Go Records and shortly thereafter, Necros’ bassist started helping run the label, eventually becoming its owner and operator. Maumee City Madhouse is a bootleg 2 x LP that compiles both Necros’ LPs, their first two 7”s, a recording of a live show, and a few unreleased tracks. Fun fact: Negative Approach played its first show in Necros’ drummer’s mother’s basement in Maumee, OH.

(ii) The Final Egg (test pressing) by Circle Of Ouroborus. COO is an avant-garde/experimental/etc. black metal duo from Finland. They’ve been one of my favorite bands over the past 10 years but most of the records I want by them seem hard to come by. Fortunately, I was able to find this, which is one of my favorite albums by them. I bought the test pressing of The Final Egg directly from the label that put it out. I think I would prefer to own the actual release with the artwork, but here we are. At least it came with the lyric sheet insert.

The last LP I bought was…

Burden Of Proof by Benny the Butcher. Benny’s cousin Conway the Machine’s record La Maquina came out recently and I have been loving it. Listening to that reminded me that Burden Of Proof was my favorite rap record of 2020 and that I should probably own a copy of it. I bought La Maquina too, but that won’t come in the mail for several more months. Both guys are among my favorite active rappers.

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Couch Slut’s latest album, Take A Chance On Rock ‘n’ Roll, was released on June 5, 2020. Available from Bandcamp on limited smoky black and silver marble vinyl. Digital download also available.

Links
https://couchslut.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/couchslut

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Published by Ken

I'm a very tired, black coffee drinking curmudgeon who has been collecting records and cassettes for over forty years. I primarily listen to metal, 80s alternative and jazz. Torche and The Body are my favorite bands to collect.

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