Dec 23, 2007

FRIENDS ARE VISITING FROM HELL - A 20-pack of black metal magnetics

My birthday present to myself was to buy 24 releases, one for each year of my measly life, from Aquarius records, preferably things I ain't never laid ears on. Thankfully, they offer a twenty-piece black metal grab-bag of all the cassettes they've been sent that they're too busy to review. Priority confusion, thankfully, has lead me to a takeaway sack of mystery for several evenings' diversion. Lord knows I need more diversion. They got here about 6 days late, but whatever. I remember little of my birthday anyhow, other than a trip to the local distillery/brewery and a stumbly trip home, so it may as well be the 14th again! After six dozen cups of light roast coffee (less roast=more caff!), I was ready to tackle the tower. (By the way, the others were 2 releases by Norwegian reel-melters Drommer and a Tomb Of... cassette that they were out of. So apparently it's for my 22nd berfday.) Rather than refine this whole mess, I thought I'd toss up the notes I kept to maintain the delirium. I mean, for a good while I tried to consider how much it would cost to buy 19 other boomboxes and spread them through the house so I could put them all on at once. I need to have a lie-down just thinkin' about it.
At any rate, let me present the first installment of a two-part series. I had to split it up to keep my ears fresh and to ensure the urges to don corpsepaint (Donald Corpsepaint!), invade countries, and invoke flaming-chariot-riding ghosts remained as such. Exceptin the last one. Who can resist, really?

Istorn - Demo 1, 2004, Fossbrenna Productions (distributed domestically by Tour de Garde)
norwegian, natch cooing in background??? on tracks 2+3
what i call "big toe fixation"

neaderthal hypnotism, accidental krautrock/d-beat
what else is there to do in Norway except drink beer and wait patiently for Hammafest?
oh and mountains of course

Natural Change - Helvetica (Espace Mitterlland) 1, 2006, Northern Sky Productions

northern sky folded, too bad

distro says something like "made by someone who is probably not right in the head"
can't find any further info
guessing this is american
wow! 94 stars!
i love all the black metal stuff that, if it were released in 1982 on a German synth tape imprint would be worth mad $$$$$$ deez dayz

ethnomusicological context dispute:
pierre henry/glenn branca approach


mad scientist/meth lab approach::
who thought more and why should i care?

(wow, there is a lot about my attitude toward music that's just been reconsidered)

bad titles oops


Lado Obscuro - O Inferno por ..., Intolerant Records, 2006

flames of hell play the best of Mayhem

"adolfo hitleramirez on vibes..."

charred muppet voxxx

what's more "black metal": # of trips to the boneyard or musicianship?

Burning Blood - Unholy, self-released, don't know the year

Cherman...and national socialist--whoops!

super-treated, WREST-ian vocals

messy and stumbly, but kind of appealing
i mean, who really agrees with any musician's politics?

burzum cover
I read this is supposed to be "hand-#'d in blood" for the first 50 (of 60 made; odd choice of privilege) but mine--#13--is definitely written in ball-point pen
waiter! oh, waiter! there's a lie in my soup! C'mon, I want some National Socialist blood on my cassette insert! Is that so much to ask?
this one deserves another spin

Aymrev Erkroz Prevre (A.E.P.) - Noir voyage obstrue de rencontres difformes, Infernal Kommando, distributed domestically by Tour de Garde

with giger-y cover ta boot, so i probably wouldn't pass this up if i saw it in a shop
dark ambient in possibly the most obvious way...possible

left the earth and won't ask which way to cthulu--he's gonna find it himself!
kinda the least memorable so far
on a split with Abstrakkt Torment later...fuck

Loits - Ei Kahetse Midagi, Night Birds Records, ltd 500

self-described as "flak'n'roll" as in the anti-aircraft gun--but isn't that a stinger? or are those just the shoulder-mounted ones?
not gettin the rock'n'roll bit they were talkin on

much much graveland

nocturnal projections guitar sound!

rites of spring parts--no, as in dischord recs

instrumental sounds like "battle of epping forest" if it were on "ride the lightning"

& i'm picturing slo-mo deposed military statues
not sure where that leaves us

Korium - Mraziva noc prinasa pokoj, Ravenheart Productions,
ltd 500
one-man Slovakian side-scroller nightmares
barks-and-bugs-eating cave dwellers storm a Slovak game show and pummel Rod Roddy to death with mossy boulders, then try to roll themselves up in his rhine-stone-dotted glittery skin like a sleeping bag Toby Hooper-style

then some tyrant trooper parts for added debauchery
inside it reads "Magnificent Winter Is the Gallery Of Real Dream"

here here!
i could live on inspiration like this for months--when can he move in?

worth all 80 ducets

I'm taking a 24hr break, otherwise the rest of this will end up in the trash, thanks to my newly discovered Korium bias


Lubrik Hate - Negative Destiny, re-release on Infernal Kommando, distributed domestically by Tour de Garde
ltd 250
one-man, Fronch
Smell & Quim-y porno noises + "corpses rolling down a hill" black metal


new kind of necrophilia

plus the track's called "spectranal"--was this the payoff of a dare?

got that monastic echo by way of Urfaust vocals, although the chant bits could be any instrument including a vacuum or a bowed fjord

skronky solo--a superbly bad idea superbly done

fade from "Human's Fate" to "Negative" life is fucking great: old sad Euro strings on a distant radio, or maybe just deserted in a snowstorm

if Abruptum had they're shit together ... well, they wouldn't be Abruptum

strangely melodious, also strangely triumphant for something that professes such allegiance to frumpy funerals

i mean shit there's a toothless skull with a point-blank bullet wound on the cover

drum machine good idea, especially for the unwarranted dub-step intro-fills

of course, no bm cass is complete w/o a slippery acoustic number


Portal - Lurker At the Threshold, Beer In Your Ear Records 2006

this is the only band in the batch I've heard before

OOP already

guess this is 3 rehearsals/demos from the new rec --so it's like an ultra-rare promo?
rattly, stumbly, droney, muddy--yup, sounds like Portal

wow, IQ-droppingly heavy

got those inexplicable Dusk (the one from Green Bay) slurpy basslines

parts don't "match" per se, but they feel right

how do you really judge rehearsals?

I guess I'm curious to see what they're like all finalized and purdy


Szarlem - Cryptic Winter demo, 2006, Northern Sky Production


ltd 300

insert is all folded with hand-writ bm scrawl

"Black Metal" looks like "Blair Metal"

"Bathory" looks like "Berfday"--how fitting!

never before has Baphomet and his crescent moon-juggling looked so lonely. Maybe it's all that white paper; he's like a forgotten chess piece.
surprisingly short, kinda average straight-up Norwegian stompers

Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult - Hora Nocturna, Propaganda Records
ltd 666, cd version is ltd 2500 from a different label
I'm pretty sure everything on Propaganda is ltd to 666
es der steaz
figure it's worth mentioning that they're fronted by a lay-dee
Dissection and Watain big time with some minor Emperor presence, though I like this more than both Dissection and Emperor of late
almost as fast as Thunderbolt, which is saying something; probably tighter, too
appropriately trollish at times
layout's all professional, which makes sense seeing as this is the most pro-sounding tape yet
why isn't this huge? it could be, for all i know. super-fast and oh-so cult
this also has the longest running time so far
I'm a little sad this didn't come with the sticker the label promised. Maybe I'll return my unused portion.

Isolation - Striding on the Path of Nihil, Tour de Garde
another German
originally self-released as a CD-r
Is it just me or was the CD-r the new tape until the tape was the new CD-r? or is it the new tape? again?
Does every German bm band have a song called "Einsamkeit" or have I dipped over the edge?
BETHLEHEM! especially the one that comes in the DVD case with the remix disc, whose name I can't remember
some Winter, too; real sludgy, peering into some dark and whispery old well
vocals just shy of Lennon's widow in the disenfranchised bird department
it must've been recorded/dubbed from some weak deck because this gets dunked into a cottony phase ocean every 15 or so seconds for quite a while; kinda adds to it though, for me anyhoo
drums are so un-seaworthy, like when you start your Evinrude and it spits out green porridge
this is kinda mint. The melodies are all sideways and chimey.
I want moor

Just 8 to go...stay tune-d.

Dec 20, 2007

DING DONG DING DONG CHRISTMAS BELLS ADDENDUMB - SPAM emails bring tidings of great poetry

I suppose because I'd rather find spam hysterical than irritating, I've decided that the best pomo assemblage poetry going on in the world is contained therein. This shit, as you will discover, reads like Wallace Stevens with a crippling intestinal virus. So, in the spirit of giving, I present the best poetry the spam I receive on the regular has to offer. You know, like ya do.

"turnpike" by Dougher Seleg
Indeed worthy to figure in the stables of the to it often,
years ago, he might have cultivated follow upon emancipation.
schemes for colonial shining river, her rebellion and pain
mounted thick green glass. They were the usual demijohnsgaraffons,
the shore. To prevent instant pursuit, he, for treatment
in a sanatorium some years ago had, unsold till the others
are of age in turn. This for winchester tomorrow. With a
few grateful words that he leant against a tree lest he
should what.

"locomotory" by Scialpi Lukianov
Ism don't suppose we ever shall know. I don't the daily dispatch,
a manchester newspaper. A to profess to be, but to be willing
to do anything benjamin wade, whom we have met already such
military are things going? You know what poirot shrugged
to the flames. We do not know how early cremation in a little
clearing of the forest. It is related i am? How old, my
dear? Why, let me see! He exclaimed. ? very fond of you,
she was. Oh yes, she used our military force, and place
in the hands of.

"assimilation" by Ahmad Romanik
Or two horses and wagons. When they came to yellow he. And
he knew that it was gwalchmai, but gwalchmai position that
the guard suspected the passengers, he thought of the possibilities
of having the i know where to dine well in town, and where
to her right hand in the fire until it was burned he, and
one told me that he was well skilled in and the gentle ripple
took up its old story again as a gigantic game carry him
through successfully? Know,3' she admitted. It does seem
a bit screwy.

"overcrowds" by Panciera Rumpel
'having heard these words of vrihaspati, purandara, really
has in it a very slight preponderance of worlds, viz. Kurukshetra,
o kesava. O thou of.

"dayroom" by Vangorder Madise
With brush and plastered with mud, and designed of wearing
these costly ornaments was much followed the worthy woman
to my indeed i am, mrs. Bloomfield. Imp, a grandame's child
but half a plague, and pipkin of five quarts, with raisins
of the sun, has been secretary to sir bartholomew strange
so i tried to understand them all, and their ways was trying
to make up her mind whether he was husband's head. It is
i who asked his hand. But him as he hath done to others.
so, my child, my.

"nosology" by Seward Russnak
The maidatarms, i read aloud. Then there came and suspicion.
i have now told ye everything about it to their lips, they
began to play and the music of righteous deeds, all of whom
are best of men, of five emerged from merishall's room with
two down on the earth's surface. Animals of diverse days
after, will be the day of the new moon. Let that i have
to live with him until i am married. Through the organs
of sense, becomes duly cognisant away. She's asked me to
persuade you to go out..

Dec 13, 2007

Oh Goodness, It's Turtles All the Way Down! A "Year" In Respew

What's a year? Does it hafta start on January 1st? Is it January 1st and 1 second? Is it the instant, the remote and incomprehensible moment when it is exactly the end of one year and the beginning of another? If that moment can't be reach or achieved because we'd just run out of decimal-zeroes long before, isn't that saying the year never really starts in any knowable way and, consequently, never ends? Where does its lil temporal seed find purchase?
Before embarking on any serious paper, article, list, essay, meal, shower, or shoe purchase, I get caught in deontological chappaquas like this. Sometimes it's a cleansing thang. The infinite regress can be kinda relaxing! Just imagine yourself falling & shrinking simultaneous, finally smashing into the Strangeness quark and being blown to eetsy-beetsies. Yeah. Sometimes it's my happy place, but devoid of the sandy beaches and omniprent margaritas that most folk imagine. But mostly, it's the lock and key on the old New Englander trap of "Why do anything?"
So now that I've let that slide down my gullet where it will eventually ferment like that inedible Viking shark dish I read about in Fierce Food (durian actually ain't so bad, provided you can't smell it), I suppose it's time I got around to listing the things I enjoyed pointing my senses to this "year." (Although, I will probably have to update it after I get the shipment of 20 unidentified black metal cassettes coming my way from a certain record shop in Frisco. Look, tomorrie's my birthday and I felt I needed to indulge myself.) Some of them are from approximately now, some of them from long before, and some of them are just signs that I really have no fucking clue what is going on at any given time. Apparently my mom knows me weller than I thought; she bought me a Bhutanese flag and a copy of Pere Ubu's Shape of Things for my berfday! Whutta ladee. Hoooo

Labels that smoked me or just really impressed me:
Northern Heritage
SS Records
E.E.E Recordings
Holy Mountain
Swill Radio
and my personal favorite, SELF-RELEASED

Bands that knocked me down and stood on my face with delicious-smelling shoes--some new odors, some familiar, some rediscovered:
Los Llamarada
The Prats
Picky Picnic
Meadow Meal
Forgotten Woods
Blues Control
Nuclear Socketts
Gerry + The Holograms
Psychedelic Horseshit
Rema Rema
Nocturnal Projections
Where's Lisse
Avia (Russian)
Cherry Blossoms
Sic Alps
Baby Grandmothers
Those Lovely Hula Hands
The Sperm
Lionel Belasco
Snowy Red

I'm a pointer. Der it is. Der it is. Gudknight + may Gobbless

Dec 9, 2007

I WISH I WAS A MOLE IN THE CLOUDS - Daniel Higgs - Metempsychotic Melodies (Holy Mountain, LP or CD 2007)

I almost went back and took the title of "six string sampo" from that Barn Owl record to apply it to Herr Higgs. What a strange moment of haphazard prophecy--that I'd review a record by a guy who fits the bill I handed to some other yokels!
The schpiel as I sees it: There's a ton of aforementioned-yokels stroking and petting and nudging the ghosts of inspired pickers back into the light with varied results. Hell, even some of the still-kickin' ones have been handed the cushy tombstone of "living legend" and the peculiar luxury of a crop of young folks to play with who'd be happy just to polish their bar stool. In our freshly-minted service economy, you get more mileage out of catering to a thing rather than being a thing, it would seem. Sucks on toast, if you ask me. Given the chance to be the only one applauding in a crowd of 4 or add my two hands to the din of 400 others, I'll take the former blindfolded and stripped bare by my bachelorettes.
The problem with all the folk-raga revival is that it's just that--something old dressed up like a debutante. The generic thing, the genre run-down isn't going to earn you a place in someone's regular rotation and a burn-mark on their consciousness and really what else is music released in mass quantities meant to do? Who says, "I really want to make records that people listen to once and then sell"? If you're really going to stand out, you've got to make it part of you--or vice versa.
Well, here you go.
I don't think there's a doubter in the room as to whether Daniel AIU Higgs walks the talk. His records are conspicuously bloodstained--or tattoo-inked, but that don't seem so dramatical--like everything he does. The threads, therefore, are bright, so it's easy to imagine this man making that song, making that image, writing that poem and so on. Higgs is Higgs and seems to have come into his own on his lonesome, even if he's plumbing the depths with chant-riffers Lungfish on the side. You can tell where the love really lives.
Metempsychotic Melodies walks a lot of the same roads Ancestral Songs mapped, so if you're lookin for discographic context, there ya go. (But who needs it? Either you're with this stuff or running away from it, right?) Higgs continues to draw long lines, then abruptly tie them in knots like he's marking time. His compositions work like astrological levers and pulleys, eventually dropping you in a timeless place with all the previous accumulation dragging from your heels. I say, feel the dirt. Smell the dirt. Know the place. The production is much cleaner, though the parts feel more disjointed. Hands and feet and voice are separate somehow. Can't decide how that affects the whole figure, but I suppose it's a part of it anyways. Certainly adds to the isolation, like he can't even feel connected to his damn limbs.
"Love Abides" seems to be getting the most play, but "Universal Salutation" and "All Cherished Things" are my jams of choice. The first is like a stringed mission statement. The second is like a reworking of "Love Abides" to include even more mystical leave-taking. But all around, I dig this like almost nothing of the sort he's dropped before.
If the music seems like only a part of the story you feel he's telling--which I reckon is a fair argument--try actually buying the record. No, seriously. You could probably sum up all the underground music blogs in 3 words: champion the nerd. I think I'd rather see him get paid. Except for a few. I mean, you can't empower everybody.


Dec 3, 2007

SIX STRING SAMPO (MAYBE) Barn Owl - Bridge of Clouds, Not Not Fun CDR 2007

It's a touch reassuring that living alone on an island hasn't softened me one bit. Initially, I figured all this solitude would make me embrace any sorta aural (or oral, for that matter) company as somebody to sip rye and chew green beans with. Not so. My ears are the sharp and cavernous slivers of pork I've forever relied on them being.
I'd been thinking about this Barn Owl thing for a piece; wondering how it had the look [read: packaging] of something they'd schlep but sounded far more polished than normal. Then I discovered it was a tour release BO'd been schlepping on their own! Ah, now it makes a bit more sense.
I've come to expect NNF to wallow in pseudo-hipster post-Fort Thunder dust with a few sizeable gems a-mixed up inside. Hey, they dig Robedoor. Oh, but then there's that Raccoo-oo-oon thing, staring at me and tapping its big stupid foot. And hey, we can't forget Pink Luminous Invocation! Oh wow. Magic Markers. Oops. Frustrating, innit? Like they don't know what they do right and what they...doo.
I kind of like this Barn Owl cd. And it's part of the endless amusement of watching 2 or 3 people try to do what one John Fahey did (drunk, I might add, and on a borrowed guitar while living in a hotel room and eating old beef when he could find it). They do it well, I must say. Kinda plows the same parched and endless field that Flying Canyon found. This isn't going to change anyone's life considering all its debts, but it is interesting to see NNF carrying something so clean, clear, and produced--with pride, no less! They butter this thing up like they were gettin paid!
Maybe it's the shock of something so professional coming out of the Not Not Fun camp, but this is okay by me. Be a landscape or see a landscape; as long as there's a landscape involved, I'll give it a whirl. And for the moment, that feels right.

UPDATE! No sooner did I post this than NNF declared this out of print. For serious. I went back to their new releases page this morning and it had been bumped down to past efforts. I meant what I said about pracariousness! However, if this review sprinkled mystery dust all over ya, you mightcould still get it from folks like Fusetron, Midheaven, and Revolver.

MYSTICAAL OBJECT AT NOON - Larkfall Gives It Up Like an Old Cougar

I sung and sung and sung the praises of dear Phil Legard and his idiosymptomatic Larkfall label many a moon past, even though it was in a review for a Xenis Emputae Travelling Band tape that wasn't even on his label. As I see it, you take whatever occasion frisbeed at you to stop talking shit and start talking salad. Right? And so I did.
The problem with that XETB tape was that it was basically long gone by the time I finished typing the first word. So y'all probably ended up thinking, "Oh. Okay. Fine," and went about your day. It's a precarious world this little-sluice-off-an-aqueduct-of-actual-culture-that-we-call-FUC lives in. If the ship goes down, you can never say I gargled my last through some corny tears. I'm fighting the good fight for good music, or at least what's left of it.
Phil Legard's Larkfall aims to do likewise, only in a probably way more effective manner. Phil went and uploaded all the out-of-print XETB releases on his label as empeethrees--free for the taking! Why, he even hooks you up with a full-scale printable copy of the sleeve so's you can slap it in a jewel case, put it on your shelf and pretend you was with it from the jump.
I dig the music itself plenty. The Goat Willow has some moments of Jackie-Oish wandering, but on the whole, Xenis Emputae is travelling through much darker underbrush. There's something about JOMF that's unconvincing and you never get that with any of Legard's English countryside mark-outs. Can't remember if any of these were recorded in supposedly-haunted groves or slippery ruins, but he does do that on the regular. The odd duck in the paddling is most definitely Under A Soular Moon, seeing as it's mostly digital but all those synths are really just a different shade of sunglass staring at the same wubbly brooks and misty meadows. The whole mess is ripe with occult and gnostic references that I might know if I collected rare books or lurked at Bieneke library like I did in my younger youth, but I don't so they're largely lost on me. And, anyhow, they're really only an edge piece; you can still see the picture.
Going to Tom Nevers beach, which is just a skip from where I sit, and listening to XETB is the kind of experience I wish I could hand out. Tom Nevers is eroding and decaying like almost nothing else on the island (ceptin' Sankaty, but that's a sung song). So fast, don't you know, that the cement blocks from piers and boat launches are still sitting there. Up along the cliff, you can look down at a fallen TV (the old 500lb, blown tube variety) from where the road has fallen off, spot a seal way out & regarding you like a lost dog, then turn around and look at low and crowded trees shaped by the wind and some unfinished mansions. See, to Legard, these records are geographically specific, so even if you've never seen "the caves and churches around Yorkshire and Cornwall" you can get a feeling for how he sees them. But take them somewhere else and they inform your peepers like you made'em happen.
Give it up for amorphous creativity. It could be the mark of longevity.
Hoof it over to the recordings page at Larkfall so you can ball out in the fallout.


Oct 30, 2007

Island transmissions and other mechanical hoo

The boys and a girl came up for a weekend of rye and violence and swingsets at midnight and I tell you what, there's little I like more than the aforementioned thangs. But now that the smokes are extinguished, the bottles recycled, the marrow scraped from the hedges, I find myself with limited innernet axxexx and nothing of the new and true in the mail. A drought for this here b-l-o-g, like my folks are suffering in the grape state of Georgia. Don't know when it'll clear up. A lonely PO Box breaks my oil-stained heart, so it'll do me good if you hook my isolated dome up with something fresh out the box. Otherwise, you won't get to read me talk about the post-apocalyptic English coastal town meets abandoned sculpture garden that is Tom Nevers and how it relates to whatever honky residue I'm hearin' and that would be a cryin' you know what.
Also, don't smoke unfiltered Pall Malls. They's a sad substitute for the American Spirit species, unless you're down with tugging on butts laced with burnt cocoa powder and Windex. I'd really rather smoke dirty Kleenex than let those sorry excuses darken my porch again.
Stay frosty.

Oct 17, 2007

LET ME SHOW YOU THE COLD LIGHT - Cadaver In Drag, undressed & exhumed

Having received the stamp of Heaviness from Sir Julian Cope, Cadaver In Drag are probably on their way to, well, what all those Album of the Month bands are destined: Southern Lord and some limited to 13 220-gram purple-and-bacon-grease-colored LPs, then a dreamy, fuzzy drift into obscurity. (Okay, BOC are the exception.) So before the shark is suitably jumped following their impressive new LP on Animal Disguise and Stephen O'Malley gets his mitts on them, let's take a look at The Road To Cope.

Cadaver In Drag - Made Impure one-sided cassette, American Grixxly 2005 Seriously? You couldn't swing another 14 minutes of this and just balance the c30? Well, I've got a Shitty Listener single-sider and I can't say it changed my life, but I dug it proper. So I tried to unskew my ears for once. That said, this is okay. Volcanic bass drones and watery cymbal skins. Super slow, super boxy. Your basic Halloween backdrop doom. Basement Wormphlegm demos. How many more incomplete sentences can I toss at you? While this was indeed okay, it's guilty of one of the highest crimes in my court: no fun to talk about, no fun to write about, no fun to read about. I mean, am I joshin? You tell me! That is to say, If you're awake. I had all the details worked out by the second listen, so the third and fourth were really just to refresh.

Cadaver In Drag - Full of Hatred cassette, Animal Disguise 2005
Well, even with the legacy of Man Is the Bastard in mind, this was a surprise. Crossed Out? Siege? No Comment? Where'd all the San Diego crustcore come from? They do it well, frankly. This is the sore thumb so far, but everyone needs a Brighter Than A Thousand Suns or Trans on their resume, y'know? Woke me out of warbly slumber for a minute.

Cadaver In Drag - Ruined Organs cassette, Blood Red 2006
Barely cracking 15 minutes, this is the choicest so far, which I suppose makes sense. The Ey-side wanders into Masonna/RRRecords territory which had me itching for the FF, but Side-Be walks a way more interesting and rewarding line to me. Drony noise with a strange, thuddy undercurrent--before, again, mistakenly Merzing it up. That stuff is fine, but do we really need more of it? I'm leary of the idea that someone is going to pump new life into the rrrrrbzzzzzzzzzzzzzbrrrrbbbbbbbbbbrrrrrrrhisssssssssssssssssssssssss genre.

So when exactly did they make the change to stripped and dipped spacey simplicity? A beautifully reduced sound? Who the shit knows. My journey left me holding the same pile of sand, seeing not the sand but a mystery, a marvel there in my hand. Every time you do this, you are part of the circus of Dr. Lau.

Get the new one because it's fun and check out the tracks on their guyspace. Surely you can outwit me. I don't know. The Mammal stuff is probably better...hmm.

Oct 15, 2007

GET BACK ON THE HORSE OR YOU MAY AS WELL SHOOT IT - More round, druggy media comes my way

Oh the days are rolling into weeks. Who knew? How could that happen? I guess when you start counting cigarettes & bottles & tapes you end up with a piece of time, as Atheist would say. But in the meantime, I've been letting nuevo cherse tunes slip out the door unnoticed. NO MORE. So here we go. A little new, a little older, and I'll call it adieu.

Los Llamarada - The Very Next Moment 7"
Back in the day when I had guests, I played the The Exploding Now, then take a walk around the block. Let them get acquainted. More often than not, I'd return to patches of blood, the needle riding the label like a worn out mechanical bull. Jesus, what a record. Licks the gel out of your hair and spits a rat poison tapenade in your pasty visage. How does Scott Soriano still have 25 copies left? What are y'all up to? Nice sleeve, good slice of ivory can't feel empeethrees, even with your fancy Audio Research studio-cooled speakers. You can't invite the heathens over on IM! Let'em in the front door! Write the check! You smart-marks can cash it, trust.
Or, in the meantime, you can pick up this, their latest missive. The title cut sticks their rumbly Ut and Mars thang between thick gooey slices of A-Frames stomploaf. Lovely synth peppering, too. Someone tell the dudes at Mutant Sounds! Cheveu fans oughta open their hearts for this one. Although, I should add, they've either moved up to a studio or someone hooked them up with the dopest boombox this side of a JVC in 85 because this don't sound like their usual Pixelvision fidelity. Don't mind it a bit, though. That lil number's keeps me warm just thinking of the Monterrey sun warming their leaky basement. Nothing like Robocoppin' in a droptop on a humid night. But that's another yarn.
And the B-side Brenda Lee's "I'm Sorry" always seemed like the kind of shit someone shouts up to a 4th-story window in the wee-smalls with one hand on their sweaty heart and one on some E-dub--but never was before. Evil truckstop karaoke at it's finest. So annoying you'll never forgive again.
Live-r than most.

Blank Dogs - Diana (The Herald) 12"
I'm on the fence and it's not comfortable. I've been up there about Blank Dogs for ages. I can't decide if they're too revival.
Hang on, I'll unpack that. Okay, garage is kinda played out
what with it always spooning from the same bowl, right? Every now and again someone dresses it anew, but few of us wait with baited breath for another Royal Trux--at least not realistically. Seems like that's on the verge of happening with some of the (warning: lingo migraine ahead) neo-DIY syphoners. Yeah the sources are still frosty enough for the young & fresh of my generation, but I'm left feeling a little under-fed by acts like Blank Dogs. They're either too indebted to their forefathers or spend too much time running with their brother's friends. Get out of the neighborhood for a minute, will you? I played this six or seven ways in a dozen settings and it never really felt rewarding. Not that it isn't perfectly fine music. It just feels a little like they Xeroxed a whole movement, blotting out some of the important bits. The interpretation is what's got me miffed. Maybe it's too soon to say this style is stale, but I've certainly had fresher bread. I say give the Fort Thunder gear a rest and dig a little deeper. And no, I don't mean into the crates.
Passable, but far from a squawk in the park.


Oct 10, 2007


The Church Police 7" released on Skulltones is actually unreleased material by the California band from the early 80s, not some pomo rework by the JA crew. Who knew? Well, I didn't. There was basically no info online when I got it and thus I drew connections on my lonesome--all of which were wrong. That said, I still found it boring, whether or it preceded Happy Flowers/Flipper/etc or not.

Again, apologies. I oughta check my facts before I get all my disses in a row.

Coming soon: actual reviews and more aimless commentary about life in self-imposed New England isolation, bunking with Grammy Lambkin, and how I got Pip Proud's address. You're so excited. Watch the floor.

Oct 8, 2007

GREETINGS FROM THE HERMITAGE - A Belated Review of Graham Lambkin's "Salmon Run"

Golly, what months. Cripes and chiggers, how long's it been? I've departed the slightly unclean South and am now living alone on an island. Yes, an island. Not one of the mind but one of the earth, the part that broke away from Massachusetts before it bore such a name. The island of the Whaleship Essex where a friend has let me rent and live for next to beans. I suppose it is a bit of an island of the mind as well. Living alone in a 6-room house with two floors, two bathrooms and a porch is for-sure spinning my head. Figuring out where to sit is like a UN meeting gone solo! And everything is musty, as it's a barely-used-but-at-least-winterized summer house, so that knocks out about 1.5 rooms unless I feel like wheazing my way through a Misfits of Science episode. So it's not all bad. Plus I can spit to the beach, which is the closest point in the US to our Euro-neighbors.
Time hasn't eroded my sense of tangents, it would seem. Sheesh. Take it or trash it.
ONWARD CRISPIN GLOVER: About 4 months ago [by my watch], this here disc by the dean of Tart, Transmissions, der Shadow Ring & Elklink Mr. Graham Lambkin, was released by his lonesome. It was got through dubious duping or by tipping your hat to hawkmothsATyahoo and tossing a dozen digital bills. Then, silence. The applause long since faded, one trimmed youth stood up having been preoccupied with books about rats and Meadow Meal tapes to add some awkward claps. Well, here I am.
I never thought I'd have a roommate here, but this CD has taken up a peculiar kind of roost. None of the reviews I've read have yet compared it to or put it in context with a single other recording in human history. Not even a previous Lambkin outing! Well sure there was the Celestiial-meets-Berio of Poem back in the oh two, but not even that rings a bell.
Let's get down to facts and try to work our way out. Sometimes there's collaged classical run through King Tubby's board. Sometimes there's rain and the clatter of chimes. Sometimes the piano's been drinking (not me). Sometimes Lambkin just sits and laughs, living it up with some concertos.


We're still at that critical impasse, aren't we? I guess there's nothing doing except let the little genius bastard be. I put it on in the bedroom and sit on the stairs. Let it do it's thing. I feel like I'm eavesdropping anyhoo. More like Lambkin's invited me in.
Most music of the popular sort illustrates the physical world or a world inside. It's rare that music itself becomes a place to occupy. Well, that's what it is, then. Lambkin's made a psycho-physical summer house.
Thanks for inviting me. Sorry I'm late. Best time I've had all year.
Can still be had at your local blog spot.


Aug 20, 2007


As y'all've probably gathered like good kids oughta, I'll be taking a break from this for the next month or so, as an odyssey awaits me. If you happen to live in Lumberton NC, the Outer Banks, Krumville or Munnsville NY, Barre VT, or Parts Unknown ME, drop me a digital line and I'll come do my laundry on your tab and throw shoes at your pets. You'll be sorry I came. I'll be too drunk to remember. It'll be fantastic.
Then I'll be returning--from new digs!--hopefully with some kickin slices to talk on. Keep watching your skis and always eat your oatmeal. Or at least until mid-September. I'll know.

Aug 9, 2007

Church Police - Gilligan's Wings (7", Skulltones 2007)

Call me a cynical Northerner (read: a Northerner), but Skulltones is pretty over--and I don't mean that in a carny/pro-wrestling way--right?. I mean, they're finished, washed-up & 86'ed. I generally mount up on anything Tom Lax gets his mitts on, but I guess I missed the Der TPK debutante ball. I had the directions straight, but apparently my feet thought better.
So here we are. Another Jewelled Antler-sponsored drunk-in-the-studio one-off to be consumed by 8 people who all know each other. To the credit of the whole JA crew, they's got a sense of humor their peers oughta envy. I'd much rather give 16-minutes to something that at the very least sounds like a blast to make than something that sounds like it's supposed to have been "a really intense trip, man. We totally got out there. Really stretching and reaching through some doors." That is, if it's going to suck about 5 different ways regardless. Which this mostly does. "Life is Fun" is the best delirious wastoid rumble never to be on a Footprints of God 7"--for whatever it's worth. Kind of like the Bunnybrains doing German Oak. Yeah. There's my press release quote, Skulltones. Dine and be merry, for tomorrow you're boots. For rill.


Agitated Radio Pilot & Nether Dawn - The Ghost of Medb/Under Your Night (split vinyl Pseudo Arcana)

So apparently months and months ago I wrote this review and some shady Internet business went down and it was relegated to the land of unwanted drafts. I don't remember a lick of this. Too much mud or too much Canadian; decide if you wish. So, moons and moons later, here is another tirade on some thangs:

Soon. Soon I will take a break and go back to reviewing dumpy black metal or maybe not review anything for a bit. Music is starting to feel like homework. It's hard enough to keep track of what new shit I've got, nevermind what I actually think about it.
So here we are again. I put this on and I let it play. I thought I knew Nether Dawn from Last Visible Dog's something or other but apparently I was mistaken. They're from somewhere. Who knows. Agitated Radio Pilot could be anyone of any gender recording anywhere in the world right now near as I can tell. It's got all the pretty, lilting festoonery of aged lore and forgotten colored paper and...oh shit! I started falling asleep there for a minute. Nothing stood out. Drones drone. I mean, what else do they do? Really good ones work their way into your head until they wind through the muscles in your back and then you're linked good & proper. It's like a bulldozer: you don't just hand it to anyone and expect him to know how to steer. And folk'll tell me I should be glad to hear boring drone and raga'ed-up folk than, say, bad metal. But it's all the same to me: you is or you ain't, and ain't no use in being anything but what you is. See the Cloudland Canyon bit for more unnecessarily heated ranting.
Anyhow, I like the Nether Dawn side because they at least smother their sound rather than gettin all cathedral on me. Don't we get enough of that these days? I mean, ND's "Sky Dust" had me with my ear to the floor, rather than thinking I was at Pseudo Arcana's midnight mass. And the melodies are challenging, in a loose and lopsided way. The point being, I'm not sorry I heard them. This might not climb to the top of some imaginary list in my head nor be something I cling to and put on for friends who want to know where you go after you've already heard the Congos and Dead C. Then again, I've got a ton of stuff like that. You know, sometimes you're hungry, but not just for anything. And maybe the spot you find the most fresh-dipped is closed for remodeling or the line's around the block. So you take a walk down a street that's kind of familiar but you don't recognize a single face. You see an open booth through a window framed with patterned curtains and you go inside and sit down. The menu looks appealing, nice layout, staff is mint, floor's pretty clean. Food arrives quickly. It doesn't change your life, but it's not cloying and now you've assuaged hunger. Doesn't mean you'll be back, but who can say. Who can say?

Aug 8, 2007

Davenport Family - At the Foot of Zodiac Mountain (Meu Dia De Morte 2007)

The Korean lady at World of Beverage tried like hell to convince me the 8oz flask I was buying was lined with glass inside so the hooch wouldn't taste like steel. And the whole time I'm waiting for her to bag my shit up, some round-faced greasewig is asking me what part of CT I'm from. New Haven, I say. Might as well be from Harlem, he says. I laughed right in his face. What else was there to do? Anyhow, I didn't buy the glass-lining bit for a second, but I did buy the flask. Astounding what someone will convince herself so she can convince you to drop eight more bills. Round here we call that carny.
The Davenport Family sure is trying hard to get the money of many a bearded, fussy-shoe-wearing clown on a fixed gear. Go ahead. Judge the cover. If you must, you can even put it on and revel in the unexciting, aping, gaping, yawning smudge upon your boombox. Jackie-O Neck Blues Band of the Occult Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.
Available wherever v-neck t-shirts and things with stripes on them are waiting outside. Or hoof on over to Fusetron, if you must.


Jul 27, 2007

SISTERS OF SLAB - Two splits of dichotymous proportions

Tyvek & Cheveu - Split 7" (S-S Records, 2007)
Y'all read my Cheveu-sponsored jissom last time around, so all I can do is echo. Their track, "El Tortuga" is about 5 brands of swank in under 2min. They inhabit that space where teenage debauchery turns into a spin off the road while the speakers blow and the tires haven't hit the mud yet and all there is to feel is the beauty of the change in wind direction and that sinking uneven feeling in your gut. Can't say I'm as in love with the Tyvek side. Don't get me wrong, it does 1980 real well, but so did 1980. Nice dipped-out ending though. Fresh enough you could probably still buy it. Check the dudes themselves.

Michael Yonkers & Little Claw - Split 7" (X!, 2007)
Now I know Messer Yonkers is an outsider of Jandek/Skidd Freeman proportions, but I think he might be looking over his own shoulder too much. At least at the outset. "I Think" is like a Kim Fowley pisstake on Big Black, which doesn't really need to happen. "The Drain" on the other hand is like a Richard Kern nightmare party. It could be 20 years old, or it could be brand new, but it's bound to irritate you right out of your chair any which way.
I'll take Little Claw any day they're free. Kilynn makes none of the lady sounds usually found in these bang-and-clang bands--not sweet, not aimlessly snarling, not screechy, not childlike. She comes across like a person, not a person personifying an idea. Meantime, the band stirs and steams like a Warren Oates flick waiting for the moment to smoke. Their "Ice Age" reaffirms my position that Kim and Thursty should've squalled their last like mad years ago. Fuck a...Jesus, I don't even know what the last record was called. Pretty In Pink? Ah, there was some kinda alliterati for the literati in there. Fuck it. You know.
And, of course, only then do I notice they've kicked jams on Ecstatic Peace. Ha! The dish is officially passed, I guess. Why not catch it? Look in the horse's mouth to find the tools of Paypal conquest.

NO AND YES, and then MAYBE AND YES... So that's TWO YESES

Jul 22, 2007

21st CENTURY SCHIZOID RUBE - Keeping Up With the Jaspers

In an effort to be less mud-stuck and snarky, which I assure you is both noble and aimless, I'm going to try to catch up on the goings on of two much-oozed-over acts and see if I actually give a shit or if I can convince some other sap to do likewise.

I think I've heard everything he's put out this year by his lonesome--so far. We are talking about a scene full of people who have fallen in the YouTube-gen trap of thinking everything is worth preserving, even if it's only in an edition of 4.5 & given to dudes with bigger beards than waists. This shit's been a club for longer than I've been breathin y'all's air, so no surprises all around that the Reatard club's a piece of junkmail with fancy packaging while I'm waiting for a letter from a nice girl: when I actually surpass my irritation and give it 5 minutes of my time, I get the dull taste of being right the first time around. Not offensive, sure, but basically just passable. They're songs. You know. Songs. I remember liking the B-sides on the Night of Broken Glass 12", but that's probably because I hated the A-sides. Anyhow, the whole thing is amazingly unremarkable and totally worth your time and eBay watch list. Available through places that have things that I also didn't want so I don't remember them.

CHEVEU - My Answer Is Yes 7" (Rob's House, 2007)
Okay, I'll bite. I actually really liked this. I keep expecting to be massively underwhelmed by all this post-punk-post-punk coming out of the seams, but then a lot of it cooks and I get all blushy. Cheveu take their master's tools out for the weekend and give you a Saturday and a Sunday unlike anything those old dudes would've thunk of but still make them wanna put their new boots on. Some glorious Pstone Suicide with the bloke from the Tronics sangin'. Or something. I didn't check my facts.
It's fussy in a vintage-keyboard-not-some-shit-Rebirth way, and not in a balalaika-over-Hagstrom kind of way. This should become suitably huge and then jump the shark like most good things. Hey, you've got to learn to love the cycle or love being mad all the damn time, right? Plus, in the meantime I get to take a modicum of pride in my home's own Rob's House Records seeing the power & the glory and bringing this to my neighborhood. Go get it at S-S Records or Fusetron if you please.


Jul 15, 2007

KVLTY WORKRATE REPORT! Skaters - Dispersed Royalty Ornaments (LP, Ore Wabana Limited 2007)

Okay PR is PR and I ain't talking San Juan, but damn does Wabana lay it on thick! They set these here Skaters to share a booth with Coltrane, Sanders, and Ayler like they was gonna nosh. Dubious, right? So, who picks up the tab & who's shooting up in the alley?

-Mint cover and mint title. Land of Make-Believe dowries blow right up me.

- I can't blame zeal-overload on the poor put-upon Skaters. They didn't write it and I'm sure they could care less what some bloke called Justin thinks of their bedroom disturbance.
Still, I didn't so much get the free-jazz linkage as the far more obvious Sun City Girls and Far East-jocking. What with the mysterious monkey cackling and bowed strings and under-production, you know. Dom's Edge of Time occasionally came through the Minsk-y warble to bury me in space dust, so this isn't all one-point perspective.

-It's got that Finnish underground structure that the kids seem to love and I've got my soft spots for. You know, where the things are all doing one thing or another and then they do something harmonious and then they do something beautiful and unexpected and strange and then it all comes to a klunky hault? Yeah yeah, like that! Pop Gold, right? Well...

-This just isn't going to catch many spins from me. Once more around the track is probably as far as the Skaters will get. Too much of one thing, not enough of anything else--at least for 38 minutes of my undivided.


Jul 8, 2007


There's a slew of dicey discs going round, but mixed up in em are some honest-to-G-d rubies. So here's a list of shit that I could talk on for eight pages like usual, but instead I'll just join the chorus of YESYESYESes & go melt some butter. There's work to be wed:

Cherry Blossoms - s/t
Pink Reason - Cleaning the Mirror and that new joint
Sic Alps - Teenage Alps
Dead C - Future Artists (danceable!)
Blues Control - s/t CD on Holy Mountain (a summer drug record for many ages)
Los Llamarada - Exploding Now
The Bad Trips - s/t
Acid Mothers Temple & the Bag of Detachable Lips Or Whatever the Doo Da Band Horse-Hockey They're Calling Themselves Today - Starless And Bible Black Sabbath

and so on back to about 6 months ago. And to further get into my head,

Tijuana Carbomb
one part tequila
one part Kahlua
1 pint dark Mexican beer

3 or so later, and you'll forget everything you like, too. The first time I had this, it was with some fussy tequila, an even fussier coffee licquer and a Xingu, which amounted essentially to a 9-dollar root beer float that had me whistling the Carpenters at my girly all down N Highland.


Jul 3, 2007

I NICKED EM FROM THE POH-LEESE - Messthetics #102 & #103 (CD Hyped To Death 2007)

Hot on their own heels, Hyped to Death scrawls in even more DhighY/pyosty-pyunky blanks. Seems to me this series features the best & dimmest of the 8 Messthetics volumes (previously hyped ad-death somewheres on here) plus buckets more soupy singles. Some of my biggest boners were culled from The Dad, Cult Figures, Spizzoil (one of the many Spizzincarnates), Cracked Actors, 012, the Lines, and the lovely Walking Floors. Steve Treatment's "Danger Zone" still cranks, of course, but these flaps aren't free of surprises. Check the Frank Details for some of the most un-London jams ever struck in any bleedin decade.
I get the feelin H2D could go on with this forever. When will they align powers with the Mutant Sounds crew and coax every gifted&jilted motherfucker out the woodwork? The liners'd come leatherbound, for shit's sake!


Jul 1, 2007

NEW WEIRD CHEAT SHEET - V.A. - Folk Is Not A Four Letter Word Vol 2 (Finders Keepers 2007)

Jeez, having spent 3 weeks bumming around Italia & Greece like a privileged youth oughta, being able to read shit isn't such a blessing. Seriously. It's much harder to fake ignorance, which in turn will prevent you from getting things like quick access to fancy museums and mis-priced train tickets. Whitey ain't buying in.
So with that all in ya mind, I really dug all the tracks where I can't tell what the shit is being said. Turid's "Pa Tredje Dagen Uppstandna" is Sandy Denny levitating down the stairs--instead of...uh, failing them?--and then dipping right out the second floor window brushing the junipers with the palms of her hands. In Swedish. Elly & Rikkert's "Heksenkring" is Straight Outta Lidsville, complete with terrifying flute lore. Vanica Doble's "Dime Felix" fixes Veloso up with the Wilson clan, hoping Manson'll keep his paws off the ladies.
Okay, I shut my eyes and picked some tracks. And you know what? They were all in English & not a bit hateful! Well, Susan Christie's "Paint A Lady" had me wondering where Rowan Morrison ended up, but that's just good ol' anxiety. 11:59's "The Waters of Babylon" isn't the unmixed Congos track I hoped it would be, but they've certainly got their Perhacs all in a row. And if you bite at the Sibylle Baier spoon, check out the disc Orange Twin put out lasty yeary; it's a fine pot.
Loveable chestnuts all about. With his here Andy Votel Hulk-up helping me along in the most lovely & scary of ways, I'll be reading my mail in no time.


Jun 25, 2007

To all the girls I've loved before...

I took a shit at the Jack Daniels distillery.

Regular economy class posting will resume soonish. Cheers up you.

May 28, 2007

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - self-titled 7" (Rob's House 2007)

If ever there was a scan that didn't do a cover justice... Well, anyhow, I'll give you the gooey graphic design details in a bit.
SIDS belong to my home of Mylanta, GA, and generally destroy. The review my roommate & swami of herbal essence gave holds up on wax, too. Hell, he was windmilling shirtless down Oakdale last I saw. And if you can't play wax, it comes with a skull-stamped CD-r with all the same trimmings. Aw, but then you'll miss out on lockgrooves that make Holy Molar look like the A-Set! Actually, that's not a stretch. How about Drago Miette:Alva Noto?
I won't divulge the secret of spinning the final cut. I trust you to handle the needle like the magnifying glass of sound it be.
Oh MFA student ejaculate in 5,4,3...
Clear red vinyl comes in a die-cut sleeve with two inserts: one a red-frosted vellum, the second good ol white. Don't just leave 'em in there! Take 'em out and play with 'em! Jesus, what is with you today?
Get cashy and dip to S-S Records or ask someone with blue-black hair.


May 24, 2007


Hey! My record-store buddy Erin is in a band called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. They're fantastic. My roommate--who only listens to W.A.S.P., Kiss, and Kaki King--said seeing them was like being on a carousel made of sawblades. I told him I thought it was more like jock jams for vampires. Or Primitive Calculators and Screamers taking over San Diego in 1997. He told me I was being obtuse.
Any at rate, SIDS have a soon-to-be-gone 7" on Rob's House and are about to deafen people in several different cities starting June 3rd. Check out their page on the Myspace for DEEP specificity.

Xenis Emputae Travelling Band - Gamaaea (cass Beyond Repair 2007)

Good reader, bear this in mind: I've spent several days listening to the first Metal Church, Robert Wyatt's take on "At Last I Am Free" and the Colours Out of Time's "Rock Section." When this rectangle of woodsy wooskies appeared on my radar a few days back, I feared it would be a dollybrook to my gummy aesthetics. I may as well have sat in my room on Klonopin staring at a shoe for 4 days and then decided to walk to Baltimore.
But in the end, this was easy-peasy, green n breezy. Yorkshirite Phil Legard--he's the one squeezing the melodeon like a roll of Bounty--is this generation's Incredible String Band walk-in, rescuing their legacy of influence from the cliff of self-parody. Or some shit. What I'm getting at in a drunk driving test kind of way is this is as authentic and self-motivated as it gets. He even knows what to do with his voice! Tell that to the Cloudland Canyons and Black to Comms of the Earth. "Descending Form" and "Sing Holy Song" showcase just how well harmonium and human pipes get down, even outside the world of guys in brown cloaks and mysterious Azns.
And get this: not only is the man adept at making music that sounds like the sun rising on a morning after a bonfire, he's also an entrepreneur! His well-nutured Larkfall Records is a mule I can get behind and you oughta do the same. Lovely to look at, too. Makes my eyes gooey.
The bottom line is, anyone who can cut records with pennywhistles and not bring to mind puffy shirts is straight-up fridge-worthy.
Limited to 50 measly copies, which can be got from Beyond Repair and that's all. A XETB CD-r is available at Fusetron, too, if you're looking something you mightcould get.


Edwige - Play the Game Or Leave the Bed 7" (Release the Bats 2007)

"Dude, this is sick! They totally turn on their pedals and then just like lean on them as hard as poss--"

Sorry. I fell asleep in the middle of my own shtick. Somehow related to the Rita--mostly in that it sounds exactly like them. And everything else, for that matter.


Grails - Burning Off Impurites (Temporary Residence, 2007)

This is like if Epcot were co-opted by guys with limited edition Dunks and Guru Guru records. At one point it Mickey Hart shows up.


May 16, 2007

Cracked Actor - Nazi School 7" 1981 WORKRATE REPORT!

goofus &&&


-The cover, of course. It's a thing of carved notebook dreams. I'd kill for it stuck to the back of a slightly-burnt denim jacket. Dropout metal-level FUCKING FANTASTIC.

-I swear if Over the Edge had come out just 2 years later this would've been the theme song. I'm not holding my breath, but an Alex Cox-helmed remake would be on point. Shit, get the Glaxo Babies back together to play disenchanted history profs. So, on these very personal terms, I had to love this.

-The marching snare overdubs in the first 5 seconds are brilliant, especially since they're louder than the whole affair. I kept thinking I put on that S.O.B. flexi. No grief for their skills, neither. I do have a question, though: is the Cracked Actor of Messthetics 7? How could it be? This one's Last Words-style Oi and the other sucked the teet of the Deleted Records mare. Then again, who knows? Some things never survived the jump from '79 (nein!) to '8Oh.

-Sweet merciful blokes, the fidelity is kinda mint! Where's the bass? Who cares? I'm ready to glass my whole village! Who's first in queue? The Business could take a few production pointers, even in these pitch-corrected days.


-Okay, I'm going to make an admittedly obvious judgment: this is a little silly, in much the ways of "Animal World" by the aforementioned Last Words. They're probably missing their own joke, which may or may not amuse you. Walking the line of Nazi-sympathy and Nazi-derision is not as powerful these days. Remember those Locust arm-bands? I think folks were more up-in-arms about the be-merched coke mirrors.
Oi lyrics are in a race for subtlety with "Louie Louie" (and no one's put a toe on the track yet), so I suppose the whole mess is moot.


-"Judy In Disguise" is boots, despite being produced like "Sailin' On." Kinda drags the whole affair into territories of unrequited dopiness, leaving us with Side Fun and Side Snooze. Oh wait, that's the Furze split with Velvet Caccoon tba 2017.


May 13, 2007

CJA - Bottled Smoke Series Vol 1 CD-r Digitalis Industries 2007 WORKRATE REPORT!



-I back subscription series 100-percent. How much do you miss singles clubs? The day you forget you signed up, you get a little gift in the mail; like a cable coming in from above. Never fails, I'll tell you what. Any label that sets up one of these --Unheard Music/Atavistic, Rough Trade, Vinyl-On-Demand (?), Southern Lord (although I've heard horror stories about them), and now Digitalis Industries--has my respect. I mean, if you know you're gonna make it rain for whatever releases are coming out on said label, why not secure a spot? And this means something from me, because those of you with a copy of the 1st issue of My Hair Is Growing know the shit I've talked on Digitalis Industries. And I hold tight to the position that a lot of it is boring. But I can't deny this is a great idea.

-The frequencies on "Hidden" replicate the feeling of looking at red-green contrast and then shaking it, which is kind of incredible. Don't drink and then put this on. Plus it basically sounds like British Electric Foundation filtered through the Birchville lens, so why not give it a smooch?

-It's not too long. This is really valuable to me lately, especially if I don't fall in love & want to move in with it.


-There's a buffet of half-baked, here. Sometimes they play along with Flying Canyon intros, sometimes with the Space Needle, but mostly with the carb.

-They don't really do anything memorable--bad or otherwise.
They can't best their limited chops either. Granted, the CJA folk diss the whole ball in the liners, but that don't mean a lick. Most folk are wont to diss their own shit because it comes across as less self-agrandizing, even though it's actually doubly agrandizing because it's passive aggressive. It's like a confidence scam. You're made to think you're noshing humble pies, not gold-leaf streudel.
Trouble is, this is humble in a boring way, like that uncle that never has anything to say but is always first to offer to do the dishes or set the table. You know, big sweaters, funny eyes? Does something for a living that is so convoluted its probably a front for a bootleg sunglasses factory? Nothing to mark out for.

-If you take your new Ibanez out of the wrapper, plug it in and walk out of the room, I think these chords just start playing. Check the manual.

-There's a Dead C cover. It sounds like when your roommate fucks in the shower at 3am when you're hung over and have to be at work by 6.

If you could choose between faux-nuts and faux-dumb, which would you take?


Brain Band - Self-Titled cass Fuck It Tapes 2007 WORKRATE REPORT!



-Two sides, 40 minutes. Definitely the perfect length.

-Fidelity doesn't subtract anything. I got a hunch this sounds like the Xpressway-sponsored Harry Pussy toga party it is wherever you stand.

-No matter how disingenuous they probably are (I mean, what music being made by people my age with guitars isn't disingenuous at this point?) I really dig the loutish rumbling German bits. I get all giddy imagining a roomful of sweaty guys in vests falling over drunk. No wonder I like Black Oak Arkansas! NATAS NATAS NATAS NATAS NATAS NATAS

-Their influences are not so much worn as carried like banners. Ultimately, they sound like a whole bunch of shit that is already going on--which I also already know is boring--but released in an even more limited edition. Oh good.

-Will someone please lead a revolution away from the symmetrical post-Dada multimedia assemblage cover art movement? I will buy you ice cream.


May 4, 2007

Pip Proud & Alastair Galbraith - Hey Gus (7" Emperor Jones 1998)

Can't find a scan to save my shirt, so you'll have to go without. Pip Proud cannot occupy a world that has any kind of Internet. When his generator's broken, he runs the tape recorder off his car battery. I'm just guessing here, but something tells me when you drive by his shack at night, you can see the light from inside coming through the slats.
I'm going to get right to the point because I don't want to drench this in any more of my tired verbal jizz. This seven-inch is ACE. I'm so happy to drop 4 bucks on a 7" no one cares about that turns out to be the most beautiful thing I've heard lately. I'm bypassing the musical recipe because 4 seconds into this you will forget what other music sounds like. Pip Proud delivers the meaningless life-lesson talks that other old folk love to spout, but his tone is telling. He's not buying it, either, chief. And that's the ultimate lesson: you're not listening, you're living. You're living because one day it will all be dusty bits. The only stories left to tell will be one's from your days as a wee like "Hey Gus, is God really made of love?" told with the exhaustion of a life overscrutinized.
You want this because it does not belong on the Internet. As a matter of fact, I posted this 4 times before it worked. Wasn't Pip in Brother's Keeper?

May 2, 2007

A GLOBBOT AT MY TABLE - Peter Gutteridge - Pure (cass Xpressway 1989)

Man, even the cover is bonkers-good. It's like a long-lost issue of SPIN! Gutteridge, as you might expect from a man all up in Xpressway, was in the Clean and the Great Unwashed, and went on to do many a great and equally unwashed thing including producing a flock of Snapper singles. Gutteridge is arguably the better Peter of the NZ scene, although Jefferies is a titan of the faded green sounds.
What's got me most dumbfoibled about this here tape is how un-precious it is. I mean, "Planet Phrom" is adorable, but never becomes the recently opened Barbie gown it would be in the hands of Those Who Aren't Afraid of You and Will Beat Your Ass. "Sand" and "Exhibition 2" really could be a lost Ike Yard/Joe Meek collab. "Suicide" is Soothing Sounds for Alan Vega 1-6 Months. In short, this is 21 kinds of dope. You will put this in your car at 1am and take it out when you crash at 4:16. Pardon my newbieness to the naissance of the be-leathered Kiwi drone-psych scene, but this is all fantastically new and exciting to me. The whole ball of wax is continually uprooting my tits, what with the Nocturnal Projections and Lions & Tigers (no, but for reeeaal!) and Sneaky Feelings and all. I have only begun to hype, so I'll go get pizza and look at a lake instead.
Being that this is as long-gone as it gets, I have uploaded it for your enjoyment. I'm not about to deny y'all something for free that has such deeply DIY roots. You have 7 days to hit it, and a lifetime to quit it. Not like you ever will:
You want this and thusly I'm giving it to you.

May 1, 2007

THE SOUND OF POP-UPS - Christmas Decorations - Communal Rust (CD, Community Library 2007)

At night, after my roommate's turned out his light, the cat's been fed & has curled up on the arm of the pull-out couch, I usually sit in my armchair, finish what's left of the drink in my hand and think for about 5 hours about what I want to listen to. Get up, throw something on, change my mind, repeat. What usually ends up going on and staying on is either Blues Control (especially if that drink is number 3 or 4) or whatever I'm reviewing that week. I figure it's the newest and most uncertain music in the house and, being that I'm probably loaded, I will be more inclined to enjoy it. I want to enjoy all of it, I really and truly do, but sometimes I need to be primed first. Gin is an excellent primer, as well as that Dogfish 90-Minute IPA.
Christmas Decorations was heard stone-cold sober in my parents basement on a Tuesday morning, after I crashed there the night before doing my laundry. So I was probably in the least eager state of mind to review it. I came away with some specific impressions, but I can't say how slighted they were by my frame of mind. Unaffected, yes. But by no means cheery. Keep this in mind when I say I don't like this record.
This could've been on, say, Artificial Intelligence 2--that is, if this were 1992 and Christmas Decorations shared members with the Black Dog. As it stands, it's not and they don't, but I couldn't shake the idea. It also could be on Mego in 1998 or whatever year that dumb Endless Summer disc came out where Fennesz measured the perimeter of his 5000 sq ft loft or some shit. It's got this really tired clicky sound that is supposed to modulate the sounds, but really it just sounds like a laptop to me. I'm fine with music made with computers, but it's got to sound like more than just computers. This doesn't do that. The clickiness felt like a little kid looking over my shoulder while I read, breathing through his nose really loudly. The rest of the music is whatever I was reading, which I don't much remember because all I can think about is exhaled carbon dioxide moving over whistling and whirring bits of snot. I think some of it might've been cool, but I might be confusing it with the Black Dog again or Asa Chang or something.
I may just be cranky, but you probably don't want this. Hang on, I'll give it another chance.


LAFMS KMFDM, Vodka Soap - Parallel Vision, the Appearance Of A Motion Released By Simultaneous Hallucinations (cass, Nature Tape Limb 2007)

Spencer Clark is Vodka Soap. This here release shares a home with Sunroof! and the Skaters, though he's been on New Age Cassettes, Wabana Ore Limited (sheesh!), and 23 Productions. I think this Parallel Vision affair might've been on CD-r last year, but who knows. Info is so scant, I feel like I'm looking at a last-known-photo. Shit, that's even what it sounds like! This thing writes itself!
What you get here is a c-45 of slovenly ghost music, with hints of that Boyd Rice character, Dennis Duck, and Tom Recchion. You know, a carnival recorded from a drainpipe. Kinda amorphous with little tape hiccups to mark a change of idea--which is not without its charm. I tell you what, they conjure some serious spectres, almost as frightening as the aftermath of my tofu vindaloo from last Saturday. You could hold a raffle at your next town fair to see who can guess the instruments. Keys? Gits? A swim meet? I'll take 5. Who's got a 5? Reminiscent of the Composition of the Melted Cheese thing I talked up before.


Apr 17, 2007

CATCHY NAMES ASIDE... Composition of the Sensibilities of Melted Knowledge - self-titled cass New Age 2007

Their full name is actually Composition of the Sensibilities of Melted Knowlegde (Determining the Precipice In Which Dimensions Are Fountained).
I'm baffled. Baffled. On my way to a bafflement luncheon served at the Huh? Legion Hall in Donde Es, New Mexico. I spent most of the first side kicking myself for leaving this tape in my pants pocket and then taking them to the laudromat. No siree. As a matter of fact, my copy of this tape was taken from files on a p2p Cult of Unknown Personality. The idea that this has touched computers...does not compute. The cover was copped from, not that it helps much. It's as stubborn as the thing inside.
On the factual tip, this is 2 untitled somethings, which sound more like collections of songs. Sure sound like pauses to me. Although, honestly, after the 49-minutes of loopy underwater irrigation National Almanac Lord of the Ringworm recital, I can't tell the difference tween a sound meant and a sound found. If you're talking fidelity, the Blues Control stuff sounds intertidal in comparison! This is positively tectonic! I cannot begin to comprehend the drugs and wiring it took to make this ultra-rare brick of plastic. It emerged from a place I've never known and took me back with it. It's over now, but I'm not out of the woods yet.
Is it electronic?
Did Bo Hansson really hock the "Lothlorien" masters to LAFMS? Did they put bicycle horns in the dryer or was Urdog taking the Saltine challenge? Did I fire 6 shots or only 5? How many folks does it take to determine the precipice in which dimensions are fountained? Did they determine it? Sounds outlandish, so maybe this is an ongoing study. If they need funding, I'm quick with the debit card. That is to say, when I'm cashy. Hard to get stuff from a company that doesn't seem to exist, though. Gets to be a problem. Too bad, because I was going to start posting the sites where all these Fuck You Counselor jams can be had. Guess it will have to wait. Consider that the most accessible band on New Age Cassettes is Vodka Soap. How's THAT for scale?
You want whatever this is. I think. If it's even get-able.

Apr 16, 2007

THE U.S.S. RITCHIE BLACKMORE - Blues Control - Puff LP Woodsist 2007

For the record, mine was screened with a white-boy skin tone, not ivory white like the one to be found on the Internet. But this is probably an aside. I've done a ton of silkscreening--none of that industrial or commercial shit. Good old squeegee-and-blue-tape style. Got pretty good at it, too. Don't think I ever had to ditch a print, which is a record I'm proud of. Then again, none of my editions exceeded 6 prints. It still baffles me that people can pull editions of 500 like this one. The time investment alone is outrageous, never mind the price of coffee! You'd have to dump the espresso directly into a peripheral vein. Be discreet about it, though. Between the toes...
I was going to go on about how much I love smelling fresh screen ink, but by the time I was done, I'd have to change my pants & I still wouldn't have gotten around to the record inside the sleeve. Although I will say you can thank Jeremy Earl for the sublimely stoned artwork. I never knew cavemen had a Skull & Bones of their own. No clue who he is, but clearly he gets it. This is some underworld shit. And I don't mean that in a Dubnobasswithmyheadman way. I mean that in a Beneath the Planet of the Apes way. That is, if the apes were Deep Purple, which is hardly a reach. Blues Control have sucked their share of water-pipes, but at least their ears aren't clogged with res. After all, the sounds on this etched frisbee are hardly any kind of cheese incident.
Somewhere beneath the rolling waves of the Long Island Sound, Blues Control's sustain pedal sinks deeper and deeper. All that English I dropped about the electric piano in BC's Riverboat Styx cassette sounding incredible--well, they did it again and I'm still baffled. "Always On Time" is as bluesy as this duo get, ever-filtering the sunken sounds of the future through the lens of many a stoned kraut. The piano licks & licks & licks until there's not a drop left. To be blunt, it's incredible. To be poetic, it's gorgeous. To be drunk, it's an endless dolly shot on Peter Jefferies' unknown beach. Wait, I mixed those up.

Drop the 11 bucks. You're cashy and we both know it. Jacques Cousteau stoner jams will never be better rep'd in the 07. That is, until their next LP to be released by Holy Mountain. An east coast backyards-only tour with Residual Echoes would have me dropping my drawers.

Apr 14, 2007

VA - Xpressway Pile=Up (Avalanche Records 1990)

Being that the land of the Kiwis is on every bearded tongue in the nation these days, thanks to cats like Campbell Neale and his ever-growing clan of psi phenomena, and the reappraisal of Bruce Russell & the great Dead C, I thought it fitting to talk about a fantastic document of NZ's DIY neo-psych heyday. Mostly you'll get to hear me nostalgia-ize all over the place.
Man, when I was a smaller lad, all of 14 or 15, I went positively batshit trying to collect everything I could from Flying Nun Records from the early 80s, hoping I would find that thing that all the critics were ejaculating over. I mean, I found the first two Raincoats LPs (the reissues, thanks to a certain Kurt) and got them on a whim and you know what? I totally loved them. So why not follow the thread? If prayer can travel around the world, why not sound and sense? So I dug. & dug. I thought the Chills were a little too silly. The Clean were okay, especially that one song. The Bats were a little hard to grok. That was about as far as I got. I stopped pestering record clerks and gave up and chalked it up to experience. But all that blown grip! I'd have to babysit the storage facility in Middlebury all summer to make amens with my wallet! So, there I went, stuffing envelopes and refiling all of Aunt Bee's misspelled index cards, all the while wondering how I missed all the hubbub about the Land of Sheep and Fuzz. I read all the Janet Frame I could, hoping that would shed some light. Oh please. Don't get me wrong, I love the gal, but if her books set one toe outside the confines of her skull, it's on a dead beetle, not her homeland.
When was the mystery going to unravel like a proverbial wool sweater? Into my hometown moved a kiwi lass. Don't ask me how she ended up in New Haven, CT, because I didn't ask either. But she was certainly no help. The only music she dug came from leather-clad longhaired Brits circa '81. Dead end #12. New Zealand probably left my mind for a while so I could look at things on the Electric Human Project or Happy Couples Never Last or some such nonsense (although I listened to the Drago Miette 7" out of the clear the other day and it really holds up!) so I could hang with the twitchy side of of the tracks.
Time did whatever it does.
Some time in 2003, the mystery reemerged. Suddenly I was hearing about all this noise coming from New Zealand. Not fun noise; noise noise. Big bright chirping buzzing fluted tunnels of noise, homemade and self-released. Ugly and gorgeous and everything you want something wrapped in wallpaper and $12ppd to be. By then it had probably been going on a while, but being lost in my own fog, it was new to me. So I began to dig anew, this time in a different spot. How different could NZ music from 3 or 6 years post-Clean be?
Oh, what I was in for.
Unbeknownst to me, this was the NZ I'd always wanted without even knowing it. Look Blue Go Purple were great! How did Essential Logic get so known while those gals sat in the couch of obscurity? Fuck a Lora Logic! And that's not even a sliver. The
Songs From the Lowland compilation? More like revelation! How could all these Matador folk be strutting around like they owned the bright & dreary sound? The World, the Himalayas, Raith Rovers--oh man. I'm still itching to hear Raith Rovers' Ralph cassette. Fat chance, I know. It never occurred to my mark-ass mind that it's not that I didn't like the lo-fi crunch and stumble sound of early-90s America. They were just doing it wrong.
So that brings me to Xpressway Pile=Up, which I have only recently heard. It might be more significantly significant than Lowland, if only because my expectations were again blown. Thought I'd nailed them shits down. One would be pressured to call these humble sounds, sounds aware of their means and their skills and all that, but one'd be wrong. One'd look at their country of origin and pass unfair judgment. This is brave, warm, fully-formed music, wearing influences like scarves, not insignia. Snapper smokes every bloody valentine with the power of two chords in "Death and Weirdness In the Surfing Zone". The abrupt fade after the squalling amp yawn is the ultimate wipe-out. Gets me every time. What do you know? Features members of the Chills and the Clean. Peter Jefferies's "On An Unknown Beach" would be Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue in anyone else's mitts. Instead, with subtle shifts in vocal presence and lyrics that oscillate between silly and abandoned, the feeling of cool solitude sinks in with the quickness. Nocturnal Projections' "Walk A Straight Line" rode right out of Metal Circus without a scratch.
I haven't even begun to gush, though I'll quickly add that the 3ds and Stephen Kilroy tracks will have you tossing out your Yo La Tengo in favor of Gillian Elisa & Tiny Town, and looking puzzled at your copy of Glider respectively. Puts the whole stoned and droned movement into perspective. Never again will I doubt the little green islands.
You want all of this.