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 discogs.com, 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.

WEATHER REPORT FOR YOUR DOME, Pink Luminous Invocation - Pink Fog (CDR Not Not Fun 2007)

Released in some ungodly edition because of the packaging. I mean, how expensive could CD-Rs be? This is where filesharing becomes useful, because outside of 71 people and their friends, no one will hear this. Which is kind of a bummer, because this is worth hearing.

Pink Luminous Invocation will get more attention being Danish than if they were from, say, Nevada, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve it. No, sir. Not a lot of folks can say they do this style of slowly developing post-krautiness this well. See, those cats get all hung up on the ephemeral aspects like kooky instruments and multi-tracked female voices when they forget they should be screwing with your mind. I don't want "sun-kissed" or "blissful" drones; I want ones that will make me peel the paint off the walls hoping there's gold flake underneath. I want drones that illustrate with smoke and let fuzzy dots in through the keyhole. In short, I want to freak the fuck out.
Open the loverly packaging, throw on the recordable media and one 27-minute floating field of cottony condensation is waiting for you. No worries; there's plenty of spooky space for your cortices to bug out in. It most closely resembles the Voigt-Kampf test scene between Deckard and Rachel in that there Ridley Scott yarn, to be truthin' or any underlit establishing shot in Logan's Run. Stretch that shit out until it's the length of an episode of Tomorrow People and chow down.
This isn't going to change the world or anything. It isn't altruist-psych. But it is what it says and it do what it do good & proper. In a world full of No Neck spitboys and bedazzled frumpies, that's saying something all by its lonesome. They said Pink Fog and lo it was a pink fog of a record.
You should hear this.

SUN-KISSED...OR SUNKIST? Raccoo-oo-oon - Behold Secret Kingdom (Night People 2007)

Apparently, Night People is the new Breaking World Records, which was the new Load, which was the new Bulb, which was the new Skin Graft, which was the new Zero Hour, who were all Troubleman in one way or another. I mean, just look. They're putting out music with cover art that is good because it's bad which makes it interesting which makes it boring because it's not actually related to or in reference to any of the music contained but is not creating dialectic tension either. The art on Raccoo-oo-oon's website isn't much better and even more evidence for a Mick Barr lawsuit. I'd probably like this more if it had been called Mick Barr Lawsuit than something that I would never want to say out loud.
Hey, they wear knit masks! Just like them Fort Thunder fellas! Hey, they've got atypical, fussy instruments! Well, what do you know? So do...oh fuck it. This blows and there's nothing clever about that or about anything I could write about it. It doesn't try to be any more than the things it borrows from. If someone told me this was a boyband conceived by Animal Collective and trustafarian scabies-lab No Neck Blues Band to merge the Maximillian Colby and Neon Hunk audiences and capitalize thereon, I'd nod and give them the quiet New Haven Connecticut diss under my breath and think nothing more. And neither should you. Meandering, pretentious and bo-oo-ooring. There. I've made my shitty joke for the year. Gather the wood and the nails.
You do not want this because you are better than that. Have a piece of toast instead.

Apr 11, 2007

I CAN'T HEAR THEIR T-SHIRTS! Gallhammer - The Dawn Of... (CD/DVD Peaceville 2007)

Those of you (from among the 2 that read this) looking forward to a new full-length Gallhammer will have to sit on it. It's not ready yet. This is a rarities compilation. You will, however, be treated to a pair of demos from the new one ("Speed of Blood" & "At the Onset of the Age of Despair"). I guess being from a forthcoming album makes them, uh...rare.

It takes a lot these days for me to get down with something that seems like such a ironipster put-on. You know, Japanese girls playing Hellhammer/Celtic Frost-ish...Hellhammer/Celtic Frost-ness while being all cute in that message board kind of way, and having cover art the Hot Topic and Hydrahead crews alike can dig. Seems more than a little contrived, I reckon. Plus how much Hellhammer do I need in my life? Not that I don't love them, they're just okay on their own. Same with CF. Would you rather listen to legit Finnish thrashy lords, or young Japanese girls posing as Finnish thrashy lords? Does it need to be a joke to be entertaining?
Needless to say, overcoming that hump was difficult. And, to be honest, I'm not sure I finally did. For what it is, this is really well done. And considering we're talking demos, rehearsals and the like, the fidelity is surprisingly full. I'd say better than Gloomy Lights, even! But everything else to be said about it is one paragraph up. It sounds like what it is, which will either bowl you over with its clever fangirl-ism or remind you of something you'd rather hear. I think that's the only true statement that can be made about Gallhammer: they are exactly the sum of themselves and their influences. Everything else is snarky icing.
You might not want this.

OH THE RANT I'M WITHHOLDING Pissed Jeans - Shallow (CD, Parts Unknown)

"Pissed Jeans crawl out from under hardcores seedy underbelly to blast out 8 tracks of droning punk noise. Calling to mind the warped visions of Fang, Flipper, and Stickmen With Rayguns, the Jeans point a dirty mirror at themselves, with fractured tales of woe in front of a harsh, blown-out backdrop. Recommended for people who never get out of bed, pop their zits with sweaty fingers and didnt have a date for the prom." - Parts Unknown.
Except those kids will never hear it because they're out LARPing. Good one.

And people ask why I hate irony.

Apr 7, 2007

WAY OUT WHERE THE DOGGIES BOWL, Wolfmangler - Dwelling In A Dead Raven For the Glory of Crucified Wolves (CD reissue Aurora Borealis 2007)

Back in print, so it's not quite as irrelevant to review!
This here's Dead Raven Choir magistrate D. Smolken under the Wolfmangler moniker. Wolfmangler strikes me as a less-cartoony project, by the by, but no more slight than DRC. "Dirge For A Viking Asshole" had me singing "Cheree, Cheree...ooohhhh I love you" at 1/4 speed like a whaler in punker's clothing. The rest of the tracks are a variation on this plan, with mud-caked drums, a lonesome string, and Smolken's wartorn voice goading the huddled masses. The next-door-neighbor recording works especially well on the closer, "Star Winds." Its dry distance sells the solitude better than a metric ton of catherdral echo. Sometimes you just turn on the mic and let the floorboards tell the stories.
It don't get much further from subtle, but oh how it works. That's heaviness in a nutshell, ain't it? We're having a second frost here in Mylanta, Georgia, so the crackle of frosty twigs this disc brought into my life is eerily apt. New Hampshire knows what I'm talking about. Wow, I'll probably never speak so highly of NH again.
You want this.

Apr 6, 2007


Fill this out and...yeah, okay you can email it. smorriswhitesicklouis@yahoo.com. Except for the sicklouis part; that's just a SPAM diversion.

Vinyl is...

a ______ to be______.
totally out______.
reminiscent of the lord's ______.
easier to deal with than ______.
less ______ than Greatest American Hero.
______ for listening than those ______ pants.
sewage ______.
burnt rubber ______.
hardly ______.
best on ______ or Judas Priest, ______.

Furze - UTD CD Candlelight 2007

I got this about a month ago and have been grappling with how to write about it since. Shit, I thought that Sun City Girls would be a challenge. Hoo! I didn't know how good I had it. This isn't even in the same postal district as "challenging"!
Okay, I guess I'll start with things you can grab a hold of. It's divided into two sides (or I guess groups, considering this is a CD) that have different titles and then the songs themselves have titles. First, there is Side Death: Beneath the Odd Edge Sounds To The Twilight Contract of the Black Fascist. Then there's Side Devil: The Wealth of the Penetration In the Abstract Paradigmas of Satan. Finding this obtuse is like finding the end of your own nose.
Oh and then the titles. I've heard a bit of black metal in my day. From the Beherits to the Gallhammers [edit: new album review this week!] to the Empire of Hates and the Drastuses and on and on into utter burping blackness. And I've loved a ton of it from all parts and corners. Beherit's Drawing Down the Moon, Darkthrone's Plaguewielder (although picking a Darkthrone record is like playing favorites with your children), Bathory's Blood Fire Death, that darling little Twilight project, Blut Aus Nord's Thematic Emanations of Archetypal Multiplicity, the Vrolok/Emit split, Old Wainds' Scalding Coldness all get regular play in my abode of late. So you know where my head is when it's not wrapped up in Blues Control or that Incredible String Band LP Liquid Acrobat something or other I got for 8 bills.) But never have I seen titles like this. If you handed me the track list and told me it was for a release on Creel Pone I'd take your word as gospel. I'm not sure Salvatore Martirano would dig "Beneath the Wings Of the Black Vomit Above", but "Deep In the Pot of Fresh Antipodal Weave" would blow right up his skirt--and mine, too. I love them all!
See, this is the easy part: loving all over this disc. It's fucking brilliant! To me the best extreme metal (god, what an awful name) is a combination of brilliant and inventive ideas and almost overwhelming absurdity. Which is hard for me to say, because I'm usually so deep in love with the stuff it's hard for me to brazenly judge it. This here Furze album fits those expectations to a big ol' tee. The seemingly arbitrary song lengths, the robo-Viking axes, the occasional appearance of drumlord Frost, the slippery pavement production all tumble and wrestle each other until greatness is conceived. And then you'll hear something so child-like, so fascinated with the taste of its big toe, ol' Furze humbles the shit right out of you. Talk about drawing down the moon. He buries it in the soil and puts condos on top!
No one--mark me, NO ONE--is going to touch this in the oh7. Get everything he's done, especially the maxi-10" picture disk because the artwork is a thing of much muchnessly beauteouzation. Although the 7" has it, too.

Read about the significance of individual tracks on the Furze site. No, you really should.

Apr 5, 2007

Troum & All Sides - Shutun (Old Europa Cafe, 2007)

My first exposure to German atmospherist Troum was last year's To A Child Dancing In the Wind with my buddy Martyn Bates. Well, it's a one-sided relationship. Streets I Ran is one of my favorite things, although Marty's certainly surprised and impressed me elsewhere. I think initially I dug the affair with Troum because it felt like the other dark ambient Martyn Bates collabs (like Murder Ballads and Two Thousand Days) both of which were so large in scale and scope I had to build an addition on the house. To A Child was overwhelming in a condensed way, with each track feeling like an excerpt from a 364-month trance-inducing blissful feety-pajama romp through true emotions. Okay, ignore all that. It was, in fact, fucking great and not the Windham Hell it sounds like. Near as I could tell, Troum dropped him in the middle of a starved lake with a Shure-58 and hiked to higher ground.
All Sides, I came to find out, is Nina Kernicke's bag of tapes and tricks, bringing the boreal chops to Troum's abandoned factory. This is one looooong track made up of dozens of little ideas woven in and out or laid side-by-side. Thankfully, Kernicke leaves most of her Meat Beats at home, although she does whip out some suspicious string patches that had me hunting for the ear plugs. Oh sure, it's pretty and emotive and all, but so is that New Age program on public radio. Can't say who brought what dish to this potluck, but that one has a particularly All Sides bouquet, I'd say. That dark ambient stuff only works for me when it's more dark than ambient, otherwise it walks a line too thin for my blood.
This didn't much hold my attention. Can't tell who's mostly responsible either. Ah, the glory of collaborations: everybody takes the cake, no one wants to do the dishes. Or...something. Comes in a metal tin like that other record.

SETTLING IST KRIEG! Remko Scha - Machine Guitars LP 1982

To the right of what you're presently reading is Remko Scha and one of his machine-played gits from back in the early 80s. He's still pulling these lovely shenanigans, which to me look sorta perverse. Well, I'll be damned! Look at the titles: Throb, Stroke, Slam, Brush. Might not exactly be as blatant as Smell & Quim's noise odyssey Porn Again (great record!), but it ain't your great aunt Rita's idea of procreation neither.
So these here machines jerk these axes off in eight different ways. "Stroke" sounds like a Neu song is about to start any moment but never does. "Shake" calls to mind that Mauricio Kagel fella's idea 'bout playing guitars with a handkerchief tied to a window fan. Never could get that idea out of my head.
If you think of these as the greatest intros never used and not as the residue of what was probably a much more interesting live performance, you'll get much more out of this. Otherwise, you'll be listening to 5-minute tracks of a sound that varies and--granted--is not without nuance while staring at the attached image with the longing of a cartoon character on a desert island, wishing his companion was a burger. Well, he ain't and that ain't either. This is part of why I don't understand reunion shows: you missed it. It's okay. And anyhow, it's never like it was because it was what it was when it was what it was. Not everything needs to be documented. If you saw it then, why would you need the record? And if you didn't have the record, you wouldn't be reviewing it. Well, I guess that's me not you.

Apr 3, 2007

Robedoor & Haunted Castle - Failed Grails dbl cass 2006 Not Not Fun

Day late & an auction short, I reckon. What can you do but listen when it comes your way & spout when someone says spout? I'll be all current someday. Believe that and I'll tell another.
I don't know about you, but this whole scene confuses the Christ out of me. Such incest, you'd think you were in Vidor, Texas. Why, just this year Robedoor and Haunted Castle got together again for a single-sided lathe-cut discus of lore where they get all in each others business, remixing and tweaking the whole affair til it's one big cloak pudding. Hoo. And that ain't even grazing the surface of the menage a quarante that is the new Tapes, Lathes, and Tight Pants genre.
This time around, they keep their hands to themselves. Nobody talking, nobody moving. Robedoor bring the slowly approaching monkcore that kids in black t-shirts everywhere wish they thought of 1st. But truthfully, this is great stuff. Trollmann av Ildtoppberg's Live From the River Styx. With all this distant crunchy clang you'd think Bruce Russell was behind the green curtain.
Haunted Castle is more Bruce Campbell, I'm afraid. Not so crazy about their two reels. "Bythos Abandoned" has some inspired moments of chewed-up cave times, but other than that this is pretty much any rumbly noise from the past 80 years never to be seen live by more than 5 people--2 have brown slacks and silly shoes, 1 has an asymmetrical haircut, 1 has a girlfriend somewhere in the world, and one is an actual girl maybe sort of. There is a place for a mess like this--it's a decent ride north from Boston and a guy name Emil is waiting there. Definitely worth a looksee just for your Band of the Week, Robedoor. Be sure to check their other great '06 shindig Hidden Ascension on Ruralfaune or wherever mp7s can be had if you're short on grip.

Necro Cult - Free demo CD-r 2007

You're talking to someone who gets Space Lady way more than Linda Perhacs. Don't know that I can unpack that, neither, but I'll try. Suzy Soundz/Space Lady's version of "Radar Love" is a thing of such whacked beauty it's almost too much. And it's clear why she's whacked. I mean, she's been playing a MIDI-ready keyboard on a street corner in San Francisco for longer than I've been breathing. Someone tosses her in a studio and, of course, the ideas she's been sleeping on since Back In the Day come to lumbering life. But ask me to explain "Chimacum Rain" or "Parallelograms" and why they are effective slivers of slivery and I'm struck dumbest of all. I'm not sure what drives ostensibly normal people to create music that my enfeebled pits cannot comprehend, like Perhacs and this fellow Necro Cult. (By the way, isn't calling your necro cult black metal band Necro Cult kind of like calling your necro cult black metal band Black Metal?) Well, maybe it's the parameters of the question, because who knows what got Suzy started in the first place?
At any rate, once you step over the usual anti-anti-isms of black metal acts, this Nocturus seems like a pretty normal fellow. No hideous scars. No tattoos that look like they were done with scrabble pieces hooked up to electric doorbells. Zilch on the sketchy fascist alliances. Narry a pimple. He's even got a nice leather jacket! Maybe he's an insomniac, like his nom de GR1M would imply, but I doubt it. So how then does he manage to run a thread between WOLD, Striborg, and someone pouring rice into a window fan? What, other than this abstracted distaste, is driving this man to so mutilate my cones? I only had it at about 34 but by the end of the fourth song, my ears were ringing. No foolin. The drums are wolves at your sorry door.
Wouldn't you know he's even charitable? All you've gotta do is drop your addy to this guy on MugSpace and he'll send you the demo free of charge--with a sticker for sinistersymmetry.com (whatever that is; I haven't looked into it yet) and a Necro Cult badge! Best zero-cents you'll never miss.
At least 56 stars.

Apr 1, 2007

Sand Snowman - Obsessive Creatures (Time-Lag CD-r 2007)

Oh, John Fahey! Wait, it's Jack Rose! No. Hang on. Well, it's not Richard Bishop, I'll say that much. It's...Ilya Ahmed? (Well, at least the last has some beauteous wrapping. This one sure doesn't.) Chances are what you are reading about is not technically any of these. There are a touch more influences, patched together like so many crust-punk hoodies, but them's your base. Track 3 is the most varied, trying to convince me he's more than a slightly-inspired plucker. The wakka-ja-wakka groove and the vaguely Bruce Langhorne-ishness aren't convincing me. Because in the end it amounts to some Roy Carter outtakes. The rest of this affair has the lilting quality of clotted cream and a plate of crust, or some such nonsense. Lots of delicate plucking making you think he's heard records he hasn't. Nice clear recording, though, belying it's kind of homespun format. That certainly had me spilling my tea. Nothing against homespun media! In fact, I think it's the flea's eyebrows. However, acts there-inclined tend to mine in a particular province of fidelity. If you told me this was on Mute, not only would I not be surprised, I might...uh, hang on. That's all. I just wouldn't be surprised. My roommate got me hooked on this Japanese tea called Genmaicha, what has puffed-up rice all in it. Know how tea sometimes smells incredible & tastes like sweaty briefs? This one tastes exactly like it smells. As a matter of fact, there's almost no taste, just the smell and a faint milkiness. I just about levitated off the couch. Wow. Is a surprise now and then too much to ask? Scott Walker says the problem with music these days is there's too much & too little to remember about it. That just about says what I'm getting at, so I'll go ahead & shut up.