Oct 20, 2008


Having prepped a garbage bag full of kale at the restyrant while weaving in and out of passing electrical wires and carpenters hitting on my 61-year-old coworker (and, no, 61 is not a dyslexic typo), on a stomach empty save for a cup of Dancing Goat and a fistful of atomic fireballs, I came home starved and delirious. Through the ride and behind dead-bolts, these two thangs, for betta or wurs, was on my mind and in my ears.

Size - El Diablo en el Cuerpo, cassette reissue 2008
No idea what groupa folks decided this shouty, herky, late-70s/early-80s Mexican synthy-punk-wave anthology oughta rejoin the fold, but my hat's off my head and out the room to em. This band housed the amphetamine-fed circuitry of the Screamers and Units in a Southwest proto-punk wood-and-clay box. The keyboard lines in "Lucrative Methods" would've made Eric Burden blush. Boy, they had some prickly career changes, too; check the primpy, Neue Deutsche Welle squiggles on the title cut for evidence. Cumulatively, I don't know. If ya treat each moment as just that, its a bit more engaging. Hopefully, needles everywhere can strike a proper LP reissue of this someday, but for now, my Technics tape deck is spinnin purdy.
Sacred Bones'll getcha.

Gary War - The New Raytheonport LP, Shdwply Records 2008
Hoooo, I wanna carve Brooklyn off the map so bad sometimes. Then this kinda shit hits the deck and I remember that, most of the time, bein right's just about the most overrated feeling in human history. Granted, it borrows from R. Stevie Moore-fanboy Ariel Pink as often as it purrs and rubs against Mayo Thompson's leg. But, once again, the tried-and-true lenses of Oar, Barrett, and Twin Infinitives sees it all through. Cracked, but in-control--since we're probably talkin bout the trustfund district of New Weird America. If it came out on ESP-Disk around the time of Yodeling Astrologer, it'd probably be some kind of legend by now... In this way, The New Raytheonport says something about the tried-and-true real estate cliche, too: location, location, location. This is absolutely perfectly completely okay.
$10ppd in the US, courtesy Shdwply Records.

Oct 19, 2008


Is it wrong that I want them to be ugly?

Oct 10, 2008


Hank IV - Refuge In Genre LP, Siltbreeze 2008

I'd never write a review the same way twice. Back when it dropped, I popped a squat on the Nothing People LP--admittedly, while blushing with guilt. I dismissed it mainly cuz its wellies was stuck in old mud. And, sure, it's fun to think, "geez, this coulda come out back then" but only until you get to the "but wait...it came out now" part. There weren't enough "now" on that record for me to feel it was anything but a collector scum throwback, a wink and a nudge to knowing parties.
Now, hold back them horses. I ain't about to give NP the all's-forgiven cuz the new Hank IV is kinda the perfect embodiment of what Anonymous coulda been.
Back when I was in the neo-natal unit, Hank IV's Bob MacDonald was shredding his throat and rending his garments in unhinged Denver hardcore outfit Bum Kon. Anthony, Andy, Chris, and Scott, the other members of Hank IV, all got equally hefty resumes that include stints like Icky Boyfriends, Resineators (!) yadda yadda yadda. As much as I love the IBs, Hank IV is easily the best band any of these cats been in this decade--and this ain't about the ol days!
See, Hank IV don't wear the past like a badge or wave it like a flag. It's a spirit. Same spirit running through The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, Kick Out the Jams, Vincebus Eruptum, or even We Care So You Don't Have To. They don't gotta say what they're gonna do before they do it. The best bits from Refuge In Genre, like Third Person Shooter and the Dirty Poncho single, squeeze and rattle on a lower chakral level. They give you a normal rock pretense--girls, cars, arguments--then blaze away.
Those of you sweatin the Tim Green (Fucking Champs) and Bob Weston (Shellac) involvement need to remind yerselves of the separation between crotch and heart. If anything, Green taps the spiget of heaviness that was waiting in their sound the whole time. Check cuts like "Drive the Whip," "Symptomatic," or "Sorry Bout the Boat Race," if ya need proof.
Elsewhere, there's evil stompers ("Get It Straight"), TexMex you'd wanna eat ("My Anger"), and plenty of 'tude to spare. Shit, it won't even take a half hour to get you drastic! High destroyability is waiting in these grooves. I'm tellin you straight. I might even believe it tomorrow.
Ride the 'Breeze or load a few here.

Oct 8, 2008


Mark Tucker - In the Sack CD Reissue, De Stijl Records 2008

I ain't got time for folks what can cram themselves in pigeonholes. Rats can stretch their bodies down to the diameter of their skulls, too, ya know.
Thankfully, the people that never fit somehow find one another. Take De Stijl Records. Hard to say what is and ain't apropo for them to distribute in mass quantities. Lee Rockey, Hototogisu, Black Vial--somewhere up there's an umbrella they're all ahuddled under. But near as I can tell, if anything's holding it up, it's the Mark Tucker reissues. Consumate fringe persona? Check. Career-altering nervous breakdowns? Natch. Tugging at the folk idiom escape hatch like some beardo weirdo Tex Avery drawing? Half-cocked concept albums? Shit yes. 'S all in there somewhere, innit? No, literally. It ain't hard to pull anybody's ear to an number of moments on this one, Tucker's last ride from back in 82. There's some Davies and a touch of "Cypress Avenue," even, in "Everywhere With Sally (Ride)" (written backwards, recorded so's it goes frontwards). A hat is tipped to Ron Geesin on intermissions like "The Importance of Making Mole Hills Out of Specks." And, among other exciting shit, one can make out graphite sketches of Vivian Stanshall, Surf's Up-era Beach Boys, and the ugly mug of Tom Rapp peering over the precipice like Kilroy's emaciated ghost. Did I mention it might be about a post-apocalyptic future...and the postal service? Not that it matters by the third shift in direction.
See, records that hit so many notes often leave you with only a vivid image of the maker's turntable favs, but this one...somewhere in there is a voice; one trying to sing through every vessel in reach. So by the time you reach tracks like "Can't Make Love," a music-hall-via-Bobb-Trimble jig, and realize it was preceded by a phony radio station ad, your doubts and wonders get sucked out the back of your noggin. Who cares. Just let it happen. The edge is always where the good shit goes down. At least De Stijl's made sure Tucker's got some shade out there.
If any of this mess looked like a meal, ol' Clint from De Stijl can set the table.