Jun 22, 2012


Poetry Out Loud, Volumes 4&10 LP

De Stijl somehow landed a stack of OG sealed copies of Klyd and Linda Watkins’s Poetry Out Loud series. At the time, and even now conjecturin bout its possible dissemination, they were out on their own, making their “audio magazine” post-Charles Olsen creep-out mixtapes. I've tried, Lawdy, but I can’t quite hang a shingle on these. ‘S not sound poetry cuz, despite their collective literary pedigrees, Poetry Out Loud don’t strike one as academic as even the Giorno camp (Ginsberg got a rejection stamp!) let alone the Euro whackos. Even “psych poetry” is more reserved for Ward E lifers like Bill Bissett. Or maybe it’s just me billboarding over every potential linkage with “Mid-Atlantic,” cuz the Missouri/Nashville smog coughing out of these sides has clouded my brain. How can any American with a sense of regional identity not perk a lobe at these folks? Don’t it just reassure you that St Louis—post-white flight, & bobbing in the eddies of dropouts and one-bulb bars—produced accidental progenitors of Michael Gira, and the Space Lady. Folks be salivatin over Michigan psych, but I get the sense that maybe there was just something in the water up there. And yet scarcely a cry from the kingdom of Jim Crockett, where 10W30 and local suds stained just as many Wranglers and parking lots. Weird, right?
Well, here we got 2 of the 10 cries of defiance. Volume 4 seems to be a lotta folks’ favorite, and I ain’t here to steer you away. Each volume has the wonderous stereo-ricochet and rickety delay that made Alan Vega sound so sweet back in the day--so that box is already checked. Volume Four runs on a more comfy engine that some of the other volumes, though, if’n you wanna track the LSD trickle into Middle America (though Volume Seven’s “29 Cats,” ‘ll do you right, too). It’s also got healthy doses of napalm-scented lamentations and Native American-style/hippie chants. But for my ducets, the final installment, Volume 10, is where it’s at. Gospel and Appalachian musics get decanted into righteously tense and paranoid moaner anthems. Check “Bad Man,” and the slow-mo tunnel chase of “Going Below,” for evidence.
How De Stijl is still holdin stock is beyond me, but maybe some folk see the word “poetry” and turn tail. Silliness, cuz Billy Collins this ain’t. If you happen to miss out or you’s one of the Technics-challenged among us, they’re all up on iTunes for virtual grippage.
For further info and a better tellin’ of the halcyon days than I could ever hope to muster, check this recent interview with Watkins himself. Dude is dude.


Jun 7, 2012


Girls Girls Girls
Borsh LP, ed. of 250
Little Big Chief Records 2012

Temperature's surely rising in the ATL this week as we say goodbye to our 48hr springtime, so this sticky slinger & I been drinkin from the same bottle. Turns out this is an archival callback from the Breakdance the Dawn label what kickstarted a shit-ton interest in latter-day Aussie noise-making, but I'd been thinkin this was an unearthed reel from The Silver anticipating Torch of the Mystics. How they might've found themselves in the Charles Goucher Desert I have no earthly notion. (I never had field trip chaperones quite that good when I was a buck.) But from whatever dimensional transport these cats was belched, Majora or B.D.T.D., both would seem to a first timer familiar yet unimaginable. Hell, the landscape's 'bout the same! Through all 4 tracks, GGG bat sleepily at the toes of punk and private psych just enough to make you think they some woozy kittens, then wail away like you spooked em. Prepare yourself for cymbals that sound like plastic bags and guitars down in the basement with mother. Which is to say, this is the kind of band we all could have if we had half a brain (no, like, literally one lobe each) & just as much fun. Lay on, ratcatchers!

Cities On Flame LP, ed. of 250
Little Big Chief Records 2012

2nd B.D.T.D. reish to come down the Little Big Chief pike (originally in some single-hand CDr edition) is just as much an edge-piece to the Aussie crud puzzle as the aforementioned. This feast, however, gets a little more loose in the waist. Served up is a whole heapa predigested basement sludge and amp defiance choking on cave cinders. Think Stone Harbour's Emerge gummed up in an oil-stained underpass and yer gettin warmer. Track two, "Sweet Love," has the instantly recognizable wheeze of a battered VHS to remind you "fidelity" will forever be a relative tag. That and the other 3 A-side cuts hiccup in and out like a Chilton take, but the nearly-eponymous B side, "Citie On Flame," is my favorite long burner so far this year. Time, love, and meds seem to do Xwave just right. After a good five-r of pea soup-thick grumblings, what sounded like a Circle of Ouroborus boot dropped in to yank out my hampsteads slow-like, all the time askin', "Is it safe?" This was immediately followed by a mounting hum in my forsaken jaw and a dreary march toward a thankless sun. Twas time to hop back on the Shetland & ride, bunkie. Check the crossed out price tag on the sleeve for add'l bindle punk desperation.

Get yers direct if'n you in These United. Email breakdancethedawn if'n you Aussie. Dial up Volcanic Tongue if'n you elsewheres.