Feb 28, 2012


Eliza and Parry
s/t cassette
Fag Tapes
Jan 2012

While listening to this debut, I began to doubt my doubt of Fag Tapes. Gotta respect a label that will put out a jagged, gnashing beast like this—and from a pair (?) of unknowns. What we get here is modern cheapo equipment getting scarfed down by the early 80s industrial tape worm. As you might imagine, all sorts of creepy, screwed shapes appear out of the quivering shade in the process. The vocals especially seem to be drawn from a dosed and doped-up Udo Kier karaoke mishap. If there is such a thing as “real people noise,” this might be a cornerstone release.


P.S. Side project looks promising! Maybe Naked on the Vague need tour buds?

Feb 11, 2012


Egisto Macchi
I Futurbili LP
Omni Recording Corporation/Roundtable reissue

Something happened along the way and, some time after, I realized (yupper) I am not the star of a movie of my life which is currently and constantly in production. Nor is music the soundtrack therefore, and thank fuck for that. Nah, the wonder of music for me lies in the other--as in, What is he/she really thinking? Sure, most such inquiries are finna fizzle out in irresolvable split ends and dandruff, but it's worth the ride anyhow. I mean, there's the road, after all.
Which leads me--however dyslexic the dotted trail--to the soundtrack album itself. Divorced from the image, (the sensory experience from which it requires, by nature, a dialogue), what's left is something like quarks bumping their toes on coffee tables in the stinking darkness. In udder woids, it matters not, and that's, ideally, where the fun comes in. Macchi, ya know having flitted about with Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza with Morricone et al., surely knows a konk-out sesh when he sees it. And being somethin of a percussionist at heart, he also understands the power, threat, and goofiness of the "event," and its reliance on the preceding calm or quiet. So, yes, lots of quark toes light up, throb, and tingle as they do on all the classic zoner scores, being themselves a series of wonderful, seemingly miraculous collisions of moods, modes, and mud. And one can link Macchi's fuzz guitar slumming and musique concrete pretentions to all sortsa B-movie slosh and Radiophonic tool sheds, of course. I Futuribili is not one of his soundtracks per se, but I, and most of us in the non-academic side of the world, might've suspected otherwise--mainly because I like it. Who among us can say we toss Ligeti on the platter without thinking of Keir Dullea's freeze framed devastation at the unfurling of Jupiter's ozone face-trip? We're not immune, I admit. "The second image," does have something of a glow about it. 
Surely, there's a prohibitive, enthusiast-only quality to records like this, too, but...hell, we're allowed to be curious, ain't we? And what's life without a few truly lost afternoons? A ream of interludes between pillows.

Feb 5, 2012


These Wonderful Evils
Little Church LP
Sparrows & Wires/Horror Bag 2011

Maybe it's the disembodied whisper of the Suni McGrath record [I just bought] from the other room, but this plopped down in comfort county, hat back and feet up. Go ahead, get acquainted! Working with a measly edition of 200[-ish], These Wonderful Evils (one Z. Boerger) continue the odd but commendable plight of linking the Takoma legacy of modal/eastern takes on Americana (& all the gravy that's come to entail) with the kind of wobbly, time-smushing crumb of latter-day Japanese psych. To think: somebody beat Higgs to it!
But I don't wanna couch this anywhere it ain't comfy. I'd believe just about any story one could devise about this act: a lost LSD-March LP, a Rock Critics side project overseen by Dave Brock, or even something to spill out of the extended Residual Echoes convoy. Fire away. Sense is to be made, not found.

Hear or buy here.

Feb 2, 2012


Merry Airbrakes
Shadoks Music LP

Massachusetts, everything you do makes my heart barf, except when it comes to musics. (Ok, I'll skip the latter-day straightedge mugging. Fine.) Will a dozen Trimbles or Idea Fire Companies or Twisted Villages or secret lurking free jazz sectors make up for quarterly property taxes and that guy Mitt, there? Nah. But I want y'all to keep trying.
I'll pardon you the Vietnam Vet back story that's easy enough to find round these woods, but don't go feelin starved. What's important is this Bill Homans dude sends out hot rays of zoned-out troublefolk throughout this thing like a man fresh outta solitary. Occasionally, the psyched-up blues give way to brittle, folk numbers like "Frog Song," flooded with word salad, word soup, and word-you-like-dessert?, but the whole mess remains menacing and damning even when drugged-out, droop-eyed. Though, the bracing musicianship (how often do you peep that phrase on this blog?) sure ain't hateful, neither. 
Don't let the review in the Acid Archives, which amounts to a shrug, mislead you. This LP be a weave of stubborn-ass kudzu that prospers in a field of records (rural rock/stoned Americana) that usually smudge out in just a few spins. In other words, another rusty notch for Massachusetts and well worth a check out.


Paul Dasken
Speckled Ax 12" EP
No Label/Paul Dasken

I weren't never good at filing to begin with, but even if I were I'd have no clue where to put this. Performance art? Avant garde protest? I could snuggle it in with other late-80s leftist private press/"vanity" recycled sleeve masterpieces, but I'm afraid I'm straight-up Lee Marvin in that area. Could ya spot me?
What we get here is Mr. Dasken pulling nascent ghosts of tunes out of someone's unsuspecting piano and interrupting a preacher and George Bush, Sr, with woozy renditions of "Witchita Lineman" accompanied by a glass bottle and a stick. Woo! How many records would make Robert Haigh, the Democratic Party and Alvaro blush in unison? I'll lay bills to skills there's just the one.
Like all loner classics, Speckled Ax ain't about to distinguish between foolin and real talk--nor is it fixin to clarify whether its maker is an outsider visionary or a fringe loon with a brain fulla kipple: you gotta work it out yourself. And what self-respecting record slut would look such a workhorse in the craw?