Monday, January 31, 2011


Yikes, this guitar is lethal. How can an album contain such incendiary shredding, and yet be so mellow? Seems improbable, but these guys hit on the right formula. You get hand drum propelled (almost afro-beat) jams, flamenco improvs, mellow guitar meditations, and a bunch of other weird shit. You know that episode of the Mighty Boosh when they are looking for "the new sound?" That's what this sounds like. There must have been a book of acid ingested when this was recorded. I refuse to believe otherwise. Grade A psych goodness if I've ever heard it.


The 4th Movement

Okay, time for confession (I did go to a Catholic school in my youth), I have a weird fascination with religious psych records. It's kinda funny since I have absolutely zero belief in anything other than my brilliance (thank Catholic school for that too). And after searching through the crap mountain that is Christian rock, I've found what has to be one of the best heavy, fuzzed out x-tian titans. This guitar is just all over the place (in all the right ways). I just normally laugh at the lyrics, but really, they're about as silly as all the songs I love about Satan. But the vocals are actually pretty awesome. Really cool deliveries and soulfull too (by that I mean Black, you white devil). I thought this had to be from the early 70s but my psych-sense must be way off since I've read that this was the work of a trio of brothers (actual brothers, racist) recorded in 1980. If all Jesus rock was this good, I think I might have to convert (kidding).


17 Pygmies-Jedda by the Sea

This might not be the right album cover since what I have looks nothing like this, but this is the one google images search keeps coming up with. So I guess I am to assume that this is the original cover and not a reissue or some weird foreign pressing. For some reason, I want to say that this has people from Savage Republic in it. But my mind has a strange way of remembering things (or creating false memories) so that might not be true. Not trying to lie to you or anything. It's just a really nice 80s album that I figure people will enjoy. It has moments of pretty arrangements, Young Marble Giants-eque minimal pop, dark synthy robo-porn soundtracks, tribal 80s psych, ethno-forgeries, etc. Lots of sounds abound here. Yet, it has a consistency that makes it avoid the genre-blender crapper that a lot of ambitious, yet lacking, bands inevitably fall into.

Update: Just got an e-mail from Jack of 17 Pygmies & Savage Republic (as well as several other new projects). This guy has tons of great albums available, so I suggest you check it out.


Dark Arts-A Long Way From Brigadoon

I guess I never told you that I am also a fantastic cook. It's true. Just ask my ingrate friends since I always end up cooking for their even-toast-is-too-hard-to-cook asses. And if you also enjoy the culinary arts, then I say download this and the next time your making some goulash, give it a spin. If you are someone who'd rather just heat up a tv dinner, it's okay too. I'm not judging. But even you might find this to be of interest, since it is (I think) one of Steve Albini's first jobs. I might be wrong about this, but I think he actually released it on a label he had at the time. But I think you'd probably think it was something new by the sounds of it. Kinda reminds me of every group that exists now that has a bunch of girls in it. Weird how generic everything has become. Anyways, give it a listen and if your in the area stop by for dinner (fuck no, I won't cook your vegan shit) and I'll even give you a haircut.


Animus: Hallucinations: Ideals Surroundging Water, Sand and Clouds of Dust

Sitting in my office now trying to figure out how some big brain got the idea that a crying baby is what the English department needs to have around. Fuck, as if things aren't stressful enough. I mean, I'm applying to jobs in fucking China since there doesn't seem to be many things of interest stateside. So I do a lot of weird things in my attempt to forget about employment and whatnot. Like cutting my hair (yes, I actually do it myself and it's not because I'm cheap or anything, I just don't trust other people to do it). So my electrocuted troll doll blow out is now gone. I even trimmed the beard too. And now I'm back to looking like a young Steve McQueen (I've never actually seen what he looked like when he was young since he always seemed to be perma-old). And listening to this album is also a brain soother. Many of you will probably disagree with me on this point, but I can put this on and just drift away. Even metal haters might find something of interest here since it is a pretty eclectic mix that avoids all the cliched genre conventions. So give it a listen. It beats punching inanimate objects till it looks like you scowered your knuckles with a brillo pad.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Manuel Göttsching (Ash Ra Tempel)-Inventions for Electric Guitar

If you have a fetish for scarves and hand knit jumpers then this is your album. Perhaps you have a penchant for layers and layers of patterned (not wanky) electric guitar (that sounds like synths). If you fall into either of the aforementioned categories, then this is the album for you. That Terry Riley album I posted a while back was heavily downloaded, and I assume anyone who enjoyed that blissful repetition will find much to enjoy here. If not you can always just stare and the cover and get lost in Manuel's toothsome beauty. I want a wig that looks like this do.


Witthüser & Westrupp-Trips & Träume

One more great but under appreciated mindbender. Look at the cover, check the title, and you'll know this one is going for the drug addled approach. But this is not some brain fried, 40 minute, guitar masturbation as my mind reaches a higher level of existence. This duo opts for a more folky approach that doesn't necessarily seem that congruent with a lot of their peers. And that's probably why I enjoy this one so much. In a genre that has plenty of cliches, it's always refreshing to discover those doing it well, but not becoming a cardboard cut out. This would cozy up along side Pearls Before Swine, Trees Community, C.O.B. and the like on snow blind days like this.


Dom-Edge of Time

Trying to find info on this band will most likely prove more than difficult. I'm assuming search for "Dom" lead to a seriously different subject matter. But perhaps that's your thing. I'm not judging. But one thing I will judge is how underrated this Krautrock gem truly is. Too many fans of the genre seem to think anything coming out from that spatio/temporal location is somehow an instant classic. But people, we all know there's tons of shit there too (I won't name names at the moment). So while everyone keeps hyping the same bands, I have seen little fanfare for these guys. So fuck it, I'll go out there and claim that this is one of the best records of that period, period. You might disagree, but then if you do I'll just assume you haven't actually listened to this yet. And don't try to mention Future Days Mr obvious (yeah, it's good, and over rated).


Asmus Tietchens-Biotop

German, but not Krautrock, thought it certainly does rock. But rocking in that way that a soundtrack to some industrial film on how pencils are made that you saw on some reel-to-reel in elementary school rocks. You know the one that had some oddly driving beat that eerily matched the visuals of machines rhythmically extruding bits of wood. And even at the time you were surprised at how dark the music was and it kinda made you afraid that some metallic menace might start digesting you and reshaping your structure into something much more efficient. And while the fear of corporeal reconfiguration challenged your understanding of how one's identity may require such a physical presence that seemingly resists alteration, the proposition proved too erotically intriguing and all you could do was just give in. This is kinda like that soundtrack.



Last go around all of the posts for the day were sourced from Japan. It was a pretty facile way of generating a theme for the day. And my laziness knows no bounds so rather than come up with something clever, I'll just shift geography to another country already well known for their interplanetary explorations. So it is off to Germany for the day. I know this one isn't super obscure, but if you've only dipped your toes into the Krautrock miasma, then this one might have escaped your notice. And that really shouldn't be the case. Deuter (one dude) really shot for the cosmos with this one. Studio trickery, acid guitars, ethereal synths intertwine with hand percussion and Eastern instrumentation in a manner that makes this seem like something recently produced. Deuter later went in the more New-Agey direction, but still had some strong moments. But when you debut with a album of such high quality, it's almost certain that it's all downhill from there. Kind of like when your life peaked in junior high.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Morita Doji-Mother Sky

Apparently, yesterday was supposed to be the saddest day of the year, but I just chalk that up to racists who still would rather work. I mean, barring a few brief interlude of happiness, I can say I felt as shitty as I did on any other day of the past 2 years. But here's something to soothe the wounds and broken hearts. Replete with a super fantastic cover. More Japanese psych folk stuff that aches with desperation and sorrow. The opening track "Our Failure" should clue you into what she's all about. And if that's not enough, there's some really great arrangements that employ a diverse selection of instruments. The Japanese girl version of Nick Drake? Perhaps. And rumor has it that her career was propagated by the death of a close friend. It sounds like that might be true. I have a feeling that this link will get pulled rather quickly so you might want to get it while you can. But then again, it's not like I'm all that popular, so who knows?


Brast Burn-Debon

A few of you seemed to enjoy that Karuna Khyal post I did ever so long ago when this blog was still in it's formative stages. And who would have guessed that now this blog would have over 80 followers who can tolerate my bullshit antics (I know you really just ignore the writing and download the records)? Back to the point, this is the same band (as far as I know) who released that classic album. But it sounds different. And kinda the same too. Sorry to confuse you, but this is a confusing band. Great, but confusing. And worthy of some ear time.


Sweet & Honey-Live at Your Cosmic Mind

Fuck it, every post today is coming from Japan. I could easily do a whole month drawing from that country but then I might start sounding like one of those creepy white guys with a weirdo Asian fetish (aka every one of my friends). I ripped this off my vinyl copy long ago, so it's probably not up to the high standards that many of you demand. My apologies but I really don't know what the fuck I am doing. I'm not even sure what a bit rate is. I guess higher is better, right? Well, this, I assume, must be super low unless I by chance figured it out unbeknownst to me. What I do know is that this record is great, especially if you're in the mood for some Japanese psych rock. It's Masaki Batoh (from my beloved Ghost) and maybe a guy or two from White Heaven (can't confirm or deny this one), and it will fill that missing gap in your Hawkwind catalog.


Zeni Geva-Nai Ha

Might as well stay in virtual Japan after that last post as it will allow me to post a band that we've all heard for many years, but always seem to forget. And it's a shame really since KK Null and cohorts have been churning out the metal/industrial/psych/noise/prog/experimental/alien sounds for numerous decades now. You know you're getting old when this band becomes a vague memory that, in discussion, takes several moments to recall. So from one old miserablist to another, maybe we should work on forgetting the insurmountable disappointments we've had and instead remember the great music we once used to enjoy.


Tetuzi Akiyama-Route 13 the Gates of Hell

Have to thank my good pal Ryan for turning me on to this one (miss you buddy). I can't say I know too much about this dude. I know he was in a band with Keiji Haino (ten million points for looking like some super awesome Japanese warlock, but why all the obsessive fans), and I guess that's enough for some people. This album comes in two parts: 1.) the front loaded acoustic section that is good, but not the reason I am posting this, and 2.) the weird ass, minimalist, zz topped boogie rock of the second half. It's a sound I've often dreamt of but I can't seem to locate. It's just representative riffs that make you want to shake you ass or at least snatch a granny's purse. None of the other nonsense that mires down many albums of previous eras that Akiyama draws from (you know, histrionic vocals, absurd solos (on every instrument), excessively tight trousers, etc).


Monday, January 17, 2011

Robert Wyatt-Rock Bottom

To write anything on this masterpiece almost seems heretical, therefore I will just say this this is essential for anyone that has even the smallest heart.


Han Bennink-Nerve Beat

Just watch this fucking guy play drums made out of cheese and you'll know why I posted this here. Go on and youtube it. All dairy drumming aside, this guy just tears up the drum kit. I'm sure they're be plenty of people who would rather take a pall peen to the teeth than listen to this sort of music, but that you're problem bub.


Igor Wahkevitch-Docteur Faust

I am aware this has appeared on a million of other blogs that I frequent, but that doesn't mean that there might be a reader who slept on this. I was just thinking about the last post on Terry Riley and I remember that these two worked together so I thought I'd post them as a pair. Not nearly as ethereal as Riley, Wahkevitch seems to head more into the intergalactic spaceways that early Pink Floyd used to trawl. There's an essential box set that collects most of his material (I think it omits his collaboration with Salvidor Dali, but I can post that if you want) and I highly urge that you seek it out. And what a brilliant cover.


Terry Riley-A Rainbow in Curved Air

I thin pretty much everything this man does is brilliant, but I guess just about everyone else does as well. I'm no scholar on contemporary classical music, but I'd think that this guy has got to be one of the most influential figures. If I were to list the amount of new bands that take from this guy, your unborn child will have gone through puberty by the time I am finished. Anyone remotely interested in electronic music will certainly have this already. Shit, anyone remotely interested in music should have this already.


Walter Franco-Ou Não

I think today will be one of those in which all the postings will be drawn from the NWW list, since I started that last night with the Hampton Grease Band post and I figure if I'm ever going to post one album by every band on that list, then I should probably get going. I know there's some serious garbage on that list, but here's one that even people who despise Stapleton's taste will most likely enjoy. Franco's later work is much less experimental and is more in the standard tropicalia mode. It's fine and all, but I prefer this much more. I can't really find much about him on line that isn't in Portuguese, and that is one language I never learned, so you might as well make up some clever tale to tell yourself.


Hampton Grease Band-Music to Eat

Maybe I should finally post something that won't leave me vulnerable to taunts and jeers. See, it must be cool since it's on the NWW list. So record scum can let me be for a moment. Pretty soon I'll unleash my onslaught of Joni Mitchell and Fleetwood Mac (love them both without irony). Until then, I might as well post something weird. Before Brice Hampton got co-opted by terrible Phish loving mud people, he was actually an interesting figure. And this album proves it. It's success is probably owing more to the telekinetic guitar interplay than the Col.'s stream of consciousness ramblings, but these Georgia based woodenheads took up the Beefheartian challenge. I can say it trumps the Capt's catalog (what does?) but if you desire something more in that vein of outer limits rock, then don't ignore this peach.


'O'Rang-Herd of Instinct

No shit this image sucks. I don't like all the pixels either but what can I do? I'm far too lazy to actually scan something into my computer. And while this blog is nice in that I get to hear from so many people from around the globe that I would never have contact with, I am under no illusion that this is anything but hackneyed. Those who know me should not be surprised by this--I've basically have made a career out of half assing everything. So why should this pointless endeavor be any different? It is just some egotistical exercise in futility anyways. But all that aside, here's one more for Sam since he is a nice guy that can tolerate my bullshit. This is ex Talk Talk members who decided to get more experimental after their dissolution. And in the process they decided to enlist members of Portishead and The The to fill out the sound. I won't say this is as vital as Laughing Stock (what is?) but it's something to listen to since Talk Talk isn't putting out more material.


The Cyrkle-The Minx

My mom tells me the story about how her and one of my aunts used to sing some weird made up lyrics to the Cyrkle's "Red Rubber Ball" when they were young. You know that song, right? Did you know that soft pop band also soundtracked some porn too? Well, here's the evidence. And this ain't some bullshit wah-wah sleazoid funk, or more contemporary lame ass techno fuck music. I've said this before (see the post on the Electric Banana) but porn, at one point, seemed to really strive for mainstream legitimacy. I think the mafia and vhs were responsible for it's cultural de-estimation. But fuck, now we've got the internet. And now you can find all the girl on octopus action you've always desired but never knew existed.


Ron "Pigpen" McKernan-1966 - Solo Acoustic Demos - Pigpen's Apartment - San Francisco, CA

Might as well keep going with the unpopular things that expose my horrible taste (at least in the cool kids' opinions). So here's one for the deadheads. But before the patchouli stank seeps in too much, other might find some pleasure in this since it is a damned good acoustic/folk/blues recording. Although it may be dead related I think people who like the downer folk thing might be interested in this. And yes, I do like the Dead. I saw their last show and all. I don't know why but tonight I feel like laying bare my musical tastes that make people what to punch me in the face. But let's see you do that through your computer tough guy.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

John Frusciante-Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T Shirt

Sneer if you will and I won't begrudge you anything. But this is a post for Sam, so all other people can duck out on this if they want. Since it came up in a conversation I want to pass it along to someone who has yet to hear this album. If you know this guy's name I'm sure it's associated with frat rock that soundtracked incalculable date rapes, but that is so far beyond what this record is actually about. Instead of the shitty white boy, jerky dance (Matt, you're imitation is still the best), shit that is the Red Hot Chili Peppers (insert cringe), this is some seriously drug addled mindfuckery. It's completely fine to be skeptical. In fact, I'd say that's probably a good approach to living one's life, but in this case you can let the guard down for a moment. If you appreciate the whole loner folk/weirdo outside artist, this will trump most of those rediscovered "classics." I know this sounds ridiculous, but I'm not joking. Yeah, even I hate the fact that I'm right about this. But fuck it, why do I feel like I have to justify this to you?


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

John Jacob Niles-I Wonder as I Wander

The true voice of sorrow and desolation married with a weirdo homemade dulcimer equals your tears. Dylan often discusses Niles influence. Folkies still give him some cred. Outside of the cult, there doesn't seem to be nearly as much hype for this guy despite his massive contributions to American music. Not joking, without this guy contemporary music would have a much different topography. This will not make you feel good. So it's just like every other day. This makes all modern weird beard folkies sound utterly irrelevant.



Weird, weird, weird. This is not your normal black metal record. And I know most of you hate black metal, but don't forget black metal hates you. For lovers of grim darkness, you find that this avoids the genre cliches while still having the necessary levels of depression. Apparently, this was an open source project where people on line sent the dudes in Have a Nice Life various clips of sounds and whatnot. They then compiled and manipulated the sounds and crafted this album. And yet it doesn't suck. How that be?



If you're a frequent reader of my pathetic musings, then it's most likely that you assume I'm some bitter fuck that longs for the days of the past and find most contemporary music to be an exercise in posturing and pretending to like hip records. And you'd be right. If I had a time machine I'd be gone in a second. But there are some moments that make me think the future might hold some potential. And this dude is definitely someone who piques my interest. They guy sounds kinda like Nick Cave, in that he's got this semi-bluesy croon style that is emotive but not unhinged. Pair that with some pretty stripped down electronics and a drum machine and you've got a winner. i think everything this guy has put out is worth owning. And he seems to be quite the gentleman too. Go buy his shit, or buy him a drink if you live near him.


Modern English-Drowning Man (Demos & Peel Seesions)

If you're a young'un, it's unfortunate, but highly possibly, that you are only familiar with this band for two reasons: 1.) their ubiquitous, and oft horribly covered, 80s classic "Melt with You," 2.) their guitar player's ridiculous/brilliant hair. If those be the only context in which you know this band then do yourself a favor and grab this. I have to believe that had they not achieved some level of success, they would be regarded in league with Joy Division and all the others of that era that still have aging hipsters sporting their tee shirts. Instead, they get to appear on shit like VH1's "Where are They Now?"


Brother can you Spare an MP3 of the B-Side of an Impossibly Rare 7"?-Allen Pound's Get Rich

So I don't think I've asked for any requests from readers yet, but this has become a pain in the ass. I can't seem to find the b-side to this voracious, cavemen neckbreaker. It's called "Hey You" and it's not nearly as good as this cut, but I was it because I'm a completest bastard and get obsessive over pointless things (like girls, pizza, my cat). If you haven't hear this song, then it is a mandatory download. I cannot believe that this single came out in 1966. It's heavy even by today's standards. And I can't find a fucking thing about Mr. Pound or his schemes on getting rich. Perhaps he was some money grubbing capitalist trying to do some exploito-psych-cash0in. But I have a hard time believing that. So cough up the goods and send me the other track. I promise I'll love you forever.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Steve Spacek-Space Shift

I doubt there's many black readers of this blog, but maybe some of those kids I spent New Year's Eve with on the rooftop of a building drinking a $400 bottle of champagne might stumble upon this post and find something that they would like but probably won't ever hear. And I would never claim to be into contemporary soul music. In fact, my interests in this genre mostly died in the mid-70s or so. But this album is one of those things that really makes me optimistic. Spacek is not following trends or trying to cash in on some ass shaking, empty headed, party shit. Instead there's the intelligence and awareness of classic soul tropes, mixed with some pretty forward sounding spacescapes. I don;t know a fucking thing about this guy, expect for the fact that if soul sounded more like this I might actually feel like I have one.

And white kids, you can download this too. Just don't do that shit that seems to be the trend now. By that I'm referring to all the year end lists by lame-o hipsters that are 9 shitty rock albums and 1 rap/hip hop/soul album that seems to be something you stumbled across as you scanned the radio. Guess what fuckhead, no one is going to call you out as a racist (thought you probably are) because no one really gives a shit about you. So drop the pretense. Saying Kayne West's album was in your top ten doesn't make you any less stupid.


Blue Oyster Cult-Tyranny and Mutation

Oh, is that right? You still mock the almighty B.O.C.? Sure, they had some questionable facial hair and some pretty ridiculous pseudonyms (well, one at least), but why deny their ability to make other bands look like a crab ragoon - paper clip hybrid. Being back in a city full of asses who are more interested in pitchfork's year end list rather than good music makes me feel like I am in a foreign country. What happened to liking great albums of this sort? Does everything have to come pre-approved by someone born in the 90s who owns only cds (less than 500)? Gack...I'm sure someone will eventually write up this band (I'm sure it will be ironic) and then we'll see a bunch of pencil necks running around Buck Dharma tattoos or something like that. Beat them to the punch if you haven't already.


Cardiacs-Toy World

Again, I still cannot understand how this band is one of the most downloaded of all the things I have posted. I'm not trying to dismiss their greatness or anything, I just don't get it. I'm sure people all over the internet have posted their work before I've gotten around to it. I'm still confused as to how anyone even found this blog in the first place. But since people seem to want more Cardiacs, then I guess I should keep posting more. I think I might have all of their albums, so eventually (assuming people keep downloading) I'll keep posting them. And yes, you should have them all too.

Here (Reuped 6/78/12)

Philip K. Dick-Ubik

Right up front, this is not my favorite work by Dick (please refrain from the juvenile jokes at this point). That would be the The Man in the High Castle. But I guess that's also an obvious choice and I won't will your hearts over with that selection. I will say that the idea of an audio book was petulant to me until I got much older. Now, on the long cross country, drives (with my cat, in typical loser/loner fashion) I find audio books and talk radio much more appealing that anything else. Perhaps it's the desolation of driving through the barren Mid-West landscape pared with the oppressive isolation I just typically feel, which makes the sound of another human's voice (in talk, not singing, form) all that more appealing. Definitely I sign that I am old. Really, does anybody but an old person listen to things like this? So yeah, Philip K. Dick. I guess you already know about him. He wrote this.


Terry Callier-Occasional Rain

Since it's about time to shove off and return to the hills of West Virginia in the morn, I might as well post a parting shot from the hometown. And really, this guy ranks way up there when I start to list off my favorites from Chicago. His early records were in that black/folk idiom which is really under represented (but I really love). He started to blend in the jazz and soul sounds on releases like this and developed a style that still seems so many years ahead of what peers where toiling with. People can claim Detroit, Memphis, ass-crack Alabama, what have you as the ultimate soul scene, but albums like this make me a fierce defender for Chicago's place in the pantheon of great soul music cities. No one had that samey sound that defined most of the regional music movements and, to me, that will always set it apart. But I'm sure people will want to be contentious with claims of this sort. They are gladly welcomed.