Friday, April 27, 2012

DNA-Last Live at CBGBs 1982

There’s never enough room for no wave.  I often crave it like a unibrowed fatso covets a sandwich.  And I know you feel the same because all the guppies eat it up when it’s posted.  Yet, I am the king fool in that I’ve posted lesser known (and in some regard inferior) no wave acts but have left the almighty DNA sit all alone in my nearly vacant mediafire account.  There’s so much to say about how important this band is that it seems pretty stupid for me to mention anything but that, so let's leave it there, m'kay?  By now, you know who this is.  But since it’s kind of a pain to find, it merits inclusion here.  Then again, even if this was as popular as Seals & Croft I’d still post it here.  On a side note.  I recall a time when I was trying to buy a copy of that comp of theirs that got released a few years back.  It just so happens that the person who kept out bidding me happened to have the same screen name as the label that issued the record (this happened multiple times).  Now, perhaps it’s a very avid fan of the label (unlikely, but possible) but if it was actually the label buying back their records to inflate the price then they deserve the biggest “Fuck you.”  Let’s just hope this wasn’t the case.

Dadamah-This is not a Dream

It’s been some times since I’ve posted any Kiwi, which is always a shame.  So here’s a good’un that’s a little lesser known than some of the big names, despite having connections with bands like Flies Inside the Sun and, my most loved, Doramaar.  Knowing the names behind this project (do your own research tubs) you’ll know what to expect.  I’m guessing you’ve set those expectations pretty high.  Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be as disappointing as that last girl you dated (probably a few years ago at this point) who you really thought was amazing because she listening to Giallo soundtracks and had an interesting tattoo.  After a few months all the haze cleared and you realized she was just as big of a loser as you are and were massively crushed.  Well now, it won’t be like that.


I don’t typically think of England when I’m looking for some funk.  I suppose there’s a few bands that have put out some decent things, but it just seems like such an American product (yeah, I know there’s good stuff to be found in multiple African and Asian nations as well).  But Euro funk has always left me a bit cold.  Maybe this one classes a bit differently because, while the band is from London, it’s primarily composed of people from Jamaica and Guyana.  And that island feel does get refracted through a multicultural lens, creating a sound that seems to escape convention.  It was about 95 a day ago and it led to me turning a lovely shade of crimson, but sunburns aside, it was just too difficult to resist blasting this and sit out on the balcony for a day.

Clock DVA-Thirst

There’s really nothing like asking your student why he has been suspended for the past couple of weeks and hear that it’s because he brought a crack pipe to school.  And it’s even better when he, in a rather nonplussed manner, says that it’s going to add two more years to his probation.  What’s probably worse was my reaction when I told him that he probably should have left the pipe at home.  But it’s easy for me to say oh well and carry on.  I don’t say this to make myself sound like a shitty teacher, but I’ve done this long enough to know that I’m not going to talk a crackhead out of smoking crack.  They like crack.  And who am I to judge?  Just like I like this album and I’ve met a few people that just do not like this band.  But I don’t foresee how they are going to convince me of anything other than how much this album rules.  I can’t stand by all their work (especially the dancey stuff) but the early post-punk industrial cuts are aces.  Adventurous, yet accessible, these tunes continue to deliver even after all these years.

Chêne Noir-Aurora

I think I complained about thespians before here, right?  Well, if not, they suck.  Let’s just throw that out there right up front.  Remember back to high school and there was that crowd of assholes that wanted to prance through the halls, emoting nonsense, in some sad plea for attention.  And if there’s one thing that makes thespians oh so repulsive it’s that aching desire for the attention of others.  Why?  Ever notice that you have never met one person who actively seeks attention and that person was anything less than a complete shit bag?  Fast forward some years and realize that adult actors are probably even worse because they still haven’t given up that dream that they will eventually become some teen idol or something.  So imagine my surprise when hearing such an amazing album was created by a theater troupe.  I’m willing to bet that this collective wasn't anything like the actor sort that I previously described.  No weirdos willing to create such cosmic darkness are striving to be the next Dirk Bogarde, or even the next Norman Fell (what the world needs now is a new Norman Fell however).  Of course, this gets bonus points for being French.

Brave New World-Impressions on Reading Aldous Huxley

I don’t think I’ve read Brave New World since I was in junior high, so my own impressions are a bit hazy (thank you drugs).  Whatever my initial reactions were, I can definitively state that they did not conjure up some desire to create a bizarro prog epic.  But apparently it had that effect on several people.  Well, enough people to actually make this record.  I guess it took some German/Irish transcontinental connection to gather enough souls willing to commit to this project.  But I’m glad they we’re able to share their mutual appreciate of the psychedelic pioneer.  Perhaps not as Krautish as I would have desired, yet still highly enjoyable.  And another from the NWW list.

Raymond Boni-Rêve en Couleurs

Weirdo guitar alert.  And maybe you are familiar with his guitar antics/heroics from the NWW listed Operation Rhino platter.  Perhaps not though (I’ll eventually post that too).  In the meantime, if you’re someone who has even the slightest gravitation toward the outer limits of guitarsmanship then this is your golden ticket.  I guess that makes me your Willy Wonka.  But then, does that mean that Boni is an umpa lumpa since he’s technically the producer of the product and I’m the mere purveyor of the goods (my ex used to tease me that I look like Gene Wilder)?  Not too sure if I want to push that analogy too far otherwise I’m apt to turn my students into blueberries and torture them in other masochistic ways.  So just listen to this and I’ll shut up now.  And the 20 minute eponymous close out is makes this entire album worth nabbing.

Half Church-12"

There was a time that I seem to recall back in the 80s when aspiring American bands eyes were cast toward the goings on of the British Isles.  When you see bands like the Fall, Swell Maps, Joy Division, and the millions other that I love creating new sounds that made the American music scene seem like a bloated armadillo on the side of some shit ass Texas highway, then it stands to reason that you would wish to import those sounds and recast them in an American image (this country isn’t as original as we wish to believe).  And that’s where Half Church’s sound seems to be birthed from.  San Franciscians, I believe, they might as well have been from any area within 150 miles of London.  I think I’ve always had a bit of an Anglophone fetish so I can fully understand these American bands that were just sick of their homegrown sounds.  Heavens knows I still am.  And what happened to these fellas?  As far as I can glean, this was their lone recording.  What a drag.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Disco Zombies-The Invisible E.P.

This one might piggyback nicely on the Thought Criminals 7" I posted a day or so ago. Not that it sounds all that similar, but it just seems like an appropriate one-two combo. Aside from that I'm not too sure what else to write about this lot. They're British. They play music that I enjoy. This is a 7". You all know I suck at descriptions anyways. That's why my write ups are typically narcissistic self indulgences and pity parties. Oh no, I've given away the secret to my (lack) of success. Go start your own blog.


Drain-Pick up Heaven

Time to go back to the decade I probably privledge above all others--the glorious '90s. I still can't exactly pinpoint why that decade seems to be the most interesting to me. I suppose it is in part because it predates the decades before my life started to derail, I could still kind of skate, I didn't have inch long grey eyebrows, or get throw my back out everytime I sneeze. But for the young'uns here, you might not remember this release. Who am I kidding? You probably weren't even born when this came out. If yu have any interest in the psycho noise stomp coming out of Texas around this time, then this will be a nice little pil to swallow. Containing members of the Cherubs, Hugh Beaumont Experience, and the Butthole Surfers (released on King Coffey's Trance Syndicate label (remember that label?)) this album is imaginably a bit difficult to pin down. Some valient attempts do not always make for wild successes, but it the attempt that makes this worth your eartention. I won't say that it tops any of the previously listed bands, but I don't think that was ever it's intent.



I know things can often get a little too out around here and it can all start to seem like an exercise in esoterica. This post is to remind us all that there is nothing qrong with rock and roll. I know it's fallen out of fashion as of late, and few people seem to just want to play some rock music. Those fuckers who drape themselves in irony have tried to poach legends (ZZ Top, et al.). Despite their passionless attempts to pilfer quility rock and scornfully wear their faux vintage concert tees, I cannot turn my back on simple beauty on the simple beauty of well constructed rock. And that's more or less what you get here, albeit filtered through a very German understanding of the genre. It's also a NWW listed band. Final note, people stop pretending to like things that you don't actually like. No one finds you charming just because you have a perm and wear a Scorpions shirt (of course I love them to death as well).


Greg Ashley-Painted Garden

This guy's roots go back to garage bands like the Gris Gris and the Mirrors, and thems good enough roots if I do say so. I like both of those bands just fine, but it's his solo work that really cooks my catfish. He doesn't drop all the garage rock elements, but this leans far more toward the fractured acid dappled works of Roky, Syd, and Skip. I have no idea about the state of Greg's mental health. I can only assume he's doing much better than that mighty triumphrant. People looking for more of the harrowing/beautifully damaged side of the psych continuum with find much to be satisfied with here. Even rainbows can contain some dark hues.


Art Zoyd-Symphonie Pour Le Jour Où Brûleront Les Cités

There will never be any apologies by me for my love of prog. And it doesn't even have to be "cool" prog. Hell, I love spending the day fantasizing I was Keith Emerson's karate instructor on the ELP '77 tour. While I can definitely handle the cheesy aspects of the genre, I'll cop to the fact that I do tend to like the less commercial acts. This obviously falls in the later category. There's just something sinister and creeping about these tracks that make it an apt soundtrack to night stalking or other pleasure sports. If this had some creep out cover and a band name that didn't sound like a matchbook illustrator, then maybe this would receive more esteem. Again, another NWW list (my goal is to get up at least one album per band--expect Franz de Byl; I don't want to deal with that nutter).


Agitation Free-Malesch

When your early line up includes members who later joined Guru Guru and Tangerine Dream (love 'em both), then you know you've got something worth pursuing. This is something that I kept thinking I've already posted but somehow I suppose it just slipped by. But I'm always fucking up something or other. At least this is one of those mistakes that I can actually correct, unlike some of those that will haunt me forever (ooh, how spooky and mysterious I know). But the even graver mistake is missing out on this prime slice of NWW listed kraut goodness. It's not super obscure or anything but that doesn't mean that it isn't one of the classics of the genre. Or of any genre for that matter.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Charlottes-Lovehappy

If a band is considered to be a favorite of John Peel then who are you to say anything contrary? Not that I've actually have heard criticisms for this band. Even with the amount of stupids I deal with everytime I leave the house, I've yet to hear anyone give anything but praise to their recorded output. But that doesn't make me think anything better of all the human garbage. It just shows that this group is under discussed. You'd think that the Slowdive connection would be enough to sustain interest, but then again, I have met several cretins who actually didn't like Slowdive. Their critics kinda remind me of one of my most hated groups--religious wannabe hipsters. I've already convincingly argued about how Jesus is never cool unless discussed in a super weirdo psychedelic way, so don't try to convince me that your church is "really different" or "really open and accepting." Dummies, you're talking about a church. I had this misfortune of having to hear one of these simps get all jazzed about Jesus when I was trying to buy a cup of coffee. Your church is Urban Outfiters. Go worship the holy spirit of that ass from Death Cab for Cutie or something. I don't get you fuckers and I certainly don't want to.


Art-Supernatural Fairy Tales

Who dare speak ill of my beloved Spooky Tooth? Fools, I say. I guess their collaboration with Pierre Henry is considered kinda cool. But after that, it seems like people seem to lose interest. But then again, we all know that people are saps and typically like whatever bullshit they believe they are supposed to like. That being said, you will like this album. It's proto-Tooth action and that means you should be listening. So now that you've been told you better listen and love it honey.


Il Balletto di Bronzo-Ys

Because I just saw that another good blog (michael jacket) has gotten its ass pummeled by our beloved mediafire I figured I'd post something you could have found over there before the deluge swept away all of their links. And who doesn't need more Italian prog in his/her life? And it's another NWW list for the list lovers. Wow, two in one day. You lucky dog. I am just too kind.



Ask anyone who knows me and they can definitely vouch for my shitty luck. Burning 4 computers while writing my dissertation, totalling my car, countless failed relationships, theand about a million other things that only speak to my loser ways. I'd say these things are hilarious except for the fact that they actually happen to me on what seems to be a weekly basis. One of the few moments of good luck I've had in the past decade was pulling this little known gem out of a dollar bin. I liked the cover, had no idea what it was, but seeing the Meat Puppets involvement (really early Puppets at that), I figured a dollar wasn't all that much. Digging deeper, I found a connection to the L.A.F.M.S. and that sorta explains what's here. It's weird like most of the stuff from that bunch, and yet, it is still of a different sort. I guess that doesn't make for much of a discription. Oh well.


The Outsiders-C.Q.

Totally fucking essential Dutch psych is not a phrase one hears too often. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty good to be found from that scene, but I won't say everything is a must own. This one, however, does happen to fall into that rare category. The cover rules. Wally Tax's androgenous performance is especially noteworthy (check his release as Tax Free-terrible pun, great John Cale affiliated album). The guitars were more than capably handled by the deftly monickered Ronnie Splinter. The list I just provided should clue you into how special this record is. Oh, and it's also culled from the NWW list for more cultural cache.


The Roots of Gamelan: The First Recordings-Bali, 1928 New York, 1941

Roots, bloody, roots indeed. I suppose I can understand half of this packaging. The 1928 Balinese recordings of one of my most cherished instruments seems about the right time and place. But New York 1941? Was their some proto-hipster thunkin' a gamelan in his Park Slope loft just after a short ride on his fixy (p.s. these bikes are lame). New York is always trying to take credit for everything and it's one of the 10, 373 reasons why I hate that city. I suppose the more accurate number is 18,897,109 but I'm sure there's one or two decent folk who unfortunately reside in the most arrogant place in the world. Even though these recordings confuse my sense of history, they are still crucial listens. In summation, New York=lame, gamelan=awesome.


Sun Dial-Other Way Out

Yes, I have a problem with bands that try to just emulate a historic moment of music. Let's be honest now, how often do you find yourself listening to an album that sounds like it should have been recorded 20-25 years before it was released and actually feeling like you weren't listening to some rather misinformed youth? Well, given the current state of music, I suppose it's unfortunately more frequent than you would wish. I just don't get listening to things when I can go right to the source. If you're not going to improve upon the formula, don't touch it. Now, here's an example when my snooty ass gets handed to me because Sun Dial are often (an unfairly) maligned as a prime example of what I just decried. But people who talk that sort of rubbish must have some waxy (and hairy) ears. Sure, there's plenty of of classic psych moves here to fill a thousand loon pants. Yet, and here's the rub, it still sounds new. New and old simultaneously. Kind like how I've looked the same way since about junior high. Not that I'm some baby face, but I looked like an old creep even when I was thirteen.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thought Criminals-Hilton Bomber 7"

They predicted it all in some sense when they stated "I won't pay for punk records." And why the fuck should any of us. In these times when all our beloved sites are being lambasted by ridiculous file server impositions, I feel like it's time we all wise up and recognize that this is not a new argument. Perhaps you were too young to remember how this argument played out when cassettes became readily available. You might even be too young to realize that this rhetoric existed with the advent of compact disc recording technologies. Guess what, weirdos who actually want to find the type of music found here will still buy it. I think we all see that now. Thought Criminals sought it way back when. If you're in a band and want money then your band most likely is shit and you might as well sell insurance. So for all those who complained about me posting anything here (not counting dudes who were doing reissues where the money actually went to the artists) you may go fuck yourself forthwith. Herbie Hancock, Yes, etc. I had no idea you were so poor. I also am surprised that you can shift more than 50 copies of a 40 year old record. Who the fuck are you fooling?


A Certain Ratio-The Graveyard and the Ballroom

Maybe it's because I spend most days seeing only black faces (yes, I'm white) but I've always been a been a bit suspicious of white people fakin' the funk. Any novice in the history of funk and point to a litany of white dudes who actually produced relevant works (in some case even vital). And I've never been quite sure where my allegiance falls with this band. Their weird fake tans and boy scout uniforms always seemed a bit ridiculous at best, and possibility fascistic in its ultimate best. Being limeys doesn't help the matter none. Nevertheless, this record certainly makes it clear why so many dummos wish they could play like them now. Synthesizing punk, funk, pop, out sounds, and all the rest is no easy feat yet this record plays with that youthful joy that makes my old brittle marrow (probably cancer filled by now) bounce around with joy. Even lame old white dude like me can't resist a little nerdy hip sway when this comes on.