Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Monday, November 28, 2005

Review Haikus:

Ashtray Navigations "The Love That Whirrs" (Last Visible Dog) CD
phosphorescent squeal
concentrated sparkle chain
crumbling ascension

Sigur Rós "Takk..." (Geffen) CD
inverted word scape
cyan fruit bulb tender swell
alien awake

Mike Tamburo "Screwing Six Bolts Into Last Tuesday" (New American Folk Hero) CD-R
soft piano space
bathing as electronique
temporal transfer

Uton "The August Light" (267-Lattajjaa) CD-R
bottomless chasm
dimensional hollow bend
spectral under side

Robert Horton "Washed Out Headspace" (267-Lattajjaa) CD-R
free tonal jazz meld
elastic cosmic implosion
psychic gamelan

Islaja "Palaa Aurinkoon" (Fonal) CD
dancing moon shadow
voice glimmer tired shimmer
fractured earth tissue

Hush Arbors "Cleaning the Bone" (267-Lattajjaa) CD-R 3"
the earth is breathing
cathedral as vibration
this is what I hear

Christina Carter "Living Contact" (Kranky) CD
a backlit gesture
silhouette and dream mother
contrasting moments

Jackie-O Motherfucker "JOMF Live Radio" (U-Sound) CD-R
electric raga
fire dream is namaste
the frost dissipates

Lightning Bolt "Hypermagic Mountain" (Load) CD
holy fucking shit
my ears my exploding skull
erect volcanoes

Nurse With Wound "Drunk With the Old Man of the Mountain" (United Jnana) CD
I think I could die
crepuscular reaction
evacuate mind

The Stooges "Fun House" (Rhino) 2xCD
mongrel lava spew
big muff fetish arousal
"tv eye on me"

Loren Chasse "The Air in the Sand" (Naturestrip) CD
sand grains restless dance
arranged in spiral logic
erosion of time

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

So long, Link Wray. You taught me how to play (not literally, of course). David (late) Tibet digs Marissa Nadler. I told him he would months ago. They're apparently going to do something together in the future. He's also a bigtime Stephen O'Malley fan; who isn't today? "Black One" is an incredible album. Speaking of Southern Lord, Twilight also comes highly recommended for Leviathan, Xasthur, Sunn 0))) freaks or anyone into uber-lo-fi end of the world nightmare metal.

The Terrastock 6 lineup is the best yet, at least the most Broken Face influenced. I will be there, gods permitting.

Avarus (Finland)
Bardo Pond
Black Forest / Black Sea
Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood (Australia)
College Girls Gone Wild
Cul de Sac
Damon and Naomi
Ghost (Japan)
Glenn Jones
The Green Pajamas
Kemialliset Ystävät (Finland)
The Kitchen Cynics (Scotland)
Sharron Kraus (England)
Larkin Grimm
The Magic Carpathians Project (Poland)
Major Stars
Marissa Nadler
Jack Rose
St Joan (England)
Spacious Mind (Sweden)
Spires that in the Sunset Rise
Tanakh (Italy)
Thought Forms (England)
Windy & Carl

plus Special Guest Appearance by TOM RAPP

College Girls Gone Wild is actually Sonic Youth (isn't that funny!?!). Kitchen Cynics American live debut and Culdesac's Terrastock debut? They may have played one of the earlier ones, not sure. I've never seen them live, and they are hands down one of the most influential underground avant/psych whatever American bands of the last 20 years. This lineup speaks for itself, me thinks. Woot!

PS: Nice to see the original "King Kong" finally make it to DVD. It's a killer all the way around with a great print and snazzy extras.

Monday, November 21, 2005

This is very sad news. Glenn Mitchell was a great host, with one of the most signature voices in radio. I truly valued his show on NPR, even called in a few times. Shocking to say the least.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Well this is just great news.
Made it out to see Broadcast and Gravenhurst Friday night. Gravenhurst rocked.
Gravenhurst rocking.

It was an interesting set for these guys, because the only album I ever heard by them (the quite cool "Flashlight Seasons") is what might be dubbed "folktronica," ie acoustic mellow tunes with some interesting effects. They were in full on power trio mode this night though and invoked the spirit of plenty post punk greats through the course of their set (Joy Division, Wedding Present, Slint, Flying Saucer Attack, etc) with tight musicianship and even a few genuine psychedelic freakouts. Talked to Nick Talbot for a bit afterwards about some things, including the fact that the mean age for a Pitchfork writer must be 18 because they sure like to compare his band to Interdull, kind of silly considering Gravenhurst has been going for almost a decade now. Short memory spans I suppose, impressive vocabularies though! We also talked about image and facade and how that's all bullshit, isn't it? I tend to agree. I asked Nick what his favorite (post) punk band was: Husker Du.

Broadcast were simply awesome. I've gone back and forth with these guys/gal over the years, but agree with the consensus, "Ha Ha Sound" is some sort'a pinnacle. I suppose the pampering is deserved (they have a big pretty purple tourbus), as the music does have a certain scuzzy high brow charm. Broadcast simply hits all the right buttons for me, no pun intended, but they're admittedly a bit of a one trick pony. It's simply a good trick. The set opened with "Pendulum" and only got better from there with tons of hard rocking analog electrips and Kraftwerk inspired motorik freakouts doled out from behind a constant retro-projection.

And here's a very fuzzy pic of my friend Jessica with Ms. Trisha K. of Broadcast (this was right after we'd watched Trisha fumble with trying to shut the door to her tourbus for like 30 secs straight). She does look rather dazed (or annoyed). I love Jessica and her husband, Greg, two of my oldest and favoritist pals in the world. Always a fine, loud time with these people. And a shout out to Frank and Alicia, too. Had a blast hanging out with you whooping, festive alkies!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Whoa, doggies...I very occasionally wish I lived in New York:

Marissa Nadler dates...

Nov. 13th- Brooklyn Fireproof Gallery- 101 Richardson St., Brooklyn, New York, (718- 302- 4702) with the Big Huge, and Black Forest/Black Sea

Nov. 20th - NYC- Knitting Factory Main Space, with legendary band Earth and drone kings Pelt, featuring guitar master Jack Rose. Buy tickets at the Knitting Factory's website

...I mean come on. Pelt, Earth and Marissa on the same stage? Shiminy haystacks! After these shows I believe the fare maiden sets off on her European tour, so check her site and keep those eyes/ears open, Euro peepees.

A few other things. I've still not gotten around to covering some albums that were released in the last 3-4 months, and may not have time to. I imagine between Brainwashed, FoxyD, Dusted, Fake Jazz and onward, they've all been well documented anyway. In the meantime here are some links to reviews and features I've submitted to folks in the last couple months in case anyone hasn't found them through the usual means:

Marissa Nadler Terrascope interview

Marissa Nadler "The Saga of Mayflower May" (Eclipse)

Kinski "Alpine Static" (Sub Pop)


Mike Tamburo "Beating of the Rewound Son" (Music Fellowship)

Vocokesh "Through the Smoke" (Strange Attractors)

Urdog "Eyelid of Moon" (Secret Eye)

Volcano the Bear "Catonapotato" (Digitalis/Broken Face)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Had a really nice evening this past Thursday hanging out with the one and only, Mike Tamburo. He's an interesting guy (and YES, HE DOES EXIST!) with a lot of heart and soul, me thinks. He knows how to tell a good yarn, too. I had nothing to do with bringing him to the area, because last time I got even remotely involved in setting up a show, disaster's-ville: population me. His show was in Denton at a little coffee house called Art Six with an outside deck area. There were four of us that watched him play (with the occasional smoker dropping by for an abbreviated listen). He'd occasionally build up loops via acoustic guitar and dulcimer and played a selection that spanned his fingerpicking career and drew largely from the excellent solo debut, "Beating the Rewound Son" (Music Fellowship). He also played a solo rendition of a piece from his new duo, The Amazing Trapeze. I was struck by his control of dynamics, on top of his dexterous fretwork, and his ability to keep each piece flowing, even as he shuffled through his bag looking for something else to throw on top. I was especially impressed when he started playing dulcimer with mallets and created a beautiful shimmer of tones that actually resembled a gamelan orchestra. No shit!

Here's a pic of Mr. Tamburo doin' his thing on the leafy deck...

We hung out a while and talked about all sorts of things, including fingerpickers, the greatness of Jack Rose, spirit and humility. He gave me a fat stack of releases on his own New American Folk Hero CD-R label (including his last copy of the Kennan Lawler 3"--thank you, Mike!) as gifts, a couple Meisha albums, and the latest (and possibly greatest) Arco Flute Foundation Live CD on Music Fellowship. I gave him a CD by The Lost Domain in an effort to repay the love, but more than anything what Mike gave me was a warm night of kinship. I feel lucky to call him a friend.

He's going to be on the road for about another month. See here for remaining dates, mainly East Coast. I recorded 80 mins of the 90 min gig. I told Mike it was his storyteller set, because each song came with exposition. All in all, a good night.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"Feels" (Fat Cat), this new Animal Collective album is doin' it for me. Like a warm tongue lashing the bung--billowy and light as air, but still bubbling over with enough frothy effervescence to catapult me way up into the crystal palace in the sky. No one else rips-off--or builds on, for that matter--ideas first pioneered by the Beach Boys ("feels" are what Brian Wilson calls isolated symphonic scores) and Eno as inventively.

A bittersweet old style songwriter's paradise gets mined in Franklin's Mint. "Gold" (Sunburned) is comprised of heart-tugging rootsy folk pop that harkens back to early 70s Dylan, the Band, Neil Young, Emmylou and more inspirational folk-rocker types with a warm analog glow. It's a Sunburned Hand of the Man sanctioned roadtrip, with rough and tumble contributions from a bundle of folks who usually play a sloppier, more avant groove, all backing singer/guitarist Phil Franklin. His dusted, stream of conscious lyrics are branded with a sense of weariness and humanism that would be the only logical outcome for any civilized creature living in America in the year 2005. Beautiful handmade silkscreen package folds into a 3D pyramid. Might be hard to find, but so is peace of mind. Limited to 1000; got mine from Fusetron.

Further down the rabbit hole we fall with The Iron Kite, spiraling and divebombing out of control through a red tinted underworld (and I don't mean hell, but it's close, baby!). This Austin "free noise" groop cranks a mighty rusted carousel round and round on "No Eyebrows" (Twilight Flight Sound), writhing in the clattery free metallic rush that builds in friction to a throbbing industrial/ krautrock surge and more lumbering heavy jams. Nothing prepares the listener for the sheer power and forward momentum of this single track live recording. Lots of acid fuzz and clattery percussion give way to metronomic thumping and back again with tribal howls and whoops resounding over top. Spontaneous, beautiful ROCK that sort of answers the question, "what if the Red Krayola's "Free Form Freakout" actually went somewhere?" No-Neckers and Sunburned Handies, rejoice!

Another loud ass Fuck Yeah! comes along with the reissue of Kemialliset Ystävät's "Kellari Juniversumi," (Fonal CD/ Beta-Lactam LP). Hailed upon its release in 2002 as a masterpiece, I'm prone to fall into line with this one; possibly the most perfectly realized trip through Chemical Land I've come across. KY (gotta love those initials) is without question one of the most fascinating and unique bands around today, and this seems to capture them in an ideal state. Possibly a transition album based on what I've heard till now, splitting things roughly between the kind of haunted free spirit blues they've conjured of late and a clanking (almost) art pop/folk. If Yahaweh was an early industrial band from Finland, they might have come up with something this dementedly beautiful, but then that's not even fair. This is a dense, ethereal trek through the warped sonic hinterlands that sounds basically like nothing else, save maybe for a few other KY albums and spinoff ensembles.

Speaking of some spiked punchbowl action, props to the mystical sound magi of Louisville, Kentucky's Eyes and Arms of Smoke, who conjur a rare magic indeed on their "A Religion of Broken Bones" LP, via the always reliable Cenotaph organization. This record easily exhibits a similar sort of scattered, what-the-hell(?) aura as the above, materialized in an unclassifiable instrumental sound that brings together chamber music, jazz, folk, crude electronics and more into a smoothly kinetic sound tunnel to the outer realms. Only two bands I can think of currently who even come close to this sort of downbeat dream: Comus (EaAoS occasionally features warbling high pitched vocals over rushing acoustic guitars, channeling the demented forest gnome spirits) and...

...Portland’s Rollerball specializes in a cryptic chamber/ nowave/ lounge jazz/ trip hop(?) on "Catholic Paws / Catholic Pause" (Silber) which I can't help but be completely transfixed by. These folks have almost no discernable style, yet maintain a constant musicality that's amorphous and engaging all the way through. Boy and girl vox occasionally appear in strange art pop songs that continuously ride the surrealist/ absurdist roads of the subconscious, passing through some genuinely disturbed back alleys along the way, and probably losing most who’d dare follow. Robert Wyatt and the Art Bears come to mind across the span of these rough and tumble, occasionally lo-fi, lounge/no wave excursions. This is definitely an acquired taste (pretty much all Rollerball is), but worth investigation if you like the weirdo art rock/lounge lizard thing.

Mmmmm August Born. This self titled album (Drag City) is a transcontinental dream meeting if ever there was one. Ben Chasny (Mr. Six Organs) and Hiroyuki Usui (Mr. L) come together (via post) to brilliantly combine their etheareal takes on blues and folk musics, and the results are really just about what you'd expect. Essential and haunted lo-fi tone poems for the impending cold months, and whatever else may loom on the horizon.

Hush Arbors/ Terracid/ The North Sea issued this untitled CD-R on newish upstart Barl Fire recently; all three of the contributors are bright new hopes in this avant folk whatever thing that's happening all across the globe as I type. Hush Arbors conjurs meditative electro dream swells before strapping on the acoustic and introducing beautiful tremelous vocals. I love to hear this guy sing. Terracid offers hushed winds and spacious ragas over quiet clatter that sounds as if the gods themselves decided to sing, and then drops a drifting vocal over a bed of percussive patter and desolate acoustic guitar to seal the deal. Fucking incredible. The North Sea offers three more direct paths to divinity, my favorite being the opening acoustic instrumental which combines a sweet melody with spectral raga tones in a blissful excusion to the soul center. The rest offers sparse melodies, shakers, rainsticks and distant vocals with a slight pop base.

George Brigman's "Jungle Rot" comes via the cult rock diggers at Anopheles Records; they definitely got a nack for recommitting weird limited pressings from the psych underground back into the wild. Couldn't think of a more deserving album than Brigman's mongrel blues psych punk tribute to the Groundhogs and other scuzz blues merchants (namely the Stooges and Blue Cheer). Low-fi before lo-fi was a marketing term, this is some seriously demented garage boogie with Brigman's volatile guitar skills at center stage. Absolutely devastating stuff that fans of Comets on Fire, Monoshock and Major Stars should especially dig. FUCKIN' SWEET!

Pumice's "Worldwide Skull" (Audiobot) features various live recordings by Stefan Neville. Think Xpressway, early Chris Knox, solo and slightly pissed (read as drunk) and maybe, Alastair Galbraith. There's a chilling quality in Stefan's songs, often times just him and guitar with some primitive effect on the vocals or whatnot, and the intimacy and ramshackle arrangements are all painfully necessary in conveying a sense of crude wonder and naked honesty. Worth the hunt for any damaged soul.

And finally comes a fantastic split CD between Breathe Stone (should sound almost familiar to some) and The Does via Hand/Eye. This one's been out a while now, but it's still available. Breathe Stone is a Stone Breath alter ego (think plugged in), and The Does (as in female deer!) are a smoking blues/ garage/ noise punk trio that probably has a few Birthday Party and Swans albums on their shelves, but that's not to say the three songs on "Sleep Deprivation Blues" are copycat material. They churn and rock with some tasteful slide guitar, lacerating rhythms, kicked up beats and a heart-throbbing fem vocals pushing everything over the top of the mountain. Breathe Stone's more likely to hang out up there with "Crow Omens," offering a slightly expanded version of their trad folk delirium, including some pretty burly fuzz guitars. Considering the typically more acoustic (but no less psychedelic) approach they're known for, this makes for a swell detour.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Clipped from somewhere:

"A site claiming to be 'the official website for Vincent Gallo,' the controversial filmmaker, is offering Vincent's sperm for sale.

The Internet site, VGMerchandise, has listed the sperm for a whopping $1 million. The website has listed a detailed agreement informing mothers of their options at Vincent's sperm. Gallo will reportedly inseminate them through in vitro fertilization or naturally. The natural route will cost and extra $500 thousand, which he offers to waive if he finds the woman attractive enough.

VGMerchandise also offers a detailed description of the director, saying 'Mr. Gallo is 5 feet 11 inches and has blue eyes. There are no known genetic deformities in his ancestry and no history of congenital diseases. If you have seen 'The Brown Bunny,' you know the potential size of the genitals if it's a boy (eight inches if he's like his father).' His 'essence' is said to 'blend well with a softer, more subtly featured female.'"

My favorite bit: "To be clear, the purchase of Mr. Gallo's sperm does not include the use of the name Gallo. The purchaser must find another surname for the child."

--So, is Vincent Gallo a fuckin idiot or one of the greatest minds of our time? I like some of his movies/music (mainly Buffalo 66), but it appears his true value is measured in his outlandish persona. He hangs out with Paris Hilton and thinks she's a genius. He's a card carrying republican. Punk rock incarnate.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I actually saw Shonen Knife open for Nirvana back in 1993. Very sad news:

RIP DMBQ/Shonen Knife drummer Mana Nishiura

"I'm merely the messenger. Keep her, her bandmates and their families in your thoughts.


It is with a lot of grief and weariness that I announce that tonite's DMBQ and friends show @ Club Exit has been cancelled following a tragic car accident today.

DMBQ's van rolled from I-95 in Delaware en route from Baltimore to Brooklyn this
afternoon. All members of the band have been hospitalized, as well as Michelle Cable from Panache Magazine and booking, who has been managing their tour.

Mana "China" Nishiura did not survive the accident. China was DMBQ's drummer,
as well as the drummer in Shonen Knife. China will be missed.

Michelle Cable is conscious following surgery for a head injury. The other members
of DMBQ are stable but sedated and are expected to recover.

That's all the information I have.

None of the bands tonite nor I felt up to a rock show following the news.

We are tentatively planning to continue with tomorrow's show @ Kingsland Tavern
as a benefit to cover DMBQ's travel and medical expenses. If the bands and I decide we can't go through with the show, I'll send out a cancellation.

Thank you for you support and your understanding."