Saturday, January 27, 2007

Welp...I'm missing a Steven Stapleton DJ set in Austin at End of An Ear today. Bummer! There will be other opportunities. I have the faith (fuck the fear!) I was going to post more best of '06 stuff, like best vinyl and reissues, but fuck that too! '07 awaits.

MV/EE are touring currently with Charalambides. I hope to attend the Austin gig; sorry none is happening in North Texas.


Jan 31 2007 8:00P iron horse northampton, MA
Feb 1 2007 8:00P PA's lounge somerville, MA
Feb 2 2007 8:00P uncle paulie's greenpoint/brooklyn, NY
Feb 3 2007 8:00P first unitarian church chapel philadelphia, PA
Feb 4 2007 8:00P the dust warehouse space charlottesville, VA
Feb 5 2007 8:00P harvest records asheville, NC
Feb 6 2007 8:00P ruby green nashville, TN
Feb 7 2007 8:00P eyedrum atlanta, GA
Feb 8 2007 8:00P bottle tree birmingham, AL
Feb 9 2007 8:00P hi ho lounge new orleans, LA
Feb 10 2007 8:00P rudyard's pub houston, TX
Feb 11 2007 8:00P shawn mcmillen's house austin, TX
Feb 14 2007 8:00P the smell los angeles, CA
Feb 16 2007 8:00P hotel utah san francisco, CA
Feb 17 2007 8:00P the attic santa cruz, CA
Feb 18 2007 8:00P the accident gallery eureka, CA
Feb 20 2007 8:00P reed college chapel portland, OR
Feb 21 2007 8:00P gallery 1412 seattle, WA
Feb 27 2007 8:00P the hall mall iowa city, IA
Feb 28 2007 8:00P empty bottle chicago, IL
Mar 1 2007 8:00P the mecca lexington, KY
Mar 2 2007 8:00P museum of contemporary art cleveland, OH
Mar 3 2007 8:00P the music gallery toronto, ON
Mar 4 2007 8:00P la sala rossa montreal, QC
Mar 11 2007 8:00P sundazed @ BAR new haven, CT

And here's a review of Mother of Thousands I wrote a few months ago that never got published anywhere:

MV & EE with The Bummer Road Mother of Thousands (Time-Lag) 2LP

When I asked Erika Elder if The Bummer Road was a full fledged psychedelic jug band (sans the jug) compared to the more minimal flavor of her duo recordings with Matt Valentine, her response was simple: “It’s just the big band.” Indeed it is. Flip open the gorgeous gatefold double album package, and there are six white washed faces greeting hazy afternoon sunlight: Mo’ Jiggs, Nemo Bidstrup, Samara Lubelski, Sparrow Wildchild, Tim Barnes, the ubiquitous Valentine, Elder and four legged Zuma, all vital participants on this transcendental music farm. “Mother of Thousands” is the grand statement from these cosmic folk/blues troubadours, and it’s undoubtedly one of the most memorable psychedelic albums of 2006.

First off, the cover image is a kind of sun-kissed twist on the iconic “American Gothic” painting. Matt and Erika are closer to American Bliss in this portrait. They are living in the dream, at least in the moment captured. Of course, images tend to come with their own exaggerated meanings. Maybe it’s a random off-screen rustle that has Elder distracted while Valentine looks directly into the camera; maybe it’s intentional. Either way the image conveys what I believe is at the heart of MV & EE and The Bummer Road—a willingness to look directly into the eye of the perceiver and look away too. Familiar folk melodies and old blues riffs manifest in this aural soup, but there is just as much distraction and dissonance too. A great deal of chance is left between the notes. At times The Bummer Road’s off-kilter melodies are so buried in droning reverb and shifting instrumental chaos that the listener could get confused or lost in the murk. Mo Jiggs’ harmonica is heard as haunted squawks and groaning trills. Guitars are obliquely plucked and shook to reveal new alien overtones, but through it all there remains ever the faintest murmur of something traditional.

Gentle folk pop spirals like “Cold Rain” and “Sunshine Girl” are among the most accessible things to bear the MV/EE stamp to date, joyful slices of psych roots bliss that hearken back to golden moments by such exploratory blues psych hall-of-famers as The Grateful Dead and Canned Heat. Anyone ever notice how much Valentine sounds like Al Wilson these days? To bring home the point, one song is called “Canned Heat Blues.” But it must be said the Bummer Road goes further and deeper than any of their ancestors ever dared (but Sun-Ra of course). Some might even say they go too far. There are more than a few moments that lend credence to the suggestion, but then whoever said that psychedelia was just about sunbeams and pretty flowers?

As if the first disc of song based numbers wasn’t enough, the second disc explores vividly the group’s proclivity for more epic meditative journeys and imploded free jazz arrangements. “Meditations on Payday” is a workout of the immortal John Hurt classic that glides on the ether for a good 15 minutes with Jiggs’ harmonica and Valentine’s acid guitar dancing over a shifting bed of percussive clatter and wind-instrumental whoosh. The sidelong closer, “Death Don’t have No Mercy” (another cover, this time by Reverend Gary Davis), is broken apart to the most abstract fundamentals before voice and piano slowly come to the fore, and then an abrupt shift to harsher swamp-land noise worthy of Throbbing Gristle before another transition leads to the fade.

I recently saw someone refer to “Mother of Thousands” as the rightful descendant of Royal Trux’s immortal skronk blues epic “Twin Infinitives,” and at the time I didn’t really hear it. “Twin Infinitives” is a howling crawl through the most damaged post industrial void, but it’s also alive with detail and vivid vitality every second of the way. “Mother of Thousands” is a mellower, more blissful glide, but it emanates its own dark menace. Death crawls through this microtonal universe with no mercy, but then so does life. It’s a little broken down, but it’s nothing that isn’t entirely indicative of what it is to feel hope, love, pain, fear and the whole mess of living this life.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Top Limited CD-Rs of 06

20. The Friday Group Wet Fur CD-R (Wholly Other/Twilight Flight Sound)
19. The Kitchen Cynics Hoodie Craw CD-R (self released)
18. The Floating World River of Flowers CD-R (Foxglove/Digitalis)
17. Amon Düde Amon Düde (Ikuisuus)
16. The Dead Notes The Dead Notes CD-R (Kindling)
15. Raglani Man Myth Magic (Pegasus Farms Records)
14. Heavy Winged Echoes of Silence CD-R (Deep Water)
13. Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice Town on the Edge of Darkness (Freaks End Future)
12. The North Sea Summer Decays Into October's Alchemy (Foxglove)
11. John Henry Calvinist King Solomon Hill (Foxglove)
10. GHQ La Poesia Visiva (Heavy Blossom)
9. The Golden Oaks Paradise CD-R (Barl Fire)
8. The Clear Spots Mansion in the Sky CD-R (Deep Water)
7. Tom Carter Sun Swallower (Wholly Other)
6. Jazzfinger Winter's Shadow Between Two Worlds CD-R (Curor)
5. Charalambides Strangle the Wretched Heavens CD-R (Wholly Other)
4. Agitated Radio Pilot Your Turn to Go It Alone 2x3" CD-R (Rusty Rail)
3. Valerio Cosi The Thee Faces of Moongod (Ruralfaune)
2. Adam Bujag Wave of Tears (Deep Water)
1. Pefkin Pingle Pangle (Pseudoarcana)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

(better late than never???)

26 in '06


26. Oakley Hall Gypsum Strings (Brah/Jagjaguwar)
25. Six Organs of Admittance The Sun Awakens (Drag City)
24. Anton Barbeau In the Village of the Apple Sun (Four-Way)
23. Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood Goodbye (Digitalis)
22. Om Conference of the Birds (Holy Mountain)
21. Alastair Galbraith/Alex Neilson/Richard Youngs Bellsayer Time (Time-Lag)
20. Circle Miljard (Ektro)
19. Bardo Pond Sublimation (Three Lobed)
18. The Spires That in the Sunset Rise This Is Fire (Secret Eye)
17. Wooden Wand and the Skyhigh Band Second Attention (Kill Rock Stars)
16. Fern Knight Music For Witches and Alchemists (VHF)
15. Camera Obscura Let's Get Out of This Country (Merge)
14. The Akron/Family Meek Warrior (Young God)
13. Flying Canyon Flying Canyon (Soft Abuse)
12. Charalambides A Vintage Burden (Kranky)
11. Nether Dawn Outer Dark (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon)
10. Mike Tamburo and His Orchestra The Ghosts of Marumbey (Music Fellowship/New American Folk Hero)
9. Aethenor Deep Ocean Sunk the Lamp of Light (VHF)
8. Warmer Milks Radish on Light (Troubleman)
7. James Blackshaw O True Believers (Important)
6. MV/EE & The Bummer Road Mother of Thousands (Time-Lag)
5. Sunno)))/Boris Altar (Southern Lord)
4. Ashtray Navigations Four More Raga Moods (Ikuisuus)
3. Daniel Higgs Ancestral Songs (Holy Mountain)
2. Volcano the Bear Classic Erasmus Fusion (Beta-Lactam)
1. United Bible Studies The Shore Fears the Sea (Deserted Village)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"The difference between a great writer and a minor one is fundamentally this: that the minor writer always has answers -- glib answers, slick answers, memorably-worded answers, resounding and pretentious answers. The great writer dares to stand before you naked, armed only with the questions."

Robert Anton Wilson

1932 - 2007
And then there was this:

Dream Magazine
number 7 features a wonderful archival interview with the late great Ivor Cutler conducted by John Cavanagh (Phosphene/BBC), Mats Gustafsson talked to Lanterns and Antony Milton of PseudoArcana. Steve Sawada interviewed the legendary Linda Perhacs, Lee Jackson wrote about and chatted with Josephine Foster, Ned Raggett covered Yellow6, I interviewed Henry Flynt, Larkin Grimm, Turkish band Ayyuka, Loren Connors, Mayo Thompson of Red Krayola, Bert Jansch, Absalom, P.G. Six, Function, The Left Outsides, The Moon Upstairs, Sharron Kraus, St. Mary’s, Tor Lundvall, Powell St. John (songwriter for 13th Floor Elevators, Mother Earth, Janis Joplin, etc.) , Mark Brend of Fariña, and Frans de Waard and Freek Kinkelaar of Beequeen.

The complimentary CD features previously unreleased music by: Function, Lumeny, Tor Lundvall, Adrian Crowley, Crashing Dreams, Mike Tamburo, Keenan Lawler, Sharron Kraus, the Kitchen Cynics, the Left Outsides, Yellow6, Fariña, the Moon Upstairs, St. Mary’s, Freiband, and Absalom.

96 pages $8 cover price, $10 postpaid in the U.S.

George Parsons
Dream Magazine
P.O. Box 2027
Nevada City, CA

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I Saw Jucifer the other night. It felt as if I was sexually assaulted. It was good. I asked the modified 5-string guitar player/singer if she'd ever heard Boris. She'd only heard a few songs. Jucifer makes me think of a 2 person garage punk answer to Boris, hence the question. The drummer kills--this is true--but the best part was when the cute gal was grinding out some sorta crazy nowave/punk riff and the drummer guy was just sorta rollin' around on the floor as the gal started to almost make out with the huge bank of amps that surrounded her in a half circle, and at one point her hair was electrified and floating around her skull, and yeah that seemed to sum up their set well. A friend got some snapshots and a video clip or two, so maybe I'll add those in here later.

Oh yeah, special honorable mention to opening Houston death doom sludge rockers BOWEL--they lived up to their name. After they were finished I walked up to the singer/guitarist and hugged his bald head and whisper-growled "fucking wretched" in his right ear before kissing him passionately. Their t-shirt said "FUCKED IN THE FACE BY THE DEVIL" in fat weed green letters. Funny.

A few announcements to make. The Foxy Digitalis Digi-fest, Bottled Smoke, happens in LA in about five months.

Digitalis 'Bottled Smoke' Festival - Lineup Announced

since grant capes and i have been working our asses off this week getting a basically-final list of performers for the festival together, i felt it was time to announce it. scheduling is still being done, though grant has basically got it finished (everyone give him mad props. heh!). so without further adieu, i present to you the list of bands that will be making this festival the event of the year (ahem):

tarentel, the north sea (first ever live appearance), brothers of the occult sisterhood, (VxPxC), heavy winged, ghosting, xela (first ever US appearance), valet, dan brown (from hall of fame), gregg kowalsky, the alps, terracid (first ever live appearance), robedoor, ilyas ahmed, white rainbow, alligator crystal moth, fathmount (first ever US appearance), thousands, antique bros, mike tamburo (w/ matt mcdowell), goliath bird eater, ajilvsga (first ever live appearance), new fairfield parks & recreation (first ever US appearance), pocahaunted, & the holy see

a few late additions/changes to the line-up may occur, but this is the bulk of it (and seriously, do you NEED more than that?). also, we'll have the most insane merch-area you've ever seen, including a table full of endless goodies from ed hardy/eclipse. still not enough? the festival also coincides with the opening of the bottling smoke exhibit which will feature artwork, interviews, and all sorts of random pieces and artifacts from the world of CDR labels.

the majority of all this will take place the fabulous echo curio in LOS ANGELES may 25th-27th, except for the saturday night show at mr. t's. everything at echo curio is FREE to the public. yes, you can see 20 or so bands for fucken FREE. because we love you.

you can support our efforts by subscribing to the bottled smoke CDR series.

more news as it becomes available..


Your Womb-master expressed some thoughts on records in '06 along with some other fine folks (Mats Gustaffson, Kevin Moist and Camera Obscura head honcho Tony Dale) over at Deep Water Acres in an article called Nailing Smoke to the Wall. So check it if interested. It's a two parter, so read em both! I promise I will post a few lists of my favorite 06 things here in a day or two. Sorry for the delays, folks. Hey man, Steven Stapleton is apparently coming to Texas! Truly odd.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year, YOU. Let's all--that is you and I--do our part in getting some things right in '07, mmkay? After all, TIME MAGAZINE chose YOU as person of the year in '06. So it's all up to YOU and maybe me to LET LOVE RULE as Lenny Kravitz would say. Seriously. Let it.

Right on... So I haven't seen a lot of the big Oscar contender movies this year. Ya know, the "the..." movies: The Departed, The Illusionist, The Fountain, The Good Sheppard The Scarlet's Web--lame I know. I'll see what I can do about that in the coming days. Did like Jackass #2, for what it's worth.

I'm most anticipating lately Pan's Labyrinth, a dark fairytale that should be one of the more unique things to come down the old celluloid shoot in some time. Director Guillermo Del Toro really impressed a few years back with his somewhat similar The Devil's Backbone.

Otherwise, as amazing and memorable and disturbing and all else it was, I'm just glad 2006 is over. Glad I made if through in one piece. Foxy Digitalis is back in full-swingin' mode and lookin' great. Totally dig that new layout, peeps! There's even some rumbles on the ether 'bout a big ol' festival (or two) happening somewhere soon. Should be just swell.

Also got some fresh material and an updated look happening over at Deep Water Acres. And I finally got together another Bones from the Garden column which might be of interest to a few. There are some more goodies in the pipeline too, including what should be a broadly canvassed '06 wrap-up that might inspire more than a few early '07 impulse buys.

What else? Not sure if I saw one live show in the month of December (Psychic Paramount maybe?), but there's much goodness heading here soon, including JESU and Nordic Viking Metal Gods, ENSLAVED! Can you imagine my fat hippie ass at a black metal show? Prog black metal...whatever. But in all seriousness, I'm very intimidating these days. Thank you to all my friends near and far who made '06 a little bit more tolerable and a lot more memorable. Peace and love to you all.