Sunday, July 31, 2005

Knitted Brows

After, what, 20 years - the Knitters are putting out a new album and are touring again. They play the Birchmere here in DC where Henry Rollins also has an upcoming gig. The hippy dinner theater joint is coming up in the world.

Here's some spiel from Chic-Trib:

"Someone pointed out to me the other day that this is our sophomore effort," said Doe, referring to the album. "It's pretty hilarious at this point in our careers to think that anything we could be involved in would have the word 'sophomore' attached to it."

On "The Modern Sounds of the Knitters," Doe once again countrifies a handful of X songs ("Skin Deep Town," "Burning House of Love," "In This House That I Call Home," "The New Call of the Wrecking Ball"). Also included are several traditional songs ("Give Me Flowers While I'm Living," "Little Margaret") and the Stanley Brothers' "Rank Stranger"; a gutsy version of "Born to Be Wild" is more a lesson in X than a transformation to country music.

The Knitters, like many of their compatriots in the Los Angeles music scene (Lucinda Williams, Rosie Flores, Dwight Yoakam), were weaned on the gritty music of America's roadhouses -- country, blues, soul, rockabilly -- which figured significantly into their songs. Nonetheless, for a bunch of punk rockers to embrace and play country music in 1985 was revolutionary.

"We simply loved the music," Doe said in a phone interview from San Francisco the day after the tour's opening night. "I think there are huge similarities between country music and punk rock. The rhythm is similar; the brutal honesty is similar; the fact that it's for and by the people is similar."

In '80s Los Angeles, the Knitters (the name is a pun on Pete Seeger's folk group, the Weavers) were not working in a vacuum, and Doe says X fans seemed to be "pretty hip to the whole idea." The movement known as cowpunk was under way with hard-charging, country-influenced bands such as Rank and File, Blood on the Saddle and Tex and the Horseheads. These young musicians, weaned on punk rock, became fans of country music, the Bakersfield variety, the stamping ground of artists such as Merle Haggard and Buck Owens.

For their part, Doe said he and Cervenka had been listening to a lot of Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. The Knitters allowed Doe to play acoustic guitar on "slow, sad songs."

"There was a time when old country music was just pervasive; you couldn't escape it, and you couldn't help but be influenced by it," said Doe. "In the early '80s, you could still find good old George Jones records in thrift stores. With their straightforward, truthful lyrics, those old records really hit home."

Palimpsest Festival Website

Palimpsest Festival has a buncha MP3s up of the freak folk artists that will be featured August 13th in a Cambridge church.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Keats Rides a Harley Track Listing

Here's the track listing from the Warning Label Records website (where you can buy the CD direct). You Can also buy from Happy Squid and Forced Exposure (see previous post):

Originally released in 1981, this classic Southern California compilation features some of the top punk and post-punk bands of their generation. Added to this reissue are tracks from each artist recorded at the original sessions plus the rare five track Happy Squid Sampler, released in 1980. Twenty-three killer tunes in all.

Track listing:

01) A MARTYR IS MADE - Earwigs
02) SENSATIONALISM - Toxic Shock
05) H-ELENORE - Meat Puppets
06) VIRGINIA CITY - Leaving Trains
07) IS THIS A RESTART? - Tunneltones
08) HYPNOTICA - Human Hands
09) SALMONELLA - 100 Flowers
10) FREEDOM - Earwigs
11) FAT - Toxic Shock
12) VIRGINS - S Squad
14) THE LOSING END - Meat Puppets
15) CIGARETTE MOTEL - Leaving Trains
16) HAPPYLAND - Tunneltones
17) JIMMY LOOP - Human Hands
18) SENSIBLE VIRGINS - 100 Flowers
19) U – Urinals
20) MY MELODY - Danny and the Doorknobs
21) GET DOWN, PART 4 - Arrow Book Club
22) LAURIE’S LAMENT – Vidiots

This Weeks Inneresting Releases (Forced Exposure)

Some interesting new stuff and some great reissues - Keats Rides a Harley is definitely recommended for early 80's punk/indie fans and the fact that there is some new material on it is very intriguing! Byron Coley has a piece in the new Wire so I'll be most likely getting that sooner or later. I'll probably skip the Jandek CD but his covers are always interesting (my guess is that is him) and I'd love to get the 2nd Barrett album reissue but would like to hear some samples from Thuja and the new Resonant release before plucking down $17 a piece.

COR 0780

JANDEK: Raining Down Diamonds CD (COR 0780) 7.00
42nd Jandek album, 3rd new release of 2005. Like some sort of spirit photography, the cover photo features the ghostly image of a bearded man wearing a startling piece of haberdashery. Perhaps some sort of prayer cap? The darker side of Jandek, with deep, rumbling bass and despairing vocals, i.e. "Jesus take my will/take mine and make it yours."

EMI 28906CD

BARRETT, SYD: The Madcap Laughs CD (EMI 28906CD) 16.00
UK version (with bonus tracks not found on the domestic US version), of the first Syd Barrett solo album. Originally released on Harvest in January 1970. "During February 1968, Dave Gilmour had been drafted into The Pink Floyd and for a brief time they existed as a 5-piece. Soon, however, rumours circulated that Syd Barrett would be taking on a 'Brian Wilson' role, writing and recording material 'behind the scenes.' But by April it was clear that he had been ousted completely. Within a month of his axing, Barrett was back in Abbey Road. With his manager Pete Jenner as producer, Barrett began his solo career. Blending angular, riveting guitar-work and jaunty improvisation with more fragile and enchanting pieces, Barrett composed in a suitably elegiac fashion. Later in the recording process, Gilmour and Roger Waters would aid in co-production, shepherding Barrett through many takes and re-takes of what finally gelled as his most skilled and coherent solo record. Includes six bonus tracks including 'Octopus (Takes 1&2)', 'It's No Good Trying (Take 5)', 'Love You (Take 1)', 'Love You (Take 3)', 'She Took A Long Cold Look At Me (Take 4)', Golden Hair (Take 5)'

EMI 28907CD

BARRETT, SYD: Barrett CD (EMI 28907CD) 16.00
UK version (with bonus tracks not found on the domestic US version), of the 2nd Syd Barrett solo album. Originally released in November 1970 on Harvest. Barrett was the second and final studio album of new material released by former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett. "Shortly after releasing his first album, The Madcap Laughs, Barrett appeared on John Peel's Top Gear radio show where he presented only one song from the newly released album. Two days later, he began working on his second album in the Abbey Road Studios, this time with Pink Floyd members David Gilmour and Rick Wright as producers and musicians. The main aim for the Barrett sessions was to give Syd the structure and focus many felt was missing during the long and unwieldly sessions for The Madcap Laughs. Thus, the sessions were more efficiently run -- with much unreleased material recorded -- and the album was finished in far less time than it took to complete The Madcap Laughs. In addition, with the unpredictability and at times despairing nature of Madcap greatly decreased, the rigid format of the new sessions ended up giving Barrett a less inventive flavor, as a result. Nonetheless, Barrett does indeed have some memorable songs, least of all 'Baby Lemonade,' 'Dominoes' and 'Gigolo Aunt,' all of which are as well known to Barrett fans as 'See Emily Play' and 'Astronomy Domine.' Although not generally as highly regarded as The Madcap Laughs, Barrett -- of which, the cover was painted by Syd himself -- is still a much-prized recording from its maker. Includes seven bonus tracks including: 'Baby Lemonade (Take 1),' 'Waving My Arms In The Air (Take 1),' 'I Never Lied To You (Take 1),' 'Love Song (Take 1),' 'Dominoes (Take 1),' 'Dominoes (Take 2),' 'It Is Obvious (Take 2).'"


BLINDFOLD: Blindfold CD (RES 013CD) 17.00
"Yet another stunning debut album on Resonant, building on their success in 2004 (with Stafraenn Hakon, who plays on this album, and others) with arguably their strongest release schedule in the five years since the label was conceived. Blindfold is the alias of Biggi from Ampop, and is the latest in a long line of Icelandic artists to record for Resonant; however, while retaining the atmospherics and serenity of the output of many of his fellow countrymen, this eponymous collection has little in common musically with his compatriots. In fact, Blindfold is rather difficult to classify; ultimately, this is very accessible melancholic electronic pop with an acoustic element -- melodic but backed with sparse, emotive, organic, textured arrangements, coming across on the whole as understated, warm and earnest. Direct comparisons are therefore hard to draw, with only maybe Piano Magic (circa Artist's Rifles) and Tarwater springing to mind, and with the two achingly fragile vocal numbers that segment the album reminiscent of Maximillian Hecker."

SAAH 032/33CD

THUJA: Pine Cone Temples 2CD (SAAH 032/33CD) 17.00
"Much has been said about The Jewelled Antler Collective, the fertile womb from which Thuja emits its primordial ooze, and of Thuja itself. A loose-knit assembly of like-minded sound ecologists who study the connections between their immediate environment and the music created by its players, Jewelled Antler claims a multitude of music makers in its orbit -- Blithe Sons, Skygreen Leopards, Franciscan Hobbies being just a mere cross-section. Thuja, however, remains one of the earliest and best-known incarnations. Steven R. Smith, Glenn Donaldson, Loren Chase, and Rob Reger coalesce interests in field recordings, found sound, experimentalism, folk and psychedelic rock (among others) to weave seriously detailed and immense journeys into pure sound. By incorporating real-time recordings of natural sounds from their particular surroundings, the four members of Thuja play off each other and the space they inhabit with impeccable instinct, succeeding in creating eerie yet strikingly melodic compositions. The end result is a total immersion of the senses, for both the player and the listener. Across the grand expanse of Pine Cone Temple's two discs, implements such as piano, guitars, percussion, and well-placed contact mics are blended like pigments to conjure the subtlest of sonics, pulling every lost drop of their immediate universe into floating and buzzing cinematics. Minimalist hues are brush-stroked into being and slowly unfurl into the atmosphere. Improvised clouds of sound softly erupt to form compositions of such immense and precise detail, it would seem the music was written out rather than spontaneously developed. Such is the magic of Thuja and their uncanny ability to sculpt microscopic psychedelia from their immediate environment and collective consciousness."

WIRE 258

WIRE, THE: #258 August 2005 MAG (WIRE 258) 8.00
On the cover: Mayo Thompson (The Red Krayola: Since 1967, this Texan guitarist has been pulverising the art and language of rock). Features: Marissa Nadler (The Boston artist and singer owes more to American Gothic than free folk's drifts); Ikuro Takahashi (The ex-Fushitsusha drummer on his switch to rape alarms and mechanical toys); The Skaters (Karaoke machines were never intended for the vocal experiments this Frisco duo put them through); Carla Bozulich's Invisible Jukebox; Musique Actuelle (Byron Coley reports from the Victoriaville Festival); Once upon a time in Brixton: (The first in a new series revisiting significant musical sites: the story of London's Cold Storage studio); Pierre Schaeffer (Goran Vejvoda and Rob Young reappraise the life and work of France's founding father of musique concrète).


VA: Keats Rides a Harley CD (WLR 004CD) 13.00
"Featuring some of the leading early '80s American punk and post-punk bands, Keats Rides a Harley came into existence in 1981 with a clear reason: to document the nascent scene in Southern California that had been neglected up to that point. Assembled under the artistic direction of 100 Flowers (aka Urinals) and producer Vitus Matare (The Last), the original nine cuts display a unique cohesion that demonstrate there was more to punk at the time than hardcore. For the reissue, the nine original tracks have been remastered and augmented by one vintage additional song each by the participating artists. It's twice as much Keats as the world has ever heard before, with most of the tracks surfacing for the first time on this CD." Artists: Earwigs, Toxic Shock, S Squad, Gun Club, Meat Puppets, The Leaving Trains, Tunneltones, Human Hands, 100 Flowers, Danny and the Doorknobs, Arrow Book Club, Vidiots, and Phil Bedel

Steve Hanna on Beck's Live Show

Hanna in Now Playing Magazine believes that Beck's strange on-stage dancer helps warmify the singers otherwise chilly stand-offishness:

...standing beside him on the stage at the small Hollywood club 1650 was Ryan Faulkner, a jumpsuited dancer doing karate kicks and sweating like a Houston highway worker, his eyes invisible behind shades straight out of That ’70s Show’s wardrobe closets and his shaggily-scrawny demeanor not entirely distinguishable from what the uninitiated might well expect of Beck himself. The herky-jerky white-boy dance moves were a thing of beauty – watching Faulkner do the Robot during a frenetic “Black Tambourine” was like seeing Olivier in Henry V, or at least like witnessing Takeru Kobayashi down a pile of frankfurters – but the overwhelming impression was that you were seeing Beck’s doppelganger, an actualization of the id-driven, purple-pants-sporting cut-and-paster who made “Nicotine and Gravy” sound like the perfect pair of things to be thinking about as you made out with a stranger in the back of a smoky club. Faulkner didn’t do anything but dance that night, and yet he was the linchpin of the slightly under-rehearsed band. His antics even prompted a chuckle or two from Beck himself, a guy you kind of never expected to see grinning in your whole life.

By the tour’s closing night months later at the Gibson Amphitheater, the dancer’s role in the show had expanded. Sure, he still busted out some pretty fresh moves, clad this time in knee socks and unflatteringly-cut ’70s shorts, but Faulkner now played occasional excellent percussion and also changed into a waiter’s costume to bring out the full meal the rest of the band dined on at a stage left table during Beck’s lengthy solo acoustic set.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Latest Black Eyed Pee Outrage

Now they're shilling for Hummer...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Wierd instruments

I stumbled across this site about a guy who makes instruments from odd items...

Nice little interview with Smog

His topics have also tended to stay in the claustrophobic indoors -- often in his head -- where he can be found lying awake at night "getting off on the pornography of my past, lighting matches and dropping them into a wet glass." But on River he's discovered the space surrounding the room. Something has changed.

"It's a bunch of things," Callahan explains over the phone from Austin, where he lives. "I don't know if I can even touch on all of them. But it's possibly because I got a new classical guitar."

In the past Callahan never considered himself much of a guitar player -- "No one ever came up to me and said, 'Wow, I love your guitar playing,'" he admits. But his new instrument pushed him in an unknown direction. "The neck is so wide that it's almost like a piano. It made me think about every note instead of chords. Physically I feel different when I'm playing guitar now. It takes thinking about it more."

You can hear this shift in "The Well," which moves like a tumbleweed, with guitar, bass, drum and harmonica; it could be a lost Townes Van Zandt song. Still, it was only partly because of this guitar acquisition that River -- which was recorded at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studio in Austin -- arrives after the longest break of Smog's career.

"I think I had a little of what they call writer's block," explains Callahan of the two-year absence. "That was sort of combined with wondering whether I should keep making records or not at all. I wanted this record to be a really good one. So I took my time with it until it was right."

read the rest here

More Reasons the 90's Sucked

2340. It's Rhino box set sucks

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Fresh Prince's Wife Just Wants To Rock

New metal vs. nu metal: Jada Pinkett Smith, derided in certain circles as a headbanger arriviste, Sunday at Nissan Pavilion.
New metal vs. nu metal: Jada Pinkett Smith, derided in certain circles as a headbanger arriviste, Sunday at Nissan Pavilion. (By Susan Biddle -- The Washington Post)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Steve Albini's tribute to Michael Dahlquist

While I was on "vacation" (now in detox) last week to San Andreas, Michael Dahlquist of the band Silkworm was tragically murdered. Steve Albini, his good friend and recordist, wrote a letter about his pal to a local Chicago newspaper:

Link via CSTB where Gerard also talks about the band and Dahlquist.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

We Are Living in A Global Village Department

Neil Gaiman noticed all the hits from the Phillipines on his blog and set up a book signing on Manilla. By all accounts it was a huge success with what sounds like a bigger crowd than the anti-government demonstrations going on down the road and now he's reading up on Filipino mythology and talking about doing a story set in the country.

This Weeks Interesting Releases

Can't say I'll buy 'em all but here's the latest from Forced Exposure - click on the album to go direct to the store (and I get no compensation or anything for the links). At the end are some releases from Aquarius, Darla
and InSound that I'd like to hear.


FURSAXA: Lepidoptera CD (ATPR 013CD) 14.50
This is the fourth full-length release from West Philly-based solo artist Tara Burke aka Fursaxa. Boasting a fan base with the likes of Bardo Pond, Acid Mothers Temple and Thurston Moore who released a record by her on his Ecstatic Peace! imprint two years ago, Fursaxa is a new signing to ATP Recordings. A previous member of the band UN, Burke is now one of the epicentres and key collaborators of the North American free-folk movement, along with such luminaries as Jack Rose, Charalambides, Ben Chasny and the Jewelled Antler Collective. With her hypnotic, echo-y churchbell chanting, Burke possesses a power-filled vocal sound that harkens back not only to those other polar queens of disaffected freakout psychedelia Nico and Barbara Manning, but she is also akin to and inspired by Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th-century Benedictine mystical abbess. With the low drone of chord organ and farfisa, detuned ringing guitar, and endlessly looped, multiply-tracked vocals applied with heaps of delay, Fursaxa sounds like a tripped-out medievalist perched upon a poppy petal. Burke has an alchemical knack for turning folk into lo-fi, and then into sheer psych and back again, but more importantly, her music is pure humming narcosis.


VA: Can't Stop It! (Australian Post-Punk 1978-82) CD (CHAPTER 037CD) 17.00
A repress of a 2001 Chapter Music release. "A long overdue compilation of Australia's incredible post-punk history, featuring the finest selection of bands from the period 1978-82, with many previously-unreleased tracks. This is a fantastically inventive and dynamic time in Australian music history, a time when Australia stepped out of the shadow of overseas influence and asserted its own musical identity for the first time. All of the bands on Can't Stop It! released their music independently, either themselves or through the handful of visionary labels of the time such as Au-go-go, M Squared, Missing Link or Innocent Records. Unfortunately much of the music has since been ignored or forgotten ... until now. Restock/repress of this incredibly well done, in-depth and legit comp (which has since received a full-page write up in the Wire) of the elusive Australian scene. Features The Moodists, Voigt 465, The Take, Essendon Airport, The Apartments, Ash Wednesday, Primitive Calculators, Makers Of The Dead Travel Fast, Ron Rude, Xero, The Limp, Fabulous Marquises, The Slugfuckers, Equal Local, Tame Omearas, The Particles, People With Chairs Up Their Noses, Wild West, The Pits and Tch Tch Tch."

CCT 3004EP

SLITS, THE: Man Next Door 12" (CCT 3004EP) 8.00
"The Slits, with borrowed equipment and knowledge of two, maybe three chords, were a reality? and made some crude commercial recordings for Island Records and CBS, as well as recording a couple of John Peel's BBC radio sessions. Special moments were guaranteed and true when they worked with veteran reggae producer Dennis Bovell, setting the stage for a future generation of riot girrrls and the remarkable sound of punky reggae. The re-release (original on Human Records) on Collision came out exactly in that period and featured John Holt's famous reggae composition 'Man Next Door' on A-side, as well as the great Slits composition 'In The Beginning.' The B-Side includes the splendid and very rare full length 12" version 'Animal Space.'"


SOUNDTRACKS, EPIC: Good Things CD (DBK 113CD) 16.00
"Co-founder of British post-punkers the Swell Maps, Epic Soundtracks reinvented himself as an eccentric, critically- acclaimed piano balladeer during the '90s with his first-ever solo album, Rise Above. Featuring guest appearances from admirers like Lee Ranaldo, Kim Gordon, and J Mascis, the album was a warm, gentle exercise in traditional-style pop that placed Soundtracks and his piano firmly at center stage. Two more acclaimed albums followed. On November 22, 1997, Soundtracks was found dead in his London flat. Good Things is Epic's final album, recorded just before he passed away and issued now for the first time."

DC 298CD

BONNY/SWEENEY: I Gave You CD (DC 298CD) 5.50
Bonnie "Price" Billy and Matt Sweeney. "This dandy enhanced-CD, featuring the song 'I Gave You' from this year's fantastic Superwolf album plus a video for the song directed by Mike Piscitelli, is just one more example of how far Bonny and Sweeney will go for their fans. Full of mystery, intrigue, hand wringing and furrowed brows. Two non-album tracks, 'Four Screams' and 'Birch Ballad,' round out the trio of songs on the single."

Aquarius new arrivals

album cover KISS THE ANUS OF A BLACK CAT If The Sky Falls, We Shall Catch Larks ((K-RAA-K)) cd 17.98
How can you resist a band name like Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat? And with a name like that, what can one possibly expect musically? Well, surprisingly the music here manages to conjure up the same sort of dark confusional forboding that the name hints at. Forbidden? Taboo? Some sort of alchemical majick? Some sort of witchy incantation? Why else would, well you know. On If The Sky Falls, We Shall Catch Larks, KTAOABC, the project of a young Belgian musician and instrument builder named Stef Heeren, unfurls a gorgeously dark, mesmerizing chunk of minimal, melodic, brooding, lilting and lovely doom folk. Harrowing and brooding, falling somewhere between the apocalyptic ur-folk of Current 93, the rickety, swampy biblical dirge of Woven Hand, the brooding acoustic bombast of later Swans, seventies pagan psych-folk (Comus, Incredible String Band, etc.) and even some of the strident prostletyzing of New Model Army. Very spare in its instrumentation and structure, aggressively strummed acoustic guitars underpinning ultra dramatic and slightly venomous vocals, occasional bells and strings and piano, subtle cooing background vocals, all very repetitive and hypnotic, churning in a thick fog of emotional turmoil and spiritual unease. Dark and droning, intense and intensely fervent, slipping from loose slithery balladeering to fiery and impassioned swells of soul-laid-bare sermonizing. Really quite amazing. Fans of C93, Nick Cave, Death In June, Comus, Swans, Der Blutharsch, Richard Youngs, Woven Hand and 16HP will certainly swoon, but this should definitely appeal to fans of all things emotional and dark, folky and forboding. Beautifully packaged in a minimally screenprinted fold over cardboard sleeve.
MPEG Stream: "Nihil, As In Nihilism"
MPEG Stream: "Almost, Silver"


The Dying Californian


Restock. Not Post-Rock. Not Now-Wave. Not New York. West Coast country tinged indie rockers The Dying Californian's new album is a must have for fans of Neil Young, late night drinking with friends, Neutral Milk Hotel, long drives, early REM and your local neighborhood dive bar. Their story starts in Santa Cruz sometime around 1994 when the same four musicians that make up The Dying Californian played electric live shows as the chaotic hardcore band Nuzzle. As such they released albums on indie labels Troubleman and Zum and toured the nation. But these artists, Nate Dalton, Andrew Dalton, Ricardo Reano and Simon Fabela, four musicians who have stuck by each other for so long, found their taste in music evolving and soon their hardcore roots grew into a more melodic passionate songwriting style. In 2001 the change in their music had become so noticeable that they changed the name of their band to The Dying Californian and embraced the changes completely. Still today 10 years creating music together, the four have not lost any of the live intensity of their younger days, it's just channeled differently. Their journey is more like a marathon than a sprint. Fueled by the voices that come late at night , a few drinks in and most likely a few more to go, their new full length album, recorded in San Francisco, is a blend of Indie Rock, Americana, tinged with the Blues and some Country. This is their 2nd release for Turn Records, their self titled e.p. was released in July of 2002. press: "Such a perfect combination of lonely country and carefree pop..." Sincere Brutality "Ragged, affecting tunes for late night whiskey drinking." - Shredding Paper "Their intimate style may draw comparisons to the more introspective end of The Elephant Six posse, but The Dying Californian are in a league of thier own..." -

From Insound:

THE HEAVENLY STATES 'Black Comet' (Baria)

Black Comet is grainy, orchestral rock ranging from the classicism of Neil Young, Van Morrison and VU on tracks "Look and Listen" and "Pretty Life," to the fighting side of folk with title track "Black Comet," to the southern gothic of "Elastic Days" and even to lullabies and waltzes with tinges of Palestrina, Deep Purple and Bruce Springsteen. Sound impossible? It is - and they do it.

talking about my re-degeneration

Claude Willan has his Andrew McCarthey's St. Elmo's Fire moment with a front page (opinion section) Sunday op-ed piece on Borf, the graffiti artist arrested last week, and what "it all means" for his generation which is either a generation about nothing or culture jammers. Frankly, I have no idea what the fuck his point is but since we like how Borf angered so many cranky old urban professionals in this town we're gonna provide the link.

We're All Borf in the End

What's funny is that this hailing of "American youth" displays a paradoxical lack of awareness of our generation even as it tries to pin us down. There's no such thing as "American youth" -- or British youth, come to that, these days. That's exactly what we're not -- a body, a set.
And this lame summation:

Saying that his goal was to "show the public how to fight a dishonest media" one Blissett claimed: "We are a collective ghost -- a myth which finds reality in those who take part." Frankly, this makes me run for cover -- it's glib, and its heady intellectual detachment is about the least appealing mask a movement can wear. I far prefer the end of the Adbusters manifesto: "At the simplest level we are a growing band of people who have given up on the American Dream." Until we can find our own vision to aspire to, maybe Borf and Andre the Giant are all we have.
Can we all give out a collective "wah!" to the 20-somethings who have "given up on the American Dream" and ask them what took so long?

All the Audio Software Worth Shaking a Stick At

Information Week has put together a reader-written guide to all the audio Mp3/ripping software out there.

1998 Ira Kaplan interview

Tim McMahon reproduces this rather mediocre interview on this website - he does get Kaplan to talk about YLT's songwriting process though which is rather interesting:

McMahan: What are you trying to accomplish when you’re sit down to write?

Kaplan: I try to answer this as vaguely as possible, but it’s still probably accurate: We just try to do something we like and we really try not to be constrained by anything else.

McMahan: So it’s like a jam?

Kaplan: That’s certainly how it begins. The nuts and bolts of our writing process at this point is jamming. In a lot of ways, we do things backwards. Where typically somebody writes a song on acoustic guitar, teaches it to the band, they record it, then they play it live and they extend it to 10 minutes or something -- that’s a rock cliche. Our way of doing it is to jam for a really long time, find a song within it, then learn how to play it on acoustic guitar. The last thing we do is learn how to play it.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

RIP: James Doohan

My "Scotty" story: One weekend in the '80s, while walking around Baltimore aimlessly as I was wont to do, I came across one of those minor Sci-fi comic book / etc conventions. Having never been, I paid a few bucks and checked it out. Group sessions on Dr. Who, Star Trek that sort of thing. At one point I was just standing there checking it all out and was kinda shaking my head at the costumed geeks. I felt a prescense standing next to me. A rather big prescense - a portly tallish gentleman in a "Members Only"jacket with silver-specked hair and a mustache. He saw me shaking my head and said, "yeah, I'm only here because I'm renovating my kitchen." I was like, huh? and then did a double take, it was "Scotty" and he had a big grin on his face. He apparently sensed that I was out of place. He realized I knew who he was and so I said, "yeah?" and he goes, "yeah, the last convention paid for my son's college..." I shook his hand and that's the second to last convention I went to (I went to San Diego's famous Comic Con in the late '90s to get a Dan Clowes autograph).

RIP, Mr. Doohan.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Interview with Legs McNeill

at Suicide Girls

Saturday, July 16, 2005

New York Dolls signed again...


NEW YORK (RoadRunner Records) - Roadrunner Records is proud to announce the signing of seminal punk rock artists the New York Dolls. Since rising to the heights of the lower east side glam/punk scene, the NY Dolls have become synonymous with low-fi, down and dirty, rock music. The band Rolling Stone Magazine credits with "the sound and snarl of jubilant outlaw spirit," will soon record an album of fresh, original material due out on Roadrunner in the Spring of 2006.

And If You Can't Wait for ArthurFest

here's a neo-hippy fest in England to check out... August 10th in London. Please wear flowers in your hair.

ArthurFest Gets Reuters Write-Up

Jay Babcock is hyping Arthur Fest as "a big prom"... Yoko Ono was just added to the bill. Does anyone want to be my prom date?

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Musicians both noted and obscure, as well as a sidebar cavalcade of art, film and culture, will perform in the Los Angeles hipster suburb of Los Feliz on Sept. 4-5 with the debut of ArthurFest.

"It's a bit of a coming-out party," says Jay Babcock, editor of the free monthly magazine Arthur, which is co-producing the Labor Day weekend event at Barnsdall Art Park with Spaceland Prods. "It's a big prom."

For many, the debutante at Barnsdall will be Arthur itself. The festival will mark the third anniversary of Babcock's rag, which is published in a 50,000-copy run and distributed nationally through record stores and alternative culture retailers.

Babcock says that such forward-looking publications as Rolling Stone of the '60s, the New Musical Express of the '80s and underground music mags including Slash, Forced Exposure and Search & Destroy and even the highbrow '60s lit-mag the Evergreen Review served as models for Arthur. He adds that the publication "was founded on the idea that the music press, and the music culture press, is homogenized and snarky ... We want to be the highest common denominator."

Give it up one time for Jim Testa

Jim Testa has been at it (fanzine publishing) longer than anyone else I know of. He celebrates his like 60th anniversary with a benefit at, where else, Maxwells next weekend. The Wrens headline. If you're in the area, its sure to be a good show and a good cause. Plus if you have any insurance questions, I'm sure he'll be happy to answer 'em.

To keep the presses running, Testa has to pull a card from public broadcasting's pocket. Next Thursday, July 21, he will throw a benefit concert for Jersey Beat at Maxwell's. The concert, which is headlined by The Milwaukees and The Wrens, the indie stalwarts from Teaneck, should raise enough cash for yet another year of Jersey Beat, he says. "As long as I break even, I keep happy."

While rock journalism is not Testa's day job, it seems his identity. He spends his free time rooting out, and rooting for, promising young rock bands. Appropriately, his round features and appetite for trivia recall Sherlock Holmes' amiable sidekick, Dr. Watson. Kitsch furniture fills his two-story Weehawken home, which is decorated with Ramones posters; a framed photo of Mad Magazine's gap-toothed geek, Alfred E. Neuman; and a lamp fashioned out of female mannequin leg dressed in a fishnet stocking and a high-heel shoe.

Like Testa himself, there is nothing flashy about Jersey Beat. But both are wellsprings of information. Each black-and-white issue features hundreds of pages of generally well-written commentaries, interviews and album reviews. As the editor and chief writer, Testa balances the magazine's coverage to speak to different generations of indie rock fans. For instance, the current issue features Q&A-style interviews with young bands like The Milwaukees and Senses Fail of Ridgewood and punk pioneers like Mike Watt and Lydia Lunch.

Visit the Jersey Beat home page for updates on the show

Current Not Jack

Public radio is starting to get into the anti-format format known in the commercial world as Jack or iPod format because it supposedly mixes in a greater variety of tunes. Minneapolis public radio has The Current which sounds like a less annoying version of WFMU and has surprisingly made the DJ's music choices once again the focus of radio - here's a discussion between some music lovers about the station in the Star-Trib. So when is DC gonna get hip to all this? Public radio here is mostly talk and jazz these days - they've even stopped playing classical music :

CR: Ultimately, I don't care what their personalities are; I care about what they play. Bill DeVille definitely gets my vote in that department. I did a road trip on July 4th and didn't once put in a CD thanks to him. He played sets such as Boomtown Rats with Betty Serveert with Gram Parsons with one of those especially weird new White Stripes songs.

My favorite Current moment so far, though, was driving home one night at about 2 a.m. and hearing a new Nick Cave song, "There She Goes, My Beautiful World." It was religious. That's now my favorite song of the year, and I doubt I'd have heard it without 89.3.

JB: That's the bottom line about the Current -- it is introducing serious music lovers to good new music and throwing in the occasional golden oldie nugget without burdening us with blocks of commercials. I find myself pushing the buttons in my car less than ever.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Just like recording off the radio again

I'm sure this will be declared illegal soon enough but here it is:


Roselle Park, NJ. July 15, 2005 -- The fallout of the recent RIAA lawsuits and shut down of peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, download music fans turn to a more legal way of downloading new music tunes. Using new streaming recorder software called Radio2MP3. Have you used your cassette recorder to record a favorite song off of the radio? Or a VCR to record a show you regularly watch? Now you can do the same thing with streaming Internet radio on your home computer!

Radio2MP3 records internet radio stations, burns music files to a CD, converts media to different format and splits songs into individual MP3s. The software also tags each file with the artist, title, genre and album.

I'm taking a wild guess that it won't be able to do the tagging of each file automatically unless the radio stations participate in some sort of standard meta-tagging scheme. I'm guessing right off the bat the WFMU won't work and we're talking Smooth Jazz and All-Britney, All Mariah, All-Crap radio.

Burma plays weekend SW tour

It's been awhile since I've mentioned 'em and last we heard they had gone on hiatus again. But this weekend Austin and Denver get to hear their fine sounds once more so maybe there's hope of another show down our way:

07.15.05 Emo's
Austin, Texas

07.16.05 Ogden Theater
<> Denver, Colorado

Let's hope these aren't the last shows but that's all that's listed on the website

UT-Austin's newspaper writes:

Roger Miller: Two Fender Lead I guitars, 50-watt Marshall combo amp. Vacu-Fuzz and Vacu-Trem. Cornet, Piano.

“I started off using a Big Muff Pi,” says Roger Miller, “but, as is often common with Electro-Harmonix, their units’ quality varies with time. Its volume didn’t work for me around 1980, so (producer) Lou Giordano was recruited to build a better fuzztone mousetrap. He took apart the Big Muff Pi and proceeded to obliterate it with the “Vacu-Fuzz” (titled because Lou had played in a band called the Vacuum Heads). I also had been using a terrible Peavey Guitar amp (it’s used on the first 45) that had tremelo. When Clint wrote “Tremelo” while I had that amp, the tremelo effect became a major part of the song. So when I bought the Marshall 50-watt and it didn’t have tremelo, Lou was recruited again for the Vacu-Trem. He cranked that baby up to the max also — at slow tremelo it almost sounds like a delay (“Trem Two”). At all knobs on 11 it does a weird amplitude modulation that sounds like six or seven guitars all playing microtones apart. Truly bizarre. (When I was in No Man, I had Bob Weston modify the “speed” pot so that it could be run by a volume pedal — I use that effect on the Burma song “Max Ernst’s Dream”).


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Um, posting may be light...

I just recv'd my Pc copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I've opened up a corporate account at Domino's for the week and I don't think I'll be Vinyl Mining much...


Because he was Barnabas and every goth worships Dark Shadows and now that he's retired, he's got a fun website.

Dinosaur Act

20 years later, Richard Harrington discovers Dinosaur, Jr. and interviews Lou.

My take: Looks like the first true indie oldies act. How much different are they from the band that claimed their name (some asswipes from Quicksilver Messenger Service and other bad acts from the '60s) and made them put that humiliating "Jr." after it?

In 20 years, we'll all be sitting on lawn chairs listening to them play the same songs, I'm sure. Instead of $30 tickets, they'll be $60 (unadjusted for inflation).

At any rate, here's Barlow on how the reunion came about:

The reunion seeds may have been sown in 2003, when Barlow was touring in England and ended up sitting in with Mascis's Stooges cover band on "I Wanna Be Your Dog," "me screeching on top of a wall of noise that was supposed to be a Stooges song," he laughs. "But it gave me a signal: Maybe J just doesn't remember how much he hates me! Or maybe he doesn't [hate me]. When the book had come out where I was saying all this horrible stuff, I was left with such an empty feeling. When I saw that J was 'Okay, whatever, sing with us, I don't care,' I thought maybe we'll play together again."

More baby steps followed, Barlow says. "J and I have had a lot of mutual friends, people who had worked with both of us. My mother had set up a benefit show about a year and half ago that J played and Sebadoh played. And during the course of that show, J and I reunited our hardcore band for one song."

That pre-Dinosaur band was named Deep Wound, and apparently time healed those as well.

"It's kinda cool because we're starting to get back into the real ritualistic, really primal bashing again, which I've been really into," Barlow says. "I didn't realize how much I missed that feeling of being in a band that feels like a band."

G.I.'s First Demo EP

Spontaneous Combustion have released Government Issue's first demo on green vinyl. Go buy this pre "Legless Bull" gem and get a collector's item and some good hardcore musak to boot.

Why green vinyl? I would have gone with plaid vinyl given John Stab's proclicivity for that partic. garment.

Visit SC label honcho MXV''s blog early every day for lotsa lost hardcore badness.

John Stabb not in Plaid

image swiped from banned in dc
John Stabb (GI)
copyright 1982 Jim Saah

L.A. Weekly Interviews Plascencia...

new hope that the American novel isn't dead, just sleeping?

Salvador Plascencia is not into authenticity. Wearing a Smiths T-shirt and heavy black-framed glasses, he hunches over his coffee cup and explains. “I’m not interested in realism or documentary or reportage,” he says, and anxiously swats the words away.

It’s a relief: The wide boulevards that stretch outside the window are real enough. We’re eating at Flo’s, a brick-walled El Monte coffee shop not far from the house where Plascencia’s parents still live. El Monte is pretty bleak, but not in any picturesquely gritty, inner-city way. It’s just barren, stuck hard with the edge-city doldrums — yawning stucco plains of tire shops, Toyota dealers, mini-malls and Taco Bells. And except for a few smog-crusted oleanders on the exit ramp from the 10, and occasional bougainvilleas or rose bushes fenced off in people’s yards, there are hardly any flowers.

The El Monte of Plascencia’s imagination suffers no such scarcity. His novel, The People of Paper, is set in “a town of fur-rows and flowers,” part rancho, part suburb, part Swiftian fan-tasyland. The social scene is dominated by the El Monte Flores, or EMF, “the first street gang born of carnations.” They work in the fields picking flowers, hustling profits out of cockfights and sales of goat milk on the side. They pack carnation knives and are fighting a war against Saturn — but we’ll get to that.
read the rest at L.A. Weekly by Ben Ehrenreich

Iggy Plugs His Shit on Little Steven's Radio Gig

per rolling stone:

IGGY POP will join LITTLE STEVEN on his weekly syndicated radio show, Underground Garage, July 15th to 17th. The show will feature tracks from Iggy's anthology album, A Million in Prizes, and his concert DVD, Live at the Avenue B, both due July 19th . . .

I'm not sure what this means since LS's next show is on the 17th but it oughta be a good listen nonetheless... radio affiliates that carry the show are here plus you can always listen to it at Little Steven's site.

Korean "cultureless black hole" indie music scene

Shannon Smith writes about her experience finding music and some good bands in Korea's Pittsburgh, Daegu:

Upon arrival in Daegu, I asked new Korean friends and acquaintences where I might go to see an independent movie, a concert, an art gallery? "In Seoul", they'd reply. Surely there had to be something like this to do in Daegu as well? But my friends would just laugh as if I was making a joke. It seemed like Daegu was, indeed, a city with all the benefits of cosmopolitan life -- except for a supported arts scene.

But then one day I wandered into a small record store near one of the city's universities and asked the owner if he knew any place I might go to see a live concert. He leapt from his chair without explanation, took me by the arm, and led me out to the street. Leaving the store unattended, he politely tugged me a few doors down to a sign that said "Club Heavy" and some dark stairs leading to a basement lair. Fixed to the door outside the club was a magic markered list of dates and Korean writing that I assumed to be band names. "Today, concert, seven. Tomorrow concert, seven", he said. I thanked him profusely and tucked the location into my memory for another day.

Smith covers the Daegu scene on a regular basis at jak comety...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Best MP3 blog find of the month

Via Crud Crud -- It's here

Decemberists Live on Conan

Confabulators haz it... (bt)

UPDATE: You Ain't No Picasso has it in WMV format

Dirty Three - Cat Power, Sally Timms collab set

Now, add Georgia Hubley and call it the Dirty Three Chicks...

here's the clip:

Dirty Three Finds Its Voice On New Album

By Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Veteran instrumental trio the Dirty Three adds vocals to the mix for the first time in its career on "Cinder," its seventh studio album. Due in October via Touch & Go, the 19-track set was recorded earlier this year with Casey Rice (Tortoise, Liz Phair) in Melbourne.

Cat Power's Chan Marshall lends vocals to "Great Waves," returning the favor of contributions Dirty Three principals Mick Turner, Jim White and Warren Ellis have individually made to her own recordings over the years. The Mekons' Sally Timms sings on "Feral."

read it all

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Bob Mould TapeOp Interview

As if you don't get enough of the guy online - TapeOp has a bonus interview (PDF) up with Bob Mould. He talks about his past and current recording techniques, Granary records and all the fine folks he's worked with.

Here's a clip where he talks about Spot, one of the Husker Du producers:

With Zen Arcade and several other Hüsker records, you worked with Spot. What were you tracking to back then, were they live recordings and how much processing of the signal did you do during mixing?

With Spot, he was a real purist. His background was jazz, so his theory was, get the right mic on the finely tuned instrument and go with it. Learned a lot from Spot. Those records are mostly first takes, top to bottom. The Hüskers were a really tight live band, so we could just walk into a studio and just bang through the stuff and get it done really quick. Processing - I used a little bit of a harmonizer on my guitar to get that warble on things. He pretty much liked it straight up. A little compression on things, but not a whole lot of effects. After Spot, I started experimenting with some things like the gated reverb, which was pretty eighties. Spot was a great guy. I mean, it ended sort of blown off kilter. I think we wanted to go a different direction than Spot was going but when you are young you don’t articulate things in the best way. In the intervening years, Spot and I lived in Austin, Texas at the same time in the nineties. We hung out played ping-pong, drank coffee. There’s no heat there between he and I. I think the other guys in the Hüskers had a problem with him, but Spot and I are pretty good friends. We talked about [it] and said, “We were all stupid then.”

The Dirtbombs have a blog. Yay!

I hope they totally ignore it as I think the image of them blogging is just too much for me to bear... but I'll check it every once in awhile.

Here's their tourdates, none in DC or Baltimore wah...:

The dirtbombs tour schedule
07.15.05. Ann Arbor, MI Blind Pig
07.16.05. Detroit, MI Concert of Colors
07.28.05. Hoboken, NJ Maxwell's
07.29.05. New York, NY Knitting Factory
09.29.05. Toronto, ONT The Legendary Horsehoe Tavern
09.30.05. Montreal, QUE Cabaret Music Hall
10.01.05. Ottawa, ON Babylon

Monday, July 11, 2005

Patti Gets French Medal

So, like Jerry Lewis, she's loved only in France:

Patti Smith given French honour
Patti Smith
Patti Smith received the award at a concert in Paris
US punk rock star Patti Smith has received one of France's top cultural honours in recognition of her influence on rock music.

Smith, 58, was presented with the Commander of the Order of the Arts and Letters by Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres.

Her appreciation of 19th Century French poet Arthur Rimbaud was also noted in the citation.

Smith said she accepted the award "from the most spiritual side of me".

She was given the award at an Aids benefit concert in Paris on Sunday.

"I have vowed to live up to this honour in my work and my conduct," she said.

"I can't explain what I feel like. It has uplifted me, and I will work very hard to earn it."

Seminal album

The French ministry of culture called her "one of the most influential artists in women's rock 'n' roll".

Smith said she is planning a new album of covers from artists including Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead and Edith Piaf.

The singer was one of the most acclaimed performers on the New York rock scene, and was friends with artist Andy Warhol, beat poet Allen Ginsberg and author William Burroughs.

Smith's debut 1975 album, Horses, was seen as a seminal release and is still regarded by many as one of the most influential rock albums.

Her 1978 Easter album included her biggest commercial hit, Because the Night, which she co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen.

Nitpicking Six Feet Under

Ruth Fisher
K.D. who?

or ... Calling All Dead 50-something Hippy Chicks

I didn't really buy the Ruth and her sister's friends singing "Calling All Angels" (iTunes link) spontaneously around the body of their dead friend on last night's Six Feet Under.

That was about as realistic as the Baltimore cops spontaneously singing a Pogues song (iTunes link) in the last season of The Wire.

The Jane Siberry / K D Lang song "Calling All Angels" is from 1993... now maybe Ruth's bohemian sister has this CD in her collectoin but stick-in-her-ass Ruth who doesn't know how to take a bong hit sings the song as if by heart.

Wouldn't it have been more appropriate to sing a Joan Baez song or maybe some Dylan?

"I Shall be Released" maybe - both Baez and Dylan did it but then again, that wouldn't have been too hip, for this show whose demo skews young.

Casimir Pulaski Day

Sufjan Stevens has just released an album about Illinois that contains a song that is almost identical in name to a song released by Chicago's Big Black in their 1987 Songs about Fucking album...namely "Kasimir S. Pulaski Day," a Illinois state holiday named after a Polish-born Revolutionary War hero. Both songs are about a death that apparently occurs on this day. One wonders whether Stevens knowingly is referencing Big Black, a band that one would think is not only totally opposite in sound but also, seemingly, in world outlook. It's just hard to imagine Sufjan listening to an album with songs about Colombian neckties and vision-inducing bread fungus.

Big Black's song is very typical of their portfolio - the lyrics are in the 1st person of a shocked man who has witnessed a gory act and its aftermath - in it, a car blows on the highway (the victim of a Mafia hit apparently) and there are body parts strewn all around. But it's not like it is in the movies - it's more horrible and gruesome than the narrator expected. The short grinding song hammers that point home with the repeated chorus, "never really thought it would happen that way" by a narrator seemingly in shock. The song ends with a warning to "Benny" not to get involved and to stay out of the conflagration. Albini often talked in interviews about how he wanted Big Black, a band named to reflect primal fears, to shove the horror of every day life into the listeners eyes and ears - to take them as "close to the precipice as possible" and presumably shock them out of complacency. Although many of their songs use a measure of humor, none of that is present in this song (except maybe the last line). Still, the narrator remains detached from the scene and doesn't seem to even think of having any sympathy for the victim. While Big Black is often described as extolling nihilism and misantrophy, they were probably one of the most political bands of the '80s. Their politics was usually masked by a tough guy stance and seemingly hate-filled writings but at the core of their narrative was a disgust with the human condition and even something approaching hope towards changing it. I mean, why would they have even bothered in the first place? The chorus of this song suggests the singer is ashamed of his reaction even as he wallows in his self-centeredness. In the end, the band is criticizing America and its detachment and yet fascination with violence and suggests that if one is put up close one's perspectives changes. This is after all the band that imagined the destruction of the world as just a frame in a cartoon -- see the cover of Atomizer. In this context, the singer isn't warning Benny to not get involved with the accident -- he's trying to tell him to change: "What are you trying to prove now?"

Sufjan also writes a song about death but one in which he is much more emotionally involved. Unlike the Big Black song, it is instrumented very differently - there's no grinding two-guitar attack and relentless drum machine -- instead there's a quiet feel with guitar, banjo and trumpet and even, near the end, a string orchestra. Like the Big Black song, this song is sung in the first person and every detail of the death is etched into the narrator's mind. The person who dies on Pulaski day here isn't an anonymous accident victim but a girlfriend of the singer who has died of bone cancer. The singer remembers the details of their relationship and how he was in conflict with her father over their rather chaste kissing and touching. Sufjan is famously a Christian and he sings of bible study and saying prayers over the girl's body. But the prayers are to no avail. In the end, he realizes that his conflict is no longer with girl's father but the Father whom he rails against for taking her life ("He takes and He takes and He takes"). Like the narrator in the Big Black song, Stevens is caught in his own paradox but one of a quite different nature. Rather than trying to reconcile his shallow world view, he has to reconcile something which seems much greater -- his love for God conflicts with the reality of life and death. Unlike the Big Black song, this death is slow long one and perhaps more unfair as the narrators is deeply involved with the subject. The song ends with an unclear resolution - the singer hasn't resolved his conflict with God. His conflict is internal and can't be shocked into resolution. It is hence much harder to resolve.

At any rate, it's either a very interesting coincidence or yet another oddity of Steven's wonderfully complex record.

Here's Big Black's lyrics:

Kasimir S. Pulaski Day (words by Big Black)
Saw something go wrong today when along, when a car went by
Grey car blew up today when along, when a car went by
Never thought it really happened that way
Never thought it really happened that way
Never thought it really happened that way
Drew a rod and they blew him away
Down on the south side, out on Pulaski
There were pieces of a man all over the skyway
Well I suffered real bad today, just like in the movies
Why did mm get an mm mm like that?
I even felt a little sick
I never thought it really happened that way
I never thought it really happened that way
I wouldn't want to check out in that way
Drew a rod and they blew him away
There were pieces of a man all over the skyway
There were pieces of a man
mm mm in the ashtray
What are you trying to prove now, Benny?
What are you trying to call me, Benny?
Better stay out of it, Benny
Stay out of my wayski

And here's a free and legal MP3 of Stevens' song (h.t. to LHB) and the lyrics:

Casimir Pulaski Day (words by Sufjan Stevens)
Goldenrod and the 4H stone,
the things I brought you,
when I found out you had cancer of the bone

Your father cried on the telephone,
and he drove his car into the navy yard,
just to prove that he was sorry

In the morning, through the window shade,
when the light pressed up against your shoulderblade,
I could see what you were reading.

All the glory that the Lord has made,
and the complications you could do without,
when I kissed you on the mouth.

Tuesday night at the Bible study,
we lift our hands and pray over your body,
but nothing ever happens.

I remember at Michael's house,
in the living room when you kissed my mouth,
and I almost touched your blouse.

In the morning at the top of the stairs,
when your father found out what we did that night,
and you told me you were scared.

All the glory when you ran outside,
with your shirt tucked in and your shoes untied,
and you told me not to follow you.

Sunday night when I cleaned the house,
I find the card where you wrote it out,
with the pictures of you mother.

On the floor at the great divide,
with my shirt tucked in and my shoes untied,
I am crying in the bathroom.

In the morning when you finally go,
and the nurse runs in with her head hung low,
and the cardinal hits the window.

In the morning in the winter shade,
on the 1st of March on the holiday,
I thought I saw you breathing.

All the glory that the Lord has made,
and the complications when I see His face,
in the morning in the window.

All the glory when He took our place,
but He took my shoulders and He shook my face,
and He takes and He takes and He takes.

Free Niyaz concert (Sufi Fusion) 14 July, Wash DC

For those in the DC area this week:

Sufi Fusion: Niyaz
Thursday, July 14, 7:00 pm, Meyer Auditorium
Independence Avenue at 12th St., SW
One half-block from Smithsonian Metro stop


This innovative ensemble blends the Iranian, Turkish, and Indian backgrounds of its three members into a Sufi fusion. The voice of singer Azam Ali (formerly with Vos) has been called "a glorious, unforgettable instrument" by Billboard magazine. She is joined by Loga Ramin Torkian (formerly of Axiom of Choice) on guitar, Turkish saz, and guitarviol; and by remixer and producer Carmen Rizzo, a two-time Grammy nominee. See the Washington Post review of their new CD on Six Degrees Records:

Free tickets, limit four per person, available through Ticketmaster at Tickets also distributed at the door at 6:00 p.m., limit two per person.

(202) 633-2700;

New Iggy Album Cover

Iggy Pop,A Million In Prizes - The Anthology,UK,DOUBLE CD,328896

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Some Interesting Releases for the Week

I doubt I'll buy all of these but here's what looks interesting for release this week... if there's anything inneresting in the mainstream releases I'll post some follow-up on Monday. All text below comes from the labels or the mail order company and it goes without saying that I receive no compensation from the company if they make a sale.

The following come from Forced Exposure:


LAST EXIT: Koln CD (ALP 252CD) 14.00
Finally after more than a decade, this seminal lexicon of lightning is again available for public consumption. A veritable Murderer's Row of sonic titans -- each at full strength: Bro:tzmann on tenor; Sharrock on guitar; Laswell on 6-string bass; Jackson on drums. This lineup speaks for itself. "You know, I really feel the Exit quartet is getting stronger all the time... we've been through our 'power playing' period. I don't want to be typecast as just a 'blaster.' Now the shit is really wide open -- it can go anywhere. The interaction is getting to be very sensitive -- though I'm sure there'll always be some good old passion and violence. But there's a lot of potential still to be explored, and I hope we get the chance to explore it." -- Peter Bro:tzmann, 1990.

China is Near by New York's pioneer experimental group White Out, represents their third album and promises to be their most adventurous release to date. This session busts out of the gate, and careens all over the tonal soundscape zagging from icy calm to furious insurrection in sixty seconds. The estimable talents of multi-instrumentalist Lin Culbertson and drummer Tom Surgal are fused with the efforts put forth by master eclectic Jim O'Rourke, their frequent collaborator in recent years. Rounding out the session is special guest William Winant, the supremely gifted percussionist who has worked with everyone from John Cage to Yo Yo Ma to Sonic Youth. The unorthodox instrumentation (analog synthesizers, drums, autoharp, bells, chains, timpani, vibes, scrap metal, springs, gong, etc.) employed by these maverick innovators, helps to create an electro-acoustic collage like no other. The electronic cries and soul stirring blips of the synthesizers, accompanied by the spectral strains of the autoharp, emphatically combine with the clang, spit and growl of the extended percussion. The listener is instantly transported to another sonic realm altogether. A space place where dark mystery resides and possibility is infinite...

VOLCANO THE BEAR: Catonapotato CD (DIGI 014CD) 13.00
"Volcano the Bear was formed in 1995 with the constant idea of being a group with uncompromising and boundless ideas, and they've always tried to aim for a live environment where they can do whatever they please. This results in a live show that, beyond grandiose sonic qualities, blends the very essence of key words such as surreal, shifting moods, myriad of instruments, humor, beauty and to a certain degree, even self-indulgence. That said, these sonic transgressors are not for everyone. If you're a fan of free-form improvisations, free jazz, weird drones, pagan folk, whimsical acoustic pieces, disjointed percussive riffs, crackling electronics and actually own more than one record by either the Sun City Girls, This Heat, Faust, Residents, The Shadow Ring or Captain Beefheart, then you owe it to yourself to check out these cats. Catonapotato is a perfect example of Volcano the Bear in a live setting. All eight tracks presented here were recorded live by the duo of Aaron Moore and Nick Mott at four different occasions in 2004. It's mainly an instrumental affair, although some vocals come up on a few tracks and as if all this wasn't enough, we're served some incongruous electric guitar rhythms that recalls the Sun City Girls at their very best. All in all, Catonapotato is just a brilliant sonic excursion down a musical path very few are brave enough to follow these days, and along the way, the band manages to explain exactly why the true environment for Volcano the Bear is the live setting. This is meditation music for the drone/noise generation." -- Mats Gustafsson.


BIRDS, THE: Birds Birds Birds In the World CD (IMPREC 059CD) 13.00
"The first full length from the Japanese/Norweigan super-group The Birds. Comprised of Cotton Casino of The Acid Mothers Temple and Per Gisle Galaen of Slowburn, The Birds are reminiscent of other Norwegian groups like Deathprod, Supersilent and Alog though their unmistakeable and unpredictable meld of psychedelic melodies, guitar noise, Eno-esque synth dirge, Cale-drone, musique concrete and rock sets them apart. Birds Birds Birds In The World was produced by Kai Mikalsen of Sketch, Jazzkammer/Del member Lasse Marhaug and mastered by Supersilent/Deathprod producer Helge Sten. Artwork by the world famous graphic artist/collectible figurine designer Pete Fowler. The first 1000 will be packaged in deluxe 3-D artwork."


APHEX TWIN: Analord 10 PIC. DISC (ANALORD 010EP) 12.50
12" vinyl picture disc, Aphex Twin logo on both sides, in clear PVC sleeve with sticker. This record completes the highly-acclaimed Analord series, produced by Richard D. James -- at least for the time being. The style is rhythmic and melodic electronic music in the much-loved AFX style. The music is suitable for public performance as well as home listening. It's a re-issue of the tracks that came with the now-infamous Analord binder, which was available for a limited period only from

Title: Rubber Johnny
Format: DVD
Price: $12.00
Catalog #: WF 003DVD
"Rubber Johnny -- the long-awaited release from award winning director Chris Cunningham -- chronicles a 16-year-old, inbred mutant's solitary existence, locked in a pitch-black basement by his ashamed parents. They are TV addict rednecks who occasionally feed Johnny and yell at him for making noise. Johnny's only company in the basement is his little dog. His dog's I.Q. far outstrips Johnny's, who is a completely insane, bi-polar imbecile. The first of many projects with Warp Films, Rubber Johnny is an abstract short featuring music by legendary electronic composer, Aphex Twin. Shot entirely on DV in infrared, this lo-fi live action animation is unbeatable on a technical level. The packaging presents Cunningham's first published sketchbook of original drawings and photographic artwork which promises that the DVD will be a highly desirable collectable for hardcore Warp fans and aficionados." The DVD is NTSC format, region 1 (North America only). Running time: 6 minutes.

And some old school and some ambient wonders from Aquarius Records:

album cover B, ERIC & RAKIM Follow The Leader (Geffen) cd 11.98
Upon their release, Paid In Full (1987) and Follow The Leader (1988) were instant classics. Pioneering the recipe of simple beats, perfect samples (including a first use of James Brown) and powerful bad-ass rhyming with super smooth flow, EB&R led hip-hop into new territory and have since not quite been matched in their effortless style and effectiveness. If you've lost your cassette tape versions of these classic albums and didn't go for any earlier overly expensive reissues, here's your chance to get 'em pretty true to the original album with only a few new remixes.
MPEG Stream: "Follow The Leader"
MPEG Stream: "Never Scared"

album cover B, ERIC & RAKIM Paid In Full (Island) cd 11.98
Upon their release, Paid In Full (1987) and Follow The Leader (1988) were instant classics. Pioneering the recipe of simple beats, perfect samples (including a first use of James Brown) and powerful bad-ass rhyming with super smooth flow, EB&R led hip-hop into new territory and have since not quite been matched in their effortless style and effectiveness. If you've lost your cassette tape versions of these classic albums and didn't go for any earlier overly expensive reissues, here's your chance to get 'em pretty true to the original album with only a few new remixes.
MPEG Stream: "I Ain't No Joke"
MPEG Stream: "Paid In Full"

album cover CHASSE, LOREN The Air In The Sand (Naturestrip) cd 16.98
With all of those Jewelled Antler projects keeping AQ's dear friend Loren Chasse busy, it's no wonder that it took over three and half years for him to complete the follow up to his acclaimed 2002 album Hedge of Nerves. Yep, it's true that Loren has released two solo projects under the Jewelled Antler moniker Of; but he doesn't see work such as The Air In The Sand (or Hedge of Nerves, or anything from id battery or Coelacanth, for that matter) as being related to Jewelled Antler. Who are we to argue?
That said, Loren's solo work is made in pretty much the same manner as much of the Jewelled Antler work, particularly The Blithe Sons, where he treks up and down the Pacific Coast making tons of field recordings and then playing those recordings back in similar environments with small speakers and occasional accompaniments from rocks, sand, teasles, leaves, and the occasional alto recorder. Part of this process is an attempt to move away from the constraints of the digital workstation; but at the same time, Chasse is far more interested in the curious alchemy that occurs when a space listens to itself making sound. A nighttime chorus of crickets gurgles within aqueous percolations and the tectonic crash of surf crashing against rock. Rain vaporizes in a caustic sizzle as it falls upon overhead electrical wires, and this sound is compouned by the sharp crack of branches and the slow hiss of sand. For all of the elemental sounds that dominate his recordings, Chasse extracts subtle musical timbres and fragile half-melodies that haunt The Air In The Sand. Beautiful and timeless, this is another marvellous album from Mr. Chasse.
MPEG Stream: "The Air Inside The Sand"
MPEG Stream: "The Air Inside The Rain"
MPEG Stream: "Drawing Water"