Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Pinecones "Sage"

(Just Friends) This collection of great psyche-ish 60s-style songs is like Sgt. Peppers...if there were four Ringos!

Dozens "Cobwebs" ep

( Here's an oxymoron for ya: the lo fi Steely Dan!

Caw! Caw! "bummer place"

(Trust Tapes) CAW!some!

This Is Peterborough Too!

(Rowdy Farrago) A very odd compilation, as the compiler seems to have no tools to discern between classic punk stylings (Den2def), somewhat interesting 90s style rock (Two Click Wish) and some really really bad bands playing really bad music styles (alternative rock, awful emo, bar band rock from bars you would leave in seconds).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Quief Quota "Waygae"

(Bert Dax Cavalcade of Stars) Not gae enough! Island music...if you live on a traffic Island in Berwyn.

HB3 "Studies for Traps & Piccolo"

(Zegnotropic) If "surfing" to you means tethering a surfboard to the back of a Buick, duct taping some sucker daredevil to the board and then barrelling through some fucked up off-road course, than this would be "surf music."

Names of Stars

( I guess they yearn, or something.

HotChaCha "the world's hardest working telescope & teh violent birth of stars"

(exit stencil) Should change their name to HotterChacha, because these skewed fuzz art jams are burning!

The Qualia "Secret Weapon"

(wtll) This sounds like the perfect pop record, if that perfect pop record somehow had the spindle hole in the center drilled just a hair off-center.

The Syllable Section "Linear Views"

(no label...they're too good for a label!) The Beatles of askew no-fi psyche pleasant cacophony soundscape music!

Hitmen "Tora Tora Tora"

(Shock) Though this 80s Aussie band is a Radio Birdman side project don't expect Radio Birdman brilliance. This was apparently one of the top pub bands of their era and it makes sense why: total hack pop rock. This makes John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band sound like prog! The best part of this reissue of  a live show (plus dozens of bonus tracks) is the audience's earnest joy, so it's hard to fault the band for hackishness, but it's also hard to listen to. Somewhat unrelated (though kinda related, because the Hitmen's reign sorta explains it) -- Australian X recently toured and I was really excited to see them, but it was quite possibly the worst show ever -- though it was so bad I actually was fascinated and enjoyed myself. As best as I could tell there was one original (guitarist/vocals) who was theoretically OK, though he kept saying he just woke up, and never looked a the audience or had any energy. But his supporting band was ridicufuckingless. The bassist was technically proficient, and his absurd showmanship was crazy hackneyed but very appreciated considering what everyone else was doing. But his bass playing was so soulless and by the book that there was nothing to really dig. But the killer was the drummer. I'm assuming he wasn't an original member because no label in the world would allow a band to release a record without replacing that drummer. The Shrimper cassette label would have made you fire the guy before dubbing 6 copies of a tape. He wasn't off beat but he just played the same boom boom chika boom boom chika beat all the time, for every song, a beat totally inappropriate to rocking punk music. Occasionally he's do a t-t-t-t-t-t- on the cymbal. It was like an 11 year old in their room thinking they were awesome while they counted off beats in their head. It was jaw-droppingly awful sounding, but I was not going to tell him that, becaue he was a bald, super muscualr Australian bruiser. The bassist was also pretty buff and rough, which led me to believe the X-survivor decided that security/back ups in a fight were more important than musicianship for this tour. Of course, the tour may have been a little bit of a letdown to them as well; only 20 people (which whittled it's way down to nine by the end of the show) stuck around to watch these "legends," but then again, this isn't a big music town. I saw them in Los Angeles. Best part were the two ten minute tuning braks the guitarist took, orchestrated by the undoubtedly tin-eared bassist fluctuating his hand up and down like Christina Aguilera singing a melisma run to "help" the sleepy dude find his note. I didn't know who to blame for this totally soulless performance until I heard this double CD, but seeing how the Hitmen set the stage for bar rock in their country it makes sense. Though I'm sure the re-formed Hitmen would be awesome live -- they at least know how to be fun hacks.

MArk Matos & Os Beaches

(PFR) Mark FLATos.

The Streets on Fire "This Is Fancy"

(Currency Exchange) Desperate post-post punk with jittering percussion that made my intestines pogo. And an awesome gorilla painting.

Adam Franklin & Bolts of Melody "I Could Sleep for a Thousand Years"

(second motion) What do you call shoegaze that kicks ass? Bootgaze!

Will Stratton "No Wonder"

(Stunning Models on Display) Least appropriate review considering the sensitive, touching, personal, lovely nature of the beautiful songwriting and subtle production on this record: So fucking great he should change his name to Will Strap-On!

The Family Curse "White Medicine"

(Fainting Room) Industrial/future punk witch incantations that cursed my cat and turned all my clothes black. This is the kind of family they make late 70s gore movies about -- but never with this compelling a soundtrack. They still seem like a nicer family than mine.

Th' Inbred "Legacy of Fertility"

(Alternative Tentacles) This compiles two ultra obscure albums by a long-haired West Virginia hardcore band that made one record in 1985 of early 80s regular hardcore (with some Dead Kennedy's social satire/political diatribe leanings), but then instead if going metal crossover a couple years later like too many others they wen't prog jazz punk, making vocalist Bobb Cotter's ridiculous sputterings all the more surreal. The packaging (with great liner notes, photos and reproductions of the band's perhaps too professional looking show flyers) and the inclusion of rarities and ep tracks makes this another worthy entry in AT's rediscovery of weirdo band series.

TAMI Show - Collector's Edition DVD

GUEST REVIEW by Gary Pig Gold
according to Steven Van Zandt

Attention, music fans and pop culture connoisseurs everywhere:

Your assignment today is to gather together in one medium-sized concert facility, for one evening only, one dozen of the world’s most popular entertainers. Age, style, size, corporate affiliation and particularly musical pigeonhole is to be strictly of no concern whatsoever. Each act just has to have had a heck of a lot of their songs downloaded, perhaps maybe even sold, over the past calendar year or so.

Then, with a bare minimum of rehearsal or directorial guidelines of any sort – and an equally bare-boned budget to boot – a two-hour concert has to sequenced, scored, choreographed and executed upon a single stage utilizing all these chosen singers, dancers and accompanists, the entire proceedings recorded and video’d completely live, music and vocals, without re-takes, and the resultant miles of tape then edited, printed, promoted and distributed for public viewing into theatres.

Oh. And this all has to be completed within the period of a mere fourteen days, from show-date to release-date, by the way.

Finished laughing? Of course in a 21st century scheme of things such an endeavor would scarcely get past the imagining stage I agree, quickly dismissed out-of-hand (not to mention out-of-mind) as completely unfeasible; one legal, logistical – not to mention ego-tistical – nightmare of gargantuan proportions. 

Hard to believe then, that one such concert event filmed inside the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on the night of October 29, 1964 in front of a few hundred local high school students should not only survive to be released on DVD, but that its one hundred and twelve monochrome minutes remain as utterly entertaining, and downright engrossing, all these forty-five years later.

The TAMI Show: Collector’s Edition, now finally available from our friends over at Shout! Factory is, you see, simply so, so much more than merely Monterey Pop without the lysergic, Woodstock without the mudslides or, yes, Altamont minus pool cues and homicide victims. True, one could consider this film as “just” the single most frantically paced, ultra-high-decibel time capsule of an extraordinary era ever preserved on disc. Or even, as Quentin Tarantino most assuredly claims, “in the top three of all rock movies.” 

I will go all that one further, however: The TAMI Show (as in Teenage Awards Music International, by the way) is absolutely essential viewing to anyone and everyone who consider themselves fans, followers, and/or students of popular music.


Allow me to elaborate. The dozen acts, co-hosts Jan and Dean sing whilst skateboarding across the opening credits, did indeed come “From All Over The World.” Not to mention everywhere across the musical map as well: Kicked off by “the guy who started it all” as Jan (no relation) Berry announces, Chuck Berry duck-walks us all the way from St. Louis to New York City, where the about-to-be-renovated Brill Building sound is sung most proudly and loudly by none other than Lesley Gore (whose proto-feminist lyrics and attitude herein should have all you brand new Runaways fans repositioning the birth of girl-rock once and for all).

The magnificent Motor City is then represented by Smokey Robinson – pay particular attention to his Miracles’ dance-steps during “Mickey’s Monkey” – along with superstars-in-waiting Marvin Gaye (who performs two songs soon to be recorded by a waiting-in-the-wings Rolling Stones) and The Supremes (poised to leave behind forever their branding as “those no-hit Supremes” with an historic string of global million-sellers). Meanwhile, England swings Santa Monica via Billy J. Kramer with his Dakotas plus Gerry and the Pacemakers (…four of impresario Brian Epstein’s other clients unfortunately occupied overseas at this point in time, putting finishing touches onto Beatles For Sale it seems).

Why, even what we now know and love as that runt of the musical litter, Garage Rock, is represented by none other than the aptly-named Barbarians and their single-handed drummer Victor “Moulty” Moulton. Plus special note must here be made of The Beach Boys’ four-song set, propelled practically through the roof by their drummer Denny, as this particular footage was removed from most every existing print of The TAMI Show soon after release and has only now been fully reinstated in all its harmony-drenched, sun-kissed, Surf City splendor.    

And then! As impossible to pin down geographically – not to mention musically or even vocally – as he remained for the rest of his career comes the one, the only, the hardest-working James Brown.

Now it’s been said before, but I’ll just have to say it again (and again and again): His performance in The TAMI Show remains one of the most jaw-dropping, above-kinetic, gut-and-thigh-ripping performances ever executed. EVER. Anytime, any place, by any one. Everything you may have heard about this man and these particular eighteen minutes (e.g., “the single greatest rock ‘n’ roll performance ever captured on film”: Rick Rubin) is absolutely, one-thousand-per-cent true. Just look at it yourself if you don’t believe me …or everyone else who has ever seen it.

Somehow, those newly-rolling, original Stones – with Brian Jones and even Bill Wyman’s vocal mic present – arose to the task of following Butane James that fateful night, and their performance closed the event, and the film, with a mixture of pure, simply pimply beat ‘n’ soul which wins over even many of the pole-axed teens who’d just survived James Brown’s set.

Finally, cue the entire cast and assembled dancers (watch closely for a very young Teri Garr!) back onstage to frug a mighty big storm up around Jagger and Richards and, scarcely two hours after it all began, the curtain drops.

So, just another night of music, mayhem, and undeniable magic out in L.A. during the fall of ’64, right? But what novice director Steve Binder and his crew captured, and what today is immaculately preserved upon The TAMI Show DVD, is busting-full of rich musical (I repeat: James Brown) and cinematic (Diana Ross’ eyes literally filling the screen during “Where Did Our Love Go”) moments which have been oft-shot by everyone from Pennebaker to Scorcese since, but never truly duplicated. For what TAMI managed to mount and maintain all those years ago irrefutably remains the highest of bars for concert events, and films thereof, to reach even today.

It may, sorrowfully, have taken nearly half a century to make it into our homes, but this film has not returned anew one single frame, nor scream, too soon.

Trust me, Little Steven is right:

You have never seen, nor heard, ANYTHING quite like this before.

Blessure Grave "Judged By Twelve, Carried By Six"

(Alien8) If you took the sparest, freshest freak folk music, injected it with goth doom using one of those machines Beard Poppa uses to put goo in a cream puff, and then did some voodoo to make it sound like a British homemade 1980 cassette band from those Messthetics comps, not only would it sound like this, you would kill yourself the first time you heard it. But you would die a satisfied death.

Black Heart Procession "Six"

(Temporary Residence) If Joy Division is too perky for you, and Leonard Cohen's vocals are too bubblegum-sounding for you these haunting funereal frolics will float your boat (down the River Styx).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sandbox Rebel

( The thing about the sandbox is the sand gets all over your house and that is super annoying. Super annoying.

Noman "broadcast"

(woodbridge) Go man! Low key, high impact anthems that no dude or lady won't dig!

Bolth "If You Want Peace Prepare For Class War"

(Useless World) Thith awethome noith thee-dee kikth ath!

Rodeo Ruby Love "This Is Why We Don't Have Nice Things"

(XRA) Delightfully nerdy tinkle-pop! Includes a song where Ricky Henderson's base stealing is used a a metaphor for heartbreak or growing up or something (does not use Henderson diction and is not in 3rd person).


(marbin) The original motion picture soundtrack to the first Disney snuff film! (this is the score, not the pop soundtrack, obviously Randy Newman and Peabo Bryson would record that)

self-evident "endings"

(dpg) If you make music this angular it makes we wanna strangle ya! Just kidding! But not really.

The Rebellion "Time"

(Saskatchewan Arts Board) Should be called "The RedOnion," because this stinks!

Midas Fall "eleven. return and revert"

( The easy listening Evanesance.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


(LTI) if you ever wondered what it sound like if you went to a band at some weird ambient jazz club located inside a ship built in a bottle by a weird sailor who took Island hallucinogens....then your sense of wonder will appreciate this album. Though it doesn't likely sound like that band. Though that band would have this CD on their tiny ipods.

Morningbell "Sincerely. Severely"

(orange) Groovy, sunny, weirdo pop that made me happier than a drunk puppy. Not sure what any songs are about, but they mention the moon and aliens on one tune, and I'm down with that.

Spouse "Confidence"

(Nine Mile) Sounds much, much better than you'd expect from a band with a 40% goatee ratio (with an additional 80% beard or big sideburns percentage, only saved from a 100% hirsute red flag rate by having a lady keyboardist). Pop/pre-Alternative "college rock"/melodic magic music that gets me in a good groove. Much better than my actual spouse. Actually, ex-spouse. Who I miss. 

Yukon Blonde

(Bumstead) No "yuk" on this record, these mellow yacht rockers make music so delicious they should call themselves YUMon Blondes!

Bellflur "Asleep, Asleep"

(Sewer Alligator) This is a great title for this album because it took me 4 days to review it because every time I listened I fell asleep before the first song ended. A truly refreshing record!

Son of the Sun "Happy Loss"

( Most roots rock has some twang in their bang, and there's a certain sliver of indie rock with a bit of a little twangy bent (separate from country "twang"), but this group plucks the magic twanger right between those two twangs. Basically, they getsome twotwang.

Coliseum "House With A Curse"

(Temporary Residence) This awesome rockin' album will knock the shit out of you -- they should call themselves Colostomy-eum!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

David Greenberger and Paul Cebar "Cherry Picking Apple Time"

(Pel pel) With any luck, in ten years David will actually have the genuine old guy voice to make his old guy quoting spoken world music all too real! But for now he needs Milwaukee's Best...not the beer, but the blues bar king Cebar - to bring it on home. Surprising they would use a quote from the killer single rather than it's title "A King of Milwaukee, part 1" -- a perfect combination of smiles and seniles!

Toy Soldiers "whisper down the lane"

(Maddragon) This is some of that prime Broadway/drama style old time rock 'n' roll -- like Rocky Horror, but not as gay.

The Atlantic Manor "The World Beneath this World is Brightening

(Do Too) If any music is ever going to prevent suicide it sure ain't gonna be perky -- it should be sublimely hopeful music, shrouded in subtle dreariness. The Atlantic Manor's work -- somewhere between blues, ambient music, California country rock on downers, and -- I dunno --madrigals? - is just such sound to save some lives. Every Helpline should have this as their call-waiting music.

Common Loon "The Long Dream of Birds"

(Hidden Agenda) More lunar (sounds like a slow, lunar moonwalk feels) than loony...uncommonly excellent!

Ultralust "Hero"

( Ultrasucks. Literally (seriously, literally) nauseated me.

Jane Baxter Miller "harm among the willows"

(Durga Disk) Though Jane's delightful pinched nasal twang at first brings to mind a rockabilly Urkel, as the songs kick with their thoroughly pleasing traditional tunes (Dwight Yoakum-style) I am ready to be her Tarzan!

The Horribly Wrong "C'mon and Bleed With..."

(Eradicator/Shit In Can) Horribly right! This is not Trash Rock, this is the residue in the crevice under the garbage can lid rock! If Lo Fi was a limbo contest these dudes would go so low as to defy gravity and anatomy.

Poison Control Center "Sad Sour Future"

(Afternoon) This warmly, angular lush pop will make these dudes such big rock stars they're gonna have to change their name to Pus-say Control Center!

Prizzy Prizzy Please "Chroma Cannon"

(Joyful Noise) "New Shoes" is the best song of the century not only about footwear, but about any piece of clothing imaginable! Best shoe song of any century (excluding Sugar Pie DeSanto's "Slip In Mules").

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Sexy Accident "Mantoloking"

( Wicked indie pop stories that are so good they made me have an accident...though only a select few would consider it sexy (unless you're reading this in  German, in which case, only half would find it sexy).

Andrew Watt and the Glory Glory "First Day of Summer Life"

(Nova Scotia) The most low key Wall of Sound homage ever recorded. Expect a dreary summer if this is what the first day sounds like.

Circulatory System "Signal Morning"

(Cloud Recordings) How many members of Elephant 6 bands does it take to actually make music an elephant would like? According to Jumbo over here, apparently more than the amount on this record (which is all of Olivia Tremor and a few Neutral Milkers thrown in). Circula-boring.

Without A Face "Worst Debut Album Ever"

(Redbird) I thought guys strumming acoustic guitars (solo!) were supposed to be painfully humorless and un-rocking, but this dude caused side pains (from laughing) and indeed r-o-c-k-s in the U.S.A. (or Texas, which is close enough) and this is perhaps one of the 2500 best debut albums ever.

The Probe "You Know You Want It"

(rank outsider) Probe-lematic.

Inspector 22 "Hey Man, I Understand"

(Odessa) Tricking Merzbow fans into getting your outsider pop folk weirdo tunes is a strategy I endorse. Opening with five minutes of brutal noise and then going into inly slightly abrasive, and primarily gentle, Daniel Johnston meets Danielson music is a formula that made me happy different brain parts!