Tuesday, June 28, 2011

miss geo "the story"

(www.missgeomusic.com) Should be called Miss Neo, because her music made me enter a Matrix-like world of rich, dreamy guitar pop. And she's as adorable as Keanu.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Black Oak Arkansas (Live, June 24, 2011. Beverly Arts Center, Chicago)

(Guest Review by Gentleman John Battles) I'm shooting from the hip, all you unhip hipster kiddies. Back in the early 70's Black Oak Arkansas' big hits "Jim Dandy (To The Rescue),” and "Hot 'n' Nasty” (which even hit the jukeboxes, years after it's release), were some of the finest slabs of REAL Rock'n'Roll this side of Brownsville Station. Definitely disliked and misunderstood in their day, they still briefly hit the big time with a slew of appearances on In Concert and The Midnight Special. Future President, and fellow Arkansas native, Bill Clinton, was known to attend their early shows, and even said he aspired to be like their frontman, Jim Dandy, and, in retrospect, he was. 
Well, it's 2011. The turnaway crowds are gone (Hell, the VERY intimate Beverly Arts Center was only about half-full, but, that's the power of non-promotion), and while The Dandy no longer has a stallion's mane down to his ass, he still has an impressive, gleaming Charlie Rich-platinum do', easily halfway, or more, down his ass. One friend dared to ask me if he still had the impressive package that is now the "Stuff " of legend. Well, I didn’t look at it too much, but the Brother was packin', OK ? Apart from an understandable paunch (I think he said he's now 63, so, that's really not a big deal. I see guys my age, or less, with major beer guts pulling beautiful, classy looking women all the time. Especially near Wrigley Field), he's actually in pretty decent shape, and, besides, the man still displayed the sexual bravado of yore by letting his shirt unbutton almost completely during the first song. And his voice cried to the heavens, and invoked demons. The non-contradictory melding of sex and spirituality that has always been their stock in trade was always within reach, and used for the good of mankind.
Was it some heavy shit? What the Hell do you think? It was everything Early 70s Hard Rock used to be. From first LP cuts like "Uncle Lijah,” "Lord Have Mercy on My Soul,” "When Electricity Came To Arkansas,” and, of course, "Hot n’ Nasty" (better known today for its break beat) to later nuggets like "Happy Hooker,” and, of course, "Jim Dandy" (Jim Dandy Mangrum  affirmed that Georgie Klein arranged to have Elvis phone him. Elvis reportedly told Jim that he HAD to cover LaVern Baker's hit, "Jim Dandy,” because he was now on Atlantic Records, and besides, the song is really about him, when you think about it. Dandy heeded the King's Call, and their version was a monster smash!). Original Guitarist, Rick Reynolds, and a younger cat who did a LOT of showboating (tho' Dandy still works the stage like a man in the desert with no shoes), even spilling half his beer on the stage while using the bottle as a slide, while holding his axe upside-down. But, one of the real show-stoppers was Dandy's tribute to his fallen friend, Ruby Starr, the only woman to tour as an official member of Black Oak Arkansas, and the combustible screamer on the song, "Jim Dandy." She had sexual chutzpah to match Dandy's, but, of course, the latter spoke more of the spirit world when recalling the former. Dandy let loose with a devastating take on Grand Funk's Downer Rock classic, "Heartbreaker" (which I think my brother's first band Ear Lick, used to do. You're fascinated, right?). Anybody who doesn’t think The Dandy could really sing should have heard this very sincere, call to the angels. If you could imagine, it was like one of Tom Jones' more emotionally wrought moments ("Delilah" or "Without Love,” for starters), but, overall, we were promised a good time, and, that's ALL we got.
Drummer, Johnny Bolin (Tommy Bolin's younger Brother) let loose with a battery comparable to (more or less) original member (and sole Yankee of the group, but, who cares?), Tommy Aldridge, but with his own personal kind of attack. The Bass player stayed in the underappreciated funky - by way of Stax -  Southern Rock groove that is more or less the sole province of BOA, and set them apart from most of their peers. He also had on the same damn customized western shirt that I was wearing!  At some point, a Boston Terrier pup made her way to the stage, and was running all over the place, though, never tripping on guitar chords or being in anyone’s way, so they let her stay. People soon cheered for the dog as much as the band. She WAS cute with a capital "K" (turns out, she belonged to one of Bolin's friends, but talk about surreal!). While Jim Dandy rambled at a rapid clip (all good stuff) between songs, Black Oak Arkansas laid down a thick and heavy sound, the kind that never goes out of style. Now, my good friend, Jeffrey Evans (whom Jack White and Jon Spencer should probably be sending checks to), told me he once at a Blues jam in Memphis he saw Dandy perform a spectacular version of "All Along The Watchtower” which made him forget all other versions he'd heard in the past. On this occasion he did it again. But, Jim Dandy does it all. THE BEAT! THE BEAT! THE BEAT! After the show, most of the band came out, signed stuff, hung out with the fans, and told great stories. There was no division between the artists and their followers, and that's the way it was meant to be. If you're STILL too cool for Black Oak Arkansas, especially if you lean toward Southern Culture on The Skids, Nashville Pussy, Reverend Horton Heat, or even Antiseen, you're missing the whole point. This is music that's way too fun, played by professionals, who like to have as good a time as their audience. And, that, too, is where the whole thing's at. Want to see a really good Rock n’' Roll show? Go see BOA at a dive near you (or in this case, a truly beautiful venue).

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Himalayan Bear "Hard Times"

(Absolutely Kosher) This Bear sounds like a Morrissey who could change the oil on his car.

Friday, June 24, 2011

mala in se

(phratryrecords.com) Feels like someone is using your head as a battering ram to break through a wall of sound constructed of recordings of jackhammers, rejected AmRep demos, and the screams of the damned.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Soulphonics "The Dynamic Sounds of..."

(Scratched) This sounds like an awesome high school dance band...playing their class' 40th Anniversary reunion dance! It's got bouncy, jangly hooks and dynamic energy while managing to be notably un-youthful (though not at all stodgy or stiff). SoulFUNic!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Sovereign

(www.Thesovnews.com) Billed as "The World's Only Truth Newspaper!" this publication considers everything else anyone has ever said to be a lie, including Al Queda's involvement in 9/11 ("destruction exhibited all the characteristics of destruction by explosives"), the killing of Bin Laden (who "has almost certainly been dead since December 2001"), Kurt Cobain's suicide (""CIA mind control experiment"), and the undeserved bad reputation of pirates ("unlike the Obama Navy of today, pirate ships often elected their captain"). I'm not sure if contrarianism and dissidence are the same thing, but they both are definitely things. And if I was to tell you this so-called periodical, which uses heavy metal imagery, cheesecake girlie illustrations, and fantasy visuals to allegedly attack Obama was in fact published by operatives of the President to weaken the resistance by associating them with juvenilia would you believe me? Of course not, that's just some crazy conspiracy shit! BTW: The fact that this paper is still using a picture of Will Oldham as a columnists print avatar is still AWESOME!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Derailroaded: Inside The Mind of Larry 'Wild Man' Fischer" DVD

(MVD/Derailroaded) (Guest review by Gary Pig Gold)

IRWIN CHUSID (author, “Songs In The Key Of Z”):
Outsider music is a slippery genre. It’s musicians who tend to be self-taught, untrained, working certainly way outside the channels of mainstream music. There are very important qualifications:  They are sincere about it. They mean it. They’re not doing it to be funny. They’re not doing it to be outrageous. This is a sincere musical expression. Wild Man Fischer in many ways is a poster child for outsider music.

At his best, he’s mainlined right into this creative kind of subconscious. It’s coming from a pure place.

DENNIS P. EICHHORN (tour manager; Real Stuff Comics creator):
I’ve seen him really work a crowd and have every single one of them responding to him positively. When he’s performing and when he’s got the pep, he’s one of the greatest entertainers you’d ever see in your life.

IRWIN CHUSID:  The appeal of Larry’s music is that it’s real. You’re hearing something that is the musical vision of one singular human being that really comes from the heart and soul of an individual.

SOLOMON BURKE (King of Rock & Soul and Larry’s initial mentor):
A very, extremely talented young man.

LARRY:  I just think I’m the best rock singer in the world.

DAVID FISCHER (Larry’s older brother):
I still don’t think he’s a good singer. I might be wrong.

* * * * * * * * * *

LARRY:  You know what happened to my career? Nothing. I have nothing, you know? Once in a while I go out and sing, but that’s very rare. I’m too scared of the music business. And I’m too scared of all the people in it. Is that sad or what?

I have been derailroaded / Derailroaded by everybody / I have been sent off the track / To wander like a fool / They are liars, and they are thieves / And they left me to stand around / Like a derailroaded fool

LARRY:  That’s what the show-business people are like. They love to torture their entertainers. Those fuckers in show business, you know? They turned me into the psycho I’ve become.

BILLY MUMY (producer, Pronounced Normal, Nothing Scary):
It’s unfortunate that Larry has not had more commercial success with his music. But Larry is a manic-depressive paranoid schizophrenic. And that is an interesting mixture of energy.

DR. LOUIS SASS (Professor of Clinical Psychology, Rutgers University):
A person with schizophrenia is characterized by delusions. Hallucinations. Usually auditory hallucinations. A lot of it has to do with a feeling of conspiracies being directed at you. Everyone’s out to get you.

LARRY:  I’m scared. There’s people after me. I don’t know who’s involved. I just don’t know who’s involved. It’s been a nightmare. All kinds of things have happened to me. Things that you would not believe.

In the year of 1962 / I got thrown out of school / In the year of 1963 / I was committed to a mental institution / In the year of 1964 / I was released from the mental institution / In the year of 1966 / I was committed to the mental institution again 

LARRY:  Well, my life has not been all that pleasant. My father died when I was young and my mother didn’t love me, or didn’t care about me. She used to make me eat on the sink. They made me stand up and eat on the sink. My mother didn’t love me.

The thing about Los Angeles – there are a lot of freaks here. Freaks are people that have figured out a way to, in spite of society, express themselves. And so Larry is just another one of the freaks.

I would say I’m a normal, everyday person, you know? I like girls. I like to eat at restaurants. I like sports cars. I like motorcycles. I’d like to get married one day, have kids. You know, raise a normal family. My mother always used to, you know, wonder about me. She wondered what I was gonna do when I got older. I said Mother, don’t worry about me. I’ll get a job! I’ll go straight!

LARRY:  The first audition I went on was for Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. And I got it.

DAN ROWAN (Laugh-In episode # 16, 1968):
Now that he’s been exposed on national TV, don’t you think he’ll fly to stardom?

FRANK ZAPPA (producer, An Evening with Wild Man Fischer):
I thought that from the very first day that I met him, somebody should make an album about Wild Man Fischer.

LARRY:  Frank Zappa told me that he could make me a rock star. And if Frank Zappa told you that, wouldn’t you think you might be able to become a rock star?

FRANK ZAPPA:  But when you’re working with someone like Wild Man Fischer, the problems that arise become too much to bear.

There’s a new dance goin’ round the land / Come on everybody, do the Wild Man / Throw your arms up, pretend you’re a child / That’s it now, you’re getting wild

FRANK ZAPPA:  One thing that you must remember about Wild Man Fischer is that he actually is a wild person. And, uh, Larry is dangerous.

LARRY:  He loved it. He said that if he ever had a son, he wanted his son to be just like me. I swear to God he said that.

FRANK ZAPPA:  I spent three months working on the Wild Man Fischer album. And at the end of that time not only was I accused of robbing Wild Man Fischer and cheating Wild Man Fischer and abusing him – most of this from Wild Man Fischer himself – but the album itself did not sell a large amount of copies.

In the year of 1968 / Have I made a mistake? / Will I end up a bum? / Will I end up a crumb? / Will I end up in hell? / Will I end up in jail? / Will I end up in Jesus? / Will I end up in trees? / Will I end up rich, rich, rich, rich? / Wild Man Fischer / Wild Man Fischer / Merry-go, Merry-go, Merry-go-round / boop boop boop…

LARRY:  Well, I never became a rock star. Frank Zappa fired me. That’s it.

Frank’s got money in the bank / Frank’s got women he can spank / Frank owns my publishing rights / You could say he’s on my mind / Think about him all the time…

LARRY:  You got to have three things:  You got to have talent. You got to have luck. And you got to have persistence.

GAIL ZAPPA:  I never thought that he would have a real career. And I see him now, and he looks like a very, very exhausted version of that person that I knew then. He’s almost identical.

* * * * * * * * * *

LARRY:  Want to hear how I started a multimillion-dollar empire? “Go To Rhino Records” – you ever heard that song before?

Go to Rhino Records / On Westwood Boulevard / Go to Rhino Records / On Westwood Boulevard / You can get Herb Alpert / And Jackie Lomax / For 40 cents / Da-doo, Da-doo

LARRY:  That’s the first song that was ever done for Rhino Records. I started a multimillion-dollar company! I became Rhino Records’ mascot! Think about it.

Don’t ever forget the money / Don’t ever forget the money…

DAVID FISCHER:  Larry never seemed to have any money, no matter how many albums the guy was doing. It was beyond me. If they do an album on somebody and if it’s not successful, why are you doing another? And what was he supposed to get out of it? I mean, he certainly was very upset and bitter about it.

It’s a money world / It’s a money world…

LARRY:  Show business is really hard. You really can’t trust that very many people. Rhino Records, and most people, have taken advantage of me. Here’s a song I wrote about the music business:

Money occupies your mind / Money can buy your songs / Money is all you buy / It’s a money world / I wish there was no such thing as money

“This is to prove that Larry Fischer received $750.00, (seven hundred & fifty dollars), as an advance for his album called Nothing Scary. (signed) Larry Fischer.”

All you’ll ever meet are cheaters and liars / Liars and thieves / And robbers and swindlers / That’s all you’ll ever meet, that’s all you’ll ever see / Don’t be a singer

LARRY:  I don’t want to be a rock singer no more. It’s a horrifying experience. It’s a nightmare. It’s not as good as you think it is. People use singers.

LARRY (letter to Dennis Eichhorn):
“Dear Denny, I like you. You are a nice guy. You know, I quit show business. I hate show business. It’s full of crooks. And you’re one of them. A nice crook. Your friend, Larry.”

MARK MOTHERSBAUGH:  He’d call me up and go “Mark, I’m quitting show biz. Do you blame me?” I’d go “No, I don’t blame you. It’s an awful business.” He would quit show business about two or three times a week.

“IT’S A HARD BUSINESS” (recorded with Rosemary Clooney):
Rosemary, I’m thinking of quitting this impossible business / Oh really, Larry? I hope not / It’s just too hard / It’s a hard business / Please tell me that you agree / It’s a hard business / It’s hard for you and hard for me / It’s a hard business / Reaching way down in your soul / It’s a hard business / Singing jazz or rock ‘n’ roll

* * * * * * * * * *

LARRY:  The main reason I got into the music business was to impress my family, earn a living, complete my dream. But I knew I would never be able to tour. I’m too paranoid.

RUDY RAY MOORE (The Avenging Disco Godfather):
This is the way I would interpretate [sic] that particular phrase of “derailroaded”:  The railroad carries a train, and the train has come off of the tracks and fell over. And where am I going from here? Sounds like a sad story.

My mind is one of a kind / And if you ever come across a mind like mine / Make sure you dig it, and dig it for gold / Because my mind is one of a kind / Right?

DR. LOUIS SASS:  I think there are a lot of different reasons why people are drawn to Larry’s music. One of them is a little bit like the reason why people a century or two ago would go sometimes to the asylums to look at the patients. It’s a kind of voyeurism to stare at this person who seems so weird and so uninhibited. But a second reason, of course, is that we’re really moved by what he says and the story that he tells of his life and of his sufferings.

MARK MOTHERSBAUGH:  He’s a force of nature. He’s like a poet. He’s a bard in the best of ways, I think. If he grew up in Mongolia, he might have been considered a shaman. And everything that he is and does would be tolerated. 

LARRY:  I guess I’m getting older now. I can’t be a musician/singer anymore. I’m too old. I want to be a musician/singer. I want to make everybody happy.

My goal in life was to become a singer / But it didn’t come true / I think / I don’t know / Who cares? / Bye-bye

* * * * * * * * * *

All of the above dialogue and lyric are taken from Josh Rubin’s stellar documentary Derailroaded: Inside The Mind of Larry “Wild Man” Fischer, newly available on DVD from MVD Visual.

Larry Wayne Fischer passed away on June 16.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mongrel zine #10

(www.mongrelzine.ca)I think this is my favorite garage/punk zine in the world because they interview/review/promote/fuel contemporary garage maniacs/70s punks/60s pioneers/underground illustrators/noise rock outsiders/people who only give interviews in French/witches/inventors/zine making creatures/etc. with a Canadian sensibility that combines polite discourse, whimsical enthusiasm, a Royal Canadian Mountie's sense of duty, and the wicked energy of a hockey riot mob. Latest issue features great interview with Quintron and AMAZING interview with minicomix artist Colin Upton. And a CD.

Mongrel zine #10

(www.mongrelzine.ca)I think this is my favorite garage/punk zine in the world because they interview/review/promote/fuel contemporaru garage manics/70s punks/60s pioneers/underground illustrators/noise rock outsiders/people who only give interviews in French/witches/inventors/zine making creatures/etc. with a Canadian sensibility that combines polite discourse, whimsical enthusiasm, a ROyal Canadian Mountie's sense of duty, and the wicked energy of a hockey riot mob. Latest issue features great interview with Quintron and AMAZING interview with minicomix artist Colin Upton. And a CD.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Carol Kleyn "Love Has Made Me Stronger"

(Drag City) This reissue of an obscure 70s album of California ethereal-enchantment music mixes a bunch of myth metaphors. She's playing harp like an angel, but her voice and songwriting isn't exactly heavenly. She's hypnotizing like a sea siren, but she doesn't seem to be menacing or dangerous. She's in touch with nature and earth like a nymph, but she has human frailty. She seems to be a hippie and a singer-songwriter BUT SHE'S HAULING HARP! Did I mention this is primarily a harp album? This is basically more flower-powered and cloud-dwelling than any of her contemporaries because she has committed herself to this medieval music making machine without a hint of Renaissance Faire aesthetic. Oh...I could have said earlier that her music is harp-y, but she's too pretty to be a harpy.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Matt Sweeney & Bonnie "Prince" Billy "Must Be Blind"

(Drag City) They have moved so much further in quiet, jarring, songwriting awesomeness since they were Superwolf last decade that they should retroactively re-name that record "Superteenwolf."

Grrrl Friend "Happening Now"

(Gnar) Made my loins go "grrr!"

The Mediums "Shiny Void Blues"

(EVP/ITC) Should be called the Extra Larges because these heaping helpings of trashed-out, garage-rock infected, classic rock riffage are MASSIVE!

Bonnie "Prince" Billy "There is No God" b/w "God Is Love"

(Drag City) Best Country Gospel record to ever utilize the lyric "that which puts mouth on cock and vagina." Or at least in the top 3.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Apache Dropout "Shot Down" b/w "Sister Burnout"

 (Trouble in Mind) Not at all patchy, this is one of the most solid slabs of psyche/Spaghetti Western/trash rock/doom pop/art explosion/teen dance band on bad acid/lyncanthropic/boogie/1960s-2060s fuzz-plosion music I've heard is the last thousand years. Best thing to come out of Indiana since the hot comb.

Alex Cuervo "Two Broken Fingers ep

(Trouble in Mind) Deep, dark, frug-able groovy cuts that sound like the top act in a Haunted House Battle of the Bands won a few hours of recording time. Or sold their souls in exchange for it. Seriously, this record is so good it is worth soul-selling.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Que Suerte # Fantasma

(www.olafladousse.com) This is the ghost issue of this spookily beautiful international avant garde pantomime comix compilation and if you love comix or make comix you NEED to contact Olaf and find our how to get a copy of this fly Spanish concoction.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jeffrey Novak "Back at the Bottom" ep

 (Trouble in Mind) Manages to be simultaneously seductively poppy and creepily weird. I spent high school praying for/preying on girls who could be seduced despite my creepy weirdness, so to me this is a platter that matters!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Don Fleming "4"

(Instant Mayhem) Leave it to this Gumball-head to try to steal Beyonce's thunder by giving his new record the same name as her new record. But the jokes on Fleming, if he thought he could fool Ms. Knowles' fans by predicting that her album was going to contain discombobulating audio nightmare music with grating, strange vocals and freaked out guitar amblings by R. Stevie Moore, Kim Gordon, and Julie Cafritz then he was totally wrong! About the guitar stuff by Moore, Gordon and Cafritz, everything else perfectly describes both Fleming's and Beyonce's 4-players.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nervebreakers "Politics" EP, " Hijack The Radio" b/w "Why Am I So Flipped"

(Get Hip) (Guest Review by Gentleman John Battles) Get Hip originally did the CD version of the Existential Vacuum release of "We Want Everything,” The Nervebreakers' posthumously released debut album. Reissues of local Punk pressings were barely in vogue in the early Nineties, and the Punk Revival's lone safety pin was being used to hold up it's diaper. Don't believe me? Then I wish you could have joined me and all 150, or fewer, punters at The Dictators' 1990 Chicago gig. Anyway, The Nervebreakers recorded voraciously all through their career, but it took a few years to release their debut, a four track 33 1/3 RPM EP called "Politics.” The title track is NOT a Punk Rock political call to arms. Far from it. The song sneers at politics, especially when used for self-advancement. "It's politics, not what you know, but who....No more politics! No more politics!” Of course, real Punk bands like The 'Breakers were soon nipped in the bud by more politically minded Hardcore bands, but, as Babe Ruthless from Ft. Worth punkers, Cringe once asked me, "Remember when it was just Punk Rock? It was a lot more fun, back then. "I Can't Help You" carries on in much the same way, dealing again in personal politics. Both songs bear a nice sharp crust to go with the engaging melodies. The Nervebreakers' roots ran deep (you would have been hard pressed to find a band in the late 70s-early 80s who could claim The Troggs, George Jones, Kevin Ayers, and The Chocalate Watchband as influences), and a hint of 60's melodicism runs through these numbers. Perhaps their best-known track, "My Girlfriend is a Rock" is more of a nod to then-modern kingpins like The Ramones, The Sex Pistols and The Clash (all of whom The Nervebreakers opened for), with their own unique sense of humor. “All the neighbors stop and stare, can't understand what she's saying there, they don't understand Rock! It's only Rock, Rock....My girlfriend is a rock, she looks like a piece of chalk, she really likes to pogo to the beat, dances pretty good for a piece of concrete, what the heck, she's just a rock.” “My Life is Ruined" is a complete departure, with an obvious "Spaghetti Western" feel, acoustic guitars and even castanets. It builds up a head of steam, as it goes. It's not a pretty picture, but, maybe, a word of warning to any would-be badasses who think they're immortal.  "Hijack The Radio" is The Nervebreakers' big "anthem" song. Radio was in a sorry state at that time (You mean, it isn’t, still?), especially in primary markets like the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex. Disco was only a small part of the problem, regardless of what revisionists think. The Rock stations were saturating the airwaves with Boston, Journey, REO, Fleetwood Mac (Without Peter Green.) and Pink Floyd (Without Syd Barrett.), and even The Stones and The Who taking a backseat to Led Zeppelin. And, New Music? Forget about it. DJ George Gimarc was just getting his thing together when this record came out. Gimarc, a good friend of The 'Breakers (He'll even admit he knows me, too) had THEE only radio show that would play Underground music at the time in Dallas. There was no local public Radio, yet, nothing remotely similar to then-progressive WXRT, and College radio had a long way to go. The Nervebreakers swore that only Gimarc and his program, "The Rock'n'Roll Alternative" (that word used to MEAN something.), would be spared in the Revolution against The Radio. OK, so it happened,  but as a statement of purpose, "Hijack The Radio" beats 100 Che Guevara backpacks every time, from the updated New York Dolls two guitar attack from Mike Haskins and Barry Kooda  to T.Tex Edwards' spitfire delivery to Kooda's hilarious Rock DJ rap ( Don't  make me call the station manager!). "Why am I So Flipped,” you may have read my comments about, before, when it appeared on the Rave-Up Records Nervebreakers comp from Italy ("My Girlfriend, She's a Rock, No?"). But it's got to be the most crazed thing the band ever did, or, at least, it's in the top three, I'd wager. "Crusher" Carl Giesecke plays so hard and fast, you'd  swear you could hear bits of his drumkit hitting the floor. Bassist "Bar B Q " Bob Childress anchors this unholy mess like The Grim Reaper with a score to settle and a quota to fill. Once more, The Kooda/Haskins Guitar Aggression Pact makes sawdust out of the air, and an ass out of any young   punk upstarts who figure they can match their draw.  Edwards, meanwhile is propelled, the wrong way on Central Expressway, by the barely contained musical chaos. Someone even blows a whistle, but, it's too late. CAR CRASH!! Don't you love our Western ways?
It's a pretty surefired bet you won't be seeing the reformed Nervebreakers at Morrissey's Meltdown or even All Tomorrow's Parties with lyrics like this, but...Nervebreakers Walk Among Us. Be a-scared. The original band, since reforming in earnest (T. Bass) a few years back, have played out in Austin, Ft. Worth, and their native Dallas (where Jack Ruby may have languished in prison, but, Porno Theatres and adult book stores took up much of the downtown landscape in the heyday of Punk and Post-Punk.), and have had a new fished album, "Face Up To Reality" in the can for some time. I've heard a good portion of it, and, dammit, I want more! Somebody, pick this up, pronto! 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Hussy "Cement Tomb Mind Control"

(Slow Fizz) This awesome slab of two person trash genius is guaranteed to cause mass Huss-teria at your high school dance, book club, circle jerk, PTA meeting, rumble, yoga class, or any other gathering where you are ready to get things batshit out of control. Best thing created in Wisconsin since they constructed the turrets on the Mars' Cheese Castle.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bunnygrunt "Lady You Just Got Von Damaged!" ep"

(www.pancakeproductions.net) I never really thought about how this veteran act's twee pop sounds kinda like the murky, off-kilter girl group sound that helped the Dum Dum Girls sell the 21st Century indie record equivalent of a zillion copies (what would that be 8,000? 23,000?). But you hear it here and I hope these fun Bunnys sell an era-adjusted 2 zillion copies that with this gem!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Mushuganas "Lows in the Mid 90's"

(Beercan) As you get older every band you remember that wasn't terrible starts to seem like they were great, just because they were memorable enough to remember and because nostalgia tints everything. I definitely enjoyed some Mushugans shows back "in the day" and listening to this collection of nasty, fun tunes makes me semi-sincerely believe I really liked them. Most pop punk in the 90s was cookie cutter, but these cats were more like oatmeal cookies, splotched down on a tray with mushy, odd shaped edges, a blob of a treat more fun that a precisely cut cookie.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mickey "Rock n Roll Dreamer"

(Hozac) This dangerous and disturbing record sounds like a vinyl copy of Best of the Sweet got left out in the sun to warp, but you played it anyhow.  Over and over. This makes you feel like you just freebased glam. This makes you feel like you shot up a syringe full of glam through a dirty needle. This will discombobulate you in ways that music this catchy should not.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dex Romwember Duo "Is That You in the Blue?"

(Bloodshot) Even at the heart of his Flat Duo Jets glory days there was always something kind of worn and weary about Dex...like I seem to remember that after every furious song he would look kinda spent and older than he shoulda look, like he had gone beyond what his body wanted him to. He gave it all for rock 'n' roll, Dex was willing to die for us! Well, somehow, decades later, he's more furious, more powerful, and more lively! This heaping helping of vaguely rockabilly/spy rock/torch music has some amazing components...including a sax solo of X-Ray Spex "quality"! But note the spare, solo resonating guitar and the spooky, eerie songs that haunt corners of this record. Don't they seem kinda...ghostly? Maybe he did give it all in the 90s!

Razorcake #62, #63, #64, #65, #66

(www.razorcake.orgThe highlight of #62: Obviously having Rev Norb make fun of post-princess-pummeling Ben Weasel is like having a Navy Seal sniper shoot fish in a barrel, but it sure is fun to read! #64 features a genuinely awesome photo of Shannon and the Clams rocking – if Shannon isn’t your current rock n roll crush you need to get your wiring checked. And #65 has them celebrate a decade in publishing the best way anyone could…risking Canadian Ragnarok by putting Nardwuar and Geddy Lee together! And #63 is awesome because Roctober is all over it! They rave about our new book and Roctober contributors put together an amazing history of Tutu and the Pirates! If there’s one thing I love about other magazines it’s being sort of like this magazine! Which points out something interesting about issue #66. In addition to presenting a bushel of contemporary band interviews with better layout and graphics than MRR has set precedent for, they also slyly let us know that they are five times better than us by putting out five issues to every one that we put out in the last 10 months!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Werewolf's "Sobering Up the Wolfman"

(Cassette Deck) Ugly-angle rock 'n' roll that features pelvic-born lupine howling so harrowing and powerful it would make Teen Wolf miss his free throws.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Listener by David Lester

 (Arbeiter Ring Publishing,) GUEST REVIEW BY ROBERT DAYTON
If you don’t think that art and politics should mix, then vamoose with you. Wait! Come back! Sit down and listen…I mean, read this new graphic novel called The Listener. Yeahhh edutainment! David Lester is known in music circles as  the guitarist in the longtime legendary Vancouver intense avant rock duo Mecca Normal , he is also an artist and graphic designer, The Listener is his first graphic novel, eight years in the making, it is 300 pages long! Black and white and heavy washes ranging all over the grey scale taking stylistic risks that borrow from German Expressionist cinema- often this works, occasionally the odd visual element can be difficult to discern.
This is the Personal as Political. The central character is an artist named Louise. After one of her art pieces spurs a man to take a political action that accidentally causes his death, she leaves Canada and heads to Europe. There she meets numerous people, some of a romantic nature, as they muse and discuss the meaning of art and the power it has. Most impacting is her chance meeting with an elderly couple who saw Hitler’s rise to power firsthand via the 1933 German Elections. At this point flashbacks entwine with present day probings. These rarely told details of the 1933 elections (which David Lester extensively researched) tellingly correspond with the current Canadian political climate showing how certain figures can rise to power, when less than forty percent of the populace vote for them, due to flawed political voting structures and party take-overs. This connection is never made explicit, of course, Lester is too smart for that because nowadays everything gets compared to Hitler, including my delicious breakfast.
It is this encounter that helps Louise work through her guilt. The Listener can cause one to use what personal power they have to try and create a difference. Of course, this graphic novel is realistic enough to show that there will always be naysayers and those who simply just do not get it (nor try to get it). Through acknowledging that fact, it makes utilizing the power of creativity a little easier.

Hellberta by M Comeau

 (Koyama Press) (Guest Review by Robert Dayton) There’s something to be said for residing in the public domain, a certain freedom. Take super heroes for example. These are figures of modern myth . The new gods! And now that copyright law no longer exists one can get rather gnostic and explore the inner light within. Take the mutant Wolverine. He’s been given a sweeping batch of origin stories that are supposed to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. In the so-called ‘official continuity,’ he might not even be Canadian anymore. He most certainly is in Hellberta! From Alberta! Hellberta. If you are from Alberta and had the urge to escape its’ maw then you would call this frozen redneck prairie ‘Hellberta’. Comeau certainly comes from there, it shows. This distinctly Canadian comic book fractures the narrative in several places below the belt whilst the nastiest of all Prime Ministers, the Neo-Con and Neo-Citran Stephen Harper, is cast as perpetually charmless villain. Nasty representatives of the big C church fight Wolverine as he avenges the death of his best friend, a sweet deer named Mertle, from an exploding gas line.
Red and green scrawled linework is silk screened on yellow paper as Comeau attacks the story with a child-like abandon. The contrasting colour imagery causes mad play on one’s eyes as the story is resolved in a way–gone time flash-forward (Wolverine can live on long time).

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mad Anthony "...I Spent All My Money on Speed Metal"

(Phratry) Mad love for Danzig-esque howls and crunchy Middle Earth ghetto rock assaults!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Black Widows "Live on KXLU"

(www.theblackwidows.net) This masked guitar band plays ominous, yet mirthful, instrumentals, sorta like a vile Ventures. Or like 1001 Strings, minus 85 strings, plus one awesome cowbell. My fave thing about this band is that Tony Fate uses a cool pseudonym (he's either Dr. Vibe or Count Funkula), even though I assume Tony Fate is already a cool pseudonym.

Ty Segall "Goodbye Bread"

(Drag City) Spare, slightly off-kilter psyche-adjacent pop that's seductive, but the kinda seduction where you wake up in a tub of ice with  a missing kidney.

Big Trouble "The Very Best of Big Trouble - 20 Years and a Million Beers Ago"

(Retrospect) Big Trouble apparently was a 90s hair band that sounds like a milder Poison. You know, a Poison that won't kill you, but might give you stomach troubles. Not to compare this music with diarrhea, as this is pretty fun stuff...way funner than diarrhea! "Circus" sounds exactly like the kinda song that would have a video in heavy rotation on pre-Nirvana MTV. The fact that this band came out at the same time as Nirvana when it was too late to sound like this is probably why they didn't get into as big a trouble as they should have. Includes, out of left field, a country ballad amusingly titled "Popcorn, Whiskey, and Beer."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stacian "Pul" EP

(Moniker) A powerful synth-psyche spell that turn princes in the kind of toads that make you trip if you lick them.