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What KFJC has added to their library and why...

Fluwelen Koord – “Luxe Poesje” – [Ultra Eczema]

Spazzy, strident and a little sweet punk.

A-side :Boozy guitar, howled vox (he eventually barks at
the end) and a bassline that wants to be a metronome. Some
times two notes is enough for a bassist, maybe more than
s/he can handle. A little synth whispers on what I guess
passes for a break in this simple art-damaged punk slow-dance.
Other reverby percussion, not really drums, more like
dropping a silverware tray nicely. Beasts from Belgium
and while I thought the title might mean something like
“the light of poetry,” online translating came up with
“luxury pussy.” So kinda the same thing? Both are found
behind a “velvet rope” (which is the apparent translation
of the band name.) On the flip side, “Ingeblikt Miszprijzen”
creepy crawls its way to start then moves into a three chord
charger with more of those yelping vox. Does it translate
as “Canned Disapproval” or is that just what I had for dinner?
Love the flat-tire e-string guitar riff to start and then set
up the climax end of the song.
-Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 15, 2016 at 7:07 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Big Bang, The [coll] – [Ellipsis Arts...]

    From various drums to your eardrums, stretching expansively
    from insects to ancients to jazz fusion. This came out in
    1994, with sounds spread all over time, adding it to KFJC
    in part as our MD happened across a used copy of this suave
    package (with a booklet thicker than all three discs). But
    also in part to say thanks to Ellipsis Arts (and Jeffrey
    Charno who ran it) for some lovingly compiled releases
    (two of my faves are “Gravichords, Whirlies & Pyrophones”
    and the mesmerizing memento mori “Dancing with the Dead.”)
    Like that latter release, a global perspective comes with
    the program, and as this aims to give the drummer more than
    some, the project is huge in scope. Jorge Reyes’ galloping
    clops and flying flutes nice and weird. Gamelan chimes in
    here and there, and folks with maybe more conventional rep
    like Carl Palmer, Jack DeJohnette, Richard Flatischler,
    Terry Bozzio and ummmm Mickey Hart appear alongside the
    Baka Forest People, Hestra of Chinese Central Music College
    and the LCO Soldier’s Drum. That last one is from a Wisconsin
    reservation, those wavering vox over the insistent hand
    struck drums. So powerful to me. Bernie Krause stitches
    the CDs together with opening and closing tracks, the very first
    leadoff with some Tanzanian Chimpanzees on the mic! Plenty of
    other primal primate singing/shouting/exhorting throughout.
    Ritual rhythms and celebratory sensations, with plenty of info
    in the 64-page booklet to share with listeners. Drop the laser
    anywhere but don’t drop the beat! -Thurston Hunger
    We have 14 of the Ellipsis Arts releases, they stopped back in 2005
    Charno runs guided meditations these days through mindbodysessions.com

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 15, 2016 at 7:06 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Bad Luck – “3″ – [Tables & Chairs Music]

    Fantastic sax and drum duo from Seattle. KFJC DJ/MD
    aBacus Finch said they are even more potent live which
    is high praise voltage considering this 2014 recording.
    Their album is bristling sharp percussion from Chris
    Icasiano, his snare is crisp and he’s more about tight
    rhythms than florid free-for-all bursts. Iscasiano likes
    to shadow his tenor partner Neil Welch on staircase sax
    runs. Welch’s style is often staccato and sweet, and
    he augments it all with outstanding electronics. A high
    drone sample piercing over the top on “Power Ballad”
    during breaks is one example, it ends in a dark alley
    where you night bump into Der Club of Gore. Most of
    side B has a charged distortion bucking at your ears,
    makes that feel like it could plug right into an old
    Pop Group ditty. “Tour Song” rises and falls, with some
    silence at times, it’s like the duo are playing on
    a nuclear sub during a meltdown. I’m not sure if it’s
    the electronics or Welch’s compositions (quick flicking
    melodies) but this jazz vinyl flat out rocks. More swinging
    than Zu, but it’s got that similar brash appeal. Welch’s
    use of effects is seamless and spectacular. The duo
    ends the album with a short smoldering “Heart Machine”
    and then a cover of the Art Ensemble’s “Nonaah” that
    palpitates and thumps in cycles. If it weren’t for
    Bad Luck our radio station would be a little less lively.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 15, 2016 at 7:02 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Jazz
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  • Bookwar – “Obryv” – [Post-Materialization Music]

    Ivan Bookwar or Chitai Bookwar with industrial beaten
    hip-hopaganda. Made from nothing but the finest Soviet
    era instruments (Polivox, Altair 231, Ritm-2) and drum
    machines. You definitely get an abandoned factory vibe
    especially as songs usually start with quite a bit of
    the machines alone warming themselves up before Ivan
    comes in with a very metered flow, lyrics pumped
    po-russkie and delivered with a monotone hammer and
    sickle cycle. “Lapta” (“Bat”) has some cool echolocation
    squiggles flying along the mix (man I wish I spoke
    enough Russian to have a semblance of understanding
    on these tracks, instead every 11th word triggers
    my broken Broca vocabulary like a land mine of
    unintelligible recognition. But the detachment
    of the singer is universal. Fits with dark-wave
    dreary fears quite nicely, but at the same time
    there’s a kind of spirit to the dinginess. The way
    Alan Vega still gave a damn while spitting out
    suicide lines. “Obryv” (like a steep slope I think)
    sways between bass fuzz pulses and eventually
    incorporates disconsolate la-la-la-las behind the
    ironic curtain. “Bezymyannaya Voda” (nameless
    water) could be a Dark Entries find from the 80′s
    but it’s just the drip drop of Xmas 2014. It’s the
    catchiest and shortest of the three tracks, but
    still warped by chords of decommisioned equipment
    (our CD appears to be missing “Crowdfunding” by
    the way) As Prurient goes with a Vatican Shadow,
    Bookwar looks sharp and shattered in Kremlin Mascara.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 15, 2016 at 7:01 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Intersystems – “Intersystems” – [Alga Marghen]

    A spectrum spectacle from max’d mixed media men, Toronto late 60′s,
    produced more than just this triple vinyl hippy trip-trek. There were
    installations and tactile rooms and sculptures, all long gone but are
    ears are still there thanks to this Alga Marghen release. Noise
    concrete chopped with early Moog movements and analog achievements
    courtesy of John Mills-Cockell. Draped in tapes, especially those
    capturing the poetry of Blake Parker (stark intoning, with a delivery
    like a Dalek narrating Fractured Fairytales.) Parker’s poems fix
    your attention, not so much with their content but with their
    clipped delivery (and the clipped feeling of a Dream Machine
    splicing sentences together). That being said there is a sort
    post-modern attack on “Number One” (Ezra Pound and T.S.
    Eliot are summoned, but then so is the sound of the air
    conditioner). On “the second lp, Peachy” that’s where the
    fairytale dust was sprinkled in with the LSD, at times more grim
    than the Brothers Grimm. Guns appears and you know what
    happens when they do in fiction. Parker with an odd cadence
    concludes vignettes prounouncing a malediction of sorts
    “The story has been told it is ended; it is the end.” On the
    third record, “Free Psychedelic Poster Inside” a comic book
    romance/tragedy/assembly line soap opera is unveiled and
    an actual cut-up comic accompanies this glorious package.

    Altogether ear-bending explorations that have fared well
    and will transfix the grandchildren of hippies tuning in today
    via KFJC and dropping out of the internet for a bit Whether
    played raw (you feel some of the chains rattling and taped
    vox humana warpage best that way) or cooked up in a modern
    method with our samples layered on top.

    KFJC was lucky to have the Cortical Foundations first pass at
    gathering some of this material (less lucky was Cortical founder
    Gary Todd as discussed in artist Tom Recchion’s contribution
    to the massive liner book included.) The full liner experience
    sort of torpedo’d my enjoyment after a first pure listen, but it
    connects dots to artists known and not (KFJC has neither
    Syrinx nor Kensington Market but youtube beckons one),
    Reading all those liners I hit a kind of headache harmony of
    the gospels. But I’m sure people connected to the scene at
    that time will appreciate a flashback today to the flashbacks of

    The sounds were clearly ahead of their time, and I suspect this
    record will be a favorite dipped into off and on for years to come.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 5, 2016 at 5:26 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Julius, Rolf – “Lullaby For The Fishes” – [Tochnit Aleph]

    Eerily beautiful instrumentals, originally released in 1985. On
    first listen, there’s a mechanical quality, one almost imagines
    a Rube Goldberg series of devices set up to then generate the
    sounds. There’s not pronounced percussion, but a polyrhythmic
    vibe is created in each little loop of soundscape, and how they
    don’t necessarily line up perfectly. Like a bunch of buoys
    bobbing on the ocean waves. Some other sounds reminded me
    of baby humpbacks singing for their dead mother’s descending
    in a whale fall, or maybe the “fa love pa” squeak-speak.
    Is it a decrepit organ, or a feeble oscillator. The sounds
    are short, clipped and a bit mysterious removed from the
    installations that originally featured them. The 3 Lullabies
    connected to the title are more soft drones, quite short
    and more sonic palate cleansers. “Minutenblues” was my
    favorite, but “Zwergenmusik” (dwarf music) is towering
    in its own minimal method. RIP for Rolf in 2011
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolf_Julius -fur deutsch
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 5, 2016 at 5:22 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Cross – “Die Forever” – [Sophomore Lounge]

    12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}
    Dark gnashing Nashville rock, midwifed by Ma Turner. Unlike
    his dizzy colorburst porch psych, the sound here is a more
    stark black and blacker. Lyrics laced with death obsession,
    it’s a fresh corpse however, lively drums from Jason Schuler
    and Turner really is a tasty guitar player. At the bleak
    heart of it all is singer R Clint Colburn who doubles as
    an artist


    Clint’s got a stylized delivery, on at least one listen, I
    was picking up a heavy Stan Ridgway vibe. The guitar
    driven songs have a True Crime kind of flair, no real solos
    just churning away, while the grim reaper hides smiling
    behind the amps of bassist Jamie Adkins. “Life Not Dreams”
    and the excellent “Forever” are two songs that suffer
    their own near-death experience before lurching back
    alive. “Urgency and the Breeze” with its desolate
    bass line question mark and stark drums was a highlight
    as the vocals, and lyrics, come sweetly unhinged.
    I know Sophomore Lounge label leader Ryan feels there
    is a common thread running through the albums they’ve
    put out, but I hear a pleasant diversity and new takes
    with homage to various rock/pop forms of the past.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Trio OOO – “Days to Be Told” – [New Atlantis]

    DC trio-o-o. led by Aaron Martin on alto. he’s
    got the spark and fire of Archie Shepp’s tenor.
    Mostly freescaping his way over the rhythm section
    of Luke Stewart on upright and Sam Lohman on drums.
    The lead-off cut has crisp drums from Lohman, a
    quick snare and they are off. “Song of the Sun”
    is the outlier, an indigenous improv, distant
    ancient flute and tuned percussion. Then back
    into new sounds that flow like vintage Village
    Vanguard. Stewart walking and popping the bass up
    and down while Martin sweetly scurries and hiccoughs.
    “I Too” starts with a smokey setting by Stewart
    and Lohman, Martin adds an air of mystery,
    fluttering half-steps as he loops up and back
    on flights, love the smoldering end! Another 10+
    min cut to close, “There is Confusion” has
    Stewart start with some tense jigsaw lines with
    ample silence. Those same lines will be reprised
    later at a much more rapid clip as Lohman rides
    the hi-hat and racks up snare shots and Martin
    veers in and out with solo work. Tasty.
    -Thurston Hunger
    Fun fact: producer Jason LaFarge and drummer Sam
    Lohman were Blue Prostitutes with Steve Mackay.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 8, 2016 at 6:32 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Linear Downfall – “Sufferland” – [PIAS]

    Excellent mix of hazy vox and crazy electronics, for
    a Nashville gnashing of the ears. Hits me right in the
    pleasure pain center, thanks to tweaked out electronics
    and ghost piano (#1) and failing medical equipment(#4)
    and maybe even a smattering of mellotron (end of #7)
    Mellotron on #12 too? Also a gaggle of sax geese on
    that “Over My Shoulder” closer which on the CD then
    has a fake locked groove starting around 4:40 and it
    keeps going till you think about killing your roommate
    and instead shut off the CD. Despite that mechanical
    maniacal industrial repeat-a-thon, someone in the band
    might be wearing Beatle boots, (check “It’s Always
    Ending”) it’s been a while since I’ve heard those boots
    tiptoeing around, kind of nice. But most of the album
    is less moppy poppy, and just artfully twisted, like on
    “No Traces.” Female and male vox, the former winning by
    a pretty hair (a Rapunzel-like strand floating down from
    some high castle). Perhaps just the right number of
    Cooks (brother and sister, Chance and Charlee)
    in the kitchen….hope to hear more from this
    four piece. The album apparently has an accompanying
    film but plays just fine on the drive-in between
    your left and right lobes! -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on December 22, 2015 at 10:30 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Marriage – “Pool Blunt” – [Monofonus Press]

    Marriage “Pool Blunt” 33 rpm
    Pretty sure I was given this album based upon one track’s
    title, and sadly I do not think it was for “Taco Bells
    Canyon.” Marriage is a complicated thing, but in this
    case it’s simply five bearded Texans (some number of which
    were surely former college DJ’s in a previous lowlife).
    I think you could throw this on between Spray Paint
    and Borbetomagus and the ends would line up. It’s got
    some of that chicken plucking guitar but also the
    free jazz sprawled across rock style that make this
    nation great. Well parts of Austin and sections of
    the KFJC library at least. The band might prefer to
    be squeezed between Burmese and Sonny Sharrock, or
    a different Sonny altogether (the album is a nod to
    Sun Ra.) The music is guitar furious, athletic drums
    (hi-hat hyperventilating), sax can squeal in and
    lyrics are shouted beneath the fray. I wonder if
    the songs were all recorded in one-take per side, it
    feels like the band charges through them, no clean
    breaks…but despite the distorted din, pretty
    clean and profficient playing throughout. A well
    calculated cataclysm! The first side has some punkier
    driven moments, again all songs track, so getting in
    and out is kinda of like jumping off a train. But
    then again a full side-long express is worth the trip
    down the aisle…um….I mean groove!
    Bet these guys tear it up live. -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on December 3, 2015 at 6:33 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Finis Africae – “El Secreto De Las 12″ – [EM Records]

    1984 release from a group revolving around guitarist
    Juan Alberto Arteche Gual. Recently this was reissued
    by the Em Records label out of Japan, which always
    catches my eye, if not ear. The sounds here are pretty
    new agey, or at least just plain pretty. Hammered dulcimer
    and found sound (brooks, birds and maybe a shaman on A3?)
    both flow through-out. The album starts with a distant
    storm breaking, but then flute blows in like the breeze,
    a soothing series of runs, that rise and fall, slowly at
    times, and other times quick as rain drops back and fort…
    eventually resolving into major key satori. Early Ghost
    psych music from Japan was much more ragged and psychedelic,
    but there’s a kinda kinship between the two. “Pipo Y
    Las Libelulas” drops 80′s synth beams in the pools
    of sound while a cello shivers over the piece like
    a mangrove tree. The album is deep in water sounds
    and metaphors in the track titles. Lots of cascades
    and voices as birds, or mutter-moan-mantra as on the
    last track trickle in. I remain fascinated by Koki
    EMura, the EMperor of EM, and his mission, at least as I
    perceive it, to reclaim New Age’s tarnished reputation
    among oddball audio enthusiasts. -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on December 3, 2015 at 6:31 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Sharrock/Oki/Rechtern/Zinman/Sato/Rosilio – “No Is No (Don’t Fuck Around With Your Women)” – [Improvising Beings]

    2014 cross continental collaboration, recorded in France.
    Calling them a sextet, while true feels a little risky
    based on the title. Linda Sharrock divorced from Sonny
    in 1978 (he died in 1994) was once mouth and muse
    with that great guitarist, (among others, their
    exploration of “Black is the Color of My True Love’s
    Hair” remains ear-rasing) but we find her avant-garden
    kept on growing independent of him. Even now despite
    being stricken by stroke, am I wrong to read her
    prominent moany, deep-tone vocals as a struggle against
    pain and other impingements? She always had a baritone
    weight to her voice, but this sounds heavier. Against
    her ballast, Eric Zinman’s piano often aims for the
    stratosphere. Bluesy dances, working high on the 88.
    Itaru Oki on trumpet and flugelhorn, has a nice
    stretch 15 minutes in on the studio disk 1. Mostly
    the band is improvising at full blender speed. 35 minutes
    in on disk 1, dramatic piano, smoldering sax from Mario
    Rechtern and some clip-clopping (is it drummer Makoto
    Sato….or Linda or ???) makes for a nice calm point.
    Yoram Rosilio starts tapping up the tension on his bass.
    This leads to a sonic sense of triumph from all six.
    But there only getting warmed up. There’s a funky little
    silence and coda at the end of that disk. Disk 2
    is a live rendition, where Linda is less up front but
    still plenty vocal, the horn play reigns supreme on
    thise, and again a silence then coda this time where
    the title comes from, F-bomb included. Linda sounds
    happy and joyful during that exchange, exorcising
    demons early has got to be good for the body and soul.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on December 3, 2015 at 6:23 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Striggles, The – “Bilb” – [Rock Is Hell Records]

    This is NOT a kid’s band that has a restraining order
    keeping them within 100 feet of schools, but maybe it
    could be. There’s something peculiar about this Austrian
    four piece, glorifyingly and uncategorizably peculiar. At
    times they remind me of Ono (not Yoko, the Chicago art rock
    tweakers). The album starts off with a fiercely hungry
    math rock riff, and gameshow vocals, kinda Sleepytime Gorilla
    Museum. It’s weirdly catchy even before the soaring
    background vocals join it. Sung in Englitch by the way.
    “Die Nation” sounds like Italy’s Starfuckers recorded in
    a chicken coop. The drums just hammer down on those poor
    chicken guitar licks. “Lady Gag’s Fashion Line” sounds
    every bit as sleazy and goofy as you would expect it.
    “Lick In My Head” is what happens when you mix sniffing
    glue and Barry White, an accidental aphrodesiac…with
    these monster Ruins-esque destroyo moments that turn that
    “Lick” into a “Dick.” “DC Weg” is another number with a
    nasty, thick, chomping beauty. “Sesam Sezam” – remember
    that episode where Ken Vandermark played a state trooper on
    Twin Peaks? Me neither but it would have sounded like this!
    A great combo of squonk and slink! After all that, “Question”
    is a folk funk ballad with some guitar strafing coming in at
    the end. I think that’s the key that these guys while capable
    of writing melodies for head-swaying or face-munching songs,
    have a love for improvised ear oddities above all. How else
    to explain “Ragtime” with its plink and plonk guitar/bass
    that feels like a clock repair shop/prison. There’s probably
    some prime-number counting system at work, I dunno but it’s a
    *sidelong* number with sideways syncopation and a funny name.
    “…Something Happened….” might be techno, maybe not, but
    it’s kinda beaty. “Pig Gesicht” is sung into the mirror.
    “Net Daham” closes things out with a sort of Albert Ayler
    call, before the heavy bass and drums drive a rock lane
    through the song, it rides this pounding groove for nearly
    8 minutes, before getting worked up like Zu at the zoo.
    Elephant bass, and donkey sax… These guys are mammals
    but just barely. Feels weird enough to be a Bay Area bred
    project, and their first album apparently had a Zippy
    headshot on the cover. Life is short, Imbrace the Striggle!
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on November 30, 2015 at 6:34 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Zooom Trio – “What’s For Dessert” – [Leo Records]

    First off a shout of praise for Leo, they’ve got tons
    of great releases. (KFJC “only” has 50…so far!)
    This project has three o’s in the Zooom, one for
    Christian Lorenzen on a variety of keys, David Helm
    on the upright bass, and Dominik Mahnig on a cascading
    array of percussion. Lorenzen is the featured player,
    pretty spacey and always electic. Some of the more
    tasteful Rhodes scholarship I’ve come across. But
    Mahnig is onto something, he’s clutter creative on
    the slow but expansive “Everyday They Run” while Helm
    bows and saws away. Helm hits highest on “As Things
    Are Now.” I love the almost thumb piano ending on
    “Chinaski” into the mess of “Heart’s Song” and then
    the whistly pep of “Grimish.” People who fear jazz
    in general can feel safe and Money Mark fresh in
    “the Underwear Department.” This won’t hit as big as
    Sex Mob across the KFJC shifts, but its explorations
    are pretty accessible.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on November 30, 2015 at 6:33 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Ma Turner – “Zoz” – [Sophomore Lounge]

    Oedipal pedals spinning fast over and back across an
    original 12 cassettes from this Wizard of Zoz. Michael A. Turner spun these seeds, but this vinyl birth was mid-wife???d by Robert Beatty. Not sure if Beatty used an oubliette in the sequencing, but the results are excellent. Call it folk experimental or warped bedroom psych. Very personal expression. Each side plays like a maxxed up mix tape rhythms and repetitions show up from track to track, Turner???s melody might turn into a dirty electro pulse on the next track, or a two-chord pairing in “Living” is brought back from the dead on “Crucifix Cruiser” sounding like a sample smushed of some blades clashing, your grandpa’s organ, and reverbed electric guitar. Lo-fi fits this release perfectly, flea market electronics and ramshackle acoustic guitar and some banjo too. Reading the lyrics on the bright pink zine-sert, they seem simple with a sort of dime-store psychology or deity-free religion, but they’re sung so gently and sweetly amidst the even sweeter (to my jaded ears at least) cacophony they feel more profound. That’s the charm of lo-fi maybe, or perhaps the budding genius of a man who became his own Ma. More great Kentucky Kenfuckery on this label. KFJC probably could have hung with all original 6 hours spread over 8 records, but this single slab will have to do for now. Dig it! -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on November 25, 2015 at 5:38 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Carsick Cars – “Carsick Cars” – [Bing Masi]

    2007 noise rock debut from this Chinese three
    piece. Zhang Shouwang is a feeedback fiend of
    the highest order, shimmer summoning everything
    from Galaxie 500 to Sonic Youth. He sings in
    both Mandarin and ‘merican, “Gun” is an innocent
    ode to rock ‘n roll depravity of yesteryore
    with a cry of “cocaine, cocaine cocaine.” The
    other English lyrics remind me of that “Rocky
    Mountain Low” collection, where rock and roll
    was not only the medium, but sort of a tangible
    motivation for it all. It’s very crisp pop
    rock, big ringing chords, disaffected back-up
    vocals, short driving songs that deliver.
    Check out the chord fritz fade on “Xiong Mao.”
    A stately blitz ballad starts of #10 and then
    9:55 minutes in a bonus track arises from
    silence. Shouwang is the only one still wearing
    his sick seatbelt as both Li Weisi and Li Qing
    left the band in 2010 and are now in Snapline.
    Carsick Cars have hit some success since then
    (SXSW citing) but this album feels fresh and
    vibrant, and definitely hearkens back to
    shiny indie rock daze. Now, where are the
    Beijing Beefheart bands!?!? -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on November 25, 2015 at 5:37 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Fat Creeps – “Must Be Nice” – [Sophomore Lounge]

    Killer fountain of youth femme-fronted pop rock. Hits my ears
    right in the sweet spot where the Delta 5, the Kellies and
    even a little bit of Lush give me a head rush. But this band
    goes the extra mile, naming themselves after their fans!
    Unabashed jangly guitar in force, dig the Let’s Active
    ring to “I’ve Got.” Both guitarist Gracie Jackson and
    basist Mariam Saleh sing, and when they dive into together
    they ride that blue line between sweet melodies and slightly
    sour harmonies that just slay me, check “Having So Much Fun” or
    the “Daydreaming.” At 45 rpm, the songs fly by (quicker
    than a batch of microwave popcorn.) Like “Party” at 1:49,
    with an quasi-robotic vocal the band takes one look inside
    said “Party” and get the hell out of dodge. Or out of Boston,
    as they are Missy-chusetts with a Jim Leonard bumping the
    drums filling and rolling pretty nicely. “Back 2 Skool” is an
    instrumental, but you might as well sing along. “Nancy Drew”
    and “Dad Weed” would be proud.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on November 12, 2015 at 6:11 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Simmons, Sonny – “Chasing The Bird? (Dead Years Ago, Million Years Ahead)” – [Improvising Beings]

    Not sure if Sonny’s in the same air as Charlie Parker, or
    perhaps an heir to more distant atmosphere’s were Sun Ra flew?
    This massive 4 CD monolith is cleaved from another 4 pack.
    8 disks for 8 decades for a man who has been on the watch.
    The leadoff disk here hold martial arts moves but feel like
    14 cosmic improvs, ripples of electronics courtesy of Anton Mobin
    and Nobodisoundz, while Simmons dials in sax telemetry. Dig
    “Magnus Fact in Act”, instead of playing in a subway, its from
    subspace. Astral guitar projections by Michel Kristof and Nicolas
    Marmin (Aka_Bondage). It’s like the “Angel Heart” soundtrack on
    another planet, great stuff.

    CD2 Breath of Life in four tracks/chambers. Starts with Sonny
    chanting/incanting giving way to synth woosh and warbles from
    Julien Palomo. It feels like an old Fax label release at times
    but Simmons twists in mystic notes (is it his English horn in
    part 2, with tenor sax fogging below?) Part 3 is power prana
    inspiration to start, Simmons with lungs and a little laughter
    before a lot of beaming synth which subsides as Simmons sax
    dancing solo rises. Part 4 definitely echoes Sun Ra’s old
    clavioline, slow sounds while more Simmons flights of notes.
    20 minutes or so in, guitar crunches some funk. Simmons then
    takes the spaceship to a blues bar, “I was way down there…”

    CD3 It’s all about that distorted hum from a rock guitar amp,
    Kristof wahs and warps electic string spikes, and Palomo pumps
    in eerie organ, at the nucleus of it, Simmons is exploring
    on sax, or bellowing along vocally in the fury. Pretty raw
    collaboration, far from fusion, and not as driven as the Last
    Exit excursions. 25 minutes into “I Can’t Go No Farther Than That”
    and Simmons sounds as fresh as ever. On that and “Going Through
    the Storms” Simmons sings kinda like Lonnie Holley, rich and
    deep. The “Storms” comes with a psych guitar freak-out by Kristof.

    CD4 subtitled “Worlds of Worlds of Worlds of” further in the
    tracks grow longer, CD2 had 4, CD3 had 3, and this last offering
    has just two tracks. The first starts with shimmering keyboards
    and maybe mellotron, it has the charged feeling of the start of
    a prog saga, the shifting chords exercising gravity on Simmons
    freewheeling sax. “Dead Years Ago, Million Years Ahead” launches
    with a sort of Sonny scat, before UFO synth moves fill your ears
    and the skies. A strange marriage of almost eclesiastic composition
    and Simmons moves from more furious free sprawl to a peaceful
    call home.
    A rich and rewarding release for a rich and rewarding career!
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on November 12, 2015 at 6:11 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Phantom Family Halo, The – “Raven Town Witch” – [Sophomore Lounge]

    Excellent work from Dominic Cipolla and pals. Cipolla’s polite and
    creepy butler vocals are just one element of the glory here. Riffage
    is varied but right on target, dropping dance beats in with some old
    molten blues (remolded beyond easy recognition on the lead-off track).
    Guitars swirl in from the 60′s, I swear there’s a hint of Sparks at play
    here as well. “Serene Eye” has killer dramatic flourishes including
    a burning chorus staked out at the end. The title track is a straightforward
    Frankie and Annette kind of number. But then look out, I’m not sure
    what to call “Down on the Streets” but excellent. Glam-damaged pop
    percolating! The B-side is a bit more subtle, the A-side
    is flat-out B-witching and B-yootiful! Viva Lousville!
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on November 4, 2015 at 5:51 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • State Champion – “Fantasy Error” – [Sophomore Lounge]

    Roll over Camper van Beethoven and tell the Dirty Three the news? Forceful four piece from Louisville, that flies a reprise of the college radio pennant from its
    championship daze. A slight country twang tang to Ryan Davis vocals, sipping echoes of the hayseed heydays in the ol’ Palace farm/still. The album opts for
    more Sunbathing than moonshine, whereas Bonnie PB sees a darkness,
    Davis and the Champs see a sunny back yard with a beer in each hand.
    Now maybe it’s a bit sunny cuz a neighbor cut down too many trees, or
    the postman is a peeping tom. There’s not too much Bible belting or holy
    rolling in these songs, although among lyrical gems we find
    “There’s a special trashcan in heaven where prayers like mine go”
    Songs veer between general twisted insights like that and more personal torn
    heart strings. I get the sense that love failed before it could prevail, but
    maybe it happened so recently that there’s an optimistic photo finish waiting
    for the final results. Or maybe that’s just the band enjoying a good tune, drums
    are pretty robust on this, but almost every song has a moment where the
    music thins out for a bar or two. Well crafted work, epiphanies can rise on
    the shores of those more silent parts. Especially thanks to Sabrina Rush’s violin.
    Like Warren Ellis, her playing is both sad and strong, not embarking on
    his brand of searching solos, but adding just the right shadows to these
    sunny strummers-versus-bummers. The more time I spend with the lyrics,
    the more I’m digging them.
    -Thurston Hunger and Gene Simmons

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on November 4, 2015 at 5:50 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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