Music Reviews

Jardine – “Look In The Window” – [Lion Productions]

humana   3/29/2010   A Library, CD

For a very short time in 1969 a band existed in Birmingham, England, named ???Jardine??? (the French word for garden, which suited the Flower Power psychedelic earthiness of the sound to a T). Recorded in June of 1969 but unearthed 40 years later, these songs represent a slice of 60s life: odes to girlfriends, experiments with chord progressions, gentle, ballad-like harmonizations, cool, psyche guitar/flute rockouts. This is indeed a gem. Be sure to read the liner notes.

MAP – “Fever Dream” – [TAIGA Records]

Max Level   3/28/2010   12-inch, A Library

Three sides of improvised guitar / percussion / bass action. Just sit back and enjoy the ride as this ensemble spins out its sparse, spacey brand of improv. Mary Halvorson on guitar drops in quick flurries of notes, unusual chords, and harmonics. Unorthodox percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani adds textures and tones, tapping and shaking and bowing whatever’s within reach. Reuben Radding’s bass sort of builds a bridge between the two, bowing and thundering and throwing in some percussive sounds too. Good stuff.

Klaxons, The/Suicide [coll] – [Blast First Petite]

ophelia necro   3/28/2010   10-inch, A Library

In the 6th release of a series of Suicide covers on 10″, The Klaxons cover ‘Sweetheart’. Also on the new release are Alan Vega’s solo track ‘Speedway’ and the solo artiste No Bra, doing ‘Super Subway Comedian. Each EP includes a cover from a renown artist, an unreleased piece by Suicide from the archives and a cover by a promising newer act. The project, in honour of vocalist Alan Vega’s 70th birthday, started a year ago and will continue for another. ‘Sweetheart’ from Klaxons, actually a solo journey for Jamie Reynolds, shares the same instrumental and vocals with the original and is one second longer. ‘Sweetheart’ sounds like something played in a David Lynch movie. A dark, retro, romantic ballad. ‘Speedway’ is a rare track and is classic Vega. No Bra is a solo female artist who puts and interesting take on the Suicide sound with her cover of ‘Super Subway Comedian’ staying true to the original but definitely giving it a touch of female energy.
Future collaborations include Glasvegas, Peaches, Liars, Nick Cave and Mogwai.

She- “Outta Reach” – [Causeway Records]

ophelia necro   3/28/2010   12-inch, A Library

She was a 60s/70s psych/garage rock band of teenage girls out of Sacramento. They started as a band called the Hairem (and also as The Id) when guitarist and primary songwriter Nancy Ross formed the band (with her younger sister Sally on organ). They were one of the few all girl bands of their time to write their own material and play all their own instruments. They disbanded in 1971. Side One is material recorded as She. The flip side is material recorded as Hairem. The guitar and organ give a real Doors vibe but with snotty sometimes bubble-gumish female vocals. This is really groovy man.

Archie Bronson Outfit – “Coconut” – [Domino]

humana   3/28/2010   A Library, CD

This is the third release from this UK trio whose sound is hard to pin down, but since I have to, I???ll call it gritty rock with a weird intensity and provocative lyrics. The mood ranges from intense, frenetic, noisy rockouts, to mellow, more upbeat songs that feature percussion versus guitars. Perhaps that???s the strength of this band: you???re always on the edge wondering what you???re going to get.

Butcher, John – “Resonant Spaces” – [Confront]

humana   3/27/2010   A Library, CD

John Butcher is a living example of how music and science go together hand in glove. This English physicist-turned-musician shows us what he can do with sound from various saxophones within the context of different environments such as mausoleums, ice houses, sea caves, water reservoirs, oil tanks, and outdoor ancient stone circles located throughout Scotland. Be sure to peruse the liner notes as you take in the minimal, haunting sounds/melodies created within this fascinating space-time continuum.

Hendrix, Jimi – “Jimi Hendrix Experience, The” – [Mca Records]

Hawkeye Joe   3/27/2010   12-inch, B Library

Sure, an 8-lp boxed set of even more Hendrix alternate takes, unissued material & (finally!) miraculously restored live bits might seem like overkill to a cynic. Even worse, the thought that such re-issues are based on more of a motivation for heirs, labels & copyright owners to rake in more flthy lucre on the bones of a dead artist may come to mind. Be that as it may, if you are an aficionado of Jimi as am I, this is one hell of a find. Extensive notes in the accompanying booklet detail when each cut was recorded, session player info and colorful photos of the band add to the fun. Tracks such as “Cherokee Mist”, released for the first time on this collection are the ones that stand out for me. Kudos to the Hendrix family trust, the “suits” at the label & the KFJC Music Dept. for having the open-mindedness & good taste to make this possible to play on the radio in the 21st century.

Bruno, Bobb – “dnt” – [None]

cinder   3/24/2010   A Library, CD

Chilly winds sweep through Sunn O))) sounding bass drones. Doomy and deathy. Bobb Bruno comes out of LA, land of fake tans and photoshoped smiles. Drums come in halfway, creating this into a murky doomed sound. The howling electronics have a haunting rhythmic feel, you can almost picture the ghosts singing in unison. Halfway through the first song, it turns into a lovely floating keyboard/bell sounding tune with visions of hearts and glistening bubbles. The second track picks up right away with buzzing & twirling electronics playing tag. Soon the looping drums come in, and a slow semi-prog like keyboard takes charge…followed not too shortly by fuzz & bass. Play either on their own, and brave the whole thing in continuous mode. Bobb Bruno has recorded with the likes of Pocahaunted, Robedoor, Nels Cline, Devin Sarno and others.

Stonemans, The – “All In The Family” – [Mgm Records]

Hawkeye Joe   3/24/2010   12-inch, Country

A compact LP of tunes that The Stonemans put out the year they won the CMA “Vocal Group of the Year” (1967). Group patriarch “Pop” Stoneman had Country music’s first million-seller in 1924 with “The Sinking of the Titanic”. Here, with five of his offspring, are 11 cuts, witha a mixture of blugrass, “traditional” (1960’s) Nashville sound & A few current songs of that time: “Early Mornin’ Rain” by Gordon Lightfoot & “Rita” by Doug Kershaw. Two singles were culled from this release: “West Canterbury Subdivision Blues” (reached #49 on Country charts) & a smokin’ version of “Cimarron”. A fun LP, predating the demise of “Pop” and Ronnie’s regular slot on Hee Haw by a few years.

Harley, Rufus – “Bagpipes of The World” – [Transparency]

Cousin Mary   3/24/2010   CD, Jazz

Rufus Harley is a jazz bagpiper and an enthusiastic American patriot and Philadelphian. This 3-CD set features interviews and music from him and his sons. CD 1 has a short interview, then music from Harley playing bagpipes and baby soprano sax with a French bagpipe group. CD 2 begins with a long radio interview made just 6 weeks before his death. CD 2 ends with three cuts and CD 3 begins with 2 cuts from his son trumpeter America Patton Harley. CD 3 finishes off with a 2002 concert recorded with trumpeter Messiah Patton Harley and his father and some unnamed Jamaican musicians.

It’s tempting to laugh at Rufus Harley’s rambling free-association philosophy, but the cat is so sweet and sincere that you are compelled to listen and respect. Recording quality is not always great, but this is a treasure from this unique musician.

CD3 track 5 is a reggae version of Stormy Weather with jazz bagpipe! How KFJC can you be?

39 Clocks, The – “Pain It Dark” – [Bureau B.]

lombard   3/23/2010   A Library, CD

German band The 39 Clocks hit the scene in 1979, with their debut release “Pain it Dark” hitting shelves as an LP in 1981. Last year it was reissued in CD form, with an extra bonus track (“I Love a Girl”) included in the package.

Very much influenced by Velvet Underground and sounding similar to the VU-influenced band Felt, 39 Clocks give us some timeless beauty with simple orchestration, occasional sax, prominent keyboard, and dead-pan vocals. At times it’s psychedelic, mystical (particularly on the track “Psycho Beat”) and hazy. Referred to as originators of the “psycho beat” style of music, it’s definitely a satisfying listen that stands the test of time.

Love of Diagrams – “Nowhere Forever” – [Unstable Ape]

humana   3/21/2010   A Library, CD

More great music from Australians: This trio of Antonia Sellbach on bass guitar and vocals, Luke Horton on guitar and vocals, and Monika Fikerte on drums works well together crafting garage-pop-with-an-edge songs that have very subtle phases and are quite clever in they way they progress through them. The interplay of guitars and drums is skilled and listenable. Enjoy!

Dirtbag – “Home Recordings” – [Self -released]

humana   3/20/2010   A Library, CD

Known to us as the bass player for Beaches, Gill Tucker here brings to us music recorded in her bedroom. A nice mix of upbeat, hazy garage bordering on pop with some great guitar work (listen for the wah-wah and sometimes Eastern sound). A fantastic DIY offering.

Golden Triangle – “Golden Triangle” – [Mexican Summer]

humana   3/19/2010   12-inch, A Library

There is nothing to distinguish one song from another on this album, but each of these songs is great in and of itself. This 6-piece band out of Brooklyn rocks and gets you moving in an energetic, garage pop way, with the girls??? voices in counterpoint to the boys??? in a way that is strikingly reminiscent of the B52s. Give it a whirl.

Chinese Restaurants, The – “River of Shit” – [S.S. Records]

humana   3/18/2010   7-inch, A Library

Garage is the word for this release from the New York trio. ???River of Shit??? contains a large portion of Obama???s Inaugural speech accompanied by guitar and drums and essentially breaking apart and disintegrating toward the end. Both songs on Side B have male vocals set to a haze of guitar music. Check it out.

Slott, Mike – “Lucky 9Teen” – [LuckyMe]

SAL9000   3/18/2010   12-inch, A Library

This Irish fellow who now lives in New York has a solid family history of music involvement. His father, brother and cousin are jazz and hip-hop artists. Lucky 9Teen is Mike Slott’s debut album. It is mellow, yet sizzles with pleasant surprizes. Quirky sounds and beats, playful, hip-hop influences and it’s just the right blend of all these and pops out at you. Looking forward to more releases!

Beaches – “In a While/halve” – [Sky Was White, The]

humana   3/18/2010   A Library, CD

This is a fabulous little taste-tester to whet our appetites for more from Beaches, the five-piece band of women from Australia who graced our pit last week. Side A is a drifty piece of psychedlic rock with some vocal humming, and Side B has a more intense garage feel, also with some vocal humming. Each musician adds her personal mark to the magical mix of guitars, bass, and drums.

Summons – “Samhain” – [Terminal]

cinder   3/18/2010   12-inch, A Library

Summons is a project of R. Jencks (Sixes, Crash Worship, Deathroes) with Charlie Draheim AKA the Butcher. Recorded in Detroit on Halloween & November 1, 2006 each side is appropriately titled (HELLoween & Day Of The Dead). Grinding and sliding electronics, giving you that icy chill. Experimental noise, dripping with feedbacking delight. Feels like it was recorded in a big empty hollow room, possibly live? Not sure. Crunching goodness! Each side is about 15 minutes.

Audiovoid – “Disconnect Yourself” – [Self -released]

Belladonna   3/17/2010   A Library, CD

aka LayerZ (pronounced “layers”) aka Lindsey R. Green grew up in Healdsburg, CA. Started out in a Death Metal band at 11, slowly moved onto more electronic styles/influences. This is hardcore, breakcore, frenetic, noiz-y sample-y, self proclaimed “Glitch Hop”.
Amusing in small doses. It pounds, it punishes, it will blow your speakers out. There are some interesting samples, this isn’t earth shattering (i.e. Venetian Snares) but I think with time there could be some really amazing stuff from this guy. My mind isn’t blown but I am entertained.