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.

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.

Jacuzzi Boys – “No Seasons” – [Fdr]

humana   3/15/2010   12-inch, A Library

The Jacuzzi Boys prove that the Florida sunshine can grow some fine garage musicians in addition to refreshing navel oranges. Fantastic, upbeat tracks give the boys a chance to show off great guitar moves and rhythmic drums (listen for the wood block on ???Fruits???). Nice to add to our library a full-length since those 7-inch predecessors just weren???t enough!

Magik Markers / Sic Alps [coll] – [Yik Yak]

humana   3/14/2010   12-inch, A Library

I lost track of time listening to this EP, so my track times may be wrong. Just get lost yourself in the psychedelia brought to you by the Magik Markers, complete with wah-wah guitar and hazy vocals on all but the last track. Then flip the record to partake of the rock noise weirdness that makes Sic Alps what it is, and San Francisco proud to be hometown to such a band. Male vocals on all, but Track 3 harks back to a Beatles sound. It is, indeed, ???The Greatest.???

Mess Folk – “Something I Remember” – [HoZac Records]

humana   3/12/2010   7-inch, A Library

True garage madness exemplified perfectly in ???If I Don???t Get Out??? (of solitary), with screaming lyrics from Philip Tarr, guitar, bass, and drums all indicating what happens ???after months of cabin fever???. Side A has one peppy number (???Something I Remember???) and one downer (???Give Me a Gun???). All worthy of a listen.

Aarktica – In Sea Remixes [coll] – [Silber Records]

humana   3/8/2010   A Library, CD

It???s nice to revisit this music by Jon DeRosa through the aural lens of the likes of Planar, Keith Canisius, Mason Jones, Slicnaton, Al Qaeda, Ramses III, Thisquietarmy, Landing, Remora, Declining Winter, Yellow6, and others. Whether they add violin (12), vocals (1, 7, 12,), or beats (6, 7, 8, 11 13), these remix artists take the ambient beauty and change it up nicely.

Carta – “Index of Birds, an” – [Silber Records]

humana   3/7/2010   A Library, CD

This is a lovely collection of ambient, shoegazy, and sometimes psychedelic tracks. Many are instrumental, although strong male and female voices arise out of the ether with solemn lyrics. Guitars, cello, percussion, keyboards, and programming evoke mellow and melancholy images of nature. No actual bird sounds, except you can imagine them on 7 and in 12. Really pretty and right up the alley of many.

Robair, Gino – “I, Norton an Opera In Real-time” – [Rastascan Records]

humana   3/6/2010   A Library, CD

Creativity abounds in this opera dealing with the final moments of Emperor Joshua Norton???s life. Composer/improvisor/percussionist extraordinaire Robair writes: ???This CD represents only one of an infinite number of possible realizations??? of this opera. Read the liner notes and sit back and take in the drone of ebow piano, sustained gong, electroacoustic improv, playback of processed sound, recombinant spoken word, saw, and other instruments as you imagine the life of Emperor Norton flashing before his eyes.

Miss Massive Snowflake – “Songs About Music” – [North Pole Records]

humana   3/3/2010   A Library, CD

Seriously, this is like a great book that you can???t put down. Putting this on makes you HAVE to listen to the next song, and the next…until you???re out of songs, completely jazzed but still wanting more..Shane de Leon???s clear voice delivers political, smart lyrics set to fine accompaniment by bass, bells, percussion, sax, and trumpet, all mixing together to create an intoxicating rock, jazzy, psyche sound. IT???S AWESOME!!! Listen!

June, Sarah – “In Black Robes” – [Silber Records]

humana   2/27/2010   A Library, CD

Sure the songs she writes are filled with themes of death, loneliness, and sadness, but Sarah Rose sings like an angel (a baby angel) and plays guitar with fantastic musicianship. The songs may be simple, but their lyrics are fascinating (4 is a sweet, sad love song, while 2, 5, and 6 deal with death, which June sees as ???home???), and her versatility as a guitarist is admirable (alternating between folk, jazz, and blues). This is a must-play for The Suicide Watch, as well as for many others who will appreciate this talented musician.

White, Ralph – “Navasota River Devil Squirrel” – [Self Released]

humana   2/26/2010   A Library, CD

Folk: Ralph White???s voice with its Texas twang offers simple lyrics, and his musicianship on banjo, fiddle, button accordion, and kalimba fill these tracks with a down-home flavor not to be missed. Some of the fiddle tunes make you want to step lively, and there???s nothing like skillful banjo picking to lift your spirits. Tracks 2 and 6 are instrumentals.

Sons of Alpha Centauri / A Death Cinematic – Split Release [Simple Box Construction]

humana   2/26/2010   A Library, CD

Sons of Alpha Centauri: ???A Death Cinematic??? CD Simple Box Construction (2009)
This is a fabulous split CD of long songs.?? Sons of Alpha Centauri is a ???dark instrumental riff rock band??? hailing from Swale, UK.?? Track 1 is ambient and atmospheric in the first two parts, with powerful heartbeat drums; part 3 is a rock composition, very psychedelic in nature; part 4 is a radio transmission with sirens and electronics used to great effect, like listening to the breathing of a respirator.?? A Death Cinematic is a one-man U.S. band creating magic from a guitar, amp, and effects that he mixes to create a unique improvisation characterized by reverb and feedback.?? This will appeal to many.

Floating Corpses, The – “Live From Ragnarok” – [Self -released]

humana   2/18/2010   A Library, CD

Any friend of Ophelia Necro???s is a friend of KFJC???s, and that???s exactly what The Floating Corpses are. Well, that, and so much more. This live recording from an Oakland warehouse is full of energy, particularly from drummer Krispy Corpse, who masterfully resuscitates each song with percussive rhythms. Roxy Arania Corpse delivers some amazing guitar work and sax, and LuLu LaCorpse does fine keys, synth, and joins Roxy on vox. This rockin??? punk makes death sound pretty lively.

Sun Ra and The Omniverse Jet Set Arkestra – “Complete Detroit Jazz Center Residency December 26, 198, Th” – [Transparency]

humana   2/13/2010   CD, Jazz

???When the world was in darkness, along came Ra.??? (Disc 20, Track 4) No better way to ring in a new year (1981) than with six days of concerts from Sun Ra at the Detroit Jazz Center. With around 224 tracks (some repeated) spread over 28 discs, there???s plenty to choose from in what Dale calls the Sun Ra ???Box of Magic.??? Consult the inserts for a listing of the musicians, track times, and breakdown of concerts by date. As the master composer and improviser says, ???if you visit Planet Saturn, get your passport from me.??? (Disc 22, Track 6)

Tsigoti – “PrivatePropertySpeakstoThePeopleofTheParty” – [Esp-Disk]

humana   1/25/2010   A Library, CD

Thollem McDonas proves his versatility and social conscience with this new release from Tsigoti (formerly Waristerror Terroris war). The lyrics printed on the liner notes are crucial to appreciating McDonas??? spoken and sung vocals backed by himself on beat-up piano, Andrea Caprara on drums, Matteo Bennici on bass, and Jacopo Andreini on electric guitar. The music itself is mostly fast-paced, off-beat, punk rock that perfectly complements the anti-war themes of the songs. This is in a league with Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine.

4-Way Split [coll] – [Art Fag Recordings]

humana   1/16/2010   7-inch, A Library

Rock: All of the acts on this split hail from the U.K. except the Dum Dum Girls (featuring Frankie Rose) and possibly the Crocodiles. ???Hollow Hollow Eyes??? and ???Moon Tan??? are upbeat and sung by males. The first has a catchy organ and the second has great percussion. ???Brite Futures??? is also upbeat with guitars, and ???The Weekend Starts Here??? is mild guitar thrash with male vocals. A nice sampling of four cool bands.

Cloud, Dave – “Songs I Will Always Sing” – [Bloodsucker Records]

humana   1/12/2010   A Library, CD

This CD from 10 years ago catches Dave Cloud???s favorite songs. Of the covers (4, 7, 11, 12, 16, 18), ???Lay Lady Lay??? (12) is probably the best. I like the original compositions most, though. The Gospel of Power (Matt Bach, Brian Boling, Paul Booker) provide just the right garage psyche medium for Cloud???s deep Nashville twang. Very weird and great in its way.

Cloud, Dave & The Gospel of Power – “Fever” – [Fire Records]

humana   1/11/2010   A Library, CD

Going strong even after 30 years, Dave Cloud and his band the Gospel of Power (Matt Swanson, Ben Martin, and Matt Bach) entertain us on this CD with six tunes (all except 2 and 4 are original compositions). Guitars, bass, drums, piano, and of course the distinctive growling, purring, croaking deep voice of Cloud characterize these over-the-top offerings. The lyrics are humorously weird, the rhythms recall garage and surf (3 has a Mexican flair: ???Not Tex-Mex, Mex-Mex???), and 6 is a pretty piano and voice version of a Cloud love ballad that ends with a kiss. Enjoy.

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