No stranger to KFJC’s airwaves, Marisa Anderson
unites with Portland powerhouse Mississippi Records
to reissue her 2013 release of an homage not just
to the Traditional Songs of the title, but to the
guitar. It’s all instrumental, and all electric,
and weaves between reference and reverence. She
can pluck gentle and clean as on “Farther Along”
or tiptoe near the third wire that Junior Kimbrough
use to ride with “Pretty Polly.” Songs that are
pulled deep from the heartland, if not the heart
of this country appear : “May The Circle Be Unbroken”
and “Amazing Grace.” But Marisa’s domain extends
beyond natural and sonic borders, “Bella Ciao”
is indeed beautiful, and builds up a nice storm set
of chords. Dig the super reverb recoil on “Johnny
I Hardly Knew Ye.” A lot of the album has a solemn
and introspective vibe, often soothing but not without
a bout of bitterness. That being said, she concludes
with a downright jouncy “When the Roll Is Called Up
Yonder.â€ Perhaps that is the arc of the blues, to
struggle humbly and with grace, but carry a heavy
weight till we hit our run-out groove and the
needle rises with us to the skies.
Drunk punk duo out of Sweden, well drunk is
a bit unfair as the topics of their lyrics are
sobering, but the rock on display here is
dive-bar distorted and grasping for a 2am
closing anthem vibe. The signature of the duo
(deviating from their folk roots, but not thaat
much) is the warble of Lilou. Raw emotion rasps
her throat and a vibrato attacks without warning.
Think Jello Biafra as Judas Iscariot in Jesus
Christ Superstud. Lilou sings to defy both
multinational corporations and conventional
musical keys. It’s fascinating in a harrowing
manner. John provides guitar and pen for the
words coming out of Lilou’s mesmerizing mouth.
The leadoff cut has the martial chop and snap
of some of the Ex’s stuff, while #2 definitely
has AmRep pep. They are a husband and wife duo
who might have met in the classified ads of
Sweden’s version of “The Nation.” -Hunger
No Balls is a far cry from any eunuch freak folk, they
deliver heavy electric instrumentals, lightly seared
by noise with a hint of psych (well from a manic
Japanese point of view). Connected to the Brainbombs,
and somehow without lyrics No Balls sounds almost as
filthy as that band, Anders Bryngelsson shares fluids
with da ‘bombs. Was Dan Raberg severed as a member here,
but someone kept his horn though? Actually on “Pacer” it
almost sounds like someone singing into their distorted
guitar pickups, and on “Breaking” maybe a man or a trumpet
is trapped inside the bass drum and blurting out
exhortations…while the air runs out. Sick goose trumpet
also may appear on “Nachspiel” Overall they say plenty
without words. The other “father” band here is Noxagt,
from that good ol Kjetil Brandsdal (he oils the mighty
Drid Machine) burrows thick on bass and JC Lauritzen is
insistent on drums, really more of a battering ram.
Think concussion over percussion. David Gurrick recorded
his guitar parts on this album while completely naked.
And bleeding. Well it sounds that way. Clearly this
is what Trump had in mind when extolling the virtues of
Norway. Bonus points for Anders Hana on the mixer, isn’t
The End here yet? Checking out other artists at
8mmrecords.bandcamp.com would be cook if Luca and co
could hook up KFJC with some more heaviness!
Short blasts of pineapple-expressed garagey blitzy
rock. Trio from Honolulu, who blew into Oakland to
record this to cassette for the Fine Concepts
label. Feels like they kept the cassette and
motor running, has a feeling like a live set
pumped out moving over the posted speed limit.
Travis Wiggins vocals add to it, shouty style
as if he was standing up in a convertible trying
to keep pace with these short grindy numbers.
He kinda reminds me of Franklin Bruno (Nothing
Painted Blue) but smeared out Oblivians style.
Travis on guitar and vox, Alex Nagata pumps up
boogie-ing bass and Jack Tawil on the sticks.
Really, some of his best moments are just hyper
stick ticking metal rim (like on “Ultra Bosch”)
The songs keep cooking, at times Wiggins
guitar kinda wigs out, nicely so you get a noisy
improv vibe on top of the dive-bar riffage.
See the title track and “Riot Meditation.”
Adding to the bar vibe, a Hendrix homage pops up
in “Chivington Soldier” and G-L-O-R-I-A
gets spelled out on “FOX-661L.” No dinosaur
rock, no bones to pick or break, just a raw
at times murky but driving energy. “Eyes in the
Heat” ups the ante with thrashy guitar building
up to an almost Fall style urgency with
lyrics that march and then a firing line snare
close-out. Things slow down a little around the
bends of “Berlin 64” but them the serrated edges
of “Magna Knife” cut in more car-crash art-rock
hurtles down your earway. “January 13 Incident”
and the anthemic “Goncharova Cats” hit the
finish line strong.
A simple formula FLute + dOOM == FLOOM. But the
heaviness has the gravity of Earth, and the
monumental mantra of Sleep, but on top of the
thick guitar and mightly flute, Cathy Monnes
and Christina Fleming hover with angelic voices.
Wow, intoxicating about and beyond the open
e-string buzz for your distored brain. “MVMT 1”
has these great pauses of feedback guitar and
a sustained flute note, Satan might not know
but little god Pan understands. “MVMNT 2”
the guitar starts lower, and the flute doubles
its barrels, with the guitar pushing a bluesy
side of the red devil. Guitar gets on tracks
while flute+girls turn into a railroad whistle.
Tunnel of Floom! And ends with a digital flurry
of flute and an amp whimpering. “MVMT 3” picks
up (the whole piece is meant to track) and
aims for the godhead with a dronier, stonier
flute over amp spasms. Like a “Dead Man” sdtk
done by Amber Asylum? The ladies rise like
sirens on the closer, you guessed it “MVMT 4”
I bet this puppy will roll cradle to grave
on many overnight shows now and forever.
Distant piano with tape hiss and low-key ominous
vibes. Drone as an emotion, dread always hits me
harder than its less subtle cousin “doom.” This
cassette perhaps was acid washed in some toxic
effluvia from our dying oceans. Recently watching
the Twin Peaks revival and the film version of
“Annihilation” I found this music fits in with that
kind of visual weather. Overcast guitar, shades of
Steven R. Smith appearing in the shimmer-y clouds.
While there are organic elements of piano and spaceship
or something at one point) it’s mostly floatational
banks of keys. Honestly by the last track, “Beneath
the Haze” I sense a thin layer of optimism. Lying at
the bottom of the Poison Sea are Kurt Mangum from
Flying Hair along with Anthony Piromalli, they form
a pretty seamless pairing. Set sail for this one.
If you blur your eyes, the guitar for the choruses
is a little like Van Halen’s “Aint Talkin Bout Love”
Except for three things
1) it’s really not
2) Saint Black *is* talking about love
3) “they” probably hate VH.
They might well be one person, nice lo-profile packaging
and minimal web presence. The label is even called
Semi-Permanent, which hits you right in the low-self
esteem organ. The singer gets nervous around “Alex” but
at least he got this awkwardly catchy single out of it.
Stale beer vocals backwash nicely against the pop. The
song submits itself into a sample bomb ending. On #2
“O Word” the beer seeps into the heads of the recording
device. Sloppy beauty. This time the post-song/post-mod
sample gets its own track, #3 “Saint Black” is some holy
heretic scammer but clearly paired with #2. “Down to the
Sky” the guitar now unplugged, the drinker still singing
in his mug ultimately passes out in a pastoral redux.
The likelihood this project is composed of college DJ’s
goes way up if the band name is lifted from the mighty
Black Saint label. A long shot perhaps…but yanevehno.
Chicago project that has molted often, but kept
singer Ron Jacobs as the chief card-carrying member.
Indeed from this release to v5.0 per their F’book
site, even fellow founder John McCowen and his
electronic clarinet have slithered away. That
clarinet, with Jacob’s guitar gives this album a
peculiar feel. The guitar is often brittle, more
apt to break off notes then chords, often with a
clipped bright processing. McCowen’s clarinet
has an even tighter, amped up sound, more like a
synth than a wind. Interesting. The songs centered
on that pair are somewhere in a DMZ between pop
and prog. I’m thinking of 80’s Japan (dreaming of
clarinet cuckoos in Magic I.D.) Jacob’s singing
silkens the kimono effect, gentle/clean. “Nosejob”
lets Phil Sudderberg have a little percussion fun
and gives a rare groove to bassist Pat Keen. But
“Inside Your Insides” is what hit me in my sonic
plexus. Bandname may translate as “Microgravity”
or perhaps “Your services are no longer needed” ;>
Goodman, Greg/ Gruntfest, John – “In This Land All The Birds Wore Hats & Spurs” – [Beak Doctor, The]
Time travel on two sides, improv pairing split on
side A’s mid 1980’s vs side B’s 2008. Side A launches
with “Pure Mind” feeling like that flavor of raga jazz,
a few laps of alap, the Goodman’s piano circular and
Gruntfest’s sax centered within. The next piece “Great
Bird” almost rolls into Terry Riley territory. Still a
flowing, rolling, bubbling composition.
Flip the disk and 2008 flies in the window, Gruntfest
wings some phrases, and woodpecker sputter on the
reed. Goodman a few bars of simple chords, then dives
into the prepared piano pluckage and plumage. Act I
is a lot of peck and pluck. Moving into Act II some
of the waves of piano from the 80’s turn up and churn
up darker waters. Free jazz takes flight, screech and
scronk sax and eventually some furious bass clef work
by Goodman. Act II closes with zithery work under the
hood. If Act II was a battle, and at times it felt like
it, here Gruntfest and Goodman find common ground, it’s
not the soothing flow found in the flip side of their
youth. Side A had them united in the song itself, here
the song serves to unite their own unique talents,
so you get more sparks and fire, as opposed to the
cool ripples from their earlier work.
Micol sings like 6am, wide awake…inverted magic hour….
quietly bright, a little chill nipping at your earlobes.
He double tracks his vox to give you a tiny warm stereo
muffler. Mellow guitar strummage, with gentle noodling
(no caffeinated solos). The drums almost missed the wake
up call, but they are there just a little bleary. At least
not a machine punching the clock beat. They add to the
home-spun charm. Polite keyboards look in the window.
Lyrics are where any discord may lie, maybe written at 3am
the night before. Hell the lead-off track is called
“Postmodern Depressionalism” and name checks Elliot Smith
and sings “don’t like the song, the words are all wrong.”
But that melody is alright, a pop delight. The title cut
is cloaked in wispy aaaaaah’s. On #3, the soothing nature
of “life is long and miserable…but I’m doing fine” so
Micol seems able to enjoy a dose of the morose as long as
his heart still hits a simple hi-hat pitter-pat. Raise your
sad, sweet and sour “Fits” in unity, my fellow melancholics.
tiny little FCCs #1 #2
The place where the spastic stuck is where The Trashies
spot-welded their sound on your heart-shaped ears. They
step into the album like Chuck Norris into a rap battle,
in-it-to-win-it. The opening title track gives you
a little taste of the waste floating in the Trashies
stream of conciousness. Rhyming slang to put your mind
in a sling, and not afraid to play the Buttafuoco card.
Is this where hip hop meets gunk rot? Music escapes from
the drum machine circus, with an array of guitar moves
that might bust out twin-lead Thin Lizzy, or might break
off some thick and stumbly Beefheart chunks. Just because
the dork-o-meter is set on 11, doesn’t mean these itty
bittie ditties aren’t big on style. Of course most songs
come at your quick like a UFC round, 2 minutes is a long
one. This sure scratched my old Uzi Rash itch, sure enough
mighty Max Nordile is in the dumpster band. Erin Allen plays
something too, probably lots of somethings. Album
finishes strong, that “I’m Uh Stayn” and “Shovel” tag
team is a killer. Crazy choruses on both, “Shovel” offers
a sing-along for an asylum, while “Stayn” almost sounds
like he’s saying “Namaste” while a voice over like like
the Weatherman corrects the phrasing. “Fresh Hunny”
drips with sweat of a 100 Prince impersonators. Steel
dum-drums (sampled?) on “Rhinoline” are just fine, and
“Dumb 2 B Smart” is a loaded potato for this old spudboy.
5 Thumbs Up, and venom in my eye! -Thurston Hunger
Ambient exercises out of Dallas, TX. Todd Gautreau is
the mixmaster and electro-navigator aboard this one-man
sonic submarine. Standout track “The Trouble With Dreams”
features waves of tone mingle with washes of antenna
signal squiggle, and even some vox mermana drift by as
well. Death by water never felt so good. Buoyant chimes
and gentle climes. Bathysphere organ and actual sized
bubbles rise on “Theory of Impossible Shapes.” Mystic mists
for the noise-sick KFJC-serpents? Based on the name,
I wonder if there are more field recordings nestled into
the songs? By the way his earlier project “Tear Ceremony”
has a darker Agent Cooper bent, though still soothing and
KFJC has two of those fine releases worth revisiting. All
on his own Simulacra imprint, along with the Crushed Stars
project that he fronts for some Slowdive-y pop pastels.
Gautreau is one busy being, but this is the project to help
him, or you unwind. Sink into the syrup synth sea.
Heard a fine superimposition mix of this back on
then the DJ donated this 3 lp set to KFJC! Thx, Sluggo
Brothers square off against each other, Mayor vs Doctor.
A town prospers off the illness of visitors but at the
cost of the health of the townspeople. The individual
is pitted against the majority, but that majority is
quickly relabeled authority. Meanwhile in the battle of
science and politics, corporations and the press have
their own maneuvers. This Caedmon (!!) release includes
a post-game side-long chat between Harold Clurman and
Arthur Miller, whose adaptation was used for this recording.
Miller astutely predicts future relevancies for this work,
the river that runs through this album ran through Flint MI
all too recently. Giving a different taste to the line
“We’ll go to America and this whole thing will be like
a dream.” Recorded in 1971, adapted by Miller in 1950,
originally written by Ibsen in 1882. Awaiting your KFJC
Teenage DaneDream of Damaged SynthPop
Does any label time travel better than Dark Entries?
This was recorded back in December 1981, but apparently
only availale wth a Danish magazine as a cassette in 1985.
Inge Shannons vocals are featured to lead off the album
in isolated fashion and layered, on “Untitled” (A2) they
are draped in echo, droning over a churning pace but
hit a break where they go wonderfully cuckoo. “Superior”
has a proto-Motorik bassline with some new wave synth
waves but then is that a toy piano or a ukele, and later
it sounds like some skittering violin. Inge sings sorta
pretty on this near anthem. Something’s rockin’ in
Denmark? By the end of side A, she’s got a fierce femme
Peter Murphy rolling for “Impressions.” And drums on that
and through-out are well slugged by Martin Hall. Check
the interview with him in the booklet, he’s still creating
to this day, he and Inge were in SS-Say that turned up in
a retro collection on Minimal Wave, but this really does
not mope much in minimal waters. A dingy darkness, and
some sick synths and electric “treatments” from Per
Hendrichsen do demand attention. Hall’s bass playing can
be brutal slappy in a fine way, like on “Light, More Light”
And who tortures those horns on that elongated piece!?!
Second “Untitled” is a haunting ghost piano soundscape.
Hard to pin down this LP, def’ an attractive neuroticism
Killing Joke-y, but different? For a bunch of teenage Danes,
really well-assembled. It got lost for a while, and even
after Dark Entries uncovered it in 2010, it must have befuddled
some KFJC’ers, but it’s well worth the wait. Skilled and
Recalling my first reverse echo takes me back (forward?) to a Whole
Lotta LedZep, which at the time amps up the anticipation like deja
vu on demand. More to KFJC tastes, Alastair Galbraith used to have
tricks up his sleeve and in his dinghy to float sounds back and forth.
On this release though, Alan Sondheim’s stated goal is to push such
processing to the Limit. So Luke Damrosch the torpedoes and sets
up his chop ‘n’ flop algorithms to fly at unreal speeds in real-time
CPU’s. Often you can feel their little glitch points pop up in the mix.
You can read more theory in the liner notes, to me Sondheim’s way
with strings and things remains the focal point of this trio. He’s
quite the dazzling dervish on say “longsazb” (Check “Longsaz” from
their previous release.) That, like a lot of Sondheim’s playing
looks East, another form of back or is it forward? The following
“movement*” track feel like a Sudanese surprise, and then another
more involuted “movement” after that. Does the processing illuminate
or obfuscate? “Prelude” succeeds with more subtle volume-pdeal like
processing, and as one of the rare vocal tracks featuring Sondheim’s
partner in sound and more : Azure Carter. She pops up on #2 and #7 as
well, singing in a Emo style (I mean Emo Philips the comedian not
the Emo movement.) Hard not to picture her singing with eyes wider than
her mouth. Her very pure voice is a nice contrast to the slither and
scuffle sounds of Sondheim. Her songs are they all about becoming songs?
Overall impressive ideas and a more impressive array of instruments. How
the final track consumes or feeds may vary on you and where you fit in
the soundtime vortex (their “Threnody” also had a cataphoniclysm to end
as well.) Cool Rhode Island brainwaves by way of Brian Day???s Public Eyesore.
Label-leader and dEN-master Stefano Ferrian assembled
this five piece, with a decidedly electric timbre
although his spinning sax and Vito Emanuele Galante’s
trilling trumpet cross paths a lot. The album’s title
is the musical mantra for Ferrian’s compositions here
with heaps of arpeggiated arrays and hopped up cycles
of sound. Sometimes like on “Sharp Colors” they move
at a measured pace, but even that drops out and
let’s Simone Quatrana finger flip a solo on his keys,
as Fabrizio Carriero drum punctuates. “Closed Walk”
has a plodding gait, Luca Pissavini getting thick
with his electric bass (it feels like an acoustic
tree trunk.) Ferrian’s first solo sparcs nicely,
I get a little lost in Quatrana’s closing riffwork.
But I like the down Chicago feel to that piece. The
title cut has a more frenzied fusion feel for me.
I do like Ferrian’s kind of zig-zag melody use.
Another extended round from Quatrana on the closer
with some nice muted trumpet by Galante. Cycles
that are dizzying and perhaps refreshingly
Gillespie-ing? 2014 release, at least I found it
before Discogs has! -Thurston Hunger
2011 release, almost feels like it could be a
Christmas special (maybe cuz we’re adding it in
Dec 2016?) But there’s a consistency to this,
sealed in like a shaken snowglobe with beauty. Baby
Dee has a cagey stagey voice, something between
gentle and forceful, verily both at the same time
as befits this self-professed “bilateral hermaphrodite.”
Ornate piano, oft featured on instrumentals (and
friends with a bassoon!) flourishes. Check out the
perky “Yapapipi” which feels like the epiphanous
soundtrack selection for a coming of age movie,
or maybe a nature documentary when hibernation
is over. “Horn Pipe” is jaunty but a bit hesitant,
perhaps like Baby Dee during her days as a tree
climber. There’s a quasi-religious aire, what do
Church of England hymns sound like anyways? Dee’s
vocal transformations are more transfixing for me
than any gender bending…swinging from a gutty
mutter to almost soaring sacred. Her voice sheds its
John C. Reilly american bland talking and gets a high
British rebirth. Amidst all this there’s goofballs
wrapped in furs like “The Pie Song” and the snail
hailing lead-off to the B-side (the latter possibly a
free David Tibet dedication?). “On the Day I Died”
hits some high and hallowed notes. Cleveland does
plenty more than rock thanks to this artist and
this lp. -Thurston Hunger
Seasonal sounds that I slept on, sorry. One or two
chord mantras, with some psych guitar noodling,
but drenched in belt-gaze (shoe-gaze cranked up to
your waist) production. Songs are like jammy
pajamas for the nudist colony at the beach. Loose
fitting. The lyrics slip away into the shimmery
mix, but printed out so you can at least read
the third generation hippy strain if you don’t
actually feel it, man. A mellow that can only
be harshed by some severe mixology? We don’t
have any of Rafi’s other stabs at sound, but
from what I’ve checked out, fans of this could
take an easy chance with Death Chants. And hard to
resist the Woodsist gist.
2013 release from seminal No Wave string-thinker.
Like his contemporary Glenn Branca, Chatham was drawn
to the concert hall thrill and thrall of an orchestra
pit packed with electric guitarists. Minimalist music
for maximum force. We have many of his older releases.
He has evolved as a modern composer (trumpet apparently
was his primary calling card) but we find him here still
with that kind of post-rock, or punk-driven-drone vibe.
#1 The title piece launches with a minimal tick tock ear
sweep, one note electric pinging on a Dreyblatt-itude. Six
guitars, so his roots music doubling down on his early
Guitar Trio action. This song often feels like a post-rock
precision boogie suite but it finds its power 7:40 in with
definite No Wave homage crescendo chord strikes spaced out
then accelerating then bass beats alive and angling guitar
swipe-by’s create a nice Interference pattern.
#2 Almost feels like a bagpipe early, the alignment of player
(nearly 70 on this piece, an apparent soundtraco to a French
mountain town – Rhonabwy ) a dinosaur heavy stride follows for
nearly 12 minutes, then we encounter these arabesque woodwind
flourishes. They blow in with a hint of dilithium crystal method.
Add in minimalist call and response over orchestral drone, the
orchestra swells and rises while percussion marches back in. We
wind up in a shimmery pool of sustained sound. Helluva town.
#3 Bonus piece, a mere 10 minutes. Noisier and less stately than
the two vinyl cuts. Crushing blender of guitars like the original
version of “Drastic Classicism” updated with dizzy blurts of Chatham’s
trumpets sprinting through the center. Drummer Ryan Sawyer doesn’t
just keep time, he kicks it in the gut. Noise surf.
Hey he’s coming to town to cut it up with Bill Orcutt
Oakland trio, before “garage band” was a piece of
software, it was a way of life. I suspect all
three guys in this band harken back to that, and
as they contemplate maybe retiring in a couple
decades, that teenage waistband stretches the
tune-age wasteland of commercial radio. So prop
yourself through the day job, and why not self
release a CD. The music here is not garage rock,
(well “The Ride” is kinda) more of a gentle psych.
Despite their name, the band is certainly not Pure
(thank Hendrix!), and their Panic is less urgent,
maybe a creeping existential dread fits. Someone in
the band likes a good sea shanty (Larry Luthi?) and
someone’s love of Frank Zappa is mostly kept in check
(Ed Lundell?) and someone thinks in limericks (Cyrus
Crafft?). Yeah, I could be wrong on all three accounts,
but if KFJC folks dug their “Planet Thief” (and a lot
did), you’ll be slippin’ this disc while reading your
old collection of vintage Mad Magazines. Speaking o’
comix commingling with musix, this band reminds me
of Devin Gary & Ross. More power to guys who keep
those ol’ garage band dreams alive, even if they
don’t have a garage anymore!
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File