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mickeyslim

Elucid – “Seership” – [Self Release]

mickeyslim   10/10/2020   A Library, CD

E L U C I D’s 28-minute, mix-match, skritch-scratch, beat-noise, hip-hop extravaganza! ELUCID is one half of the project Armand Hammer alongside Billy Woods, but this is a solo project. In what feels like many songs stitched together to create one almost cinematic piece, this sometimes spacey, sometimes industrial journey is always unsettling, elaborate, and well worth everyone’s attention. Dig it.

Spiral Wave Nomads -“Ten Color Ritual” – [Tape Drift Records]

mickeyslim   10/7/2020   A Library, CD

psychedelic zen garden,
imperceptible grains of sand
slowly spiral, like heavy smoke,
to the bottom of the hourglass.

lost in the the thick,
lush aura of greens
and blues and purples,
finding my way quietly
to the exit.

Eric Hardiman (NY) on guitar and bass, Michael Kiefer (CT) on drums, with special guest guitarist Erik Rutnik. Lush psychedelic soundscapes that transport you to a different plane. Soak it up!

Parra, Violeta – “Las Ultimas Composiciones De Violeta Parra” – [A.R.C.I. Music Chile]

mickeyslim   9/30/2020   CD, International

If, like me, you’ve never heard of Violeta Parra before, you, my friend, are in for a real treat.

Violeta Parra was a Chilean singer-songwriter, folklorist, and ethnomusicologist. She traveled across Chile, collecting over 3,000 traditional folk songs of her country which she was able to share with the world. Her enthusiasm for her country’s folk music evolved into her pioneering a roots revival they called “New Chilean Song,” effectively traditional chilean folk music with strong political themes of the time.

She traveled through Europe between 1955 and 1957, sharing some of the music she collected as well as her own songs. She later lived around Europe from 1963-1965, this time with two of her children and her granddaughter. for a few years with her children in the 1960s. During this time she became the first Latin American artist to independently exhibit their artwork at the Louvre.

Surprisingly, since she is basically a household name in Chile, this is the first Violeta Parra release for KFJC. 

Although these songs were the last she recorded, they are among her most well-known, “Gracias a la Vida” being the absolute gem here. The songs are very much in the Chilean folks music vein, with strong percussion and use of multiple types of guitars, including the charango, a tiny-bodied, 10-stringed guitar. Parra’s vocals are absolutely stunning. Her voice is hauntingly full, echoic, and strong, yet sweet and smooth. This was recorded and released in late 1966, a few short month before Parra committed suicide in 1967.

Unquestionably unparalleled. Do not miss this.

Mogerman, Sol – “Wishbone Bridge” – [Self Release]

mickeyslim   9/13/2020   A Library, CD

I’ve been sitting on this doulbe CD release for something like 6 years. I don’t know why I never opened it. I don’t know where it sat all these years, but after I found it when I moved back to the Bay, it STILL sat, unlistened, for two years. So sorry, folks…. Simply put, this is amazing. Amazing music from an amazing musician with an amazing story.

This album was recorded well before Mogerman moved from California to British Colombia in 1985, when he ended up having a stroke due to a terrible car accident that made him unable to play guitar for twenty years, making this possibly the only recording/release of music before his accident. He has gone on to become a clinical counsellor, specializing in restoration of self-image after brain injury and trauma. Aside from being a musician, he is also an accomplished author and artist

Half of these 20 tracks are quick, fast-paced acoustic guitar songs with witty lyrics taken from on his wife, Gundula’s, poetry. The other half are improvised, jazz-ic, acoustic, living-room jams. Even the composed tracks have a freeform feel. Enjoy!

Floral – “Floral LP” – [Choke Artist]

mickeyslim   9/13/2020   A Library, CD

a washed out daydream
just beyond the greying clouds
find its way out of the rain.

a hurried pitter patter on
eaves, beating as if a
morse code from the heavens
is finally saying,
“… maybe not one day.”

a knock at the door,

a bird finding sanctuary
underneath your windowsill,

nighttime arrives
and, now, rain
drifting off,
the moonlight glistens
off the puddles
from
the cracks
in the sidewalk.

Mountain View math-rock duo. Beautifully melodic syncopation from Nate Sherman on guitar and Ty Mayer on drums. Delicate, masterful, stunning.

Toyota – “Toyota” – [Digital Regress]

mickeyslim   9/7/2020   12-inch, A Library

JD Power and Associates calls this San Franciscan project’s self-titled release the most monu-metal technological feat to date. Falling somewhere in-between Primus’ South Park theme song and the Revenge of the Nerds’ talent show performance, this nonsensical/mathy/punk-infused/wackiness is just what the witch doctor ordered.

Bumble Bee Slim – “Bumble Bee Slim 1934-1937” – [Wolf Records]

mickeyslim   9/7/2020   12-inch, Blues

Born Amos Easton, Bumble Bee Slim helped define the sound of what would eventually become Chicago Blues. While the rural blues of the time typically featured a solo musician and their own vocals, musicians flocking to Chicago and New York would join forces, often collaborating in public jam sessions, most notably on Maxwell Street.

Here, Bumble Bee Slim’s smooth vocals seamlessly weave together the sounds of some very prominent blues musicians of the time; Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie, Scrapper Blackwell, Carl Martin, Tampa Red, and more, with everyone in top form.

Pre-war blues tastiness, very much in the Pete Dixon style. Play Mondays at 8pm, Tuesdays between 10 and 2, or anytime your heart ask for something to drown its sorrows in.

M. Pluckett -“Monocle Eye” -[Self Release]

mickeyslim   9/1/2020   A Library, CD

M. Pluckett’s “Monocle Eye” is the project of L. Rossi, a musician and visual artist based deep in the woods of New Hampshire, who does all the instrumentation, recording, mixing, and artwork in this release of 100 copies.

Six, short tracks of garage-y noise rock. Ghostly found-sounds and washed-out vocals hidden away in dust-covered boxes. Lead vocals that sometimes seem to be sung across the room through a telephone. The smokey-stoney-bluesy jams, quiet wistful scrapings, and rock-fueled descents into a deteriorating psyche coalesce into what should be considered a single piece; a movement which one can only hope will become part of a larger concept.

Each track has its own distinct flavor, making this EP accessible to most DJs here at KFJC. Play with impunity.

“Nothing’s there unless you let it in.”

La Musica Della Mafia [coll] – [Pias America Classics]

mickeyslim   8/31/2020   CD, International

The song of a life of crime, tunes of prison life, music of the Mafioso.

This music here has been passed down for many generations. It was recorded and sold at open-air markets, which most Italians found offensive because it glorified mafia life. Kind of similar to the public outcry toward gangsta rap in the ’90s. At first listen, these songs feel like whimsical sometimes optimistic folk tunes, drifting from the beaches of Sicily, over the mountains of Calabria, to the gulfs of Campania.

Once you take a look at the lyrics sheet, however, you find yourself in back alleys, jail cells, and funeral processions. Whether singing of honor, family, or grief, these songs take you into an underground world filled with death and glory. The instrumentation takes on several forms, with any combination of guitar, accordion, tambourine, scacciapensieri (better know to us as a jew’s harp, a staple in traditional Sicilian music), and more.

Do not miss the liner notes with this release, if only for the translated lyrics. Enjoy!

Hopkins, Lightnin’ – “Rockin’ At Herald” – [Wax Love Records]

mickeyslim   4/17/2020   12-inch, Blues


12 head-boppin’ tracks from Lighnin’ Hopkins’ Herald sessions recorded 1954 in Houston, Texas. While Hopkins was renown for his folk blues sound, this album leans toward rock ’n’ roll with Hopkins jamming on electric guitar accompanied by Donald Cooks on bass and Ben Turner on drums. A couple boogie tracks and still lots of slow, somber numbers.

As always, though, these are great tracks with great stories with virtuosic guitar playing. Lightnin’ Hopkins knows how to bring the house down. As the liner noters say, “roll back the carpet and put on your dancing shoes. This is no folk-blues session.”

Dig it.

somesurprises – “voice memos” – [Happy Accidents]

mickeyslim   3/4/2020   A Library, Cassette

the stippled streetlight over a gravestone at 2:30am,

eating a fresh donut at the bustop
in the fog,

Reverb’s lovesong to Distortion,
a ghost’s songs buried deep
in the snow.

a psychedelic pop aesthetic that floats uncomfortably
above the madness.

solo release of seattle-based Natasha El-Sergany on vox/guitar/synth recorded onto a cell phone 2016

Araya, Felipe – “Punata” – [eh?]

mickeyslim   2/19/2020   A Library, Cassette

Found sound field recordings from Bolivia & Chile. Felipe Araya plays the Peruvian cajón, a wooden hand drum, in a very non-traditional, exploratory fashion.

Side A is field recordings made in Bolivia originally recorded onto mobile phone. Gysin/Burroughs-style cut-ups of sounds at Cochabamba market, at el Ojo del Inca, traditional folk sounds, muddy footsteps, faint voices with occasional sounds from Araya’s cajón.

Side B is a “silent session” recorded at a friends place in Santiago, Chile. Cajón and objects, starts as a minimal, playful exploration that evolves unhurriedly into an excellent crescendo.

Two 26-minute sides of well-done, found-sound, bliss…

Gorgun, Ipek – “Ecce Homo” – [Touch Music]

mickeyslim   10/23/2019   A Library, CD

Awash in an electronic fog,
humming voices lost into the
deep shadow,
overwhelmed by an unknown
air.

White noise from the hills
of Ankara,
a bird chirps,
warping sweet fruit.
Sweeping whispers hypnotize,
sacral chants take
control.

Through fields and churches,
fire enflamed in
what once was.

Let it become you,
let it end you,
wait and listen.

Turkish electronic/electroacoustic composer. She’s done vocals and bass for some crushing punk rock bands. Enrolled in doctoral program of sonic arts at Istanbul Technical University’s Center for Advanced Studies in Music. Released 2018. Short, succinct, electronic/found-sound compositions.

DJ T-Rock – “Who’s Your Daddy” – [Bomb Hip-Hop Records]

mickeyslim   9/25/2019   CD, Hip Hop

Wax-stackin’, needle-breaking, vinyl-jockey, DJ T-Rock from North Carolina. This is the world’s best scrath DJ on his first release from 1999 off of Bomb Hip-Hop Records, and it is one-of-a-kind. T-Rock works with a complete arsenal of sounds to create a constant, fast-flowing, sometimes hard to follow beat. Scratching that will melt your face and vocal samples that keep you under its spell. Alien invasions and killer robots. This is the real deal.

Fuller, Jesse – “San Francisco Bay Blues” – [Prestige Records Inc.]

mickeyslim   6/23/2019   12-inch, Blues

Jesse Fuller is the one-man band. Fuller plays the twelve-string guitar, has a harmonica, kazoo, and microphone in his mouth rig, and plays a series of foot pedals attached to a washboard and the fotdella (a foot-operated bass guitar), an instrument of his own invention. The washboard needed to be lubricated before being played, which, for this recording, was “provided by oil from the finest Norwegian smoked salmon, which everyone at the session (except Jesse who didn’t care for it) was consuming with relish.”

Jumpy, folk blues from this Georgia-turned-California native. Fuller was an unsung, old-school, busking style, folk blues hero. Famous for his original “San Francisco Bay Blues,” Fuller’s music influenced folk and rock legends across the globe. This release from Prestige Records is a solid classic

Sound of The Bunun Tribe, The – “Music of The Aborigineon Taiwan Island, The” – [Wind Records]

mickeyslim   6/5/2019   CD, International

Gospel chorus voices, droning, drifting; humming, chanting hypnosis. Generations of humanity’s lost wisdoms.

The Bunun tribe is one of nine on the island of Taiwan, and as such, have been massively isolated from the cruelties and evils of modern society.

While the last couple tracks have instruments (violin, jew harp), this is largely vocal sounds. Fantastic release from unknown musicians on an unknown label.

Sea Moss – “Bidet Dreaming” – [Feeding Tube Records]

mickeyslim   5/8/2019   12-inch, A Library

coffin nails squeaking open, a dust cloud rolling through, and the sound that keeps you awake

Portland’s weirdos Noa Ver and Zach d’Agostino. Both simultaneously play squelching, buzzing, droning electronics of their own design, while Noa uses a contact mic to produce screechy, screaming vocals, distant, like an old phone. Zach keeps a beat, sometimes, driving off into a short-circuited sunset. 100% homemade, analog sounds. Is that a violin? mamba bongoes? Who knows..? Who cares…? What does it all mean?

Is this the end of the world or a new beginning?
Maybe both, probably neither.


This will make you feel warm inside while it tears you apart. THIS RULES.


Frost, Robert- “Reads His Poetry” – [Caedmon]

mickeyslim   4/10/2019   12-inch, A Library

This Caedmon Records release of two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, Robert Frost (1874-1963), was made in 1956 “at Robert Frost’s home in Cambridge, where ebullient spirits, rural quiet and a feeling that this was to be the definitive Frost recording influenced the fine vitality of this reading.”

Some of his finest work, “The Road Not Taken,” “Death of a Hired Man,” and “After Apple-Picking,” among many others. Lay it down.

Wallace, Eli – “Barriers” – [Eschatology Records]

mickeyslim   4/10/2019   A Library, CD

“Barriers” is the moment you tip into sleep,
a thumbtack fallen pin-side-down
onto the hardwood floor,
a soft tap into a shallow
murky
puddle.

Recorded live in 2018, Eli Wallace’s solo piano work finds the cracks in the piano you didn’t know were there. Thunderous wisps and lukewarm fogs. Where to begin?

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