KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Marconi Union – "Distance" – [All Saints]

humana   12/9/2019   A Library, CD

From 2005 come the soothing sounds of English trio Marconi Union. The tracks envelop you in layers of electronica that lull you into a trance from which you can awaken by figuring out what the track titles might mean. For example, “Suburb27” somehow converted me from disliking suburbs into admitting that their generic blurriness might be just the challenge I need. The music may also seem blurry, but there’s nothing wrong with a soft focus in life, after all. Take off your glasses and enjoy.

Xela – "Dead Sea, The" – [Type Recordings]

humana   12/9/2019   A Library, CD

John Twells has created a concept album that will suck you into its drone, sea sounds, bells, strumming, harpsichord sounds and leave you feeling drowning in despair. But it’s pretty great nonetheless, because that is the point. The first six tracks have stories to go with them, and they’re printed in the liner notes. They read like a suspenseful tale. The feelings of isolation and paralysis in the face of utter doom (is it sea monsters or an attacking battle ship that sinks the vessel holding the doomed, exiled souls?) are conveyed exquisitely by the atmospheric music found on this disc.

Gideon, Alexis – "Upgrade Soul" – [FPE Records]

humana   12/9/2019   12-inch, A Library

Things have really gotten pretty great when a librarian gets to review a soundtrack composed to accompany a graphic novel, in this case one written by Ezra Claytan Daniels. Kudos to composer Gideon who with these tracks brings to aural life the vision of the graphic novelist. I have not read this novel yet, but I have “heard” it, and now I want to, I must, read it. The vein is sometimes murky (as in “Death”), sometimes jaunty (as in “Conception II”), sometimes playfully bluesy (as in “Progress”) and always mellow and atmospheric. The guitar and electronics draw you in just as I’m sure the illustrations for the graphic novel do. Kudos to Gideon!

Osborne, Brian – Decorous Novelties – [Heat Retention Records]

Max Level   12/4/2019   A Library, CD

Solo percussion performed live with no effects and no overdubs. Cymbals, gong, wood blocks, glass bowls, aluminum pipes, brake drums, wrenches, baskets, scrap metal, etc. A kitchen sink is not mentioned, but it may as well have been. Ringing metallic sounds, tinkly things, tappity-tap on wooden temple blocks, the pinging of glass bowls. It never really gets intense and dramatic as someone like Tatsuya Nakatani does on occasion—this mostly comes across as light-hearted and playful. Fun. Well-recorded.

Rust Worship – “Predecession” – [Skin Trade Recordings]

lexi glass   12/3/2019   A Library, Cassette

This cassette documents two live 2014 Bay Area performances by Rust Worship, the “decay and noise” project of Angeleno Paul Haney. Both sets are continuous 20-minute pieces assembled from scraps of field recordings and tape loops. The LCM (RIP) performance (Side A), opens with wooden rumblings, like a small boat beating against the waves. It rides over crests of heavy noise and into troughs of layered tones, until it arrives at a crowded port. The Lab performance (Side B), returns us to a similar busy public space. In the background, a low pulse lies in wait. It surges, tears at the seams, and finally explodes into a sustained shearing blast. Released in 2018 on the LA-based label Skin Trade. More recent live work from Rust Worship can be found on KFJC’s latest Live from the Devil’s Triangle Volume 22 compilation, that features an excerpt from his 4/20/19 performance in The Pit.

Swans – “Leaving Meaning” -[Young God Records]

atavist   12/3/2019   A Library, CD

This is the first album in the newly reconstituted version of Swans. Moving forward, Michael Gira will assemble a shifting cohort of collaborators based on the specific needs of the project. Many musicians on “Leaving Meaning” have worked on earlier albums by Swans and Angels of Light. This is a gentle and contemplative album compared to some previous Swans works. Gira often uses a soothing vocal style, accompanied by richly textured but spare arrangements. In the CD format, the 90-plus minutes of material are split over two discs. Track D1-3, “The Hanging Man” and D2-4, “Some New Things” are a bit more tense and writhing, and perhaps more reminiscent of recent Swans works. The title track, D1-5, is hypnotic and achingly beautiful, trance-inducing Gira vocals with piano, double bass, and percussion provided by members of the Necks. Track D2-5, “What Is This?”, runs in a similar vein. Track 6 on each disc has FCCs.

Fire On The Mountain [coll] – [Pow Wow]

Hemroid The Leader   12/3/2019   CD, Reggae

Dread do Dead. Well-known reggae acts crossover. Good for turning off your mind, bad to think too much about. Grows on you like fungus. Kind of like it, but I also think it sucks. Distasteful. Entertaining.

Ranglin, Ernest – "Memories of Barber Mack" – [Island Jamaica Jazz]

Hemroid The Leader   12/2/2019   CD, Reggae

Blowin’ Smoke

10 instrumental reggae tunes, 4-7 minutes each, acoustic, bright jazzy sound, throwback “mento’ style. Dedicated to foundational mento saxophonist Barber Mack, who blew smoke into his sax and emerged from backstage with smoke “emitting from every orifice”(!).. Use it to nice up your show when you’re getting down. Sly on drums. They do ‘Stop That Train’ as well as ‘Fade Away’, and the rest are Ranglin tunes.

Bucket of Blues – "Sax Blowout – Disk 2/2" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

This recording has been broken up into 2 CDS. Look for the other CD for more information. Digitized from old archival VHS tape. There is some discernible tape hiss when folks are talking that is not really noticeable when the music is playing.   

A KFJC live mic recorded on 12/12/1987 at JJs Blues Café in Mountain View CA.

Length: 1 hr 16 mins 49 seconds.

Featuring: Bucket of Blues (with 2 additional Sax players added in).

CD starts with JJs house band Bucket of Blues.
Then Terrible Tom (TJ Politzer??) is added to the mix  TJ Politzer (SAX) of the Fabulous Sundogs. Includes “I feel Good”.
Noel Coutoura (SAX) comes on later.  
Finally Bucket of Blues vocalist Rick Baker is added.

Digitized from archival VHS tape by Devlyn on 9/2019

Stewart, Gary – "KFJC Live Mic At SXSW – 1994" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

In 1994 KFJC recorded and engineered performances at the South by South West Music Fest and broadcast those recordings live on KFJC airwaves and on 50 other radio stations that picked up the feed. Following is a Best of: KFJC Special featuring sets pulled from that live broadcast. Recorded at @ Lazona Rosa in Austin Texas. This edit was originally aired as a Mayhem special on 5/14/94 hosted by DJ  Earl Grey             

A KFJC live mic recorded on 3/19/1994 at @ Lazona Rosa in Austin Texas

Genre: Honky Tonk

Length: 40 mins 47 secs

DJ: Earl: Grey

Gary Stewart (1944 – 2003) was an American country, honky-tonk musician and songwriter, known for his distinctive vibrato voice and his Southern rock influenced, outlaw country sound.

Digitized on 9/2019 from an archival VHS tape by Devlyn.

SF Star – "KFJC Live Mic – 1977" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

This recording was digitized from an old VHS archival tape found in storage at KFJC. Not much is known about this recording or the band. Not the best archival recording we have. If this is in fact from 1977 as the label suggests it must have been copied from another format (reel to reel tape?) and archived on the VHS tape we found. Or it could have the wrong date on it.

There were many periods of garbled background noise on the tape that have been removed from this recording. The recording fades off mid last song.  

It is labelled as a KFJC live mic recorded on 1/15/1977 at the “Foothill Field”

Length : 28 mins

Tape labelled with:
Mix: Steve Weselo
Board: FM Producer (Susan Fox)

Band Members Timmy, Rob (drums), Stewart

Partial playlist: Dada

Digitized and edited by Devlyn on 8/2019

Creamers, The – "KFJC Live Mic – 1988" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

A KFJC live mic recorded on 11-19-1988.

DJ: Lucifer Sam.

Genre: Punk.

Members (as introduced) : Leesa Poole (vocals), Bob Deagle (drums), Judy Toy (Guitar & Mandolyn), , Leonard Keringer (zylophone/Guitar?), Rosa Saenz (Cello)

American punk band formed 1986 in Los Angeles, California. “The Creamers melodic and energetic approach to music has been compared to the New York Dolls and Ramones. Over their 20+ year career The Creamers have released three full-length albums and countless singles, EPs and compilations. A career spanning CD/DVD anthology comprising unreleased songs, live footage, a documentary and new material was included in a 2013 release by Negative Reaction Records. The band continues to record and make occasional live appearances.”  Wikipedia

Partial track listing:
No Big Deal
Crackpot
Scarface
Loser Bar
Downtown
So Hard
Johnny Justice
Broken Record
The Old Boys

Digitized from archival VHS tape by Devlyn on 9/2019.

Alvin, Phil & Dave & Blasters, The – "KFJC Live Mic At SXSW – 1994" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

In 1994 KFJC recorded and engineered performances at the South by South West Music Fest and broadcast those recordings live on KFJC airwaves and on 50 other radio stations that picked up the feed. Following is a Best of: KFJC Special featuring sets pulled from that live broadcast. Recorded at @ Lazona Rosa in Austin Texas. This edit was originally aired as a Mayhem special on 5/14/94 hosted by DJ  Earl Grey             

A KFJC live mic recorded on March 19, 1994 at @ Lazona Rosa in Austin Texas

Length: 32 mins

Genre: Rock, Rhythm and Blues,

DJ: Earl Grey

Phil and Dave Alvin are American singers and guitarists known primarily as the leaders of the rock and roll band The Blasters.  The first song is all Phil. Dave comes on for the second, then the full Blasters lineup joins in including John Bazz (Bass),Dave Carol (Drums) and James Infel (Guitar). The Blasters are still going strong as of 2019.

KFJC recorded another concert on the same night featuring Dave Alvin and Chris Gaffney. Look for that CD if you are interested.

Digitized on 9/2019 from an archival VHS tape by Devlyn.

Back to Back Blues Band – "KFJC Live Mic At SJ America Fest – 1995" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

A KFJC live mic recorded on July 4th 1995  as part of a live remote from the San Jose America Festival.

Length: 43 mins

Genre: Blues

DJs: Goat Boy and Earl Grey

Partial track Listing:

1 Amazing Grace (1st track is 1 song by Gospel singer Eric Anthony.)

2. Back to Back Blues Band
Back to Back Blues Band “lead vocalist George Cantu, is a versatile guitarist, Drummer Johnnie Cozmik and bassist Mark Lopez toe the line rhythmically.” Last FM.com   

Includes:
“Let the Good Times Roll”
“Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” (Cover of James Brown hit)

Digitized on 9/2019 from archival VHS tape by Devlyn

Chills, The – "KFJC Live Mic – 1988" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

A KFJC live mic recorded on 10/16/1988

Length: 40 mins 09 secs

Genre: Indie-Pop

The Chills are a New Zealand rock band formed in Dunedin in 1980. The band is essentially the continuing project of singer/songwriter Martin Phillipps, who was the group’s sole constant member. In this recording he is joined by Justin Howard (Bass), Jimmy James Stephenson (Drums) and Andrew Todd (Keyboards).

The band was one of the leading proponents of the Dunedin sound,  a genre related to traditional indie pop featuring “jingly jangly guitar”, minimal bass and loose drumming and keyboards.

In October 2015, the band issued Silver Bullets, their first album-length release in 19 years.

In February 2017, the band released the David Bowie song “Conversation Piece”. The band released Snow Bound its seventh album, on September 14, 2018.

Digitized from archival VHS tape by Devlyn on on 6/2019

Cotton Mather – "KFJC Live Mic At SXSW – 1994" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

In 1994 KFJC recorded and engineered performances at the South by South West Music Fest in Austin Texas, and broadcast those recordings live on KFJC airwaves and on 50 other radio stations that picked up the feed. Following is a Best of: KFJC Special featuring sets pulled from that live broadcast. Recorded at @ Liberty Lunch in Austin Texas as part of the SXSW Fest. This edit was originally aired as a Mayhem special on 5/14/94 hosted by DJ  Earl Grey       

Track 1 – Cotton Mather

A KFJC live mic recorded on 3/19/1994 @ Liberty Lunch in Austin TX as part of the SXSW Fest

Length: 39 Mins

Genre: Roots Rock

DJ: Earl Grey

Starting with the song “The Words Of Shaman Roger” from their brand new album “Cotton Is King” American indie rock band Cotton Mather founded by Robert Harrison (guitar and vocals) headquartered in Austin TX  featuring Whit Williams (guitar and vocals), Matt Hovis (bass), Greg Thibeaux (drums), George Reiff (bass), Dana Myzer (drums) and Josh Gravelin (bass). Their first album was released in 1990 and as of 2019 the band is still cranking out albums.

Track 2 – A readout of the entire KFJC cast that helped record the SXSW Fest in 1994. (I am sure some of the name spelling is off. Check the audio version of this file for full list.)

Radio Devil Network: Mark Vandercook, Amacke Bullwinkle, Eric Weaver, Russ Kent, Jennifer Bailey, Mike Salvage, Mark Herbert, Greg Huitric, Mike Rosenberg

KFJC: Brian Potter, Leader Steve Tacklet  Doc Petzel, Katherine Ortiz, Grant Walden, Dave Richoux, Bill Gordon, Al Grantwaldren

Digitized on 9/2019 from an archival VHS tape by Devlyn.

Cactus Brothers – "KFJC Live Mic At SXSW – 1994" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

In 1994 KFJC recorded and engineered performances at the South by South West Music Fest in Austin Texas, and broadcast those recordings live on KFJC airwaves and on 50 other radio stations that picked up the feed. Following is a Best of: KFJC Special featuring sets pulled from that live broadcast. Recorded at @ Lazona Rosa in Austin Texas as part of the SXSW Fest. This edit was originally aired as a Mayhem special on 5/14/94 hosted by DJ  Earl Grey       

Track 1 The Cactus Brothers
KFJC Live Mic recorded on 3/19/1994 @ Lazona Rosa as part of SXSW Fest

Length: 45 mins 23 seconds

Genre: Country Rock  

DJ: Earl Grey

Originally begun as a side project for several members of Nashville’s popular Walk the West, the Cactus Brothers eventually overshadowed their alter ego to take on a life of their own. Vocalist/guitarist Paul Kirby and bass player John Golemon joined with multi-instrumentalist Tramp and Will Golemon (banjo/guitar), xxx played acoustic sets with more of a country sound than the country-rock displayed on the album. The band signed to Jimmy Bowen’s Liberty Records in 1992, recording a self-titled debut album in 1993. By the end of 1995, the Cactus Brothers were out of a job at Capitol EMI and, one by one, the members drifted off to other gigs.

Track 2 — This CD ends with a KFJC “Not Much is Really Sacred Promo” that suggests if you find Bob Dylan’s voice too grating KFJC has the music for you.

Digitized on 9/2019 from an archival VHS tape by Devlyn.

Alvin, Dave & Gaffney, Chris – "KFJC Live Mic At SXSW – 1994" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

In 1994 KFJC recorded and engineered performances at the South by South West Music Fest in Austin Texas, and broadcast those recordings live on KFJC airwaves and on 50 other radio stations that picked up the feed. Following is a Best of: KFJC Special featuring sets pulled from that live broadcast. Recorded at @ Lazona Rosa in Austin Texas as part of the SXSW Fest. It was originally aired as a Mayhem special on 5/14/94 hosted by DJ  Earl Grey       

KFJC Live mic recorded at @ Lazona Rosa Club in Austin TX on 3/19/1994

Length: 48 mins

Genre: Rock, Rhythm and Blues

Dave Alvin is an American singer and guitarists known primarily as one of the leaders of the rock and roll band The Blasters along with his brother Phil.  Chris Gaffney (accordion, harmonica) is brought in the second part of this act to spice things up.

KFJC recorded another CD on the same night featuring brothers Phil and Dave Alvin and their band the Blasters.

Digitized on 9/2019 from an archival VHS tape by Devlyn.

Omar and The Howlers – "KFJC Live Mic At SXSW – 1994" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

In 1994 KFJC recorded and engineered performances at the South by South West Music Fest in Austin TX and broadcast those recordings live on KFJC airwaves and on 50 other radio stations that picked up the feed. Following is a Best of: KFJC Special featuring sets pulled from that live broadcast.

KFJC live mic recorded on March 19, 1994 @ Lazona Rosa Club in Austin Texas. This version of the recording was originally aired as a Mayhem special on 5/14/94 hosted by DJ  Earl Grey       

Length: 38mins, 30 secs

DJ: Earl Grey

Genre: Blues and Rock

The band in this recording features founder Kent Dykes on guitar and lead vocals, Bruce Jones on bass, and Wes Starr on drums.

Omar and the Howlers was a Texas based electric blues and blues rock band The Howlers formed in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1973. Three years later they moved to Austin, Texas. Their debut album “Big Leg Beat” for Amazing Records came out in 1980. In 1987, the band signed a recording contract with Columbia and “Hard Times in the Land of Plenty”, which sold over 500,000 copies.  Band leader Kent Dykes stopped performing in 2018 after a flesh-eating disease decimated his arms.

Digitized from an archival VHS tape by Devlyn on 6/19

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