KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Bucket of Blues With Brian David – "KFJC Live Mic – 1987" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   11/7/2019   A Library, CD

Bucket of Blues with 2 extra Sax players  (TJ Politzer and Noel Coutoura)

Recorded 12/22/1987    (36:03)               847010

This concert is broken up into 2 CDS. There is some tape hiss when folks are talking. Not really noticeable when music is going  

Recorded at JJ’s Blues Cafe in Mountain View CA

Tape starts with the club house band Bucket of Blues including: Deacon Jones on organ and MC for the night. ( Our best guess this is: “Melvyn “Deacon” Jones (December 12, 1943 – July 6, 2017) an organist and founding member of Baby Huey & The Babysitters in Chicago”  Wikipedia   

With David Brian, Vocalist from Palo Alto CA. Singing: Erving Berlin’s White Christmas at 28 mins

Slack, Errol & Alexandria – "KFJC Live Mic – 1988" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   11/7/2019   A Library, CD

Alexandria & Errol Slack-Blues Band – A KFJC Live Mic from 1988

Recorded Jan 27, 1988                  847100

1 hr 5 minutes

No info on tape about how, where, or who recorded this. Likely recorded at JJ’s Blues, an Iconic San Jose blues bar where other KFJC Blues music was recorded in this period

Band Members: Errol Slack (organ), Alexandria Renate (vocals),

Fair amount of tape hiss that is noticeable during conversations.

Flayed Choirmaster, The – “Walking Case Study” – [Pet Goat Records, The]

whngr   11/6/2019   A Library, CD

Aural pet abuse.

A piercingly shrill keening reminiscent of a high-powered flash charging up before your uncle blinds you in the annual Thanksgiving family photo begins the assault on your furbabies’ sanity but quickly evolves into synthesized balloon squeaks and other abstractions. Echos, white-noise, bleeps, bloops, and crunches. Strobes, peels, shimmering squelches and later unintelligible muffled yells. Shards of sonic glass piercing the Tympanic Membrane, as Spot attacks the speaker and Fluffy claws first the door and then your face in a frenzied search of egress. A superb album for anxiety inducing enthusiasts of unstructured knob twirling and fader fingering by noise artist Sam Clifton. Reminds this miserable volunteer of an advanced AI’s death sonnet or perhaps a Wednesday evening at KFJC.

White Wash – "KFJC Live Mic – 1977" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   11/5/2019   A Library, CD

847043

White Wash Live – a KFJC Live Mic from 1977

Recorded on 2-25-1977

DJs Susan Fox and Sandy Sprague  

Length 29:50

Style:Americana

Recording features strong acoustical guitar work, congas, harmonica & 2 voices.    

Partial list of tracks:

2nd song is a guitar cover of Donovan song  “There is a Mountain”

Cover of “Folsom Prison”

City


Mermaidens – "Look Me In The Eye" – [Flying Nun]

humana   11/3/2019   A Library, CD

I know so little about this fantastic band from Wellington, New Zealand. I see two women and a man on the CD cover, but I don’t know their names. I just know that together they write and perform downtempo (and pleasingly oft-changing tempo) songs that summon images of an undersea world–figuratively, that is. The amazing lead female vocals take your emotions for a ride while the guitars and percussion help you ride the changing currents. I particularly enjoyed “Milennia” and “The Cut,” but each song has its own charm. Dive in.

Battle of The Surf Bands Vol 8 [coll] – [KFJC]

Cousin Mary   11/2/2019   A Library, CD

From the 8th KFJC surf battle held in May of 2019. Each of the 13 bands has a track on the CD and a video of a track on the USB drive. Held every 2 to 3 years for the surf music community to say thanks to KFJC for its support.

Derbyshire, Delia & Hannett, Martin – "Synth & Electronic Recording Exchanges, The" – [Dandelion Records]

Sir Cumference   10/30/2019   A Library, CD

This is not the cover that we were sent, see below…

Martin Hannett – famed Factory producer – was a fan of famed Radiophonic Workshop sound artist Delia Derbyshire and ended up in an auditory correspondence with her. They both sent tracks to each other through the post, and Martin had compiled 33 of them for a release back at the beginning of the ’80s which never happened – until now! Unfortunately there appears to have been no notes for the compilation and with no one to ask – as Martin passed on in ’91 and Delia ten years later – we can only guess. Luckily for our ears Martin appeared to be channelling his inner Wendy Carlos and going for baroque, while leaving the uniquely Delian tracks to counter in a mostly alternating arrangement on this release (though towards the end, it started to sound more Delian.) I’m quite perplexed as to why they used a picture of Suzanne Ciani on the cover!

Why is there a problem with identifying Delia in photos. There are a ton of Suzanne’s images on the internet misattributed to Delia!

Bombay Royale – "You Me Bullets Love" – [Hope Street Recordings]

Sir Cumference   10/30/2019   A Library, CD

The Bombay Royale is an Australian outfit that mixes Indian classical and folk styles with western popular music. This release, from 2012, is a fake soundtrack to a fake movie and is ’60s Bollywood meets spy meets surf, with a hint of spaghetti western. Jaan Pehechan Ho might be familiar, as the original version, from the ’60s mystery film Gumnaam, was featured in the film Ghost World (and more heavily in the trailer which was shown at a recent Psychotronix!) Sote Sote Adhi Raat is another cover, this time from a ’70s film called Habari. The rest are original compositions, performed in Hindi, Bengali and English. Phone Baje Na was the single release. However, my favorite is Mahindra Death Ride which is a groovy pop number that suddenly has a marching band going through the middle of it.

BERP – “BERP” [Yabyum]

Max Level   10/29/2019   A Library, CD

Total immersion into a world of acoustic sound/noise. The quartet coaxes sounds from stringed instruments such as guitar and violin, percussion, toys, ping-pong ball, waterphone, hurdy-gurdy, and voice. The pieces are generally on the active side, with a multitude of instruments and other sounds (taps, thuds, tickles, scrapes, whacks, nonsense vocals, etc) all clamoring for attention. These players excel at bursts of frenetic creativity. That’s not to say there aren’t some quieter sections, but even those are full of taps and boings and rattles and they aren’t what I would call relaxing. This material is not for everybody, but it’s quite interesting in a ‘what-will-they-come-up-with-next?’ kind of way. Track 5 is a 46-minute marathon that is easy to get lost in.

PAK – “Bestial” – [Nefarious Activities]

atavist   10/29/2019   A Library, CD

I imagine some will detect an influence of John Zorn, maybe Red-era King Crimson… Here follows my travelogue through this slab of heavy, turned up progressive sounds from the NYC three-piece called PAK. 1: The machinery is slowly starting to move. Heavy machinery, lumbering, tentative explorations, directions attempted. 2: Sharp guitar (you can feel how hot the amp was in the studio), assertive bass, drums keep this thing from spinning off the rails. Mathy, proggy (mildly thinky), with breakdowns 3: Some early chugging structures. Driving, with wild swerves off the road and back, can make for a bumpy ride. 4: Eerie, formless sounds streak across a night sky as percussion and other instruments begin to assert themselves, but the overall vibe is spaced-out and pensive—the machinery sleeps a restless sleep. 5: Kicks off with a straight-forward (for this group) riff, and even has a guitar solo at the third minute. By far the “jammiest” track on the record. 6: The only track with vocals exhibits an anti-consumerist rant. Musically it kind of drags a bit in the beginning, particularly since earlier tracks 1-4 are sonically adventurous by comparison. After about 4 minutes it picks up and starts to motor along with guitar work that weirdly reminded me of Larry LaLonde in early-90s Primus recordings. When the tempo slows down again, we are wading through sludge. The bizarro guitar sound at the end is a well-suited conclusion. 7: Gradually falls into a nearly hypnotic groove with loopy digressions. The last two minutes devolve into a sonic unravelling.

PAK recently played the Uptown with PG13, whose record I reviewed a few months ago, and the bill makes sense: this is heavy, pounding music with weirdness and time signatures that are proggy enough to flirt with jazz.

Gong Gong Gong – "Phantom Rhythm" – [Wharf Cat Records]

Thurston Hunger   10/26/2019   A Library, CD

Percolating rock from a wok made in Hong Kong by way of
China and Canada but studio-fried in Brooklyn. Two guitars
sound a little like a Gang of Four (the band not politicos)
or an echo of the Archie Bronson Outfit. Galloping sense of
industrial blues and riveting rhythms. Maybe the solution
to the Spinal Tap dilemma is here, create drum-proof rock.
The album’s subtitle nails it “Phantom Rhythm.” Hammerdown.
Load your songs with humbucking chunks of percussive guitar
flecks and bass bop slaps, and crunch away. Check out the
instrumental “Night’s Colour (Chongqing)” as an example, it
feels like Congotronic amplified thumb-pianos. Their “Blues”
on #6 has a guitar break like a helicopter w/ guns. Vox in
Cantonese I think, ask your kids or Tom Ng who penned them.
This record insistently grew on me. Don’t miss “Moonshadows”
with an ESG-esque funk that breaks down to snort “White Lines”
on its choruses. Pretty sure I saw LeBron James and Xi Jinping
having a dance-off on that one. The dirty tone on the guitars
on this is pure bliss. Tariff stare-off, don’t forget to rock.
-Thurston Hunger

Los Panchos – "Contigo Aprendi Mis Numero 1" – [Sony Music Distribution]

Hemroid The Leader   10/23/2019   CD, International

Los Panchos

Twenty #1 smashes, 1948-91. Boleros and romantic ballads from Los Panchos, one of the top trios of all time. Formed 1944 in NYC. Soon after, they had a dedicated timeslot on XER-AM, Mexico City’s top station. International tours, movie appearances, millions sold. Varied orchestration: some with strings, others sparser.

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.

Crossing, The – “Voyages” – [Innova Recordings]

Medusa of Troy   10/16/2019   A Library, CD

The Crossing is the artist, in this case, a professional choir that specializes in performing new classical music. Donald Nally is the conductor. Voyages is the title of the album, the two works that make up this album, and the underlying 6-cycle poem, composed in 1921–1926, as a paean by the poet Hart Crane to his lover, a Danish sailor. Robert Convery is the composer of the album’s first half, the choir singing his 1994 arrangement of Crane’s words a cappella, poems intact. Benjamin C.S. Boyle composed the second half of the album as a cantata, where stanzas are plucked from the underlying poem and the choir is accompanied by its in-house string ensemble, with soloists emphasizing particular passages. The first six songs, Convery’s a cappella arrangement, are sweet and melancholy and faint enough that you may want to pay close attention and have the poem in front of you to make out the words. In Boyle’s half, the strings tend to be dramatic, undergirding the emotion in the words and forcing the soloists to be more emphatic.

But which, if any, should you play? Convery’s “Voyages” is good for quiet but deep listening. Boyle’s “Voyages: Cantana No. 2, Opus 41” provides more obvious peaks and valleys for the listener. Neither quite reach the delirious, dizzying sweep of words and feeling as an out and proud statement of queer desire from a time where such a thing was punished by law and society. However, both compositions, and the album as a whole, are lovely.

Musicians of The Nile – Charcoal Gypsies [coll] – [Realworld]

aarbor   10/16/2019   CD, International

The Musicians of the Nile were discovered in 1975 and performed at the 1st WOMAD festival in 1983. They are apparently a part of the gypsy tradition. Listening to them the link to gypsy music is less clear. The tracks on this album are flutes and buzzy reed instruments which remind me of a homework assignment I had in an Ethnomusicology class once: to listen to a piece like this and transcribe it into musical notation. AArbor

Reflection – “Morerroronus World, The” – [Clear Records]

aarbor   10/16/2019   A Library, CD

On the Clear label out of the UK, Reflection is 2 Japanese brothers: Ichiro and Kenji Taniguchi. Their debut album in 1996 was Erroronus World, this album from 1997 is the remix album with offerings from such heavy hitters as Plaid, 4 Hero and Morgan Geist among others. Check out tracks 2,3,4,6 and 7. AArbor 

Presson, Lee and The Nails – "Last Request" – [Self-release]

Sir Cumference   10/12/2019   A Library, CD

KFJC is getting a pre-release of the latest release of the Bay Area’s own Lee Presson and the Nails. Lee goes full Goth Swing with this selection of spookier tunes (and a couple not-so-spooky) just in time for the Halloween season (the album will be released on October 25.) My favorite is the Mission Impossible theme mashed with up with Take Five (don’t tell me you never wanted to do that yourself!) A swingin’ version of the theme to Psycho is sure to get your toes a tappin’ just before you hit the shower. I’m sure anyone could find something to squeeze into a set or two…

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