KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Long Hind Legs – “Feb 4TH – 14TH 1998 ” – [Kill Rock Stars]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Behold the Ghost of New Wave past. Preset
sins of the synthesizer, rattling guitar
chains and tortured vox wrapped around
tortured lyrics. You know, oblique lines
like “there’s no ceiling on the aquiline”
…lyrics just twisted enough to make you
think *maybe* they were cribbed from
Mallarme or some other French poet. Well,
maybe not. Actually two tracks are instros
#1- horror-at-the-skating-rink organ
#4- haunted saloon piano
This Christmas give the Cratchet child some
blue eyeshadow, Kevin O’Dante’s crusty Echo
and the Bunnymen t-shirt and this E.P.
-Thurston Humbug

Cline, Nels & Sarno, Devin – “Edible Flowers ” – [W.I.N.]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Devin Sarno, a bass drone cronie gets another rise
out of Nels Cline-guitar hero! Nels shimmerscrapes,
spelunks, incinerates, claws through his pickups,
even six-string sings to Godzilla (“Forgive” early).
Glacier fracture guitar and effects. Except for an
icy sci-fi riff in “The Moon is Your Moon”, and a
kimono-floating-on-the-water melody midway through
“Forgive” this is brashly beautiful though tuneless
turbulence. Instro brainwave harmonics — distilled
essence of rock and roll, formula free, 190 proof
guitar. A winner for Devin’s own label, check his
solo work as Crib.
Here though, it’s Nels in Excelsius!

Eno, Roger – “Flatlands, the ” – [Thirsty Ear Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Organic ambience, piano notes ripple through
waves of cello and violin. Chilled chamber
configuration. Short instro pieces that
all float connected by a rather large grey
cloud. Somber and stately, perhaps a bit
melodramatic for some. Resignation with
resonance. Like the glorious “Apollo” release
with brother Brian, here each sonic syllable
lives a nice long lingering life, no rushing
to the next bar here. No crowding chords.

Chazam & Monsieur Gadou – “Vivants ” – [Cip/Audio]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Shoot from the hip roadtrip “trios” featuring
#1 Chazam on rubbertube trombone et voice
#2 Gadou on learned and unlearned guitar
#3 the surprise partner…the sounds of
their chosen remote location!
Check the booklet, see the photos, the deter-
mined silliness, the matching coats, the loony
liner notes. It will make you love the tracks
and this project even more! The guitar is
quite varied. Chazam’s spasm-vox and trombone-
jour cover some pretty unreal estate, but the
key here is location, location, location!
This album is on the move! -Le Hunger

Fair, Jad and Yo La Tengo – “Strange but True ” – [Matador Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Mr. Rogers, our own J.C. Clone and Jad Fair
must all share the same gene, they’re all in
a chromosomal zone that tweaks the voice on
the nose, and completely scrambles the mind.
Somewhere David Byrne is walking in a grass
suit under an overpass listening to this on
a walkman made entirely out of old dental
fillings. Yo La Tengo paints the backdrop,
short little poplets beneath Jad’s talllllll
tales. Sort of Dr. Seuss in convenient
tabloids tablets. Take two, they’re small
and they’ll improve your mood. Just released,
but recorded a while ago. I would have been
happy with more “monkey” business.

Mice Parade – “True Meaning of Boodleybaye,Th ” – [Bubble Core Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Tortoise in toyland? Beats, bleeps and even
guitar. In fact lots of guitar…ringing,
harmonic. For me though the highlight is
the percussion, which though looped, sounds
live and sparkly. Like it was created in a
high-tech music-box factory. It then gets
wrapped in blankets of synths, and there are
even pillowy willowy vocals on some tracks as
well. Mice Parade evidently is Adam Pierce. A
one-man-or-a-mouse parade that roars…well,
quietly roars. Last two tracks send out a
“Bleached” Boy vibration. Pre-mixed post-pop.
You heard me Dixon, pop!

Larval – “2 ” – [Knitting Factory Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Pregnant music, with a lot of fathers. Is
this modern chamber music a la Rachel’s (#1)?
Was it sired by a chance meeting with Branca’s
swelling guitars? Or Fripperfathered (#5).
Ancestral Viking slaveship riffage is in the
blood too (#6). Prog progeny? Sax w/ Bowie?
Lots of tension and mystery, still this drips
with melody and guitars soooo it’s extremely
accessible. Ponderous, but accessible. All
instro, like some sort of No-Wave symphony. A
very seemless blend of strings electric and
strings traditional. Time to track down Bill
Brovold’s first offspring.

Demi Semi Quaver – “Three ” – [Sony (Local)]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

I never knew a manic panic attack could be so
pleasurable. More recreational sex w/ an alien
defrock’n’roll here. Not as hyper-grindy as
previous releases, this one struts more, even
occasionally kicks off the stiletto heels
and languishes. Bondage Fruit’s Yuji Katsui
violin is new and prominent, he really can
spike your attention but Emi Eleonola’s
voice/mind/lips/teeth are still the EMInent
feature of dEMI sEMI Quaver. Her alluring
“automatism voice” is an amphetimine scat,
Her own language is what Esperanto should
have been. Delivered with gasps and gurgles,
amazonian huskiness, anti-demure libidinous
eruptions. Emi’s accordion opens a seedy
Brecht alleyway into the sound.

Edgewalker Experimental Instrm – “Peering Over ” – [Ramp Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

I guess most people make music, while others
make instruments that’ll make other people
make music. Tom Nunn is evolving through his
metallic machinanimations…Crustaceans, Bugs,
Beetles, Rays, even Bats. Regrettably no photos
found here. Electro-acoustic descendants from
when Cage first stuck a spoon in a piano. Some
of the vibes I got here included a gamelan
factory that builds robot Danny Elfmen(#1)
thunderclap cymbals & heavy hate machinery(#2)
underwater marimbas(#3) percussion emulating
lion roar(#4) “there’s something scurrying
through the world’s largest toilet tank”(#5)
birdcage follies(#8). Nunn solo(#6) shows off
a range of sound from bowed(?) harmonics to a
total dinosaur skeleton chiropractor delight.
Wise Willie Winant and the Mighty Moe on here.
Solid experi-metal sound construction

Hundred Sights of Koenji – ” ” – [God Mountain]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

This band changes time signatures quicker and
more often than my wife changes outfits before
going out. Each sonic suite is stunning…the
band’s name translates as 100 Sights of Koenji
where they live, some of those sights are
pictured within…spot the KFJC sticker! This
is built upon Ruins so you know it’s good.
Yoshida is such a powerhouse, both behind the
kit and in knocking out these Teutonic operatic
vocals. Synapse-snapping syllables for lyrics
(a la Magma) in the future these “words” will
be analyzed like the Old Testament/Rosetta Stone
and the world history will be unveiled.
Go prog wild! Thurston Hunger Generator

God Is My Co-Pilot – “Je Suis Trop Content ” – [Dark Beloved Cloud]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Abrasive pop or punk goes through the back door
to art rock/no wave sounds. I remain GodCo-
dependent. Tortured by their own intelligence
but redeemed by their ability to have fun.
Teasing instruments. An Arto Lindsay edge on
guitar. GIMCP can range from Resident resonant
weirdness (#4) to lurching math rock to video
game Spaceheads cover (#3). Charming and
disarming in one fell swoop. I love these f’s
(Craig Flanagin and femme fatale futile Sharon
Topper) and everyone else who wanders by the
studio when they are recording. For some reason
I found myself thinking that hop-skotch (and
related sing-songs) might be their biggest
influence.

8PDAN – ” ” – [None]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

Extremely promising angst-pop out of Ontatio,
Canada. Polvo pulverizing mathy rock meets dizzy
Don Caballero stampedes. Music with lots of
corners. Standard r’n’r recipe (bass/guitars/drums)
well-above standard results. Jeering vox on “Low
Brow” and “Birthday or Boy Girl.” The two “Hello
Boys” have a nightmarish robot-betrays man feel.
Lot’s of full-bore half-step stop n’ start action.
This is etch-a-sketch twitch and flex music.

Ex-Girl – “Heppoco Pou ” – [Compozila]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Music written while bouncing on hotel beds, not
THAT kind of bouncing…(well maybe a little of
that kind too)…Hyperactive pop/punk with a
smiling sneer, that smile is coated with neon
candy lip-gloss. Effect-laden guitars, sharp
snare-driven drums, and on top vocal acrobatics.
From a whisper to a scream to a moan to the
Pointer Sisters on Mars (“Planet * F”) to panting
to gargling disco to torchy temptation. Otomo
Yoshide spins in on 3 & 4, Hoppy’s all over here
(his version of Frankenstein’s Punk Daughters?’)
His taste in weird non-demure women remains
unparalleled. I like the ice-cubes on the spine
sound of “La Perla”, the spooky spooky joy joy
of their “Ghost” story, “Deutche” sounds almost
like a simultaneous tribute to Fellini and Can.
All kinds of colors and flavors here.

East Village Other, the – “Electric Newspaper, Hiroshima. ” – [Esp]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

It all seems smaller now, time has passed…a 12″
record, accompanying liner notes and lost years
are crammed into this jewel box. Still, some of
the cognitive dissonace is still striking (#8 has
Pres as both Daddy and A-Bomb Papa-Dropper).
Ishmael Reed too! SplinterTest splice-fest fans &
people who delve in overlaying different sonic
inputs will enjoy this Aug 6 1966 slice o’ life.
This document’s a time when the world appeared
black and white, but red all under. We now know
the Underground came to save not slay USA. An
un-sound collage here and liner notes ring the
alarm again today, it’s a brand new day, so to
speak. (Have we got) time to wake up? Enjoy
chants and chance collisions. If you want a
real disconnect, compare the press and prez now
and then. Go ask Alice…and LBJ.

Deadbolt – “Zulu Death Mask ” – [Cargo Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Back from the Deadbolt, straight outta Africa
it’s the band that gives good shrunken head!
I like this even more than watching Adam West
as Batman dance, come to think of it the music’s
pretty much the same: operating the reverb unit
well above the posted maximum, straight-ahead
zombie stomp, voodoobilly rock ‘n roll. Lot’s
of croaky spoken vocals…Johnny Cash doing
a Clint Eastwood impersonation. Censored news
broadcasts you won’t hear any where else,
killer clowns, walking dead, bisexual
puppet shows, death masks…and it’s all true.
Creepy cryptographic tales from the crypt,
you DO need to know! Special Agent Hunger

Bailterspace – “Photon ” – [Turnbuckle Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Same old zeal from these transplanted New Zealanders.
Following the distorto-drive trajectory of their
early work(which KFJC is blessed with a wealth of),
this *very short* EP has some fine blister rock.
Song structure as simple as fossils, occasional
shadowy vox sneer in. Track 3 offers a nice change
of pace in the guise of a depresso-ballad. Again
at a whopping 18 minutes I am not sure what is up
here, did a band member get injured a recording
contract go sour or all of their amps burst into
flames?’ Track four (!!) and the last two proto-
songs promise much don’t stick around long.

Fischoff, Dave – “Winston Park ” – [Secretly Canadian]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Horton hears a Hoosier? An artist’s enclave seems
to be blossoming in Bloomington, home to the artist
and label here. Fischoff’s first official release
is like the opening scene of “To Kill A Mockingbird”
a slow detailed close-up of intimate totems. Sad
ballads linger with quiet force, hushed death-bed
vocals over gentle music box guitar. Solid in and
of themselves (lyrically loaded!) the songs are
wonderfully augmented by stolen memories.
Thriftstore cassette scrounging provides Fischoff
with some wistful hissing snippets to mix in with
his work – a piano lesson on track 5, a chorus of
happy birthday. children singing a hymn. The audio
equivalent of the old inscribed photos that adorn
this compact disc. Note some songs track.
A melancholy voyeur’s delight.

Lau Nau – “Kuutarha ” – [Locust Music]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Worried that Florian’s Frickeing death prevents a holy union
of Popol Vuh and Caroliner?’ Fret not, Lau Nau (nee Laura
Naukkarinen from the Anaksimandros from Finland) channels
the sonic spirits. The results are enchanting, with that tiny
twitch of itchiness clawing at your fleshly earlobe a la
Caroliner. Voices and flutes float on top of each other,
tambura fires burn eternal on tracks, percussion-on-a-stick
in-a-slow-breeze fills many of the tracks. Nepal nuances are
not just covert, there’s a cover of a Nepalese number on #9,
complete with those see-sawing strings. Icy steadiness on a
lot of numbers, make it feel almost like a field recordings
album that the musicologist was moved to sing along with.
“Kuula” is too kuula for school, definite siren song.

Los Hermanos – “Resurrection ” – [Underground Resistance]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

Gerald Mitchell delivers the brotherly beats here with a nice
aquatic Submerge’d subway rider on “Resurrection.” All clean
curved corners and rail-riding rhythm. 808 claps slaps your
neck in and out of joint. On the flip side “Freedom Dancer”
jumps immediately in your face with a four-quarter pounder.
Brilliant fleck-flings of piano add the to manic movement,
and some sort of “Who do you love(?’)” voodoo sample is
summoned on top. As this is just the 7″, the sweat barely
breaks theoretically on all you mental dancers right when
the slow fade on percussion knocks you out of your ruby
slide slippers back into your sleepy socks. Still the
battle of the bounce has been won, who said Resistance is
futile….

Borful Tang – “Root ” – [Snurp]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Back on the Tang gang with Dominic Cramp and his supersonic
blender-in-a-briefcase. Scoring a big yes from Cramped-up
samples of No Means No (#1) and the outstanding international
collections of the Secret Museum of Mankind which gets
dropped into a hyperkinetic drumroll on #4 (the bagpipes
are nearly torn to bits, but survive). There’s organ bombast
on “Majestic Shuffle” strafed by unidentified flying synths.
And if you missed meeting John and Mary on the “Destroyer”
CD version Dominic tricked us with earlier, they are back
and as confused as ever here. Indeed they are hungering for
more in “The Restaurant”, which cuts me up and my lil pumpkin
head. Accidental digital hardcore whipped up on #2, but by
the end of all the denaturing of sound, the robots, samples,
pedals, effects exist solely to take a walk in the snow with
the birds. (Probably robot birds, built out of scrap from
Chinese prison toy factories…). Plunderphrenetic.

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