Sonic Youth’s “farewell” will likely be an
introduction for many to modern classical.
I’d almost call this “free classical”, it’s
a far cry from their beginnings in Branca’s
guitar orchestras. Still guitars are a main
focus, bucking, howling, feedbuzzing…like
a break in a SY song expanded and exploded
to life. Aided by other musicians, notably
William Winant (tune/timeful percussion)and
Jim O’Rourke (violin, electronics,?’?) even
joined at times by the composers. It’s hard
to judge these without seeing/knowing the
scores…as classical notation goes out the
window, so goes classical music. I follow.
Coco covers Yoko is a scream/joke and the
Maciunas too is funny *and* compelling as
crucifying a piano w/ hammers should be.
Marclay’s only on one cut,tho’ someone does
a good Christian turn during the 30min Cage
rendition. I hope for a follow-up covering
Ligeti, Part, Gorecki, Riley & Gubaidulina.
‘No/Know the Score?
Sonic Youth’s “farewell” will likely be an
Macabre cabaret, gothadelic. Twisted/filtered
vox which adopts various characters (I sure
would be interested to see costume changes
accompany the singing changes). Squishy
keyboards, playful industrial style. Maniacal
music boxes rewired. Add in lonely pianos on
deserted oceanliners. The odd histrionic
singing is what will make/break this album
for you. Yodeling ghosts in too much make-up?
Eraserhead covers of Erasure tunes? Jeff
Konrad (former MD for WAUG) aids and abets
but this I think is mostly Eric Honse-sense!
Guitar guided noise pop. Loose ringing strings,
open tunings (like Polvo or old Sonic Youth)
and whammy bar kings. Male vocals with that
cool physics grad student sneer (you know
sort of an honorary doctor-ed Lou Reed). I’m
dammning this with faint praise but honestly
this rocked my jaded world. Very catchy, those
guitars keep coming at you. Branca busters!
As an album/ep the sound is a little samey,
(or should I say it is consistently good?’)
Last track is a monolithic mantra. Local
label and I believe local band.
This dog will hunt….and rawk.
Bad marriage mantra counselor Belgum moves on
to some car collision koans and inconvenient
store specials on alley three. Jump-cut
eavesdropping produces non-linear narrations.
Thoughts are blindsided at the intersection
or words, mouths and ears. Overlapping voices
recurring phrases and odd juxtapositions of
voices/concepts really do force you to listen
in a very different manner. Underneath it all
missing testicles, cars driven by dead cops,
and methane suburbs assure the topics are as
peculiar as the manner they are discussed.
Broken Word -Thunger Hurston
European electric cerebral prog-jazz
contrast this to the Flying Lute’s
who commit crazed crimes of passion,
Blast perpetuates meticulous musical
mischief. Hard to apprehend w/ quick
changing time signature disguises,
suspenseful drumming & the precision
of an assasin. Chamber accomplices
(violin and cello) add to this maze
of masterminded mayhem. Angular and
aggressive, but ultimately quite/too
Future ancient music being issued
right now, at the center of the
paradox, a stillpoint that is
actually vibrating like the tibetan
bell at the center of the universe.
Synth shadows lurk, samples to
remind us of the world we’ve come
from. But that place has vanished
instead we’re surrounded by a sonic
sense of darkness. But no fear here.
A good trip. Borges is your guide.
I must confess, at first I imagined this as
a Gordon Lightfoot tribute album. Done with
a psych palette of fuzzy guitar colors and
effects. The mystic river I guess is akin
to the sort of sea shanties I associate by
the sea shore with Gordo. Nope, it’s a mock
compilation with Abunai trying on band
names like Sybil tried on personalities,
though with less variety. Abunai! sets sail
from Boston with a crooning chorus crew,
viking-oar strong bass lines & shipwrecked
guitar squalls. Chase the great white pop.
-Call me Fishmeal…….
You’ve got to suspend a lot of
doubt to get into this…but it’s
still kind of fun. The use of
special argot for Electronic Voice
Phenomena, gives this the feel of
a really good old sci-fi film. Is
EVP a hoax, or perhaps a ruse, or
maybe just maybe the first known
instances of backward masking.
Lots of commentary between examples
…hopefully our signal will vary
enough so that someone else can
pick KFJC up accidentally & answer
their mysterious questions.
Ouija board op!
Martial punk arts? I think this is
yet another arm of Tatsuya Yoshida.
He’s got to have more than just two…
Short sharp blasts of explosive guitar
and precision percussion. And vocals
that don’t suck…I sure wish I knew
what they were scream-singing. Too
precise for punk, too many weird jazz
chords for metal…too short for prog.
“Anderson 31” is the only extended
piece (a Molecular tribute to Ron?’)
Money back guarantee on this
Really fine frenzy rock with psyche
flavorings…out of New Yawk…
raucous rollus…keyboard charm…
Fits in with all those high-energy
bands…the sneer of the Lynnfield
Pioneers, occasional Make-Up pouting
and at best Irving Klaw Kraziness.
Infectious, driving, testosterone
choruses, fuzzy. Turn It Up (Loud)
done with a boys school in tote.
These are the real Americans.
Anachronistic Akronian issues more
anarchy in this his second solo. Picture
a big kid with all of his toys out of the
toy chest, on the floor, and a four-track
capturing it all. Penny-whistles, nickel-
plated bells, dime-store autoharps and a
priceless sense of humour. Tibetan bells,
horns and drum machines…all sorts of
ouds and ends. He’s a throwback to the
future. A rich and diverse menu, unlike
the fine Ralph Sounds here the tracks
are less snacks, and more meals. Order
anything…have seconds and thirds…
you’ll like it…a lot. -Pee Wee Hunger
Remember the kid who always had incredible
Halloween costumes. That kid grew up to
be Mark Growden. Lots of costumes here:
court jester, Ted Nugent fan, Tom Waits’
body double (built from junk-yard parts
just like the original), lonely yodeling
prophet in the wilderness, Nick Drake
singing about toast. It’s so cool to hear
an artist using such a large palette and
two persimmons to boot. The album starts
out frolicsome, but mounts in power with
a penultimate Frippertronic folk mantra
and a towering last track that literally
leaves us breathless. A masterpiece of
Odd hodge-podge of spastic scholastics.
Information overload soundscapes, short
suites of microrazors that cross your
blood-brain barrier. I saw lot’s o little
gremlins wearing velcro getting naked
and/or getting squished. The last track
stands out…it’s like looking at a
pop song sideways. Seemed to be more on
the electro/processing side than the
wisted pop w/ real imitation twang. Sure
no calories, but no ponderous pretention
or tiresome tension neither…and hey
there is Vitamin B – Banjo! That banjo’s
like the ratty ol’ afghan your grandma
made for you! Snuggly songs. Too maudlin
for you Mr. Electro? Don’t fret there’s
plenty o’ honest synth too. This is like
an album of knitted cozies for casios!
Just try not to have as much goofy fun
listening to this as they did making it.
I dare ya!
All-night pancake house jamboree.
Normandeau Fr. Canadian brainiac, sound
academon purveyor of “acousmatics”
(huh, is that electro-psycho-acoutics?)
You end up here with involved tape
collage, plenty of headphonery…and
enough sound to fill your ears and
overflow into your eyes. I like the
attention deficit disorder which propels
these tracks, Normandeau’s never content
to linger with one warped sound for too
long. Liner notes figure importantly…
he’s a protege of “Frankenstein” Dhomont
#3 is the most peaceful, mind the quiet
German Engineering rock like clockwork.
The promise of the 7″ has been traded
in for pretty straight ahead rock here
w/ no subtitles. Cool horn flavorings
help keep the motors running, and at
times there’s a sense of ska riding on
the back of a Tortoise. Little tangly
guitar lines (no-wave echoes?’) and
crisp percussion keep this on ze Autobahn.
There’s not many detours into peculiar
places, it’s a sunshiny seatbelt drive.
I might’ve been hurt by high expectations,
your mileage may vary.
Mad scientist, sonic architect Maryanne
Amacher often resisted making CD’s of her
work, as the form inhibits/limits what
her goal is. Sound in space. Often a
certain space. And not a boom box or
headphones. Here you’ve got aggressive
drones, alternating between volcano
dungeon coarsers and these twitchy
high-register square-wave tinklers.
Read the liner notes, and try some of
this loud…in a room. Perhaps not ideal
radio, definitely psychoacoustic art.
For the temples by your temples
An army of artists(Iggy, Burroughs, Patti
Smith, Bill Laswell, Gen P. Orridge…)
wander out into the desert, past the rock,
into the poetry in search of the source
of a sinister trinity of drugs, violence
and sex. (No, our age holds no patent on
these) Emerging from shifting sound dunes
is not a man, but a myth…whose shadow
and spectre are larger than truth and lies
combined. Anecdotes and ancient texts hewn
out of high-tech, hi-fi, hieroglyphics.
Chicago cross-pollination. Lab rock meets
Kraut rock meets ?’?. Adding Osaka-mama,
blues belle Yoko is intriguing; a sultry
slur, slipping in and out of Japanese/
English adds a welcome warmth. Not Emi
demi-semi-quivering sexiness, but it’s
nice to have a human passenger on this
future-sonic-subway even if she’s not on
every track. A more active Jeff Parker
would be cool too methinks, check #9
and #6 (akin to Dead Man sdtk). Big
ballooning bass sort of (Jah) Wobbled
my weebelos the wrong way in parts here.
Mirror, mirror on the road…A travelin’
show here, mod vaudeville song-speak in
surreal-sound. Papa Pere Ubu conjures
up Kerouac and poet Bob Holman(whole-man?)
completes him. A story in snapshots & old
song snippets: neon signs and neon symbols.
Pale Orch luminaries include ghostrumpet
from Andy Diagram!!, carney-barking from
David Hild, Peter Hamill hoverguitar, vox
guests (Linda Thompson!)…but right now
I think Jack Kidney’s the heart of the
sound, pumping harmonica and sax. Thomas
wonder/wanders the same Lost Highway that
Lynch did. Funny how well Thomas can see
America from London. This is as inviting
as a full tank of gas!
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