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Music Reviews

Leprechaun Catering – “Male Plumage ” – [White Denim]

Max Level   9/30/2006   12-inch, A Library

Loopy, crazy fun. Damaged spazz-beats and colorful cartoon-like electronic bleeps and brrrzzzts. Messy guitar sounds and questionable vocals scattered throughout. Weird as hell but full of sections that the psychotics among us will (I’m guessing) find catchy. 3WR: Casio nerd-gods. DJ note: the first 30 seconds of the first track are in the left speaker only. No need to adjust your equipment.

Moore, Sam – “MOOHIEEE! ” – [Em Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/28/2006   A Library, CD

So my sketchy theory of Em Records’ secret plot to vindicate
the genre of New Age gets minorly reinforced here by offering
the original composer/performer for a later rehashed Enya
“classic” namely, “I Dream I Dwelt in Marble Halls.” Instead
of giving it an airbrushed wedding catalog vibe. Moore gives
it a Hawaiian wistfulness, flowers floating on a very Pacific
ocean. Moore’s hit “Laughing Rag” is on here (twice) as well
as many tracks that’ll trigger your ontological inner grandpa
to start tapping your toes and making you want to play some
spoons! Just as Robert E. Lee’s grandson spooned along with
Sam back in the early 1900’s. That grandson, Horace Davis is
on the majority of this reish. This is just a graceful time
capsule of music almost as old as the original speed (78 rpm)
it was played at. For all KFJC’s love of power electronics,
a poignant melody will always fit in as well, especially if
it captured by a singing saw. That sound resonates like
extraterrestrials crying for their home galaxy. Pick one of
the saw-struck numbers on here like “Old Black Joe” (#13 w/o
vox) or either of the two “Mother Machree” and start giving
your own elegy, as if looking down on your own wake. All the
angels gave up their harps the day Sam Moore died in 1959!
Take this saw-way to heaven!

-Thurston Hunger

Eccentric Soul – Mighty Mike Lenaburg [coll] – [Numero Group]

Thurston Hunger   9/28/2006   CD, Soul

Lenaburg had a killer ear for soul, and the evidence here is
abundant. His story is well-laid out in the liner notes here,
absolutely killer grade on so much of this…flutified funk
on #11 and #3, the latter with crazy clop-clop foley horse
percussion, nearly sharing the same crypt with the Vampyros
Lesbos! Sheila Jack on #4 gets her tight voice doubletracked
as she pines for her man (who “even is good for hair”), you
get the feeling a little dab won’t do her! Cool crumpled
guitar on that number too. If you are looking for fuzzed out
soul psych, dig the conjunction of “Function Underground.”
A lot of the menfolk deliver the finger-in-the-socket vocals
here, but none with more volts than Lon Rogers. Something
tells me Ronnie Whitehead’s singing comes complete with dance
steps, check out “Out of Breath” and “Cold Feet.” Those feet
would fire up the old Cold Tub, respect to DB and SSU! Check
out Whitehead’s plead and screech on the balld “Begging You.”
Small Paul gets lacrimonious without being acrimonious while
stealing 96 Tear’s keys! Dig those winding up guitar on
“Blending Soul” but as cool as all of these are, there is a
track on here that is too amazing to mention, you’ve got to
discover it. This collection is an argument against global
warming, cuz it’s hard to imagine Phoenix being hotter today
than it was during the 60’s-70’s when these were originally
put out by Mighty Mike.

-Thurston Hunger

Notaro, Marconi – “No Sub Reino Dos Metazoarios ” – [Time-Lag]

Thurston Hunger   9/28/2006   A Library, CD

While Brazil seems to be popping up more and more as a choice
destination for travel these days, only via Time-Lag (the
label that is) can one get to the ultimate Brazil, early 70’s
with florid Tropicalia intertwining happy hippy sitar vines.
Satwa was another release that Time-Lag revived, and after
that Lula Cortes hooked up with Marconi Notaro (what a great
name, like a radio notary?) for this. Indeed, the last track
here is a paean called “Ode to Satwa.” As with that project,
this produces organic psyche, garden-of-Eden ragas, divinely
twelve-strung out. Bird calls, whistling, water dropping on
rocks…natural music! Two studies in “Anthropologic” feature
bass doing a Ravel two-step, with quick-slide electric guitar
bang and sliiiiiiiips that give way to more Io Pan sort of
revelry. Throaty Brazilian vocals come in on the end of both
of those, and on many tracks here, sounding like they were
sung around the bend of cliffs at the beach. “Oh Greedy Life”
is a sunstroke of genius! Gotta get a translation of “I Have
No Imagination To Trade Wives” as I suspect this ties to what
Marconi mastered over the next 27 years, issue seven books of
poetry before dying 10/24/2000. Give him a little Lazarus.
3W: Brazil Oyster Cult!

-Thurston Hunger

Less Self Is More Self [coll] – [Ecstatic Peace]

Thurston Hunger   9/28/2006   A Library, CD

Silver lining to a fiery and smokey cloud? St. Patrick’s Day
2006, the live/work/create/play space in Baltimore for Carly
Ptak and James “Twig” Harper caught fire. Equipment wrecked,
music lost, kittens killed. Fuck. Chris Corsano’s throttle
roll gets things going wonderfully. Other picks: “The Lum and
Abner of Morocco” (creaky freaky sorta Sun City Girly). The
Talibam! with a nervous no-wavish number that gets thicker
and thicker. Carlos Giffoni’s fatline for a flatline, burning
digital rubber? Aaron Dilloway creates noise moths for the
Tarantula flames, but they fly into a locked groove instead.
Mark Morgan pulls a guitar up from one of the rings of hell
using some sort of chinky pulley. To Live and Shave in L.A.
with a tribal shakedown, or a toothy shavedown?’ It includes
a 37 second outro of cocktail talk and astral projection?
Speaking of dreams, Dreamcatcher delivers an insistent
rebuttal to Phil Collins’ theme to “Against All Odds.” Walk
through that fire! The benefit concludes with Carly, Twig
and Max Eisenberg as Nautical Almanac, assisted by Leslie
Keffer to give birth to some “Live Radio Music.” Ultimately,
coolness prevails…

-Thurston Hunger

Angelic Process, The – “Coma Waering ” – [Paradigms Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   9/28/2006   A Library, CD

Evidently the home studio of the Angelic Process was under
attack while this was recorded, sounds like gigantic bees
the size of B-12 bombers dropping nuclear drums. The sounds
often get pushed through a web of barbed distortion, and
there’s sort of that God Speed hum of aircraft. Too dark for
“dark ambient” and heavier than deuterium. Every once in a
while, you hear voices trapped in some bunker beneath the
wreckage. I think they’re laughing?’ The CD seems to shift
between high voltage and then when that aforementioned hum
fires up, your brain ignites and you sorta feel like an
extra on the film “Scanners.” A Jarbonic energy fuels the
reaction, a southern husband/wife team seem to be a part of
the process…angels have to earn their wings in the darker
places it seems. File this under Alabamnation!

-Thurston Hunger

Machinations – “Esteem ” – [A&M Records]

sailordave   9/25/2006   12-inch, A Library

I recommend this piece to anyone who loves jazz or international feel to their music. The live audience is receptive to the brilliance and the Quintent does not fail to deliver. Each piece has a 2-4 second applause outro. This piece sounds good at home on the road turned up loud or down low on a smooth jazz night. There are more pieces to be released in the future.I highly recommend you take a listen to this piece. THIS IS REAL JAZZ. AT ITS BEST.

Steve Lacy Quintet – “Esteem” – [Atavistic]

sailordave   9/25/2006   A Library, Jazz

The Steve Lacy Quintet Live recording is an absolute JAZZ masterpiece. There is something here for everyone. Track 1 The Crust is an almost 18 minute trek into the east side gyms of Detroit. The stacatto of the speed bag represented by the sax magic of Steve lacy and Steve Potts. The heavy beat of Kent Carter on bass; the violin and cello of Irene Aebi on display keeping beat t the footwork of the fighters. Irene Aebi was instrumental ( pun intended) in getting these pieces released/ Which means MORE to follow.
The UH UH UH a tribute to Jimi Hendrix. When genius does tributes to genius it is usually their best work. The Quintent does not fail.
The RUSH is a fast furious 4 minutes.
The title track ESTEEM is an international piece. I thnk it will fit well on Ann Arbor’s show.
All in all a materful piece of live music. All pieces have about a two to three second applause outro. Read the CD cover. It says more than I can.

Jonathan Coleclough and Murmer “Husk” [ICR] (CD)

nic   9/24/2006   A Library, CD

Jonathan Coleclough and Murmer (aka Patrick McGinley) give us Husk- an in your face, dark and sometimes scary drone masterpiece. A Frankenstein’s monster pieced together from source material cut from refrigerators, thunderstorms, sheep, car horns, ferryboats, windblown sand, and crackling charcoal- field recordings the two traded and processed/distilled to the sonic equivalent of moonshine. The constant drone anchors each of the tracks, with a variety of punctuations- either manipulated gongs, animal noises, thunderstorms, wind, etc. Drink deep…

Track 1, Husk, is a low drone punctuated with scary rattles, distant gongs, thunderstorms and wind blown sand. 30min
Track 2, Approaching Pucara, features a building droning background with giant pig snuffling noises. 14:30min.
Track 3, Fieldwork, Rain and thunder give way to bottles and branches moving in the wind. . 7:10min.
Track 4, Germ, Minimal oscillating drone- growing and shrinking, advancing and retreating. About a min of silence at the end. 21:20min.

Jack Rose “Untitled” [Tequila sunrise] (7”, 45rpm)

nic   9/24/2006   7-inch, A Library

This solo effort by Jack Rose (also of Pelt) is a departure from his usual folk-rock sound. It is much more uninhibited and free form. Just Jack and his 12 string, making wonderful noise. The limited availability of the record, only 500 copies in the initial printing (we got #331), speak to the experimental nature of the release. Discordant guitar pounding and plucking, in front of a live audience gives this a special feel. Can all these sounds come from one instrument?

Part 1 on track 1 should ideally track over to side 2 where part 2 resides and the song ends…

Track 1- Part1- 4min of guitar strangling, starts with applause and ends with hard stop
Track 2- Part II- 4min more with hard start and applause at end

Young, Roland P. – “Isophonic Boogie Woogie ” – [Em Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/21/2006   CD, Jazz

With each listen I grow more and more enamored with this
re-release on Em. And I’m up to like twenty listens. This may
just reinstate the words “Boogie Woogie” into the lexicon of
cool. It starts with a mic’d up Kalimba that is the essence
of the most soulful jazz (don’t ask me, ask Kahiil El’Zabar
or Philip Cohran). But Roland also plugs in an electric bass
clarinet and takes it underwater without getting shocked.
Check out “Velvet Dream” especially, but also “Row Land.”
Reading up on his life, Young has done some cool things
including DJing at KSAN and getting kicked off the air for
political comments in 1969. But this release stands all by
itself, and embodies what he states at his web site today;
it exposes the “fallacy of strict musical categories.” You
bet, soulful jazz, avant exploration, washes of ambience it
is all here. Just a tremendous re-release from a likewise
tremendous label. My theory on Em Records is that the one
thread that connects their releases is that they could
vaguely be connected to “new age”, talk about revitalizing
a dead phrase. Boogie Woogie on Em, and roll on Roland!

-Thurston Hunger

Haiku Review
Isophonic Exercise
Roland Roland Ro…

Ultralyd – “Throb and Provision ” – [Utech]

Thurston Hunger   9/21/2006   A Library, CD

I’m still bananas for Anders Hana. His guitar goes godzilla
on this release…at least I think its his guitar. It comes
in a storm of electronics, imagine foot pedals stacked on
top of foot pedals. But Ultralyd is not Hana alone, there’s
Morten Olsen, the drummer, he’s trapped beneath a collapsed
building, and he’s drumming his way out!! Kjetil D Brandsdal
is on bass, and they doubled down their Kjetil’s (sounds
like some kind of organic chemistry) with Kjetil Moster on
sax (only on the first two tracks here). The last track,
sadly excerpted starts out with a freeflying 32 seconds and
then it delivers what “post-rock” should be, that is it
does indeed rock, with magma and might. It’s Hana at his
most recognizable guitar god, but still plenty of sizzle
and detonation. Other tracks are more the sound of things
falling apart, glorious disruptions and eruptions. All of
course live, as is the Utech way. To add to the overwhelming
WTF effect, you’ve got to see this sort of din live, the
creation and effort shining through. I still see Hana as
the string-slinging sureshot gunning for Nels Cline’s
badge as the sheriff of Guitar Town. Let this flip your

-Thurston Hunger

Haiku Review
Some people may think
Since they missed the beginning;
Volcanoes aren’t slow

Benoit Pioulard – “Precis ” – [Kranky]

Thurston Hunger   9/21/2006   A Library, CD

Best artwork-of-the-year candidate, and the music takes its
clues from it as well. Especially the initial track which
launches like a tracer to light up everything else. Pleny of
sparkle shimmer throughout, with a silhoutte offering vocals.
Said man behind the shadow is 20-year old Thomas Meluch, who
evidently is a cog in the Ghostly International machine. As
that label has been looking for ways out of its gleaming
techno-opolis towards posher pop apartments, so this release
offers dream-wrapped songs, short ones at that, blanketed in
acoustic guitar with spotting electronics to coat them.
Meluch’s hushed vocals disguise the lyrics, like hearing
someone’s thoughts on the subway. Meluch’s voice is pleasant
and offers no sharp edges on this floatational cushion. Solid
effort well within the canon of drift pop, and well deserving
of the fine Kranky firebrand! For me, the forays into non-vox
instrumentelapathy delivered big, not only is the leadoff
track commanding, the short “R Coloring” recalled an old
Thymme Jones work of drizzling glory and “Moth Wings” also
uses distant piano to excellent effect. “Coup de Foudre”
is another instro that is a child-mesmeric and may contain a
clue to Meluch’s nomme de sonic plumage?’

-Thurston Hunger

Haiku review
Silhouette regrets
Ghostly feed the floatation
Thanky to Kranky

Beach House – “Beach House ” – [Carpark Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/21/2006   A Library, CD

Gentle duo from Baltimore, breezeway pop with slow breathing
keyboards and Victoria Legrand’s husky vocals. Guitars are
slurries, slower than a Slowdive. Drum machines keep impotent
time, makes the songs seem slower. Maybe that’s a good thing,
me I’d rather hear some meat and bones and sticks and cymbals.
Keyboards do little tropical cyclings, when they hurry up
they remind me a bit of Shogun Kunitoki, and this could
be Fonal friendly…but the Mazzy Star sighting by John Q.
Press at large is more on the money. Still something like
“House on the Hill” with its klink and klank of offshore
micro-buoys is a distinct highpoint for me. When the organ
enters on that track it does so in dramatic style! “Saltwater”
has a nice taffy push and pull…and the drum machine there
is tied up beneath the waves of more arpeggiating keys.

-Thurston Hunger

Haiku Review
Death to drum machines
This slow pop still wins the race.
Cycling and cycling…

Green, Grant – “Grant’s First Stand ” – [Blue Note]

Thurston Hunger   9/21/2006   CD, Jazz

Grant Green is a guitarist I’ve heard more about than actually
heard. So it was nice to check out this, a CD reissue of his
first release under his own name, a sweet and swinging trio.
Indeed for me the revelation here is Roosevelt Willette aka
“Baby Face;” his work on the hammond is heavy-duty, especially
when he gets to take a turn soloing. “Baby Face” has got the
peach fuzz on his deep notes, at times he teams up and rides
tandem with Green (like on the one number Willette penned here,
“Baby’s Minor Lope”). That works really well, Green’s guitar
is so clean…it’s amazing to read in these liner notes and
elsewhere how his ear was built on Charlie Parker and then run
through his electric guitar. I expected a bit more Sharrock
and awe, but Green does bring a toe-tap bee-bop to flight,
he likes to hit a note that goes…screeeee like someone
leaning their head back in a convertible. “Miss Ann’s Tempo”
takes you on that ride…that’s the one freeway trip,
everything else shifts down a bit towards a bluesy drive
along the beach. Too bad his real life ended on the road,
heart-attack in a car RIP 1979, and rumour has it his system
wasn’t as clean as his tone. Bum ride.
-Thurston Hunger

Haiku Review

Clean Green string machine
Baby Face near steals the scene
With his wry Hammond

Franco Casavola “Futurlieder” [Salon/LTM]

cujo   9/20/2006   A Library, CD

One of the more obscure Futurists gets an entire album, most of which was thought to have been lost material. He was ‘discovered? by Marinetti in 1922 (‘we Futurists would be pleased if you would join our fight against obsolete ideas?) and spent the next 5 years rubbing shoulders with the big Futurist boys: Russolo, Casella, Pratella, et al. He broke with them in 1927 and focused on movie scores.

On this disc you will find advertising jingles, song cycles, lyrical pieces, and cabaret pieces (that sound surprisingly like Satie’s street caf? pieces). They date from before, during, and after his Futurist phase. All are short, melodic, lyrical, and pleasing.

All I can say is that the music is gorgeous and crystal clear. Rigacci’s voice is like pure cool mountain water to my ears. The selections are on the opposite end of the stereotypical noisy/mechanical Futurist offerings (although Casavola did dabble in that).

Goes hand-in-hand with the ‘Musica Futurista? and ‘Futurism and Dada Revisited? collections in the library. Brief bio and some translations provided in the liner notes.

-Cujo, KFJC, September 2006

Haiku Review:
Time circuits are on…
Italian songwriter goes
Back to the Future

Morton Feldman and Samuel Beckett “Words and Music” [Naive Montaigne]

cujo   9/20/2006   A Library, CD

In 1961 Beckett wrote a play called Words And Music. In the play he scripts an abstract debate between the characters Words and Music, moderated by a third called Croak. Supposedly it’s about the Creative Process. In it, he also lays down explicit musical instructions for a score he envisioned but could not write, for example: ‘humble muted adsum? or ‘irrepressible burst of spreading and subsiding music?. His cousin wrote a score, but Beckett quickly withdrew the unsatisfactory effort from the public record. In the late 1980s, a producer suggested that Feldman, being Beckett’s musical equivalent, write a score. Beckett approved.

Unless you had the rare opportunity to hear a staging of the work, the music existed only in the your mind. Beckettheads are having an interesting time reconciling their conception of the music to this recording of Feldman’s score (which, like much Feldman, can very from performance to performance – there is another recording out from the Evergreen Review). One thing is for sure – the text gets a strained dramatic reading from Ebrahim and Lind; I nearly expected Orson Welles to drop in the studio.

Feldman’s score is typical Morty: sparse, unusual instrumentation, and quiet. Absent, however, is the dreamy trance that Feldman’s music normally puts me in; Beckett’s words absorb it all. One long track will make for difficult working into your program – fade liberally!

-Cujo, KFJC, September 2006

Haiku Review:
Feldman, meet Beckett
Sam’s radio play needs score
Morty delivers

Grails – “Black Tar Prophecies Vol’s 1,2, & 3 ” – [Important Records]

Max Level   9/18/2006   A Library, CD

Mostly deep, dense, dubbed-out doings with a few quiet acoustic moments swirled into the batter. Reverberating textures and beats, deeeeeeep bass, and fuzzy/crusty guitars create a satisfyingly dark, heavy vibe, but somewhat friendlier elements (acoustic picking, a bit of piano, a touch of banjo) do pop up here and there to brighten the picture a bit. When one doesn’t know quite what to say, one can play the ‘what if?’ game; for example: what if Sub Oslo, Neurosis, and Six Organs Of Admittance collaborated on a musical project, with David Lynch and Samuel Coleridge co-producing? I think you’d get something like Grails, which sounds to me like an opium-eating slowcore rock band playing Tibetan crime jazz. All instrumental. 100% righteous.

Brotthaest/Pany – “Brotthaest/Pany ” – [Utech]

Max Level   9/17/2006   A Library, CD

A self-described “deconstruction rock trio”, Norway’s Brotthaest/Pany live up to the billing. The guys on electric guitars and drums wander around, making sounds not noticeably related to any of the other sounds being produced at the same time. They also leave big nearly-empty spaces with only the bare minimum of activity. It’s kind of like if you recorded your rock band in rehearsal and you kept only the parts between the actual songs, when half the band is noodling and checking their instruments, and the other half of the band is off smoking cigarettes and finishing their sandwiches. A musical version of the negative space concept and OK with me.

Mitchell, Roscoe Trio – “No Side Effects ” – [Rogueart]

Max Level   9/17/2006   CD, Jazz

Elegant compositions, jazz-based tone pieces, and exciting free improvisation. Saxophonist Mitchell doesn’t need much introduction, having solidly represented Chicago jazz for around 40 years now. On this 2-CD set, he’s performing his own compositions, moving between his various saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), flute, piccolo, and percussion; collaborating with a forward-thinking bass/drums duo. Bassist/cellist Harrison Bankhead is often heard in tandem with Mitchell on the composed melodic parts when he is not furiously churning underneath, and drummer/ percussionist Vincent Davis brings a wide array of percussive sounds, from bells and gongs to full-out free jazz crashing on the drum set. CD2 includes three percussion-heavy pieces: 3 & 10 pit Bankhead’s string work against colorful percussion sounds by Davis and Mitchell, and 8 is percussion only.