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Music Reviews

(Collection) Alright, This Time Just The Girls Volume 2, Sympathy for the Record Industry, Double 12″

ophelia necro   11/27/2007   A Library

“Alright, This Time Just The Girls”(Volume 1) was released in 1999. This follow up release, a long time in the making, has quite a lot to offer. 30 tracks in 79 minutes! Filled with mostly rock, pop, punk numbers, the release holds a few surprises with a couple of country ballads (Miss Derringer, Lisa Marr Experiment), some interesting covers including one of an early Beatles song (Ludella Black, “I’ve Just Seen A Face”) and some sugary sweet ballads (Tuuli, Christa DeErynn, The Beards, The Come Ons, Helen Love). A lot of these bands are familiar to our library: The Stuck-Ups, Tina & The Total Babes, Wanda Jackson, The Kirby Grips, Detroit Cobras. Scarling, Helen Love, etc. But some of the most stand-out tracks are from artists that are not yet in our library…Lisa Marr Experiement offers a bittersweet tale of a fortune telling chickadee with some bad news in “Little Red Bird”, Matson Jones offers traditional rock with gothic overtones, distorted vocals and CELLOS in “A Little Bit Of Arson”, The Come-Ons “Dollar In My Pocket” is a sweet and simple romantic ditty and Ludella Black’s cover really shines. Other notable covers are Downbeat 5’s Arthur Alexander track “Radiates That Charm”, Detroit Cobras rendition of the Mary Wells song “Bye Bye Baby”, The Fondas do Nolan Strong’s “Yeah Baby” and a cover of a Pete Best Combo song featuring Pete Best himself with The Bristols. With cover art by Camille Rose Garcia (also featured on track 28) and insightful liner notes by Taggy Lee (daughter of the guy who runs the Sympathy label) this release really is a complete little package. Not just for the girls.

Set Your Fields On Fire Vol. 2 [coll] – [Georgia Council For The Arts]

ArtCrimes   11/27/2007   Blues, CD

[collection] ???Set Your Fields on Fire Vol. 2???
full length CD

A mixture of contemporary field recordings and archival tracks featuring black and white gospel groups, all recorded in Georgia from the 1920s to the present day. The styles range from church-based congregational singing, to country and bluegrass, to solo vocalists, to funky (amd not-so-funky) full bands. Most of the tracks here are modern recordings done in churches, so sometimes the sonics are a little on the rough side, but you do catch the gospel vibe loud and clear. Some interesting moments here with black shape note singing (#4), sounding very different from traditional shape note, real old-time country duo singing (#19) and some wild pedal steel on # 15.

Ragab, Salah & The Cairo Jazz Band – “Present Egyptian Jazz ” – [Art Yard]

ArtCrimes   11/27/2007   12-inch, International

Salah Ragab and the Cairo Jazz Band Present Egyptian Jazz
full length LP

In 1968, drummer and pianist Salah Ragab was in the unusual position of leading the Egyptian Military Music Dept. with the help of jazz charts brought in from Europe, and a round the clock rehearsal schedule, he formed Egypt’s first jazz big band with a group of 25 musicians. These tracks date from 1968 to 1973. Although they aren’t exactly masters of the improvised side of jazz, the arrangements here do take advantage of traditional Egyptian instruments such as the nay (flute) and baza (Ramadan drum), which give the band a distinct sound. The compositions here are mostly very tightly arranged and rhythmically varied, using 4/4, 6/8 and 7/8 rhythms.

Dalton, Karen – “Cotton Eyed Joe ” – [Megaphone Records]

ArtCrimes   11/27/2007   Blues, CD

Karen Dalton ???Cotton Eyed Joe??? (The Loop Tapes Live in Boulder 1962) full length double CD + DVD

Karen Dalton was a hard livin??? folk singer who had more in common with blues artists and jazz-inflected folk singers like Fred Neil than the more mainstream folkies like Joan Baez. Neil and Bob Dylan were both big fans of her singing and her playing. She Dalton was living out in the Colorado mountains at the time of these recordings, so this gig at the Attic in Boulder was sort of a local show for her. She covers a mixture of traditional and blues, all arranged for her own 12 string guitar (or banjo) and (sometimes ragged) voice. The traditional tunes are often chilling in their starkness, and everything here is done in a way all her own. Dalton later fell on hard times; she passed away in 1993.

The DVD has videos made for French TV with two songs in NYC in 1969 and two filmed at her home on Colorado in 1970.

Parmegiani, Bernard and Philip Samartzis – “Immersion ” – [Synaesthesia Records]

Max Level   11/26/2007   12-inch, A Library

Two respected, well-established sound artists immerse us in their unusual audio worlds. Side A: Parmegiani (France) brings us a 15-minute piece full of reverbed soundscapes, what might be ringing bells electronically manipulated, and electro-rhythmic passages reminiscent of perhaps Tangerine Dream. Brilliant, well thought out combinations of sounds in this one; no surprise as this electroacoustic pioneer has been exploring this type of work since at least the 1960’s. Side B: Samartzis (Australia) does a 16-minute piece made up of different sections and quite a bit of start/stop action. High-pitched insect-type noises alternate with crackles and machine-like sounds, and the various elements are also combined in various ways at various points. Because of the quiet places and shifts in tone, it’s not difficult to pick out individual sections on this side if you aren’t planning to play the entire piece.

Liars-Liars 2007 Mute Records

MSTiZA   11/25/2007   A Library

Liars are Angus Aaron Julian. This album features bassist Jeremy Glover (4,6,8) who also co-produced the album. This release is a cocktail of joy division and porno for pyros with an eerie electro fidelity channeling influences like sonic youth with a johnny marr era smiths type twist. There is a dreamy psychadelic darkness that brings this release to the forefront of the Liars discography. In reference to the songs on this album Julian has said ???.. They’re..attempts to write a pop song, and I think this time we really sort of let out a lot of our influences..” He’s in tune with the truth exactly. It’s difficult to pin the subgenres together, but they album holds it’s own and works as a whole.

favorite tracks: 3,7

Seed and Surgery [coll] – [FREE103POINT9]

Max Level   11/20/2007   A Library, CD

Two improvised but very together tracks on this 2004 ???audio dispatch??? from NY???s fascinating Free103point9 organization. The Sapat track (13:28) is a tribal free-jazz type of thing that runs at a slow boil, gaining and losing intensity a few times over the first 9 or 10 minutes, then cranks up to a big finale. This one starts with prepared-guitar types of noises, then becomes more horn-dominated. Percussion plays a big part in the later stages. I love the short section of shrieking female voice toward the end when things have gotten particularly crazed. The SB contribute a longer piece (22:36), slow and ponderous, heavy on sustained notes and tones combining and clashing, interacting in unpredictable ways. If you stood in the middle of a field surrounded by highly resonant sheets of metal, during a howling gale with fierce winds blowing all around you, it might sound like some parts of this. (Well OK, maybe it???s not quite that noisy.) Low rumbling sounds add to the general feeling of unease.

Badgerlore – “We Are All Hopeful Farmers, We Are All Scared Rabbits ” – [Table of Elements]

Jawbone   11/18/2007   A Library, CD

The firelight flickers; the shadows on the cave wall dance, shift. The smell of wood smoke hangs pungent, spicy. This is the Great Tribal Council of the bay area freakfolk movement. Represented nations are Deerhoof and 7-Year Rabbit Cycle (Rob Fisk), Six Organs of Admittance and Comets On Fire (Ben Chasny), Yellow Swans (Pete Swanson) and Grouper (Liz Harris).


Mesmerizing music meanders through the cave. Slow and unhurried. Hollow and reverberating. Occasional chanting arises from the void. As the night continues, altered states are achieved. Staring into the fire ring transfixed, the mind wanders to other worlds. The wind howls through the cave and extinguishes the last of the embers, but no one notices. Their minds continue their interplanetary journeys, never to return. Wandering the vast, empty universe for eternity???

Tr. 2 is short and sweet. Vox on trs. 3, 6 & 8.


Becuzzi, Gianluca/ Orsi, Fabio – “Wildflowers Under The Sofa ” – [Last Visible Dog Records]

Jawbone   11/15/2007   A Library, CD

We’ve come to expect it from New Zealand and Japan; the Finns and the Norwegians, but sometimes it’s the Italians that pop up when you’re not looking…

Multimedia artists/ musicians Gianluca Becuzzi and Fabio Orsi are on the mark with their great new “Wildflowers Under the Sofa”.

The music starts out minimallistically; imperceptibly it begins to inhabit crevices and folds of the brain with warm, organic guitar; then comes the chill of the rain and the hum & the drone of the generators and the opening & the closing of the doors… many changes and transitions, all happening seamlessly, naturally. Then, a scratchy, galloping guitar ends it. A beautiful journey, somewhat akin to Electric Bird Noise, and that’s just the first track, albeit 20 minutes.

Track 2: beautiful, angelic; then a confounding, contrapuntal bass line and a static sheen, ala Nurse With Wound, with a sudden, perfect ending.

Track 3 starts underwater with an echoey sonar tone; heavy rain on tympani drums; the birds and the flames; heavenly organ chords. Lastly, a beautiful, melancholy piano theme.

Stick with it, this release really delivers. Very nice.

1. “First Flower” (20:20)
2. “No Flower” (7:04)
3. “Last Flower” (20:20) CINDERAURA ALERT: Contains bird sounds.


You Got Yours! East Bay Garage 1965-67 [coll] – [Big Beat Records]

Daryl Licht   11/14/2007   A Library, CD

In this reissue crazy era, there is an almost endless stream of 60???s garage/punk/psych collections being released, most of which are pretty marginal, at best. Each year, however, there are a handful of real winners, like ???Scream Loud!!! The Fenton Story??? triple LP set (issued earlier this year by Way Back) and, now, this CD, the latest installment in Big Beat???s Nuggets From The Golden State series ???You Got Yours!: East Bay Garage 1965-67???.

This collection focuses on the mid-60s garage scene in the San Francisco Bay Area???s East Bay, which contains cities and towns in the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa, like Berkeley, Castro Valley, Hayward, Oakland, and San Leandro. Its 24 tracks contain a nice mix of tracks from rare singles and previously unissued material, ranging from blue-eyed soul rave-ups (such as the Donnybrookes and the Spyders) to post-British invasion power pop pleasers (like the Baytovens and the Shillings) and, of course, tough garage punk. Personal favorites included ???Her Heart Said No??? by The Blue Lite Conspiracy, ???I???m Feeling Good??? from The Bristol Boxkite, The Gants??? ???Look At The Sun???, ???Humpty Dumpty??? from The Epics and ???Get Out Of My Eye??? by The Soul Vendors.

My only slight criticism might be that this collection could have even been more representative of the overall scene during those years if it had tracks by groups such as the Crystal Garden, Misanthropes, and the Remaining Few (all of whom had either singles or, at least, recorded material with the legendary Leo de Gar Kulka at Golden State Recorders!), rather than multiple tracks from groups like the Baytovens and the Harbinger Complex (who were certainly one of the premier bands of the era, but whose tracks here pale in comparison to their other material) or, even worse, recycled tracks that Big Beat has already used on previous collections in the Nuggets From The Golden State series. That all being stated, ???You Got Yours!: East Bay Garage 1965-67??? is still a pretty solid and welcome overview of a previously overlooked and underappreciated scene. DL

Zelienople – “His/Hers ” – [Type Recordings]

Daryl Licht   11/13/2007   12-inch, A Library

???His/Hers??? is the latest full-length release from this Chicago-based trio. It???s their fifth, overall, and, coincidentally, contains five relatively lengthy tracks. While the material on this album contains similar sonic elements as their previous releases, the band has definitely shifted its focus to the more electric and improvisational aspects of their sound. Two tracks, ???Family Beast??? and ???Parts Are Lost???, feature Zelienople???s trademark blend of slow motion, hazy, acid folk, with reverb drenched tones, softly spoken vocals/moans and, in general, lots of ambient atmosphere. The beginning segment of the LP???s best track, ???Moss Man???, continues in that vein before erupting at around the midway point with a blast of dense, noisy, free improv glory. ???Forced March??? reverses that approach, opening with an excellent segment of drone rock, before drifting off into a combination of minimal drones and echoing tones. Only the album???s closing track ???Sweet Ali???, a very minimal, experimental piece, failed to satisfy. Overall, however, ???His/Hers??? is another intriguing and engaging collage of sound from Zelienople. DL

Centro-matic – “Fort Recovery ” – [Misra]

Max Level   11/10/2007   12-inch, A Library

A respectable batch of midtempo mostly-rockers from this established Texas quartet. The plaintive vocals of songwriter Will Johnson are backed by acoustic and electric guitars, bass, and drums, along with some keyboards, violin, vibraphone and other percussion. This record struck me as a bit too laid-back, in a country-rock sort of way, the first time I heard it, but after a few more listens I got a lot more out of it; the melodies, harmonies, and solid playing really grew on me. The material isn???t overly polished, and there are some welcome rough edges when the boys turn the volume up on the amps. Track C4 ends with a short (1:20), nicely grinding instrumental coda.

Teen Chthulhu / Wormwood [coll] – [Accident Prone]

loun   11/10/2007   7-inch, A Library

A nice pairing of black metal bands that neither take the genre too seriously nor play lightly with, or within, it. Both bands, neither a newcomer to the KFJC library, do a solid job with the axe grinding and “cookie monster” vocals, neither stops there. Kudos to Wormwood for knowing that a piano can be among the blackest of instruments, and using melody to set up a solid and eventually very satisfying countertension to the axe and drums. Teen Cthulu brings energy, enthusiasm and sweeping backgrounds to a thrashing pair of shorter songs. This is a fine release, even for those, such as myself, who don’t know the genre well but are willing to give an honest listen.

Programming note: The two Teen Cthulhu songs are separated by about one second – good luck!

Landed/Snake Apartment [coll] – [Corleone]

Max Level   11/6/2007   7-inch, A Library

Some of the scummiest sounds you???re likely to hear, straight out of the cesspool that is Rhode Island???s noise-rock scene. Landed (either back from hiatus or they just haven???t made any records for a while) delivers a fuzzed and feedbacked sludge-a-thon with vocalist/troublemaker Dan St. Jacques, completely incomprehensible as usual, going on about who knows what. Snake Apartment???s side is a stoned-out throbbing rocker with screamed vocals. This one sounds like a more organized version of Landed; as if perhaps they had learned to play an actual song and did guitar solos and stuff. Both sides sound like there???s a ball of dust on the needle. Excellent.

White Mice – “Excreamantraintraveinanus ” – [Blossoming Noise]

cinder   11/2/2007   A Library, CD

Lab tests gone bad. Pulverizing face smashing bloody
hardcore anal blast metal from these Rhode Island
rodents. Noise and riffage to the max, throat scraping
vocals, sludged into a very tasty cheesepuff. It???s so
brutal you can???t tell what the hell they???re saying, so
the marked tracks are MAYBE? bad. Track 14 has a
false ending (and swearing). Excellent artwork.

a Bad Diana – “Lights Are On But No One’s Home, The ” – [United Jnana]

cinder   11/2/2007   A Library, CD

Around since the late 70s/early 80s (Fistfuck), this
is Diana Rogerson???s follow up to her last album, which
was 20 years ago! It features spooky chillling slow
instrumentals, semi dead-pan style spoken word vocals,
bone-chilling drones & experimental sometimes tribal
beats. Helping out on the release are Steven
Stapleton, Colin Potter (NWW), and Matt Waldron
( Sounds like what the dead bride in the
Haunted House would be if she were a music artist. I
love it!

Black Dice – “Load Blown ” – [Paw Tracks]

cinder   11/2/2007   A Library, CD

Fourth full release from this Brooklyn trio. Often
labeled as a noise act, it’s more of an electronic
smiling toy army crusade than an evil godzilla blast.
Repetative crunches, sizzling fuzzes, bobbling
frequencies, all going round and round. Check out
Terrestrial Tones/Eric Copeland for some side shooting