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Music Reviews

Go-go Fightmaster – “Sound 1” – [Edgetone Records]

Cousin Mary   10/31/2009   CD, Jazz

Go-Go Fightmaster is led by San Francisco Bay Area composer/saxophonist Aaron Bennett who is joined by guitar, drums and bass. Very noisy, frequently cacophonous jazz with high energy and strong forward momentum. Repetitive riffs on the baritone sax resemble a siren and provide the same sense of urgency.

PGM: 3 very short tracks (Sound One, Two, and Three) will work well for a quick blast to cleanse the palate.

Aarktica – “In Sea” – [Silber Records]

humana   10/31/2009   A Library, CD

Shoegaze ambient: Jon DeRosa offers vocals (on 3 and 12 only), guitar, bass, and pump organ on these highly relaxing, ambient tracks. My picks are less drone and gaze and offer slightly more structure, but each of these has merit and will suit more than few of our shows. Although he???s lost hearing in one ear, DeRosa makes lemonade out of lemons, or peace out of chaos.

Reptet – “Agendacide” – [Monktail]

Cousin Mary   10/31/2009   7-inch, Jazz

Six musicians from Seattle (drums, bass and four horns) incorporate many genres into their compositions but the fun and energetic result is solidly in the jazz camp. Silly lyrics on the a-side are about going into outer space. Pretty red vinyl is a rare 7??? in our jazz library.

Growden, Mark – “Saint Judas” – [Porto Franco Records]

humana   10/30/2009   A Library, CD

Americana: Mark Growden offers a breath of fresh air with his first studio album in eight years. His rich voice is backed up by himself on accordion, banjo, baritone sax, and handlebars (which sound strikingly like a flute), Seth Ford Young on acoustic bass, Myles Boisen on guitar, Alex Kelly on cello, Chris Grady on trumpet, and Jenya Chernoff on percussion. The mood is often somber and deep, but the tempo picks up and is reminiscent of the band that processes behind the hearse in a southern funeral (5, 12). Very homespun and honest.

Siamese Soul [coll] – [Sublime Frequencies]

MSTiZA   10/29/2009   CD, International

I can’t get enought of these tracks, or Sublime Frequencies. There is something eerie and enticing about the South East Asian groove on Western Soul. Their versions are endearing and haunting, yet rise to the measure of soul mixed with psychadelic. I just want to squeeze this collection into my pocket for the day and take it out at night and sleep with it under my pillow…love *sigh*

Plunge – “Dancing On Thin Ice” – [Immersion Records]

Cousin Mary   10/28/2009   CD, Jazz

Mark McGrain on trombone, Tim Green on Sax and James Singleton on bass and no drum push the definition of the strutting New Orleans trombone jazz sound. Bass switches from rhythm to melody, plucking to bowing. Some voice-like sounds must originate from the trombone and sax. Good-natured improvisations, original combination of styles.

Broun Fellinis – “Dotabata” – [Self Released]

Cousin Mary   10/28/2009   CD, Soul

Recorded live in San Francisco by this Bay Area group that shows influences of hip-hop, electronic, soul with a solid jazz foundation. Cool bass and drum rhythm section, sweet sax and attention-grabbing electronic squeals and buzzy beats. Hypnotic, energetic!

No language except first track title??

Big Blood – “Already Gone II” – [Dontrusttheruin]

humana   10/25/2009   A Library, CD

Caleb Mulkerin and Colleen Kinsella bring us another release of freak folk. As their MySpace page says, they are ???an intimate team, walking blind through each other???s songs.??? Discordant, high-pitched, acoustic sounds predominate. Track 3 is a cover of Blondie???s ???Heart of Glass.??? Track 4 is the only instrumental, filled with psyche guitars.

Cazumbi – African Sixties Garage Vol. 2 [coll] – [No Smoke]

humana   10/24/2009   CD, International

International: Out of Madagascar, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Ghana, and Cameroun come these fine sounds of garage rock, surf, and psyche. Guitars, percussion, organ, occasional horns back up vocals in English, French, and other languages, all of it upbeat, energetic, and tinged with the sound of the 60s that reached Africa. These bands infuse the songs with funk, soul, and style, and there are indeed howlers and screamers in here. Check out the covers (11, 19, 20) and the psyche effort (13). Enjoy!

Vampires of Dartmoore, The – “Dracula’s Music Cabinet” – [Finders Keepers Records]

humana   10/24/2009   A Library, CD

Horrotica pop: Heribert Thusek (a Jazz session player) and Horst Ackermann (songwriter and radio comedian) teamed up to create this soundtrack to a movie that never existed, by an imaginary pop group. It???s quite funny with its over-the-top sound effects of screams, gunshots, whips, chains, dialing phones, footsteps, water, thunder, and moans and groans. 7, 8, 10, and 12 are funky and jazzy despite their gory subjects, and 1, 13, and 14 are full of moans and groans that are suggestive and borderline as far as the FCC is concerned. This is a great Halloween add!

Biafra, Jello and The Guantanamo School of Medicine – “Audacity of Hype, The” – [Alternative Tentacles]

humana   10/22/2009   A Library, CD

Punk politics: This is a completely awesome release from Jello Biafra???s quintet. The guitars are driving, energetic, and rounded out by skilled percussion, and of course, there are the words, which work with the music to make this a tour de force of political commentary. The insert is a must-read–it contains the lyrics along with other clips of commentary. Eye-opening and smart and appropriately scathing, but always backed up by the frenetic energy of truly good music.

No Alternative – “Johnny Got His Gun ’78-’82” – [Wingnut Records]

ophelia necro   10/21/2009   A Library, CD

Out of print collection (released in 1999 on Wingnut Records out of Berkeley). Tracks recorded at Deaf Club in SF 3/08/1979, Mabuhay Gardens, SF 11/07/1980 and Wheeler Auditorium in Berkeley 1980. No Alternative formed from the ashes of KGB which was originally a 3 piece featuring John “Genocide” Patterson on guitar and lead vocals, Jeff Rees on bass and backing vocals and Greg Langston (Tuxedo Moon) on drums and backing vocals. There were several line up changes from ’78-’82, leading to the side project Alternative Tools. During during their short lived career they released an E.P. and had songs included on several compilations. They had a brief reunion in the late 80s. This Cd includes songs by??KGB (7 & 14), Alternative Tools (8 & 21-26) and No Alternative( all other tracks). There are 2 covers: Vincent Davis’s “Be Bop-a-Lula” and Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”. Post-punk with a 60s garage sound at times.
Language on 1, 3, 8 & 20.




Super Heroines – “L.A. Riot Grrrls- The Best of 1982-1985” – [Cleopatra Records]

ophelia necro   10/21/2009   12-inch, A Library

Los Angeles death rock project featuring Eva O of Christian Death and Jill Emery, who later joined Courtney Love’s band Hole. The Super Heroines rose from the ashes of Eva O’s first punk rock band “The Speed Queens.” The original line-up was Eva O.(on guitar), Sandra Ross (on bass), and Del Mar (drums). There have been many line-ups. This album is a best of featuring material from 1982-1985, a limited edition re-issue on blue vinyl.


Weinbach, Brent – “Night Shift, The” – [Talent Moat]

ophelia necro   10/21/2009   CD, Comedy

This is comedian Brent Weinbach’s second full length album. It includes material recorded live at the Purple Onion on 1/08/09 (tracks 2,3,9, 14, 20 & 23 ) songs recorded in SF in 2008 (7, 12 & 24) and phone messages from Brent’s answering machine from 2002-2006 (1, 3, 4, 13, 15, 19 & 22).

Watch for Language on 1,2,3,4, 8, 9, 13,19, 21 & 22.
Use discretion with tracks 6 and 18.

Hacker, The – “Reves Mechaniques” – [Goodlife]

Belladonna   10/20/2009   12-inch, A Library

The Hacker (aka Michel Amato) is a well-known French electronic producer who has worked extensively with Miss Kittin and founded his own label Goodlife (Oxia, Kiko, Jerome D. and other misc techno artists). He as influenced greatly by bands like Kraftwerk etc and is considered part of the Electroclash movement. His own sound definitely has a late 80???s/early90???s sound even though this was released in 2004. To me this is very Industrial Dance/Wax Trax/early 90???s???.definitely a more ???retro??? feel to it and I had to check the release date just to be sure but that sound is back again anyway. Guest vocals by Miss Kittin, good beats and a quirky quality should make several DJs very happy.

Sun Electric – “Aaah!” – [R&S]

Belladonna   10/20/2009   12-inch, A Library

Enjoyable German electronics from Tom Thiel & Max Loderbauer. This was released in ’94 but definitely stands the test of time. Definite early-mid 90’s Berlin sound (Tresor etc).
Side 1- Super mellow
Side 2- Orbital-ish and delish
Side 3- Upbeat happy but not as good as side 2
Side 4- It???s BLANK!!! Don???t even bother trying, theres nothing there???

Rome – “Berlin” – [Cold Meat Industry]

Belladonna   10/20/2009   A Library, CD

Rome aka Jerome Reuter is a Luxembourgian act on the Cold Meat Industry label.
This is his debut release, dark and haunting with mesmerizing vocals and charming, crackly samples. This is pretty gothy but not in a black eyeliner, shopping at Hot Topic way. This is gothic in a distinguished sipping Absinthe and discussing H.P Lovecraft way. This to me has a certain maturity to it that I would expect from artists who were much older.
As I have said before, very Death in June-ish or Ordo Equiem Solis and exactly what you would expect from CMI.
Track 6 is by far my favorite and falls into the “Perfect Song” catagory with it’s hauntingly beautiful simplicity.
Track 5 is also excellent with its’ rhythmic creepiness. Songs on here are short and you wish they would go on much longer but please enjoy them anyway. CMI calls this Apocolyptic Fold/Neofolk…….if that helps.

Scsi 9 – “Line of Nine, The” – [Kompakt]

Belladonna   10/20/2009   A Library, CD

A duo from Moscow, Maxim Milyutenko is a musian and sound engineer,
Anton Kubikov is a very well known and beloved DJ in the Moscow techno scene and had his own electronic show on a Russian radio station.
This is really great tech-house, very unique instrumentation. Track 4 has guest vocals by Katya Ryba but the standout for me is Track 3 “Eclair de Lune” which samples the famous Debussy song and has really very intriguing instrumentation, its a “perfect Song”. Really I could listen to this CD all day…….actually I have!!

Splinters – “Watchmaker, The” – [Woodson Lateral]

Belladonna   10/20/2009   A Library, CD

Seattle-based musician/sound designer Ben Torrence to release some of his computer-based compositions that fall outside of the styles and/or collaborative
working methods of the laptop duo, Bookmobile.
This is mellow, minimal glitch lite (TM Belladonna) clicky but not irritatingly so, beat-y rhythmic. Track One gives you a wash of sounds that you can just bathe in, track six is very upbeat and dance-y…..and everything else falls in between.

Geoffrey,M / Franzke, J.D. – “Get a Room” – [Extreme Records]

Belladonna   10/20/2009   A Library, CD

Extreme???s first digital-only release, by Mr. Geoffrey & J.D. Franzke. The duo (DJ and sound designer, respectively) have teamed up with musician Mystic
Moose???multi-instrumentalist, member of the band Crackpot, guitarist on
the soundtrack to the great Australian film The Castle and tour guitarist for Screamin??? Jay Hawkins.
Track one starts with a funky, long hip hoppy jam
Track two is a quirky squeeky singer with a toy piano, a tiny bit Niobe and a tiny bit Blevin Blectum
Track three is a tragic Parisian love story, a soundtrack for sitting at a sidewalk cafe eating your croissant and seeing the love of your life walk by only to spend the next several years searching for her…
Track four is an exotica loungey Combustible Edison-ish track suitable for sipping cocktails to.
PS It shows up as Stevie Nicks in iTunes, just sayin’ kthanksbai!!