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Music Reviews

She Bop – Collection of 50’s Females

RobtEmmett   9/27/2014   12-inch, A Library

She Bop Collection – Penny Records

Penny Records is out of Italy that has been releasing some interesting soundtrack music and has put together a great collection of songs from the late 1950’s by a remarkable collection of female singers.

The 1950’s music is a great area for exploration, as the music hasn’t been given a lot of exposure on radio and movies. It’s like everything starts in the 60’s with music, and that’s too bad because a lotta bopping went on in the 50’s. This is a great collection fo spirted R&B, rockabilly and pop music, especially since several of these songs go on to be hits by others. While Scott Walker did The Big Hurt, on this record Miss Toni Fisher really puts some dirt in it. And Elvis rose up through the pop charts with Hound Dog, but on this record you can hear the original by Big Mama Thornton. Speaking of Elvis, in the 1950’s Janis Martin started her singing career before Elvis, and though now she is billed as the female Elvis, it should be that Elvis is the male Janis Martin.

The 1950’s was a time when rhythm and blues was spawning rock and roll, and the songs and the singers had more grinding rhythms and gritty singing. Ruth Brown, Etta James, and Eartha Kitt started their careers in the 50’s and it’s a good introduction to them.

This is a good rockin’ collection of songs that don’t disappoint. Bob Corsi compiled the collection skillfully to introduce you to some great talents through familiar songs, covered by others, and while some of these songs flirt with 60’s pop, opens the door for you to start exploring the world of the big 10 inch and 78rpms of the 50’s. Not to mention these all have a great beat that you can dance to , if you are just happy enough to play this at your next party.

Spins at 45rpm on a 12 inch vinyl Lp.


Paradoxical Frog – “Union” – [Clean Feed]

Thurston Hunger   9/26/2014   CD, Jazz

2012 release from this trio, of sax (Ingrid Laubrock),
piano (Kris Davis) and drums (Tyshawn Sorey) Coming
from all over (Germany/Canada/New Jersey respectively)
recorded in NYC , this is their 2nd release. A series
of generally gentle compositions with spare scattered
notes, check out the stacatto start on the title track
that then moves into a sort of drone jazz phase
(something they do very well, with Sorey’s whispering
cymbals) The three “Strike” themed pieces work the
hushing, soft-cycling drones. Meanwhile back to “Union”
that piece ends up with some of the most fiery work here,
as Laubrock skronks up and Davis hits the bottom end of her
piano, before a little high-end trickle finish. High
trickle is more often employed, with also euro-jazz
tight-rope precision on the players. Pretty cool that
Sorey steps away from his drums for a trombone tunnel
on “Masterisk” (written by Laubrock, each member composed
at least two pieces here). They are democratic in
delivery as well as writing. Apparently their namesake
is larger as a child (tadpole) than as an adult frog,
and that is clearly in line with their less is more
approach here.

-Thurston Hunger

EFT – “Spatial Awareness” – [Out Now Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   9/26/2014   CD, Jazz

Third release from this trio, when I reviewed their
initial offering, I remember writing “jazz?” And if
I’ve learned anything at KFJC about genres, it’s that
the question mark is a thing of beauty. Willful, resistant
beauty. This time around, I found myself drawn to
the least conventional member, Daniel Davidosky whose
array of electronics (often rough-hewn home-made tech
with rougher sounds) help to get the hair standing up
on the back of my neck. There’s a crisp electricity
flowing from him and also from Ido Bukelman’s guitar,
who pushes the Sonny Sharrock charge, spiking in on
the exploratory scale past Kletka Red to Starfuckers.
But there’s more mania on here, aided by the heart
amping drumwork of Ofer Bymel. Both guitar and drums
are prone to bursts of improvisation, that catch you
with a jag but then don’t drag you on a two minute
blitz. Indeed the album’s title (and the epic number
of the same name) showcase “space.” That space is
so crucial, to let the alien transmissions from
planet Davidosky beam in. Check out “Friend of No One
But Your Phone” for a short showcase of that (and
further proof that “Untitled #6” is a lazy waste
of effort for song titles). I really hope that the
ragged guitar/drumplay will dare rock fans to dig
this, and I think some of our electro weird ear
fans can help accentuate that gorgeous question
mark at play here! These guys are from Earth,
by way of Israel for what it’s worth. And their
music is worth plenty!

-Thurston Hunger

Remainderless – “Remainderless” – [Oxen]

abacus   9/24/2014   12-inch, A Library

three LA noise conspirators (see: Fenian, Tik///Tik, XBXRX) deliver searing shrill drones that pierce bleaker than icy wind, gusts that don’t blast but penetrate straight to the marrow. the pitch flogged malfunctions teeter on the edge of release as the sheet subsides and crumbles; a distant racket amidst factory hums anthropomorphed into ghosts of aeroaudible disaster. patience wields the most virtuous suffering

Mean Mothers: Independent Women Blues, Vol. 1 [coll] – [Rosetta Records]

mickeyslim   9/24/2014   Blues, CD

Ladies being ladies, and they ain’t taking shit from no one! Volume One in a collection of independent women’s blues music from 1926-1949, and it bakes. Tunes that assert females are just as strong as their male counterparts, if not stronger.

Since I have a not-so-secret soft spot for ladies blues music, I tend to agree. This album does a great job at exemplifying one of the many themes in blues, and one of the few that is strictly for women, especially at that time: personal independence and not putting up with peoples disrespect.

Maggie Jones, Ida Cox, Rosa Henderson, Billie Holiday, etc. Beautiful voices from beautiful ladies. Rosetta Records release with great liner notes.

3WR: Big Mama’s Blues

Lemaitre, Maurice – “Poemes Et Musiques Lettriste Et Hyperhonie” – [Alga Marghen]

mickeyslim   9/24/2014   12-inch, A Library

Maurice Lemaitre was the co-founder of an avante-garde French art movement called the Lettrists, who took influences from Dadaists and Surrealism. The lettrist movement explores art (poetry, painting, novels, cinema, photos) as well as social sciences (economics, law, psychology), and focuses mainly on the idea of creativity and the creative method.

On this album, released on the Alga Marghen label, Lemaitre explores the uses of the human voice. The first few tracks blend rock ‘n’ roll music while Lemaitre “sings.” Sometimes its in French, sometimes in gibberish. Recordings from 1957-1968, some of with appear to be recorded live. Very cool ,very interesting, very unique record that many will dig.

3WR: Found mouth sounds

Feldgrau – “Mechanized Misanthropy” – [Agonia]

mickeyslim   9/24/2014   A Library, CD

Doomy industrial sounds from threesome based in Tampa, FL. Feldgrau means “field gray” in German and is a shade of the color green, used by the German army from 1907-1945.

The band on the otherhand, was only active from 2001-2004, and this is their only full length release. Pete Helkamp from Revenge and Kerasphorous on bass, vox and electronics; Destruct on guitar; and Vhex on keys and backing vox. Noisy feedback and unintelligible vocals woven in throughout. A lot of the tracks have a purring quality to it, it’s hard to explain, but the whole sound seems to pulsate like a cat purring. Couple long tracks (5 min+) on here. Turn it up..

Miscreant – “T.N.S.T.” – [Self Release]

humana   9/21/2014   A Library, Cassette

When the Rat King gave me this CD to review, she warned me. Never mind that I listened to it right after Essie Jain. Maybe that’s the smartest way to do it. Talk about waking up to smell the coffee. This San Jose band describes their music as electronic industrial noise power. To me it sounds like screaming, and it sounds cathartic, and throbbing, and full of feedback, both musical and political in some way. They are upset. They won’t be silenced. And sooner or later, they will be heard.

Jain, Essie – “Until The Light of Morning” – [Self Release]

humana   9/21/2014   A Library, CD

Essie Jain has a beautiful, soothing voice, and has written lovely lullabyes inspired to charm the newborn audience created by her circle of friends. Each song takes the listener, young or old, further into layers of restfulness and repose. There is piano, glockenspiel, bass, and guitar. So pretty and simple. She hails from the UK but lives in America. I listened to this over and over. It is nice to be sung to sleep.

El’Zabar’s, Kahil Ritual Trio – “Follow The Sun” – [Delmark]

humana   9/21/2014   CD, Jazz

The title of this CD is fairly apt in describing how the music makes you feel as you listen to the sun-warmed brew of Duke Payne’s unique bagpipes and sax conversations with Ari Brown, Dwight Trible’s and El’Zabar’s vocals, and Junius Paul’s bass. Of course, undergirding it all is the percussion by way of thumb piano, earth drum, and other drums supplied by El’Zabar. These gents serve up jazz in with their inimitable style and verve and leave you feeling happy and alive. Read the liner notes–they’re good.

Trin Tran – “Far Reaches, The” – [Castle Face Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/19/2014   12-inch, A Library

Catchy and infectious like a virus from outer space, or like
a one-man band from Earth, Trin Tran may have one foot in
Madison, WI and one foot on San Fran. He does *not* have
one foot on the accelerator, as his songs take their time
to squeeze in your ears and past the blood-brain barrier,
songs sturdily built on art damaged synth lines and broken
guitar that adds a sweet abrasiveness, like chocolate-covered
tumbleweeds. Both synth and guitar root out some great
simple punk riffs which then fit perfectly with his odd
and sublime vocals. Distorted and ranty, sometimes going
OCD on a phrase, like the killer lead off “Fashion Has
Happened To Fashion!” you don’t need to be Heidi Klum or
some other scary monster to find the truth in that. His
voice, and the lyrics too, almost feel like an alien mind
figuring out how to work fleshy mouth and peculiar world
that have been snatched along with Steve Coombs body.
The overall sum here exceeds the difficult to keep all
parts going at the same time (Trin Tran gets help here
from der Deerhoofer John Dieterich, and live others join
in the band apparently including Coombs guitar-slinging son!
So very good, exceeding the promise of “Dark Radar” and
calling for an unearthing of some old Xerobot songs KFJC
has (an earlier project before Trin Tran got his wires
installed and crossed). What is this you ask? Maybe Felix
Kubin built a gumball machine with just six pieces of
poison candy in it? Criswell joined Devo? “Hearts Are Serious”
has a break that sounds like that old Warner Brothers cartoon
dog that would inquire “Duh, which way did he go George,
which way did he go.” This nails the the smart/stupid
crossover as good as anything in a long time. Rarely am
I pissed to have a picture disk on one side, but I would
have traded that and an Oscar Gamble baseball card to
have another 6 mini miracles (with more lyrics, perhaps
further investigating the anaconda/cougar dichotomy
elaborated upon in the title track here). I even love the
name which without any other info I would have expected
some sappy Vietnamese cupcake lovesongs (and maybe he’s
got those up his shielded sleeve.) Get on board now
and enjoy Trin Tran before he opens for a David Bowie
hologram tour in a few years.

-Thurston Hunger

Rocket Infinity: The Global Rise of Rocking Music 1942-62 [coll] – [Canary Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/19/2014   10-inch, A Library

Hey if Ian Nagoski is going to make you a mix tape, then heck
yeah you better listen. Plus he puts it out on 10″ which we all
know is some powerful alchemy/history at KFJC… The title here
maybe is a bit of a reach, and a 20 year span might have been
better served by a box set, but these 8 unearthed treasures
should float many a boat. The liner notes on the back are
better than I can offer, so check ’em out while you spin
selections from this. I will say my favorites are
A1 Spanish flare meets Molam
A3 Check the Chuck Berry shamisen from this real gone geisha
her kewpie doll oogie-boogie vox might flirt some Berts
B1 Fans of Eblis Alvarez might dig this ol’ cumbia-tronic action
B4 Eenie Meanie Miney Whoa, even before you’ve heard this
you’ve heard this, stored in your playback memories

It’s a big little record for a small Qawwali Polka Jump Blues
world after all. Spin it…
-Thurston Hunger
PS Some spoken film moments at the of A4

Lewis, Edvard Graham – “All Over” – [Editions Mego]

Thurston Hunger   9/19/2014   A Library, CD

Dormant for a decade, the erstwhile Wire bassist delivered twin
discs this year. On this, “All Over” EGL drops a more pop or at
least song-oriented set of tunes. As on “All Under” a heavy
low-end more than anchors the work here, as befits a bassist.
There is still careful attention to electronic atmospherics,
well-oiled machinery clicking and ticking, voice distortions
and dub auras. Lyrically perhaps a thread of traveling and
unraveling is woven into the songs here. Percussion is not
so much industrial as it is inorganic. Most tracks have
lyrics, spoken, broken, switched and restitched. “Prism
Buzzard” is one that does *not* sound like Grand Galaxy
Central Station at midnight, robo-waxers glide through the
hallowed emptiness. Is “Where’s The Affen?” a wiretapping
of an airport’s white courtesy phone? #6 segues tightly into
#7 which is an oddly happy, and moreso, happily odd bumping
number with the chorus “sorry but We’ve Lost Your Mind”
(travelers in the next millennium will have it rough).
If they offer you a temporary replacement mind, make sure
it includes memories of this album, as well as some of
Lewis’s earlier work in Dome and He Said (both of which
KFJC has, and should remain Mute in our library). Insistent
and twisted work here, has he collaborated with Matmos
seems like his “Bluebird” and their “Rats” could play well

-Thurston Hunger

Microdeform – “Aphelion” – [ZamZam Sounds]

Thurston Hunger   9/19/2014   A Library, Cassette

The name might connote a more mutated musical experiment,
or at least a shorter one. Here are two involved sidelong
pieces from Bristol’s Liam McConaghy; well, some breathing spots
of silence, and the cassette indicates 10 discreet tracks
with a progression from “Aphelion” to “Perihelion” so there
is a sense of direction and connectedness. And it does
start in darkness, whirry-pools of sound, loops chasing loops
and when vocals are dropped in via samples they fall through
a waterworld of echo. At 11:40 in, we hear “Set” repeated
perhaps to indicate the launch of the musical set, or to
invoke the Egyptian god, or a reference to the sun. Other
echo’d voices in German, feel like eavesdropping…impolite
ears for polite conversation? The reverb so strong, like
a drive-in theater at the back of your brain. Percussion
washes away, but the simple repetition of sound and an
occasional snap of live wire bring it back. 25:10 finds
definite silence, the first side is indeed largely dark
but gentle as rain you cannot see, some very slight
classical feel and occasional airtight vox humana patches.
It has the sort of pulse-wave of a loud bell sculpting
all of the sound. (A very long, gradual fade closes side A.)
Side B is more active as the SS Microdeform apparently
approaches the sun. McConaghy loves his pulsing loops,
acting as a rotary noise engine at the core with
Frippertonic and more fulminating guitar on top. Big
beams of synth redline in at times too, a calmer phase
with piano macrodeformed by reverb. Short sonic eclipse
at 25:14 on side B. Overall, a flowing dark ambient vibe,
akin to an abandoned spacecraft used as a cathedral. Or
perhaps a soundtrack on your shoulder while watching
Danny Boyle’s “Sunrise” -Thurston Hunger

Mimmo, Gianni & Daniel Levin – “Turbulent Flow” – [Amirani Records]

abacus   9/17/2014   CD, Jazz

Turbulent Flowing vortex of jazz? improv on cello and soprano sax. Levin ripping and roaring, rubbing the strings raw while Gianni soars above with fluid lucidity and virtuosic ability, spraying a flurry of melodic lines and squealing shrills. not harsh hardly atonal, rather beautifully executed and held together. the players’ energy captured beautifully on the photos inside.

Impulsive Machinations – “Conformity Contortion” – [Edgetone Records]

abacus   9/17/2014   A Library, CD

Thollem McDonas and Sara Lund take on improvisation from an introspective angle. what is improvisation? what constitutes free? Sara coming at improv from the rock angle, Thollem coming at rock from the improv. heavy free rock on dirt ‘n nail rhodes processed through the dirtiest of analog filters and pounding drums that don’t sit still. solid kinetic power flying together through and about their Portland garage. simple enough to hold together as the crumble and tumble and straight ROCK!

Tar Halos — “Winehand” — [Volar Records]

lillygreenworks   9/17/2014   A Library

This San Diego band brings you Psychedelic Rock with bits of Punk mixed into an overall LoFi garage sound.
A good variety of sounds from track to track, go ahead, drop the needle and push play.

Check out ???Bad Time Wizard??? for a dark slow moving bass heavy track.
The final and longest track, ???Crush Your Tokyo??? builds to a catchy guitar/vocal mix.

Fat White Family, The – “Champagne Holocaust” – [Fat Possum Records]

billiejoe   9/17/2014   A Library, CD

CD released this year by the sextet from South London. Wailing guitar at times twangy
Kinda bluesish. Lots of feels and lots of drugs. The distorted vocals are decipherable. There are bells on Isn’t It Raining in Your Mouth? because bells. Without Consent gets jazzy with the drums. Fancy. All American Prairie is twangy, which is fitting. Borderline is one of my favorite tracks because it’s buzzy and Heaven on Earth is too because it is loud. Bomb Disneyland is upbeat and peppy. They are clearly talented musicians and would make an amazing live show.

Billie Joe Tolliver

Intolerant – “Snow Stained With The Blood of Traitors” – [Prison Tatt Records]

billiejoe   9/17/2014   A Library, CD

Nine track compilation CD released this year. Cookie monster vocals and blended distorted static sounds. This is not a crisp bite from a pita chip, more like a crunchy gooey bite from a rice krispies square. Delicious and you want more. Self-identified black metal. Sounds like some good guitar solos but it is very distorted. This group has only been together for a couple years and this is our only piece from them.
A few seconds of spoken word at beginning of tracks one and eight. I liked The Eternal Law because I could visualize them performing it and Steadfast Destiny because it is fast and has cawing vocals towards the end. Tracks start and stop suddenly. The music is definitely intended to be played loud and therefore kind of mushy but it left me wishing it was mixed differently so I could hear the musicianship. There is also an inconsistency with the recordings as if they were done at different places and times. While I liked it some of the songs felt repetitive. Play this loud. Really loud. NO discernable FCCs.
Billie Joe Tolliver