Music Reviews

Euphone – “Calendar of Unlucky Days, the ” – [Jade Tree]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

On the first track you catch the steel drums, then
in chimes the melodica…and you know nothing bad
will happen to you. Ten instros from two guys:
leader Ryan Rapsys and (this time out) Mick Macri.
Kind of vacation pop, with clear blue melodies and
not alot of sonic grit between your toes. This is
at least their third release (first at the station)
lodged at the currently well-traversed cross-roads
between post-rock noodles and techno broth.
Call it pleasant post-pop, could fit well with
the Bubble Core corps…I kind of starting to miss
lyrics with some of this stuff, maybe ask listeners
to make up their own?’ Tracks often segue. Fave’s
for me #4, and the zen-diet of #8

Valvola – “Teenagers Film Their Own Life ” – [S.H.A.D.O.]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   12-inch, A Library

Italian slow-mo espionage psych. The synths
have a squishy bloopiness, that you just
can’t digitize. So quit trying…goddammit..
…and enjoy this. Lyrics sung(and swallowed)
in English over friendly, familiar melodies.
Bathed in lava lamp electronics, reversible
drums, reverbed guitars. Not a lot of frenzy
coming out of Firenze, this is a relaxorama.
“End/Exploring the City of Ghosts” clearly
stands out with some fine pan craziness.

Known in Bakersfield – “Retinal Ma Should Win ” – [Ovenguard]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Wobbly Jon Leidecker and the slightly more
sturdy Tim Meany are Known (and perhaps
feared?) in Bakersfield. Playful post-music;
less power electronics than toy noise joy.
Ring modular rhythms might woo the odd
Autechre fan or hypochondriac housewife, but
it’s more a ~wave~ album than a beat one.
A gently demented mad scientist soundtrack
for the saga of a stick-figure superhero.
Murky blurbles and a paradoxically happy
ominous taste.

Product Music – “Hooray for Human Engineering ” – [Honest-Abe Disc!]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Ripening with age like a meatball way back
behind your refrigerator comes this mix of
tradeshowstoppers & industrial inspiration.
Aimed at weary Willy Loman’s, worrisome
wives, and their beloved customers. The
embarassment of a company talent show,
amplified by awkward drama dept energy, and
captured in lyrics that are as ridiculous
as I fear they were sincere. Inspirational
industrial music, you can never have enough!
Up with People crossed with Laugh In but…
more, so much more! Scratchy authenticity
just helps tracks like “Slurp It” (w/ a
circular breathing straw solo) and the epic
Chromlox seasonal song cycle shine.

Cantuaria, Vinicius – “Tucuma ” – [Verve/Polygram]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   CD, International

Slinky sambaista songs from Brazilian-born
Cantuaria (is that his real name?’) who has
relocated in NY and is making some fine
friends; among them some of my heroes like
Mark Feldman, Laurie Anderson, Arto Lindsay
and Joey Baron who all show up on here.
Gorgeous in melody and in production (the
latter may trouble some?) The edgier things
get, the better…Arto’s noise concret solo
on the last track, a Latcho Drom(?) sample
on super-hummable “Aracaju”, little buzzing
synthsects on the piece dedicated to Riuchi
Sakamoto (who collaborated with Cantuaria
on his first solo album). If you dig this,
go check out some Tom Ze.

Friends of Dean Martinez – “Atardecer ” – [Knitting Factory Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Bill Elm mans the helm for FoDM, and here
his lap steel is set on stun. Leaving behind
the tumbleweeds for nebulae, the sound he
gets is galactic. Some of the chord changes
may have that syrupy sweet Bachelor Pad
flavor, but they’re cut with this flaming
disto-razor space juice. Add in a Moog that
needs exorcism, vacuum pack and ship these
cowbots straight to the heart of the sun.
“Atardecer” no es “dusk” es una supernova.
-El Hombre del Hambre

Ass Baboons of Venus – “Go Go Telescope ” – [East West Japan]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Tantic tantrum dum-dum go-go music. As catchy
as your favorite STD. Fashion king husband
and helium queen wife dote over their child,
the drum machine. Unlike their Stingy Banana
releases, most lyrics here are in Japanese
but the titles tell the story pretty well.
Stupid, silly sexy with a banzai scream.
This is mangled musical manga. Cartoon tunes
that rawk! A great blend of punk and enka?’
Where’s the work-out video that ought to
accompany this? When will they star in the
remake of “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father?”
Don’t miss ’em live. Hunger-san

Mile Wide Grey, the – “Superior ” – [10 Gev Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Local SLACkers, slap happy apathy rock. Noise
pop from THE underground. The Mile Wide Grey
is guitar/vox and drums humming w/ plenty o’
reverb particles. Looking-down-a-staircase
guitar lines with plenty o’ tasty overdubs.
T-shirt and jeans vocals often bolstered by
treated background choruses (whispersville
on #5, answering machine style on #1,#3,#7)
#9 is sad like the HAL-9000 singing “Daisy”
#11 is a linear accelerator solo live-mic.
Quantum radio activity. -Aunt Bea Factory

Dancing with the Dead [coll] – [Ellipsis Arts…]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   CD, International

Imagine the line of time, somewhere on there is
one segment that demarcs your life. There is time
before that segment, and time after, together
that’s your death. As much a beginning as an end,
death envelops you and defines your life. You’ve
already survived it. Yes I have these
thoughts all the time…this album is beautiful
in sound, spirit and packaging. It provides an
excellent occasion to contemplate and enjoy YOUR
life/death. The geographical range parallels the
musical one here. Tracks, like life, are all too
fleeting. An accent on joy over lamentation. The
most eerie moment for me came in the first track,
with it’s subsurface political vendetta between
eulogizer and deceased.

Family Fodder – “Savoir Faire : the Best of ” – [Dark Beloved Cloud]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Lethally good retrospective of art-damaged pop
and art-brut instrumentation. A stunningly
diverse collection of tracks (#2 John Carpenter
vibe, #4 the happy nihilist’s anthem!!!, #7 a
Blondie cover that warps into a kiddie sing ‘n’
mumble, #9 dub-wise astral projection, #16
jaunty accordion love triangle) A mix of male
and female vox, I think the line-up was like
an ever-shifting commune. Overall as twisted
and as tasty as a box of licorice.
Family Fodder is the Motherlode!

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