Music Reviews

Six Foot Slotherball [coll] – [Self Release]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Two different CDrs, joined at the hip and hipper parts solely
for the pleasure of KFJC listeners. The Great NorthWet spawns
some sweet soggy pop. Rollerball *always* gets my ears a
salivating. Here they trade tunes with their Slothy friends…
The ‘ball bounces further off the beaten path, “Another Day”
is another world away from the tasty, drippy dour offerings
of Six Foot Sloth. The Sloth naturally moves slowly, though
not without grace. “Holding Babies” does a kind of “Lay Lady
Lay” calypso, and “the Jed” can carry a tune. Meanwhile in
Rollerballville, the tune gets dropped, stepped on, vocals
caterwauled and doubled up. God I love ’em! And hornage
too… Back with the Sloth, they do deliver a dirgy blues
to even their peppier moments, and lyrics have a whiff o’
mortality that’ll please KFJC’s Ophelia Necro and others.
Not whistling, but humming past the graveyard. They are
coming to visit us for a live mic pronto (with Remora as
well!!) Maybe they’ll be joined more that a hip and we’ll
get Slotherball slathered all over the pit.

Sirone – “Live ” – [Unheard Music Series]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   CD, Jazz

1981 and you are there, just don’t get in Kazunori Sugiyama’s
way as he records Sirone and his trio (with Denis Charles!!!)
The album is pierced by a shrill and willful flute solo by
Sirone on the first cut, like a bird busy in mating season,
the trills are relentless. I dig it but if you don’t, relax as
that gives way to the trademark tuned rolling of Charles’ drums
at the very end. Charles then opens up the second track with a
nice dancing rhythm that pits and pats your elbow and knees,
alto Claude Lawrence comes in with a simple sweet refrain over
Sirone’s mellow bass, but then the expressive nature of Charles’
is allowed to shine. Nothing could be more warm than the cap’n
at the helm for a spell, the trio joins up again for a few well-
charted bars and then it’s all rubber and rapid rigid fingers
till then as Sirone takes a solo. Next up “The Journey” is all
Sirone (not quite as fast as on #2) but circling around his own
grunts and moans. “When It’s Over” feels like nighttime in the
desert. Charles’ drums are loping and is that Sirone moonlighting
on trombone?’ “Vision” then follows launched by hand (no sticks
please) as Charles softly slaps the toms with his bare hands
before jetting off into a more typical trio take of free

Kondo, Toshinori – “Fukyo ” – [Tzadik]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   CD, Jazz

Yeah, Miles…yeah, Spaceheads, but Kondo has his own fanfare
and flare when it comes to live electronic processing on his
native instrument, the trumpet. But these 14 transmissions,
like his earlier “Nerve Tripper” CD, never sound very native.
Martian flurries, echoing envelopes, sneakery squeaks. A key
is how well he grabs and locks a sample and then plays off it
(liners proudly state ‘no overdubs’). Whereas “Nerve Tripper”
cranked up some sort of adrenaline overload, this album is
more for abstract contemplation. Is not a live self sample a
mirror of sorts? I’m curious how much of his lips and spit
come through the compress/delay/robot factory…as this does
have a lot of squishiness to it. Melody gets toyed with, see
the slow steps out on the ledge in the closing track. Overall
this is a record for the shape and color of sound rather than
its linear arrangement. “Rissetsu” has that watercolor smear
that reminds me of Jon Hassel. “Seisei” is for the blow hole
in your whale soul. Earlier interviews with Kondo discuss the
musical importance of body conditioning via the martial art,
Shintaido, but does that get short-circuited by enhancements
of the man-machine? Who cares, just give the conundrummer some.

King Cobra, the – “Mini Cd (W/ Temporary Tattoo) ” – [Self Release]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Short blast that leaps out the barrel before the pistol is
cocked. Toothy twosome with Washingtone bite and washed-out
old Rush t-shirts. This EP closes with a cover of “Beneath
Between Behind” that is just sorta funny and irresistible
if you ever liked Rush (and we’ll stop there before this gets
into a Neil Peart argument). The first track, a slice o panic
pop called “Malefick” feels like it was joined in process…
heavy breathing, dorky Devo keyboards, cowbells!! and kisses
“shtolen” Next up “E.M.E.R.G.E.N.C.Y” starts out like an
Earth cover-band trying to do a math number…odd tempo that
gets kicked up 7.3 notches before the vocals join in. Circus
keyboards dance along with the guitar lines. Hysteric vocals
(with rubber-roams of reverb) are a highlight on this and
the other two cuts. Betsy Kwo on guitar, Rachel Carns on drums and they’re headed KFJC’s way soon for a complete rendition of 2112.

Business Lady – “Skull Bashing ” – [Pacific Rock]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

San Diego four piece, delivers rock solid chunks of chugga
chugga churning music. Vocals gang up on choruses, guitar
effects slang-tune in parts…drums percolate like all
night coffee. “He’s Pissing” has a nice sort of sway to
it…along with some guttural groaning and light blitz
electronis. “Medublah Sedublah” seems to have a seizure
ready to happen, with an indirect Twin Peak reference
perhaps. Again the drums…looks like no sleep for Paul.
“Space for Face” let’s the drummer catnap in parts and
cascades guitar pick-sweeps of the neck over a sorta
Gang of Four bass. The Lady is allll Business.

Los Camperos De Valles – “El Ave De Mi Sonar ” – [Smithsonian/Folkways]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   CD, International

Few things cry passion like a ragged violin and a man’s voice
that flips up into falsetto. “El Llorar” is of staggering
beauty, all tracks demamd your attention…”Oye?” Oh, yeah!
This has as much fervor as the best punk music, and more
whistling than your average Lynyrd Skynyrd album to boot.
For more serious notes, check the fine Smithsonian liners
included herein, but seriously this Huasteca sound spikes
my ears like few other forms can. The violin sounds like it
was recorded in a brittle, slippery bottle…and the guitars
gallop, but the vocals are a great blend of taunting and
haunting. The song titles alone speak of the jagged edges
of love. One of the most blazing releases I’ve heard in a
long time…do not miss. Huasteca to the corazon.
-El Hombre del Hambre

Hamburger, Neil – “Great Moments at Di Presa’s ” – [Drag City]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   CD, Comedy

The combination of pizza and hamburger has always been so
promising, but ultimately unsatisfying…until NOW! Riding
the popular documentary craze, we get a snapshot of history
from the upper crust (“popular young President John F Kennedy
counts down the months until his tragic assassination”) to
the downright greasy, Roan O’Laird. To keep things dry if not
droll, there are moments of little misdirection (e.g. “He died
doing what he loved best…he shot himself in the head.”)
Olives the color of grief, sauce the color of blood, and
of course humor the color of a mirror…a broken one. There’s
a kaleidoscope of characters on this release wilting and
wonderful like the three-week old offerings at the salad bar.
But the comedy here is just as tasty as Di Presa’s pizza as
O’Laird proclaims…
“The food came in contact with love.
Too much love stains on the counter,
wiping rag drenched in love.”
Just as we’ve always suspected! Neil Hambrger *is* the
secret sauce and this is a sure bet, like the 1966 Superbowl.
-Thurston Hunger
Dirty moments – #1, #6, #8, #9
PS Is that New Session Person Ken Griffin guesting on organ?

Birds, the – “Let’s Do the Velvets ” – [Important Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

You can take the girl out of the Acid Mother, but you cannot
take the acid out of the girl. Cotton Casino teams up with
Per Gisle Galaen to overdose beautifully on the Velvet
Underground. Listening to “Femme Fatale” one can almost
lealize that Nico actually wanted to sing with a Japanese
accent. The song starts out as wedding dirge march, but
towards the end disto-guitar ripples the skies. Meanwhile
“Here She Comes Now” turns into an early morning mantra
trying to seduce the sun up. Acoustic guitar spirals, oozy
vox and Helge Sten’s patented Deathprod sonic wrapping help
to plant this one deep within your cranium. With backwards
guitar serving like a hook on foxtail to make sure it this
song gets snared there. Very promising advance to the Birds
full-length first-flight! An Important record indeed!
-Thurston Hunger #37

[coll] The New Music [RCA]

Hunter Gatherer   8/23/2005   12-inch, A Library

In 1967 the Rome Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bruno Maderna, recorded four atonal, serial, and/or aleatory works. Ignore the Fresh-Air-esque middlebrow notes on the back of the record sleeve and just drop the fukkin’ needle.

The four pieces:

Kontra-Punkte (Stockhausen, 1952) – It sounds like music being built from the ground up. Tones are clustered into molecules of sound called a ‘group.’ Tone, length, timbre are set against each other to give a feeling of conflict and restlessness. (Name drop! ‘I’m friends with the nephew of Frederic Rzewski, who plays piano on this recording.)

Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (Pendercki, 1960) – Originally called 8? 37″, this piece starts off like those annoying THX promos they play before a movie. But then you are softened up with a light pummeling by blocks of string sound. This gives way to a dreadful silence that gradually fills in with ashes and embers of sounds scraped from string instruments. One last whack with a sound block sends you on your way to side B.

Available Forms I (Brown, 1961) – This piece is partially composed by the conductor because he can pick from events on the score in any order. I think this piece is about a big amoeba that keeps eating instruments it can’t digest. Or maybe that’s a book I read to my kids.

Rimes pour differentes sources sonores (Pousseur, 1959) – This is my favorite one. Here we finally get some electronic sounds from our electronic pioneers. Natural sounds are fixed up with electronically processed sounds by a mutual friend and wind up taking a white noise shower together on their first date. The second section, more of a coda really, has two sextets with brass and woodwinds scraping up against each other until they both disappear.

–Hunter Gatherer

Close, The/Rosebuds [coll] – [Goodnight]

mitch   8/16/2005   7-inch, A Library

Raleigh, NC core duo Ivan Howard (vocals, guitar) and
Kelly Crisp (keyboards, vocals) front THE ROSEBUDS
(fast & furious on ???We???ve Had Enough???), a act
currently on US tour with TEENAGE FANCLUB. It is
Howard???s touch-of-helium voice & Crisp???s frenetic use of
keyboard coloration that punch their all-original songs
through to Funland; fellow progenitors THE CLOSE (as
in proximity) began in Auburn AL ten years ago, since
relocating to Atlanta and recording several releases for
. Equally hard hitting but more tactile &
austere, front man Brooks Meeks embraces anthems,
analog keyboards (as played by Theresa Marie Fedor),
and lyrical sincerity. Two fine Southeast indie rock tracks
exclusive to new label run by Nathan Jones & Keith
Vogelsong (THE BLUE HOUR).
MITCH August 2005

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