This 3 CD 2 Group set from Graham Connah is quite something! Part jazz, part rock, part Zappaesque weirdness with interesting combinations of wind, string and electronic instruments, some clever vocals and a wacky, playful quality that will have you trying to dance along to the odd time signatures and jolly funky squonks. Disc One (Because of Wayne) were recorded live at Bruno’s in 98/99 as “Sour Note Seven” and the other 2 discs are 2000 studio sessions as “Jettison Slinky” with many line-up changes but there is a conceptual continuity throughout. Mighty Fine! *review by Studebaker Hawk
Some local brass wackos have formed this modern New Orleans Brass Band to put the SF/Improv flavor into some old standards and new tunes. Jon Birdsong (Lords of Outland) on the sousaphone really sets the funk pace but everybody else does a lot of interesting stuff here as well. Goofy fun in a “live in studio recording” (must have been some party!) Mostly instrumental with some incidental vocal things between songs. Track 7 is a nice take on a Steve Wonder tune and is actually 16 minutes long with a little gap – the end is a dub take (very odd) so let it play! *review by Studebaker Hawk
We have the first two LPs collected on this CD, but Disc 2 has previously unreleased material. Donner Party crossed a lot of styles, from Byrds/Dylanish 12 string jangle-hippie folk rock to cow-punk to sort of They Might Be Giants to thrashing junk kore with serious lyrics. There are some happy little songs about death and what happens to your guts when you die and other sweet things, but mostly I would call this just really good late 80s SF Rock. too bad there is not a lyric sheet in this – there is some fine writing…
Don’t miss the 2nd CD Bad words noted on Disc 2 track One (Please Don’t Listen) *review by Studebaker Hawk
No bad words on this CD
some questionable snippets of (maybe) Backstreet Boys and such are used to punctuate the themes, but Fr. Harry is back as his usual wacky self, telling clever little messages of goodness to the great unwashed.
If you liked him on his previous hit records, you will like this one, but if you have avoided him in the past a great big foot might come down out of the clouds and skoosh you like a bug. *review by Studebaker Hawk
Hey! This sounds like cartoon music! Well, it is…
Nik Phelps started the Sprocket Ensemble out of the Clubfoot Orchestra roster – it is a varied group of San Fran musicians that play well in any style. These tracks are from various performances making live soundtrack music for some independent cartoons and short subject films. This stuff is all over the place, from classic 1930’s sounding tracks to bits of jazz, klez, Raymond Scott/Carl Stalling flavor and improvish things. Check inside the liner page for more deets. Goofy, but no Pluto ;-) *review by Studebaker Hawk
The Mekons have been around since 1976 , making one or two albums a year since then and are still creating interesting music. Blends of strumbly folk with reggae tinged lyrics, fiddle driven cow-punk tear stained ballads, moody gloomy happy pop songs – whatever the want to do seems to come out great. Important, clever lyrics, great arrangements – a KFJC standard (check the library!) well worth many spins… Try any track. *review by Studebaker Hawk
twisted beat poetry lyrics spoke/sung over a moody swingly jazz combo – strange references and clever insights, indeed smokin’ is the proper tone – even an ode to liver and onions on this fun goof. All tracks are interesting – try them! From what I can’t find on the web, this seems to be the second CD from a Boston area band that includes Dana Colley (of Morphine) on Bari Sax. Akers Recording is MIA. if I find out any more I will add it here: If you like this, try Fred Lane and His Hittite Hot-Shots (2 albums in A library) *review by Studebaker Hawk
grass,…. wine,….. beer, …..hash…… on this happy tribute to the joys of (mostly) natural intoxication. While these are mostly new songs, the style and subjects go way back to the jug bands, blues shouters and such from the early 20th century. (and the skiffle groups, hip folk singers and revivalists of the 1950s and 60s) with lots of harmonica, slide guitar, kazoo, group singing, trad jazz and much more.. must have been quite a recording session!
The Spankers are from Austin and they know their loco-weed very well. Most emphatically Politically INcorrect – there is only one very tiny “bad word” on this, but the concept is pushing the edge, as it should be. .. just have a lot of fun wit it!
*review by Studebaker Hawk
A local (Mid-Peninsula) group that has been around for a while, this is the first recording from Grinning Idiots. I think the main strength of this group is the arrangements, especially in the use of the horn section. Mostly Pop-Jazz-Rock with more than a bit of white-boy T.O.P. funk, with some excursions into sample weirdness and studio tricks. All songs have vocals and are band originals (in their live sets they also do some killer covers!) Cut # 4 is actually the title track, but it is called “Weird Stuff.” Cut #1 is most popular among the band members and does capture their sound well. The G-Idiots could probably do very well on commercial radio (well, KFOG maybe) in an alternative universe. *review by Studebaker Hawk
From the self-proclaimed inventors of Nerd Rock: Staged in March of 1998 in San Francisco, The Figshta Diaries tells the musical story of a girl’s painful rejection by her family and society, her loss of mental health, and of her ultimate, if ambiguous, psychic redemption. (that was from their web site) 3 Day Stubble has had a long history of strangeness and is more than just a bit silly, but there is a lot of interesting music under the top level. They started out in Houston but now are off-centered in SF. (don’t believe the mailing address on the CD – there is a San Francisco in Texas, but not with that Zip Code.) Good stuff for any non-speciality show. I really like the Glockenspiel. *review by Studebaker Hawk
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
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