Jun 25, 2010

TIMMY'S ORGANISM "I'm On A Hunt" 7inch

If you've just heard the whispers on the street and are wondering if they're true-YES! This is Timmy V.Lamp Vulgar doing something along the lines of something somewhat normal Rock-n-Roll. What you need to realize though is that "normal Rock-n-Roll" in the always churning and always oddly colored mind that is Mr. Timmy isn't necessarily what someone like Dick Clark or some dick on the FM rock station think when they hear such a description.
With the basic butt shaking boogie groove that has launched a billion songs about since Chuck Berry scored his first hit about girls at least a decade younger than himself over half almost three quarters a century ago being pummeled and battered to match the surrounds Tim walks through on a daily basis-"I'm On A Hunt" is on a scent that'll eventually soothe the savage beast. The beat takes on the job of a lumbering machine that creaks from years of rust but stand out of it's way while moving because it will take off any limb that it catches while Guitars lines randomly spill & splatter blood and battery acid in every direction and Timmy howls about a search fueled by desperation and lust.
Side two's "Don't Forget Your Pretty Stare" is a heartfelt ballad that Bowie wishes he would wrote after he was done tapping Iggy's well for ideas on The Idiot if only either of them had the hindsight as well as the weird look into the backwards future that Timmy possesses.

Jun 21, 2010

the PIZAZZ "Get Out Of My House" cassette

All bands out there who consider themselves "pure pop" should quiet down for a minute and take some notes from Detroit's Pizazz. They know that you don't need layers of pro-tooled trickery and piles of overdub frosting. Sure, all that stuff makes everything all glossy & sparkly and we all know how shiny objects can entertain the simplest of minds but if the basic ingredients aren't of high quality all the doo-dads and added fluff that mask what is lacking. There has to be solid SONGS or all that stuff is just a dog and pony show.
Recorded on what sounds an 80's Tascam cassette 4 track machine (tape hiss, guitars occasionally cracking up in treble regions, the bass gnawing the entire low-end for seconds at a time) by Bobby Harlow of the Go (who pulled off the same kind of almost perfect loud "pure pop" record a couple years back with Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride) the twelve songs here are not any audiophiles dream but they don't need to be. It isn't one of those "Let's be deliberately lo-fi and pinned deep past the red line" affairs. The recording do have that "Let's set up in the bedroom/basement/family room" quality to them but it sounds like they made the best of attempts to get the top quality out of situation regardless. The hooks are catchy, the harmonies soar and the songs are solid.
Commingling (mostly) the Nuggets boxsets (the Euro and more recent L.A. one than US and San Fran ones to get a little more specific) and the Beach Boys with Britpop and the Byrds-the Pizazz serve up the Move baroque pop moves song like "Benjamin Woodruff" and "Plan B", provide the soundtrack for summer daydreaming on tracks like "Ocean Liner", "Jenny Says" and "Dolphin Patrol", make up a batch of backyard psych on "Living Like Animals" and get all loud sounding like the prime moments from Ride's first couple EP's on "Heartaches and Heart Attacks."
I have a feeling I could end up wearing out this cassette pretty fast. Anyone put this stuff out on vinyl? If not-someone should.

Jun 20, 2010

Gorevette, The Pleasure Kills and The McFlys-Saturday July 24th at the Roche Bar in Port Huron

Gorevette: Featuring the legendary Nikki Corvette and Amy of the Gore Gore Girls

From sunny California The Pleasure Kills play New Wave/Power Pop. Good times and dancing will happen!

Also on the bill-the Blue Water Area's best at "1!2!3!4! Fun Punk" The McFlys.

Jun 14, 2010

Short's Black Licorice Lager

It's always interesting to see what up north Michigan brewery Short's has up it's sleeve. If being a black lager alone wasn't interesting enough on it's own (after all, it's not all that common of a style in the first place) the ingredients that have gone into it, which include Anise seed, Vanilla beans from Madagascar and chocolate mint leaves, are enough to make one think "Damn! What kinda crazy beer scientists are the up there" even more.
The color is an obvious black and when held to the light some dark red highlights can be seen. The pinky finger sized head had a coffee with double cream color to it that melted away fairly quickly but spotty lace continues all the way through the glass.
The smell is quite interesting. At first sniff it seemed all about the chocolate. Letting it breath for a little bit more time though different levels of aroma complexities came out. The chocolate still takes the lead but mellows out a bit giving room for the vanilla and mint properties to come out. Though the brew is over 8% abv the alcohol, in the scent at least, is hardly detectable.
Those multi levels of complexities really come out in the flavor. Dark Swiss chocolate flavors starts off in the sip. It then takes a quick turn to black licorice/anise with a hint of mint & herbs in the middle. It's got quite a bite up to this point but then takes another sharp turn where the vanilla softens up the finish. Just when you think that's it you get a warm feeling from the alcohol content that comes sneaking up.
The brew itself is not all that thick as one would expect. The mouth feel here is in the medium range with just the right amount of carbonation something like this should have which would make it fairly easy to slam back if someone is into that kinda thing but it's best to savor it in small sips to take in all the things the flavors have going on.

Jun 11, 2010


You can call James Arthur lots of things: Triumph motorcycle aficionado, D'Lana's old man, A Texan who can drink some large amount of bourbon etc. One thing a person would never expect to call the one time member of the Fireworks/Necessary Evils/A Feast Of Snakes/Golden Boys though is "Space Rock Music Maker".
Recorded in "shacks in Texas" over 2009 with James playing almost every instrument on it (he credited with bass, guit, drums, organs, bongos) with a few guests like Golden Boys Nathan providing organ on a couple songs, Bruce Saltmarsh of '68 Comeback fame supplying some drum bits and Bantam Rooster's Tom Potter doing a guitar bit, you could pin this as something like a Hillbilly Hawkwind or Krautrock wearing some mud caked bluejeans.
With that all said don't be expecting this record to set you off floating aimlessly into a warm and squishy galaxy at an instant. To leave the planet is always a loud, dirty and lots of fire and fuel vapor situation such as the Mr. Potter on the burns from bacon grease splattered lead guitar trash blues stomp opener, "The Cougar", the JAMC marinated in hot pepper jelly then raked over the coals of "Black Cop" and the walking blues surfer sound excursion that blows into tiny sharp shards of "Strong Back" prove.
When the music does elevate itself past towards outerspace it isn't a floating above the clouds soundtrack by Tangerine Dream type of snooze either. It's a fight against static storms that set the mechanical parts all awry such as the distortion, unearthy pitch shifting & delay noises and space rocks hurled against the side of the rocketship sounds that "The Gurgler" and "My God #4" and 1970's era Cabaret Voltaire robots wired wrong clanging of "Black Angus" are riddled with. On the other hand though tracks like "Crows" WOULD border on the line of ethereal if there wasn't an obvious menacing under current to them.

Jun 9, 2010

ZOLA JESUS "Stridulum" 12inch EP

"Oh, don't tell me let me guess" says the voice on the phone.
"Ummm. Okay...."
"It's not some weird Cocteau Twins demos you found on the internet is it?"
"Ummmmm. No....."
"Good! Good! Because I get Google alerts. Do you do those?"
"I do for....."
He interrupts before I can finish "Cool. I get what you're saying". The voice then tells me about his day, how his co-workers are always wanting to bully him around and how he needs to talk to someone before he "stabs them with a sawblade or scissors".
"Do you know if Kate Bush has a daughter that is really mad at her?"
"Ummmm." I was a bit thrown off by this one. I was thinking maybe all the previous calls by this fellow were just some grand scheme for a set up and here would finally come the punchline.
Before you start wondering I don't work at a record store anymore. Nor a Suicide prevention line, phone sex, FIA, Social Security, one of those 900 party lines like basic cable advertised in the late 80's or a homeless shelter hotline.
Nope! I'm just a guy doing a radio show on a very hayseed city's college radio station. The caller has been dubbed "Of Montreal" because no matter what a dj is playing and how many times it's explained that they have their own specialty thing going on and he says "Cool Bro. I respect that. I understand that but...." then goes on how his co-workers tied him up, wrapped him in a blanket and threw him in the river or something about "a girl I thought was cool but stole all my money and set fire to my bathroom last night." He then will tell whoever is on the phone that he wants to hear something rowdy/mellow/angry/laid back/punk/techno/aggressive/background music (it doesn't really matter what you tell him you're playing because he just picks up on the keyword you tell him) and Of Montreal is usually always the band he'd request that fit his bill for all the above.
As for this particular call though I had no idea where he was coming from. "Dude. I AM NOT PLAYING ANY OF MONTREAL TONIGHT....or EVER now that I think about it! They sound like they're the people who do the music for the Outback Steakhouse commercials."
"Oh, I can respect that. I don't like them anymore either. I hear you bro! I was just trying to ask you what is was you are playing right now?"
I'm irritated. I pause. I inhale deep. Then exhale deep. I let the pause hang again. I think "I wish we could get caller ID in the place". I hesitate again before I reply.
"I really want to punch you in the face!" Well, that's what I'm thinking at least. My (somewhat) rationality and "nice guy" image takes over. "This is Zola Jesus"
"Right on bro. I hear what you're saying. Is she from England?"
"Nope. Wisconsin"
"I can respect that. She's probably not from England then."
"She's probably not Kate Bush's angry daughter then."
"I'm guessing not."
"Do yo think she would set my bathroom on fire while I was sleeping"
"I don't know."
"Do you have her number because I would really like to talk to her because I...."
I hang up the phone before he continues to ask or tell me anything more. The phone rings 30 seconds later. The lady on the line meant to call another radio station.

Jun 6, 2010

Short's 6th Anniversary Blood Orange Wheat Wine

Wheat wine is still pretty much in it's infancy as far as fancy ale's are concerned but out of nowhere already many different tweaks on it have already began. Two of the one's we really liked here at Smashin' Transistors headquarters have been Founder Nemesis and New Holland's Pilgrims Dole. Both of them were excellent and quite original with what they're doing but the style, like it's older sister Barley Wine, a little of them can go a long way (and can lay down some hurt in the morning too). That doesn't mean we're gonna shy away from them. Just have to practice a bit of moderation when they come around.
Rumor is only a couple of cases of Short's 6th Anniversary Blood Orange Wheat Wine even made it to St. Clair County. Luckily, having a good rapport with a couple of the beer sellers in town we've been able to give it taste and since they're only allowing one bottle per customer per visit we can be moderated on how many we can drink at a time.
The color here obviously resembles blood oranges. A clear dark red color that borders on ruby. No head but a orange ring all the way around the top. The nose is quite interesting here. A orange blast comes out on top. Right after pouring it and giving it a moment to breathe the aroma could be noticed rising out of the glass and filling the room. Raising it up to give it a whiff the hops, which have a citrus aroma to them anyway, accentuate the scent even more. There's also a slight detection of the green peppercorns that we used in the brewing process too. If we were to judge this beer just off the scent alone it would be a winner.
First sip and it's made known that the smell was just teaser. The flavor hits the tongue & mouth just like a freshly peeled orange on a sweet summer day. The +11% abv sends quite a warm rush through the body on the first sip too but all and all the high booze content in the brew is hardly detectable. The middle has something similar to a very bold Sweet Tarts candy giving way to some more of the damp hop characteristics. Pepper comes out a bit in the finish but doesn't overwhelm any of the other flavors that this has offer. Orange flavors, some grassy spices and the dry hang of other wheat wines we've tried sticks around slightly in the end but for the most part it's very clean-n-dry and refreshing. Another way of looking at it is the strangest but tasty Sangria side road people can ride on. Even for those who aren't much into fruit/vegetable beers, present company included, will most likely wanting to have more than just one of these a session. In that case, I guess it's a good thing that, in this town at least, there's a one bottle per visit on these because I'm feeling good off just one 12 ounce bottle and could definitely be in the mood to down some more but then would most likely in the A.M. be thinking "Damn, how can something that tastes so good last night make me feel this spun out this morning".

Jun 4, 2010

KOMMIE KILPATRICK "Weird City" casette and "Life Sucks 2" CDR

You say the name Kommie Kilpatrick around these parts and it's greeted with excitement and cheers. Not because the band is a household word or anything but because it's a pretty funny play on the name of the former Detroit mayor who thought he was Teflon coated hip-hop superstar and anything he did wrong or bad wouldn't stick to him. Well, after having to resign from his mayoral gig, becoming a convicted felon and numerous probation violations which have now led him to one and a half to five years in Jackson State Prison even most of his staunchest supporters (the small handful he had left) are even thinking "Damn, what a dumbass".
The name is appropriate for the band too because they aren't in any way trying to sound like any kind of deep thinkers or or statement making intellectuals. Nope, they want to get drunk, get loud, maybe get in a fight, maybe even get laid and make it back home in one piece at about the same time the sun is coming up. Kinda like their namesake but without the police escort and strippers getting snuffed out for knowing too much.
The classic USA dumb punk sound of the Angry Samoans "Back From Samoa" and the Circle Jerks "Group Sex" play big into their sound. Quick blasts of obnoxiousness, most of the songs just barely top the one minute mark and a good number of them are over and done in half that time, about bad food, bad beer, bad hangovers, bad driving, bad luck and girls with bad, bad reputations that even these lunkheads have to think twice before taking the back to their place. Of course they DO take them back to their place but hey, they at least thought twice before they did. PUNK ROCK!

Jun 2, 2010

the PEOPLE'S TEMPLE "You Don't Know" 7inch

These Lansing via Perry, Michigan (Population 2065-making it the 4th largest town in Shiawassee County) brats first harassed the earholes at Smashin' Transistors about a year ago with their single on the Milk & Herpes label. That record was a loud & brash mash of Brian Jones era Stones worship, Back From The Grave digging and punk rock taking a psychedelic trip. The songs were jammed with abandon and teenage frustration. Hell, at the time they recorded it I believe a couple of them were still in high school. HOW COULD IT NOT BE FUELED WITH ABANDON TEENAGE FRUSTRATION?!?! That is, of course, what rock-n-roll is suppose to be all about, right? At the time we thought "They've really done their homework on how to do it RIGHT. Give them some time to develop at little more and they'll be the successors to the Black Lips crown" or something like that. After all, the Black Lips guys are all over 25 years old now. Heh! Over the hill. Who will be the hope for real ROCK-n-ROLL next young kings until the backlash starts and so on.
On these more recent recordings by the brothers Szegedy and brothers Young and other than both bands playing 60's tinged slop and jangle, the Black Lips references go out the window because these guys got their own thing going on.
"You Don't Know" has the sound of surf music gone to hit some waves in some sinister part of outerspace all lead by a Rob Tyner pushing the vocals into red testimonial. "Shoot Her Down" is loaded with wailing harp and dirt floor stomp. It's kinda like a tune everyone would like to hear Iggy Pop do for the last 35 years but know he probably wont. The flip is the total bad ass "Raft" where the band shows what they're excelling a super fast clip at. Psychedelic blues bliss all the way through. Guitar lines slither between the serpentine and Spacemen 3 swooshes & splatter while the vocals trade off with all of them sounding like a Saturday night sermon.