Showing posts with label 12inch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 12inch. Show all posts

Dec 26, 2018

U-NIX Nuke Portland 12inch EP

As I grow older and move a little slower (sounds like a corny country song, huh?) I find that sound as motivational fuel has become much more effective.

As a youngster, pretty much anything with a snappy tempo could fire me up for facing any day. Now being (as my chillun' call me when I am outside of earshot) grizzled, I need something with a bit more higher octane to help me blast off into another day of earning my paycheck.

Lately, the thing that I've been blasting a full volume before heading out the door each morning is this debut slab from Portland's U-Nix.

A whirlwind of raging hardcore blasts off every face within the reach of this record. Meant to be played at 45, some may find themselves doublechecking playing at that speed due to how berserk of a sound scene this slab rips at some moments. I, for one, thought I had the speed cranked to 78 even. Thing is though, my turntable doesn't offer that option. Slowing it down to 33 was interesting though as it then sounded like a sounder of swine way irritated that supper had still had not been served.

That is really here nor there though, right?

It's a sound galvanized by the lacerating guitar slashes from John formerly of NASA Space Universe. The record first drill its way up from some molten and enraged place in deep earth with "Landlord." Once it surfaces, the rhythm section rolls through like a tornado, battering everything it is path while a bedlamite orates acerbity for most things that surround it.



Consider it just a little prep test though, because it's followed by the longest track on the record. Sure, "Society's Victim II" still only clocks in at a minute and a half, but it's a minute and a half of dizzying jolts with an intricacy that causes just as many jaws dropping in awe as it does making people wanting to bash into each other.



You'll be glad that such prep was done too as the relentless fits of convulsions from a possessed surf riff on "Hobby" and the neck-snapping stops that happen on "Punitive" are not for an abecedarian sort.



It's a twisted and discomforting record and perhaps even framing it as a hardcore record is lazy. For instance, there's a way tracks like "Liberal Hardcore" are sharp needle jabs into the psyche and make basking in disorientation a most enjoyable way to spend fleeting moments.

Get the doses of radiation at Feel It records

Nov 30, 2018

TERRESTRIALS s/t 12inch EP

You know that really sketchy oil change stop out by the edge of the city limits? Did you know after the place closes every evening the dudes that work there chew a couple microdots and pick up musical instruments they have hidden behind the old plastic gallon milk jugs filled used motor oil?

As of a result of a battered boombox that blasts a radio station which leans heavy on some kinda Alice Cooper/Foghat and associated doob rollin' ilk, they think they're all about the same hard rock action by once the scleener fry starts its'a sizzlin', a grimy garage boogie boards a psych-ships towards a galaxy of fuschia colored streets and sapphire shaded cheeseburgers.

Ascension is quick. Judging from the gospel-tinged organ that thrust the record's opener, "Aman Düde", into the atmosphere it is launching off from some sort of place of weird worship. The title of the song alone evokes images of kaleidoscopic flashes on one blurry, gnarled hand and a ratty teenage mustache on the other.

From there the record swirls through leaded gasoline fueled space journeys of Z-movie alien abductions, laser beam zaps and wigged out punk rock squirming. The record doesn't end with them returning to earth either because the final track, "Moonblade", sounds like they convinced a hillbilly bar on some other celestial body that they're the party band that planet has been waiting for.

Taste your departure ticket at Heel Turn

Sep 5, 2018

PIOUS FAULTS Old Thread LP


At another location where I do a nightly music column (which is usually short and quick as far as me pontificating compared to here), I recently said that Brisbane's Australia's Pious Faults take "punk rock's hardcore form and strip it down to the rawest minimum."

While as a lure to get some to lend the band and ear it's a quick impression posing as a fair assessment but there's more to this record than just speed and rage. Any thrashing about becomes paroxysmal movements immediately once "Cope" starts things. The convulsively twitching dynamism of it and tracks like "Field" sets a tone for the addled expedition the rest of the record brings.



Tinges of late period Black Flag (I'm talking 'round 85/86. Not whatever that thing was called that Ginn put together to tour with a few years) seem to seep in on "Worship The Surface I" and "Not Me." The difference is that the jagged guitar lines and tempo of the former seems they may have more of Beefheart/Birthday Party thing on kicking holes in the brain than whatever Sonny Sharrock lick Ginn thought was a good idea to do a squishy wet noodle jazz metal emulation of over and over again while the latter takes a back to the garage basics swing, kicking the speed back up instead of making it another mud trawl.


Not stuck to one piece of pavement and not just blazing as fast as they can in a straight line, the weaving and bouncing on this record is like getting hits of fresh air courtesy of a kick in the chest.
Question your virtue at Feel It Records

May 1, 2017

PLAYBOY Celebration 12inch EP

Bonifide freaks and scumbags have always been a part of any type of music but especially punk rock. So have people simply pretending to be freaks and scumbags. I dunno which side of the fence Montreal's Playboy actually stand on, but my ears are telling me whichever it is, they're at least waist deep in something disturbed and decomposing.

Flipper's "Sex Bomb" or the Stooges Funhouse album (if it was left in the back window of a car for a few hours on a sweltering summer day, that is) because of the strangled horn squalls that blurt and squeal all over this record but even with that taken into consideration, these merchants of noisomeness are leaving their own particular trail of slime behind them as the slither down their path.

The aforementioned combos used saxophones for setting the mood of sonic strangulation. It's all clarinets here, man. It goes beyond that simple bit of trivia (or nitpicking if you prefer.) Whereas, in the Stooges case at least, it was some kinda Coltrane/Coleman/Sanders/Ayler adulation trip that a particular type of college town boho would brandish for a freak out. I'm not even really sure if these guys, who came from a background of hardcore bands, have ever listened to Ascension, Karma and/or Spiritual Unity. Even if they have though, that's not how their freak out's go anyway. The noise the horns make may not burn a whole through your forehead so your third eye can finally see, but they can soundtrack nightmares or provide a neon illuminate a seedy side street adventure.

When the electrical wobble denotes the ignition switch has been flipped on "The Traffic" it's a wild guess if you are being blasted toward the stars or quickly submerging fathoms deep. The rubber mallet beat of a bassline churns a queasy rhythm over crashes and bump while you get ranted at by someone who has bigger issues than road rage. The same type of thing fuels "The Weather", a song that makes me leary of having any stranger wanting to engage in conversation with me about what the current temperature is because I have a feeling the talk will end up being beyond disturbed in a matter of moments.

If you are claustrophobic, listening to "Inside", which I played on my radio show last week and lead some to call and ask if I was attempting to do a Roxy Music/Revolting Cocks mash up, will not help you with your condition and may even make you fear spaces that are event tight while "Outside" has you questioning once again if you're losing oxygen because you're out of the ozone or underwater.
Get it at Negative Jazz

Jan 10, 2017

SUBURBAN HOMES ...Are Bored 12inch EP

     Anyone blow off not checking out Suburban Homes yet because their band name choice had you thinking about the Descendents and, well, something paying homage to it just didn't seem like it would move ya? I can claim ALMOST to being guilty of such a thing. I eventually came to my senses.
     What was it that brought me around? First off, this record (as well as one before it) were released on Total Punk records. Secondly, I started seeing Swell Maps comparisons being bandied around
     The latter probably just thrown because the band had a song called "Television Spies" (not "Helicopter Spies" but close) on their previous record and there's an overt bit of Brit provincial DIY weirdness going on. The sound here leans, hell, dives splat face first into the begrimed puddles of the Desperate Bicycles at some points and, at others, ransacks the Homosexuals comportment for agitational motivation but perhaps not for melody.
    Whether addressing the doldrums of  lame neighborhood mundanity by employing fidgety guitars and antagonistic disposition  on "Small Town Boredom" and "Cul-De-Sac" , questioning the illusion of romance in the modern consumer age with the help of a blared out jangle on "Barbie & Ken" or doing an deciding to do an stomp as hard as an art punk can on first world problems like "I-Phone Suicide", the band gathers up shatters and pieces them together.
     The Suburban Homes are making soundtracks for the death of the mall and not whatever the last of the mall punks are scrambling to keep alive.
Total Punk Records

Dec 4, 2016

DD OWEN S/T 12inch EP

     When sitting down to type out some word about this record I was going to take the angle of something like "More often than not when an artist decides to record under has own name after being associated with others, they tend to do something a little more introspective and personal. Sick Thoughts/Chicken Chain/Gluebags dude DD Owen though has always wore his heart on his sleeve."
     After I read the one sheet to the record though I found that it was taking the same angle. That just leaves me to talk about the songs themselves.
     Yeah, that heart on his sleeve things I mentioned early? I forgot to add that the sleeve is encrusted with the dried blood the heart has spewed out as well as it being puke stained and stinking but it's worn there none the less.
     "I Should Have Been Aborted" launches things off like the Heartbeakers throwing an adenoidal conniption fits and from then on in, it's pretty much good time celebration of all kindsa things negative and depraved. Fizzy carbonated buzzsaw's like "Shattered" and "Degenerate" make a greasy mess like the Reatards hacking up the Ramones and putting them into a deep fryer, "Son Of The Devil" summons a bong packed with rat poison to be lit and Fonzie rockers may find themselves lured in by "Low Life Baby" 50's feeling only to find out their flies in a web and about to be eaten by the most repugnant spider ever. Spin this record once and feel an infection coming on. It'll be the first of many times to follow because the sickness becomes infectious.
http://12xu.net

Nov 16, 2016

FUR HELMET S/T 12inch EP

     When space blues crashes back into earth it can make several different sounds. Depends one where it plummeted into and whether it explodes in a fireball or disintegrated into a gazillion pieces.
     In Fur Helmet's case it's a bit of both.
     Comprised of some of the rabble that make up NYC's band's like JJ Doll, Hank Wood & the Hammerheads and Pleasure Industry among others, the band takes the swamp punk of the Scientists and the Gun Club, kick it around until it's pocked with few new dents and ripples while staying fully aware, as the opening track "Ether" shows, that there's plenty of beauty that lies in the forefathers bent dingy grooves and negative attitude boogie .
     Eschewing deliberately lo-fi recordings that plenty of the bands that hone this sort of sound for something more sonic in adds a bit to the grit and grime trip. The swirling blare of "Void Drip" makes the brain think it is actually going to disengage from your skull and acid biker scuzz of "Lunar Tomb" will have looking over your shoulder thinking death wheelers are hot on your trail and wanting to introduce you to Satan.
     Even when the psych trip seems it is entering some type of calm after a storm like on "Curse", the skies still seem like they could start dripping with blood and needles. Things probably ain't gonna get much easier nowadays considering the way the less that 25% of this nation decided a couple weeks back so many are considering other planets. Prepare yourself for a long travel through the galaxy with "Soaked Skull" on the headphones. Just remember though, once out in the nebula the doors back into the land of gravity might be locked when you return.

Oct 29, 2016

TURQUOISE FEELING S/T 12inch EP

Photo courtesy of Turquoise Feeling's Facebook page
     The sounds of the Rust Belt. It's brash but earnest. It's normally a bit of shambles but beneath the racket there's allurement of melodic disharmony. It's the type of sound that is often found being made by people stuck in Midwest cities that are a couple hours drive away from any place "cool" but they don't really care or in towns where there's a state college. Even in the latter instance it's not made by folks who's parents are footing the bill. It's usually guys that have to work two job and schedule any higher education.
     It's the sound of the shaggy and thoughts articulated not through grandiloquent tomes but from folks that'll lend you a smoke and then converse with you about the bullshit in the world around you both. They're the cats who when put on a bill a with some national press darlings, they will play louder and harder, bumming out the Pitchfork readers there to say "I saw them back in..." if the buzz band goes any farther. They'll also get someone who's never seen the before declaring them the best band in town halfway before their set is done.
     While the landslide of rumbling bass and blood drawing guitar scratches of  the records opener "Feverfew" make evoke thoughts of NZ's Flying Nun sound at some sort of mega-unruliness such or the way "Post Partum" could be from early 80's and much more turbulent Athens, GA, Turquoise Feelings are 100% wearing their heart on the frayed flannel sleeve Rust Belt. Them being of the Ohio chapter, noises of other denizens from the Buckeye state creep in and out of their commotion then get bent into a new directive. For instance, both the former and latter above also may prick the eardrums as a Death of Samantha being cranked through car speakers being put to use after being dug out underneath of pile of discarded and vermin ridden tires.
     More closer to their home base, the mangled jangled guitar interplay of "January Sisters In Drag" and "External Oblique" are like the Cheater Slicks getting all bent of out shape on Neil Young & Crazy Horse bootlegs which means can listen to them over and over all day and most likely will. The hyperactivity of "Dreadful Things Done By Girls" and the drunken sing-songy melody got me thinking of Gaunt without really sound like them at all.
     The one thing that all the songs in common here though is that they're all like mini epics. I didn't set a stopwatch or anything, but they all pack what they want to do and say pretty quickly and too the point.
     It's been awhile since I have gone on an ALL OHIO music jag but I think it's time to do one soon and this record is going make it place among some other records from the state I tend to listen to still on a regular basis.
www.heelturnrecords.com

May 21, 2016

BLOODY SHOW Root Nerve 12inch EP

     Ohio's Bloody Show kingpin Jah Nada has a lot on his mind. With Laura of Raw Pony bashing the tubs and Sex Tide's Chris hard rockin' sick licks as reinforcements to his gut rumbling bass thumps, he doesn't hesitate letting people what he's thinking.
     Opening with "American Pimp" the record drops a lumbering bomb of thudding scuzz and rock-n-roll flash. Given the song title, anyone expecting some hustler jivin' to kick in on the mic are gonna be taken aback cuz Jah belts like a voice of annihilation here. While the listener is still fazed from that detonation, they get hit with a one-two clobber of the high powered Detroit proto-punk of "Magic Negro" (think The MC5 and Death playing at the same time while the most agitated soul shouter on the planet calls bullshit on several points of view) and the incensed "bell hooks", which gives a take most wont bother to discuss in some feminist theory course. Side one closes out with some Ohio punk rock history by giving Pere Ubu's "Non-Alignment Pact" a furious clobbering.
     The rumbling that kicks off side two's "Back On The Track" rolls into town like bikers fed on fuzz, swamp water and street fights. The enraged boogie "When I'm High"  is like some kinda 70's Ted Nugent party/fightin' jolt blasting out of a muscle car if Ted was a million percent less douchebag, stopped towing the Nancy Reagan line and listened to more Eddie Hazel and less whatever makes him going around claiming he's from a long spiritual line of bluesmen. The mood gets foreboding on "Fuckaround" with it's metallic tinged downcast goth chords and stoned disposition providing an icy pillar to make an inconsolable rap and bellow from.
www.heelturnrecords.com

Jan 19, 2016

HALLELUJAH! s/t 12inch EP

     The volume on my stereo was cranked up pretty high because I just got done blasting something else out. I wasn't paying attention how high though. I dropped the needle on this record and it probably looked like a scene for a cartoon. My hair blowing back from the sheer volume. Hell, my entire face being blown to the back of my skull even.
     Dealing in obnoxious feedback laden, blood splattered assaults, this Verona, Italy combo like to make things super, super loud and really, really ugly! From the first searing screeches and hollering of the song that bares the same namesake as the band it is made clear that they are wielding an aural circular saw their bound and determined to use it to lob off some craniums.
     Some songs here, such as the blink and you'll miss it "Homo" and the repeatedly barreling head first into a wall of flames pace of "Red Mestro", veer towards freakcore that boil with tension til they blow their stack. Others, like the "Power Of Cin" barrels like an engulfed in flames 18-wheeler flattening everything in it's path and "Space" debunks any theory that the galaxies black hole are not silent at all but are full of brain hungry galactic beasts.
www.facebook.com/hallelujahgesu

Dec 18, 2015

SEX TIDE "Vernacular Splatter" 12inch EP

     Every time it seems Columbus, Ohio is down for the count punk rock wise, the city comes back and swinging hard. In the last couple of year or so the newer sweet noise coming of the town include, but limited to, Raw Pony, Nervosas and Day Creeper. Another one to be added to that list is Sex Tide.
     Scorched and tormented "Are You Even Alive" opens this 6 song 12inch not by asking the question politely or slightly nudging to see if you're just sleeping. Instead they go about finding out so by running you over with a truck that is fueled by the sludge that Filth era Swans would've been baptized in had the ever attended the church of the Cramps on a day where Kat Bjelland was giving a guest sermon.
     The guitars (courtesy of Chris Corbin, who did time with Geraldine and Mike Rep and occasional agent in Obnox's ear-drum rattling mission Jah Nada) slither like snakes through grass made of dagger blades in hunt of their prey on tracks like "Why Don't You Want Me", "Siren" and "Shame" and induced a sleep with one open paranoia boogie on "Cleveland Avenue" and "Neighborhood Safe Space." Above it all, singer/drummer Aurelie Celine provided a primal rhythm that is like voodoo beats thumped out by wrecking balls and brays in a way that it would take little if you wanted to convince someone that lady in town everyone thinks is a witch actually is and she has a rock-n-roll band.
     Only listen this record right before bed time if you want wet dreams that involve spiders carrying buckets of napalm crawling over you.
www.facebook.com/SexTide   

Jun 19, 2015

UNIFORM "Perfect World" EP

     As a little kid where you afraid of thunder? To help you get over the fear did your folks tell you not to worry as it was just the gods bowling and the sound was simply balls rolling down the alley?
     Well, if that's the case the rolling rumbles down the alley here are that of Zeus and Thor are a two man team throwing perfect games while leaving cracks and divots all over the alley.
     Comprised of The Men's Ben Greenberg and Michael Berdan or Drunkdriver, Uniform deal in, despite the record's optimistic title, a doom laden metallic industrial sound that's akin to the clamor of Cabaret Voltaire's The Mix Up and Big Black's nail gun to the cranium than it is the Motorhead goes disco workouts that Ministry filled dance floors with.
    Opening with the title track, a reverberating electronic throb pushes to the brink of pent up tension. A bass drum thump joins in which is quickly followed by dense guitar slashes that repeat chords that are like opening salvo of a fist in the air 80s heavy metal anthem and audio demonstration on how to perform a death on something by a thousand tiny cuts. When Berdan's echo laden and dripping with contempt verbal bawl appear the floor drains are already clogged and gurgling back bubbles of blood.
     The intensity doesn't wane on the next two tracks, "Indifference" and "Footnote", with the former sounding like a hatchet murder of a shoegaze band in a House of Mirrors and the latter like watching a slow motion loop of the evidence of said murder scene being destroyed by dynamite. Speaking of explosions, "Buyer's Remorse" follow and it detonates into a post hardcore blast that repeatedly slams its head against the wall in a rapid fire succession which refuses to let up for close to six minutes.
     With all this darkness going on one must wonder if a little light is ever going to be let in. "Lost Cause", a collaboration with Coil's Drew McDowell, does manage to let some in but it's a harsh white light that illuminates an autopsy room rather than sunshine to bask in. "Learning To Forget" closes out the record by moving like an iron armored caterpillar inching it's way through a maze of ice. 
12xu.net

Apr 8, 2015

OBNOX "Boogalou Reed" LP and Blaxxx "For No Apparent Reason" 12inch EP

Obnox photo by Dale Merrill
     "So how ya doing?"
     That was a questioned posed at the party at the Smashin' Transistors commorancy to Obnox's Lamont "Bim" Thomas following the gig they played here in town last summer concerning the rave reviews the band's records had been getting.
     "You mean am I getting rich?" Lamont laughed then added "I'm just trying to get as much music out there as I can before I die."
     With a couple decades of making music with a bunch of different combos under his belt such as the Bassholes and the Puffy Areolas one may figure he's already achieved leaving an indelible mark on the punk rock scene but with him being in the drivers seat with Obnox he's making sure of it.
     Like the two full lengths that have preceded it, Boogalou Reed, the first of three 'Nox albums planned for 2015 (and who knows how many EP's and singles along the way) is bursting at the seams with tumult but also again manages to cover different ground instead throwing rocks through windows of the same places over and over again.
     Rolling in like a venomous sludge, the album opens with "Wonder Weed." The song's (credited to Stevie Wonder but unknown to this writer where it has appeared on any of his records) caterpillar that weighs a ton guitar crawl and cosmic organ that obscure Bim's voice in the mix act as an roller ascending effect for the album. Slowly leading the head to the top of a peak and building anticipation for slamming on the g-forces and whatever unexpected twist and turn that are to follow.
      Equipped with a super rock riff that's made air guitar thrashing and beat swings jazz cat showing every hardcore rat-ta-tat-tat drummer what's up those g-forces first kick in on the next track "Cynthia Piper At The Gates Of Dawn." Fifties rock gets spun in to a dizzying three chord blur on the celebration of Saturday Night (and perhaps jab at the squares that don't "get" what Obnox is getting at) "Too Punk Shakur."
     While the album is full of plaster cracking action like hesher rockin' and name droppin' Johnny Cash & Jimi Hendrix jam "Slaughter Culture", the warp speed space truckin' with no seat belts on rides of "Marinol", "I Climbed A Mountain" and "Protopipe", the fist in the air ode to the ones with good taste on the decks "All Hail the DJ" and a cover of CSN&Y's "Ohio" who's torrential downpour of guitar noise conveys a sense of unrest and disorientation that Neil Young was probably attempting to get across but them damn hippies he was working with were just to mellow, the album is not all about getting the feeling of plummeting into the earth at 90 miles per hour.
     The album's title track takes trip-hop on a whole trip with a washes of feedback and reverb, a tumbling rhythm that has a bass drum and snare that thumps at the temples and Bim singing like he's kicked back on a big red velvet couch. Along the same lines is the shoegazing if pasty Brits had better hip-hop beats "Empire." The centerpiece of the tracks that have that sorta vibe going on though is "Situation". Intergalactic funk finds a cloud (consisting of sativa smoke, of course) to float on while wiggly guitars squiggle groovy squawks that would have Ernie Isley nodding in approval and a  psychotropic beat reverberates the room.  

     While down Texas way to play at 2014's SXSW, Lamont found a diversion to keep his needing to make up a new song mid occupied when not playing on stage. Making contact with OBN III's Tom Triplett and Orville Neeley, the trio went ended up in Neeley's practice spot where there was a "four-track up and gear in place, not to mention a gang of joints and a bottle of Wild Turkey."
     With Lamont behind the kit and a mic in his face and Tom and Orville armed with guitars to split skulls open, the trio crank out four massive blocks of pinned in the red noise. Opening track "Blaxxx" rumbles and roars in a way to make sure everything is on its way to be reduced to rubble and "Cut 'Em Down" sounds like Blue Cheer and Funkadelic dueling each other in a garage disposal. Side two starts with Lamont giving a quick sermon about the bullshit music business before the band fires up sonic bulldozers to slowly plow such bullshit. "Get A Hold Of Your Life" serves up finishing moves that makes the Stooges Metallica KO sound like Frampton's Comes Alive in the best, most funked out punk rock way possible.
12xu.net

Apr 2, 2015

CCR HEADCLEANER "Cokesmoker" 12inch EP

     Always with the intent of driving a drill bit in to the temporal lobe, this go 'round for San Francisco's deviling's of dumpster diving psychedelia they take one for making one inch dowel holes and aim it right at the third eye.
     Taking up the entire A-side of of this 12inch EP is the 11+ minute "Cokesmoker." The song rolls in like bad weather. Squalls of biker rock wah-wah guitar glissade over a coarse rhythmic throb while voices, sometimes resembling a bad drug Nick Gilder and at others a smashed mumble, intone ominous thoughts. Feedback piles up building a thick wall of psychedelic caterwaul that is not a a bunch of swirly colors but a bright, blinding white light that guides the spaceship which starts starts honing in for a place to land toward the tail end of the song.
     On the flip,  "Out Of Design" pumps like the beat of the heart mic'd and run through a bit of gain. Sounds resembling snippets of bluesy guitar twang and ghostly voices promenade to the tension. "Dark Afternoon" gurgles and blurts like things left on the Silver Apples cutting room floor being reassembled randomly.The weird trip ends where it started with a reprise of side one's maelstrom.
     No need to warn anyone about not operating this under heavy equipment as it IS the heavy equipment.
ccrheadclnr.tumblr.com

Dec 26, 2010

Sunday Sonance For January 2011

Well, The speculations that the first Sunday of every Month gig Franck and myself have been doing for close to two years now at the Raven Cafe were going to come to an end ending up being just rumors. Join us the night after New Years Day for eats, drinks and, of course, tunes.
More info at http://www.ravencafeph.com/

Nov 30, 2010

The Holiday Sonance

The first Sunday of every month Mr. Franck and yours truly drop the needle on some tracks at the Raven Cafe in downtown Port Huron. People come in to listen and enjoy the food, drinks and folks while they are there. Conversations, fun and games always happen. Our next one is on December 5th. If you're in the area stop on by and say "Hi"
More info at http://www.ravencafeph.com/

Oct 28, 2010

November's Sunday Sonance Shenanigans

The first Sunday of every month Mr. Franck and yours truly drop the needle on some tracks at the Raven Cafe in downtown Port Huron. People come in to listen and enjoy the food, drinks and folks while they are there. Conversations, fun and games always happen. Our next one is on November 7th. If you're in the area stop on by and say "Hi"
More info at http://www.ravencafeph.com/

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."
"Nope."
"Wisconsin?"
"Yep."
"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.
http://zolajesus.com/

May 27, 2010

FEVER B "The Lonely Sailor Sessions" 12inch EP

Be it his time in the Fevers, the Sweet Faces, Donny Denim and whatever other projects he's been involved in Brian Hermosillo aka Fever B knows his way around a loud, blaring and catchy as a virus going 'round pop song.
Armed with a rickety but reliable 4-track and some melodies inspired from tunes the "Good Times! Great Oldies" stations don't play anymore because they've decided to make room for Huey Lewis & the News and Billy Joel to skinny tie bands who albums haunt the dollar bins to Chinn & Chapman songs kids of the 70's know by heart (even if they don't know who Chinn and Chapman are but just by the bands who recorded their songs) to the the lo-fi garage trash 7inch blasts of the 90's-"The Lonely Sailor Sessions" encompasses a summer sound of carnival rides, late nights outside, frozen Cherry Cokes and young love that can (and usually does) go awry.
Five songs that blare but don't screech. Everything is stripped to it's bare essentials, once again proving the point that you can layer things in tons of gloop and throw all the garnishes you want but unless the meat that is the base isn't grade A what's the point. The priority here are the hooks that grab a hold where after even just one listen a person finds oneself humming the chorus and wondering "What IS THAT song?" Fever B doesn't meet those priorities. He exceeds them! Mark this one down as one of Smashin' Transistors highly suggested records for summertime 2010.
http://burgerrecords.webs.com/

May 24, 2010

the GOODNIGHT LOVING "Arcobaleno" 12inch EP

The start of summer for more years than I care to count I have made a mix titled "Up North" and the year that correlates to it. It started with cassettes, then CD's and now a folder in my Mp3 player.
It's all the songs I want to hear when I'm miles north of this town, smelling the pine, wood smoke, bar-be-que and the lake (being it one of the Great ones or one of the over 11,000 inland ones we have here in Michigan. Over 11,000 of them! HAH! Take THAT Minnesota) with not one chemical factory around for 100's of miles. Music for listening to the late night crickets and bullfrogs and the birds at sunrise.
Tunes for hitting the highway, rolling the car windows down and looking at the lush green land and big sky vistas. The kind of songs you can both fish to and fire up a dirtbike and hit some hills, have ice cream with the kids in the afternoon and beer with the grown ups after dark.
The Goodnight Loving first weighed in heavy on those mixes in 2005 (when all they had were some demo tapes that were circulating around...one of the songs on it was "Up North Girl" which seems so appropos for such things. A couple of years later a recorded by Greg Cartwright version of was released as the a-side to the Goodnight Loving single my label, Bancroft, released. And before you ask, YES! I do have a scant few copies of it left if you are looking to score one) and have ever since.
Though there's only 5 songs on this (all on one side-the other side being a beautifully etched earth, sun and flowers motif) I'm having a hard time paring down what track of two I should include into this years mix.
"4&3" starts off the record with surfing & spying feel. It's followed by "You'll Own My Heart" where a listening to CCR on the back porch mood finds it way into a hazy late night Nashville jam session.
Both "Sweet Clover" and "Pinalope" nod in the directions of 60's pop-The former with a Shangri La's if they were scuffy boys from Wisconsin kinda of thing; the latter something like bloodshot eyed Mersybeat and the ferry crossed the Great Lakes. "Orphans" closes the record like a rustic and happy go-lucky sing along that includes a whirly organ bit in the middle.
Finding a band where one member writes consistently solid songs over a period of a few albums seems to be becoming a rarer and rarer treat in these times. Goodnight Loving has the advantage of each member coming up with good ones over and over again. I think instead of trying to nail down to just a song or two from this on this summer's mix I may just have to take everything they done with me on my up north trips.
http://www.myspace.com/wildhoneyrec