Apr 30, 2016

Smashin' Transistors #15: Counting Stones Skip

     Torrential downpours of tone to wondering if the entire band stuffed their pants with a bong.
     This one starts off with Bailter Space and ends with Frijid Pink. In between there's the new things from Space Raft, Burnt Envelope, Jack Oblivian & the Sheiks, Army of Infants, Bummers Eve, NASA Space Program and Ex-Debs.
     We hear a song from Iggy Pop that's from my most favorite solo album of his that is not The Idiot or Lust For Life. Some Funkadelic, The Hunches, Black Abba and a bunch more come along for the ride too.

Apr 23, 2016

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Projector Readymade

     I've been shying away from IPA's (of the regular as well as the Imperial/Double/Triple of the breed) the last year or so. I used to quite a fiend for them. A roasty malt foundation with hops bringing things like funk, flowers, tang, bitters and bite. Outside of a few amazing new (to me) one I've just haven't been feeling a lot of them. Seems they want to be hop bombs and not much else. Roasty and sweet malts being told to go hide and don't come back out. No character. No complexities. I guess chewing on nothing but grapefruit peels and pine nibs for a couple hours isn't as appealing as it once was.
     This Imperial IPA from Maryland brewery Stillwater first got my attention because of the label design. It looked more like a Crispy Ambulance record cover than a beer label. It sent me some sort of message that this was not shooting to be another "I dare you" to a beardo walking his dog down to the coffee house. It seemed to be something different.
     Pouring hazy amber in color with a modest and creamy head, aromas start wafting through the air once it settles into the glass. Tangerines and papaya come to find first. Then some peaches and cherries. There's some candied bread in there too. It's all makes for a bold but well mannered scent.
     They use 5 different hops in this. On first sip you notice the levels and what they are there for. They don't taste all mashed together in some loud blare. It's more like they're part of an flavor orchestra. They all have their parts and they play them well. Fruits like mango and oranges sprinkled with black pepper and bitters first. Next it's some raw honey. Grassy (as in the lawn, lemon and Mary Jane) earthy dankness come along closely afterwards. As it breathes the middle and towards the end cherries, some white grape dryness and a bit of lime zing become more pronounced. The malts string it all together with sweet caramel and fresh bread. Watch out though, the abv hits 9% and it keeps itself unnoticeable until it pulls a sneak attack.
     Complexities, flavors and some innovation (they use flake rice in the malting process which will probably drive some people nuts due to its adjunct history.) Stillwater whipped up great one here.

Apr 19, 2016

SPACIN' Total Freedom LP

Photo via amplitude-photography.blogspot.com
     If the Birds Of Maya are suppose to be the soundtrack for cosmic bikers to rumble in deep space zero gravity then Spacin', the offshoot combo headed up by the band's Jason Killinger, is an invitation to invite all their space' rockin' mamas to come out and boogie in a bean field while they're away.
     Moments of Spacin's first album, 2012's Deep Thuds, had a chug and choogle that would keep on' truckin' til it hit walls of squishy weirdness. There's a lot of that going on for this go-round too the hash laced brownie backbone slippin' gets a bit groovier than before while some bits of oddness get, well, odder.
     The album's opener, "Over Uneasy", is like waking up feeling hazy & grumpy but then stepping outside into a nice day. The snare snap sets a pace for walking around the neighborhood, while the fuzzy blurting of mid 70's van rockin' guitars shine down like a more than welcomed sun. It builds up like taking in the colors and smells of spring. It feels narcotic. So much so that no one at first notices the weird blistering that's caused half way through from the guitars excreting a pestilential ooze of bent notes and fried tones.
     One thing that keeps rolling through my head while the record spins is the whole "If you like ________ and __________, you'll dig Spacin'. Something like "Titchy" and the album's title track are like CCR realizing they aren't from the swamp so they score some mushrooms and go hang out at the go-kart track crossed with the Velvet Underground's Loaded if it was dressed in cut off jean shorts and hanging out at the beach. Space(man 3) expeditions are taken on "Batfolk" and "US Ruse." The former a clattery launch piloted by a goth/garage blaaaang. The latter does a epic motorik orbit around the moon gaining inertia every time it passes.
     Not every trip on here are fuel assisted though. There's the strobe light flashing midnight walk through some south Asian market square that's "Stopping Them" and "Bent Into Shape" which sounds like how it feels to walk through a foggy woods with squishy, mossy ground beneath your feet. 

Apr 18, 2016

Carol Anderson "I'm Not Worried"

     One of the things about these lost Detroit soul records of the 60′s is finding out a little history on the label and especially the singers and players that appeared on them. Little slivers of info from here and there sometimes lead into a trove of history. Other times a lot of things remain a mystery.
     Located at 5725 14th Street in Detroit, the Whip record label was ran by a fellow who’s name might have been James Davis or Jim Riley. The address was also the same for another label called Dotty’s that was owned by a cat known as Clifford Marshall. To add even more confusion both labels also used the exact same catalog numbering system and we releasing records around the same time frame. It has been speculated that they were all just the same person operating under different names for possibly different (perhaps even nefarious) reasons. The name C. Marshall appears as both a songwriter and producer here so until someone who actually knows a bit more about the whole situation comes a long (as I am just a fan really. My historian research hat only fits rarely) I am gonna assume they all different personas for whatever reason.
     Carol Anderson was the third record to come out on the Whip label. The a-side, the horn laden and smoky mid tempo’d "Taking Mind Of My Love", is no stranger to Northern Soul fans but we’re gonna listen to the flip. To me it’s just got a hotter bump to it and I dig the sass and the way she sing “Oohhh Yeah!” in it.
     In the late 60′s and early 70′s Carol also released records on the Mid Town, Explosion and Soul “O” Sonic label. It has been noted that those labels were started by her mother, Esse Anderson, who was a hairdresser as well as Carol’s manager. All three labels (as well as the hairdressing business) were based out of their home at 443 Navhoe St. in Detroit. Esse also has songwriting and production credits on the records that Carol sang on through the 70′s
     Esse passed away from a bout with cancer in 1983. Carol died just a year later.

Mar 29, 2016

Smashin' Podsistors 14: Backwoods Polebarn Burnout Barroom

     On this episode we get a bit rustic..and then primitive. Some major Michigan representing goes down with things from the Mountain Babies, Clark Paterson and The Bob Seger System.
     As far as new thing we haven't played before we've got Jack Oblivian & the Sheiks, Black Mountain, En Kernaghan Band and Lysol. You'll hear classics from Spacemen 3, Mott The Hoople, Porter Wagoner, Pale Saints and Ike & Tina Turner.
     There's also some Spacin', Life Stinks, Counter Intuits, Milk Lines and more for good measure too.

Mar 24, 2016


     Ever wonder who actually buys those 3 liter bottles of budget soda? And how they drink it all before it goes flat? The six explosive blasts going on here might explain those questions.
     Two acutely addled goons from a Massachusetts village that accused one of its residents of being a witch a decade before the Salem Witch Trials make some rattled punk rock noise. Massively distorted guitars spray a foul blare over a battering ram clatter of beats right from the get go and the nasally pissed off nerdy tirade to jabber along with just makes things even more delightfully disturbing.
     Some songs like the space punk "Trapped On A Planet" and the almost straight up rock-n-roll if rock-n-roll was still played by the seriously damaged of the rattled "Country Joe" and the down in flames puke blues/it garage punk/is it hardcore pulverizations of "Two Men" and "Ugly People"  sound like they were inspired by watching an out of control freight train plow through a row of rusty cars and mow down onlookers.
     In another instance "I Don't Wanna Wanna Be Like" takes a Ramones motif and, unlike a lot of bands that do nothing more than ape it, things are much more manic and it gives the impression that these guys were pissing on an electric fence and hammering out the song at the same time while the records closer, "Beat Off The Brat", may be similar to a song title by da brudders but is way more some Alice Cooper riff inspired proto-punk sandblasted down to a bare frame.

Mar 17, 2016

SODA BOYS "Burger And Fries" 7inch

    The clock is edging towards lunchtime. I've been trying to eat healthy on consistent basis. Y'know, cutting back on things fried in fat and eaten from a paper bag. Like any vicethe fast food siren song starts and the growling gut adds in some harmonies. The itch for the cow and starch and salt and sugar get itchier. The stomach growl is turning into full on howling. Listening to this Soda Boys record at this time of the day perhaps wasn't the wisest idea of the day so far.
     Using the obvious metaphor of food=love (or to more specific =Hopefully scoring some poon) on the a-side "Burger and Fries" , this St. Louis combo (see what I did there) has the same type of artery clogging grease that ran though the veins of Rust Belt wisenheimers the Gizmos and a fueled by bacon fat bounce of the Gears. It' like a dose of KISS lunkheadedness at it's finest sketched by crossed-eyed Troggs at their horniest. After several listens I am starting to think that tape hiss isn't from some lo-fi recording situation but because the band had a griddle full of 100% all beef patties sizzling in front of them while the tape ran.
     The flip's "Doghouse" rocks the grease bin back and forth until it tips over. What oozes all over the parking lot is the kind of thing zit faced arcade rats would spew after a week of hearing Iggy & the Stooges Raw Power album fighting their way out of a pocket transistor radio.

Mar 5, 2016

Smashin Podsistors 13: No Black Cat or Flaming 8 Ball Tattoos

     Number 13, huh? And me with out a gas station shirt.
     New(ish) things this time around from Counter Intuits, Jack Oblivian & the Sheiks, The Wolfmanhattan Project, Life Stinks, Whatever Brains, Pumice and Urochromes.
     Blasts from the past from Dome, Cheater Slicks, Lou Reed, Eric's Trip, Sinister Six and Ultravox.
     Some still fresh goodies from Choke Chains, Savoy Motel, Tang Soleil and Spacin'.
     Plus MORE! MORE! MORE!

Mar 4, 2016


     Thomas Jackson Potter has always been a part of some stellar rock-n-roll combos. There was his trifecta of bad ass drummers he had backing him up through his Bantam Rooster days, the punk rockers gone funk jokers in the Detroit City Council and, of course, his time on baritone guitar in the most crucial party band line up of the Dirtbombs. His latest gang of malcontents (Lindsay of No Bails on guitar, skinsman Chinese Millionaire Mark and some Ben Franklin looking cat who's background I don't know anything about but is a pretty rockin' dude on bass) may the mightiest one yet.
     Even if the album's lead off track "Safe Word" wasn't so claret splattered, it would still sound like guts flying everywhere. Potter's serving up his patented bloodcurdling holler while the band down-strokes madly like a spun too tight Cosmic Psychos.
     A demented AmRep/SubPop at their miscreant high points loom in a rock-n-roll swing on songs like the absolutely sinister "Moisture Technician", "She Collects Calendars" (a song which also raises the question "was the melody line slightly nicked from the title theme of Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!?"), the sound of Devo herks-n-jerks being mutilated by sledgehammers on "Uptight" and the cruise town, burn rubber and flip off the cops when they pass by and out of the line of sight "Cosmic Shadow", "Cracked Dracula" and "Trinity Sue."
     The record is not all just totally punk scuzz bombs and dirt bag teenage fuzz mustache and sleeveless jean jacket jams though either. "Random Name Generator" finds blues getting strangled and left for dead down some totally creepy side street. Then along comes some sick pervert who fancies himself as a dive bar Bryan Ferry with an unhealthy obsession for the first two Psychedelic Furs albums on "Rock Paper Rapist" to gather up the pieces and take back the pieces and put in a jar to keep by his bedside table.
     Some dogs can be trained with a little tough love and a lot of work. Yanking hard on the leash though doesn't seem like it'll tame the rabidness here though.

Feb 19, 2016


Photo via Wolfmanhattan Twitter page
     Mick Collins, Kid Congo Powers and Bob Bert. All three of them noted for their work as superheroes of freaky dirt sounds, champions of weirdo swamp blues and purveyors of cavemen grind.
     So what happens when you get the trio in a room together? Well, the a-side "Smells Like You" is early 70's Stones sway broken down and busted, Mick laying down some primitive soul pleading, a guitar solo that is set to a sear than sizzle  and a beat that's like three funky drummers playing at once.
     "You Are My Glue" sparse and seething and sleaze provides a backdrop for Kid Congo to sound like a Latino vampire reminiscing about lost loves while sitting in a smoked filled porn theater booth.
     No matter which side you go for first, both are neon illuminated with an antediluvian blaaaang one would imagine from cats that were guitar players in the Gories and the Gun Club and the guy that battered the skins on some early Sonic Youth records and in the Chrome Cranks. The thing is now though is it's not imagined. It's real life.