Thursday, April 06, 2006

Art for Spastics v.80

Stream the latest show at this link right here! (by tomorrow or too late)!

OR better yet…
Link to mp3 show archive (find "DJ Rick - Art for Spastics, Tue Apr 4") high & low bitrates available

HEAD -- Tireshredding -- Street Level Assault -- Evil Clown 1994

HEAD -- Pull the Plug -- Total Commitment 7" -- Evil Clown 2000
NAR -- Drunk and Benevolent -- The Belgian Gambit 7" -- Generic Label 1994
LYME REGIS -- USA -- s/t 7" -- SmartGuy *new
CAPTAIN 9's & THE KNICKERBOCKER TRIO -- Rock n Roll Paper Route -- Scum of the Earth -- Ripoff 1996
THE TRASHWOMEN -- El Farolito -- The Trashwomen vs. Deep Space -- Repent 1995
HOME BLITZ -- Hey -- s/t 7" -- self-released *new
GUARANTEED UGLY -- Soup Kitchen -- Fire Escape 7" -- Hangman´s Daughter 1995
STRIP KINGS -- Slow Panic -- Lightning Breed 7" -- In the Red 1996
OBLIVIANS -- Jim Cole -- Call the Shots 7" -- Goner 1993
THE REATARDS -- You Got So Much Soul -- Get Real Stupid 7" -- Goner 1997
REPTILIAN CIVILIAN -- Activist Judges -- Myspace Demos *new

CHEVEU -- Make My Day -- Dog 7" -- S-S Records *new
THE GLANDS -- Mutants on Motorcycles -- Don´t Tell Me 7" -- Some 1980

GROUND ZERO -- Nothing -- s/t 7" -- GZ 1979
TV TOY -- String -- 3-Song (2nd) 7" -- Permanent 1979
TV TOY -- Instant This/Instant That -- 1st 7" -- Permanent 1979
ANTEENAGERS M.C. -- Let´s Not Have a Party -- Let's Not Have a Party 7" -- Plastic Idol *new
FRUSTRATION -- Wait -- s/t 7" -- S-S *new

ANGRY ANGLES -- The 15th [Wire] -- Apparent-Transparent 7" -- Plastic Idol *new
HOSPITALS -- Sick Bird -- Bored Fortress Singles Club split 7" -- Not Not Fun *new
KK RAMPAGE -- Limb Removal and the Nipple Quiver -- Sides E & F 7" -- Rococo *new
SKAREKRAU RADIO -- Lord of the Gore Vidal -- split LP w/ Jerusalem & the Starbaskets -- Apop *new
DAMPADING -- Anointing Xray -- Laser Tattoo 7" -- Drazzig 1995
FECES MUNCHERS -- Battle of the Punk Pants -- split 7" w/ Godstomper -- True Til Deaf *new
OVO -- Foods Unite -- Miastenia -- Load *new
IMPRACTICAL COCKPIT -- Furrowed Frow -- To Be Treated -- Load *new
SLUMS -- Waiting Rooms/Chained to the Wall -- Demo CDR -- no label *new
SLEETMUTE NIGHTMUTE -- In Adulthood...Black Steel Sick -- unreleased LP tracks -- no label 2004 *request
NIGHT WOUNDS -- Caving In -- advance tracks CDR -- no label *new
BATZ -- Backpack Up -- self-titled 3" EP -- self-released *new
MISSION FOR CHRIST -- Pennies from Hell -- Pennies from Hell 7" -- No Trend 1984
NO TREND -- Die -- When Death Won´t Solve Your Problem -- Widowspeak 1985
SHRIN -- Desertion from Within -- Rin Liminal Switch Volume Three -- Records 2000
GATE -- Infinity Trust -- Guitar -- Majora 1992
SHADOW RING -- Spin the Animal Dial -- Put the Music in It´s Coffin -- Siltbreeze 1997

HAINO / MIKAMI / YOSHIZAWA -- title in Japanese -- Live in the First Year of Heisei -- PSF 1990
FUSHITSUSHA -- Magic VI -- Allegorical Misunderstanding -- Avant 1993


As you may already know, there's gotta be a good reason for me to choose to play anything on "Art for Spastics," so, if I'm gonna play anything even approaching "pop-punk," there better be a damn good reason, right?!?!

If you think "pop-punk" is a dirty word for what happened to it in the 1990's, try the band Head from Seattle. Having out-Ramonesed the Ramones on their two 12-inchers and coupla EP's, Head singlehandedly redeemed the term from complete disgrace for me. I first heard them on their "Street Level Assault" 12-inch which levelled me with undeniable hooks, the bass parts that go up an octave during the chorus/refrain, and great lyrics. I'd figured the band had split up since they've been so silent for the last six years, but some readers at Terminal Boredom said they played at SXSW as part of the Goner Records showcase, and others filled in details about an impending album release and discography CD. The picture above shows proof of their continued existence. I'll sure be happy if these releases actually happen. And if you're reading this, fellas, I still got the letter that Ree Ree Head sent us after reading my Sacto/Davis-area buffet reviews. Last year, I was involved in some serious talks with some friends about starting a Head tribute band with Todd "Hometown Atrocities" Urick and Mario "the Analyst" from Plastic Idol Records...we were thinking of calling it Total Commitment. We didn't quite have the total commitment, though (lousy!), but now we can buy more time before Head actually breaks up. Not too soon, guys!

Perhaps the best poppy punk band from Sacto's history was Nar, a band that featured Scott Miller, now of the Bananas, and Ed Carroll who later went onto FM Knives and now Lyme Regis. And if besides their Sacto roots you can't think of how such a sweet sentimental melody-fest can fit into my "format," well..."Smiller" is THEE biggest moan-wave afficionado I know. Dude is crazy about the Skaters.

Lyme Regis rose last year from the ashes of two great Sacto punk bands, the FM Knives and the Pretty Girls. Drums and vox carry forward the FM Knives vibe, which is still comparable to some of the best moments of UK bands such as the Undertones, The Proles, etc. Four great songs here, plus something new on Thee Raw Deluxe around the corner sometime, or so I hear. Next time singer Patrone--who was also thee power-bassist of the best Los Huevos records--tries to work me for eating at La Fiesta Taqueria--his fave place which I blasted for being "too yuppie"--I'm gonna warn him not to alienate his Davis fanbase. Musically, the dude has done no wrong since...I dunno, Duct Tape? That's an in-joke for him to read...sorry, everyone!

Captain 9's & the Knickerbocker Trio is a weird story which I'm not too clear on. We have an old, old 7" from the band's days in Pennsylvania. In the 90's, they must've moved to the Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley area. I've heard some people say they were from Sacto, and others claim Stockton. I don't know what it says about Sacto that they've gotta fight Stockton to claim a band that almost nobody cares about. That's not to say more people shouldn't care about Capt. 9's...they had some great songs! I love the cool, flippant attitude the singer has when bragging about his transgressions, and this song you hear here is a perfect example. I thought they'd broken up years ago, but they played a show in Sacto a couple weeks ago. I was at another show, but I'm watching for more Capt. 9's activity so I can see 'em again for the first time since 1996.

No matter which El Farolito location you prefer, this Trashwomen budget-surf classic goes out to all my Bay Arean burrito snobs. I just realized there's one in Oakland, too, but I'll never be able to eat there because the magnetic force of La Otaez is too hard to resist. Still gotta try their tacos and burritos that have fried chicken in them!

Little is known about Home Blitz, but I think they're centered near Philly 'cos the only other blogs to mention them are from around there. What a neat little record...full of the nervousness, spunk, and ultra-amateur abandon of early Half Japanese. The song gets derailed during the first verse so the singer can unwrap a new piece of gum, thereby earning a nomination for most endearing lack of professionalism since Mystic Records kept the tape rolling through so many thrash bands' false starts.

Guaranteed Ugly were a UK garage punk band, and I never heard enough of their records to speak expertly, but this "Soup Kitchen" song is great with its insistent budget keyboard gets into the Billy Childish/Headcoats conversation for its accurate approximation of that sorta limey sass. Same with the Strip Kings, who made some 7-inches in the mid-90's, most of which I never heard. But the B-side of this In the Red single really rips!

From the Oblivians' "Jim Cole" to the Reatards "You Got So Much Soul"'s a segueway that's crying to be made, so I do it every coupla years just to revel in it. Memphis' papa bears of blues-damaged swamp-scuzz hand it down to the teen phenoms who took it to new levels of misanthropy. Now both the bands are stuff of legend, so this segue's context has sorta changed. Why, I remember the first and only time I met Jay Reatard. He was all of maybe 15 or 16, a scrawny kid with a moptop and a snarled lip, but also nice and friendly. I was probably 22 or 23 at the time, but I was so stoked like normal people would be if they met a movie star on the street..."Hey, wow! You're Jay Reatard! I love your stuff, man! You have done so much at your age, it's just incredible...[blah blah blah]" I think he took this effusive adulation pretty well for a teenager.

Reptilian Civilian is a new young band from Portland, Oregon, who point to the Mummies as their favorite band, and from the sound of their four songs on their Myspace, they're off to a great start running with this inspiration. It's retarded and trashy low-brow shit with good energy...the best representation of this style that Portland has mustered since the Spider Babies dumped their organ player after their second single 12 years ago. The "breakdown" in the middle of "Activist Judges" is perplexingly searchy before the drummer gets back on track and solidly barrels toward the finish, but it is also ridiculous in a way that I really enjoy. I hope they never change they way they play that's a keeper.

Here's the flip of the Cheveu song you heard a couple weeks ago. Also, look for a new Cheveu song soon on S-S's upcoming "Tete a Bebe" compilation LP of great new bands from France.

This Glands song is the interesting, if a bit trifling, B-side of a forgettable powerpoppy new wave song. "Mutants on Motorcycles" kinda sounds like something that should've been on Ralph records in 1980...somewhere between mid-period Chrome and MX-80 Sound, but goofier. We don't have a picture sleeve, so no other info exists other than what you see above. Care to fill me in on what you know?

I've succeeded in determining that this Ground Zero was the one that was active in Boston in 1979...not Pittsburgh. I haven't heard the Pittsburgh band to judge them, but Boston's Ground Zero are tough to beat on this record that is hard-edged new-wave artpunk.

TV Toy were band from New Jersey in the late 70's and early 80's. Their three singles I've heard have some great moments with geometrical riffs and the odd bit of sax or keyboards. I just discovered in my research for annotating this program that they released a full CD discography including these singles and what appears to be an LP's worth of material. Above, you'll find a link to more info about it including instructions on how to purchase it. And, please, I imbed all these links in the hopes that people might help these bands and artists out if you like what you hear.

Anteenagers M.C. are France's best punk rockers since...perhaps ever, and I know that means I'm suggesting they are a realer deal than Metal Urbain or Guilty Razors. Or Los Collabos or Tolbiac's Toads (what little I've heard from those). Their "album" from a 1-2 years back--more precisely, the Anteenagers M.C./Happy Family split LP--was a piece of punk history. It's the first album to serve as one band's debut album on one side, while the flip is a compilation of bands paying tribute to them with cover versions. They had me from their first single in 2003 on SDZ--"The Future('s Coming Tomorrow)"--and a few weeks later, I saw them live in Sacramento, and they were fantastic. The original UK artpunk triumvirate of the Fall, Wire, and Swell Maps are obvious influences. This latest Plastic Idol EP is the first stateside release, and it's four more great songs with a little more aggressive hard-charging sound.

Frustration is another French band, and I believe they share some members with Anteenagers M.C. Whereas the Anteenagers' art/punk ratio is about 35/65, Frustration's ratio is more like 60/40, due in large part to the keyboard being featured as a lead instrument on some songs. S-S has released four more Frustration songs on this EP, which includes a song that's a complete reworking of Joy Division's "Interzone," but with the Stoogely guitar riff left largely intact. Another four songs by Frustration exist on a 12-inch EP from early 2005 on the French label Born Bad. So far, they've been infallible.

Angry Angles is the latest band of Jay Reatard, which is essentially a duo with his gal Alix. This is not totally unlike Lost Sounds, but this is less frantic, more restrained and cool, and minus the twinge of gothiness. The cover of "The 15th" by Wire is an excellent B-side to the double A-side on this 3-song EP, again on Plastic Idol.

If you haven't subscribed to Not Not Fun's "Bored Fortress" Singles Club, it looks like you're too late to snatch up these great split 7-inches of ace bands--ranging from folky indie pop to forbidding noise--in lovely packaging as you've come to expect from this superb DIY label. The Hospitals/Afrirampo is the only split so far to be a perplexing match, but no matter...this Hospitals song totally rips! The echoey guitar riff and moan-wave vocal sounds like a wartime siren and big brother warning recorded underwater, and the rhythm is like a giant army of big dumb droid marching off to battle.

Here's another KK Rampage song. I'm curious to know what any reader's accounts of them might be, especially if you've seen them in live performance. I've heard of some rather crazy stunts being pulled by these boys, but I've only ever read first-hand accounts of people who were very unamused with their antics. Are these people just a buncha whiners? In any event, I'm very curious to see them come out west sometime.

Skarekrau Radio is from southern Illinois, somewhere across the river from St. Louis. The best band ever from St. Louis was the extreme braincell-devastatin' Drunks With Guns. I hear echoes of those delightful moronics--minus the metal riffs--in SKR, but it's also crossed with the same kinda lunacy as Caroliner Rainbow, which has given rise to a band mythology of sorts. The band even has their own religion centered on worshipping this babygod Kuu, and you can easily spend two hours at the SKR website linked above reading about it. They recorded an album many years ago called "Paramecium Fudge vol 1," and the last few hundred or so were repackaged and sorta re-released by Scenery Audio Archive. I got myself a few copies of it to give away to friends because it was such a fun record. Very unpredictable stuff! This split LP is the newest thing they've done, and now they are more predictable, but perhaps better for it. This is primo scuzzrock which fans of the Bunny Brains would really enjoy.

Dampading was a fleeting noisy DIY rock band from Jacksonville, Florida, perhaps America's only very large city with almost no musical legacy. I mean, even San Jose had all those powerviolence bands in the 90's! Dampading is the only band I ever heard from Jacksonville, but they were a good one. This B-side sprawls out with psychedelic guitar splatter and excessively reverbed vocals, and then recoils into a tight catchy riff that really packs punch. Unfortunately, I learned that earlier this year, a member of the band died, and the story is linked under the band's name above.

The Feces Munchers were Davis, California's entrant into the powerviolence sweepstakes. Before that, they were a Palo Alto-based ultra-lofi noise-core duo (think Meatshits or early Anal Cunt) who recorded a 350-some-odd-song demo cassette in a Stanford University dormitory. Guitarist/vocalist Paul Lee was still in high school then, but he hosted an awesome radio show on KZSU back then under the name "Organ Donor." When he came to UC Davis, he continued this activity on KDVS and recruited some DJ's for the Davis version of the band, including Mick Mucus (of Anal Mucus, Girls Soccer, and more recently Gift of Goats), Jeremy Osterloh (then a bigtime harsh noise freak who ran the Varicocele cassette label), Aaron Langenbeck (later of Corpse Fucks Corpse and now Switched-On Vultures), and a roommate Eric who was affectionately known as "Swisspoon" or "Swisspoons" because of the time he got really high on some ungodly coctail of drugs which caused him to speak in gibberish for hours, and he kept saying "Swiss" and "poon" in many combinations and variants. Eventually, at Organ Donor's house, the word "Swiss" would take on the same meaning as "Smurf" in The Smurfs. It had all kindsa different meanings in any and every part of speech. They had their own language! The Davis version of Feces Munchers only existed for about a year or two, right at the end of the powerviolence era. They had the lead bass, dual vocals, and tricky drum fills and breakdowns like other powerviolence bands, but every song was a big in-joke based on true events of "cornheading my sesh" and getting "ruthlessly whippy-chipped" by people being "hella-unmellow." And even though the band's been history for 8-9 years, this split EP with Godstomper is brand-new, and it sure sounds funny in the year 2006 to hear a hardcore band have the funny samples from obscure movies between each song. This record is so late that the song "Jerkbashing in the (916)" had to be renamed for the area code change to (530). Even I forgot that nine years ago, Davis was in the (916).

On this song, Ovo matches ferocity with even the fiercest powerviolence band, but on this new album on Load Records, this Italian duo reveals some serious versatility. There's short, sharp shocks brutality like this half-minute number, menacing midpaced noiserock, and even long, dramatic pieces that remind me of Neubauten at their broodiest ( e.g. "Seele Brennt"). I was just thinking about how good they were live at Grandma's House a bit over a year ago. I thought it was pretty great how the woman in the band started bowing one of her dreadlocks, and yanking on it to actually make a talking-drum sorta sound.

I'd be remiss if I didn't tell everyone that the best record of the most recent awesome new releases from Load Records is "To Be Treated" by Impractical Cockpit. Damn, that is probably my favorite new thing of 2006 so least until I hear the new ...Worms or Luttenbachers albums. I don't know if I'm reading more into it because they're from New Orleans, but this stuff sounds like it could've only been recorded under extreme distress, yet there's still some rays of hope shining through the bleakness. Grating monotony at its most powerful and starkly beautiful. I saw this band back in 2001 or '02 at the Loft in Sacto, and I remember liking them. I bought their first album which had its moments, but sounded overall too much like too many bands' first records...cheaply done, muddled, bad sound separation. But I remained interested in their future. Now, with "To Be Treated," I discovered that I missed four albums worth of IPCP. I didn't know this was their "sixth album"... Has anyone heard these other records, and are they worth tracking down?

Slums are a new Portland band comprised of some former members of Sleetmute Nightmute, and they continue in the same direction as that band with a stunning style that is more menacing, and more rhythmically aggressive and daring, than nearly every other post no wave band on the planet. And with as many as three guitars, they achieve a bleak chiming guitar tone that is probably the most authentic soundwise to the original no wave bands. I also love how the band's gang chant vocals sound like a chorus of zombies. They sound tremendous, and I can't wait to see 'em! New vinyls soon to be released...this should just be a little appetizer.

I got a request for Sleetmute Nightmute even as the Slums track was playing...thanks! Just email me your requests! This song is from an unreleased album that was supposed to appear on CD from Troubleman in fall of 2004, but it never came out for some reason. It would've received great reviews, I'm sure. They also had a 7-inch and appeared on a couple of compilations on Kill Rock Stars, but none of those songs rivalled the best of this unreleased album. When the Gossip came to Espresso Metro in 2002, I remember that Sleetmute (what fans called them for short) showed up unannounced, and we were like, "Uh...there's already four bands playing tonight." And it was a weeknight, so we had work the next day. We were actually reluctant to let them proceed with playing, but about a minute into their set, we were convinced that it was more than worth it. What a great live act they were! Three guitars, three zombie mouthbreather vocalists, and a drummer who was the most masterful "lead drummer" ever. I dare call him the lead melodic instrument in the he is in Slums, too. Truly, this is a very original concept for a band.

Night Wounds are youngbloods from Maine who moved to L.A. recently and integrated into the exciting scene of young bands there which is supported by venues like the Smell, Il Corral, Ghetto Gloss, etc. They are also sorta post no wave and bleak, but also very danceable...a great party band! Effects-augmented sax makes things sufficiently weird, and kinda like Slums/Sleetmute, the drums are very aggressive and are the centerpiece of the sound. Guitars scrape and scratch while the bass oozes and throbs, and the vocals are singsongy and catchy enough for the entire audience to join in. Very efficient and economical! A new album is coming, including this song.

Here's some more Batz for you. They played at Fools Foundation in Sacto last Friday, but I missed it. My girlfriend was a little bit under the weather. In a few days, their main band Hot Girls Cool Guys leaves for a brief west coast mini-tour. L.A., San Diego, Bay Area, get ready! These are the most promising young dudes to come along in the Sacto area in sometime, and they're really making things happen, not only as a band, but as organizers of events and such. They're gonna play Bakersfield even!

The first No Trend album--"Too Many Humans..."--came out on No Trend Records. I never realized that No Trend was a real label that released other artists until I came across the Mission for Christ 7-inch. It's kinda like a dance-accessible version of No Trend--or Flipper--with ridiculous fluttering chorus effect on the bass and vocals. The same song is on the B-side in dub version.

Here's a song from that great No Trend album! If you have a copy of that CD that Teen Beat put out of all their early stuff, I'm a player for that...I mean, I'll pay you cash! Get in touch!

Shrin put out at least three volumes of "Rin Liminal Swtich," but as far as I know, only the first two came out on CD as well. This vol 3 is a three-song 12-inch, and the label really is simply called Records. So good luck finding it. Primo drone psych from the mysterious New England group.

Gate started as a solo project for Michael Morley of the New Zealand noise/drone/psych legends Dead C, and I think "Guitar" was the first Gate album. This is my favorite track, but later Gate stuff is better than this overall, and perhaps Gate improved because Morley surrounded himself with excellent guest musicians to bounce ideas off of.

I love the Shadow Ring, one the weirdest bands ever! The vocals are so deadpan and the lyrics so unusual, it makes Mark E. Smith sound like Tom Jones. That is actually only mildly hyperbolic, really!

This sprawling noise-scree of Keiji Haino, Kan Mikami, and Moto Yoshizawa is totally whacked, and it's far too appalling and formless for most, and that's why I put it near the end of the show. If you can brave it, you win! A CD reissue of this trio was made a couple years back, and it included material from other albums.

Fushitsusha is the band that Haino's most famous for, of course. Can anyone tell me if they're still active? The band's got a feature article on, but it doesn't answer my question.

Thanks for listening!


Fatty Jubbo said...

I used to love Capt. 9s & The Knickerbocker Trio after hearing their song on the Very Small "vinyl Retentive" comp and the song "goddamnit I'm pissed". great! raw! flippant! sardonic! but slightly strange enough to not fall into boring and dumb catagory.

I remember I wrote them in High School and I did a drawing for them or their other band "The Knockoffs"...which I didn't enjoy as much. Same spirit but less of it and delivered a bit less interestingly. I don't know if they ever used the drawing (they wanted a drawing of a fat woman digging in a garbage can) as it wasn't very good.

artforspastics said...

Damn, if I ever need to commission someone to draw a fat woman digging in a garbage can, YOU ARE THEE MAN!!!

matthew pendleton said...

fushitsusha haven't performed live this year, but that doesnt mean they have disbanded. The drummer (ikuro takahashi) left to go live in sapporo northern japan, and when haino goes there as part of a national tour they have played together as fushitsusha. Now that ikuro takahashi seems to be playing drums again, with bands like LSD march and a reformed kousokuya, there's the chance fushitsusha will reform. But perhaps IK is scared or something.

the annual fushitsusha 7 hour live, at Housei university, tokyo, usually around christmas. if that doesnt happen, then I guess we will know.

sanhedolin seems to be the current haino gigging band, at least once a month I think this year.

Anonymous said...

any idea how i could get my hands on the spider babies first 7"s with the organ? can't find the vinyl anywhere, and can't even find mp3s anywhere.

artforspastics said...

Not sure I'm much help here. I stupidly sold my own copies of those first couple of singles in 2002. I justified it by figuring that anytime I wanted to have a listen to 'em, I could just go listen to the radio station copies we have here at KDVS. At a recent record swap, I saw one of them priced at $25, and the dealer said that was "a great deal." I never check eBay, so I don't know what to believe. If you're a fan of the early Spider Babies, you gotta track down that Mr. Suave 7", too.

RickEdmonds said...

The jacket picture for "Ground Zero" is the Boston Band. I shared a studio space with artist/painter Mark Olin who was one of the members and a fellow student at Mass College of Art. He designed the jacket and produced them on one of the early Xerox color printers. I'd love to get MP3s of that first album. Mine was lost in a divorce.

sexy said...