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SIDS – Space Ranger in a Manger – Kandy Kane 7” – Army of Bad Luck/Stickfigure *new
BATTLE CAT – Beer Battered Wives Club – s/t 7” – Army of Bad Luck *new
SHEARING PINX – Crime Waves – Poison Hands dbl 3” – Not Not Fun *new
SLUMS – untitled – 2nd Demo CDR – Self-Released *new
T.I.T.S. – Lovely Home – Throughout the Ages – Upset the Rhythm *new
FUCKWOLF – The Dream – self-titled CDR – Kimosciotic *new
LOS KIKES – Gummo – s/t CD – SShaking Recordss *new
UNHOLY SWILL – Studly Dudly Mexican Type Thang – v/a: Fuck That Weak Shit vol 3 7” – Pit´s Bull 1994
YIKES – Pots – Secrets to Superflipping EP – Upset the Rhythm *new
YIKES – Holy Handshake
CRASH NORMAL – I Know – My First Stop – Rococo *new
ROSE FOR BOHDAN – The Amazing Bird that Shit in a Bag – Then Everybody Hugged 'Racism Is God' – Deathbomb Arc *new
ROSE FOR BOHDAN – The Fear
BUSINESS LADY – Fidgitable – split LP w/ Rose for Bohdan – Half Adder Press 2005
CRACK UND ULTRA ECZEMA – A Way to Enjoy – self-titled – Tes Fesses *new
KID 606 – Meet Me at the Bottom – Pretty Girls Make Raves – Tigerbeat 6 *new
HORA SOMNI – Liberation Call – HS Demo 2006 – No Label *new
CANCER FAD – Don´t Mess With My Brother – Myspace mp3 *new
THIS SONG IS A MESS BUT SO AM I – Piles and Piles – split 7” w/ Barr – Oedipus 2005
ARGUMENTIX + SQUID BABY – untitled – collaboration 3” CDR – Below PDX *new
ARGUMENTIX – Tarantula Downpour – Live on KDVS 04 20 06 3” – Below PDX *new
ROBEDOOR – Ritual Obsidian – Shining Smoke – Long Long Chaney *new
ROBEDOOR – Dreamed Redeemer – Christ's Vipers – Chocolate Monk *new
ROBEDOOR – Pathless Tribes – Grey Gates 3” CDR – Arbor *new
LOOPOOL – The Power of Others – Useless Unless – Arbor *new
HAUNTED CASTLE – Killer Rad Bees – v/a: Arbor CDR compilation – Arbor *new
DAME DARCY & THE HELPLESS SUCKLING WHELPS – Little Red Riding Hood – v/a: Happy Boy Margarine 7” – Starlight Furniture Co. 1993
MASONNA – Masonanie USA – v/a: Happy Boy Margarine 7” *request
SQUIRMBO – Pillow Talk – v/a: Happy Boy Margarine 7”
BLACK TEA – Tomorrow´s Bay-Con – Winners of the World´s Worst Rap Competition 7” – Teach 1998
ULFHEDNAR – untitled II – Live at Stork Club 06/01/06 – No Label *new
VHOLTZ – Teenage Weaponry – Class of 1988 CDR – GSSD 2005
MOMMY WON’T WAKE UP – New.Bass.Meant.for.Millionaires – v/a: Why Is Anything Forbidden? vol. 2 – Deathbomb Arc *new
DYNASTY – Turning Away – Animal Disregard 7” – Dynasty *new
DYNASTY – TFF
COUGHS – title unknown – Bent Babies 2006 Tour Edition CDR – Self-Released *new
END RESULT – Shock Theatre – Ward – Ruthless 1985
MISSING FOUNDATION – Burn Trees – 1933 – Purge Sound League 1988
STICK MEN WITH RAYGUNS – Scavenger of Death – Some People Deserve to Suffer – Emperor Jones 2002/1983
PAINT & COPTER – The Wizard – v/a: Submit – Nillacat *new
FANG – Berkeley Heathen Scum – Where the Wild Things Are – Boner 1984
PTERODACTYL – I Can See a River – I Can See a River 7” – Cardboard 2005
PARTY FOWL – Twilight Clone – s/t cassette – Dementoid *new
LOS KIKES – Paint Away – s/t CD – Shaking *new
LOS KIKES – Bezerker
CELTIC FROST – Progeny – Monotheist – Century Media *new
We begin here with two bands from Atlanta, SIDS and Battlecat, who are on the same upstart label. Both are rapid-driving demoniac futurepunk. Battlecat strikes with guitars, but SIDS is a synthpunk band, and a really good one cut from the mold of the early pioneers such as the Screamers and Nervous Gender. None of these songs are suckier for it, but there are rhythmic breakdowns and other hallmarks that suggest this band was touched by the influence of mid-90’s-era emo hardcore. The singer sounds the same for both bands, so I assume that these bands are more closely related than merely sharing a label and hometown. Both records are beautiful works of art, too; the Battlecat is a stunning color vinyl of deep blue with white mixed in. The SIDS 7” comes with a CDR containing the same program.
Shearing Pinx are a new Vancouver, BC, band of next-level no wave worship with a split personality given to bouts of doom ‘n’ gloom, outbreaks of violence, and narcotized emotional detachment. Drummer Nic Hughes also does fantastic work in the band Channels 3 & 4 and his N.213 solo project. At the heart of all of these songs—even at their freakiest and noisiest—is a sturdy center of rock ‘n’ roll, and a couple songs actually swing pretty well, as if they were built from the riff of a Sonics song, and then transfigured by spidery guitar-scree, bleakness, and rasping palpitations. Coming to an abandoned schoolhouse near you, Sacto! (July 22 with Night Wounds, Abe Vigoda, and Hot Girls Cool Guys…don’t miss that one!)
Despite playing their own city of Portland ever so rarely, Slums made it to St. Paul, Minnesota, last week to play the End Times II festival that was put on by that bulwark against bogusness that is Matt St. Germain. They brought their second demo with them which is quite a break from the first. Whereas the first demo featured three songs of sleekly appealing, bleakly imperious godhead no wave, this demo scraps songs altogether for fits of nervous fidgets, frustrated grumbling, and despairing murmurs. Bathed in tension, this demo sounds like a warm-up for an ugly break-up. But let’s hope the band’s got a future as promising as on their first demo. File this under: useful for freeform noise/rock radio DJ’s to talk over. That is not to say that this sucks, though…don’t get the wrong idea. This is one of the bands I’m most excited about today.
I first heard about T.I.T.S. when friends said they stole the show when they opened for The Dipers at the Golden Bull in Oakland some time ago. I saw the Dipers at the Hemlock in San Francisco, but people at the Oakland show said “You were at the wrong show, man! That band T.I.T.S. stole the show!” And everywhere I went, I’d hear this sentiment echoed for weeks. Some weeks passed and finally a bad website was founded by founding member Rose of Zeek Sheck. An early version of this song “Math” was included as an mp3. It sounded like a plodding menace poorly recorded, but not as intriguing as the band’s “ex-members-of” credentials. I wondered if the exaltations were merely because the band are all pretty ladies. Then turmoil in T.I.T.S.-land…Rose split from the band and started T.I.T.S. 2, there were rumors…I didn’t know what to believe. I figured I missed out for good. But T.I.T.S. persists, and they have made an outstanding and unique album available now on UK import. Plodding, dirgey, and heavy describes much of the music, but pop hooks yoke you in when you least expect it, and the angelic gang choruses bestow the graceful spirit of kind witches which also imparts you with the knowledge that they can pummel your ass if you’re evil.
As we say on the radio, “EFF-Wolf” are a San Francisco trio including Eric and Simon of the recently defunct Curse of the Birthmark. This is totally burly doomy/gloomy deep-dub moan-wave with chattery/clattery reverbed snare, extraterrestrial guitar, and gigantic earthworm basslines that seem capable of boring a new BART tunnel into the bay. Seems like a great “head band” to this straight-‘n’-narrow flier. I can’t wait to segue Fuckwolf and Mark Stewart + the Maffia sometime real soon. All you other freeform DJ’s, I called dibs on that segueway!!! (This the advance CDR of a proper album out soon on Kimosciotic. Look for it!)
So, I guess the rule for racial epithets in band names allows for epithets only if the race or ethnic group targeted by the epithet is represented within the band’s membership, especially if the band is entirely comprised of members of that race or group. Los Kikes are from Israel, and they have made an album that brings together two disparate influences like perhaps no other band in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. This band somehow succeeds in melding fuckophonic “budget-rock” a’la The Mummies with the buzzing lo-fi brutality and depravity of black metal. Soriano sez: “like Mummies meets Venom in a wind tunnel.” I move to strike “Venom” and add “Gonkulator.” This combination might sound like a trainwreck on paper, but to hear it…you’ll call it evil genius!
I tried for years to start a band as dumb, mean, and as imposing of their will as Unholy Swill, and I might’ve almost succeeded once, but no dice. It’s still somewhat of a dream of mine. The “budget Brainbombs” from New York sang songs about shooting their bosses, but also spouted bile over even the most ridiculously petty circumstances, such as driving behind small cars. The “Legacy of Stupidity” CD came out last year and compiled some live hacked covers with all of their 7” material, except for this one song from a Belgian compilation EP which always gets me hungry for burritos.
Immediately following the demise of the Coachwhips, I saw a press release for Dwyer’s new “main project” OCS (or Ohsees or even Oh Sees (depending on the day or the way the wind is blowing)) which hinted that John Dwyer’s days of raw, wild, high-energy partyrock were over. Whoever wrote that didn’t see Yikes coming. Dwyer sings and plays guitar at the edge of no control here, and yet this is more ambitious and masterful than anything he did with Coachwhips or Pink & Brown. The twin guitar attack of Dwyer and Eric Park of Fuckwolf conspires to build up a gnarly, coarse-grained congestion of guitar-scree that finds relief when drummer Mike Donovan (also of Sic Alps) fires up the tempo and unclogs the pipes; then the loogie hits the wall and the party starts in earnest.
When I first heard Crash Normal back in 1999 on perhaps their debut 7” on Royal Records outta France, I totally flipped for their raw wild art-damaged garagepunk with a dash of “digital hardcore,” then still trendy thanks to Atari Teenage Riot, Alec Empire, et al. Their digital moments were strictly punk, though. Very lo-fi and scuzzy and just great! Their newest album suggests that Crash Normal have scrapped that techno element and focused on the proposition that Pussy Galore was pretty awesome at their best, but they still could’ve been better, and this is what they would’ve sounded like if Jon Spencer didn’t ego-jizz all over the record, and this is how raw it would sound if the late-80’s zeitgeist studio production standards were thrown out in favor of real, worthy punk rock production. Although I kinda miss the creativity of the earlier digital HC-influenced Crash Normal, I have trouble finding anything wrong with this beautiful new album.
I still need that first 7”--the "Nothing I Can Tell" EP--for my collection, though. Get in touch if you can help. I’m ready to pay!
Here’s two more from the latest Rose for Bohdan CD, which now I realize kinda reminds me of a more demonstrative and incredibly ecstatic version of Wingtip Sloat. But this also has its moments of low-rent techno creep which are outstandingly integrated. The whole album just flows together like a great freeform radio show. Superb songs with epic melodic lead bass and the most sincere cheer, and they’re interspersed with wonderfully weird and interesting audio bits and interludes.
From last year’s ruling split LP with R4B, here’s the strangest song from Business Lady’s side, a song of sexy muscular energy with a dervish-like guitar refrain. I imagine doing the most famous of Russian folkdances with the alternating legkicks whenever I hear that guitar lick blister and swirl. There’s also some really sweet cello in the end which cuts loose in the free rock payoff at the song’s end. The guest cellist is Madigan, formerly of Tattle Tale. As a solo artist, she was a rather big deal here in Sacto and Davis to fans of the folky side of the riot grrl movement in the mid-90’s. She seemed to have so many L.U.G. groupies at all of her shows here. Either she faded out or I lost track of her, only to rediscover her here adding demeanor and diversity to one of my utmost favorite bands on the planet. Oh, and those rumors about the breakup and reformation…they’re all true, I guess. New album soon! Tour in November? I’ll report the facts as they come out. You know I’m all over it!
The new CD by Crack und Ultra Eczema is an outstanding artpunk delight of fractured flows and absurdity rendered with enough cohesion and significance to register as not a gimmick…more like great! Hysterical female vocals and retarded male vocals tag team as songforms alternate between grooving and stuttering, or, in this case, oozing along like a somber, atmospheric deathrock march before heating up at the end.
With each new Kid 606 release, I’m always interested to hear what totally unexpected or blatantly obvious sample material will land in a crack in the wall of glitched-out electronic concrete (as in musique), and how massive will that wall be built, only to be destroyed by breakcore or next-core missiles under the command of the frontline software of the foremost and pioneering edge of electronic dance music. And I’m not much of a fan of dance music. So much of it is trifling. But Kid 606 seems really important to me. That’s why I’m very pleased to tell you that he’ll be performing live at the next Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom. This one’s number IV, and it’s presented by Freeform KDVS on Saturday, October 7, 2006, at Plainfield Station in the boonies between Davis and Woodland. This one’s gonna be huge and diverse; LSD March from Japan, Micheal Hurley, Numbers, and even our first hip hop act (a great one, too!), Third Sight w/ DJ D-Styles. In a week or so, we can announce the rest!
Next are three bands playing a special show in a basement in Sacramento Thursday night at 1915½ 22nd Street. It gets an 8:00 start with a new Davis band called Hora Somni. I saw them play last weekend in the basement of the Turtle House in Davis, and these boys are onto something. E-Bow guitar, synth, a bent keyboard, and miscellaneous electronics jam together in a diverse array of sounds that stretch from icy goth to rhythmic powernoise to screaming sociopathic power-electronics. Cancer Fad are a new band from Santa Rosa and ex-members of Are Black. I sense these guys taking their previous fascinations of screamo into darker experimental depths as their tastes have veered into the avant-garde. There’s still screaming, but whereas “screamo” is a silly histrionic fashion-based format for kids with an extreme penchant for over-dramatizing everything, this is substantial and expansive and raw and primal, and all things great punk or great noise should aspire to. This Song Is a Mess is probably an inspiration to both of these new bands. TSIAMBSAI is the one-man project of Freddy Ruppert, and it’s grown from meandering Casiocore to full-fledged industrial-strength pro-wheat chaff-separator that absolutely crushes the weak of spirit with gigantic beats, epic goth synth, scads of noise, and über-sincerity torn from the pages of his deepest darkest secret diary. If you don’t mind discomfort and find it rather rewarding to approach, check this out.
Argumentix is thee “Boss of Goth” also known as James Squeaky, and just this month, he has unveiled his new DIY label, Below PDX. His first two releases feature his own solo act, and the very first is a 20-minute war of the sampler machines which pits Argumentix against a new Portland experimental artist known as Squid Baby. This show includes an excerpt which takes you from minute two to minute five. BelowPDX02 is from Argumentix’ live performance here on KDVS on night two of his “Flip Off Hummers” tour with Dead/Bird. This was an engaging, aggressive performance with good sound, and the CDR captures it in its entirety including the between-song banter. And what a strange coincidence that this was recorded on 04/20; James was actually in a band called Meet Me @ 4:20.
Robedoor is like the sounds of spooky supernatural spirits resounding and reverberating in a deep dark cave, but that is not to say it’s always so macabre or intimidiating. What’s intimidating is keeping up with the bevy of CDR and cassette documents that this L.A. duo—which includes Britt who runs the awesome Not Not Fun label—release on a multitude of DIY labels. Most Robedoor jams stick to a simple yet effective format of starting slow and quiet before ramping up in intensity to blustery stormlike proportions. I took their three newest CDR releases and made a megamix outta three jams culminating in a layered live “remix” of “Pathless Tribes.” I took two copies of this CDR and played them together with approximately a second of lagtime between the two so that you could dig double the trippiness. The “Sloths in Thrones” 3” CDR on Chondritic Sound is my very favorite Robedoor moment, but “Shining Smoke” (pictured above) is my most recommended of this new batch of Robedoor releases. If you’re a fan of early Nurse With Wound, you probably can’t go wrong just ordering everything you can get your hands on by these guys. I enjoyed seeing them play three times last week amidst a Stonehenge of amps.
Arbor is a new CDR label from Illinois which has debuted with a Robedoor 3”, this varied though excellent Loopool CDR, and a particularly outstanding compilation which is packaged inside an artsy/crafty little book with pages of original gluesticked graphic art which is bound by handsewn threads. Check out the track-listing and have a look-see…
01. ice age- the sneaky pines
02. maasedun- hannu karjalainen
03.NEON- the futurians
04. middle- bagelsandcreamchesse
05. waves- e*rock
06. laffy taffy- treetops
07. dust march- raccoo-oo-oon
08. suite for magna choda burrito and poon tycoon, magnum hign five- gastric female reflex
09. light feelings- horsehead
10. three stems- joe+n
11. sanibel- the goslings
12. the upstairs room(the cure)- ethelscull
13. vegan pagan regan- silver daggers
14. coma toes- robedoor
15. wire-tap-tapping- barrabarracuda
16. killer (rad) bees- haunted castle
17. river of muck- loopool
If you’re not already convinced that you NEED this compilation in your life, just wait ‘til you hear that Gastric Female Reflex track on some future AFS. This week, we hear the Haunted Castle track as the backdrop for an interpretation of “Little Red Riding Hood” by the amazing part amazon/part elfin fairy Dame Darcy and some cute little kids. This adorable yet strange reenactment is part of a cool little record that I dug outta my own collection, a 7” compilation of strange songs and weird noises and unusual audio which embodies the idea of “freeform.” Thanks Kenny in Coeur d’Alene for the Masonna request (I’ve never seen Masonna live either, so don’t feel bad about the isolation of Northern Idaho, and good luck making something happen there!). This pervy Squirmbo track also comes from this weird record.
It’s also been years since I revisited the “Winners of the World’s Worst Rap Competition” 7-inch. As tough as Black Tea talks, I honestly can’t decide which is more adorable and ridiculous…Black Tea or Dame Darcy’s Helpless Suckling Whelps? If Black Tea knew this, he’d probably jump off the highest building in the San Jose skyline (a leap that wouldn’t necessarily guarantee death). How can you be some kinda East Palo Alto crimeboss when you’re probably a white kid from Saratoga who’s still waiting for his voice to crack. Was this background music made from a boombox tapesplice? In any event, I love the nervous exasperated flow…er, lack of flow. Who is Teach Records, and how did they come across these Black Tea recordings anyway?
And now for an exclusive earth-shattering ear-damaging debut of insane death-free-jazz by the Bay Area group Ulfhednar. This is Jay and Jacob of Ettrick joined by no less than two but as many as three stand-up bass players! They’ve only played one live engagement so far, last month at the Stork Club in Oakland, and you’re hearing it here. This absolutely smokes! The tape kept rolling after the performance ends, so we get to hear some crowd banter reviewing the performance to a weakhearted audience member who went outside during the set, and meanwhile the jukebox stokes up with a Black Sabbath classic. Now you, too, can say you were there!
Perhaps more notes about the rest of the playlist will be posted later…