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SILENTIST // House on the Hill // House on the Hill // Celestial Gang *new
COUGHS // Intentional Community // Secret Passage // Load *new
COUGHS // The Horse, He´s Sick
VAMPIRE CAN’T // Two Cheers // Key Cutter // Load *new
THE USA IS A MONSTER // The Greatest Mystery // Sunset at the End of the Industrial Age // Load *new
BERNARD BONNIER // Blue Marine // Casse-Tête // Creel Pone *new/1979
MOUNTAIN TOPS // Isolation // v/a: Silverware: Audraglint 5th Anniversary Comp. // Audraglint *new
RUTH WHITE // The Cat // Flowers of Evil // Creel Pone *new/1969
INCA ORE with LEMON BEAR’S ORCHESTRA // Glossolalia // The Birds in the Bushes // 5RC *new
PLANTS // 1000 Swarms // Totem // Self-Released *new
EL-G & CHARLENE DARLING // Du Bearre // Au Grand Dam du Jour // Self-Released *new
SO SO MANY WHITE WHITE TIGERS // Bell // The Greatest Hits of Acid // No Label *new
PSYCHEDELIC HORSESHIT // Phony Detectives // Who Let the Dogs Out? 7” // Columbus Discount *new
THE STAPLER // Temple of Fortuna, Part Two // Metaphysical Haircut // Columbus Discount *new
NECROPOLIS // Colors & #´s // The Hackled Ruff & Shoulder Mane // Columbus Discount *new
NECROPOLIS // Ultraviolent
GREAT PLAINS // Love to the Third Power // Born in a Barn // Homestead 1984
THOMAS JEFFERSON SLAVE APARTMENTS // You Can´t Kill Stupid // You Can´t Kill Stupid 12” EP // Datapanik 1992
THOMAS JEFFERSON SLAVE APARTMENTS // Bottle Island // split 7” w/ Monster Truck 5 // Datapanik 1991
GAUNT // USA // Whitey the Man 10” // Thrill Jockey 1992
MONSTER TRUCK 5 // Piece of Work // split 7” w/ TJSA // Datapanik 1991
THE LAMPS // Hot Plate // Self-Titled // In the Red 2005
EVOLUTIONS // Busy Kids [The Huns] // Primate Not Ape 7” // Kryptonite 2000
M.C. MONKEY & APE WITH AN ATTITUDE // Human Zoo Pt. 1 // Human Zoo 7” // Kryptonite 2004
PUS DEL RECTO // 1970 [The Stooges] // v/a: Supersonic Sounds of the "Fuck You" Movement // CNP 2003
[RETARDS] // String Theory Will Collapse Without Primality // Kicking Against the Micks 7” // Rimbaud *new
CHANNELS 3 & 4 // Jesus Is Free // Christian Girls 12” // Summer Lovers Unlimited *new
CHANNELS 3 & 4 // A Pied // Christianity (album sampler) // Summer Lovers Unlimited *new
JERK // Jimmy Sled Dog // Reverse Vampire // Banana Seat Girl/Soundesign *new
WOLF EYES with JOHN WIESE // 44:31 // Equinox // Troniks *new
STEVE BIRCHALL // Poseidon´s Meditation // Reality Gates // Creel Pone *new/1973
MIKAEL KARLSSON & ROB STEPHENSON // Little Rebellious Aspects // Dog // Please Music Works *new
BROMP TREB // Daughters & Sons of Perpetual Limp // v/a: Zum Audio vol. III // Zum 2006
BIRCHVILLE CAT MOTEL // Reversing Spiral Galaxies // Curved Surface Destroyer 3xCD // Last Visible Dog *new
THE GOSLINGS // Dinah // Grandeur of Hair // Archive *new
BURNING WITCH // The Bleeder // split CD w/ Goatsnake // Hydra Head 2000
On two previous CDs, Portland’s Silentist has been the solo project of Mark Evan Burden, who’s probably best known for his stint in Get Hustle. But for the third Silentist CD, the band has expanded to a duo. The first Silentist CD, Nightingales, was drastic brutal prog of epic proportions, and the second, Chariot Swing, was no less epic of drastic, but much more beautiful and psychedelic. Mark’s piano work on the latter seemed to tip the listener to his fascination with the pummeling minimal cascades of player piano scrollwright Conlon Nancarrow. House on the Hill revisits—and actually exceeds—the brutality of Nightingales, with deathvomit growls, flurries of blastbeats and guitar-shred, a couple short/fast/loud anti-epics, and pained sandwich-in-throat bleating that brings to mind Man Is the Bastard. But on longer songs such as this title track, it still resonates with progfreaks who also appreciate modern compositional art music and Nancarrow.
Silentist has been a powerful live experience even as a solo project, but I suspect that as a duo, it may be more mindblowing as they may make less use of tape. If you’re in any of these cities, go enjoy the show and collect all three of these stunning CDs…
Sep 22 Boise, ID @ Pussygutt House w/ Dhoom, Murder & the Media Machine
Sep 23 Denver, CO @ Monkey Mania w/ Coaxial, Sexy Time Explosion
Sep 24 Wichita, KS @ Electric Snake w/ A New Low, TBA
Sep 25 St. Louis, MO @ 1102 Yale Ave. w/ Child Abuse, Panicsville, Ghost Ice
Sep 26 Chicago, IL @ Nihilist Loft Space w/ Child Abuse, Panicsville
Sep 27 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern w/ Child Abuse, Thee Scarcity of Tanks
Sep 28 Poughkeepsie, NY @ Vassar College w/ Child Abuse
Sep 29 Boston, MA @ Twisted Village w/ Child Abuse
Sep 30 New York, NY @ Cake Shop w/ Child Abuse
Oct 1 Bethlehem, PA @ Globe Cafe
Oct 2 Brooklyn, NY @ TBA w/ Yellow Swans, Valet, Grouper
Oct 4 Charlotte, NC @ Lunchbox Records w/ Valet
Oct 5 Birmingham, AL @ 120 18th Street, South w/ Newton, Mugu Guymen, Valet
Oct 7 Austin, TX @ The Parlor w/ Storm the Tower, the Roller, Valet
Oct 11 Los Angeles, CA @ The Smell w/ The Terrors, Neil Patrick Hardcore, Valet
Oct 12 San Francisco, CA @ The Eagle w/ I Will Kill You Fucker, Valet, the Hospitals
Oct 13 Oakland, CA @ Lobot Gallery w/ Laudanum, Valet
Oct 14 Eureka, CA @ TBA w/ Vaelt, Starving Weirdos
Oct 15 Portland, OR @ Rotture w/ Valet, +TBA
Still can’t get enough of the new Coughs CD after repeated listens. This thing really picks up from track three onward and never lets up, dud-free, filler-free. A couple of tracks are freeform experimental interludes showing the band as very capable of abstractions that are every bit as momentous and relentless as their songs, as heard on “The Horse, He’s Sick.” Secret Passage also excels past Bent Babies and Fright Makes Right by better capturing the power of their massive mountain of makeshift percussion, played by two drummers, even if they stopped short of using a microphone per drum kit piece. That would probably require 30 microphones! The most captivating features of the Coughs sound remains Anya’s imperious vocal dynamics and the bullish, clunky discordant steamroller of anti-melodic oozing, undulating rhythmic mulch of elemental guitar, bass, keys, and sax.
Vinyl LPs of Secret Passage are apparently imminent, although they’ve been delayed. Just get the CD already and the LP later. It’s one of those albums you’d want on both formats.
Also from September’s Load litter is Vampire Can’t, a collaboration of Vampire Belt (including Chris Corsano) and the artist Can’t, also known by her given name, Jessica Rylan. Can’t is known for her intimate lofi cracklebox noise, which on this album is almost entirely overpowered by the brash free-jazz-influenced noise avalanche and screeching guitar and destructive drums.
I’ve already extreme-blogged about the greatness of the new USA Is a Monster album. Read down a couple weeks if you missed it. They were great in Sacramento on Tuesday night, they’re still in the middle of tour now, so if you’re on this route, go see them…
Sep 21 San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern w/ Sixes
Sep 22 Arcata, CA @ The Placebo
Sep 23 Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
Sep 24 Olympia, WA @ a house
Sep 25 Portland, OR @ Towne Lounge w/ Sholi
Sep 26 Missoula, MY @ Raven Café
Sep 28 Minneapolis, MN @ Church
Sep 29 St. Paul, MN @ Big V’s
Sep 30 Iowa City, IA @ Hall Mall
Oct 1 St. Louis @ Lemp Arts
Oct 2 Bloomington, IN @ Hospital
Oct 3 Columbus, OH @ Skylab
Oct 4 Cleveland, OH @ Church of Ayler
Oct 5 Buffalo, NY @ Soundlab
Oct 6 Providence, RI @ Redrum
Oct 8 Long Branch, NJ @ Brighton Bar
Oct 9 Hudson, NY @ Bard College
Oct 10 Purchase, NY @ SUNY-Purchase
Oct 19 Boston, MA @ TT the Bears
Bernard Bonnier’s LP, Casse-Tête, has been reissued in a limited CDR edition from Creel Pone, and it sounds like an excellent example of cool cosmic Krautrock converging with musique concrete and bizarre early electronic art music, yet it’s from Montreal in 1979. But it’s such an incredibly limited reissue, so I wish you the best of luck trying to find one of those original LPs. You’ll hafta compete with me!
I know nothing of these Mountain Tops other than this one contribution to the various artists collection, Silverware: Audraglint Fifth Anniversary Compilation. Much of the music featured here is top-drawer experimental electronic ambience, but a dash of sweet sweepy indie-folk guitar floats in and out throughout, and there’s even an appearance by the very underrated Bügsküll. You’ll hear more of this Portland-centric comp in the coming weeks for sure.
From another Creel Pone CDR reissue of an outstanding overlooked nugget of experimental electronic music history, I’ve administered you a second dose of Ruth White’s Flowers of Evil in as many weeks, and I had to do it because it was only two weeks ago that this astoundingly eccentric album seared itself into my forever memory. This is my favorite reissue of the year! Ruth is like a brave psychedelic sorceress reciting psalms of the occult over phasing drones and punctuating bleepbloops of early synthesizer pulses. Totally trippy!!!
I got big kudos from Eva Inca Ore for playing Ruth White last week. She told me how Ruth White made a profound impression on her, and y’know…it really makes sense when you compare the two artists’ sound and spirit. And that’s why it should be no surprise that I juxtaposed them.
Inca Ore with Lemon Bear’s Orchestra have released a brilliant album called “The Birds in the Bushes,” and it’s the result of months of intensive jamming, practicing, and recording in an isolated beachhouse on the Oregon Coast. First, Inca Ore met Lemon Bear, and they fell for each other, retreated to this short-term coastal rental, and they yin ‘n’ yanged out this incredible album. And when I say “yin ‘n’ yanged,” I mean both Inca Ore and Lemon Bear applied their rather opposite approaches to push each other into territories that were perhaps unfamiliar to each, and the result arguably takes us listeners to uncharted territory, too. Think vocal jazz a’la Abbey Lincoln, but make it go free and wild and occasionally eerie and introverted before breaking out again into soaring ecstacy, like Lincoln scat-singing and chattering and casting spells while Albert Ayler blows insane. Inca Ore is known for taking the inspiration of the moment and flowing beautifully off the dome, but Lemon Bear’s approach has been described as academically rigorous and obsessive about practice and technique. This may be more intense an album than Inca Ore could make solo, and it’s probable that it’s more spiritual than an album Lemon Bear could make alone. Regardless, it’s a wonderfully intense and spiritual album for everyone to enjoy.
Two more lovers recently recorded an album on an Oregon Coast retreat, and that’s newlyweds Joshua and Molly of Plants. Their first release from earlier this year on Audio Dregs, The Mind is a Bird in the Hand, was beautiful mystic psych-folk with a sorta post-apocalyptic feel, like…sorry for the loss of billions of lives, but hopeful for the future of the planet and its few environs. Deep in its simplicity. I dunno…I’m in territory that I’m poor at writing about, but really, this was a lovely album. However, its instrumentation was scant, and on the new CDR album, the duo has expanded to a full band including Howard (who partnered for a while with Joshua’s previous band, Point Line Plane), Michael (formerly of another of Joshua’s past bands, Mome Raths) and Sara (also of Space Hawk, Portland’s most cosmic band ever), and others who shall go unnamed only ‘cos I haven’t personally met them (we’ll do lunch sometime!). I get a blissful hippie Kraut vibe with this expanded lineup, and it’s a much more complex flavor that I’m rather enjoying, analyzing in layers, and savoring. No vocals are detectable, and I look forward to that changing for the third Plants thing, which I hope to hear soon.
As you know, I will only segueway one band into another if it makes sense, and I’m sure that if you’re only looking at this on your computer screen, you’re wondering…How the hell is he gonna get from post-apocalyptic psych to the wild scuzz barrage of So So Many White White Tigers? The French artist El-G and Charlene Darling made this stirring, swirling psych-folk anomaly. Quite a paranoid beauty! But also, the White Tigers closed the gap with a positively weird folky intro for this song, from the brand-new last-ever recordings of the band before guitarist Ned Meiners' move to NYC. The recordings were presided over by John Dwyer, who must have imbued the session with some OCS/Oh Sees vibe, and it makes “Bell”—and the entire 17-minute CDR—a really interesting listen. I saw the last ever show of the White Tigers at the Elbo Room warming up for a Flipper show, and I think I remember “Bell” as the song where Gerald took a break from drumming to play keyboard, and Ned laid his guitar down on the drums and began beating on his guitar with the sticks. Liza Thorn’s feral feline screech is more restrained, but also seemingly more complex. I loved this band so much…I’m sorry to see them go, but this is a nice swansong.
I may add more later...