Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Art for Spastics v. 105

Download AFS v. 105

...or stream it

SELF DESTRUCT BUTTON // Comparing Cancers // Natural Selection of Accidents // Tower Control *new
BLACK PUS // Earth Ain´t Enuff // Black Pus 3: Metamorpus // DiareahRama *new
DAVE PUBLIC // Chicken Pox Pie // v/a: Sarcophagus 1-4 // Radius Waste *new
DAVE PUBLIC // 11 Months Pregnant
GOILS GOILS AND FRIPPED // title unknown // self-titled CDR // Being Weird Isn't Enough *new
BULBS // Beloved Sun // v/a: The Fruit Will Rot vol 2 9X3" CDRs // Deathbomb Arc 2006

GATOR SURPRISE // A Species // Camping Trip 3" // Jugular Forest *new
DEEP JEW // Searchlight // Harem c10 // Callow God *new
CIRCUIT WOUND // The Smog Monster // v/a: L.A. Noisescape // Bastardised *new
PEDESTRIAN DEPOSIT // Intrigued by Her Stare // v/a: L.A. Noisescape
DJ DOGDICK // Nuthin´ Be Makin´ Any Sense // v/a: Less Self Is More Self 2xCD - A Benefit For Tarantula Hill // Ecstatic Peace *new
LEE RANALDO // Spkr Test 3 // v/a: Less Self Is More Self
VAMPIRE CAN'T // Wax Lips // Key Cutter // Load *new
SEXUAL TOURIST // Teenage Fantasy // Womb Broom 7" // Black Lakes *new *request
THE HOSPITALS // Missing My Hands // self-titled // In The Red 2003 *request
THE HOSPITALS // Airplanes There // I've Visited the Island of Jocks and Jazz // Load 2005 *request
NO FEELING // Don´t Tell Me What to Do // split 7" w/ Ladies Night // Seeing Eye *new

THE MAGNETIX // Horror Chalet // Horror Chalet 7" // Yakisakana *new
SAPAT // Mystikal Stupors // Tongue-Tied & Staid 7" // Black Velvet Fuckere *new
STEVE MACKAY & THE RADON ENSEMBLE // Voyage to Arcturus // Tunnel Diner // Qbico *new
THTX // Nightfall // The Lost City // Cosmo-Revolution Technologies *new
THEE SCARCITY OF TANKS // titles unknown (2-3) // NZ Metals CDR // Slow Toe *new

CHANGELING // Astral Arch // Astral Arch 7" // Not Not Fun *new
BRUCE GILBERT // Work for >Do You Me? I Did< (3) // This Way // Mute 1984
TAMPAX // UFO Dictator // v/a: Killed by Death #7 // Redrum 1979
SLIVERS // Questions // Restraint for Style 7" // New Alliance 1981
LAKE OF DRACULA // Coconut Wine // Skeletal Remains // Savage Land *new
NECROPOLIS // The Governor´s Wife // The Hackled Ruff & Shoulder Mane // Columbus Discount *new
100 FLOWERS // Contributions // Drawing Fire 12" EP // Happy Squid 1984

Rare power, drastic bombast, and epic melodicism are words that I’d use to describe what’s special about bands like Parts & Labor, Oneida, or The USA Is a Monster, but just when I began to think that the borough of Brooklyn had effectively cornered the market on bands well-versed in all three, here comes a band from the Midwest that mines that same sonic territory. As I keep mental inventory of candidates for “best of ’06” nominees, Cleveland’s Self Destruct Button skyrocket straight to the top of the class with their Natural Selection of Accidents, a disc full of pump-up jams that run the gamut from clever “indie-rock” of the early 90’s vintage (before the word began its transition to synonym for “sucky”) to almost “brutal prog.”

Can a music critic—or even just a blogger like myself—use “brutal prog” without quotation marks. That seems to be the one so-called genre of the last five years or so which seems destined to suffer the fate of “powerviolence.” Even as “powerviolence” nostalgia has unquestionably crept in, I still see in quotes more than it is not in quotes. (I will say nothing more of “moan-wave” (the one I singlehandedly try to keep alive) and “free twee” (the one I made up myself)…until next week!)

I’ll leave some meat on the bone for the next time I play Self Destruct Button. They offer a lot of texture to describe in detail, and I’ve got plenty more bands to write about this week.

Brian Chippendale is best known as the tireless drummer extraordinaire of Lightning Bolt, and he’s secondarily best known for his stentorian work in Mindflayer, but even less known is his even more daring, radically noise-soaked solo project, Black Pus. The third Black Pus CDR release has been issued, and it is Chippendale’s most gloriously pungent bleep-bloop dayglo-noisecore to date. I hesitate to use the “in a blender” method to describe this sound—second only in laziness and deplorable-ness to the ad-lib style of “like [such and such band] on crack (or other drug)”—but I really must do it this time. Throw Brian’s other bands in the blender with two heaping scoops of Carl Stallings Project and a generous ration of The Residents, grated coarsely. Doesn’t this song have a happy, chirpy vibe, and a strange Eastern Euro folk flavor to it? Ultra-limited for fans of the scum stats, and it comes in a beautiful hand-screened sleeve, a paroxysm of pigment.

Brian also sent me this wonderfully weird anthology of “handmade Providence music,” as he described it in the little note. The Sarcophagus 1-4 CDR contains four EP’s in their entirety, one each by Dear Raindrop, Bug Sized Mind, Blast City, and Dave Public. Each artist featured here will scramble your brain with low-tech klingklang-scuzz, seemingly equally informed by the label outputs of Load, Ralph, and Xtract. Fans of Men’s Recovery Project are especially advised to seek out this compilation. Here we hear Dave Public broadcast the most cracked and forbidden noise on the disc. Next week, get ready for a more mellowed-out space-jam. Seemingly no website exists to market this thing, so let me give you a physical address and an email for you to write to…

Radius Waste
PO Box 321
Providence, RI 02901


One of the dudes in Self Destruct Button stayed at my house after Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom IV, where he performed as part of Thee Scarcity of Tanks a revolving-door cast of musical improvisers who make a fantastic racket to compliment the poetry of the one constant member, Matt Wascovich. Another person in Thee S.O.T. that fine October day (until it was broken up by the Yolo County Sheriffs Deparment) was Angela Sawyer from Boston, who’s also a member of the ruthless dog-whistle noise band, The White People.

Angela (pictured above at Jeff the Pigeon in Allentown, PA) left me a copy of a fascinating new CDR of her solo project, Goils Goils and Fripped. I was dumbfounded after hearing these songs, so I pressed her for comment and the song titles, and she said:

Goils is me, Angela, who spent a fine night in the black chair next to your couch, just doing solo synth stuff. Afraid there weren't any song titles when I made the cd, as it was an attempt to make a whole record in one day, including the art, the imaginary band members, & the cdr copying. I'm usually very, very, very slow to get recordings finished, so I decided to try a super fast one & see how it went. Thrilled that it made it onto your deck. If you'd like some hoppin' song titles, I would like to hereby declare you the official song titler for the band, and would love to hear what happens when you let 'em rip.

Awesome! Last time I was commissioned to title songs for a band, it was for What Does Not Kill Me…I HATE! by Le Flange du Mal, and I never heard back whether they liked the titles or not. Some of the titles were inside jokes for people who know the words to Chrome songs. I’m gonna give it my best for the Goils, but I still need to digest the album fully. It’s a weird one. It’s like Neon Hunk’s synth player insta-composing the weirdest waltzes in world history at a sludge pace. This is absurdity and self-contradiction that will be evident if you are patient.

Bulbs is Jon Almaraz on unrecognizable guitar and the manually-played electro drumpads of William Sabiston, who formerly worked with Axolotl. Jon’s guitar is indeed so unrecognizable that it makes the guitar on Arrived in Gold by Sightings sound like AC/DC. It’s very alien, unstable, yet oddly appealing.

Gator Surprise is part of a new crop of ascetic Los Angeles noise artists, and he jams pedal effects with his panicked shrieks and despairing moans from his small suitcase. The four tracks on his new 3” CDR are horrific heart-wrenchers. He came across legit in his solo performance before playing with Deep Jew at The Bakery in Emeryville a couple weeks ago. Whereas Gator Surprise seemed like an introvert’s attempt to exorcise himself of shame, the band Deep Jew aggressively externalized their hatred with their flailing, lashing slaughter-noisecore barrage that recalled the Providence band Dynasty when they trounced through the West Coast supporting Coughs. Deep Jew—an all-star cast of noise artists including Impregnable, Privy Seals, and Oscillating Innards—is similar to Dynasty in their opaqueness of blackness, but there is no calculation or pace and almost never a moment where a rhythmic groove sets in. Here, you can hear most of side B from their extremely limited cassette release on Callow God.

These tracks by Circuit Wound and Pedestrian Deposit are culled from the outstanding L.A. Noisescape CD, which I’ve described elsewhere (if not here in an earlier volume) as arguably the most important single compilation album of its kind in years. I can say that because I’m not aware of another compilation of exclusive tracks all from contemporary experimental artists from the same geographical area since the legendary Elephant Table Album. With this disc, Los Angeles makes a strong case for being the world’s noise capital.

Less Self Is More Self is a new double-CD collection of “experimental” (in the broadest sense of the word) artists released by Ecstatic Peace as a benefit for Tarantula Hill, the Baltimore home of Twig Harper, the notorious leader of Nautical Almanac. Some of the crucial-est freaky folkies—especially Jack Rose—appear here betwixt the more forbidding sounds of artists like Chris Corsano, To Live and Shave in L.A., and Twig himself. Perhaps it’s Mouthus or Jessica Rylan (a.k.a. Can’t) who marries these factions together on this disc. Here, I’ve offered you DJ Dogdick’s spasmodic sample stew and Lee Ranaldo’s jarring juxtaposition of guitar drone and supersonic hisses. Next, Corsano and Rylan team up (with Bill Nace) in Vampire Belt to belt out one of the two songs from Key Cutter to nearly take the shape of an actual rock song. Yet it’s still plenty gnarly.

Art for Spastics newsflash: San Francisco’s excellent Sexual Tourist went down a drummer, and in their moment of need, friends of the band suggested Honus Wagner-dressalike and handcrafter of his own snare drum Paul of Business Lady to assume the drum throne. Paul and the band discussed rehearsal on the sidewalk of Harlan Street in front of the Bakery and agreed that Sexual Tourist and Paul should develop their rapport and explore their compatibility as musicians. I expect it will work out great. Since leaving San Diego last year, Paul has only recently found a band to employ his energy and creativity, Woman’s Worth, an unusual outfit with Matt of Vholtz and two other S.D.-expats, Wilson of Duchesses and Jessalyn, whose operatic vocals recall Dagmar Krause’s work in the Art Bears.

The trombone/sax/drums combo creates a bizarre take on chamber music that is free-jazz-damaged, yet certainly rehearsed. Perhaps that hardly sounds like “F-U-N,” but Woman’s Worth definitely is fun…kinda silly, and composed enough to make dancing easy, even if it’s a bit interpretive and lurchy. The band will open up in my living room for the Gang Wizard Halloween party at the DAM House here in Davis on Friday, October 27th at 7:00 p.m.

Also appearing at that Halloween party is a special sorta merged band of The Hospitals and The Skaters. Together, they will perform as Way Bad. Sure, I said I’d wait ‘til next week to drop the “moan-wave” bomb again, but if there’s ever gonna be a moan-wave supergroup, Way Bad is it! On their tour this week of the west coast, The Hospitals consisted of founder and only constant regular Adam Stonehouse, original Hospitals guitarist Rod Meyer, Chris Gunn of The Hunches (and one of thee most bad-ass guitarists in punk rock today!), and on bass, sometimes third guitar, and sometimes extra drums and vocals, Rob Enbom, who was briefly a Hospitals member in 2005, but best known for his stints in Hale Zukas, Vholtz, and Gang Wizard. They sounded gnarly beyond belief on this tour. And their supposed to be recording in the studio up in Portland this week. They made a cassette for the tour which I didn’t get because they had to dub some more off, and it didn’t help that I stayed up ‘til 5:45 a.m. with them after their show talkin’ shit about the Crazy 8’s, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Sweaty Nipples, and all the other bands that made Portland, Oregon, a laughing stock of a musical scene in the early 90’s before it became the mecca for radness that it is today.

Next, you get a primo slice of excessively reverbed garage-scuzz from—not the Hospitals or The Lamps—but an awesome new Vancouver (BC) band called No Feeling. This is the flip of the split 7” that I raved about when Ladies Night came through Davis. And if you didn’t know by the sound of Ladies Night, now you know that you need this record. Especially if, like me, you are a fan of ridiculous levels of reverb soakage. No Feeling is the more “traditional”-sounding punk band of the two on this split, but they are no less interesting than the cryptic cavestomp of Ladies Night because they have co-ed duet vocals.

Gonna hafta end it here ‘cos I don’t always have all the time in the world to review or share anecdotes about 50 bands per week. Jeez, what did you expect?


Anonymous said...

Coconut Wine kicked my ass then the Governor's Wife smeared some balm on it. I'm ok now.

thx Rick

robert pickle said...

caught black pus out here the other week. collaboration with one jason mcgill who played a sax that actually ended up sounding a lot like b. gibson's monstrobass, but better? anyway, here's a download-only label concerning black pus and a lot of other good and bad providence sound farts: http://www.fauxfetus.net/faux/.

artforspastics said...

Wow, thanks for that link, RPiii! I intend to get into some of that within the next couple of weeks.