Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Art for Spastics v. 135 (Slight Return)

I know! I know! I practically promised to return this week, but I was late for the show because I was swamped at the saltmine (big deadline day). BUT! My girlfriend DJ Fuzzbox Flynn filled in capably and picked all but two songs, and I join her for color commentary in the second hour. I'm still carrying around all the new music I've been collecting for the past month, and I'm ready to unload it on you in next week's AFS v. 136, but nonetheless, I endorse these two hours as perfectly great audio Calgon to take you away from your office doldrums, or unemployment doldrums...

Download AFS v. 135 (w/in next 10 weeks)

...or stream it (by May 22, 2007).

FAUST // Rainy Day // Faust So Far // Polydor 1972
BAD TRIPS // First Priority // self-titled LP // Rocketship *new
THE ZEBRA ATTACK // Organize Powers // Lightwieght into Earblocking Noises // Soundexploder 2003
PINK REASON // Storming Heaven // Cleaning the Mirror // Siltbreeze 2007
EX-COCAINE // Sun Before Arises // Esta Guerra // Siltbreeze *new
TIMES NEW VIKING // Love Your Daughters // Present the Paisley Reich // Siltbreeze 2007
ANGELS OF EPISTEMOLOGY // Vile and Disgusting/William Campbell // Response 7" // Merge 1987

SWELL MAPS // Camouflage Attack // v/a: Messthetics #103: D.I.Y. 77 - 81, Midlands I // Hyped2Death // *new (orig 1977)
LOS LLAMARADA // Break the Silence // The Exploding Now // Ss recordS *new
THE INTELLIGENCE // Message of Love [the Pretenders] // new 7" // Lo-Fi/Disordered *new
THE WOMBATS // In a Minute // Zontar Must Die! // Voxx 1984
THE SCENE // High Numbers // v/a: Killed by Death # F.U.2. // Redrum (orig 1985)
NERVOUS EATERS // Loretta // Eaterville Vol. 1 // Penniman 2006 (orig 1975)

NO DOCTORS // Joe Houdini // Origin & Tectonics // self-released *new
DEAD MOON // Parchment Farm // Parchment Farm b/w Hey Joe 7" // Tombstone 1988
GROUND ZERO // Marlena Berlin // Ground Zero 7" // self-released? 1979
STEVE TREATMENT // Change of Plan // 25 'A' Sides + Your Friends Are in the News // Hyped2Death (orig 1979)
EDITH NYLON // Waldorf // v/a: Killed by Death # F.U.2. (orig 1979)
KAS PRODUCT // Take Me Tonight // v/a: Electrique Garbage: Punk & Wave en France 1977-1984 // no label *new
VOX DEI // Terroriste // v/a: BIPPP: French Synth-Wave 1979/85 // Born Bad 2006 (orig 1982)

TONE SET // Predictions // Cal's Ranch // Zia 1982
FOLLE COCHE // Mr. Brown // v/a: Flanders Tape-ology // The Cassette Factory 1983
AVANT-DERNIÈRES PENSÉES // Radiante Porvenir // Radiante Porvenir // Esplendor Geometrico Discos 1986
SOVIET FRANCE // Le Mur Mûr Nu // v/a: Fight // Cathexis 1987

Since it was my girlfriend who picked almost all of these songs, and because I'm still buried below bushels of busywork from the frenzied legislative activity at adjournment deadlines (I'll save you from too much more shoptalk!), I don't have a lot to say about a whole lotta the music you will hear on this weeks AFS podcast...except to say that it rules! AND, it totally hella-rules that I have a girlfriend who's happy to receive gifts such as a boxed set of Faust CDs. She doesn't even like jewelry. Man, am I lucky? Flynn begins with one of her Faust faves that she never played on the radio before. After an unseasonably hot month of May here in the Sacto Valley, we could only wish for a "Rainy Day," and apparently the vibe was strong enough for cool winds to come rushing as clouds formed. Traces of rain were reported at several locations within the broadcast range of Freeform KDVS. So, I'd say she's off to an impressive beginning!

I know that Faust was one of the most outspoken German bands to protest the usage of the term Krautrock, but since the word became a genre descriptive, Faust was certainly pegged by rock historians as one of the three most canonized Krautrock bands. One of the really rad things about Krautrock bands is their idealized vision of music being free, and not only from constraints such as the three-minute pop songform or strict adherence to the Western tonal hierarchy, but free of any cost. In today's day and age of 7" records with a wholesale cost of $3-plus (I remember people threatening to boycott Amoeba ten years ago when new 7" records hit $3.98 for most) and $300 weekend passes to Coachella and bands selling their lanyards for $1000 a pop at South by Southwest, it's hard to envision an entire scene of great music which happened at free all-day music festivals where bands often gave their records away to fans. When Virgin Records signed Faust, the band held enough chips in the bargain to set a 49p retail price for their LP, which at the time should have sold for about 3.00 £. Ex-record store clerk Jim Kerr, then an obnoxious punk rocker in Johnny & the Self Abusers, has bragged that he and his mates took a quantity of 49p Faust LPs to the store's rooftop and chucked them like frisbees only to watch them shatter below. If the records were so cheap, they mustn't have been very good, right? Jim had such a deficit of good taste that he later sang for the third-tier U2 wannabes known as Simple Minds. Now, mint originals of that Faust LP are museum pieces credited for their influence on a wide range of music, and Simple Minds clog up the used bins.

I've written plenty about the Bad Trips and the greatness of Grady Runyan (ex-Monoshock/Liquorball) in previous AFS posts, and you can use the search function.

Although I'm unsure of their current status as a band, I sure hope that we haven't heard the last of The Zebra Attack, a group of grizzled indie-rock dads from the Santa Cruz area who conjured up the ghosts of pre-homogenization-era indie rock of the late-80s and early-90's before Touch & Go, Merge, and Matador became bankable brands passing off mostly college-schlock in a 5:1 shit-to-hit ratio. In those days, indie rock spoke more of the mode of production and delivery to market rather than a certain guitar sound or lyrics about frogs on a log or broken toasters or holding hands. There was music that wasn't aggressive enough to be punk, but it wasn't totally balls-less and bland. It could even be weird, pack a supreme punch, and sometimes even be surprisingly heavy. You had your Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 making great records, your World of Pooh, ST 37, F/i and Vocokesh...not to mention The Clean and early Polvo stuff. The Zebra Attack bring to mind that era on their two LPs which they released on their own Soundexploder label a few years back. This band played it slow and deliberate and incredibly loud, but that's not to say they were going for Black Sabbath. A pure heart of a pop song is at the core of all of their music. Anyone know what became of these guys? All I know is that they hardly ever played live, but Davis was treated to them twice: once at a fabled Crunk House show with pirated electricity from the vacationing neighbors' house (the lights slightly browned everytime the band riffed together), and the other time at Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom...I think it was the second one. They were really tremendous. Someone, tell me they're working on a third record, please!

Next up, a few from the Siltbreeze stables, and they're all from album-of-the-year nominees...one beautifully filthy slumtrip through pain and agony with Pink Reason and then the prettiest song off the new LP by one of the weirdest group of hippies you'll ever hear, Ex-Cocaine from Missoula, Montana. These albums are both so superb that you should waste no time in getting your mitts all over them, but I plan to tell you a lot more about them in coming weeks when I have a lot more time. Pink Reason is coming to the West Coast in July with fellow Wisconsinites Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones, and I'm very excited about it. I need to start researching the availability of fresh cheese curds within close range of the tour itinerary so we can knock that dairy supremacy chip off their shoulders. And Ex-Cocaine...I love the new album, but until I can show you their different dimensions, it won't possibly make sense when I begin to tell you how awesome it is.

I met someone the other day who coiled back when I mentioned Times New Viking and asked, "Isn't that band kinda hyped?" Uh, wow...Is it too late for some people already? If your radar was too fuzzy that you never heard them before your foolish hype boycott, you need to reset your radar. This band gets a lot of pub all over the internet, but it's well-deserved on account of their unusual combination of punk rawness, crucial anthemics, and sweet melodies. That pre-homogenization era or indie rock that I mentioned a couple paragraphs back...Yeah, it's like this band came out of a time capsule of that era, too, only this one's about to turn your party loose into a full-bore fist-pumpin' singalong. I'm very pleased to be helping bring Times New Viking to the West Coast in August with another strong personal favorite of mine, Little Claw. Watch here for more dates, as we expect to have them all wrapped up within the next two weeks, but these are the ones on lock right now...

Olympia - Wednesday, August 1 @ house show somewhere
Vancouver, BC - Thursday, August 2 @ Pub 340, 340 Cambie
Seattle - Friday, August 3 w/ The Intelligence & Eat Skull
Portland - Saturday, August 4 w/ The Hunches & Eat Skull
Sacramento - Sunday, August 5 @ Fools Foundation, 19th & K Streets
somewhere btw here & there - Monday, August 6
San Francisco - Tuesday, August 7 @ the Hemlock, 1131 Polk, w/ Family Underground & Fursaxa
Oakland - Wednesday, August 8 @ the Stork Club, 2330 Telegraph, w/ Sic Alps
SoCal - Thursday, August 9
SoCal - Friday, August 10
Los Angeles - Saturday, August 11 @ the Smell, w/ Sexy Prison

As I said, I'm short on time, but you'll get more commentary soon enough!

'Til then, check out this video of No Doctors...

Their new LP, Origin & Tectonics, sounds great, and it is about a week away from being out. It's a self-released 180-gram LP with a CD inside with the same program. It shows a lot of their different sides...the rockers, the folkers, the party animals, the clever guitar heroes.Matt St. Germain promised a coupla years ago that we were gonna learn that Elvis de Morrow would be "the next big thing in guitar-playing" (yes, those were his exact words which I cut & pasted), and this is the album that really begins to tell that story. It's not the blown-out barrage of noise that we heard on Hunting Season. This one's got some reserved moments and some beauty on it, but it's still brimming with indomitable spirit, which is what I really love about these guys as musicians and as people, too.

I'll end for now with a little bit of news from the Dead Moon camp...

So many people were saddened and confused by the seemingly abrupt end to Dead Moon following their last European tour. And perhaps it only adds to the confusion, but I'm sure a lot of you will be happy to know that Fred and Toody Cole are back making music again in their new band called the Pierced Arrows, and early reports of their first show say that they sound a lot like Dead Moon. Their drummer is reportedly Kelly from Resist, Masskontroll, Detestation, and a host of crusty bands from the 90's. Andrew Loomis is also back in the saddle for The Shiny Things, I've heard. So, that's something to be hopeful for. As soon as either band plans to hit the road down I-5, I will try to help bring them here!

Enjoy listening!

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