Thursday, July 26, 2007

Art for Spastics v. 142 starring Snake Apartment!

Snake Apartment from Providence, Rhode Island, were my guests on air last week, but because the archives and streams were down, you missed their live performance and interview. So this week, I've rebroadcasted most of their live set (excerpting only the first song which was wracked by some technical difficulties with our delay system anyway). Their crushing live set begins at about minute 39 or so of this program and includes six of their writhing scuzzpummellers.

DOWNLOAD AFS v. 142 (within the next 10 weeks) HERE!

...or stream it (before August 1).

MUDHONEY // Twenty Four // v/a: Dope-Guns'N-Fucking in the Streets vol 1-3 // Amphetamine Reptile 1989
PUNISHMENT OF LUXURY // Brainbomb // Secrets 7" // United Artists 1979
ANAL BABES // Sam´s Disciple (.44) // Cocaine Swastika 10" // Incognito 1998
TRACTOR SEX FATALITY // Braces // Braces 7" // Kill Sounds/Unscene Sounds *new
RANCID VAT // Destroy Nature // Justice: This Is What We Do to Traitors // Horton/Reflex 1989
BILLY BAO // Bilbo's Incinerator // Bilbo's Incinerator 7" // W.Mo 2005
BRAINBOMBS // Urge to Kill // Burning Hell // self-released 1992
LANDED // Tip of the Whip // split 7" w/ Snake Apartment // Corleone/Parts Unknown *new

SNAKE APARTMENT live in Studio A

EX OBLIVIONE // Squid // v/a: World War Zero 2xCDR // Deathbomb Arc *new
SEXY PRISON // Teen Wolfes Parte Like Whitney (Harg) // Italians Who Just Saw Rocky // NASCAR 2004
AGENT SIDE GRINDER // Ricochetting Memories // first 7" // Enfant Terrible *new
MATTRESS // In Your Pocket // In Your Pocket 7"+CDR // Malt Duck *new
MATTRESS // Mirror
CHURCH POLICE // Life Is Fun // Gilligan's Wings 7" // Skulltones *new
BLACK HUMOR // Burn the Welcome Mat // self-titled // Fowl 1982
BLACK HUMOR // Neo Hippies
FACTUMS // White Ghost // Alien Native // Siltbreeze *forthcoming

BLANK DOGS // The Doorbell Fire // The Doorbell Fire 7" // Sweet Rot
ARTIFICIAL LIMBS // Sadistic Eyes // self-titled // Eat *new
THE WRISTS // Lights Out/Blackout // split cassette w/ Leper Print // Eye Damage *new
CATHOLIC BOYS // Plaster // Fixed 7" // Sweet Rot *new
THE PIZZAS // Hideous Fashion // Pizza demos // no label *new
EAT SKULL // Dead Families // demo CDR // no label *new
xNOBBQx // title unknown // Sunshine of Your Love // Siltbreeze *forthcoming
NIGHT WOUNDS // Less Dead // Allergic to Heat // Corleone/Woodsist 2007
NO DOCTORS // Man's Eternal Quest for Salty Pleasures // Origin & Tectonics // self-released *new
BLUES CONTROL // Double Chin // self-titled // Holy Mountain *new

This playlist was also largely inspired by the first edition of the awesome Z Gun zine, published by Scott Soriano and Ryan Wells and distributed through Scott's trusty Ss recordS. I learned a lot about the Brainbombs in this issue, and there's a huge section on them including an interview by Monty Buckles of the Lamps (with an awesome foreword), a complete discog breakdown by Ryan, and a treatise by Ben Wallers of the Country Teasers which suggests how the Brainbombs are like the Rolling Stones of today. Plus, tons of record reviews and an interview with long-lost SF weirdpunkers Black Humor by enthusiast Min Yee of the A Frames. This zine is an enthralling, educational, and fun read, so I highly recommend it!

Revisiting Mudhoney was long overdue, and for a non-drinker like me, "Twenty-Four" reminds me of a few people I've known. It's not clear whether this cirrhotic slumtrip of permadrunkenness revels in far-gone alcoholism or is the first of a sobering twelve steps, but I'm thinking that it's more the former than the latter. It's like I'm wearing play-goggles everytime I hear it. Teetering and tottering and with bile foaming up to the top of his throat, Mark Arm is stumbling, but seemingly under just enough control to make his point coherently. What a fantastic distortion tone and buzzing rhythm attack this song has! It always makes me wonder why I don't come back to this band more often. Surely, Mudhoney made the most enduring music of the 90s ilk whose name shall not be repeated here.

Lesson no. 1 for me as I read Z Gun no. 1 was "Brainbomb" by Punishment of Luxury. Ryan Wells published a full review of it in "the Brainbombs section" of the zine, as the title gave those misanthropic Swedes the idea for their band name. And he's right...This UK band from the late 70s infused their glam with enough punk aggression to sound throttling enough at times to approach the menace of AmRep sounds that came a decade later. I remember listening to everything I could find by them one day, but I must've missed this great nugget.

Can it be long before somebody reissues everything ever by the Anal Babes? I'm pretty sure that this 10" was their swansong, and along with their split 7" with Turbonegro, this is their pinnacle of great scuzzpunk depravity. No "hail Odin" or Viking mythology here, but these Norwegians were probably even scarier than so many buffoonish black-metallers in ghoulish corpse paint. All the Babes' stuff has a tremendous wallop and a slashing serrated edge to it, but on this 10", there were some freakier psycho-delic guitar tricks on parade.

From Seattle, Tractor Sex Fatality show signs of the same degenerative mental disease as the patients we've mentioned so far, but they wield chainsaws (perhaps like the one pictured in the logo of the related Slicing Grandpa), and at the most delicate moments of "Braces," they chop with a set of dull cleavers.

My girlfriend has released her first record on her new label, Malt Duck Records.

Mattress "In Your Pocket"
7" vinyl w/ bonus CDR including sides A and B plus 2 more exclusive songs

Mattress is a fellow from Portland, OR, named Rex who is a mesmerizing maker of minimal electro/wave and a charismatic crooner. This is his first vinyl, too. His previous CDR-only releases have been praised in the shadowiest corners of blogosphere and compared to Suicide. Sure, it's dark stuff, but it's got a really great sense of humor, too. It sounds like it coulda been an ageless wonder from a weirdpunk comp like the Red Spot LP.

$5.50 ppd U.S.
Paypal button on the page...

International orders write: fuzz (at) maltduckrecords (dot) com

More info on Mattress here:

Next up, a Sally Strobelight 7"...a few months away.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sat 7/28 @ DAM House: Sexy Prison/Night Wounds/Twin Crystals/Terrestrial

Two years ago, the most boffo electro-booyar party band NoCal has ever seen--Sexy Prison--played a "last show ever" at the DAM House in Davis which also served as bassist/programmer/culture-jammer Robert Pickle's going away party, as he was off to Rhode Island to get even smarter in Brown University's advanced geophysics degree program. Soon after, however, both he and vocalist/party-stoker "Dawson" began emailing tracks back and forth and coming up with new Sexy Prison songs. And this week, Robert is back in Sacto for Sexy Prison practice to prepare for the reignition of the live performance legend, which debuts this Saturday in my living room. In the past, this band always reminded me of what a sample-rich Mens Recovery Project dance party or a gothless Skinny Puppy gone hyphy, but now I'm thinking it's Cheveu minus the guitar-raunch, but adding Peter Hook-ish bass (you can really hear that comparison in the vokills and the beats). I also would often compare them to early Severed Heads because of the tendency to ride sample repetition almost to the edge of I-can't-take-it-anymore before changing it up. Great black humor approach to what is essentially music for a dance party.

Night Wounds are another true treasure of today's music that could be called a dance-party. They even impressed Siltblog's Roland Woodbe so much that he wrote this: It is nothin short of a goddamn pleasure to encounter a record from a Los Angeles band what's got it's limbs 'n lungs attuned to avant styled scraping's. The Thin Wrist label ably provides as much w/every release by in house trucker's like Open City or Curtains & the Not Not Fun collective have a veritable Spahn Ranch of sonic assassins loose on the landscape as well. And as if that weren't enough, here comes this long player from Night Wounds bringin it's own brand of aural slaughter to the barnyard. Released on the Woodsist label, 'Allergic To Heat' is a solid block of dunt that fuses the distant Kraut thump of nascent Savage Republic w/the No Wave distillation of (early) Silver Abuse & End Result that's capable of peelin both skin 'n paint, either of which is dandy by me in these frigid times (I could stand to lose a couple pounds & an apt. makeover wouldn't hurt). Not that I'm insinuatin Night Wounds studied the moves of any of them bands. Hell, for all I know, they might've work up one mornin, heard something by Sightings or Blues Control, thought they was Pop bands & figured it weren't a bad racket to be in. Some people's got strange notions. All's I know is that they's armed w/both squall 'n thunder & hats off to Woodsist from providin the lightning to ignite this record like a Mars bonfire. Nice screen printin on the jacket too. Let's see...a NYC label makin itself available for an LA band...I do believe we's all FINALLY startin to 'just get along'. Amen for that!. The band is based in Portland now, and the album's also on CD from Corleone. As good as the record is, this band does especially excel in live performance, where it becomes apparent that they've uniquely yinned their authentic bleak no-wave guitar tones and rhythmic skeletons to the yang of engaging catchiness and singalong choruses, and that mutated sax which adds an alluring lushness is the tastiest gravy on top.

Twin Crystals are normally a duo from Vancouver, BC. Shuffling rhythms propel an icy Martin Rev (Suicide, know?) edge while Jesse (whom you may know from Channels 3 & 4) adds a strong dose of charisma, like if Alan Vega's style had been bred on the young Prince rather than Elvis, the lounge years.

Terrestrial is a new band from Sacto and Davis. These dayglonoise/jamrockers will plead their case to the jury, but as we have already grown accustomed to the rulingness of ex-members of HGCG and thee Standard Tribesman himself, we are already predisposed to return a verdict of not guilty of sucking.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Fri 7/27: Feats of Strength Kickoff Party

DANCE CONTEST RULES: During each band, a winner will be picked by me based strictly on my own personal opinion of what is awesome. Two bands rock, two band electro, so the playing field is fairly level between people who actually know how to dance and people who just spazz around or do some interpretive lurch/bop action. Four bands, four winners.

Winners gain free entry to all "Feats of Strength" shows from 7/29 through 8/6. Winners also get free super-deluxe beverage reserve at DAM House show on 7/28 with Sexy Prison, Night Wounds, and Twin Crystals.

If you care not for competition, this show's just gonna be a really fun time regardless.

Panther is Charlie from Portland, formerly the singer of The Planet The, a masterful stage commander with tai chi-ish dancemoves. His electro-funk is getting slinkier and more Prince-ly. You might not even need to be a fan of the music to enjoy the show. Here, watch...

No Doctors are rad bros from Oakland via Chicago via Minneapolis. They had been known for the blues-soaked garage barrage of their Hunting Season album when they moved to the west coast, but on their brand-new Origin & Tectonics LP+CD (180g vinyl comes packed w/CD), they snap to a form more objectively recognized as blues-based rock but still take it over-the-top with their spirit and realness. This is an excellent record, and Elvis DeMorrow is a bonafide guitar hero now. Someone's gonna win the contest probably during this particular song...

Copy is Markus from Portland, and BPM mag says of his latest album: "If Marius Libman is concerned with being pegged as another Eighties' revivalist, he's not showing it. Sure, it'd be easy to discredit his debut album as the definition of his production monicer - a Copy.Yet there's more to Mobius Beard than meets the precursory preview. Occupying a strange space between Ghostly glitch and saccharin-sweet electro-pop, there's a suprising unpredicability within each track. On "Plagiarhythm", warm phonograph pops and a seemingly tepid hip hop beat play sleight-of-hand on the ears, suddenly engaging as swirling cyclic melodies skate figure-eights around organ-drum rhythms just this side of Ratatat. "It's A Little Too Late" combines the gleeful spirit of Yaz filtered through an NES emulator. Throughout the rest of the album, Copy continues eschewing the boring winks and prerequisite electro-set posturing for sincerity, and Mobius Beard reflects the sound of an artist who removed the tongue from his cheek before licking the 9-volt of Dre, Yellow Magic Orchestra and Isolee. Zap!"

The Pizzas are Sacto's newest garagepunk band to sneer snidely and Gregg-jangle into your heart. Members include Matt K. of th'Losin' Streaks and ex-Zodiac Killers and Charles of Rock the Light, Megacools, Sunshine Smile, and a million other Sacto bands that sometimes mix the sloppunk with discipledom of Ginn and/or Moon. These four songs sound awesome...

Kinda schizo of us to do a show with two righteous rockers and two electro-booyar-poppers, but HEY! Double the constituents equals more fun fashion faux-pas dagger-starin' (no, actually, I think we can probably all get along!).

This is the first show in a series we call SACTO/DAVIS FEATS OF STRENGTH FEST (if someone besides John Pritchard or me goes to all of these shows, something awesome will come your way from me to you (I haven't decided what yet)).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

AFS v 141 (no archive)

NOTE: KDVS streams and archives were down due to a malfunction before this program. Because it is rare for this show to have special guests, this program will be repeated live with minor playlist modifications, and the entire studio A performance by Snake Apartment will be re-broadcast on Wednesday, July 25 from 10 p.m. to 12 midnight.

(This program was largely rebroadcast, and several of the selections were even replayed on vol. 142 because of reader demand (thanks!).--DJ Rick)

PUNISHMENT OF LUXURY // Brainbomb // Secrets 7" // United Artists 1979
ANAL BABES // Sam´s Disciple (.44) // Cocaine Swastika 10" // Incognito 1998
TRACTOR SEX FATALITY // Braces // Braces 7" // Kill Sounds/Unscene Sounds *new
RANCID VAT // Destroy Nature // Justice: This Is What We Do to Traitors // Horton/Reflex 1989
HOMOSTUPIDS // Mister Payback // The Intern LP // Parts Unknown *new
ONE TRAP // title in Japanese // v/a: East Style // Pestilential Mental Activity 1994
EAT SKULL // Dead Families // demo CDR // no label *new
SNAKE APARTMENT live in Studio A
EX OBLIVIONE // Squid // v/a: World War Zero 2xCDR // Deathbomb Arc *new
PINK REASON // New Violence // 1st 7" // Savage Quality 2006
MATTRESS // Mirror // In Your Pocket 7"+CDR // Malt Duck *new
BLACK HUMOR // Burn the Welcome Mat // self-titled // Fowl 1982
BLACK HUMOR // Neo Hippies
CHURCH POLICE // Gilligan's Wings // Gilligan's Wings 7" // Skulltones *new
BILLY BAO // Bilbo's Incinerator // Bilbo's Incinerator 7" // W.Mo 2005
GOD'S GIFT // People // These Days 7" // Newmarket 1979
BRAINBOMBS // Jack the Ripper Lover // Jack the Ripper Lover 7" // self-released 1989
SWORD HEAVEN // Town Hag // Entrance // Load *forthcoming
"interview" w/ Snake Apartment
DER TEENAGE PANZER KORPS // Destroy the Future // Harmful Emotions // Siltbreeze 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Art for Spastics v. 140½

I subbed in for Scott Soriano's "Rebel Kind" radio last night.
You can download the program FROM THIS LINK HERE w'in 10 weeks of this date.

Or, you can stream it AT THIS LINK before July 25, 2007.

CHEVEU // El Tortuga // split 7" w/ Tyvek // Ss recordS *new
HIS ELECTRO BLUE VOICE // Das // Fog 7" // Ss *new
PINK REASON // Down on Me // By a Thread 7" // Trick Knee Productions *new
AMBULANCE // Bobby Fischer // split 7" w/ Indian Bingo // Independent Project 1990
THE WAKE // Testament // Harmony // Factory 1982
UNREST // Light Command // Cath Carroll // Teenbeat 1993
ASHTRAY BOY // I Am Sponge // The Macho Champions // Ajax 1994
PIN GROUP // The Power // self-titled // Siltbreeze 1997 (orig 1982)
THE KINGDOM // Arcadia of My Youth // Unitas 7" // Jet 2003
DELL BLACKWELL // Tasks Not Assigned // v/a: Flat Gettin It // Scenery Audio Archive *new
MOUNTAINS AND RAINBOWS // Knock Me Out // Knock Me Out b/w Indian 7" // Cass *new
COMUS // Drip Drip // First Utterance // Get Back 1971
BRI WHITE // title unknown // split 7" w/ James Fella // Gilgongo *new
U.S. GIRLS // Prove It All Night [B. Springsteen] // July 2007 Tour CDR // self-released *new
CROMAGNON // Caledonia // Cave Rock // ESP-Disk 1969

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Art for Spastics v. 140

DOWNLOAD AFS v. 140 (within the next 10 weeks) HERE!

...or stream it (before July 19).

SILVER DAGGERS // New High & Ord // New High & Ord // Load *new
SOFT SHOULDER // Doomshel // split 7” w/ Baby Gecko // Gilgongo/Macro-Eden/Robothouse *new
NIGHT WOUNDS // Damage // Allergic to Heat // Corleone *new
THE NEW FLESH // Memory Scrap // Dog 7” // Terra Firma/Human Conduct *new
THE BETTER TO SEE YOU WITH // Garden // v/a: PDX Pop Now 2007 2xCD // PDX Pop Now! *new
SILENTIST // Chariot Swing // Chariot Swing CDEP // Celestial Gang 2005
FAULOUAH // Grump Up the Volume // v/a: Flat Gettin It // Scenery Audio Archive *new
LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS // Little Debbie Garbage Can Sugar Lips // Glamorous Piles & Puffy Saddlebags // Apop *new

LE TON MITÉ // Les Patates // Les Petits Contes pour les Petits Canards 7” // Le Vilain Chien *new
LE CHEVALIER DE RINCHY // Le Ballade en Vélo // Mes Plus Belles Chansons D'Amour 7” // Le Vilain Chien 2006
T.V. COAHRAN // Islandfather // 1: Township of Cecil // no label *new
a. Pilgrim Ship
b. Favorite Things
c. Islandfather
SPARKS // In the Future // Indiscreet // Island 1975 *request
SPARKS // Whippings and Apologies // A Woofer in Tweeter´s Clothing // Bearsville 1973 *request
JP-RAD-ICE // Rite // Combat // Scenery Audio Archive 2004
ZED // Kwizatz Haderach // Visions of Dune // Initial 1979
JAWS // Soft Comedy // 2nd CDR // no label 2004
TICKLEY FEATHER // Sex Face // split 7” w/ Bermuda Triangles // CNP *new

U.S. GIRLS // Days [Kinks] // July 2007 Tour CDR // no label *new
MOUNTAINS AND RAINBOWS // Indian // Knock Me Out b/w Indian 7” // Cass *new
ROBIN WILLIAMS ON FIRE // Dog in a Bathtub // split c20 w/ Oscillator // Deathbomb Arc Tape Club *new
MEERCAZ // Fan of a Daze // MySpace mp3 *new
CATHOLIC BOYS // 7 & 7 Is [Love] // Dead Ball 7” // Trick Knee Productions *new

SICK-E’s // 6 Faces of Satan // Whispers 7” // Going Underground *new
SICK-E’s // So Sick // Mankind 7” // Square Wave *new
FINAL SOLUTIONS // Fake Puke // Songs by Solutions // Goner *new
WHITE SAVAGE // Destroy Your Style // Destroy Your Style 7” // HoZac *new
GUCCI QUATTRO // Circuits // MySpace mp3 *new
VOLT // I Don´t Feel So Good // self-titled LP/CD // In The Red *new
BERNARD SZAJNER // Superficial Music 2 // Superficial Music // Initial 1981
* NERO’S DAY AT DISNEYLAND // trk 8 // v/a: The Fruit Will Rot 3 // Deathbomb Arc *new
* VANKMEN // Oakland Train Stops
* REALICIDE // trk 2
* THE TOILET // Shit con Carne
* BEACH BALLS // Out Here Slangin´ That Aggro-Crag
* EUSTACHIAN // Freddy´s Trenchmouth
* TIK///TIK // Jazz Piggy

* all from "The Fruit Will Rot 3" compilation of nine 3" CDRs.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Art for Spastics v. 139

DOWNLOAD AFS v. 139 (within the next 10 weeks) HERE!

...or stream it (before July 12).

CHEVEU // El Tortuga // split 7" w/ Tyvek // Ss recordS *new
THE ANALS // Ditch // mp3
LEPER PRINT // Lifetime Movies // split cassette w/ The Wrists // Eye Damage *new
LEADERS // Bad News // mp3
MEERCAZ // She Piece // mp3
HIS ELECTRO BLUE VOICE // Fog // Fog b/w Das 7" // Ss *new
A FRAMES // A.O.D. (demo) // mp3
TALBOT TAGORA // Alphabet Soup // Catface 7" // self-released *new
ABE VIGODA // Gallop // Summer Tour CD 2006 // self-released 2006

ABE VIGODA // A Bell Though, That´s Fucked Up // Comes Alive Reduxzz 3" CDR // L.A. Is Waxpaper 2004
MIKA MIKO // Challenge the Throne // Treasure Tropics // Not Not Fun 2006
BLANK DOGS // Outside Alarmer // Doorbell Fire 7" // Sweet Rot *forthcoming
PINK REASON // By a Thread // By a Thread 7" // Trick Knee Productions *new
PINK REASON // Thrush // Cleaning the Mirror // Siltbreeze 2007
PLANTS // A Hidden World Exposed // Photosynthesis // Strange Attractors Audio House *new
QUEM QUAERITIS // TV! TV! Happy/Werewolves in the City // TV! TV! Happy! // Nightpass Handmade 2005
U.S. GIRLS // Outta State // July 2007 Tour CDR // self-released *new
LOS LLAMARADA // It Speaks When I´m Silent // The Exploding Now // Ss 2007
PENETRATION CAMP // Argento // Four Flies on Grey Vinyl split 7" w/ Slicing Grandpa // Scatalogical Liberation Front 2006
ARACHNID ARCADE // Csket Dance Nastic Thelphosidae // 2X3" CDR // Curor *new
KEVIN SHIELDS // No Good Deed Goes Unpunished // The Death of Patience // Deathbomb Arc/Entropic Tarot *new

VANKMEN // Slow Survival // v/a: The Fruit Will Rot 3 9X3" CDR // Deathbomb Arc *new
REALICIDE // trk 1 // v/a: The Fruit Will Rot 3
NERO'S DAY AT DISNEYLAND // Lexus Made of Bones // v/a: The Fruit Will Rot 3
CAPTAIN AHAB // Where My Dogs At? // After the Rain My Heart Still Dreams // Deathbomb Arc 2006
SEXY PRISON // Anthem for the Unyouth // Italians Who Just Saw Rocky // NASCAR 2004
POINT LINE PLANE // Deep C // self-titled CD // Sincere Brutality/Xeroid 2003
TWIN CRYSTALS // Trinity // 4trk CDR // Deer and Bird 2006
TWIN // Chariot Choogle [T.Rex] // split cassette w/Shearing Pinx // Isolated Now Waves *new
NO DOCTORS // Yerba Buena // Origin & Tectonics // self-released *new
HUE BLANC'S JOYLESS ONES // Time Machine // Fait Accompli // P.Trash 2006

HUE BLANC'S JOYLESS ONES // The Lecherous Ones
THE FRUSTRATIONS // Nerves Are Fried // Nerves Are Fried 7" // X! Records 2006
MUTATORS // Heavy Sleeper // mp3
PUSSYGUTT // trk 1 // demos CDR // no label 2005
WE QUIT // We Looked // splt 7" w/ Warbler // Doggpony *new

It's been almost two months since the "Franco-American Friendship Tour" spread the glory of Cheveu and Tyvek to the west coast, and now that hundreds of people from Baja to British Columbia are still talking about them, surely this new split 7" will be a hot item. One song by each band represents each band at full strength. Last week, we heard Tyvek's "Future Junk," a snappy, scrappy, and scruffy little scorcher of civic-minded agitprop which still shows their healthy humorous sensibilities. Hurtling from the hip, this is the band's quickest barrage on vinyl so far, even outpacing "Honda." Big fans of the first single who were nonplussed by the rambling psych-flavored slog on the split with Cygnus should find this to be much more to their liking. This week, we hear Cheveu's "El Tortuga," led by its vampy swirl of guitar and keyboards and surprising vocal coos. This is surely Cheveu's harmonic convergence, but don't mistake it for some sissy psych-pop; twitchy neurotics are still evident as David recites the verses, and the low-rent drumbox beats insistently thump and clatter with meanness and moxie. This is a must!

These Anals are from France, too, and I've been seeing them linked to all the right bands, so I finally gave them a listen. I shouldn't have waited so long. Minimal synthpunk with a nasty streak.

On this new split cassette, two of America's finest young synthpunk bands are showing the further development of their songcraft and creativity, but not to the detriment of rawness and realness. Their venomous snot is still dripping profusely enough to delight any sneering/scowling KBD-obsessor. Leper Print--reportedly a teenaged fellow from Tri Cities, WA--nails an Icky Boyfriends cover before dropping two more precocious nuggets of blustery scum on us, including "Lifetime Movies." (Sometimes, I enjoy myself a movie on Lifetime for the cheesiness of overwrought dramatics, so I am looking into some significant meaning in this song.) I think all three of these songs are as good or better than any on the recent 6-song demo CDR, and certainly better than the songs on Leper Print's debut 7". Next week, I'll be flipping this, and you might also agree that The Wrists also sound at least as good on this tape than on their 7" from last year. This cassette was well worth the $3.50 ppd.

Leaders are synth-laden weirdpunkers from Portland who are related to Meercaz via Muzz Delgado, formerly of The Observers and about half a dozen other bands I know of. There's an authentic-sounding proto-ness to the band which makes it sound like a late-70s/early-80s American cassette underground time capsule opened up to reveal this arcane music. This is a better stab at 8-bit psych-rock than anything on disc 2 of the Todd Tamanend Clark retrospective even. I look forward to the Leaders' future with much anticipation, but that might take some patience as I'm pretty sure that this is the sidecar to Muzz's main vehicle, Meercaz, who released a great 7" that was featured a lot here half a year ago already. Meercaz also sounds like it came from a time capsule, but specifically from 1976 in Cleveland, Ohio. Whereas the songs on the debut 7" stormed out the gates from the get-go, "She Piece" diligently builds up heat until white-hot psych guitar squall pressure-cooks the space between your ears until your brains ooze out. I hope to hear plans for a follow-up record soon!

New for July on Ss is a long-awaited debut 7" for His Electro Blue Voice, an Italian band that now joins Frustration and a host of other continental Euro bands picking all the best cues from 1978-1983 postpunk that barely got scratched by the Brits and Yanks who participated in the much ballyhooed, tracksuit-clad "Postpunk Revival"™ of 2002-2003, starring The Rapture. While we're still beset with much mediocrity and redundancy from that ilk, bands like His Electro Blue Voice are creating truly atavistic music that is so much more deserving of recognition and remembering another 25 years from now. My prognosis is that new fans of this stuff won't grow out of it just because pink and black stripes are deemed "out" at danceclubs with adjoining oxygen bars.

The A Frames recorded some new songs last month for an upcoming release, and I am not privy to any specific details about whether it's an album or a single or what format it'll be on, or if this "A.O.D." song (which stands for "Angle of Depression" (so sorry, Slayer fans!)) will be on it. I don't know how the sound of this recording might change in terms of mixing and mastering, but all I can say is that the new drummer to replace Lars Finberg (now free to focus on The Intelligence) fits the band just perfectly, and the song does indeed make us all wanna hear more about what they're up to. If you will wait a month, you can see the A Frames as they trip down I-5 for a west coast tour with fellow Seattleites, the Pyramids, who are the next cousin branch of the A Frames family tree to captivate my ears. I'd love to play these Pyramids on the radio for you, but until I can at least download them, you hafta go enjoy 'em for yourself at their MySpace:

For the second straight week, now we hear a scintillating song from the Talbot Tagora 7" perhaps for no other reason besides (a) all four songs are awesome, and (b) I'm excited that I'm finally gonna get a glimpse of them soon. They're also traveling down I-5 for a west coast tour which leaves later this month. Their June 30th show at the Delta of Venus in Davis with Abe Vigoda, We Quit, and John Thill is part of a series of back-to-back shows that some of us are calling the "Sacto/Davis Feats of Strength" fest. So many great shows are lined up from June 27 to August 6. In fact, that A Frames show falls in there, right before Times New Viking, Little Claw, the Bayonettes, and the Standard Tribesmen at Fools Foundation in Sacto on August 5. And then the very next night at Fools, the Feats caps off with Chris from Talbot Tagora's other band, Mikaela's Fiend, with TWIN and Mika Miko, whom we hear this week with their hardest-to-find vinyl offering that is ultra-rare, outta-print, and probably otherwise nowhere to be heard by you unless you go to eBay. Most of the bands you hear this week are playing this summer in Sacto or Davis. We're definitely not starved for entertainment like we were much of 2004-2005 in the interim years immediately following Espresso Metro's demise as a venue (r.i.p.) and the closure of Primo's Swiss Club (r.i.p.). Thank our lucky stars in Sacto for Fools Foundation (and thank Liz!) and the dudes that live at 1915½ 22nd Street.

Next is one of the few bands on this playlist who are not playing live here (or anywhere). The Blank Dogs have made an awesome 12" and 7" which you've heard featured on previous playlists, but with three forthcoming records on the near horizon from the Sweet Rot, Sacred Bones, and the Florida's Dying labels, I'm very pleased to see that this side-project of Mike from the DC Snipers might just become the most prolific force in "weirdpunk" today. This mp3 will be the B-side of the new 7" on Sweet Rot. So far, the quality and quantity of Blank Dogs songs bears no inverse relationship. I just keep getting blown away by every song I hear. Flavors of obscure postpunk swirl together brilliantly in the Blank Dogs stew, such as the Twinkeyz, Braineaters, tiny flashes in the Kiwi pan, and much of what you hear on the Messthetics series, especially some of the synth-damaged stuff like Restricted Hours and The Rich and Famous. As I said before, I can make enough time and spare enough enthusiasm to claim about 50-100 current favorite bands, but I'm [i]this close[/i] to declaring the Blank Dogs as my favorite band on the planet at this very moment.

Green Bay's Pink Reason are also among my ultimate new faves, and to get everyone primed for their tour before it swings through the area with the pride of Algoma, Wisconsin, Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones, I've spun a double dose, beginning with the title song from the new 7" on Trick Knee which includes three of Pink Reason's live staples from last year's fall West Coast tour. Whereas much of Cleaning the Mirror are like the last miserable murmurs of a morphine-addled terminal sufferer minutes before catatonia, By a Thread is vigorous and more explosively melodramatic. That is not a negative comment about Cleaning the Mirror, mind you; I think it's a tremendous album that is as effective an excursion into wallowing agony as anything recorded since Joy Division did Closer. But comparing Cleaning... (or the debut Savage Quality 7" which is now legendary to Pink Reason fans) to the new 7" and the energized frustration of the live act is like comparing Closer to Unknown Pleasure or even the Warsaw demos. Unlike previous Pink Reason records, this 7" actually rips! One touch of folky-ness is still there, too; "The Devil Always Wins" is a foot-stompin' acapella crowd-pleaser (or WTFpwner, depending on each audience member's proneness to perplexion), and it brings to mind an old-timey folksong from the downtrodden hollows. Pink Reason makes the best misery and depression today.

Pink Reason & Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones tour

Thu Jul 12 Fargo, ND @ Aquarium w/ They Shoot Horses Don't They & more
Fri Jul 13 Missoula, MT @ Higgin's Hall w/ Ex-Cocaine & Eyes Like Candy
Sat Jul 14 Seattle, WA @ Funhouse w/ A-Frames & Kount Fistula
Sun Jul 15 Olympia, WA @ Le Voyeur
Mon Jul 16 Portland, OR @ Rotture w/ Tall Birds & Argumentix
Tue Jul 17 Oakland, CA @ Stork Club w/ Wooden Shjips & Red Nurse
Wed Jul 18 San Francisco, CA @ the Hemlock w/ Sic Alps
Thu Jul 19 Sacramento, CA @ Fools Foundation w/ San Kanzagascar
Fri Jul 20 Salt Lake City, UT @ Red Light Books
Sat Jul 21 Denver, CO @ The Office w/ Temples & Littles Paia
Sun Jul 22 Omaha, NE @ O'leavers w/ the Terminals

then, only Pink Reason & Little Claw

Sat Aug 25 Baltimore, MD @ TBA w/ the New Flesh & Captain Ahab
Mon Sep 3 Cleveland, OH @ Now That's Class w/ Homostupids
Fri Sep 7 St. Louis @ Apop Records

From misery and depression, we go to beauty and bliss with the Plants, whose new album alternates between two flavors of psychedelic folk: organic simplicity and textural futurism. If Pink Reason's folkiest psych reminds you of Death in June, then Photosynthesis Plants is like life in July at its most dazzling and full of hope and wonder. The singing and stringed instruments are delicate and sweet during those organic moments, and the pulsing synths...ah jeez...y'know, it's really hard for such a person as myself who likes to sing along to Sockeye's "The Boy With Breast Implants" not to make this sound cheesy, but all the electronic effects of those textural, futuristic moments shine like sunrays into all your capillaries, and just for a while, your shriveled soul sloughs off the black mold and unfurls like the wings of a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. Fragile at first, but soon emboldened. Are you like many of my readers and listeners who hate the psych/folks and have much fun at the expense of pretentious come-latelies to hippie fashion norms? Go ahead and bring that prejudice to the Plants show at Delta of Venus of August 1 and see if they don't melt away that calloused, warty punkness from your cholesterol-clogged heart. I've been asked to feel a vibe that was contrived by impostors, too, and it felt like playing charades with zombies. Plants are the most honest and unpretentious psych folk band you might ever find, and their live performances translate directly.

Two years ago, I was expecting the worst when I heard that Quem Quaeritis made an album. I had seen the band twice live, and each time they took up all my patience by setting up inside a tent and playing stream-of-consciousness jamrock while one member threw stuffed animals outta the top of the tent. It's not that the music was just took too damn long to set up, and by the time the band began playing, the novelty of the tent had worn off. And then they kept playing for, like, 45 minutes! But I kept hearing great things about the wacky, wonderful genius of these Riverside fellas, mostly from trusted members of bands I love who frequented The Smell. Thanks to them, I actually sat down with this TV! TV! Happy album, only available on limited spraypainted CDR, a format I love in theory, but in reality, so much self-indulgent jizz gets passed off on the small but ardent constituency of collectors of handmade CDRs. I braced myself. Even as the Line 6 moanin' began lapping at my ears like paltry waves on a Gulfcoast beach, I had to wonder, "But when is this [i]really[/i] gonna start sucking?" But then it got really good and ramped up to a great tidal wave before mutating into a delirious rap with Lasonic-rockin' beats. This was a prelude to an exciting and unpredictable album of free jazz, dub, noise, and a few more raps. Absurd and random, but somehow cohesive, I wonder why this couldn't be made into a vinyl LP. This was on par with the best material on the 10CD boxed-set of the L.A. Free Music Society. I came to understand that I had the wrong impression of Quem Quaeritis. Copies of their split LP with Child Pornography might still be floating around out there. John Thill was a member of Quem Quaeritis, and he makes clever pop music and is touring now with Abe Vigoda. They're calling it the "Inland Pride" tour.

U.S. Girls is the solo work of Meghan Remy from Portland, who plays drums in Silver Creme and was formerly in Me Con, Hustler White, and Hux, and her first CDR release is an album-length stunner of strange drone and lo-tech klingklang which takes turns sometimes, and other times happens all at once while smartly avoiding clutter, as you can hear on "Outta State." She's on tour right now playing most of the same dates as Shearing Pinx (see schedule in the AFS v. 138 post). Fans of Jessica Rylan (or Can't) would be wise to check out U.S. Girls, as I think both these ladies explore the same adjacent areas of noise and "other" music. As the biggest Boss fan I know, Meghan shows a lotta loving care on her Springsteen cover; but it's her Kinks take that I can't wait to show you. Stay tuned for that!

The sensational teenage ragers of weirdpunk's strangest and most compelling sounds is coming to California in September. Los Llamarada made a big splash in this here corner of blogosphere when Ss unleashed their debut LP, The Exploding Now. When Roland Woodbe wrote about their performance at SxSW on Siltblog, his praises promoted a mystique as they were cut and pasted all over the net. Just knowing that they exist in Monterey, Mexico, as precocious pioneers of their own psych/no-wave amalgam makes them seem miraculous, but hearing their music, you know that they are real. They have the confidence for cold-blooded bludgeon when they're good and mad, as you can see on this video for "Lies"...

...and "I'm Sorry," performed at some strange foundry-lookin' place...

Los Llamarada are confirmed for these dates so far...

Fri Sept 14 San Francisco @ The Hemlock
Sat Sept 15 Sacramento @ Fools Foundation w/ Captain Ahab & Foot Village

Also, they will be playing a street festival in San Francisco on 9/15 during the daytime along with Skaters and Tomu Tonttu.