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.


Anonymous said...

Good stuff. that captain ahab stuff is awful though. "ravsploitation." LA, figures. good show though, thanks.

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