Monday, November 12, 2007

AFS v. 155 starring Little Claw / Psychedelic Horseshit / Pink Reason

Three of my favorite bands are my guests in Studio A this week...
Little Claw, Psychedelic Horseshit, and Pink Reason!

(This will be archived for 10 weeks;
Little Claw begins about 46 minutes into
this 2-hour file; Psychedelic Horseshit
begins about 95 minutes in...right up to
the end. Normal programming resumed, but
we caught the end of the set on tape,
including a special Pink Reason set,
and it will air here next week!)

* the first few minutes of Psychedelic Horseshit's set might sound really quiet, but if that's the case, I'll re-air the whole thing at righteously regulated levels next week!

V3 // Girl in a Room // Negotiate Nothing // Ropeburn 1992
JIM SHEPARD // Face on the Factory Floor // The Songs of Kim Fowley 7" // Anopheles 1996
ALIEN SOUNDTRACKS // Ostrich Farm // self-titled CDR // Weatherbox *new
ELECTRIC BUNNIES // This Is the Electric Bunnies Mixtape for Psychedelic Horseshit // Mixtape for Psychedelic Horseshit CDR // no label *new
YANKA // Pree-dyote Vah-dah // Steed e Stram // Moroz 1999
OSO EL ROTO // Queso de Pija // Mojon Pol Agua // Galerie Pache *new
SHADOW RING // Horse-Meat Cakes // Put the Music in It's Coffin // Siltbreeze 1997
THE REBEL // Civilian Rush // Tarskovski's the Snackrifice 12" EP // Emperor Jones *new
DAN MELCHIOR UND DAS MENACE // So Real // Madame Nhu 7" // Plastic Idol *new
JOHN OTWAY & WILD WILLY BARRETT // Real Free // self-titled // Extracked 1977
AXEMEN // You Gave Me the Power of the Gangbusters // Derry Legend // Flying Nun 1987
TELEVISION PERSONALITIES // Look Back in Anger // And Don't the Kids Just Love It... // Rough Trade 1981

LITTLE CLAW // Shewolves // Live in Studio A
LITTLE CLAW // Race to the Bottom
LITTLE CLAW // Basement (Colors)
LITTLE CLAW // Polar Bear
LITTLE CLAW // Feeding You
LITTLE CLAW // Shoplifting Cart
EAT SKULL // Survivable Spaces // Tour Tape // Palto Flats *new
THE CLEAN // Whatever I Do Is Right // Anthology // Merge 1982
84 NASH // Universal Racing Signal // The Kings of Yeah // Rockathon 1997
84 NASH // Roadtrip to Columbus
J.P. HERRMANN // Car Conversation // demo CDR // no label *new
NOTHING PEOPLE // A Really Good Time // In the City 7" // S-S Records *new

PSYCHEDELIC HORSESHIT // C Song // live in Studio A

...& you'll hafta catch these next week along with some Pink Reason songs...

The tastemaker of my teen years and arguably the greatest DJ in KDVS history, Karl Ikola, started his Anopheles label to issue the Live in Studio A performance of Aussie psych-punks Venom P. Stinger, and as sealed copies of this scorcher still linger in Bay Area stores, it is Karl's example of how things don't always go right for fledgling labels. His next record would be a sureshot to sell quickly and become a speculator's record to watch--if not to horde immediately--a 7" tribute to Kim Fowley, Jr. by Columbus, Ohio's legendary misfit and master scuzzsmith, who ascended to the throne of finely fucked yet melodic pop perfection with his band V3 in the 90s.

I remember about 12-13 years ago, the major labels were still mining for that next Seattle (or Athens, Georgia), infiltrating local scenes and signing bands left and right. It even happened in Davis. No A&R rep could ever fully camouflage himself at shows at the 3rd & B Teen Center, where bands like You Are My Little Iodine and Chance the Gardener would take the next step into...well...a modest recording advance for a record that would never be released, or maybe just never promoted. The majors' miners came to Columbus, too. Despite Shepard's ace credentials in bands since the late 70s, his V3 was surely one of the strangest stories of the major label's alterna-rock gold rush of the early- to mid-90s. His story's been buried by a buncha dead weblinks now, so the details have become sketchy again. But how a man could go from the freak genius that (along with Mike Rep) provides the glue from Columbus' past as the Electric Eels refuge after Clevo banishment to the 90s zeitgeist of central and southern Ohio's gnarly indie dregs and proto-weirdpunk, and onto a major label contract and into a morgue so quickly....Let's just say that there's a really good movie there. Bands like our three special guests here keep the torch of Jim Shepard's philosophically unimpeachable contributions to rock & roll and its recording aesthetics alive.

With a name like Alien Soundtracks, surely one expects more than a mere passing resemblance to the godly Chrome. This band from SoCal's Inland Empire fuse the aggressive punk crunch, deft Krauty motoriks, expansive psychedelic flourishes, and cold, clamey electronics much like their inspiration did nearly 30 years ago. I really appreciate how they paid attention to getting such a propulsive drum sound out of a kit that obviously cost all of about $100 at the pawn shop. That's what really struck me about Chrome when I first scored Touch & Go's reissue of Half Machine Lip Moves and Alien Soundtracks...that drum production, so ostentatious about its budgetness, yet still so very destructive. In terms of cheapness, the only thing I could compare it to at the time was the first Cure album, but it was immediately rendered silly novelty by Chrome. And maybe not since the mysterious Doppleganger Squid 7" from 1994, no band has gotten this idea of budget drum domination down pat as much as these guys. The CDR is an interesting mix of electronic ambient tracks and bent spacepunkers so that it almost sounds like a split LP with alternating tracks, yet altogether cohesive enough to keep me from skipping ahead. There is room for improvement, but they're on the right path, moving from the right starting point.

I can guarantee you that unless you get in a car with Psychedelic Horseshit, you're not gonna hear this custom-made intro track to the one and only copy of a mixtape (actually a CDR) by Florida's Electric Bunnies. Now, don't you feel special?

And you might not hear this weird folk-psych from Russia that is phonetically pronounced "Yanka" unless you're hanging out with Kevin from Pink Reason. No doubt you've heard buskers on the street spark more curiosity than the first four minutes of this tune, but the last half of this nine-minute opus is like a whole other song thanks to what Kevin describes as "the greatest keyboard solo ever. If you wanna know what Pink Reason is all about, just listen to this song. That's basically everything I ripped off."

Oso el Roto are Chileans now living in Paris. They've made an extremely limited LP in a mangy DIY gatefold of decaying cardboard bound by brads. Fans of cherry merchandise need not apply. Rather, only fans of the rawest, yet most original take on "bluespunk" with the old-timey twang of the Piedmont tradition should hunt this one down. If the thought of another bluespunk band makes you brace for more pointless schtick from fellas with kneepads for Jon Spencer--or even if you're dead tired of needless rehashes of the Oblivians ideals--this record should be very refreshing for its rhythmic twists and turns, intriguing audio bits, and genuine freakiness. I've not heard much of the wilder side of Pacific coast South American rock from the 60s and 70s, but others more in the know say that this reveals some of its lineage to that music, too. I'm guessing that will make this sound very new and bewildering to most of us.

Continuing with the picks from the members of our three guest bands this week, we revisit the Shadow Ring, and not a moment too soon. This may be my most-played LP in the back-catalog of Siltbreeze, but ten years later, I'm still totally amazed at how compelling such unmusical music can be. Oops, I started it at the wrong speed, but it still sounded no more wrong (or right (I'm still confused about which, but I'm still intrigued)).

To Matt's dismay, now we hear something new from The Rebel, or Ben Wallers of Country Teasers fame/infamy. The new six-song Tarskovski's the Snackrifice EP is another hit from the transgressive master. I'd only call Matt out on it if he was lukewarm about Wallers. I welcome all opinions on Ben Wallers except indifference. Some will feel shortchanged by hearing lyrics cribbed from the narration script of odd main character of American Beauty, but the accent makes the words all new in my imagination, and the music is such a menace on the track. It's as if to say, "I am a walking contradiction. Fuck you if you can't take it." Okay, be who you want to be. You're the only person who needs to be comfortable being you. Hey, if I think about that really hard, surely there's something I can learn from that. D'ya think? I feel a calming come over me now. Ben Wallers is a peacemaker, see?

I missed you guys last week 'cos I was hanging out with Dan Melchior und Das Menace, makers of some of the finest EPs and unreleased LPs of the last few years. I saw Dan play a couple of live shows here in Sacto and Davis, plus live to tape on KDVS, which I promise you will hear on next week's AFS v. 156. This gem of a song you're hearing now is the B-side of the new 7" on Plastic Idol, and it's the weirder of the two songs on this perfect single. Somehow I knew that when a master like Dan and a shrewd exactor like Mario of Plastic Idol got together, the results would be perfect. What I didn't know is that seeing Dan play live would be so awe-inspiring because of his masterful guitarwork. I've been a fan because of the lyrical storytelling, the Englishness of the phrases, and the voice. I never realized until the live shows that the guy is seriously a great guitarist. This Das Menace lineup was also tremendous. A much heavier, more solid rhythm section than I expected. Burly American yin to clever English yang.

Rich of Psychedelic Horseshit is a comedian. Seriously, he performs his stand-up during a day off on the tour, this Thursday in San Francisco. He was a little shy to speak on the air this time, though. Let this John Otway tune be his punchline for the night. The Axemen are one of the lesser-hyped Flying Nun bands for sure. They make this Otway-to-TVP's segueway a pretty sweet coctail surprise, I think.

More on the rest later...


Connor Morris said...

the new song is fucking incredible.

Anonymous said...

rich horseshit is hot as hell

Anonymous said...


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