Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Just out on Oms-B is a four-way split LP--Post-Alarmist Dracula Safari--of solo projects led by the members of Portland's Alarmist. How I fretted about missing their last ever live show when it was announced at an inopportune time for me to bail from the office. They were one of most outstanding live bands on the planet in the middle part of this decade, and their odd amalgamation of seeming ill-fitting parts (an unlikely duet of male tonally-challenged physical growler with female feline part-time shrieker/part-time delicate meower over a scant backdrop of lithe-sinewy strands of guitar (no bass) and clever jazzpunk drums that were plenty stout enough to hold the entire band together!) blended miraculously, bringing to mind a brasher take on U.S. Maple or Sonic Youth at their most threatening circa Sister. All the members were gregarious and hyper-creative in their individualistic ways, so certainly I shoulda known that from the rubble of Alarmist, many intriguing new bands and projects would spring. Each of the four members' primary solo projects are featured on Dracula Safari: Inca Ore, Argumentix, Ghost to Falco, and Tunnels. Tunnels is Nick Bindeman, who's been the busiest of the four; when Nick's not scorching the psych-swirl ethers in Eternal Tapestry (who are becoming evermore walloping and tremendous), he's been the most interesting thing about the best moments of Jackie-O Motherfucker (and noticeably absent when they've been at their boring-est (Inca Ore has also contributed well to JOMF)). Another little treat on this slab is the B-side intro, a live-radio call-in poetry tribute by fan and friend of the band, Meghan Remy, the lady who's better known to you as U.S. Girls. Not only did these four solo projects and other affiliated bands rise from their ashes, Alarmist inspired many of their friends to become more musically active, including Meghan. In this playlist, I've included other post-Alarmist moments, some of which intersect with U.S. Girls prehistory. Meghan and Nick were all the wallop in Hustler White, another band whose best live moments are forever etched in my memory. I'll give you more of this story down below the playlist; now get to some listening...
Download this program within three weeks at this link...
CLICK HERE for 192kbps rate.
(no 320kbps this time, sorry!)
CALIFORNIA RAISINS | Prospectre to the Stars | v/a: split 10" w/ CAVE | Permanent 2008
BRIDEZ | Rolling Stoned | Rolling Stoned 7" | World Famous in SF *new
LOVE TAN | Switch | Miscellaneous Night Feelings | Kill Shaman *new
IDLE TIMES | Get Your Feet Off the Ground | Get Your Feet Off the Ground 7" | Woodsist *new
MEERCAZ | Legend | Meercaz | Gulcher *new
CRUCIFUCKS | When the Top Comes Off | Wisconsin | Alternative Tentacles 1987
CRUCIFUCKS | Annual Report | The Crucifucks | Alternative Tentacles 1984
UNHOLY TWO | Altamont 1969 | Altamont 1969 7" | Columbus Discount *new
ALARMIST | Flight of the Corpse | Evil Works Get Rich or Try Dying Evil Works | Frenetic 2005
M. REMY | Ode to Alarmist | v/a: Post-Alarmist Dracula Safari | Oms-B *new
U.S. GIRLS | So Ladder Strong | Kankakee Memories 7" | Cherry Burger 2008
ME CON | untitled | This Is It CDR | no label 2005
TUNNELS | Case of the Dreamer | v/a: Post-Alarmist Dracula Safari
MALIBU FALCON | untitled | How Is Hell Fact Met? All of Them Witches CDR | no label 2004
MALIBU FALCON | untitled | Boa Constrictor CDR | no label 2004
HUSTLER WHITE | Cosmic Egg Creation | Tour CDR | no label 2005
DEFEKTORS | Doomsday Girl | Secret Trials 7" | Nominal 2008
TWIN CRYSTALS | Children | Twin Crystals | NMR 2008
DECEPTION BAY | All My Future | My Color Flag | Independent Project 1991
NICE STRONG ARM | Date of Birth | Reality Bath | Homestead 1987
MY DAD IS DEAD | Pile It On | The Best Defense | Homestead 1988
TEENAGE PANZERKORPS | Shopping Blitz | Games for Slaves | Siltbreeze *new
DIAGRAM BROTHERS | There is No Shower | v/a: Messthetics #106 | Hyped2Death *new (orig 1980)
CRAWLING CHAOS | Mummy's Tummy | Homunculus Equinox | Boutique 2003 (orig 1981)
THE CRAINIUM | You Pretend that You Depend | A New Music for a New Kitchen | Slowdime 1998
FINALLY PUNK | Coffee, Tea, and Misery | Coffee, Tea, & Misery 7" | M'Lady's *new
MALE BONDING | Lick Him With Fists | split 7" w/ Pens | Paradise Vendors, Inc. *new
TRAFFIC PATTERN | 3-D Vapors | Sight-Gags 3" CDR | Opt Out *new
TRAFFIC PATTERN | Loopholes
MLODRS | A3 | cassette | no label *new
RUSSIAN TSARLAG | Singaloid Bay | Community Death Tube | Night People *new
LITTLE STEVIE McCABE | Drunken Party | Sweat It Out | no label 1986
http://itsmeyou.ytmnd.com/ (Congrats, Rickey Henderson!) w/ DESIGNER | My Favorite Toy | split 7" w/ Bunny Brains | LHG 1996
LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS | Lady Flops Over Crawling Along | Dilapidated Head & Torso Aggregations | no label 2008
DRUID PERFUME | Learning Spanish Like Cuckoo | Druid Perfume | Pigs *new
MUDBOY | side A (excerpt) | Mudboy Beats III: Metal USA CS | no label *new
Before we get to the rest of the post-Alarmist story, I wanna share a link that was brought to my attention by Eric, a TermBo buddy, and the cause of this week's Crucifucks double-shot...
This is Sam McPheeter's indepth piece about Crucifucks vocalist Doc Dart. It does a great job to help explain the intrigue surrounding this man who was one of--if not THEE--most outstanding lyricists of hardcore punk rock in its 1980s heyday. From Vice magazine, this is an unexpectedly thrilling read!
So, where did we leave off in that post-Alarmist story? It's the point at which this story intersects with U.S. Girls prehistory. Nick gave up drumming for Alarmist and picked up a guitar for Hustler White, and Meghan picked up the drumsticks for the first time ever and clobbered those drums with a deathgrip. Meanwhile, Nick also played with Eva--still a ways off from becoming Inca Ore--who developed her voice in ever more subtle ways during the brief life of Malibu Falcon. There's only two CDRs of live Malibu Falcon performance caught by a distant mic [part of which was released on cassette by Not Not Fun in early 2009], but there's certainly some magic that comes fluttering outta the speakers on the best tracks. I swear that a solid 12" could be distilled from it. Whereas Eva's bewitching performances in Alarmist were equal parts wicked-witch and friendly-witch, and perhaps still brushed with a post-riot-grrl stroke of brattiness, her performance in Malibu Falcon was more abstract and daring, yet definitely more mature. As she developed the confidence to perform on her very own as Inca Ore, I could see how much it inspired Meghan to find her own voice, which began on the early Me Con recordings. Certain moments of This Is It surely hint at the haunting power of U.S. Girls. When Meghan began recording that Introducing... demo CDR which provided the basis for the Siltbreeze LP, she kept Nick closeby to assist in the recording, as he had done with Inca Ore's first recording, the Brute Nature vs. Wild Magic CDR, which later became an LP on Weird Forest Records.
There's some unreleased Me Con stuff that immediately predates U.S. Girls. About an album's worth (recorded by Sam Schauer of ...Worms and Modernstate), it was intended for release on Marriage Records before the band disbanded. In this version of the band, they coalesced into a deep-burrowing groovey psych-rock with a metal-level heaviness provided by a drummer they found who looked like someone you might see cruising your local Guitar Center. I only briefly heard this on a rough-mixed CDR, but it sounded swell. And when I saw them live at a warehouse show on NW Pettygrove in Portland, I was amazed by Megan's no-wavey bass guitar squelching...how it meshed with the hesher's drums and balanced the diffused psychedelic headswirl of the guitar, it was as sinister and relentless as K.K. Null in A.N.P.
Nowadays, Eva and Meghan's solo works are well-chronicled on dozens of blogs and increasingly even the printed page. And Nick's bands are getting more recognition all the time, although I also believe them to be largely misunderstood. A band as overly prolific as JOMF can have that effect; and certainly, hardly anyone has heard the full power of Eternal Tapestry yet. That band became truly intrepid chasers toward thee infinite riff this summer...believe me! Anyone who's of the mind that they make poofy clouds of wizard dust music has 'em all wrong now. The new tape on Night People bears it out on Side A pretty well despite some rather distracting hiss. Here's to hoping they commit a masterpiece to vinyl really soon!
I was already a fan of Nick's Tunnels solo-material when it was patience-testing meditative bowl n' bell harmonics exercises, but recently, the changes I've heard truly command your attention! Tunnels' summer CDR release--In Between Dreams--included fleshed-out songs of psychedelic bliss and a hint of spooky wonder that sounded like a full band, and these tracks from the Dracula Safari LP seem to have been touched by the recent "minimal wave" zeitgeist just a little bit. If these songs had been released together on a 7", fans of the likes of Indian Jewelry, Dead Luke, and Martial Canterel would come clamoring for it. No sign of second-wave try-hard here...This sounds perfectly natural!
In AFS v. 208, we'll check in on the other half of Alarmist, James Squeaky and Eric Crespo.
Posted by DJ Rick at 3:02 AM