Tuesday, June 02, 2009

AFS v. 223 ~ Green Psychic Stasis

This week's podcast features a Live in Studio A set by Green Green, the weirdpunk/weirdfolk project of one Andrew Henderson from Folsom, California. Some of the bravest, boldest singing and most emotionally wrenching live shows I've seen locally in the last year have been performed by this young fellow. He surely has a knack for polarizing rooms with his intensely personal style of singing and unstable rhythms, but if you listen patiently, I think you'll hear that this cat's got courage and personality in oodles, a really unique sense of humor, and even a keen--if quirky--sense of pop. After a couple self-made cassette and CDR releases, the first Green Green 7" vinyl came out last month. Two KDVS-affiliated labels, Out of Order and Orange Regret, teamed up to release "Swimsuit Drugs" b/w "Mouth on the Floor" in an addition of 300. It ships for $6ppd to the USA.

Lemme just say that this new Ganglians LP+7" on Weird Forest totally knocks it outta the park! But I'll more extensively feature it next week...Read on below the playlist about this week's other features: (1) the new tape by Michael Stasis which sounds like the best cassette-only album since Harmony Ground Zero last year, and (2) the first 7" from Not Not Fun all-star band Vibes...

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GANGLIANS | Cryin' Smoke | Monster Head Room 12"+7" | Weird Forest *new
MICHAEL STASIS | Greenskin | self-titled cassette | Natural Resources *new
BELREVE | The Sky Is Falling | Nothing 7" | Anyway 1993
SUMMER HITS | Mod Cinema | 1000 Moments of Natural Flotation 7" | Silver Girl 1995
THE FRESH & ONLYS | Peacock & Wing | self-titled | Castle Face 2008
DAVILA 666 | Me Va Muy Mal | self-titled 7" | Douche Master *new
* * * live in Studio A * * *
| Swimsuit Drugs
GREEN GREEN | Celestial Ceremony
GREEN GREEN | Clean Chemicals
GREEN GREEN | Mouth on the Floor
GREEN GREEN | Sinner Now
GREEN GREEN | Hot Streets
GREEN GREEN | Lipstick
* * *
| Hey Buddy | Zork's Tape Bruise (bonus CD) | Kill Shaman *new
MICHAEL STASIS | Bugle Boy | self-titled cassette
VIBES | Dead Horses | Psychic 7" | Not Not Fun *new
THE MIRRORS | Beaver Girls | Something That Would Never Do | Violet Times/Hovercraft *new (orig 1974)
THE MIRRORS | Living Without You
SPIRIT DUPLICATOR | A Poor Craftsman Blames His Tools | Tonight I'll Forget the English Language CDR | Deathbombarc *new
CELESTEVILLE | Leftward Glance | Spirit Duplicator CDR | Tape Mountain 2005
ODD CLOUDS | title unknown | Deceiving Illusion | Not Not Fun *forthcoming
HEAVY WINGED & INCA ORE | side A | self-titled | Not Not Fun *new
JANDEK | I Ain't Got None | Interstellar Discussion | Corwood 1984
JIM SHEPARD | Animal Man | The Songs of Kim Fowley 7" | Anopheles 1996
V-3 | It's Not Easy (Over-Drive) | Psychic Dance Hall | Ropeburn 1991
FRANCIS HAROLD & THE HOLOGRAMS | Why Are You So Afraid? | Who Said These Were Happy Times | Going Underground/Square Wave *new
TELEVISION PERSONALITIES | This Angry Silence | ...and Don't the Kids Just Love It | Rough Trade 1980
SO COW | Halcyon Days | self-titled | Tic Tac Totally *new

The new cassette-only album by NYC's Michael Stasis is a shining nugget of vinyl-ready psych-pop that varies between folky strum, breezy twee, soulful crooning, and consumer-grade electronics. One moment, he daringly embraces mainstream pop radio just enough to smack of Prince a little bit. Later, you could swear that he just ripped off the vocal progression from Blue Öyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" and reappropriated it for fans of the Quiet Storm and 70's soft rock. Ariel Pink and Gary War are inevitable comparisons, but Michael Stasis does not reek so much of irony, not even when the unexpected overdub of a creepy, maniacal "gimme what I want...motherfucker!!!"--complete with a separate layer of a different brand's tape-hiss(!)--sneaks into the otherwise sweetest, most lullaby-like little ditty. Michael's approach to lo-fi recording is also more effective than either of the comparables, and the entire album hangs together brilliantly, beckoning repeat listens. Fans of those Ganglians should surely approve! Seriously, this would sound great on vinyl....Why doesn't someone make it happen? If you just wanna listen, I recommend that you paypal $8 to naturalresourcestapes(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or send concealed cash to Natural Resources, 75 Wilson Ave 2nd Floor, Brooklyn NY 11237.

Speaking of soulful....the first vinyl from Vibes--the Psychic 7" on Not Not Fun--is a soulful psych weirdpunk rager! The band is comprised of Amanda and Britt from Pocahaunted (also the NNF label honchos) and formerly Weirdo/Begeirdo and Cameron from Sun Araw. Amanda's dynamo vocals immediately recall Kilynn of Little Claw as they go from ladylike to unhinged and back again while the band pounds out overdriven bluesy riffs of fuzz with warbly wah-jammin' that build to roiling crescendoes from laid-back beginnings as the drummer sets the early tempos with head-bobbin' hip hop double-triplets. In that way, these four songs are kinda like more condensed punk versions of "Black Sky" by Mainliner. For fans of awesome girl-power, this is a must. Man, am I bummed to have slept on their tape from earlier this year! Anyone gotta copy and wanna propose a trade? For what is essentially a jamrock band that probably barely--if ever practices--this is incredibly effective...really a perfect side-project for each of these three. And it's probably the most rockin' slab that NNF has released since The Hospitals made an appearance on the Bored Fortress Singles Club in year one.

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