Friday, June 19, 2009

AFS v. 225 ~ Is This Your Final Hunch???


Sorry, gang...I missed my Monday night show this week due to a deluge of busywork at the office. Thanks to DJ Trotsky for filling in! But hey, I put together a special hour of music for you to download tonight because DJ Fuzzbox Flynn was home sick. Have a listen! Read on for features of the new NoBunny and final Hunches tour...

Download this program within two months at this link...
CLICK HERE for 192kbps rate.
or
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R. STEVIE MOORE | U.R. True | U.R. True + 3 7" | Felony Fidelity *new
JEFFREY NOVAK | One of a Kind | One of a Kind 7" | Sweet Rot *new
THE SHACKLES | Funeral Shroud | Broken Arm 7" | Sweet Rot *new
THE RANTOULS | Still 16 | The Songs of the Frontier Villagers 7" | Sunnytrees *new
HUNX & HIS PUNX | Teardrops on My Telephone | Teardrops on My Telephone 7" | Shattered *new
NOBUNNY | Vicious Circle | Raw Romance CS | Burger *new
GANGLIANS | Valient Brave | Monster Head Room LP+7" | Weird Forest *new
PINK REASON | Hey Girl | split 7" w/ Electric Bunnies | Die Stasi *new
LONG LEGGED WOMAN | Agatha the Hagfish | Agatha the Hagfish EP | to be determined *forthcoming?
REPORTS | Bill Wyman, Metal Detector | Bill Wyman, Metal Detector 7" | Ride the Snake *new
SWERVEDRIVER | Zedhead | Rave Down EP | Creation 1990
KILLING JOKE | Twilight of the Mortal | Brighter Than a Thousand Suns | E'G/Virgin 1986
JIM SHEPARD | The Voices of Men | The Voices of Men 7" | Columbus Discount *new
KILLING TIME | Hearing Without a Break Without Hearing a Break | Skip | Epic/Sony 1987
WIRE | Cheeking Tongues | The Ideal Copy | Mute/Enigma 1987
CHEVEU | C'est ├ža L'amour | Like a Deer in the Headlights 7" | Born Bad *new
GRAFFITI ISLAND | Secret Cave | Head Hunters 7" | House Anxiety *new
FRANCIS HAROLD & THE HOLOGRAMS | Mirror of Fear | Mirror of Fear 7" | HoZac *new
THE HUNCHES | Ate My Teeth | Exit Dreams | In The Red 2009

The comeback of cassettes is eating up so much shelf space at my house....really, guys....when a group of songs by a bonafide it band/artist like NoBunny hangs together like a really superb album, you need to put that on vinyl! This Raw Romance cassette has been auto-reversing in my car all week while I've been making up excuses to go driving. Don't tell me that vinyl pressing plants are gross polluters 'cos the carbon footprint of this tape is ever-expanding with every individual errand I run. This tape is even making me fat by keeping me off the bicycle. Somebody--Burger, Bubbledumb, anybody who wants a sureshot winner--reissue this sucker on a nice slab of wax, please!

Certainly, this is a lot different than Love Visions in that it's not as much a rock album. Raw Romance dares to twang a bit, especially on tonight's featured song and even more so on "The Gutter", which is a true-blue country 'n western should-be-classic that would surely please anyone who remembers Hee Haw fondly. Several other songs feature acoustic guitar strumming and an intimate back porch feel, but it's always as rousing as the NoBunny that you've come to know and love. Who knew that bubblegum folkpunk could rule?!? And so long as this is only on cassette, I've gotta give Burger Records props for doing it right...excellent pro-grade materials make for an enticing good-looking package and pretty much the best fidelity possible from Type-I tape. No obtrusive noise at all (which, alas, is so commonplace in this cassette zeitgeist)! How is this only $5?!?

Nearly halfway through 2009, certainly one of the very tip-top best albums of the year is Exit Dreams by The Hunches, the band who I believe--along with The Wipers and Dead Moon--complete a trilogy of all-time great philosophically untouchable, intensely powerful, yet subtly brilliant, beautiful, and poignant Portland bands. It sorta became a long-running joke that every Hunches live performance in the last 2½ years has been advertised as "last Hunches show ever"...and that was probably about 8-10 shows. And I saw the last one....it was the first night of The Mayyors "Trail of Beers" tour. After seeing The Hunches seven or eight times before, I knew that this was unlike any other Hunches show, and it truly had a feeling of absolute finality. I truly believed that when they said "last Hunches show ever", that show was it. As I told the story to Hunches fans back home in California, several of them felt gypped that they wouldn't get to see 'em again. But thanks to the urging of In the Red honcho Larry Hardy, The Hunches are getting back together to play four engagements, beginning next Wednesday, July 24 at the scene of that legendary night that I'll tell you about next...

Hunches Exit Dreams swansong tour

Wed, June 24 in Portland @ East End (203 SE Grand)
w/ Eat Skull, The Whines, & The Blimp
Thurs, June 25 in Sacramento @ Funcastle (2309 L Street)
w/ The Mayyors, The Pizzas, & The Blimp
Fri, June 26 in San Francisco @ The Hemlock Tavern (1131 Polk)
w/ Long Legged Woman & The Blimp
Sat, June 27 in East L.A. @ house-party (2685 E. Marengo St.)
w/ The Lamps, De Hombres, The Golddiggers, & The Blimp

So, The Hunches have never been less than amazing--or at least highly entertaining--when I've seen them. Basically, you can always count on the rhythm section to be totally and awesomely solid and guitar-god Chris Gunn to be spectacular. Seriously, the guy combines such a rare combination of power and grace...Gunner is a stunner each and every show. The X-factor at any Hunches show is singer Hart. Every show I've seen him perform at, he is in a total waster zone. Sometimes it's a really good zone; sometimes it's kind of a bad belligerent zone, but all the more awesome; and then sometimes it's a particularly bad zone where he looks really peaked, and maybe he'll flop on the floor like a fish and then not be able to get up. Before everyone gets too worried, maybe there's laughter. But regardless, the band is brilliant and unflappable and just dazzling.

At the supposed last Hunches show ever at the East End on June 7, 2008, it started out like any other excellent Hunches show. Midway in, Hart's eyes started looking crazy, and he gradually started antagonizing the fans in the front 'n center area before the stage. His animosity ratcheted up and he took a dive into the audience and started swimming on them. Really, it looked more like Rambo bush-whacking through a jungle. But just as the mayhem began to make some of the crowd uncomfortable, the sound of an unruly wave of guitar feedback caused Hart to turn his head quickly toward Chris Gunn, who was violently destroying his guitar. Within seconds, Chris had demolished the guitar he learned on as a teenager into four pieces. Then his second guitar paid the price of his pent frustration, too, and next, his amps were getting wrestled to the floor. It seemed Chris had ripped a page from Hart's book on how to be the X-factor. As astonished as I was, I looked at Hart and saw such a look of concern on his face, it was clear that he was instantly stone cold sober. When the feedback finally subsided, Chris seemed to have re-entered ordinary consciousness, but after the initial confusion and "I can't believe I just did that!", he actually had a look of relief on his face. That's what I mean by the absolute finality of the moment. I can recall moments of this night just like it was yesterday. It was the most transfixing moment of devastation I've ever seen at a rock show. It was more like seeing a Cock ESP show unfold, but over the course of 30 minutes, and with so much more drama (and, of course, music!).

Now, I don't wanna set myself or you or the band up for disappointment, because each and every show of The Hunches was thrilling and an enriching experience for me. But I think I might hafta cruise down to East L.A. for that last last show just to see how it plays out. I already felt like I saw the end, and I'll be pinching myself to believe it's real.

(photo credits: this fellow (...from a totally different show.))



Also, enjoy the incredibly well-produced video for another irresistible new Hunx nugget!

6 comments:

thee makeout party! / burger records said...

thanks for the kind words! we're going to do the vinyl version of raw romance sometime in the future, keep an ear out!
xoxoxoxoxo,
your burger boys

Anonymous said...

g'day, DJ Rick......great show as always, but i'm puzzled at this Killing Joke selection! but that mid-80s Wire sounded better than i remember.
-colm

DJ Rick said...

Colm, there were others who emailed me to complain about or question my choice to play that Killing Joke song, and there was even a call on the request line while it played to say, "What the hell is this???" The comments that KDVS DJs wrote on the record cover back in 1987 also include little barbs..."What went wrong here?"...and perhaps the cleverest..."WHAT'S THIS FOR?"

Sure, the synths on Brighter Than a Thousand Suns are pretty treacly, Geordie's guitar often sounds pretty synthetic, too, and Jaz Coleman's singing had become more overdramatic than ever, but the drums on this album are absolutely massive and pack too much of a wallop to make this album totally sucky.

There's also the nostalgia think...when I was 13-14, I bought this tape at Musicland at the Solano Mall in Fairfield, California, and it was one of my favorite albums then. I had thought for a while that if I ever got a tattoo, that I would get that weird symbol of the sun with the square in the middle, and the radians intertwining inward. It seemed like some kinda yin/yang symbolizing the marriage of technology and humanity to create an harmonic symbiosis. Yep, this album was pretty important to me and got me into some really deep thinking.

Anonymous said...

Dj Rick, not to be too lorky, but (a la Mayyors) July 24th is a Thursday in 2009. -----argh = nick

DJ Rick said...

One can never be too "lorky"...I realize that I meant June!

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