Tuesday, September 29, 2009

AFS v. 238 ~ Gonerfest 6 Recap

After Gonerfest 6, I'm terribly jetlagged from the flight back home from Memphis, a city where people take time to say hello and chat up total strangers. It's not so much that people there are lazy, but in the muggy metropolis by the Mississippi, moving fast or vigorously will only get you soaked in sweat, and when you've got a nice buzz on and a belly fulla BBQ brisket, it's better to just be cool and make friends with strangers. The festival was sonically superb, the partying was epic, and the food lived up to legend. Midway through day two, we were already making plans to return for Gonerfest 7. Who's playing? Doesn't matter...we wanna go (and bring a big Sacto/Davis contingent maybe) 'cos surely it'll rule! I'll tell you all about it below this week's playlist, but right about now, I want you to know one thing...if you're within half a day's drive to Sacramento or Davis, you should come out to KDVS presents...Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom VIII fest on Saturday, October 3, from 2-10pm at Plainfield Station in the boonies between Davis and Woodland. I guarantee it'll be at least a 200% return on the cheap admission dollar rate!

Download this program within two months at this link...
CLICK HERE for 192kbps rate.
CLICK HERE for 320kbps rate.
, if you have a slower/20th century connection
STREAM IT HERE by next Monday night!

(Email me if there are any downloading problems, please!)

CHEATER SLICKS | I've Been Had | On Your Knees | Gawdawful 1989
CIRCLE PIT | Everybody Left | Everybody Left 7" | R.I.P. Society *new
KITCHEN'S FLOOR | Twenty-Two | Loneliness is a Dirty Mattress | R.I.P. Society *new
GIBSON BROS | Sugartail Rock | Big Pine Boogie | Okra 1987
BASSHOLES | Fear and a Hand Full of Sand | Haunted Hill | In the Red 1995
BASSHOLES | Hey O.J. | Hey O.J. 7" | In the Red 1995
MOM | Monkey's Smuckle | Smells Like Dirty Dog Dicks 7" | Grotesque Modern *new
GARY PANTER + JAY COTTON | God Save the Queen | One Hell Soundwich | Savage Pencil 1989
STREETS OF RAGE | I'm Gone | Beat Your Kids CDR | no label *new
THE PENS | Networking | Hey Friend! What You Doing | De Stijl *new
NITWITS | Captain America | split 7" w/ Mohinder | Unleaded/Stinky Feet 1994
VILE NATION | A3 | No Exit 7" | Even Worse 2008
IDOL PUNCH | Dried Nasal Mucus/Milk & Sugar | Culture Market 7" | MCR 2000
GENBAKU ONANIES | Nanni Mo Nai | Forward Command Post 7" | Public Bath 1991
RED MASS | Ghosts | Scars CS | Campaign for Infinity *new
BLACK FEELINGS | Eternal Bad Trip | self-titled | Alien8 *new
SUN MANTRA | Garden Sounds | self-titled CDR | no label *new
DAN MELCHIOR UND DAS MENACE | Visiting/Strange Exchanges | Obscured by Fuzz | Topplers *new
MIRRORS | Hands in My Pockets | Something That Would Never Do | Violet Times/Hovercraft 2009 (orig 1975)
MICHAEL PSYCHO | Decent Setups | Think | Black Hole 1990
MATT K. SHRUGG | Climbing the Air | Instant Images CDR | Guiness Book of World Records *new
THE MANTLES | Burden | Burden 7" | Dulc-i-Tone 2007
NOTHING PEOPLE | Late Night [Syd Barrett] | Late Night | SS Records 2009
PROBLEMIST | Overcame/Slapping | 9 Times Sanity | Sordide Sentimental 1984
COREPHALLISM | Speaking in Tongues | self-titled 3" CD | Apop/Lascivious Aesthetics *new
GHOST MOTH | Hamas Movements 1 & 2 | v/a: Tarantismo Summit Vol. #1 | Rampage *new
CACAW | Cacti in the Dark | Get a Brain | Permanent 2009 *request
EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN | Haus der Lüge | Strategies Against Architecture II | Mute/Elektra 1991 (orig 1984)
BILLY BAO | Auxilio | I Am Going to Kill All the Rich Man CS | Badmaster *new
ULTRATHIN | Break-In | split CS w/ Twin Crystals | Campaign for Infinity *new
CHEVEU | Rupture Movement 1 & 2 | Cheveau | Permanent *new

Before I dish the highlights of my Gonerfest vacation, lemme shine a light on a fantastic new CDR of garagepunk with a really rad penchant for dynamism, striking that rare balance between punchy bombastic riffage, hookiness, and cool textural atmospherics. Self-Titled by Sun Mantra is no awkward demo-stage ugly duckling; it may just be a couple of mastering tweaks away from joining my short list of 2009's most adoptable vinyl orphans. Ostensibly a one-man-project by Matt Ojala from Seattle, Sun Mantra's twin guitar attack is beachy bliss backed up with appreciable power. Ojala likes to weave shimmery ribbons of surfadelic tube-bounce reverb-drenched melody which seem to surf atop the rolling, crashing waves of full-bodied rhythm guitar. The pacing is nicely varied: "Cousin", "Pockets Pull (in so Many Ways)", and "Stomp Feet" go cowabunga-crazy with the rapid charge and frenetic jangle; "Question the Tropics" starts with an Abe Vigoda-like calypso-punk flirtation; the "Garden Sounds" you hear tonight swings a heavy lumber and is a very patient heavy-hitter; some purposeful naturalistic and instro interludes round out a very listenable, largely filler-free journey. If this really is all Matt (with only drum help courtesy of Travis Coster of The Last Slice of Butter), then he's also doing an unusually fine job of harmonizing multiple tracks of his own vocals, and he's not afraid to deploy his rather appealing falsetto. If he can build a magical band like Ryan of Ganglians did, look out...this band is a contender for Boss of the Beach. The sound here is on the lithe and lanky side...not so fuzzy and chunky...and that's not necessarily a bad thing given the glut of bands mining that sound today.

Here's my Gonerfest vacation recap...

Day Zero/Wed 9/23....I hadn't driven in a city with an interstate beltway in forever, so after I merged onto I-240 north of the airport, I got disoriented and exited onto Lamar Avenue going the wrong direction, away from the Artisan Hotel. Gee...there sure are a lotta Family Dollar and beauty supply stores in Memphis! Luckily, I did pass a little fish hut called Semmes which was packed to the gills with neighborhood folks on a rather janky edge of town. I knew it had to be good, so I filed it quickly as a future dining destination. But for tonight, I figured we'd dine for our health just one last time before partaking in the sinful local delights such as BBQ, fried chicken, and platter-sized omelets. I'd referred to Yelp earlier for tips on a locavore- and vegetarian-friendly spot and found Cafe Eclectic which seemed to be popular with the Rhodes College crowd. It was decent enough, I guess, but too much like the "new American bistro"-type spots which have proliferated throughout California so much. Next, we checked into the Artisan, where we gawked at the splendorous lobby which lived up to the hotel's name. Once we entered our room on the sixth floor, however, any semblance of a fancy hotel was completely dashed. We walked to the pre-Gonerfest show at Nocturnal where The Reatards would be performing take one of their reunion revue. The one-woman-band from Arizona, Becky Lee Drunkfoot, got the festivities rolling after the worst jukebox in America had its plug pulled. She sang beautifully and nailed some cool riffs, but a lotta her songs prattled on too long. A young local hardcore/thrash band revved it to the limit next. Vile Nation had an authentic real-deal sound and were a lot more fun-sounding than their record which is dominated by a humorless meanstreak. Their posse of about eight underagers plus one ill-fitting hippie moshed alone in the pit area at the foot of the stage. Behind this 12-feet-deep pit area was a six-inch drop-off to an area where people sat at tables. At first, the kids moshed dangerously close to the edge, where a concussion or spinal injury might've awaited them. But once they wised up, it was hilarious to watch them take turns stepping up to the stage with so much vim and vigor before launching off with the pussiest lit'l stagedives right into the laps of their friends. Cheap Time was up next and were the highlight of the night for me. The new hesher drummer fit right in. Ladies in the crowd were dancing and singing the refrains of the hits from last year's self-titled album on In the Red, but then the moshers came rallying back and made the ladies scatter. Eventually, these boys'll get tired of being alone, right? I saw Jay Reatard tell the pony-tailed soundman to crank certain levels all the way to the right before The Reatards took the stage. All three warm-up bands enjoyed excellent sound, but this fuckophonic advice was indeed way too over-the-top to make the reunion listenable on any level. To his credit, Jay was in fine bile-spewing form. I think that he mighta been trying to completely undo the "he's-gone-soft" consensus, and he probably succeeded halfway through the first verse he shouted. But it was so unlistenable that we left after they ripped through maybe 9-10 songs, including a poorly rendered "I Love Livin' in the City". It was raining cats n' dogs as we left, so we ducked into the Piggly Wiggly next door for a while hoping the rain would subside. A man without an eye tried to set us up to give him change on the way out. He was friendly enough, but what really tugged at our heart-strings was a friendly-lookin' old fella with cloudy cataract-addled eyes who asked for our help in reading the expiration dates on the milk so that he could find the freshest jug possible. This was also our crash course in making sense of heavily-drawled speech, but we made it work. I got a little depressed just thinking about the nutrition of people in Memphis after trying to no avail to find any fresh-squeezed juice in a container under 96 fluid ounces. I circled the whole store and found absolutely zero. But I did find ready-to-eat meals of delectable-lookin' fried foods served with cole slaw and peach cobbler for $2! I was hungry enough, but rooms at the Artisan were without microwaves, so no dice. The rain was still coming down as we left, but it felt kinda like Hawaii, so the rain just felt sublime, as if it was evaporating on our skin the moment it touched us. "Oh, this isn't bad at all!" we remarked, but five blocks later, my beloved Mayyors t-shirt was completely soaked and sticking to me, and my shoes and socks were also wet all the way through. Fortunately, the one luxury of our room was a blow dryer. We sunk into our king-size bed which seemed to have been flattened in the middle by an extreme obese bed-ridden person who didn't get out for weeks or months. This was the worst gripe about our stay. Our sleep was certainly not refreshing enough. But we were excited for the next day.

Day One/Thu 9/24....Due to reverse-jetlag, we woke up way too late to do anything, so we hit the showers quickly and got dressed to scope out the lay of the "Midtown" and "Cooper-Young" areas where all the Gonerfest action would be happening the next three days and nights. I'd also circled breakfast at Brother Juniper's in the East area by the University of Memphis as a must-eat thanks to seeing it on television and reviewed glowingly on Yelp. But, alas...it closed at 1:00 p.m. while we were flipping through bins and boxes of new and used records at the enviable Goner Records store. My best scores included a beautiful copy of Jedda by the Sea by 17 Pygmies for pretty cheap. It's a fairly essential record for any big fan of Savage Republic. Man, would I love to see a record store even half as good as this open in Sacto someday! With our first choice of breakfasts closed, we circled back toward the Goner store to check out some neighborhood eats. We brunched at Casablanca, where I enjoyed a lamb shawarma despite the sauce which was based on thousand island dressing (spiked with paprika, I presume). Sure, the sauce was laughably unauthentic and completely unlike what I'd expected, but it tasted plenty good, actually. We checked out the Sun Studio's gift-shop for the possibility of salt and pepper shakers (no dice!) but split before taking the tour due to too many people appearing ahead of us. Then we checked out the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, but left due to lack of time before their closing hours, so we returned to the Goner store, but a bit too late to assume the front-and-center position for the kick-off set by King Louie. It sounded pretty sweet as we mingled among the throngs of folks from all over the world who had assembled there. We ran out to that janky fish place called Semmes Fish & Hot Wings where we were greeted so sweetly by the cook and his daughter. I love a place where the cook is so proud of his food that he's telling you "After you try my fish, I know you gonna be back everytime!" The next customer looked at us at first like he couldn't believe there were some white folks there, but he also joined the welcome party and promised us we'd come to the right place. He ordered 75 of something, but I don't they were wings....I think they were deep-friend fish throats! The place had no tables, so we took it back to the room and loved every bite of it. At the main event at the Hi-Tone that night, I finally got to see the Fresh & Onlys play, and they were indeed pretty good. I rather enjoyed the coolness of the singer's stage presence which was aloof in the most delightful way. Cococoma rocked a lot harder than I'd expected and ratcheted up the dance fever in the room. King Louie's Loose Diamonds were good, but a little too precious for me at that moment, so I tested the backyard, and the air was a bit cooler back there (finally!). I ran next door to Circle K for a NOS energy drink recharge, and I was all set for The Magnetix, who were delivered probably the most stunning set of the night. I knew from their split 10" with Digger & the Pussycats that they were a two-piece band, but hearing their new album this year, I figured that they'd expanded because that sound was too thick and burly. But, they were indeed still a two-piece with the guitar amped stereo through two amps. It was like if Dial M-era Pussy Galore appropriated that Mayyors-level thick guitar tone and also approached Brainbombs-like sinister psychopathy. Ty Segall was also really outstanding on-stage and was flanked by caveman Robbie from Photobooth on drums which seemed to enhance Ty's attack quite a bit. The Reatards reunited again at the end, and they played better than the previous night as a band, but Jay as a personality was far more obnoxious and dark, challenging Ty Segall to a fight due to something he read in Spin magazine about Ty being a threat to Jay. There was also a babbling tirade against Vice magazine "co-opting our scene" which included several nonsensical turns of phrase. I walked out early again to beat the rush to the swimming pool, where we got the party started with some young ladies from Ottawa, Ontario, who were the first to dip into the water. Before long, there were dozens of people thronging there, and several acting a total fool with biggest splash contests and a fellow who jumped off the second floor into the shallow end. Good times!

Day Two/Fri 9/25...We got up a bit earlier and made it out to Brother Juniper's, which actually seemed more like a place you might find out here in the West Coast with all the variations of benedicts and spinach florentine. The one thing was defintely down home about it was the cheese grits, which I quite enjoyed. Afterward, we made it out to the Civil Rights Museum where we were overcome by sadness, anger, and white guilt. It kinda made me shudder standing about three feet from the precise location where Dr. Martin Luther King's lifeless body bled out before the ambulance came. Later, we walked by the wall of hope at the end of the first building's self-guided tour which restored some good feelings with a chronological exhibit of achievements of the Civil Rights Movement and an outline of the legacy of the movement. We crossed Mulberry Street into the second building, which was the boarding house where James Earl Ray was presumed to have shot Dr. King from a bathroom window. The exhibit focused on the crime and its investigation as well as its alternate theories which are all presented for maximum plausibility. It would surely be recommendable for any fan of the newfangled police dramas, but for me, this exhibit was kinda overkill, and it made me leave with a lot more questions than I thought I could ever have. Still, I recommend this museum especially for the first building. You can spend about three hours in there reading everything and gawking at photos, film clips, diaramas, and life-size walk-through exhibits. There was a woman outside by the parking lot protesting the museum with signs decrying it for being too costly and desecrating the memory of King. Another sign targeted gentrification in the immediate area, and the sharpest and perhaps most thought-provoking sign said "Stop worshipping the past...Live the dream today." I pondered that one quite a bit as we drove back down McLemore Avenue to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. That southside area was the scene of some of the worst and most abject poverty that I've seen, and it was 180° different than the attractive Midtown and Cooper-Young neighborhoods. There were no supermarkets...just corner stores and liquor stores. Cars on blocks. Rampant vandalism. Roofs caving in. Almost nothing was tidy and neat. People walking the sidewalks all seemed to be malnourished or obese. People in Sacramento talk about South Sac like it's scary down there, and I know that there's some saddening statistics down there, but it's nothing as bad as what I saw there. It had me thinking about that lady's boycott of the museum like it was perfectly justified. Where had all the hope from that achievements and legacy wall gone? We continued back to the Gonerfest action which began on this day in the backyard of Buccaneer's. We made it in time to see Thomas Function and The Mantles. Both bands played well, but this was the only music staging area which had dodgy sound. I had bad sightlines for T-Funk, but I got up close to see Mantles. We broke for some BBQ afterward and crossed the river to West Memphis for Willie Mae's. West Memphis was also really depressing, but we perked up when we met Willie Mae's son-in-law who took a break from his truck-driving day-job to help out around the kitchen and cash register. We talked about music and the impact that country music had on black audiences and musicians, which prepared me for some of the revelations revealed at the Stax Museum the following day. The food was okay. The sauce was tasty, but I gotta feeling that I ate the kinda meat that's available only after the dinner rush has swept through. If I go back for another try, I'll be sure to go earlier next time. We crossed back over to see the main event at the Hi-Tone, which began with a flat set by Yussuf Jerusalem, which was the only real disappointment of any band I saw throughout the whole fest. Earthmen & Strangers were plucky and sharp. The Intelligence played great, as usual! New guitarist is a unique dresser who seems to have stepped outta Leon Redbone's band. Kind of a WTF kinda double-take thing with the eyes, but the ears will hear him play the songs spot-on. I've seen them end with the finalé of Wounded Lion's infectious "Pony People" song so many times now, but that time was like seeing it again for the first time. Boffo crazy fun, that was! Then Davila 666 sent the fun party vibe into the stratoshere. I mean...WOW! This band immediately stepped into my ultimate pantheon of funnest live bands on the planet today. Six singers singing...Anglos in the crowd trying to sing along, too! Really engaging. Puerto Rican flags waving everywhere. Thee Oh Sees sneak attacked from the floor, and I got assed out for a good place to stand while meeting some new friends in the backyard. They did play much more "to the crowd" than usual with the rip-roarin' party vibe, but of course, this band is surely in the pantheon of live greatness, and they're awesome at whatever they do. If you had a good place to stand, I'm sure you were outta your mind with bliss. I missed the Compulsive Gamblers while yapping outside with more new friends.

Day Three/Sat 9/26...Rose late again, but just in time to enjoy a bite of Gus's Fried Chicken downtown. Yeah, it was pretty great. Then we walked along the touristy section of Beale Street figuring on finding those elusive salt and pepper shakers. But again, no dice! Worst of all, the live music emanating from every bar and grill was just so incredibly half-baked and whitebread that it made all the great pioneers of Memphis music history simultaneously roll over in their graves. Even the ones who hadn't died yet! I heard the absolutely wackest cover of "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" coming from the courtyard of Silky O'Sullivans. It made me wanna go strangle any khaki-clad 'nilla wafer in my sight. At this very moment, I was suffering more white guilt than in all the time I was at the Civil Rights Museum! Surely, a visit to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music was in order! So away we went, and damn if that's not the best music museum in the world! Just go there! I wouldn't be surprised if this experience completely changes the way I shop for used records and reissues now. When I lived in Arkansas and most of our friends were black, I enjoyed so much of this music, and that all came roaring back for me. If I hadn't already spent so much the last few days, I surely woulda just sprung for that entire Stax singles boxed-set. But I'll just put it on the list of must-haves for now. Really, it was just a tremendous time, and there was the one place where I saw the beacon of hope in that forlorn community along E. McLemore. Watching those kids emerge from classes at the Stax Academy, you could see 'em beaming. We hurried over to the afternoon Gonerfest activities at Murphy's in time to see River City Tanlines, but it was too smoky in the bar, so I stayed in the backyard to stake out a perfect position to view A Burning Bus, featuring Don Howland of so many rad bands of the last 22 years such as Gibson Bros, Bassholes, Ego Summit, etc. This might've been my favorite band of the whole sh'bang! Resplendent in sarcastic old-guy bile, Don was in fine form, as was his phalanx of killer guitarists who took turns peeling off the most brilliant yet economical guitar leads. I may wanna lose weight to get back to being something more like my old athletic self, but surely, after seeing this band, I'm not afraid to get older. Nor being pissed off at all the problems of the world. There's a lotta constructive ways to spew, y'know. And this was some of the best spew I'd seen. If only some of the people who were born after 1980 woulda paid more attention to these masters of grizzled magic. This was the number one band at Gonerfest for people to take for granted. Great going, kids! I didn't go inside for Hunx even though I'm dying to see him. He started playing before Howland and co. were done stewing, and I just had to lap up those last drops! Tirefire were the token metallers who played out the afternoon show. They ripped decently and were totally unfazed by all the firecrackers which people were hurling around willy-nilly. I needed to get the quickest Q possible and found it at Tops. I know that there's probably several places that are better for BBQ, but I wanted it fast and to-go, and Tops on Union Avenue was on the money for $4.99. I got served within seconds, it was a full meal, and it was better than merely passable in the taste department. I took Melissa to Petra for her dinner, and we were amazed by this Korean-meets-Greek cuisine place with the unusual reclaimed fuel-stop/mechanic-shop setting. She got a tofu bibimbap which was plenty tasty and could hold its own on the West Coast. I had several satisfying tastes of it. We got eaten alive by mosquitoes, though. We made it too late to the night show to see Magic Kids, but White Wires sounded pretty good even though we were outside most of the time. Sonic Chicken 4 and Box Elders were off-the-charts hilarious and fun. Steve MacDonald of Red Kross even joined the Box Elders on-stage to play along with their cover of "S&M Party". NoBunny was fraught with the only bad case of technical mishaps, and he apologized for it too effusively. It wasn't his fault after all. He still provided some great laffs and moments, such as when he showed us where bunny turds come from and then poked the mic in there. Later, that mic was passing around along the front of the crowd, and it was like none of them saw where it had gone. Was I wrong to laugh? Could I care, though? The only person at Gonerfest more annoying than Jay-Reatard-in-a-tirade was that kid who wore that Crass shirt all weekend-long and kept jumping on and off the stage. It was like he took "Mess Me Up" too much to heart and sought to literally mess up NoBunny's set. And sadly, NoBunny took it pretty hard, feeling as if he failed. I wanted to run after him and console him because all the problems were beyond his control, and people still had fun. Later, I saw him back at the Hi-Tone in good spirits, so it was all good. Finally, Cheater Slicks closed it out after half the crowd (again, mostly the people born in the 80s) ditched. It started kinda wonky, but then the old guys found their groove, and they were like a steamroller of hate and despair. Cheater Slicks were the number two band at Gonerfest for people to take for granted. The people who were front and center were having the time of their lives, though. We left during the second encore despite the fact they seemed to have just found another gear right then. We had to wake up at 6:00 a.m. to make it to our flight, so I justified leaving before the very end. I'll only be bummed if someone tells me that they nailed "Possession" after we left.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

AFS v. 237 ~ The Most Adoptable Vinyl Orphans of '09!

Three main spotlights on this AFS...

* The Mattress tour is swinging through the West Coast home-stretch this week!
* Matt K. Shrugg has laid another vinyl-worthy golden egg on ephemeral CDR format!
* Perhaps the most momentous release of the DIY cassette label zeitgeist gets a side-long run!
Check below the playlist for more info on these...

Download this program within two months at this link...
CLICK HERE for 192kbps rate.
CLICK HERE for 320kbps rate.
, if you have a slower/20th century connection
STREAM IT HERE by next Monday night!

(Email me if there are any downloading problems, please!)

PHOTOBOOTH | Kill the Weekend | Pretty Baby 7" | Raw Deluxe *new
JOHNNY ILL BAND | The Doctor | self-titled 7" | Kaboodle *new
WICKED AWESOMES | Turbo Future | Punk Holograms | Psychic Handshake *new
MATT K. SHRUGG | When I Fall | Instant Images CDR | Guiness Book of World Records *new
MATT K. SHRUGG | (We Aren't Here for) Yesterday | Mentor to Wall CDR | Guiness Book of World Records 2008
MATT K. SHRUGG | Bullshit Avenue | Instant Images CDR
THE INTELLIGENCE | Mister Children | split 7" w/ Unnatural Helpers | Dirty Knobby *new
UNNATURAL HELPERS | Confidence | split 7" w/ The Intelligence
CACAW | Snakehead | Get a Brain 12" | Permanent *new
ASMUS TIETCHENS & OKKO BECKER | Repartition Concrete | E | Dom 1988
MATTRESS | Lost & Found | Low Blows | Malt Duck *new
BROTMAN & SHORT | This Is Control | Joint Testimony 3" CDR | Hardscrabble Amateurs *new
BLACK MATH | Reading Mysteries | self-titled 7" | Lost Space *new
LOW RED CENTER | Trace Elements | self-titled 10" | SS Records *new
LOW RED CENTER | Test Tube | self-titled CDR | Instincto 2008
PINK NOISE | Flow Into the Void | Graffiti Youth | Kill Shaman *new
PINK NOISE | So Into You
CHROME | Electric Chair | Red Exposure | Beggars Banquet 1980
NOTHING PEOPLE | Boccioni's Mother | Anonymous | SS Records 2008
WHITE NOISE | Your Hidden Dreams | An Electric Storm | Island 1969
PRINCE RAMA OF AYODHYA | Celestial Jewelry | Zetland | no label *new
WARM CLIMATE | Lost Teeth/Organ Donor | Edible Homes CS | Stunned 2009
WARM CLIMATE | Edible Homes & Gardens/Synth Pads for the Homeless
MANBOT | Manbot | self-titled 7" | NuVu 1981
ÉL-G | Al-Kado | Tout Ploie | SS Records *new
LITTLE CLAW | Frozen in the Future | Human Taste | Not Not Fun/Ecstatic Peace *new
MILK MUSIC | Pipeline | self-titled CS | no label 2009
STUPID PARTY | Closer | self-titled | Freedom School *new

Mattress is in the final stretch of his 8000-mile tour, so if you are in these Western USA cities and not at Gonerfest in Memphis, go see him! Y'know, he's more like a band now (w/ guitar and drums), but he's still the same anthemic minimal/weird/-wave crooner at the core, and the forthcoming Low Blows album is his best work yet, so surely all the fans of his earlier releases are gonna love it still.

Wed, Sep 23 in Tuscon, AZ
@ Hangart

Thu, Sep 24 in Las Vegas, NV
@ TBA?!?!?

Fri, Sep 25 in Los Angeles, CA
@ L'Keg Gallery
w/ Captain Ahab & Ezra (Gowns)

Sat, Sep 26 in Stockton, CA
@ Pretty Blue Presents Showcase
w/Religious Girls and Casy & Brian

Sun, Sep 27 in Sacramento, CA
@ The Hub
w/ G.Green, Mom, & Subordinate (Clause)

Fri, Oct 2 in Portland, OR
@ Berbati’s
(record release)

Matt K. Shrugg's newest solo CDR is yet another full-fledged should-be-classic if it will ever come out on vinyl. I said that last November, too, when he gave me the Mentor to Wall disc, but as of yet, these are still our secret, I guess. On Instant Images, Matt varies the pacing between his usual manic energy and some deft slower (if only slightly) numbers that point toward Arthur Lee. Its favored foot still pushes off from the familiar 90s territory, but then it propels it forward to the future of garagepunk with some of the niftiest jazz-damaged drumming to still pack a bludgeoning wallop, a couple moments of well-integrated saxophone squalling, and even a foray into advanced mathematics that is just totally WTF?!?!, yet totally perfect. I'll show you that one next week, although it'll surely be unfair to whatever bands I bookend around it. Tonight's sample tastes include what passes for mature balladry (it still smokes, though!) and the most anomalous track--the blippy 8-bit-shambling "Bullshit Avenue"--which seems to carry the special touch of one Lars Finberg of The Intelligence. So, let's say you're among the growing ranks of garage turkeys that's rolling with the changes, but you have your limits to how much pop sweetness or acoustic guitars or boyish charm you can handle. Well, stop complaining about the last however many Jay Reatard records and hitch up to the Matt K. bus. He's still punchy and crunchy as Teengenerate with the animalistic intensity and the VU-meter-pinning production. He doesn't need to punch a fan to show he's the man. It's just that evident in his riffs and in this face-melting sound.

I've had a few fave cassettes of the last few years during this cassette label zeitgeist which is overtaking my shelves, but this one in particular--Edible Homes by Warm Climate--struck me immediately upon first listen as the one cassette release that is most worthy of preservation on a more enduring format such as vinyl. About a dozen listens later, I'm still sure that this is the most momentous cassette-only release of this age, and it will be a damn shame if some discerning record label doesn't issue this properly on vinyl LP. Warm Climate achieves such an incredible mastery of so many moods and styles that it would be uncommon for any band...let alone just one guy in Los Angeles! Fans of Bowie, Comus, NWW, Legendary Pink Dots, and Syd Barrett would all find something to like here. And if you like 'em all, you probably have never heard these elements all so seamlessly combined in such a compelling way. Stunned's artful and precise packaging is also a treat to behold. I gotta grip of late-spring/early-summer tape releases from them, and they all look incredible and sound pretty swell, too. Put me down for one-of-everything-from-now-on!

My crystal ball says that these vinyl orphans are future eBay-gold and touchstone records of this halcyon age which shall be cited as influential by the best bands of tomorrow. If you care about your prestige or like to gloat because you think music must always be a competition, it's not too late to hitch up now and say you were there from the giddy-up (as if that's something you should rightfully take credit for). But only if you really enjoy great music, okay?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

AFS v. 236 ~ Antennas (Very Nearly) Erupt!

Please take another rain-check on the slobberingly stupid no-brow cave-rock show, and in the meantime, enjoy a sublime live on-air session of some of Sacto's best jazz improvisers, an unnamed (as of yet) quartet comprising four-fifths of the members of Antennas Erupt, a band which was one of this area's leading lights early this decade. Weird Forest label-honcho Chad Stockdale plays baritone and tenor saxophones, Davy Bui plays alto sax, Kevin Corcoran plays drums and percussion, and visiting from Santa Barbara, Nick Julian plays cello. Whereas Antennas Erupt was mostly a free-jazz inspired band that played triumphant and uplifting composed jazz, this quartet has been strictly improvising in the free jazz idiom, and indeed doing it very well. Their set begins at approximately 30 minutes into this 2-hour podcast and sprawls out brilliantly over the course of almost 50 minutes. It's enthralling....

Download this program within two months at this link...
CLICK HERE for 192kbps rate.
CLICK HERE for 320kbps rate.
, if you have a slower/20th century connection
STREAM IT HERE by next Monday night!

(Email me if there are any downloading problems, please!)

DETENTION | Dead Rock & Rollers | Dead Rock & Rollers 7" | Rigor Mortis 1983
JIM CARROLL BAND | People Who Died | Catholic Boy | Atco 1980
THE NERVES | Hanging on the Telephone | The Nerves 7" | The Nerves Record Co. 1976
PAUL COLLINS' BEAT | Crying Won't Help | The Kids Are the Same | Columbia 1981
WICKED AWESOMES | Space | Punk Holograms | Psychic Handshake *new
WICKED AWESOMES | Streaming Intelligence
BROTMAN & SHORT | A League to Destroy All Nations | Rubix Dudes CS | Hardscrabble Amateurs 2008
THE CULTURAL DECAY | End of the Corridor | Eight Ways to Start a Day | Sacred Bones *new
ETOILE FILANTE | Poupé Mecanique | Emanuelle Sous Acide CDR | no label 2009
GRAUZONE | In der Nacht | Grauzone | Off Course 1981
THE SLAVES | Who Is the Master of Them All? | Aliens EP | Slave 2009
EXPLODE INTO COLORS | Sharpen the Knife | Coffins 7" | M'Lady's *new
BAD THOUGHTS | Oh Jena! | Oh Jena! 7" | M'Lady's *new
SEX CHURCH | Dead End | Dead End 7" | Sweet Rot *new
MENTAL POWERS | Appear/Juniour | split 7" w/ Free Choice | Fifth Column *new
THE PINK NOISE | Black Cadillac | Gilded Flowers CS | Campaign for Infinity *new

For fans of Antennas Erupt keeping score, Chad and Kevin have been together in duo, trio, and quartet forms with various friends and conspirators in the Sacramento area, as well as reaching into the Bay Area, where they have a trio called DMPH with guitarist Derek Monypeny of Oaxacan. DMPH have a 7" called Parties Hard on Chad's Weird Forest label which barely scratches the surface of their furious scrabbling sounds of gnarly noise and free jazz. DMPH appear live in Sacramento on Wednesday, September 16 at Funcastle (2309 L Street) with Pete Swanson, formerly of Yellow Swans and Scott Goodwin Trio.

Nick Julian has visited Sacramento during times off from (physics, I presume) study in Santa Barbara, so summer's been a great time to witness him in trios with Chad and Kevin. He's also lent his cello services to San Kazakgascar on a couple cuts from their latest CD album, Idle Ships. He previously collaborated with local math-whiz heroes Hella on There's No 666 in Outer Space.

I've always tried to snoop around Davy Bui to see what he's been up to musically. Since Antennas Erupt disbanded four years ago, it hasn't been much. But the horizon looks promising with the impending debut of his new band with Robert, formerly of The Sores and the man behind Boron & the Grebes. The new band is called Repressive Proteins, and they'll be debuting at The Hub in Sacramento on October 13 in support of The Intelligence and Sonic Chicken 4 from France. Davy was ostensibly the leader in Antennas Erupt, and previously to that, there were some shows by a band he had (also with Kevin) called the Wyoming Band. He said I was their only fan, but I know that not to be true!

The only ex-A.E. member not present tonight was Troy Mighty, an outstanding artist who drew many of my favorite flyers, posters, and record sleeves of the last decade, and the troubadour known as Dead Western, who has toured extensively as a solo act, made some superb weird-folk 7" records and a beautiful LP for KDVS Recordings, and has lately expanded to an enthralling trio line-up with Kevin on drums/percussion and Jesse Phillips on bass guitar.

If you never heard Antennas Erupt, but you liked what you heard tonight, then track these titles down...
Magical Energy LP on SS Records
self-titled 7" on Weird Forest
*** These have been long outta-print, but maybe you'll be lucky!

HEY! Fans of Kraftwerk and all their descendants (including the recent "minimal wave" zeitgeist), please catch the Brotman & Short tour if it comes your way...

They're on tour with San Francisco's partyhardy ladypower punk band, Dadfag...

Tue, Sep 15 in Riverside, CA @ Worthington's Tavern w/ Resin Hits
Wed, Sep 16 in San Diego @ The Ruby Room
Thu, Sep 17 in Bakersfield @ 20th and D house show
Fri, Sep 18 in Davis @ Brohemian Grove/802 Villanova w/ Cloaks & Slaves
Sat, Sep 19 in Sacramento @ Funcastle with 2up/Woman Year/Pregnant
Sun, Sep 20 in Arcata @ the house sometimes known as the Brown House(?)
Mon, Sep 21 in Portland, OR @ Ducketts Public House
Tue, Sep 22 in Eugene, OR @ The Basement
Wed, Sep 23 in Portland, OR @ Dekum Manor
Thu, Sep 24 in Olympia, WA @ HPP’s house
Fri, Sep 25 in Seattle, WA @ Shebang House
Sat, Sep 26 in Portland, OR @ The Bad Boy Club

If you enjoy mining the territory at the intersection of experimental, electronic, and psychedelic, then check out the Cloaks and Slaves on tour from Portland this week and upcoming. You can hear the Slaves tonight sounding like the barbiturate-adjusted cyber-goth of a Dome/Dead Can Dance marriage sprinkled with the minimalist lush touch of Badalamenti. Cloaks features a longtime friend of AFS, supreme psych-rock saxophonist Ryan Carlile, who you've heard playing with Night Wounds in the past, and more recently on-tour with Eternal Tapestry.

Tue, Sep 15 in Portland, OR @ Ella Vista Social Club
Wed, Sep 16 in Arcata, CA @ Steve’s House w/ Starving Wierdos
Thu, Sep 17 in San Francisco @ Amnesia w/ Group Ronda, Alice Choen, Sean MCann
Fri, Sep 18 in Davis @ Brohemian Grove/802 Villanova w/ Dadfag and Brotman & Short
Sat, Sep 19 in Bay Area @ TBA
Sun, Sep 20 in San Luis Obispo @ 3069 Broad St. house
Mon, Sep 21 in Phoenix or Tempe, AZ @ TBA
Tue, Sep 22 in San Francisco @ TBA
Wed, Sep 23 in Eugene, OR @ TBA w/ Prince Rama of Ayodhya
Thu, Sep 24 in Olympia, WA @ State & Quince House w/ Bad Boys
Fri, Sep 25 in Vancouver, BC @ Soder and Suns
Sat, Sep 26 in Seattle @ Escalator Fest @ Vera Project
w/ Wooden Shjips and Eternal Tapestry

Friday, September 11, 2009

Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom VIII fest (Sat, 3 Oct)


(1) Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom, presented semi-biannually by Freeform KDVS 90.3 FM in Davis, is one of the most outstanding entertainment dollar values in all-day outdoor music festivals for its variety of excellent bands and artists and too-cheap admission price;

(2) We just added the most beloved funmakers, the Four Eyes, and the most superb, next-level performance artiste, Mom!!!

(3) We just added Sacto's newest impeccably amazing band, GGreen!!! (Seriously, if you haven't heard the new 4-piece rock lineup of GGreen, forget everything you know or think about GGreen.)

(4) Pre-sale tickets are even cheaper and buyable via Paypal without a convenience fee;

(5) Each ORMF festival has been an unregrettable, if not unforgettable, fun-packed time to lounge on the parklike grounds with friends old and new enjoying awesome music.

NOW, THEREFORE, I ask you to go to http://www.myspace.com/maximumfreedom and click on the Paypal button to send us $8 apiece for tickets for you and your friends who shall caravan over here with you. Bring a blanket to lay down on the lawn. Bring $5 for each large pitcher of PBR you throw down. Bring some money for arguably the best burger in this tri-county area. Wear smart layers, beginning with a short sleeve shirt and finishing with a sweatshirt or hoodie. Seriously, our weather's the best during this time of year.

Here's the press release for the all-important "Who's Playing" info....


Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom VII
It’s almost time again for O:RMF, the non-profit, all ages, DIY music festival put on roughly twice a year by Freeform KDVS 90.3FM in Davis. This event has a rich history of bringing killer audio projects from the radiowaves of KDVS to the soundwaves of Plainfield Station, the venue chosen for its awesome burgers, cheap beer and rural location in the middle of Yolo County. The music is still healthy in Sacto/Davis, where KDVS DJs fight the good fight against corporate against corporate hegemony of homogeny.

O:RMF VIII will run from 2pm to 10pm on Saturday October 3rd, with 13 bands. The lineup?

New Thrill Parade (SF)

Mom (Sac)

Yellow Fever (Austin)

The Mantles (SF)

Nothing People (Orland)

The Four Eyes (Sac)

GGreen (Sac)

The American Splits (SF)

Migraine (Concord)

Foul Mouths (Sac)

Face the Rail (Bay Area)

Post Mortem Vomit (Davis/Concord)

Rapes of Grath (Santa Cruz)

Plainfield Station is located at 23944 County Road 98, just across the bridge at the intersection of road 98 & 29.

It's right between Davis and Woodland just off of Hwy 113. Easy to find from Sacto (less than 30 minutes): Take I-80 just past Davis; take Hwy 113 North cutoff toward Woodland; exit at Road 29 and turn left. Turn right at 2nd stop sign and park.

It's about an hour east of the Bay Area (but allow 90 minutes!). From eastbound I-80, take 113 North, then exit on Road 29 and turn left. Turn right at 2nd stop-sign and park.

Grill and beer bar, so bring cash for chow and cheer. The big pitchers of PBR were $5 last time.

Tickets cost $8 presale, $10 at the door. Get them at www.myspace.com/maximumfreedom/, where we’ll announce future presale locations. For more information, check out the following websites:


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

AFS v. 235 ~ Let's Get Smart Again!

Let's get smart again for another week, huh? I.O.U. a snot-soaked slobberin' neanderthal rock show next week, okay?

Tonight's features include the CD bonus track from the new Little Claw album which is further entrenching itself in my utmost echelon of top albums of 2009, a triple-traipse through the wild and wonderful discography of France's Galerie Pache (mark me down for one of every title from now on!), an introduction to Trawler Bycatch (more on them down below!), the heavier and more aggro side of Eternal Tapestry (now fully PSF-strength on vinyl!), and finally...it's gonna get all gothy in here!

Download this program within two months at this link...
CLICK HERE for 192kbps rate.
CLICK HERE for 320kbps rate.
, if you have a slower/20th century connection
STREAM IT HERE by next Monday night!

(Email me if there are any downloading problems, please!)

LITTLE CLAW | Golden Boy | Human Taste | Ecstatic Peace *new
CHICHI Y LOS PUTOS DEL ORTO | On va Crever (Tous) | Vaca Blanca | Galerie Pache 2004
LE TON MITE | Trees Taller than Tales | Tickets to Real Imaginary Places | Galerie Pache 2006
DUDU GEVA | Tomba Zombi | Retrovulva 2003 | Galerie Pache *new
TRAWLER BYCATCH | TASKs | advance tracks CDR | no label *new
XYX | Neptunia | Momento Acido Contemporaneo 7" | Skulltones *new
WET HAIR | Stepping Razor (to Heaven's Door) | Glass Fountain | Not Not Fun *new
BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP | John Peel's voice | v/a: John Peel Presents Top Gear | BBC 1969
SWEET MARRIAGE | Mort | v/a: John Peel Presents Top Gear | BBC 1969
ETERNAL TAPESTRY | Temporal Starshine Voyage | The Invisible Landscape | Not Not Fun *new
PLANKTON WAT | Sphere Within the Lotus | Dawn of the Golden Eternity | DNT *new
CIRCUIT DES YEUX | The First Day | Sirenum | Destijl *new
SOOTTYB | They Sent Me Into Space Today | split 7" w/ Arob | Greatdividing *new
MATTRESS | Remember | Low Blows | Malt Duck *forthcoming *request
PRINCE RAMA OF AYODHYA | Haunted Aquarius | Zetland | no label *new
PRINCE RAMA OF AYODHYA | Atlantis | split LP w/ The Great Valley | Spookytown *new
MT. EERIE | Wind's Dark Poem Through the Trees | Wind's Poem 2xLP | P.W. Elvrum & Sun *new
CORRUPTED | Estar en Visperas de Ultimo | v/a: Painkiller vol. I 7" | Devastating Soundworks 1996
DEFLAG HAEMORRHAGE/HAIEN KONTRA | Lacguage = Noumenal Sarcoshyce [sic] | Luxury | Tochnit Aleph 2009
LESSON LESSON LESSEN RELEARN | Ultra Cultural Bummer | split 7" w/ Russian Tsarlag | West Palm Beotch *new
ZOLA JESUS | Sinfonia and the Shrew | The Spoils | Sacred Bones *new
PSYCHE | Eraserhead | Tales from the Darkside | Animalized 1990
STRAIGHTJACKET BAZOOKA | Printing Press Preacher | Longpig | White 1988
MARCH VIOLETS | Religious as Hell | Natural History | Vinyl Rebirth 1984
13TH CHIME | Hide and Seek | 13th Chime | Sacred Bones *new (orig 1982)
THE CULTURAL DECAY | Song of Joy | 8 Ways to Start a Day | Sacred Bones *new (orig 1982)

Friends of Freeform KDVS and AFS in Sacto and Davis will surely be pleased to know that Zac Nelson, the solo artist known alternately as Hexlove and/or Faulouah--and the chief creative force behind Who's Your Favorite Son, God?--will be back in the area with his new band project, Trawler Bycatch, which also features Zach with an "h" from Danava. Zac and Zach last teamed up in Princess Sweepstakes, which was really how everyone at KDVS became aware of these guys when we flipped for their one and only LP--I Love You in Case I Die this Christmas, Man--in 2005. It was a fateful night...that first time I unwittingly saw Danava at Ptomaine Temple in Oakland opening for Glass Candy and the Chromatics....they blew us all away, so I wiped their merch table clean, and they told me the story about Princess Sweepstakes: "This band is a lot different...more like Residents and Pere Ubu and stuff like that...but it's basically all of us, but with this other guy, Zac, who moved down here somewhere." Down here turned out to be Sacto, so we met, and I got about a dozen of his other projects, and much of that was also pretty thrilling to hear. Soon, he was conspiring with some of the most theoretical envelope-pushers in the Sacto next-level math-rock community which had been revolving around Hella, but Zac's broader influence funnel (which thankfully included things as visceral and direct as early Butthole Surfers) made his local band projects different, and at many a Who's Your Favorite Son, God? show, the barrier between "punks" and "hippies" was eroded. It wasn't just G.I.S.M.'s slogan anymore! Judging by the three tracks on this sneak preview CD (and the fourth new song on their MySpace), Portland's Trawler Bycatch still mutates advanced math with gnarlier noisepunk touchstones such as the Buttholes, and it still soars and flutters along with Zac's vocals. West Coast fans of next-level noiserock, be warned....They are coming our way in late October and early November, all the way down to San Diego and back.

If you've been listening for the last couple years, then you know that I've repped the live show of Eternal Tapestry as one of the best for wah-stomping, face-melting psych-out guitar-slaying over mighty motorik chugs. But some of you are still waiting for them to deliver on that description on vinyl. With their newest LP on Not Not Fun--The Invisible Landscape--it's finally happened! This is surely P.S.F.-strength white-hot psych-jam-rock dedicated to thee infinite riff. If you suspect that I'm desecrating the name of Munehiro Narita with these comparisons, then I challenge you to track this LP down (NNF's stash for direct mail-order's already sold out, but check their distributors for remaining stock) as soon as possible. For fans of the more nebulous, meandering, and subtle style of previous E-Tap releases, I recommend you to search out the new Plankton Wat LP on DNT. That's the solo project of E-Tap's Dewey Mahood which is psych/folk. Tonight's selection is the brightest-burning number from the album which also features guest flute-squalling from his precocious and adorable 7-year-old daughter, Harper. Elsewhere on the Dawn of the Golden Eternity, the mood is beautiful ur-drone for late-night beard-stroking, meditation, and deep contemplative headphone-listening. Bias disclosed...the E-Tap family have become great friends with Miss Malt Duck and I, and we crash on each other's couches whenever we're in each other's towns, but regardless...I was a fan of this band before the friendships really blossomed, and I can definitely say objectively that this band and its family tree of projects have been on an outstanding trajectory trending toward their very best stuff. And watching Nick and Dewey playing guitars that last couple of summer tours has been every bit as thrilling as all the times I'd ever seen High Rise or Mainliner.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

AFS v. 234 ~ Late Night Text-Fest

With the new releases by The Rebel, The Pheromoans, and Graffiti Island ruling my turntable lately, I've been pondering a lotta delightfully ponderous textual music that is exceedingly English...so much so that it sometimes makes Mark E. Smith sound like John Cougar Mellencamp. Of course, nothing is ruling my turntable quite like the new Dan Melchior und Das Menace LP--Obscured by Fuzz (just out on Topplers from Scotland and distro'd stateside by SS and Florida's Dying--and even this LP gets rather recitative on the fun deadpan bits of "The Citadel". (More about that album later!) Tonight's show certainly dabbled with quite a lotta textual audio there in the second half-hour, and even some Americans (Weyes Bluhd, Russian Tsarlag, and a certain Mr. Jack Monahan who is as sarcastic and mithering as he is mysterious (you ever heard of him? (thought not!))) and Frenchies (Crash Normal). Also, I'm excited to announce that my girlfriend just got the test-presses back for the forthcoming Low Blows LP by Mattress, so watch the Malt Duck Records website for news about that in the next few weeks, and get ready for him to tour the USA in late September and October.

Download this program within two months at this link...
CLICK HERE for 192kbps rate.
CLICK HERE for 320kbps rate.
, if you have a slower/20th century connection
STREAM IT HERE by next Monday night!

(Email me if there are any downloading problems, please!)

THE DULL | I Hate the Motorcyclist | v/a: Barricaded Suspects | Toxic Shock 1983
WOUNDED LION | Friendly? | Friendly? 7" | In the Red *new
NO TREND | Blow Dry | Too Many Humans... | No Trend 1984
LITTLE CLAW | Frankie | Human Taste | Ecstatic Peace/Not Not Fun *new
LITTLE CLAW | Crawl Around Inside | Prickly Pear 7" | Columbus Discount *new
GAS | Pushing Against Me | Compressed Gas 7" | Siltbreeze *new (orig 1996-98)
THE AXEMEN | Beer und Flintstones | Scary! 2xLP | Siltbreeze *new (orig 1989)
THE AXEMEN | Shacked Up in Yr Egypt Tomb
THE REBEL | The Pot | Aiming Low 7" | Lexi Disques *new
THE REBEL | Kung Fu Zulus | Mouthwatering Claustrophobic Changes | Junior Aspirin *new
SHADOW RING | Disrupt the Band's Breathing | Lighthouse 2xLP | Swill Radio 1999
SHADOW RING | Oyster Shell
THE PHEROMOANS | The Man Who Wolf Whistled | Revamper 7" | Convulsive 2009
THE PHEROMOANS | Late Night Mad-Fest | Savoury Days 7" | Savoury Days *new *request
MATTRESS | Roll Roll Roll | Low Blows | Malt Duck *forthcoming *request
CRASH NORMAL | Crisps & Cheese on the Sofa | Unrealistic Tracks 7" | Compost Modern Art *new
WEYES BLUHD | Liquor Castle | Liquor Castle 7" | ??? *forthcoming
RUSSIAN TSARLAG | The Master's Speech | split 7" w/ Lesson Lesson Lessen Relearn | West Palm Beotch *new
JACK MONAHAN | Poems | v/a: Shadow Mouth: Compilation One | Shadow Mouth 1987
SMEGMA | Between Two Worlds | v/a: Tarantismo Summit Vol. #1 | Rampage *new
SABAH | Hayhet Yabuzalef | Evening With Sabah | Alkawakeb 1960s/70s?
SAN KAZAKGASCAR | Slain by General Plantar Wart | Idle Ships | Lather *new
PLANKTON WAT | Occult Blues | Dawn of the Golden Eternity | DNT *new
PUMICE | The Dawn Chorus of Kina | Persevere 7" | Soft Abuse *new
EXILES FROM CLOWNTOWN | Something Somewhere | self-titled 7" | Greatdividing *new
METH TEETH | World Is Going to End Soon | Everything Went Wrong | Woodsist *new
GRAFFITI ISLAND | Demonic Cat | Demonic Cat 7" | Fin du Monde *new
DAN MELCHIOR UND DAS MENACE | Smut! | Obscured by Fuzz | Topplers *new
JOHNNY ILL BAND | Rocketship | self-titled 7" | Kaboodle *new
KURT VILE | Summer Demons | Fall Demons 7" | Skulltones *new

So far in 2009, Dan Melchior has already released a stunning double-LP--the lush, ghost-ridden Thankyou Very Much--and a bevy of 7"es in an array of styles. Now, Topplers outta Scotland has released another outstanding new album by Dan (und das Menace) called Obscured by Fuzz, which flirts with a louder, brasher, more contemporary lo-fi sound. But while it may be more au courant, it's no less incomparable because Dan's delightful earnestness, lyrical cleverness, and impeccable hooks and guitar phrasing join the top of the class in this field, and the unmistakable Melchior personality shines through. The cover is also brilliant...yet it is splendidly anachronistic! Thankyou Very Much is still the masterpiece of 2009, but this is just as essential as just about any other great record I've gushed about so far in 2009. On tonight's broadcast, you'll hear one of the most fantastic guitar solos of 2009 before my nervous finger sent off the debut Johnny Ill 7". All the more reason for you to buy it ASAP!

Now, I don't wanna jump the gun too early on hyping the next Mattress (Miss Malt Duck still must test out all the test presses painstakingly before approving them (knocking on wood now!)), but lemme just say that if you agreed with the Nick Cave-meets-Suicide comparison that reverberated throughout the worldwide music blog echo chamber, then this time, get ready to hear a touch of Tuxedomoon 'cos Rex has drafted a drummer and picked up a guitar. Old fans should not worry, though...I'm sure they'll still dig Low Blows immensely. It strikes me immediately as his best work yet!

Another favorite of mine who've really outdone themselves on their new album is Little Claw. Human Taste has been on Ecstatic Peace CDs for a few weeks, but the vinyl LP has finally dropped on Not Not Fun. Recorded in various times and locations spanning over 2000 miles and several months--and with a large cast of contributors (including Damon from Tyvek/Puffy Areolas, Ju Suk Reet Meate of Smegma, sublime PDX-sax-man Kelvin Pittman, and others--this album's rather pastiche-like, but remarkably more cogent than either the first or second album. I can't tell if it's something more like a miracle from a southern-Ohio protopunk time capsule, or, does this get filed next to XYX as the blueprint for the next generation of god(dess)head ladypower?

Speaking of ladypower...Check out this cool record I found for $5 at Mississippi Records last weekend in Portland by Lebanese singer Sabah. I first heard this a couple years back when Scott Soriano played it on KDVS, and then I saw several Sabah records at his place. I've been looking ever since, and happily found two LPs there! These records deliver some beautiful Middle Eastern headswirlin' folk texture with some of the most staggering female vocals ever heard. When she wavers the pitch on those deep extended, flattened notes, she will stop you dead in your tracks.