Tuesday, October 06, 2009

AFS v. 239 ~ People Will Be Talking!

This week in AFS...

* new sarcastic no-brow smart-isms from the Ride the Snake stables!
* hear why you will be talking about Life Partners!
* a double-shot of depression for you donut dippin' swines!
* welcome The Intelligence back to the West Coast!
* extreme submerged-fidelity warning: Processors and Dead Wife redefine lo-fi!

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!)

LIFE PARTNERS | Men Are Talking | Men Are Talking | Ride the Snake *new
MICHAEL YONKERS w/ THE BLIND SHAKE | When You're Fallin' | Cold Town/Soft Zodiac | Learning Curve *new
CACAW | Pazuzu | Get a Brain | Permanent 2009
CHEVEU | Kador du Porno | Cheveau | Permanent *new
THE INTELLIGENCE | I Hear Depression | Fake Surfers | In The Red 2009
SUN MANTRA | Pockets Pull (in So Many Ways) | self-titled CDR | no label *new
WICKED AWESOMES | Ghost Beach | Punk Holograms | Psychic Handshake *new
BEATERS | Obamanation | Fishage 7" | Volar/Single Screen *new
GENERAL INTEREST | Cops in Love | Right by the Beach | Ride the Snake *new
ANGST | Pig | self-titled | Happy Squid 1983
HERE COMES A BIG BLACK CLOUD!! | Mission Statement | Party Vietnam 10" | Hovercraft/Stankhouse *new
PROCESSORS | I Can't Get Drunk Without My Glasses | A Lean Night CS | no label *new
SOFT SHOULDER | Mary Ann | Mary Ann 7" | Gilgongo *new
IMPRACTICAL COCKPIT | Corn on the Bayou | split LP w/ Nuclear Family | Friends & Relatives 2002
PIGEON RELIGION | Shootist | Scorpion Milk 7" | Parts Unknown *new
HAMMERHEAD | Zesta | Into the Vortex | Amphetamine Reptile 1994
DEAD WIFE | Choke | Subterranean Megazit CS | Campaign for Infinity *new
SLEETMUTE/NIGHTMUTE | In Adulthood...Black Steel Sick | unreleased LP | no label 2004
SHEARING PINX | Battery Born | Weaponry | Divorce *new
AMON DÜÜL II | Eye Shaking King | Yeti | Liberty 1970
MOON DUO | Speed | Killing Time EP 12" | Sacred Bones *new
ETERNAL TAPESTRY | Cosmic Dream | The Invisible Landscape | Not Not Fun *new
OMON RA | It's Nice to See You Again | split CS w/ Chris d'Eon | Divorce 2009
OMON RA | Brand New Baby
DEAD WESTERN | So Many Signs | Suckle at the Supple Teats of Time | ??? *forthcoming
ÉL-G | Tim et Henri | Tout Ploie | SS Records *new
MUDBOY | Freeze | Music for Any Speed 7" | Disques Lexi *new
ROBERT RENTAL | On Location | Double Heart 7" | Mute 1980
SECTION 25 | Haunted | Charnel Ground 7" | Factory Benelux 1980
FOR AGAINST | Autocrat | Echelons | Independent Project 1986
MANTLES | Don't Lie | self-titled | Siltbreeze *new

The Intelligence were in Europe long enough to establish dual citizenship status in a few different countries earlier this year, but they are back on the West Coast at the end of the week, so get ready to welcome them back. I saw them at Gonerfest with their new guitarist, who really did appear to be stolen from Leon Redbone's band, but he certainly snapped to the songs plenty well. Their latest album--Fake Surfers--is still standing up as one of this year's most brilliant, and the band is surely sharpened by so much constant touring. Be a friend and make them feel welcome on their home stretch, won't you?

Tue, Oct 6 in Denver, CO @ Meadowlark
Wed, Oct 7 in Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
Thu, Oct 8 in Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
Fri, Oct 9 in Phoenix, AZ @ Modified Arts
Sat, Oct 10 in El Centro, CA @ Bujwah (Hi, Felipe!)
Sun, Oct 11 in Los Angeles @ The Echo (Part Time Punks Festival)
Mon, Oct 12 in San Diego @ The Casbah
Tue, Oct 13 in Sacramento @ The Hub (w/ Sonic Chicken 4 & Repressive Proteins)
Thu, Oct 15 in Oakland @ House of Nostromos
Fri, Oct 16 in San Francisco @ Elbo Room (w/ Hank IV & Mayyors!)
Sat, Oct 17 in Portland, OR @ that silly Vice/Scion Garage Festival thing

From the most submerged depths of tin-cans-'n-twine fidelity come two of the more exciting cassettes of scrawly/scrabbly ladypower punk bands with no-wavey angles, scathing bile, pointed aggro noise, and hardcore ferocity. Actually, the Processors (from Bakersfield!) might be closer to vinyl-ready fidelity, but their self-released cassette--A Lean Night--might suffer from a little extra murky sound because of the daring artistry of the homespun artwork which involved unscrewing and carefully cracking apart the cassette tape to festoon the inside of the clear cassette plastic with constrasting colors of paint and photos on each side. This pretty much obliterates the dozens of post-Blackbean & Placenta/post-Hanson/American Tapes cassette labels who have wrecked the heads of your home and automotive cassette decks with oodles of oversprayed paint. I imagine that whoever decorated these must have as steady a pair of hands as the most accomplished neurosurgeon! I'm not even 1% kidding...I've spot-checked throughout the entire length of this cassette, and the tape is totally clean, and there's nary one bit o' spackle on the smooth and clear outside of the cassette. It must've been a challenge to keep the tape from unspooling, but the result is a tape that's actually fairly listenable and hints at a band that I'd like to hear without the scads of murk (even though this is apparently on the fancy and ever-rarer Type II cassette!). Side A begins with an instro that's just alright, but the vocal songs are pretty riveting for their furiously corkscrewing guitars, walloping drums, and female vocals which are very effective. With a too-cool-for-school affectation, singer Jeannie expresses such grisly lyrical subject matter as teen abortion, inept parentage, and wretched wasterdom with an odd and eerie level comfort, and an unusually poetic flair for words and metaphors. Musically, it's just a guitar/drum duo, but much like the precocious early recordings of Shearing Pinx (particulary Poison Hands), these Processors seem to have a really well-conceived handle on dynamics, achieving a balance between focused riff-based grooves and sprawl-out scribble-tech interludes. Side B is a sidelong noise-jam which sounds as well-conceived and executed as the work of many of the leaders of the noise genre ghetto. It's certainly listenable all the way through. I think I will love seeing this band live, and I'd surely like to hear what kinda recording they're capable of if even half the effort it took to deconstruct and reconstruct these awesome-looking tapes is directed into making the most effective songs and sounds possible.

Dead Wife are three ladies and a boy drummer from Montréal, Quebec, whose cassette tape suffers from extreme Type I tape noise and low dubbing sound level which make it kinda frustrating to listen to whether the Dolby noise reduction is off or on. But the band still brings enough spirit to translate through the murk enough to land on my list on bands I'd like to hear all-cleaned-up. And I found out what they really sound like on their MySpace page. Forget Loni Love and Gilbert Gottfried, Micheal Ian Black, the Sklar brothers, The Donnas, and all the other snippet-sniping heads in the little pop-up bubbles on shows such as "Best Week Ever" and "World's Dumbest Criminals". The ladies are Dead Wife have something more interesting to say about pop culture clichés. At least, I think they do. "Choke" has got that contemporary reverb drench on the vocals which rate sky-high on the brat meter. Musically, they remind me of Kill the Hippies' early tapes and 7"es, but with little more touch of 80s hardcore, which is a huge compliment. Do you know how much I love Kill the Hippies?

But just when you've had enough girltalk (and if you'll indulge just one more pop-culture reference here today), The Life Partners must be heard. The title song of their new Men Are Talking album is surely deserving of Al Bundy's "bronze dumpster" award. You might remember that I raved about their 2008 7"--AIDS of Spades b/w Teenager in Trouble--which couched the questionable lyrical matter on a pop organ riff that humorously betrayed the bristling hardcore fury of the band and the over-the-top-and-back-again buffoonish vocal delivery which made it all sit right with my emocore-lyric-sheet-reading/riot-grrl-crushin'-on came-of-age-in-the-90's self. Apparently, it bummed a few of you out. But it got us talking, and the conversation continued about such sensitive issues that too many so-called libs feel strongly about, but never really confront or dwell upon (such as race, and what about boys now that girls are kicking their academic butts in primary and secondary schools all across this nation?). Bands like the Life Partners or Country Teasers are kinda like the "All in the Family" of underground music. If you take the lyrics at face value and cry foul and shut yourself away from this band, you can forget about 'em and go back to your safe cocoon, much like the too-easily offended viewers who wrankled at Archie Bunker's paint-peelingest words who failed to appreciate where those words fit in the context of a program that was building a very constructive dialogue. It takes no courage to ignore something that confounds, but the effort to peel away the layers of complication and convolution can be worthwhile, and rather fun in the case of Men Are Talking. What does it say about a band's message when members of an outfit as esteemed and accomplished as Major Stars are waving their pricks and beating their chests over a bed of music steeped in the easy-paced AOR rock balladry of the 70s? This record is so devoid of three-stupid-chords punk convention that it makes Cheer Accident sound like Blitz. It's like E.L.O. played the Elton John songbook with words re-written by Rancid Vat when they were one of the most deceptively clever lyricists in punk rock, and then brought in Bob James to arrange the horn parts 'cos the producer loved the theme of "Taxi" so much. The occasional crunchy riff creeps in, as if by the command of John Nitzinger's svengali strings. If Metal Mike's brain wasn't complete mush by now, he'd love this record for all the wrong reasons. But fortunately, this album's so wrong, it's right! So, you can love it without guilt. You can just tell your immediately disapproving friends that you're conducting research on yourself...exposure therapy to test your true punkness and your sense of righteousness! Maybe it's not really that wrong...The production and vocal delivery screams Homestead Records circa 1989. There's as much musical talent here as any Boston or Journey record, but there's no sheeny gloss of overproduction or overly histrionic singing. There's just that much of a shred of honesty that makes you really wonder about these guys. Basically, if you don't get too indignant about off-color jokes, and you can't peel yourself away when you see those late-night infomercials about hits-of-the-70s compilations, then you owe it to yourself to track this record down!

1 comment:

Zachary Devereux Fairbrother said...

Thanks for the Omon Ra plays,