Tuesday, October 26, 2010

AFS v 286 ~ Message from the Asylum

This week in AFS...

* live-at-KDVS session by Sex Church!
* sneak-peekin' the forthcoming Sic Alps 2xLP!
* a grippa new Troubled in Mind melodic brainworms!
* the latest guitar-slaying of Grady Runyan (ex-Monoshock/Liquorball)!

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 with any downloading problem questions...)

THE FALL | The Container Drivers | Grotesque (After the Gramme) | Rough Trade 1980
SAVAGE REPUBLIC | Viva la Rock n Roll [ATV] | ΝHΠIAΓΩΓEION - Live In Europe 1988 | Fundamental 1990
PARTY BOYS | Ode on a Grecian Urn | No Aggro | Independent Project 1981
ALARMIST | It's Halloween [the Shaggs] | Under the Covers CS | Public Secret Media 2004
ALARMIST | Ignition | Evil Works Get Rich or Try Dying Evil Works | Frenetic 2004
CRABE | Pénis-Céline | Ero Gaki | Signed by Force *new
DE KIFT | Vlijt/Staal op Staal | Yverzucht | Konkurrel 1989
BPEOPLE | Can Can't | self-titled | Faulty Products 1981
THE DEADBEATS | Brainless | Kill the Hippies 7" | Dangerhouse 1978
ROY WOOD'S WIZZARD | Eddy's Rock | Introducing Eddy & the Falcons | United Artists 1974
WOUNDED LION | Pointed Sticks | Pointed Sticks 7" | Trouble in Mind *new
THE WRONG WORDS | What Went Wrong? | What Went Wrong? 7" | Trouble in Mind *new
THE LIMIÑANAS | Mountain | self-titled | Trouble in Mind *new
NICE SMILE | Building | Building 7" | South Director Street *new
RED MASS | Nightcrawlers | self-titled | Florida's Dying *new
~~~~~~ live in Studio A, Oct 20, 2010 ~~~~~~~
SEX CHURCH | Not Anymore
SEX CHURCH | Old Enough
SEX CHURCH | Paralyze
SEX CHURCH | Mistaken
SIC ALPS | Trip Train | Napa Asylum 2xLP | Drag City *forthcoming
SIC ALPS | The First White Man to Touch California Soil
THE BAD TRIPS | End of War | Open | Rocketship *new
INTERNATIONAL HELLO | Someone's Coming | self-titled | Holy Mountain *new
ART LESSING | Weirdest Places | Lectures 2xLP | KDVS Recordings *new
SUN CITY GIRLS | The Imam | Funeral Mariachi | Abduction *new
PHANTOM PAYN DAYS | Art is Dead | self-titled | De Stijl *new
SAMUEL LOCKE WARD | Church of the Bloated Man | Barely Regal Beagles | no label *new

Due early 2011 from Drag City, the Sic Alps' Napa Asylum will surely please fans and win some more! Tonight, I give you a couple of the fuzziest blasts from the double-LP, but you can also expect to hear the band--now a trio--meander through folk and damaged pop, usually with ease, sometimes with difficulty, but always bearing rewards for the indepth listener. Next week I'll dish you some of the woozier brilliance on these four sides of impending indulgence. My advance CDR was enclosed with a one-sheet which says...

The new SIC ALPS record is "NAPA ASYLUM."

A Brief History of Sic Alps Time:

Matt and Mike met on a boat in NYC in 1996, playing with their bands, Henry's Dress and The Ropers.

Mike started Sic Alps with Adam Stonehouse of The Hospitals in 2004. Matt joined in 2005, stepping in to mix and basically realize the first LP "Pleasures and Treasures."

Noel Von Harmonson joined in 2009. You know - Noel, of Comets on Fire! Noel plays guitars, drums and all kinds of randomness on "Napa Asylum."

Sic Alps always record themselves in the basement. Mike always brings in the song with lyrics and it gets built track by track on an 8 track. A recent exception to the rule is "My My Lai" on "Napa Asylum," written and recorded by Matt. But back to the rule: Matt is always the "engineer" and often the arranger and concept master. The set-up is very minimal - delay pedal, reverb tank, two microphones, $100 preamp and Tascam 8. This has been this way for all the recordings.

2.5 years between records! Where were they? Comp tracks aside, only the Slumberland 7" "L Mansion" and the Magic Markers split (Yik Yak) were released since "U.S. EZ" came out in July of 2008. Sic Alps were releasing a lot of music in the years 2006-2008 and "Napa Asylum" represents for the years when they slowed way down and took a minute to reflect.

Themes of the "Napa Asylum" record include re-incarnation, magic and schizophrenia. Some of the more adventurous writing on the record lyrically speaking: "The First White Man to Touch California" attempts to tie the "discovery" of California to the recent mortgage crisis. "Zeppo Epp" tells parallel tales of leaving a Midwestern home: Zeppo Eppley drives off to never be heard from again while Charlotte Muldeen breaks up with her girlfriend and joins the Navy.

The songs are a fresh assortment of Sic pleasures, echoing half-emptily as the hooks slide into your flesh, animating you in marionette-style to tip-tap your way across the dance-floor. Get your steps in while you can, the songs are as short as they are bitter-sweet. But the one that ends just makes way for the one coming next...

I liked Napa Asylum immediately, but it took a couple more listens to really get under my skin, and now I enjoy it at least as much as the masterful Description of the Harbor which made it onto the short version of my best-of-2008 LPs list. Yes, it's another masterpiece. I'd described Description as the perfect music for a summer heatwave when the A/C's busted and you can only lay on the floor and watch the ceiling fan spin. I actually did this once, and the more warped elliptical Alps riffs made me trip out on how my ceiling fan kinda rocks a little bit on its base so that the fan blades sorta smear into an oval. Napa Asylum's gonna trip me out like that, but even more.

Napa Asylum is great listening on a high-desert drive. The miles from Weed, California, to Tulelake via U.S. 97 north past Dorris and east on CA Hwy 161 blew by almost too quickly with a sage-scented breeze, even as my windshield got smeared with guts of tiny flies as the route cut across Lower Klamath Lake. The peak of Mt. Shasta dominates the view throughout this drive like the shamanistic vibe of Mike Donovan, smiling and shoeless on stage. I become aware of the ice of Shasta's glaciers scouring the mountain whenever Matt Hartman's nervous energy manifests in a sudden jittery drum fill or shrill feedback squall. (Or maybe it's the Modoc warrior spirit!) It all comes together as a soundscape as massive as the northern Siskiyou landscape. Shasta is always there past the horizon, tantalizingly near even as those nearer horizons keep unfolding every mile or two across this unique microcosm of the basin-and-range formations of the inter-mountain West. It's the perfect place for a psychedelic experience, such as listening to Napa Asylum. I still hope to take one more trip up that way before winter takes hold, and then I'll figure out what's Noel's northern Siskiyou metaphor. Maybe it's the way that the land up there's so surprisingly adaptable. Just like adding water to the mineral-rich soil replaces a valley full of bunchgrass and sagebrush with a green carpet of alfalfa sprouts across the southern half of Butte Valley, adding Noel to the Sic Alps equation has produced an outstanding result. From seeing the band live four times this year with Noel, I sense that he's added a steadying effect. The rhythms are more permanent on Napa Asylum, riffs heavier and more impactful. Yet the Cali vibe is still so enduring...on this album, just as it is mere miles from the Oregon border where--amidst secessionist Jefferson-state rednecks--there are hippies stroking crystals aimed at Shasta vortexes, and the sun still shines through about 80% of the time year-round.

If you wanna plan a vacation with this album, hit me up....I'll tell you where to stay and eat up there. Keep in mind the 2nd weekend of October is when the town of Merrill, just across the border in Oregon, hosts their annual potato festival. I already bought a 2011 calendar and circled the dates. You should circle January 25, 2011....that's the date that Napa Asylum hits the street.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

AFS v. 285 ~ Hey, y'all...I Gotta Great New Album in the Mail Today!

This week in AFS...

* Zac Nelson's home-away-from-homecoming's this weekend
* skronktastic sax-damaged scuzzrock
* a whole grippa new Permanent titles

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 with any downloading problem questions...)

MENTHOLS | B-OK | Michigan Works | UFO Dictator *new
PRINCESS SWEEPSTAKES | Napkins | I Love You in Case I Die This Christmas, Man | Scenery Audio Archive 2004
WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE SON, GOD? | Beelzebubble | Out of Body Diva | KDVS Recordings 2006
TRAWLER BYCATCH | Forces of Nature | advance tracks CDR | no label 2009
UNION CARBIDE PRODUCTIONS | Teenage Bankman | In the Air Tonight | Radium 226.05 1988
DRUID PERFUME | Ain't it Rubbish | Tin Boat to Tuna Town | Bumbo *new
TRAGIC MULATTO | Stop My Hand | Judo for the Blind | Alternative Tentacles 1984
CERAMIC HOBS | Fixated Threat Assessment Centre | OZ OZ Alice | ORB Editions *new
CERMAIC HOBS | Miley Backmask
BRAINBOMBS | No End | Singles Compilation, v.1 | Load *new (orig 1989)
TEENAGE JESUS & THE JERKS | Burning Rubber | self-titled 12" EP | Migraine 1979
CACAW | Old Bones | self-titled | Permanent *new
BLACK MATH | Commando of Love [The Anals] | Phantom Power | Permanent *new
BERMUDA TRIANGLES | Riddles in the Sand | Reptilian Intervention | CNP *new
TRETETAM | Paw Paw | Pawhuska CDR | Ikuisuus *new
BRAIN IDEA | Getting Older/Popped Tops | The Survival Scrolls | Permanent *new
THE REBEL | Tyme | The Race Against Time Hots Up | Junior Aspirin *new
TRAILBLAZER | Mallard | Gut Reaction 7" | Moniker *new
MY DAD IS DEAD | Five Minutes | Let's Skip the Details | Homestead 1988
NICE STRONG ARM | Disenchanted | Reality Bath | Homestead 1987
NO TREND | Teen Love | Teen Love 7" | No Trend 1983 *request
SIMPLE CIRCUIT | Moon Druggies | Boarded Up Houses 7" | Super Secret *new
USELESS EATERS | Mr. Oscillations | Mr. Oscillations 7" | Mastermind *new
SOPORS | Ponce de Leon/I Watch Movies/Read to Me | Golden Era #267 | Mongo Bongo *new
PROTOMARTYR | Baseball Bat | Colpi Proibiti CDR | no label *new
CULTURE KIDS | Good Ol' American Boys | self-titled 7" | no label *new
IDIOT SAVANTS | Try & Get Out/School's Prison | v/a: The Master Tape vol 2 | Affirmation 1983
WASTED TALENT | Not Anymore | v/a: The Master Tape vol 2
FANG | You're Cracked | Where the Wild Things Are | Boner 1984
H.P.P. | Suicide/Homicide | self-titled | Perennial *new
GUZZARD | Supersonic Enemy of Evil | Quick, Fast, in a Hurry | AmRep 1995
THE KIDNAPPERS | Chickenheads & Cigarettes | Will Protect You | Alien Snatch *new
WHEELS ON FIRE | Chasing UFOs | Liar, Liar | Alien Snatch *new
HEAD & THE HARES | Lost | Two Tymes 7" | Stanton Park/Moulty 1992

Here's where those samples from the Tretetam track came from!

I remember seeing this commercial on BET all the time nearly 25 years ago, so I was stoked to hear this tonight! All the music was the stuff my mom used to listen to full-blast while cleaning the house when I was a wee lad. Great memories.

Sorry I can't spend more time dishing on these goods this week....Gotta bone up for my Fantasy NBA draft tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

AFS v. 284 ~ The Festival in the Vestibule

This week in AFS...

* Brace yourselves for KDVS presents Feats of Strength - Fall 2010
* Brand-new brilliant weirdness from the Ceramic Hobs!
* Catching up w/ Siltbreeze Records
* Dan Melchior makes me question my existence...but not his excellence
* The brand-new KDVS Recordings joint: Art Lessing 2xLP!

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 with any downloading problem questions...)

SEX CHURCH | Dead End | Dead End 7" | Sweet Rot 2009
SEX CHURCH | Not Anymore | 6 Songs 12" EP | Convulsive 2010
WIPERS | No One Wants an Alien | Over the Edge | Braineater 1983
EASTER MONKEYS | Nailed to the Cross | Splendor of Sorrow | Hit & Run | 1990 (orig 1983)
G. GREEN | Sinner Now/No Big Deal | July 2010 session
USELESS EATERS | Surrounded | v/a: I'd Buy That for a Dollar 2 7" | UFO Dictator *new
BEWARE OF THE KNIGHT | Secret Friend | Some Song About Some Street CDR | no label *new
STANDARD TRIBESMEN | Waiting | Waiting 7" | Mt. St. Mtn *new
CIRCLE PIT | Drowning in the Dark | Bruise Constellation | Siltbreeze *new
EXILES FROM CLOWNTOWN | Around the Corner | Around the Corner 7" | Greatdividing *new
PROTOMARTYR | Psychic Doorbell | Colpi Proibiti CDR | no label *new
HYGIENE | Things That Dreams Are Made Of | Things That Dreams Are Made Of 7" | La Vida es un Mus *new
THE INTELLIGENCE | Like Like Like Like Like Like Like | Males | In The Red *new
PHEROMOANS | Relaxed Opel Dawn | split 7" w/ Dan Melchior und Das Menace | Savoury Days *new
DAN MELCHIOR UND DAS MENACE | Intelligent Design Pt 2/Barbasol/Mere Pseud Blog Ed | Visionary Pangs | SS Records *new
ART LESSING | Chain Silver Ride/Sleeping Ghost | Lectures 2xLP | KDVS Recordings *new
THE DOOZER | Decisive Mind | Great Explorers | Siltbreeze *new
LIZ ALLBEE | Hide It in the Lie | Theseus vs. | Resipiscent *new
RALPH HAXTON | Madeleine's Radiola | Madeleine's Radiola 7" | Gyttja 1995
WARM CLIMATE | Saltwater Simplified/Trespassing | Camouflage on the River Wretched CS | Stunned *new
CERAMIC HOBS | Oz Oz Alice (excerpt) | Oz Oz Alice | ORB Editions *new
KITO-MIZUKUMI ROUBER | Midori Mushi San Connichiwa | self-titled 7" | Siltbreeze *new
OLYMPUS | Ere I Die | Bold Mould | Soft Abuse *new
THE N.E.C. | Eyeball Seeds | Is | Double Phantom *new

KDVS presents Feats of Strength
(the "Festival in the Vestibule" (of a mechanic's shop)
All shows @ The Hub
1819 23rd Street
Sacramento, CA 95816

all ages
$5 for Hub members
(+$1 one-time fee to join)

1st Feat: Thu 10/14
H.P.P. (Olympia, WA)
+ RAPE WHISTLE (Sacto HC/thrash)
& SQUIDZ (ex-Pisol Pete)

2nd Feat: Fri 10/15
Sex Church (Canada)
Satan Wriders (Stockton)

3rd Feat: Sat 10/16
Malaikat Dan Singa (feat. Arrington de Dionysio; it's basically kinda like Old Time Relijun interpreting Indonesian pop)
Buk Buk Bigups
San(s) Kazakgascar

I will be giving a single Wild Flag (ex-Sleater Kinney & Helium/Grass Widow (Wed 11/17, SOLD OUT!) ticket away at each show by staging a free raffle. Every paid attendee at each show will receive a raffle ticket for the drawing at the night's end. When we have a consecutive streak of particularly awesome shows, we like to call that "Feats of Strength". If anyone attends all three shows, they will be entered into a raffle at the Saturday show to win a pair of Wild Flag/Grass Widow tickets plus a sweep of the merch table on Saturday (one copy of each new record by each band, plus the Grass Widow LP), and shall be named winner of "Feats of Strength - Fall 2010". These tickets will be transferable, so even if you purchased Wild Flag tix, you can win 'em, too.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

AFS v. 283 ~ feat. Wounded Lion, Whines, & Uzi Rash live on KDVS

This week in AFS, Fuzzbox Flynn pinch-hit for me, picking the first 45 minutes of music, and then airing the pre-ORMF X fest party recorded live at KDVS, featuring Uzi Rash, The Whines (next-to-last public performance ever), and Wounded Lion. I couldn't possibly host AFS myself this week because I had the honor and privilege to play with Wounded Lion (the FCC has a rule forbidding "plugola", which includes playing your own music). It was like fantasy bandcamp with one of my very favorite bands of the last couple years! While I played the drum parts that Monty Buckles usually plays in Wounded Lion, Monty was in Kansas on Lamps duty. The guitar parts that Monty plays in other songs of the Lion were played by Andrew of G. Green.

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 with any downloading problem questions...)

NERVOUS EATERS | Loretta | Eaterville vol. 1 | Penniman 2004 (orig. 1976)
DEAD MOON | Parchment Farm | Parchment Farm 7" | Tombstone 1988
THE OBLIVIANS | Jim Cole | Soul Food | Crypt 1995
MC MONKEY & APE W/ ATTITUDE | Human Zoo | Human Zoo 7" | Kryptonite 2004
THE SORES | Learn to Like Eatin' Dirt | 6 Songs of Despair and Frustration | Borox 2005
NECESSARY EVILS | Get It Out of My Brain | The Sicko Inside Me | In The Red 1999
EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING | Turn Your Page | self-titled | Goner 2006
ROYAL HEADACHE | Eloise | Eloise 7" | R.I.P. Society 2010
PROCEDURE CLUB | Awfully Managed Pigeons | Doomed Forever | Slumberland 2010
SO COW | Shut Eye | Meaningless Friendly | Tic Tac Totally 2010
========================== Live in Studio A @ KDVS, 10/2/10 ==========================
THE WHINES | Straybird
THE WHINES | Vacation
THE WHINES | this one's not on the album or the 7"
THE WHINES | and neither is this one!
THE WHINES | yet another new one!
THE WHINES | and another!!
========================== Live in Studio A @ KDVS, 10/2/10 ==========================
WOUNDED LION | Friendly?
WOUNDED LION | Relaxation
WOUNDED LION | Sacajawea
WOUNDED LION | Pointed Sticks
WOUNDED LION | Pony People
WOUNDED LION | Degobah System
WOUNDED LION | Carol Cloud
========================== Live in Studio A @ KDVS, 10/2/10 ==========================
UZI RASH | I Know That You Read My Diary...
UZI RASH | ...Succubus Staring at Me...
UZI RASH | title unknown
UZI RASH | Living in a Swamp
UZI RASH | I'm a Trashbag
UZI RASH | Totally Fired
UZI RASH | ...Come Into My Barn...

After the show, the bands and I slayed this epic burger sesh like it was nothing! R.I.P., Whines....You were a very special band for the time you were around. Folks, if you haven't heard their Hell to Play LP on Meds yet, you're missing one of the greatest future-classics of the year. Like a female-fronted Hunches, but more Velvetsy.