Further enlightenment from Swami Loopynanda...
The Future Has Already Been Done
by 99 Hooker, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Rotcod Zzaj
Imagine a troupe of Merce Cunningham dancers dressed in vibrant colors and textures that accent every angle, setting chemical
fires and hurling one another across a mirrored stage stacked with pillars of television sets all tuned to different channels,
illuminated by a hundred unsynchronized strobe lights. Merce would surely be comfortable with the assault of The Future Has
Already Been Done as the soundtrack for such an extravaganza.
Recording vets Rotcod Zzaj, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, and 99 Hooker have collaborated to stir up a brew of sonic chaos that
is so pungent, on the right drugs a listener might see the speakers bleed. Manic synthesizer rifts and long Kerouac-ian rants
are cut up, treated with sound effects, pasted over one another, treated and pasted again and again. These are interrupted
at regular and irregular intervals with overlays of everything from baroque symphonies to baseball game banter, also cut into
bite sized chunks and glazed with digital sugars. While much of the recordings verbiage is stretched, squashed, bent, or otherwise
distorted to the point of its language becoming altogether meaningless, some of the streams of consciousness take life with
themes of televangelists, S & M clubs, and collapsing spleens--all melting together in a gooey glop of angry vociferousness.
The Future is a recording thats just waiting for anyone who wants to dive face-first-mouth-open into a full throttle spin
cycle of audio stimulation. Give it a listen if youre ready to experience something that makes punk music sound like Neil
Swami Loopynanda, May, 2002
The Tapegerm Mixes
by Mental Anguish
TAPEGERM is a fascinating new millennium web place where sound sculptors can pick up building materials and display the
works they create from them. The virulent tapegerm microbe has spread quickly, infecting the brain cells of avant garde composers
all over the world. Its insidiously insistent flagella corers these audio technicians into gluing together a variety of sounds,
which they then vociferously spit back into the ears of their fellows A collective of sonic explorers oversees the mitosis
of this organism, and one of this groups leaders is the legendary veteran of the home recording universe, Chris Phinney.
"The Tapegerm Mixes" is a CD collection of collages which Chris, in his guise of Mental Anguish, produced from sounds
supplied by members of theTapegerm Collective and other representatives of the home recording cosmos. The list of contributors
is nothing less than a conglomerate of heroes and heroines of the sonic underground, including Al Margolis, Bryan Baker, Michael
J. Bowman, Bev Stanton, and several others, including Chris himself.
Hard edged heavy beats both assault and hypnotize as they build a framework for most of the nineteen pieces on the recording.
Treatments of pounding percussion and synthesizer boil with machine-like thumps and whirrs to stir up a fiery soup of collaged
loops, which is seasoned with overlays of other noises such as gritty guitars, volatile vocalizations, and even sprinkles
of spicy clarinet.
I recognize some of these chunks of looped germ sound, so I must conjecture that many of the recordings building blocks
were not created by the artists, but instead were carefully edited from other sources. The finished collages are flavored
with rock, noise, pop, techno, and even zydeco. Listeners should be warned that the continually repeating patterns of the
mature tapegerms can infect foot tissue, producing a spastic tapping effect.
I recommend a visit to the Tapegerm site for all those who are mentally healthy enough to indulge in the delightful rewards
of its infection, and I recommend getting a copy of Mental Anguishs 'Tapegerm Mixes' CD to everyone who enjoys extraordinary
Review by Swami Loopynanda...
CD: Dance Of
Recorded Fall, 2001
Released Winter, 2002
From Lawrence, Kansas, USA
Web Site: http://www.holsteinband.com/
From the Land Of Oz and William S. Burroughs comes a new CD
well worth a listen for anyone who appreciates fine musicianship, crisp production, and biting humor. While the name Holstein calls to mind imagery of dairy farmers, theres no cheese on their newest CD. Dance Of The Flatlander is a prime piece of listening meat, juicy with choice cuts.
The title track is a full-of-frills instrumental, crafted
with all the careful songwriting and musicianship of some of the best 1970s progressive recordings. Despite their silly names, the other instrumentals Ode To Gwar and Kermits Lullaby also faithfully fulfill
that old progressive promise. The guitar work of Jeff Jackson and Ezra Sykes
has a precision plucking quality that reminds me a lot of Martin Barres licks on Jethro Tulls early recordings. On Marketplace, bassist David Brodie lays down a bouncie beat that grooves like Lamb Lies Down era Michael
Rutherford. All the tracks are driven by the powerful jazzy drumming of Alex
Logan, who changes tempos with fluid fills and percussive flourishes that recall a young Carl Palmer.
Holstein mercilessly pokes fun with lyrics that chew up and
spit out their subjects in a way that recalls the Mothers of Invention. The recording
takes the listener right into the bands local environment. Twenty miles south
of Lawrence lies Ottawa, the land of toothless smiles. The song tells the torrid
tale of a fugitive meth manufacturer. Lawrence locals are big on Basketball and
Jesus Christ, a song that has more than a few of them old country licks thrown in to appropriately color it up. Rachels Song sheds some dark light on todays modern hippies, ending appropriately with a trippy jam that
recalls the Grateful Deads Dark Star. Even Madonna gets a poke with Fuck The
EarthIs there art in your heart? Are you craving Cream of Death? Sykes carries Holsteins messages with a smooth singing voice, and its clear
that the band knows how to harmonize, exhibited in the extreme by the a cappella chorus that ends Fuck The Earth.
The sound quality of this home-produced gem displays some
high-end studio skills. Its clear that this band practices plenty. I sense that every note on Flatlander was intended to be heard. Get
in touch and share in the experience.
reviewed by Wim Lecluyse, Bret Hart, Gary Pig Gold, Joshua Peck
Reviewed by Wim Lecluyse
jupitter goes quattrocento: s/t- CDR ep (no label)
jupitter goes quattrocento is
definitely the most interesting band from the
belgian fsafa scene. it a duo consisting of sebastien karsakoza and his
cousin jo. they make some kind of pop, which is obviously inspired by the
florishing bristol scene. so their untitled
debut ce-ep refers often to
bands like movietone or hood (with whom they shared stage before) most
is the openingtrack 'deadleaves and sunsets', with a very
nervous but yet subtle beat underneath. the exact opposite
is track three
'runaway' a lot slower, and relaxed and darker. in 'galapagos', the duo hits
the acoustic guitar
so hard that the result sounds like flamenco-punk. The
vocals come out best in '-14%', a really moody song. 'sometimes
i sit near
the water, and i know where i am'; sings sebastien with a delicious french
accent. amazing track. if
all goes well, this band should release soem more
download the entire ep at http://users.skynet.be/jupitterprojects/mp3s.html
inu yaroh: adapt CDR ep (under the sun records)
what is it with japanes bands and noise? one one
side, you have the vague
sound-experimentalists like merzbow or billy?, and on the other side there
are the more
rock-roll minded acts like ruins or melt banana. Inu Yaroh
combines some of the finest elements of both schools.
live set is definitely up the alley of those into ruins etc. but this
ep is more dark-ambient like. lots of percussion,
weird saxophone sounds,
samples, loops and bass. not for the weak at heart, but definately worth
by Gary Pig Gold...
"Arizona Songs" [CD]
reviewed by Gary Pig Gold
This shiny new, digitally computerized age of ours has made it possible for
just about any geek with a guitar
and a few burnable bytes to produce,
manufacture, and even distribute his very own, well, "album." While this
inevitably results in a rash of material that otherwise would never get much
heard outside of the family garage,
it also means a rare few gems of
inordinate quality squeak through which, left to a "real" record co., might
go forever unheard.
"Arizona Songs" is definitely one of those latter, lustrous gems. Perhaps at
times a wee under-polished, of course, but this is the kinda music big names
and big budgets would probably only
slice, dice, and ultimately slaughter.
Conversely, Ken is happily one of the worlds great at-home recording
(among many other things!), and this disc gathers a full fifteen
of the crazed, sometimes-sly-but-always-knockin numbers
which hitherto have
gone prized by only a few of his closest pen pals.
And what great material it is! From
the bottom-of-the-bottle "Daddy Was A
Drinkin Man" to the May/December romance quandary (recast as a Dance
or two) of "New Country Waltz," "Arizona Songs" leaves few musical idioms
to mention stripped down, shuffled wildly, and brazenly
rebuilt. For example, at first glance "Blues Walked In,"
not to mention "8 x
10 Of The Blues," may appear as yet two more variations upon the age-old
cock-eared twists - especially lyrically - never lurk far from
view. "Media Bullies," in fact, rawks dem
blooze, maaaan in a wily
Doors-meet-the-CNN-age sorta way, while "Heartaches With A Beat" and the
delightful "Short Hot Mama" aim direct for the dance-floor, yet at the
same time actually sport surprisingly
sophisticated verbiage. Not so
surprising, however, when one considers Kens affinity with the written (and
word: Long a mainstay of the worlds most discriminating fanzines -
like the one youre undoubtedly now reading! - Ken
always weds his way with
the verb with solid, rockabootin-based foundations (why, "Dont Give Her
just like one of his infamous "Ask Dr. Iguana" advice columns set
in the circa-1960 studios of those Sun kings!)
Three true future classics herein, however, best demonstrate Kens mastery of
the scope of lifes little, uh,
absurdities. "Dead Cat Song," with its
hilariously incongruous cries of "howdy-howdy-hey," keeps
laughing and squirming whilst it minutely details some unfortunate pets
rotting carcass (which,
sports fans, you may also find pictured on this very
discs back cover); alternately, the delicate, gentle broken-heartplay
"Put Your Arms Around Me" and especially "Arizona Desert Song" result in no
less than works
of near Jimmy Webb calibre, I kid you not.
Indeed, there may very well be quite a load of material to absorb at
with this hour-long disc (tho a seven-song version is also rumored to exist).
Nevertheless, youre sure to
make many a new lifelong musical friend amongst
these here "Arizona Songs." I suggest you drop Ken a line
yourself to some of them right now!
[Dr. Iguana Records, PO Box 8, Black Canyon City, AZ 85324]
by Bret Hart...
Free Spirit Suites
CD Zzaj Producions
(available through http://www.cdstreet.com/)
On Whirling Dervish got The Ventures
pulling teeth from
the jaw of Stanley Turrentine...falling through flesh tubes and
dream-corridors with Dialogue for Drifters...when it's
processed well, the rote percussion programs possess a
robotic grin and mechanical
grandeur, which insert moments of
"meet George Jetson!" into the landscapes
conjure. I go pretty far back with both of these jokers and Mark
still wrests some of the most obtuse CHUNKS and skanky
MOANS from his axe. Zzaj (Dick Metcalf) is...well, "Zzaj". I've
the benefit of hearing scads of his work, and have read
reviews of lots of what I
haven't myself heard... Zzaj's
keyboards are attacked with a childlike wonder, punky
confidence, and he is generally operating within knowable
parameters (slo-blooze, lounge-jazz, free-form splatter, etc)
of with whom he collaborates. One listen, and you
go, "There's a whole lotta
DICK in there."
Live music reviews by Joshua Peck...
Hi. Not a lot of bands but the show reviews are kind of long because I get
a little sidetracked here and there with sidebars and stories. These are the bands whose shows I'll talk about: Blood Oranges,
The Schramms, Walter Salas-Humera, Magnetic Fields, Sebastien Tellier & Air. Plan on watching a film or two this weekend
plus I have seen 4 plays recently and wrote short reviews of that.
Blood Oranges/The Schramms/Walter Salas-Humera
6-5 Mercury Lounge
This was a show I've been excited about for awhile since the Blood Oranges have reformed
after a nearly 7 year break up (I'm not counting the Wooden Leg record they did without Cheri Knight). I arrived around showtime
and tried to sell the extra ticket I had. I heard a guy asking if the show was gonna sell out and asked him did he want my
extra ticket? "How do I know it's real?" I thought he was kidding, but no. I showed him the tickets and told him
to choose one, not good enough. He went over to the bulky doorman and asked him if they were real tickets, "I don't know
man, ask inside." This was getting embarrassing to me as the guy was a complete and utter dork! The ticket cost $10,
why in the world would a person counterfeit a ten dollar ticket?! Well, in we went. A baffled woman in her early 20s sat and
said crossly that they were real, he paid me the 10 bucks and thankfully I was rid of him. I went for an egg cream at Katz's
next door and when I entered again the woman said, "Wasn't that the most annoying guy ever?" "I've been waiting
for months to use my phony tickets at the Blood Oranges show!" I responded. We had a few laughs making fun of the guy
and he deserved it completely. Walter from the Silos was just starting when I entered and he played an acoustic set of passionate
singer-songwritery songs. I met the Silos about 8 years ago while working at the BBQ and became a Silos fan after that. He
sang my favorite Silo song last, calling it "a universal song for everyone". "Susan Across the Ocean",
is a honest, emotional song about love, regret and time that weighs even heavier on the chest of us all as we grow old. I
was very happy to hear this painful, sad song. The Schramms took the stage and played their straight ahead rock n roll. Dave
Schramm was an original member of Yo La Tengo and frankly I'm glad he left that band so they could explore on their own or
they might be more like the Schramms. There is nothing wrong with the Schramms I just prefer the more adventurous Yo Las.
Schramm is a good guitar player and a few terrific solos burst from his guitar as they played an enjoyable set. I was eager
for the Blood Oranges and their hybrid of bluegrass, country and rock n roll. They have three songwriters and singers in the
band: electric mandolinist Jimmy Ryan (also does Beacon Hillbillies), bassist Cheri Knight and guitarist Mark Spencer. All
three share the singing duties, by themself or all at once with triple harmonies. I'm fond of Knight. She's a bad-ass onstage
with her pointed black boots, red bandanna hanging loose from the pocket of her red pants, exchanging banter with Ryan and
telling stories. Blood Oranges played around a 90 minute show with most of it drawn from their underrated and unknown records
such as "Corn River" and "The Crying Tree". I heard some of my favorites, such as "Shady Grove",
"Hell's Half Acre", "Halfway 'round the World". They also played some stompin' hoedown songs like "Little
Maggie" and "Hell Train" and some truck driving song I didn't know but really liked. This was a terrific show
because they are a band with great songs, a unique sound with the electric mandolin/guitar/triple harmonies and I never though
I'd see them since they split all those years ago. Maybe even have a new record before the end of the year which would be
The Magnetic Fields 6-17 The Bottom Line
at the caberet hall Bottom Line and hopefully the last. Ushered to a seat a few feet from the stage you'd think I would like
being up front and center but that wasn't the case. In a small club show I like to stand, not sit, cramped and encircled by
strangers. Plus, sitting below the stage I realized I would be craning my neck upward to watch the show. There wasn't a warm
up group but a warm up reading from comic book/novelist Neil Gaimen (sp?) that was excruciatingly painful to sit through.
I am not familiar with his writing but the audience sure was as it seemed over half the place was there to see him. I've been
to quite a few readings for all kinds of writers but never have I sit through a more pretentious, more full of himself guy
than Gaimen. Unfortunately, the audience ate this crap about demons, displaced gods on earth, poems about his wild hair right
up. Awful writing by a guy so in love with his voice he should have been reading to his reflection. The Magnetic Fields came
out and sat down in chairs to play, which only added to the lack of atmosphere at this venue and show. Stephin Merritt on
guitar and ukelele, Claudia Gonson on piano and synth, John Woo on guitar and banjo and Sam Davol on cello and bass was the
linuep. A last complaint about the show: not loud enough! I guess the instrumentation wasn't conducive to loud music but it's
always best to be too loud rather than too soft. Anyway, the band played about 90 minutes with the vast majority of songs
coming from their triple (that's right, I said "triple") album "69 Love Songs" and included some of my
favorites such as "Epitaph for My Heart", "Acoustic Guitar", "Papa was a Rodeo", "Asleep
and Dreaming" and "When My Boy Walks Down the Street". I was kind of hoping for a few more older tunes, especially
"All the Umprellas in London" or "100,000 Fireflies" (that one was a wish) but it didn't happen. The older
songs are synth heavy when "69 Love Songs" for the most part isn't. Merritt is a quiet guy on stage (he looked very
ragged and in need of sleep) and Gonson made most of the talking from stage with Woo and Davol absolutely wordless. Gonson
was funny and charming as well as being a better pianist than I thought she was. She sang a few songs but mostly it was Merritt's
deep voice of melancholy. If you know the MF music you know they have some funny songs ("Fido Your Leash is too Long")
and the audience lauged a lot during their set which makes me think that a chunk of the crowd was there for that bore of a
writer. The guys around me were there for him and didn't know the songs and practically wet their pants when Gaimen came out
to start that drivel. This show had its ups and downs, but I'm glad to see Magnetic Fields finally, just wish it was somewhere
else and with someone else.
Air/Sebastien Tellier 6-21 Hammerstein Ballroom
good show by one of the best bands on the planet as Air fills the majestic and beautiful Hammerstein Ballroom. I arrived to
the booming sound of some New Order circa '83 blasting out of the great sound system that bounced off walls and back to my
ears. This place was huge. I sat in the middle, close to the front, reading, soaking in New Order and the ballroom as it quickly
filled. Tellier took the stage with a woman named pamela. He sat and played guitar, she played a theremin, he sung in what
I'm guessing was French as I didn't understand a word of it with all the heavy vocoder and effects use. I love the vocoder
or voice manipulation and this night offered a lot of that because Air use it in almost all their songs w/ vocals. Pamela
played her theremin as both otherworldly melodic outer space symphonic and as a bass, often so heavy and loud my spine vibrated
deep in my carraige (a good thing!). It was great. At one point she even broke out a little human beat box action. Air took
the stage and kicked it off with the howlingly wonderful robotic anthem "Electronic Performers" from their latest
"10,000 Hz Legend". The songs from the new record sounded so damn good that I was almost down when they went into
a slower, more subdued older one. I was really hoping to hear two songs in particular from "Moon Safari" but "Remember"
and "Kelly Watch the Stars" did not show up. They did play a few of the quiet, atmospheric instrumentals from Moon
and did a great version of "Le Soleil Est Pres de Moi" with a mutated vocal so sweet and tender and alive that I
felt in love despite being utterly alone. This show belonged to the new songs with tracks such as "Playground Love"
(from the Virgin Suicides soundtrack and dedicated to the teenagers in the crowd), "Don't Be Light", "How Does
it Make You Feel?", "Radio #1" (to say this song is catchy is an understatement like saying Death Valley is
just a tad on the warm side!) and a song about NY city called "People in the City" that I've been humming for days.
I kept my eyes closed about half the time, just getting into Air's songs, and near the end of the show, while my eyes were
shut with the strobes beaming into my lids, I felt a couple of people bump into me, but with everyone packed so tight, I didn't
think much of it. When I opened my eyes a space had cleared in front of me and to the right. Some guy had puked on the people
in front of him and on the floor but it didn't stop the show. I checked my pants, nothing, some girl had puke on her shoulder
but stayed for the encore anyway, that's dedication. The last song was a rocked out, lean and mean "Sexy Boy" and
sadly the show was over. I've been listening to electronic and synth music since 1984 and am thinking long and hard about
proclaiming Air the best electronic band since Kraftwerk and that is hard to face because of all the bands I loved and embraced
in the '80s (not to mention the fact that Air are French for God's sake!) but after seeing this show, I'm starting to think
that is the case. I walked out into the vibrant street, full of noise and energy, humming "People in the City",
feeling like I belong in NY City, wanting to turn to someone and share this kind of joy and excitement but was alone, too
bad. All bow to Air.