Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Re-ups: by request

Hackamore Brick - One Kiss Leads to Another

Vote: which is better, this or VU's Squeeze?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One Last Ray of Summer Sun

Jim and Dale - 86% of Us
Here is one last gasp of sunshine pop to keep you warm as the days grow shorter and the nights get nipply. And, if I do say so myself, it's a damn good one.

This record was kind of a late folk rock one - it probably came out in 1968 since it was a US law that every record from that year have a version of "Suzanne" on it. The singing and electroacoustic arrangements are pretty much '66, though.

Pretty much '66, except for that prominent mellotron, that is. There must have been some cash that went into this record, because the arrangements are stellar, combining real orchestrations with mellotron much in the way the Bee Gees records from the era did, but a little more understated. That, plus the classically-trained nylon string picking of Jim (or is it Dale), give this album a special something.

By the way, if you care, the 86% in the title refers to the proof of bourbon. Of course, 86 proof is only 43% alcohol, and this album has much more to do with ditch weed than Maker's Mark, but marketing is marketing.

This file is from a raggedy-ass piece of vinyl, and for this I apologize.

Side 1:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tony Clifton at Uncle Dirty's

The Don Neal Collection - Dixie to Disco Dancin'

Here's a private press nugget recorded somewhere around 1977 at the prized Uncle Dirty's Sound Machine in Kalamazoo, MI. Like the other stuff I've heard from there, it is expertly recorded, and just a little wacky.

The Collection was a local lounge band with a wide repertoire. As the title suggests, they do go from Dixie(-land jazz, not country music) to disco. The band is more versatile than nimble, though, and there is a real and enduring amateurish vibe going on here. In particular, the horn section seems to sneak up on notes, sometimes missing by a fair amount.

There are two things that really sell this one for me, though. The first is the total Tony Clifton shtick of the singer. For those of you with short memories, Tony was the lounge club singer that used to open for Andy Kaufman's comedy act. He was a crooner and a ladies man, bracingly unfunky, and crushingly insincere. This singer has that character nailed. Try their version of After the Lovin' if you don't believe me.

Did I mention unfunky? You've got to hear the versions of Sir Duke and Night Fever to believe them. Easily the craziest mash up of midwest lounge jazz and black dance music ever made. These tracks will make your next party the social event of the season.

There's a subtle and incongruent Four Freshmen thing that sneaks in from time to time. In fact, they somehow managed to get an endorsement from one of the freshmen on the back cover. I wonder if the guy managed to listen to the album first.

Alert: a couple of the tracks on here (Glenn Miller Medley, I mean you!) cross a line into transcendently bad. If that's not your scene, you might want to ride the skip button. In fact, you might want to start with side two to get into the flow of the thing.

Track list:
glenn miller medley
bill baily
rock n roll medley
after the lovin
it’s a blue world
the hustle
sir duke
night fever
how deep is your love

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back From Vacation

New Sounds In Electronic Music

Back in the saddle again..... Disappearance due to deaths, illnesses, parties, syphilis, etc.

Here's a rare little biscuit offered as a hi how ya doin'. Known best, if at all, for being the source of the NWW referenced Steve Reich track, this is an early electronic music compilation.

1967 was the year electronic music broke. Moog synthesizers allowed the bleeps and blorps to come out of the academic labs and hit the major labels. So I guess this here is a last gasp of the old order.

Track one is Night Music by Richard Maxfield. To me, it's the least satisfying of what's here. Meant to mimic the noises of the insect kingdom in Central Park, and it sounds like it. This stuff was fast becoming obsolete by the time this record hit the racks.

Track three is Pauline Oliveros' piece I of IV. I kinda dig this one - it's sort of atmospheric in a way this stuff usually isn't. Still, I think I'd enjoy it twice as much at half the length. It's a bit of an endurance contest, this one.

The reason why you'll want this is track two - Steve Reich's Come Out. This is one of my all-time favorites of the genre. A forward thinking piece that sounds as modern today as it must have when it came out.

The piece starts with a kid in a NY jail telling the story of how he had to squeeze blood out of a wound to get medical care after a riot. A topical piece, then. Reich takes that simple bit of audio, repeating it just to the point of irritation, then pulling it slowly out of phase, watching the voices build into a chorus of phrases.

Then, about 7 or 8 minutes in, it surges into a prime electronic psychedelic wash. Deep and rich white noise. This is the kind of thing Lou Reed was going for with MMM, but with nowhere near the subtlety. No matter how many times I listen to this, that surge as the voices shift to phased noise gets me every time. Check it out.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

A Tribute

I've just heard what might be one of the top ten worst albums ever. A stunning achievement in the so-bad-its-good world. I present Robert Callendar's Musee d' L'Impressionisme.

I've seen this listed as from 1972, but it's gotta be at least a couple years later than that. It's got the stink of '76 all over it. And if you've heard his great Rainbow or his so-so The Way, it's got nothing to do with that psych-lite fake mystical vibe.

No, this is a "concept album" about the birth of expressionist art. Set to music that bounces between the Love Boat theme and A Fifth of Beethoven. Picture a latin/disco groove, with a namby sounding lounge cat singing "he went on holiday/ with Monet." Note to Robert: singing "the impressionist movement" over and over doesn't establish a concept, and it doesn't flow. Fuckin' priceless.

The closest thing to the jaw dropping pretentious awfulness on display here that I'm aware of is "The Beat Goes On" by Vanilla Fudge. Sure, it was a different era, and the sound is miles away, but the intent was the same.

Feel free to cast votes for your favorite awful albums in the comments. Extra credit for good explanations and shares. You can find the Callendar record here (along with lots of other great stuff):

Your Old Crazy Aunt

Congress-Woman Malinda Jackson Parker - Tubman Goodtyme Songs of Liberia

I'm guessing a few of you might have an eccentric old aunt in the family. You know the one, she is unmarried, dresses a bit weird, maybe drinks a bit much at family get-togethers. I always tend to think of this as a Euro-American tradition, but it might just be a worldwide phenomenon.

As evidenced by the record at hand. I'm not honestly sure if Ms. Parker was a congress-woman, married, or even an aunt. If I were a gambling man, though, I'd answer no, no, and yes. Because she's a bit, um, touched (by the hand of mayhem).

Her songs have strange obsessions, usually with blood-sucking bugs and repeated words. They start with melodies, but turn into rants. If you think about Nina Simone at her most angry, you wouldn't be far from the mark.

But her songs also reveal talent with the madness, or else noone would remember this (OK, just crazy does have its own cult, I guess). She clearly has some training on the piano, and her sense of melody and dynamics is that of someone with an ear. She just doesn't deploy it like you might expect.

If anyone out there can shed some light on this one (not cut and pasted from other sources - I know how to use Google, too), please give it up.

Hey - who's got either of those Robert Pollard comedy records? Are they any good? Worth the crazy price tag they have?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We Are Only Humans, Listen To the Sounds In Our Heads!

Magical Power Mako - (Polydor)

I love this record. It is one of the best records I've heard this year, and I hear a lot of records. Don't miss this one.

As far as I can tell, this is more a guy than a band. Still, there's lots of folks who sing on it, so there must be some other input. When I listen to it, it has a jammy feel like some of it is improv, but who the hell knows? Maybe one of you rockers can fill me in.

The second track is a nice demonstration of the difference between the rock music of Japan and the stuff from Germany or the states. The singer (multi-tracked to all hell) comes out with "Takatakatakatowwwwtakatowww" over and over and over again. But the fucker really sells it, where a band like Gentle Giant would make it sound all sissy and stupid. It will slay you on the first spin.

A big part of the genius of this record is in the arrangments. Try this: every 30 secs or so, try to pick out all the instruments in the mix. One minute, maybe it's a koto and hand drums. Next, a choir of children and a mellotron. Later, a piece of rebar and a bass. But it's never guitar / bass / traps.

He/they saves maybe the best track for last. This one is the most Krautrock-ish to my ears, maybe somewhere close to Future Days-era Can, with a fadeout that seems to last for days.

I see this album compared to Faust a lot, and I kinda sorta see it. But where a Faust record makes jagged segues between often abrasive parts, this album is wayyyy more musical in its flow.

There was a limited edition reissue around a couple years ago. If you find a copy, buy it, because you'll probably never see it again.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Away From Desk

IRA is on jury duty this week (subverting the American justice system, one case at a time). We'll get some new stuff up this weekend, hopefully.

Note that there is some kickass stuff buried in the discussions for the last few posts. Thanks for blog friends Dreamy and Fuzztunnel (the latter from the wonderful Lost-In-Tyme blog) for their links.

Get the new Dungen. It's good.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

IRAs Favorite ESPs

Noah Howard -
Quartet / Live at Judson Hall
By now, IRA readers will note that I've got a thing for ESP jazz. These are the two albums that got that ball rolling. And a couple of rare jewels lost in jazz history.
Howard was (and is) an alto player in a free jazz bag. Seeing a piano-less quartet led by an alto and a trumpet, you'd probably think his quartet album is Ornette-lite. Not so, I'd call it way more formally structured and more melodic. And in areas more fiery than Coleman. I'm having a hard time with a good comparison, because I find this record so unique.
The second album is a little more standard free jazz fare. It sounds very enamored of the Coltrane of Live at the Village Vanguard Again - lots of that rolling and placid piano keeping things anchored down. The second side is surprisingly funky in parts - not a feel you'd usually associate with an ESP session.
If I had to choose between the two, I think I like the quartet album a little more. I think the piano rooting things down gives the live set a little more of a sleepy feel, even though I really like the piano player (Dave Burrell). The live set sound leaves a bit to be desired - a lot of cavernous room sound dulls the energy a bit, too. Still, they are both great records, and a must if you like the style.
A fun backstory on these records - they both used to belong to famous activist John Sinclair. I bought 'em second hand in Detroit because they had his name written on the back as well as because they were on ESP. I wonder if he had to hock his precious and famous free jazz collection to help foot a legal bill at one point or another. If that's the case, they found a good home, John, and thanks for sharing.

Sharebee Down, What Else Is New?

Man, this Sharebee service is cool, but it breaks down a lot. Too bad, as I've got a couple gems ready to go. Is anyone else having trouble with them?

I think I might be missing a bunch of re-up requests down the list here. If you loyal readers have requests, put them in the comments here, and I'll try to get to them. Special respect will be given to readers who give back to the team, my requests are listed in the comments, too.

Monday, May 7, 2007

A Quick One, While I'm Away

Glaxo Babies - This Is Your Life e.p.

Here's a brief one, for you NWW list collectors. I'll bet that Stapleton feller would have been pretty pleasantly surprised in '80 or so to know that almost 30 years later, that tossed-off list would end up being the guidebook for diving into the '70s underground.

As I see it, there's some pretty consistent categories in that list:
  • Prog rock, much of it from the continent
  • Kraut rock, much of it fuckin' great
  • Avant classical, a lot of it electronic in nature
  • Avant jazz, mostly French
  • Zappa/Beefheart weirdo rock
  • Post-punk

It's that last category that is the area where I've been most disappointed with the quality of the listed records. I do think that it is difficult to tell how good music is immediately after it comes out. A lot of that post-punk stuff, present day nostalgia notwithstanding, must have sounded better then than it does now.

This one is very generic post-punk. If you like the style, you'll like this. But it isn't going to change your life, even if your life really sucks.

By the way, a Glaxo baby was a child born with serious birth defects due to maternal use of thalidomide as a sleep aid during pregnancy. Glaxo was the company that made the drug. In case you care.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Reader of the Day Award

Eroc - 1 and 2

The IRA sympathizer of the day award goes out to a reader who calls hisself (herself) Dreamy. Ol' D posted not one, but two Eroc records in glorious 320 sound. I, for one, can't hardly wait to dig in. I'll forgo my usual snarky comments on this one, because I don't know a damn thing about it.

Eroc 1

Eroc 2

pw: dreamy

Take a bow, Dreamy.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Edward Gorey Rocks Out!

Michael Mantler - The Hapless Child
Now that I've got this new software figured out, let me drop that bomb I've been waiting to get up here. This is a tough one to find, released in a small run on a custom label in 1976.
Sure, it's under Mantler's name, but this is an Edward Gorey record, too. He wrote the words and drew the pictures. And it's a Robert Wyatt record, because he sings the words. In a way, it's a Terje Rypdal album, because his guitar playing dominates the arrangements. Of course, this is to take nothing away from Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, and Jack DeJohnette, because they're here, too. A who's who of high brow jazz rock elite, huh?
My biggest gripe about this record is that the songs are written as stories, and sometimes the words don't match the music so well. But then you key in to what those words are really saying, and it all makes sense. Because those words are dark dark dark.
Yet another one of those Nurse With Wound list favorites. Speaking of which, any of you got Headmaschine? Eroc? Lily? How's about helping out, then?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Turn Back the Clock

The Brigade - Last Laugh

Music moves so slowly nowadays, there really isn't that much difference sonically between a record from 1997 and 2007. But there was a time...

This record came out, in the sense that there were like 50 or so pressed, in 1970. But it sounds pretty much like a frat rock record from 1965. The only concessions to the modern day seem to be a wah-wah pedal and a homemade Sgt Pepper-ish outro for side 1. And that's cool by me.

For a bunch of high school kids, there's a bit of instrumental talent on display here. I'm gonna guess these kids met in the jazz lab in school. In particular, the drummer has some kick-ass non-rock sounding beats. The single mic recording quality plus the swing feel gives this an odd sort of old jazz record vibe. The singer could use some R&B, but the nice harmonies take the edge off a bit.

Well, I guess one other thing marks this as 1970 - these are all originals. And those are the rocks on which many of these small crafts wash up on. As far as amateur songwriters go, I'll give 'em a solid B.

The best song for me, by far, is the album closer. It's the whole deal - good keyboard lead, groovy Zombies harmonies, and a sticky vocal hook. Everybody is laughing....we got the last laugh.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Hippies Are Cool

Buzzy Linhart - Buzzy

Buzzy Linhart was a fringe participant in the NY folk scene from the early 60s through at least 1980 or so. He was both a side man and a recording artist for much of this time.
He is probably best known for a band that never recorded - a raga group that backed Fred Neil for a bit in 65-66 or so. If anyone has a tape of that....
His first recording was a group called Seventh Sons that did an extended raga-ish piece on ESP. The recording data claims 1964, I'm guessing it's more 67, though. It's cool, but not earth shattering.
This is the first under his name, and it came out on Philips in 1969. The front half is not terribly far from where Fred Neil was at the time. Meandering, vaguely raga feels, slow tempos, kinda blues phrasing. The difference is that Fred Neil is one of the top five vocalists, and Buzzy Linhart is not.
The back half is mostly taken up by a single sitar session called Sing Joy. It is about as Hare Krishna as a major label release gets. Meaning hippie bliss, mothas. Yee-hah!
Buzzy must have been fond of putting out albums called Buzzy, because he did it at least twice. The other one, like the rest of his stuff that I've heard, doesn't hold much for me. When he outgrew the raga, he left me behind.
Burned from vinyl in good, not great shape.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Other Other Kaleidoscope


It seems like every 10-square block radius had a band called Kaleidoscope in 1967-9. Here's the Mexico version.

This is a really fun record. Very amateur hour, and lots of try anything spirit. There is a surprising amount of studio trickery for a non-US production of the time.

I think of this record as a low-rent Steppenwolf. If you're not a fan of the 'wolf, don't let this scare you. Neither am I, and I really like this knockoff version.

Re-up: by request

GTOs - Permanent Vacation

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Let's See If This Thing Works

Sandy Bull - E Pluribus Unum

This is my first attempt at a vinyl rip with my new set up. Please loyal listeners, give me feedback about how this sounds. Questions I have:

1) Are there any glitches in the sound? I'm not hearing any, but in some of the testing I did on other records, I had problems.

2) How are the levels? Am I getting clipping? Too soft?

I chose to do this as my first burn for a couple reasons. One, it has one track per side, so I still haven't needed to learn how to put song breaks in yet. Baby steps.

More importantly, this is a genius fuckin' album. Deep as the Pacific Ocean, and twenty times as weird. Sandy is using the reverb and tremelo sounds as timekeepers here, playing against the drones set up by the effects. Don't believe AMG when they say this is Bull's worst album, because they LIE. This is the real deal.

If you like this, pick up the new live release on Water. It was recorded about the same time as Pluribus came out, and has a lot of the same material.

I'll wait until I get a couple of comments on the quality of the burn to get back on a regular schedule. I've got a few cool things to add on the way, so lemme know what you think.

Monday, April 2, 2007

We're Not Dead, Just Sleeping

IRA fans will note that we've been pretty quiet over the past couple of weeks. Here at the underground IRA HQ, we're doing R&D on a new IT setup. In our continuing effort to optimize the fidelity of our sound reproduction, we've upgraded our equipment. When our dumb-ass old school technophobes figure out how it works, maybe the torrent of music will begin again. I'd say, give us a couple weeks, then.

You know, though, the whole process would seem a lot more rewarding and important if the IRA could get a little bit of support from the readers on the interweb thingy. Lately, I'm gettin' nuttin' but crickets out there.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Harry's Lost Weekend

Harry Nilsson - Pussy Cats

When the Walkmen did a note for note rerecording of this, it reminded me to pop it off the shelf and give it a listen. If you can get past the mid-70's production sheen, especially the way the horns sound (shudder), it's a damn fun spin.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Gil Phones It In

Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson - 1980

This is the third of the missing three GSH records from the end of the me decade. They were being reissued at a snail's pace on TVT until Gil ran afoul of the law a few years back.

Bluntly, this is no Bridges. The album has a similar sound - synths, jazz, Fender Rhodes, etc. And Gil isn't going to all of the sudden start singing soprano. But the songs are not at the same level.

A couple places, the record kicks into higher ground - Shut 'Em Down is a favorite, 1980 is pretty good. But there is a sleepiness to this record that suggests bad drugs to me.

From here, Reflections is actually pretty good all the way through, but the other Arista albums are worth avoiding. The 1993 comeback album (some comeback, Gil) is worth a spin, and is some god-awful EVH guitar away from being a nice return to form. I still hold out hope that Gil will get it together for a monster record before it's all over, although I hear his health is pretty bad these days.

I'll Be Darned

The Damnation of Adam Blessing

Man, you'd think from the title, the year, and the homebase (Cleveland) that this would be a metal band. Not at all, though. Maybe they'd have done better if they were called the Darnation of Adam Blessing.

For me, the bands from Detroit seemed to do a good job of incorporating a natural sounding soul feel into rock. The Rationals, SRC, MC5, hell, even the Stooges if you listen to the rhythm section were way more groovy than any white band outside of the Rascals. Even though the DoAB were from across state lines, I think they had a similar thing going on.

In fact, I'd compare these guys pretty closely to SRCs second record Milestones. If you took that album, stripped out the Hammond Organ, and beefed up the guitars, you'd have something like this. They both have a nice Zombies undercurrent with that soul feel that makes for some good listening.

Please comment on the Sharebee service. I'm still making up my mind who'll have my business.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Walking With a Limp

Aksak Maboul - Onze Danses Pour Combattre la Migraine

According to Wikipedia, Aksak is a Turkish word meaning walking with a limp. Heavy, dude.

This is an album put out by a Belgain band in the late 1970s. Don't be afraid, though, because they don't sound Belch at all.

No, they sound French. Which is similar, but different. French, in the sense that it sounds half way in between synth music, and romantic dinner music, with maybe some carnival stuff in there to make it a little weird.

This is really about as close as I've heard to someone catching the happy up-tempo Autobahn rock of Kraftwerk. Still, it's got enough of the non-synth sing-songy stuff to temper the Kraftwerk influence.

Ah, hell, I don't know. I've had a coupla Belgian beers, and I think you all would like a Belgian record. So dig it.

Another NWW list favorite.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

IRA Comes Back, Phoenix-Like

Frank Wright

Frank Wright was an avant-garde sax player from the ESP stable. If you had to pick a prototypical player from the scene, Frank would be it. Not nearly as distinctive as the more lionized heroes of the scene, and not as obtuse as the most unlistenable honkers.
These are both very listenable albums, at least as far as ESP goes. Grab 'em fast, I've apparently got an angry deleter hanging around.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

IRA Solicits Help From Sympathizers

Someone with a lot of time on his hands just ripped down all of my recent links for the second time in two weeks. This is getting very irritating. I'm not going to let this person win, but I need to figure out how to do this better. Please give me some suggestions, loyal readers.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Return of the Lord

Lord Buckley - His Royal Hipness

Not much to say about this one. Either ya dig what the Lord is putting down, or you can't get it through your sphere. As you like it.

If you are a fan, and it sounds like you are, catch the youtube clip of the Lord on the Groucho Marx show. He is obviously scaring the shit out of the housewife he's matched up against. This was a cat that lived about a half century before his time.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

More ESP Goodness

Marzette Watts and Company

This is the earliest Sonny Sharrock recording I'm aware of. He's not really a big part of this one - there are a lot of folks on this one making their mark. But he's already way far out from the other jazz guitar pickers of his day.

I've read that Marzette and Patty Waters were an item at the time. He's on her record, and I bought this hoping she'd return the favor. No such luck. It's pretty cool, regardless. In fact, it's a pretty representative ESP session (jazz version) of the time.

Monday, March 5, 2007

No Music on This Disc At All

Luc Ferrari - Presque Rein

Luc Ferrari was a musique concrete composer from way back, having worked with the early greats. This was a series of compositions from, as well as I can tell, most of the 1970's.

He might have been chronologically a little long in the tooth, but this is still some pretty out there stuff. In fact, there isn't a note of performed music that I can find on here. All found sound manipulation. Like the beginning of a mid-period Floyd album, but the band never kicks in.

My French skills are absent, so I don't really know much about this. I'm guessing it is a compilation from several different lp's because of the near 80 min run time. The track listings are a little weird - 10 tracks, but only 4 names. I tried to make that clear on the tags.

Another from our series of NWW nuggets. You can see why they liked this - it is only dissimilar from early NWW in mood, not style.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Minimalism of Design


I love the way the minimalism of the titles for this record are so beautifully matched to the content of the grooves. It takes three words to get the band name, the record title, the song titles (Studio and Live), and the way the tracks were recorded (er, Studio and Live, by Anima).

Anima were the Fuchs husband and wife team plus two. They did fully improvised new music. No studio gimmickry or nuttin' - turn on the tapes and let 'em rip. The instrumentation is pretty odd - no guitar-based Krautrock, this one - drums, bass, horns, piano. Some of the horns appear to be homemade bizarro instruments. Lots of hollerin' and wordless vocals, too.

This is the second of the three records that make up the best work of the group. As far as I can tell, it's the hardest to find, and I don't see that it's available on CD at all. Dig this one, it's pretty psychedelic, a lot more than you'd guess from that description.

Another Nurse With Wound favorite. I'll try to get a couple more of those up this week.

Re-up: by request

Milford Graves Percussion Ensemble:

Thanks Rockers

Thanks for all the support the IRA has been getting from its loyal readers. We'll have lots of good posts over the next week, including a couple requests, some NWW list stuff, some ESP favorites, and maybe even a new record or two. Let's keep the discussion lively, and keep the requests a comin'. You readers make this fun.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Enter a New World

Jandek - Chair By a Window

Posted because everyone needs to hear at least one Jandek record.

I like to compare listening to a Jandek record to watching someone pull the scabs off their skin. Real slowly. Music for nightmares, don't listen alone.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Re-ups: by request

Gil Scott-Heron - Bridges (possibly our most popular post ever!)

Cromagnon - Orgasm (one of the weirdest of the weird!)


Der Plan - Geri Reig

This is perhaps the hardest record to characterize that I've put up yet. It is a fully synth and vocals record, but it doesn't sound like any other I've heard. Even though it is German, it doesn't sound a damn thing like Kraftwerk, Cluster, etc. Even though it gets compared to the Residents, I just don't hear that, either.

It *is* a very psychedelic record. The best comparison I can come up with is a whole record made up of the best parts of the best Butthole Surfers records - Kuntz from LAT, the middle section of Jimi from HTS. Weirdness for the sake of weirdness.

Another frame of reference that noone will agree with is like Hawkwind with all the organic instruments stripped out. All you are left with is that rhythmic chug and the weird oscillator noises. There's a couple of parts that feel like this for me.

Whatever I say, I'm not going to do this justice. I wish there were a lot more records like this. This is what synth music should have turned into in the 80s, not that GD new romantic shite.

Another NWW favorite!

Re-ups: by request

Ornette Coleman - Dancing In Your Head:

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Last Gasp of a Dying Style

John Pfeiffer - Electronomusic

By 1968, the old style of electronic music was disappearing. The days of the middle aged guy in the white lab coat manipulating tape loops into classical-ish patterns was giving way to the more rock influenced model. As groups and artists like the United States of America, Pierre Henry, and Silver Apples were coming out, all of the sudden the straight laced stuff seemed kinda passe.

The very corniness of this type of music, though, is a big part of its charm. The mix of Jetsons space age whimsy and white noise, for me, feels like a trip back to a time where better living through chemistry meant improved crop yields and working in a factory was a good job.

OK, but what about the music? It's pretty good - not terribly boundary pushing, but a nice example of the style, with more humor than most. My favorite piece is the last one, where the sound sources are all business machines.

I apologize that the burn is not from a very clean copy. Usually, these kind of records are pristine, because noone ever listened to them at parties. Oh well, maybe someday I'll find a better copy.

Requests for reposts go here

I see that people have been asking for reposts of some of the way back stuff. I don't see the comments if they are posted way down the list, so I haven't been intentionally ignoring you, I just didn't know you cared. If there is one you'd like to see come up again, put it in these comments, and I'll queue it up.

For the guy interested in Bill Plummer, this guy posted it today: That'll get me off the hook for one more, I guess. Let's hope his copy is cleaner than mine.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Re-ups: first of many

More Modern Classical Fun


This is an early experimental recording by MEV. A limited run self-released CD from the mid-90s, as far as I can tell. One long piece with a kinda-long 'bonus track' at the end.

This is not rock-out-with-your-cock-out material. It's obscure, even compared to their better known Leave the City record. I guess that means you should try it if you are into modern electronic classical works.

I notice that about 1/3 of my site is gone this morning. Whatever. I've still got the records. If there is stuff people want reposted, just ask (but ask at a recent post so I'll see it). I'll repost an album as long as it truly didn't come back into print.

Re-up: Lord Buckley

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New Sheriff In Town

New Blog Alert: Xhol Desert. First post was by request from yours truly, which merits a loud shout-out. Link is here. Here's hoping for many more great records to Snatch.

Ornette's Got a Brand New Bag

Ornette Coleman - Dancing In Your Head

This is where Ornette shifts focus pretty radically for the third or fourth time. After the Skies of America classical/jazz mash-up, he hired a couple of electric guitar players like all the other jazz cats of the time.

Of course, he wasn't trying to emulate Weather Report or Mahavishnu Orchestra here. These guitar players aren't playing it straight, at all. In fact, at parts they mirror the approach to electric guitar that would emerge from the post-punk and no wave scenes a decade later.

Unlike some of those musics, though, this one goes down pretty smooth. Ornette always had a nice balance between novel approach and melodicism that kept him from being an academic exercise (I think some of his later stuff has lost that balance for me, though).

The last cut is what I bought this record for way back when. It is a cut featuring Ornette fronting the Master Musicians. It's not anything like the rest of the record, but a damn cool addition. Utterly unique in the jazz cannon, as far as I know.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Say Goodbye to the Handsome Stranger

RIP, Charles from the Sun City Girls. Great Band, and he was no small part.

If you haven't heard this, do check it out. The narrations Charles does are not just my favorite part of the SCG cannon (admittedly a limited view - they made a LOT of records), but one of my favorite moments on record, period. Then, go out and buy something by them, cheapskate.

Tra-La-Frickin-La, Dammit

The Banana Splits / The Beagles

Anyone watch the Banana Splits when you were shorter and lived near the water? Good ass show, that one. Big old stuffed puppets. I think some sort of Tom Sawyer thing. Some Monkees like singin and dancin. I'd love to see it in syndication to see if I still like it (some of those Sid and Marty shows should have stayed in memory, so maybe this one should, too).

I haven't flexed this muscle much on the the blog, but I'm a big lover of the bubble gum, and this is the bubblelicious shite. Try to get TraLaLa LaLaLaLa LaLaLa LaLaLaLa (that's 1 tra and 13 las) out of your head once it gets in, 'cause it's catchy like syphilis.

Extra credit for any listener who can dicipher the names of the 4 splits. I think the last one might be snork, but who the hell can tell.

The Beagles? Who the hell cares?

Monday, February 19, 2007

IRA Request Line

Help me out, rockers! I'm in need, indeed. I seek the following:
  • Anything by Snatch, the late 70s band with Patti Palladin
  • Any of the John and Yoko experimental albums (esp Life With the Lions)
  • The first This Heat record (why is this so hard to find?)
  • That Deutsche Grammophon 3 lp w/ Wired, New Phonic Art and Iskra 1903 (yeah, I know, good luck)
  • My Dad's a Fuckin' Alcoholic by the Frantix
  • The Naked Angels soundtrack and/or the Easy Chair demos by Jeff Simmons

So c'mon, do your part for the IRA.

Minimalist Synth Biscuit

The Flying Lizards

This is another album I honestly don't know a whole lot about. I do know that it was on Virgin, from the late 70s, and in the dollar bin. That's why I own it. I also know it was on the NWW list of experimental recordings, so it's got pedigree.

I just found out that Patti Paladin is a (the?) female voice on here. It's quite different than the Johnny Thunders records I remember her from.

The music is very arty and minimalist synth in nature. In many parts, this feels like the Young Marble Giants, but with more of a sense of humor. Like YMG, this record feels very quiet, even at volume. I also hear some Slapp Happy here, and it wouldn't surprise me to find out there were some common members of these groups.

The first song is kind of annoying, and kept me away from this record for a long time. The covers (Summertime Blues, Money) are what will hook you on this record, so you might want to start there. Once you get these, the rest of the album should make more sense.

I've been consistently surprised by what gets a lot of reader comment. I thought the Farm Band would bring it on, instead it was the Homosexuals and the cult recording. Let's see if this one gets the comment box filled.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Re-up: Luie Luie

What does it sound like when a guy overdubs himself playing 20 different trumpet parts over a Casio keyboard? Does it help if he's a pervert? The answers, and more, inside this .rar file. Uploaded by request.

A Tax Write-Off Party

Mike Nesmith - The Wichita Train Whistle Sings

Legend has it that this record is the product of a single session/party Mike had at the end of 1967. Needed to blow some money for tax purposes. Sank like a stone.

I had a longer post, but somehow deleted it. I'm in a bad enough mood that I don't feel like rewriting. More stuff tomorrow.