Sunday, April 30, 2006

20th Century Schizoid Men

There isn't anything I can write about Rainbow Ffolly that a bunch of mp3's couldn't better explain. The blame for my temporary bout of writer's block goes to a recently consumed feast of heavy Indian food. Mostly I'm just being lazy, and why bother getting all Trouser Press with the 411 when others are much more adept at it? If you're really needing some keywords upon which to base your knowledge of these tracks, here are a few: psychedelic, schizoid, Sgt. Peppers pop, Sixties UK art-school rockers. If you're really needing some tracks upon which to shape your opinion of Sallies Fforth, the obscure sought-after album just reissued by Rev-Ola, here are three of them: Hey You, Sun Sing and Labour Exchange. With this classic but rare album now available worldwide, collector scum will be prevented from raping our wallets with their hate crimes. What part of "No" don't they understand?

Saturday, April 29, 2006

I Fought The Johnny Boy and The Johnny Boy Won

Upon my initial confrontations with this song, a violent wrestling ensued. After some fashion, the song and I were kissing cousins, holding hands as we walked merrily towards pop nirvana. I simply cannot stop playing You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes & You Get What You Deserve. Yes, the song title is a little dummy dum-dum. Yes, the moniker Johnny Boy smells of Overly Clever Band Name Stink Rot. Yes, the Spector-esque production is excessively cutey-poo. So why can't I stop humming this tune every minute of the day? This song has helped me learn a little about myself, and I really do get what I deserve.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn

If tumultuous headache-inducing white noise squall is the god you bow unto every sunrise, by all means, avoid The Persephones Bees and Mellowdrone, both of whom traffic in the kind of light and bouncy AM radio pop that would drive you to rip your tattoos off with your own teeth. The 'Bees--which I'm shortening as a means to avoid typing that damn 'P' word--could be seen as an update to Sixties groove-crooners The Association, but fronted by a female Russian expatriate, which may or may not explain why one of their songs (Nice Day) was featured in a Hilton Hotel commercial. Is that a compliment or an insult? Discuss. Mellowdrone are just as slap-happy catchy but they rock a bit harder and their album covers bear parental advisory stickers, which means songs like Oh My can only be used in advertising for sleazy motels such as La Quinta.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Let The Eagles Soar (Straight Into The Pits Of Hell)

The abrasive insect drone of the Japanese quartet We Acediasts will make your nose bleed, but for all the right reasons. On the career-spanning cd Pre Acediasts, a track such as Ibasho (produced by NYC dance-niks DFA) spins its sinister PIL-like groove at the same time it tightens the noose around your greasy spine. Kajiroudou resembles nothing less than a hotel lounge singer mainlining Draino as the accompaniment to your watered-down Rum & Coke. Meanwhile, Un No Iiyatsu takes all your favorite nightmares and distills them into the perfect 3-minute funk song. Since you asked: my favorite nightmare happened last month while on a 2-hour plane ride when this 30-something cretin in the aisle across from me had the gall to watch the artistically reprehensible Hell Freezes Over on his personal DVD player during the entire trip. FAA regulations prohibited me from dangling him by his tongue out the emergency exit door, but don't think I wasn't tempted.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hot Crunk In The Summertime

YoYoYoYoYo is the perfect summer album, when everything is about hot sweaty dancing and even hotter, even sweatier nasty fun. You can't see it right now but I'm listening to Backyard Betty and Sweet Talk and my skinny butt is shaking all over the place. Maybe your ass is quivering, too, or maybe it's waiting for something a little more juicy? All right, then--here's Bump, which has the type of female empowerment raps Helen Reddy could have written if she'd waited 40 years to be born. Spank Rock, I summon thee to play my hometown. You need to see me shaking my pimply butt in person.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Shock And Awe

25 years after I first heard it, My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, the groundbreaking 1981 sampling masterpiece of sinister funk and edgy dub by David Byrne and Brian Eno, still makes me shake my head in shock and awe. It hasn't dated a bit--if anything, it remains remarkably ahead of its time. The remastering is superb, with a few songs returning slightly extended (check out Mea Culpa and Moonlight In Glory.) The previously unreleased tracks--especially New Feet and Number 8 Mix--are the icing on an already overloaded cake (Nonesuch has even given the album it's own website, full of free tracks for remixing at home, alternate album covers and more.) Now if only someone would reissue those rare and long-out-of-print Obscure label albums languishing in Eno's vault...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Plays Well With Himself

San Francisco's one-man noise machine E-Z Tiger is so bent on twisting your ears into pretzels with his ha-ha funny squall pop that he should be forgiven for turning his back on the audience at nearly every show. Faced with the difficult task of single-handedly playing every enormous sound on The Tiger Bounce (taken from his eponymous debut), he probably forgot anyone was watching.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Long In The Tooth

The hip hop hijinx of Token Recluse continue unabated: stop reading this paragraph right now and download the entire (free of charge) Unconventional Science remix of Aesop Rock's long-player Bazooka Tooth. (top left) My two favorites just happen to be NY Electric and Easy, but your results my vary. And as long as you're letting them foist free shit upon you, make sure to check out their latest (again, free) monthly mix (top right), always worth hearing.

Zatanic With A "Z"

In the same manner Beltway homo Tom DeLay's perpetually dyed hairdo attempts to pass itself off as darker than it really is, the oddly lo-fi bizarro opera axe grinders Urfaust want every track on Geist Ist Teufel to paint it black. But how can you be an agent of The Antichrist when you seemingly have a Liza Minelli impersonater as your lead vocalist? No matter how tortured the howls of Drundenfß sound, they eventually set up camp in, well, Camp. More remarkably, these Kraut rockers even turn in a sprightly (if altogether aberrant) forest leprechaun jig ditty with Auszug aller tödlich seinen Krafte. It's the final untitled 15-minute track of hypnotic keyboard swashes, however, which finds them lighting into new metal territory. It's the only moment when their doom cabaret, old chum, comes to its full realization.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Ruling Class Has Left The Fortress

Anytime I hear Thom Yorke sing, "When I am king, you will be first against the wall", I can't help but nod my head in empathy. With any luck, my overthrow of the American monarchy will hopefully be as violent and filled with malace, at the same time optimisically coupled with State-sponsored deluxe reissues of all my favorite forgotten vinyl gems. My first edict will be I Shall Be Released, the 1987 debut of Carmaig De Forest, publicly proclaimed while blasting Big Business from the city's fortress loudspeakers. Also, my arch nemesis Sarah Jessica Parker will be allowed to pick the execution of her choice: being hunted down in the forest like a wild animal, or forced to endure 20 years of watching non-stop back-to-back episodes of her truly awful Sex & The City. Like my mentor Yorke, I am tough but fair.

Rabbit Stew

Sometimes, I'm not the fastest bunny in the race when it comes to obscure Swedish psych rock, having only finally listened to last year's universally-acclaimed Ta Det Lugnt by long-haired freak boy/cotton draw-string pants wearing Dungen in the last month or so. While I initially enjoyed its soup of one-thirds power mixed with one-third pop, you'd have thought each cd came with a fucking Lexus for all the heaps of praise it received from various music writers. For every two (Matthew) sweet tracks such as Gjort Bort Sig and Lipsill, you also get a dull free-jazz instrumental show-off endurance test (Om Du Vore En Vakthund.) Worse still, some of the guitar workouts veer a might too close to latter-day Dinosaur Jr. excess, even. My advice is to burn the songs you like and make friendly with the delete button for the rest.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Their Love Will Tear You Apart

There are hundreds of songs in the thrash/noise marketplace hoping to make your eardrums bleed, but 55,000 Flowers For The Hero (from the new Birchville Cat Motel cd Our Love Will Destroy The World), is probably the only one which ruptures you internally, where it can do the most damage. Personally, I lose a little interest in this track after the 5-minute mark, when the pulsating beat gives way to some off-kilter random drum fills (just imagine how torn up your head would be if they'd kept the same aural attack for the full 15 minutes), but the initial assault is so overwhelming, I bow down in submission for the entire duration anyway.