Thursday, May 25, 2006
Does Anyone Remember Laughter?.....The Glands Of External Secretion's 'Northern Exposure Will Be Right Back' lp
I'm just back from the 1st Annual Napa Noise Symposium that was held in Yountville, Ca this past weekend. Got to see alot've old faces & squeeze some new ones too (a big high 5 goes out to Diapers from the band, Grecian Formula 80 Proof for the bottle've Ouzo. I owe you dude, bigtime!). Hurley's became our de facto HQ & I had a right nice time jawin w/this woman Libbey Adams about the Cali noise scene. To tell ya the truth, the details of our conversation are a little blurry to me now (Anchor Steam rules!) but I remember her beatin it into my head that Glands Of External Secretion were more important to the scene than Minimal Man and Factrix. As it turns out, international Noise aficionado, Campbell Campbell (from Campbeltown, Scotland) was gonna give a readin the next day about how come 'Northern Exposure Will Be Right Back' was the Glands best & most popular album. We was all wringin our hands w/gleeful anticipation over that! Then later that night as I was sleepin, I got bit in the face by a bat that had somehow flew inside the back window of my rental car. My face blew up to about 10 times it's normal size, shit, I looked like that dude Rocky in 'Mask'! They went 'n airlifted me outta there down to a SF hospital that took my insurance plan. All's I remember was the attendin doctor wanted me to call him 'Whispering Duck' then all've a sudden he went 'n lanced the bite, stuck his face down in it & sucked all the bat shit outta my cheek. He made some war whoop, then proceeded to dance around the bed, laughin & sputterin to himself before passin out cold. I checked the fuck outta that place then 'n there! I swear, I believe they'd give a doctor's license to just about any ol' Indian that went & asked for one. Ain't it enough that they don't pay taxes? Don't get me started!
So I missed the readin. But I emailed Campbell Campbell about it & got a very informative reply which I'm all too happy to share. Here it is;
Hey man, sorry about the bat in your belfry. That sucks-pun intended (LOL)! Here's hoping that you don't turn into some Vampire or Caped Crusader. That's right, your already an asshole. Too late! Hah! So yes, the reading went off without a hitch. Could have done with a few more people, but the picnic table was full and interested, so no worries. Someone was passing around your Uncle's taffies which were exceptional.Hat's off there. So why am I so high on 'Northern Exposure'? Good question, I'd have to say mainly it's the perfect medium between Glass' best period of Bananafish which translates to stellar aural collage stitchery + Manning's channeling of Damo Suzuki by way of Phones Sportsman = one damn fine lp. As the record opens, one is transported into a fantastical world of the classic SF music scene. I'm not talking about Quicksilver or the Grateful Dead (hungry!), nor am I referring to Chrome or Flipper (feed me!), but Thinking Fellers & World Of Pooh (Gub! Gub!). There is lot's of shimmer & shine, some of Manning's words are of such a higher key I wonder why they have not been anthologized in the Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal. The best of this lp is comprised on so many levels one cannot help but feel incredulous. Like I have stated earlier, lot's of what is "good" on here wistfully recalls the more esoteric moments of Swell Maps 'Jane From Occupied Europe' or a Can smoke break, but then Glass & Manning drop an o & it becomes "God". Like when it gnashes via Morton Feldman & Joan LaBarbara chewing a rusty hotdog, cries like Masonna trying to wriggle out of quicksand filled with liquid ether & wasbai powder, or thrusts itself, like a heat seeking bowling ball, into a lane full of Z'ev filled ten pins. For those of you not paying attention let me also add Department Store Santas, Velvet Underground, Theatre Of Eternal Music and Los Angeles Free Music Society. Oh, and Sun Ra. Thank you.
So I assume you get the picture. Call it noise, cutups, collage, whatever; 'Northern Exposure Will Be Right Back' is definitely a defining moment in definitive. I highly recommend it with my most highest possible recommendation. If you do not already own it, try http://www.midheaven.com/
It's 11 years old now. Hard to believe. I have heard cassettes & cdr's of recent bands stamped with skulls & unicorns that wish they sounded as fresh. Of course, those are no longer around. This still is. A funny old world we live in. It's good crack. Check it out.
Be sure to eat your garlic!