Thursday, November 30, 2006
There's always lots of tongues wagged 'n ink spilt on the authenticity of the retro Punk action available by bands what come from labels such as In The Red, Birdman, Shattered, etc. I ain't here to concur or dispute said claims, just throwin my cards on the table. Even Siltblog has endorsed Angry Angles whose stylee sounds like it could've been cut sometime between Carter & Reagan. Clone Defects, Time Flys, Gris Gris, Reatards.....it's all fine & captures-almost to a T-the sneerin, 1% ethos of bands they obviously admire &/or emulate from the halcyon days. Hell, I own records & cd's by them bands I mentioned & I gotta say, after a spin or 2 on all of'em, they was done. Not that they was bad or nothin, I guess it comes down to do I wanna hear someone who wants to sound like (for instance) The Pagans or do I want to hear The Pagans? It's a no brainer. I sometimes think it's just me. I'm too jaded but you know, I have done & seen lots of cool stuff in my time so havin it all rolled out again & again it loses it's luster. Then one day I go & buy some used lp by a contempo band called the High Tension Wires & am completely blown away. Released in 2004 (?) on a label called Dirtnap, 'Send A Message is a staggering throwback to Punk angst frenzy found on Bloodstains & Killed By Death comps more than any one particular band from...."back in the day". If I was to try & pinpoint their sound I guess I'd say it's along the lines of a hybrid of The Dils, The S'Nots & The Skunks. They even cover a song by The Kids to let us all know that they know.The pace 'n timing is superb, the hooks are plenty & it's dudless in it's entirety. 'The Sad Tale Of Mattie Lou Denton' is the best song from 2004 that sounds like it's from 1982 that I heard in 2006 but like I said, they's all keepers. I don't know nothin about High Tension Wires or Dirtnap Records. I kinda doubt that they's got anything else that's as ace as this but people tell me I've been wrong before. 'Send A Message' is the greatest record that never came out on VVV & I can't think of any higher praise than that. Can you?
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Oh how I've been longing for the day when a new round-table fulla Anglo knights would lay waste to the landscape & relegate that tired "improv" scene (or is it house chores I'm hearing? Really, when all's your doin is turnin on a vacuum cleaner it's hard to tell if yr workin or playin) into servitude. The cdr, cassette & micro vinyl market is all gobbled up w/havenots tryin to pass themselves off as haves & while there are exceptions (do I really have to name them?) most of it is pure shite. On the flipside it slays me when so many scribes slobber all over themselves to champion whatever new Fall release is in the bins as "HIS best work to date" as though MES is doin us all a favor by clackin his dentures together one more time. I'm sure some of us could go around by this admittance of "heresy" but the way I figure it, that's your problem. I guess the gist of this post is that most pinetops out there don't have a clue as to what's goin on between the cracks in the cobblestone of Ol' Blighty's Rock underground. For instance, how many out there knows about this 7" by Gag? Released on Flitwick, this record disembowels post-puh angst the likes of which have not been splayed since the era of the Membranes, Sperm Wails, Kilgore Trout & Big Flame. Not familiar? Well, they ain't names you'll find over to Pitchfork that's for sure. Gag blast outta the gate w/all the charm of an English breakfast; burnt, fried, greasy & carcinogenic. Goes down fast too. You can't help but come back for more. Within their ranks is one Leighton Crook whose also the current rhythm engineer on the Country Teasers cruise ship (not to mention skipper of the Flitwick line). I guess here is where I'm supposed to say something like the Country Teasers are the new Fall, but the new Fall is the new Fall & I wouldn't wish that on nobody.Case closed. As for Gag, there may be those who choose to see their aural fuckery as a step forward in a classic Rough Trade direction, but in my tiki lounge this mixes it up & goes down with the same potency as the strongest hooch that was ever bottled up at the Ron Johnson brewery. Gag is just one of many excellent beacons bein flickered out over the crags 'n bluffs of the U.K. shoreline via Flitwick's lighthouse. There's lot's of other great singles, (includin one by the Fall! Best thing he's done in yrs!) cd's & lp's w/the Flitwick imprint just waitin for your dormant enthusiasm to recharge. So go ahead, check it out. For a guy that don't like meat (hates animals so much he won't even eat'em) Leighton Crook sure as hell ain't no simp. He knows the difference between wheat 'n chaff. Who said vegan's can't be doozers?
Monday, November 20, 2006
I ain't one much for them Yahoo music group chat things but sometimes I am amazed by what floats to the surface. For instance, a site dedicated to Bum-Kon? I thought that was pretty cool! And the fella what moderate's it seems to have his head far enough away from his ass that it ain't a bunch've gratuitous dick-swinging. But hey, we're talking about Bum-Kon for fuck sake! Any interest in 2006 would be cause for celebration in my book (if I was them). And that's what I liked about the one post that I've swiped here for y'all to peruse. This Blaine fella don't seem like the sharpest arrow in the quiver, but he has connected some dots to Hank IV & one of'em leads back to the Colorado scene of yore & lo & behold, directly to the heart of the Centennial State's most prolific hardcore band. You can run, but you can't hide! Take it away, Blaine-
Bum-Kon Singer On The Loose Again. Hank IV=Killer Because Of It.
Yeah, hey everybody, Blaine Boyington checkin in (aka Blayne Binary back in the day. Shout out to Crutches: dude, them smokes at that Happy World/JFA show in '84 saved my life. Thanks bro). It's been a while since anybody's posted on the Bum-Kon site, like over a year now. I guess there hasn't been much activity or nothin. Can't say I know what anybody's up to these days. Personally things have been rough; I just got back into town after servin a stint in Alameda County Prison for passin bad checks. I didn't think anybody gave a shit about that stuff these days but the judge said it was the same as identity theft so away I went. And since I didn't have no fixed address, they figured I was trouble. Does anybody out there remember when Marty of Rok-Tots said the same shit to me back in '83? Man I should listened to him but I was young & stupid! Prison is a bummer dudes & that's straight up. My advice-don't get caught. The dudes inside are for real & give a whole nother meaning to the name bum-con. My punk ass didn't have a chance. But I tried to see my time philosophically. The things I was forced to do, I looked at them as "personal favors". I sure as hell didn't wanna do any of it, but my "friends" "insisted" & so I "helped". A lot of times I would shut my eyes & recite the lyrics to 'The Draft' or 'Slow Death' (as I interpreted them) in my head. It was brutal. But every cloud has a silver lining. I was "sold" to this nice enough, slightly older dude who helped me get my shit together to get out. He was getting sprung soon & told me he had a place on Polk St. in SF where I could hang till I got back to Denver. Man, gettin outta there, I felt like the dude in 'Midnight Express'. It was unreal. I wasn't sure I'd ever have freedom again. My "friend" ( I was told to refer to him as "Johnny") set me up in this one room efficiency like he said he would & it was right down the street from this place called The Hemlock that did live music. I was stoked. One night we went & saw this local band Hank IV. Very tight, very good, & the singer looked so familiar. I mean, not instantly recognizable, more like in a John Walsh, computer enhanced, here's-what-they-look-like-now kinda thing he does on 'America's Most Wanted'. It was Bob McDonald from Bum-Kon! Only the greatest singer outta 'Rado since Jello Biafra. And whoa, check out his moves; part Sally Can't Dance era live Lou Reed herk, part 'She Lost Control' era Ian Curtis jerk, part Jack LaLanne dedication, part Robbie Robot spazz arms from 'Lost In Space', part Robert Shields in sweat-face. Awesome! The rest of the band was killin too, the twin guitars were like the sonic attack of Bailey/Kuepper from prime era Saints, the bassist was throwin down solid & the geezerly dude on drums looked like he was wound pretty tight too. His arms & feet couldn't stop! It was great. Afterwards I was building my courage up to talk to Bob & in my mind I wanted to thank him for all the great Bum-Kon records, shows & parties, but I could see he had no idea who I was & besides, it seemed like those days were long behind him. And who could fault him for that? I know we're all solid fans & I wanna say their records will always have a special place in my heart & while those days are over, at least Bob McDonald is still rockin! Dudes, Hank IV need the Bum-Kon support hookup! It's not hardcore, not like we remember it, but it's snazz all the way. As they willingly acknowledge, their drama is definitely ripped from plot lines akin to Country Teasers or Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments & yeah, if this was the ass end of 1986 all over, I could see these guys w/a release on Homestead. "Johnny" bought a copy the lp which featured a cd version inside that I played the entire busride back Rocky Mountain way. Like I said it's no Bum-Kon but nothing is or ever will be again. Those were special days bros. Bob McDonald helped make them happen then, he's making them happen again. Go to the Hank IV Myspace page & check out the slurred, smelted, panic assault of 'Hole In My Eye' & tell me you miss Frantix. But hey, the whole of 'Third Person Shooter' rumbles and rakes with such a grizzled nuance that I might just be movin back SF way to see if they want a roadie or cocktail manager. Or maybe Bob would need a personal servant or house boy. Did somebody just mention Heaven?
Contact Hank IV via; http://www.hankiv.com/
Thursday, November 16, 2006
You may recall when a few yrs back the magazine Halana ran a piece by Alan Licht entitled 'Minimalist Top Ten'. In it, Al rapped about the routinely ignored & misunderstood genre then went on to list & sketch the 10 works he considered pivotal for the erstwhile collector. One of the composers mentioned was a fella by the name of Henry Flynt whose sole release at the time was a cassette only thing from '87 entitled 'You Are My Everlovin'. Needless to say, once the list was loose & ingested by the wretched excess, it was only a matter of time till that thing got the boost from obscure tape to barely available cd ( I believe it's now out of print). At any rate, it is a pretty great swell of "Hillbilly Raga" & was (presumably) the linchpin for the interest from Locust to bankroll all his further releases that I have not participated in the buying of (I got my reasons). I know I know, the guy's a genius, all his work is of such an utter brilliance & singularity & yes I'm jealous & no I'm not gay & boy is it getting late but who has all that time? It's not like I'm boycotting the guy, in fact, I just bought this limited edition of 300, one-time-pressing-only 7" by him! How I came to stumble upon it's existence I cannot recall, but the format seemed curious for such a prolific cat that I figured it was worth 6$ to check out. Culled from a 1975 concert, the label makes some whoop about this being in the 'NY no wave groove' which ain't what I heard, so I guess I just don't get it. Or is it that nowadays you can just throw out any old shit, call it whatever & that's what it is? I thought No Wave meant somethin else, but since this predates New Wave, I guess-technically- they got a point. Okay, now that we got that settled, onto the record. In regards to the a-side, if I hadn't known already it was Henry Flynt, I'd have swore it was a recording of Bob Mothersbaugh fronting 10 60 75 (The Numbers Band) from some long forgotten Saturday night stint at JB's in Kent. Those chooglin barroom blues, we've all had'em! The flip is way more curious & show's the real Rolling Thunder that year didn't belong to Dylan's revue but instead to an anonymous bunch called Nova'Billy whose solid backbeats & higher key interactions of fiddle's 'n gits reduces the white frocked, turban wearing, mime-faced Renaldo & Clara folly to the outhouse of hokum.In fact, this is so great I got an uncontrollable urge to scream 'Fuck Bob Neuwirth'! at the top of my lungs. So please excuse me while I amble down to the basement & expell my catharsis. Thank you.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Scott Soriano has deep knowledge & love for the obscure, so if he tells me The Geeks have been around for ____number of yrs, I'll play along. Why not? Who's it harm? That I never heard of'em till now is meaningless. Shit like that happens all the time. They got a unique 'n creepy sound that's so there, you can almost smell the stench of stale cigarette smoke 'n rotting pleather waft off this 7" as it spins it's sordid tales. The lounge vibe on here is as alive as a hair-nest full've syphilis spirochetes primed for action. Hell, I feel like I need to pack a switchblade just to walk in the room! The a-side, sung by a 15 yr old would-be chanteuse sorta resembles a poem cooed from the lips of Squeaky Fromme backed by a sloe gin fizzed 'Coral Rock' ensemble. The flip is indeed seething w/anger & intensity but it's foggy notions of revolution & revenge warmed the coddles of my heart in remembrance of Smiley Winters "That" Nigger Music' lp & hey, if the timelines had been wiggled just right, perhaps The Geeks coulda had a Touche matrix number. This kinda pugnacity just ain't around anymore so the fact that these tracks are from 79-80 make's sense (I guess). I sure would like to hear the rest. And while your at it, how about trackin down The Ragged Bags & Fiberglass Gorilla Limbs? Them's both got heavy archives that could use a barrel of ears too. But in a pinch, just more of The Geeks'd be swell, thanks.
Monday, November 13, 2006
For a short spell in my salad days I lived up in Toronto & ran w/a cast of characters unlike any's I met before or since. Take for instance this one fella, Cinco Cox. He was Mexican, ran a landscaping crew & had moved to Canada to perfect a hydroponic tomato. He had this greenhouse fulla plants & would go on forever about how Canadian tomatoes was the best in the world. This was before Corona was much known outside Mexico & 5-Dicks (that's what we called him) always had ample supplies on hand. It was kinda novel, sittin there drinkin Mexican beers in a Etobicoke greenhouse, hearin all about the history of Canadian minor league hockey (another favorite topic) & why hyrdoponics was the wave of the future, all spouted off by a little Mexicali fella who-get this-listened ONLY to German synth tapes! You'd ask him what was he playin & he'd dummy up & say "eez nobody". Basically his reason for playin possum was he didn't want us to know what we was hearin. In his mind he was "protectin" this music. "Senor Woodbe" he'd say, "you good guy, but collector. Collectors like Conquistadors, only want to ruin & exploit. Be happy you hear it at all, eez very rare". Then he'd rock back 'n forth in his chair, suckin on a lime wedge, wheezing w/laughter. Some of it I knew-like Der Plan or DAF-but sometimes he'd slip something in the deck what was mysterious 'n cool soundin & then go all shrugged shouldered when you asked him who it was. It was frustratin. I remember one time listenin to some stuff that sounded exceptionally great; this primitive slashing guitar dubbed over a mush of cut/paste loops, sorta dark wave soundin. It was definitely on the minimal side, but real naif & DIY in comparison to anything on Zickzack, Ata Tak or Pure Freude. 5-Dicks of course waved me off, except to say it come from a tape label called Trummer. He made me a dupe & I used to listen to it alot in the car (my only tape player at the time). But a bunch've moves back 'n forth across the continent & things like that just go missin. I'd liked to have forgotten all about it, cept the other day I ordered this here record-strictly outta curiousity-& on one side of it was the same motherfucking jams as that tape! What're the odds on that happening? Unreal, totally fuckin unreal. Entitled Der Dritte Schritt (or DDS for short) it has been rereleased as a split lp w/another old Trummer recording artist, Der Pilz. Listenin to these sides you realize how much influence Der Plan wielded back then on the German avant/experimental synth-wave scene. It's not really Punk, not really Industrial, but yet it's both, at least by the rules in play back when these tapes originally came out (83-84). The DDS side of synth/guitar & looped crud sounds like a crude, vocalless pulverization of 'Geri Reig' while the Der Pilz side borrows Pyrolator's penchant for whimsy from the same lp & heaves it into a blender filled w/aural blat 'n samples akin to something like Decayes meets early Maurizio Bianchi. It's definitely not Andreas Dorau if you know what I mean! Pretty awesome stuff that-unless you was like 5-Dicks back in the day-you probably never knew existed. It's menacing, it's minimal, it's my kinda party. This label what released it (Was Soll Das? Platten) have a whole slew of (previous) cassette-only works from other obscure bands/artists active in that nascent German elecro Untergrundbewegung that they've bumped up to vinyl & I have yet to find a dud in the bunch. Most are micro pressings, so if yr interested, go to http://www.fusetronsound.com/
& see what's available.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
We Have A Dream. Someday, We'll Have A Little House & A Couple Of Acres. A Place To Call Home.....Blasted Al Ackerman's 'I Am Drunk' LP
Well I do believe the years are catchin up on me. Why do I say this? 'Cause now someone has gone & released an lp by the guy who wrote the 'Hamburger Lady' letter to Throbbing Gristle back in 1978 that's on the reverse of their 'D.o.A.' lp. That's right, Al Ackerman, THAT Al Ackerman, now BLASTED Al Ackerman, has an lp of musings & blabber entitled 'I Am Drunk'. The longer ya stay in the trenches, the more likely your are to hear 'n see everything! I was perusin this album in a store the other day (ya gotta admit, the cover art is enticin) when the clerk got to tellin me the back story on it & I just about croaked from laughter. To me that's just hilarious; the guy who wrote the 'Hamburger Lady' letter-the whole 'Screwloose Lauritzen' & '250 lb meatloaf'- has a record out. In 2006! I had to buy it.
Now I ain't much for spoken word stuff. I had them Harvey Kubernik comps on Freeway back in the day & I guess they was decent. I had a Bukowski lp on Takoma that was okay, then there was that Terry Southern tape of him readin from the "Magic Christian' that was fun once. I remember fallin asleep in a car a few yrs back when someone put in a tape of William Shatner narrating from his autobiography. Good thing I wasn't drivin! Where's Landrew when ya need him? But this Blasted Al Ackerman lp ain't none of that. I don't know exactly what it is, but it's not the pontifications of a dullard. On the 'Crab' side he tells us about the moniker & how he come to get it. Blasted Al's got one of them radio readin voices, you know, the kind that just sounds right for the format. If your thinkin Garrison Keillor your way off, more like if that Jack Nicholson character in 'King Of Marvin Gardens', David Staebler, was a real life person spinnin them oddball yarns across the airwaves. It's a lot like that. It kinda makes the Hamburger Lady story seem suspect. Did he make it up? Was she real? It's hard to say. Never really mattered all that much to me anyways. Then there's this whole bit called "The Pepper Young Translations" where, presumably, he reads w/a bar of soap in his mouth. Nothin has ever made me wanna hear "The Lennie Small Wabbit Soliloquies" from 'Of Mice & Men' (performed in character by John Malkovich) over&over&over&over&over&over&over&over&over&over&over&over&over&over&over&over again more than this conceptual, fluxus-ish, nonsense. I gave it a flip & started listenin to the "live" side, but my chin kept pokin itself into my chest sayin it was time to snooze. Happens evertime I try & play it, them nappies come a callin somethin fierce! It's got 'ya-had-to-be-there' written all over it. The insert (& website) use words like "lugubrious" & indescribable" on the matter of Blasted Al & his work & I would concur. On both counts. What more can I tell you? If you wanna buy a record by the Hamburger Lady guy, here's where to go; http://www.ehserecords.com/
I can think of about a hundred worse ways I've spent 10$ & who knows, maybe someday I'll record an album tellin ya all about'em.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
That's right, we've gone & run off a small batch of 'vintage' Siltbreeze shirts from the 90's! Get'em while you can. Plenty of time to break'em in before the upcoming ATP & the next No Fun Fest! Sizes are small, medium, large & extra large. 100% cotten to boot!
Dead C- Designed by band member Michael Morley, this was a tour only shirt from their 1995 US Tour. Black ink on white shirt.
Harry Pussy- Design culled from the 'Ride A Dove release, this was a tour only shirt from their 1996 US Tour. Black ink on grey shirt
Siltbreeze Label-Designed by Graham Lambkin from the Shadow Ring, this was originally a 'promo only' shirt done in a very small run & given to artists on the label at the time (roughly 1994). Blue ink on white shirt.
Shirts are 15$ each postpaid WORLDWIDE! Please specify size when ordering. To purchase, go to www.paypal.com
& our address is; email@example.com
Or, send cash or money order to;
727 South 7th St
Phila, Pa 19147
Let'em know you were there, even if you weren't!