Thursday, October 26, 2006
Any Major Dude Will Tell You.....Guy Goode & His Decentone Orchestra LP & The Legacy Of Joseph D'Angelo, Part 2
I had sorta forgot about my deal w/NoVo (or whoever's signin the checks) about them Joseph D'Angelo articles till I got an email the other day from Taters that read simply WHAT THE FUCK"? I shook off the cobwebs & got to writin. With all the construction & general hubbub that's been goin on around here, I just spaced on the followup. I had more pressin concerns, you know? So I'll get right to the point, no filibusterin, pontificatin or long winded stories about how I come to connect x to y to z. Just some hard facts & speculative opinionatin. I think it was that roly-poly ass bag William Howard Taft who said "Fun can kiss my ass!" Right? If not, it was some rotund barrister of yore. That much I DO know.
Okay, well, the 1st part of this series about the Departmentstore Santas was a success I reckon. Got lot's of mail from collectors & fans alike. Seems everyone whose ever found a copy come across it in a similar way; yard sale, reduced/dollar bins or just piqued by the cover art. And I didn't encounter nobody who said they felt gypped either. It's a deep & persuasive record. And seein as how Will Soderberg ponied up w/his helpful Joseph D'Angelo website(www.white-rose.net/dss/)
you can get a peek at what followed by Guy Goode & His Decentone Orchestra enititled' There Are No Clean People'. Released in 1985, evidently this lp's distro was nil as I never seen nor heard a peep about it till a few yrs back w/I turned up a copy. Not a jarring surprise, I mean in couldn't really ride on the waves of the DSS album which was then languishing undiscovered in record shops & chapter 11 warehouses. The fella I got it from knew it had connections to DSS but couldn't recall how're who. The cover art was hardly revelatory & the insert gave up nothing. Listenin to it though, it did possess a similar lyrical aesthetic & the vocals sounded familiar. However, the emphasis was leaning more towards horns, woodwinds, a sort've mash of diy, psych 'n big band w/a running narrative that assumed the m.o. of a corny, two-bit lounge act. I wouldn't say I was thrown off, if anything, I was just as mystified by this lp has I had been w/the DSS. Lookin at this thing it had A/V Club written all over it, certainly not the image I had conjured up in my brain. But hey, whatever, the other record I had w/supposed DSS connections by Friends Of Ghost seemed just as illogical so I just took it in stride. Someone tried to con me & say it was a David Lowery/Camper Van Beethoven side project but I didn't buy it. That just solidified the need to know & track down any info I could to put all these ducks in a row.
Which is exactly what happened just about a year ago. We was down in Playa Del Carmen on the Mexican Rivera, drinkin & havin a relaxin vacation when we befriended this backpackin fella what asked us for a beer. He was right nice, told us all about the ruins & local lore, wasn't pushy, didn't seem like a smacked ass, so we broke out some more suds as well as a bottle of mescal we'd picked up earlier in the day. Soon we was off to the races fillin each other's in w/bio's'n backstories. Our man of mystery said he was originally from outside San Diego, Ca. I told him I'd been to Santee once in the early 80's & damn if that wasn't where he'd growed up! I said I'd seen a Fear show when I was there (which he remembered) & we got off on hardcore & the SD scene, blahblahblah. Then I mentioned DSS & he shot me this shocked look, like I'd mentioned the answer to some long-lost riddle. He asked me how I knew about'em & got to actin all secretive but after a few more snorts of cactus juice admitted that he had been pals w/those guys way back when. Said that lp was one of his favorites of all time, but that the followup record, the one by Guy Goode & The Decentones (!) was even better. I couldn't fuckin believe it! Suddenly, sittin around a fire on a beach in Mexico the mystery of DSS/Guy Goode was being unraveled. Basically what he told me that night follows-almost to the letter-the info on Soderberg's site. The main thing for me was findin out where the record fit in the discography & Mr. X-I never did get the fella's name-said it was right after the Santas one. He told about shows, how funny the Brashers brothers was, laughed w/distain at the Camper Van notion, it was mind bogglin. I asked about how come it was such a hard lp to track down but he just shrugged his shoulders & smiled, as if to say that's how it was meant to be. With that he strapped on his backpack, thanked us for the hospitality 'n reminiscin & was on his way. Then after the DSS blog, the White Rose site confirmed it all. I'll be a monkey's uncle. So there you have it. And it is a goddamn GOOD record too. Sure it don't have the detached, higher-key psychedelic ache as the Santas lp, but it is a cool customer of sideways swing nonetheless. And I gotta side up w/Mr. X, I think I might even like this Guy Goode lp even more than DSS one. So does that make me elitist? If that means I got it & you don't, I guess the answer is yes. Somethin tells me they's out there. Where I couldn't say & if anybody's got any leads, drop a line. This is one that definitely need's more ears.
So much for my non story tellin. Sorry folks, it couldn't be helped. Next up is Friends Of Ghost. All's I'll say right now is...what happened?
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Sorry to say that things is slow here on account of many setbacks. The biggest problem is the landlord's diggin a huge bombshelter below the basement (I am not shitting you!) & it has wreaked havoc in the entire bldg. Some days the phone lines is up, next, they's down. The electric may or may not be workin at any given time. It's like we's in a state of siege. Most times when this type've activity occurs, it's the landlord's way of sayin GET OUT, but ours is sayin 'Stay, stay, for soon bunker is done. If plane crash or bomb drop, now is place to go. Beware of Dutch for is goat! I didn't understand the last part till the super, Mr. Bartkowski, told me the old man had a dream where he seen Darren Daulton flyin backwards through time & sensed it was an omen of impending doom. Hence, the construction of "the bunker". Hey, you don't have to be Kreskin to know that the symbolism of baseball players floatin around the skies ain't a good one. Once I knowed the reason, it put my mind at ease. I was actually touched by the concern. We all were. So last night we had a little community throwdown w/a mess've homemade perogie's, a big pot've borsch & grilled kyshka's, the best I ever ate. There was loads of beer & vodka, lot's of dancin & hilarity, not to mention some pretty good music spinnin as well. The super's daughter, Peytra, was the dj & below is a list of some album's she played. Most of'em I wouldn't mind hearin again. How about you?
The Hoax-Quiet In The Sixpenny's 12"
Butch Willis & The Rocks-Forthcomings lp
G.G. Allin & The Scumfucs-Eat My Fuc lp
Mekons-This Sporting Life 12"
The Noyes Bros.-Sheep From Goats dbl lp
Gilli Smyth-Mother lp
Giuseppi Logan-More lp
Randy Holden-Population II lp
Door & The Window-Detailed Twang lp
Eric Hysteric-Fur Dich lp
David Redford Triad-The Mystical Path Of The Number Eighty Six lp
Mikolas Chadima & The Extempore Band-Velkomesto/The City dbl lp
Dislocation Dance-Coyote's Call lp
Doug Snyder-The Conversation lp
Yuzo Iwata-Drowning In The Sky lp
End Result-Ward lp
Cecil Taylor-Indent lp
Marie And The Atom-Yellow Read Aloud 12"
Monday, October 16, 2006
Before the advent of Karaoke & the wholesale bum-rush of the wretched excess to take a turn at becomin a blithering idiot behind a microphone, murdering the classics fell squarely on the shoulders of more-shall we say-idiosyncratic artists who'd occasionally toss an egg in the direction of various icons beloved by the doe-eyed milieu. Lol Coxhill, Steve Marcus, The Residents, they's all delighted me w/their clever 'n audacious cracks at the Lords Of AM/FM & who out there didn't smirk knowingly the 1st time The Flying Lizards cover of 'Money' crossed the ol' ear holes? Killdozer's drank from the well, Culturcide bared their teeth in disgust & why Meatus Murder ain't on Broadway is a ponderous quandry, but let me back up a sec. Or fast forward, whatever. What I wanted to say was the one group/record that falls squarely into assassin's catagory would be Galactic Symposium & their slaughter of 'YMCA/Money' on a 7" back in whenever. Sounding like the Portsmouth Sinfonia w/hoof & mouth disease, the savage rendition's of these...staples....helped propel their lone single into the inner stratosphere of 'John Peel Favorites'. Which would explain why his name graces the cover of this recent lp chock full've rib tickling deconstructions such as 'Paranoid', 'Alright Now' & 'Sunshine Of Your Love' among others (including the aforementioned 7" cuts). Supposedly all this was culled from a cassette somebody found at a car-boot sale, sent it to http://www.lowdownkids.com/ & presto! Instant lp.
So is it any good? Uh........sure! It's funny & you know, like any of this kinda stuff, a little bit goes a long way (w/me anyways). I never thought I'd want to listen to 'Baker Street' ever again but I was wrong. Now after hearing The Galactic Symposium draw & quarter it, I can adamantly make said claim.
Yeah, it's neat. Novel you might say. But I don't know. After a while it got a little too Wesley Willis for my likin. I know they's just takin the piss & there's no exploitation or whatever goin on & it is genuinely FUNNY, but still. If joke rock is your bag, these guys deliver great sheets of laughing blotter that are as sustainable as those found within the recorded works from everyone like Sebastian Cabot on down to Hybrid Kids. Real People snarks might not dig & snub their noses at it, but the 25$ I plonked down for this was real enough so that's all's I'm sayin. Them yuks don't come cheap, so if you wanna spend your money on snorts that're less adamant but equally abrasive, go buy a Blowfly album. Them shit's is hilarious too. See this? What do I care. Peace out.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Can I tell you it has been a severely long time since I took cassettes seriously. Am I lame or what? You can call me a Luddite, attack my presumed bourgeoisie notions, go ahead. I can take it. Hell, I might even deserve it. Time was where it weren't like that. Back in the early 80's I was a big proponent for cassettes. I had the Throbbing Gristle suitcase, a couple Sub Pop collections, all kind've DIY ones, the Light Bulb series, Boy Dirt Car, the list goes on & on.Them Fast/Forward "audio magazine" things outta Australia? Loved'em. Hell, I thought Graham Engels 'Castanets' column in OP was consistently the strongest readin around. Later I got some by Daniel Johnston & did I have a field day w/the Xpressway series or what? But at some point I just put'em all in a box & walked away. It weren't that people stopped doin'em, in fact, from the late 90's till now, they's stronger than ever! How do I know? On account of this fella Blande I met down the bar. He's Norwegian (I think) & he get's into cassettes like most people get into debt- it's outta control! One whole room of his house is a floor to ceilin library of'em. The sound system is vintage Macintosh & man is it loud. Blande's a funny guy. When we's out, all he ever drinks is blackberry brandy, but at home, in that tape room..... strictly Ports or Madeira's. Some folks call him Marple (as in Miss Marple) on account of it, but to me, he's just Blande (I don't think it's nice to tease foreigners, especially if they's bigger than you). I was over his place the other night after the bar let out, I had my cans've beer & he was fillin imperial pint glasses fulla tawny & BLARING noise tapes by bands w/names like (don't quote me) Penis Quilt, Enema Bench & Smoke Break. After a while I couldn't keep track. It all just sorta sounded like a condensed version of a construction site, like I was trapped inside a cement mixer while it rumbled around, surrounded by jackhammers & nail guns. I used to do that shit for a livin so I guess I weren't so impressed by the, uh, "sheer brutality" of it or whatever. So I said 'Hey Blande, you got any Rock?" He looked at me like I had six heads. I thought he was gonna puke, but then his head reared back & bellowed a stentorian laugh, like that fella on the Uncola commercial. "Oh Woody" he replied ( he can't say Woodbe for some reason), "Maybe it's for you bedtime. Rock.....yah, it's so funny! He reached over & handed me a Radio Shack portable cassette player, some headphones & a tape. "Here.This is Rock band. Please keep. I do not enjoy. There is no pain. Goodbye." I took the stuff & saw myself out. I was lookin at a bit of a walk & it weren't the friendliest of neighborhoods at 4am, so I felt damn lucky to have this tape 'n deck to buffer my discomfort. I looked at the case so's to get a gander at who I'd be listenin to. In very small print it read 'Blues Control-Riverboat Styx' (thank God for that streetlight). Well, it weren't like I had a choice in the matter, so I strapped on the gear & headed towards home.
As I cautiously navigated my way through the avenues of Port Richmond back down into the Fishtown hamlet, the sounds of Blues Control was a warm, comforting narrative for this nocturnal, pre-dawn trek. Riverboat Styx..... I practically felt like Charon himself as I dutifully weaved my way through the menacing corridors from one treacherous netherworld to another. Man was I glad to have Blues Control along! As their woozy keyboards plonked & guitars howled, the jam started to wildly unfurl. I felt as though I was being protected by both Hades & Persephone which instantly nullified all my trepidations. Soon enough I could see the comforting neon of Sappho's Bakery & I realized I had crossed into the Elysian Fields of friendlier territory.And I was fuckin hungry to boot.
Sappho's is a funny place, but damn do they make some great pasteries! I can never decide between the Rita Mae brownies or the Edith Head cheese danish's. The ladies what run it're from Amsterdam, so there's always an "early bird special", if you catch my drift. I grabbed one of each & hightailed it off to my abode. I'd become entralled w/the tuneage Blues Control was layin down so I sat in the recliner, glugged my last can've Fosters, gnawed them space tarts & let the tape click over. 'Rolling Fog Blues' it was called & as it poured outta them headphones directly into my brain it couldn't have been anymore right if I'd scripted it myself. Dense, desensitized 'n langourous on it's buildup, the more I listened, the more the Blues angle of this band became apparent. Then by the 10th or 11th repeat my imagination ruptured into an opiated epiphany & suddenly the Blues Control duo of Russ Waterhouse & Lea Cho became transformed into Deep Purple & I was livin in the grooves of 'Made In Japan'. And not even the whole of Deep Purple, but Blackmore & Lord as isolated entities; Gillan was eliminated entirely (minus some harp work), Paice & Glover becomin an electric sponge've looped background tapes & percussive crud. And not the whole of the songs either; imagine the instrumental beginnings 'n buildups within 'Highway Star/Child In Time' spliced & the bridge of 'Space Truckin' condensed, then all've that reduced & remastered at 78, jumbled, levels splayed, reedited 'n spit out on cassette tape. That's the sound! It's fuckin twisted! It was so good I had to take it off. That scream you hear, off in the background? That's the severed head of Ian Gillan wailing in concurrence for all eternity. The morning sun was beamin through the front window like a beacon, commandin me that it was time for a pillow to contain the fire that was smolderin in my head. But before I dedicated myself off on a sojourn to Nod, I found a Myspace page for Blues Control & gave a listen to some tracks posted from a prior release. What can I say? It was all I hoped it would be; like vintage Dead C deliverin a sonic symposium at Balco Labratories. Next day I listened to the 'Riverboat Styx', (sans lubricants) & it was even better. So I went out & got me a proper cassette player for the audio system. Looks 'n sounds good too. I am a believer. 'Que bene distinguit bene docet' goes an old Latin proverb. I don't know about the teachin part, but the bit about distinguishin....that I nailed! And I may never get or hear another tape for as long as I live, but this Blues Control one....my deck is it's castle. Long may it spool.
'Riverboat Styx' available at; http://www.fusetronsound.com/
Contact Blues Control at; www.myspace.com/bluescontrol
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Here's three little records that came my way in the past week whose roots & toots deserve-at least-a glancing perusal. I ain't got a lot to say about'em & the jury's still out as to whether they'll ever come up again in polite conversation, but for now, they's family. Onward!
Los Iniciados- S/T 4 song 7" ep
I was kind've excited to get this thinkin it might contain a Spanish angle on some post Suicide obsessed synth tweetery ala them Dutch bands who called the Plurex label home so long ago. I mean, it is from back in the day 'n all.And after a few spins I ain't sayin the moves aren't there, it's just that the insistent wave-ish pulse more closely resembles the ass waddle of the Hawaiian Pups than I feel comfortable knowing. The one track w/the female vocals & assorted electro bon-bons (sorta) reminded me of Minny Pops. In a submarine. On Mandrax. Stroft? Like, totally!
Hurray-Hands 7" ep
Sources on the front lines tell me this group is hoverin close to the stratosphere of NYC's next ____ thing status (i.e, Mouthus, Sightings, etc) so I figured why not grab their debut & start from the beginning? My hat is off to these gents. This 7" from 2003 finds them milking the teat of a virgin cow named Henry, formerly owned by 3 amigos whose surnames are Frith, Hodgkinson & Cutler. Recommended? You bet.
Slicing Grandpa/Penetration Camp-Four Flies On Grey Vinyl 7" ep
Done (I'm guessin, as both sides is titled 'Argento') as a tribute to the Dario Argento film entitled 'Four Flies On Grey Velvet', these two noisefarmers really know how to till & sow. Slicing Grandpa continue to dish out glorious 21st century Pigface chowder, their side bubbles & froths like a pallet of tear flavored Mentos being dissolved into a boiling cauldron of ether. It's spinabifidadelic to the max.
Penetration Camp's contribution is entirely laptop free, so does that mean it sounds more like a rusting, mechanical sock puppet throwing it's voice, the result of which reverberates like a crude, Non-like yelp from Boyd Rice, locked in an iron lung & careening down a steep slope into even further obscurity? Please say YES!
#rd edition of 313.
Monday, October 02, 2006
The summer after I was done w/high school I lit out for Bennington College to hang w/some buds who'd enrolled there for continuin education. They'd rented a nice rancher in South Shaftsbury, complete w/a outdoor grill, a yard big enough for some serious croquet & best've all, an in-ground, cement swimming pool. Man was that water cold! But refreshin too. It was a helluva time & we was all-surprisingly-well behaved (for the most part). There was a bamboo bar set up in the den in front of a sealed up chimney complete w/a working fridge & a beer meister that served cold Rolling Rock 24-7. When everything was goin great guns-which was often-you couldn't hear nothin over the din of free jazz records & enthusiastic repartee that hung in the room almost as thick as the smoke. When things was quiet, the room still hummed & buzzed, as though it was it's own living organism. Not that loudly, sometimes you almost had to strain to hear anything. But at other times it was almost static. I figured it was the generators, motors & pumps're whatever from the fridge & keg contraption & payed it little mind. We all did. But then one day as I was cleanin up after an evening of extreme Miles Davis I began to listen more intently. It wasn't them machines after all. It was comin from inside the chimney! I called the landlord who sent over an exterminator that did a whole insect witch doctor thing-knockin on the walls, listenin w/a stethoscope, up 'n down on his knees lookin for hell if I knew-that after a spell told me we was infested w/hornets. Or wasps, he wasn't 100%. He figured they'd probably been burrowin inside there for yrs, comin in from the top (what was still accessible) & for all he knew, there was maybe hundreds of colonies thrivin inside there, meanin there was THOUSANDS of those predatory fuckers alive just beyond the lathe & plaster. He told me to put my hand over a spot & when I did, I could feel a pulsing & hear this high pitched, anxious noise building just beyond. It was manic, like at any moment they'd come exploding through & let me tell you, swollen w/venom (or flat out DEAD) ain't no way to go through life. "It could happen" the exterminator said, "the plaster is already thin, it's just a matter of time." That's all I needed to hear. I was in my Camaro & headed south on Rt. 7 faster than you can say Marlin Perkins.
Just the other day while listenin to this double lp by Nmperign entitled 'We Devote Every Effort To Offer You The Best That You Deserve To Have For Your Enjoyment' (whew!) on the Siwa label, I was reminded of that chimney & them bugs as well as somethin I read by Cornelius Cardew that sorta tied'em together for me. It went " At the sound of a champagne cork popping commence animated social intercourse. Under the cover of the din, surreptitiously improvise." Now you ain't never gonna get a chance to experience the creepy, barely audible din of them insects. But you'll come damn close if you chose to investigate the menacing stillness & frantic skree's that Nmpergin burrow in & out of on this release. Their blats, toots, sniffs 'n snorts are punctuated by (what seems like) long periods of "nothing", but what's really happening is that anxious silence is propelling their improvised narrative. On 'Devote....', Nmperign's black holes & raw responses are as organically germane as anything you'd find in the works of The Scratch Orchestra, John Cage or Group Ongaku albeit less concerned w/minimalist intent but goin for more avant rapier content. That feeling also comes swarming through on their dbl cd release w/electronics/sampler extraordinaire, Jason Lescalleet entitled "Love Me Two Times' (on Intransitive Recordings). Lescalleet is an excellent sound spackler, & his clips of Julia Child, Mr. Rogers & other assorted characters-as well as his droning forward motion-compliment's the Nmpergin duo so fully that I cannot be reminded of anything except perhaps 'Love Me Two Times' bein a deconstructed, experimental translation of 'Journey To The End Of The Night'. You heard me. Each take's his stab as Bardamu & leads us through the unchartered darkness & like Celine's masterpiece, it's many brilliant strokes of paranoia, hilarity, misanthropy & absurdity, occasionally all in the same breath. Nmperign & Jason Lescalleet ain't afraid to attack & sting, draw a little blood even, but they do it as cockeyed doctors practicing in the name of wit & wisdom. So go ahead, lift open your brain.Inoculation never sounded so postgnarlsome.
(for further info, contact; http://www.siwarecords.com/