Thursday, January 29, 2009

Look Hard, This Might Hurt....Catching Up With The Awesome Vistas Label

No doubt some of you's out there is familiar w/Chris Johanson the artist. From what I was told by a man wearing a beret & sipping pernod, he comes for the disembodied school of Raymond Pettibon. Sorry Shirley, I've had to work most of my life, so excuse me if I weren't there the day they passed out snuff & showed you how to prance around w/a stick up your ass. All's I know from what I've seen of his work it there ain't no Gumby's or Manson's & that's fine by me. Then there's the Chris Johanson what's the mastermind behind perhaps the single most exciting vanity label goin (sorry Corwood), Awesome Vistas, whose 1st release was Sic Alps 'Description Of The Harbor' 12" (the artwork c/o Mr. J himself). Since then a spate of new one's has hit the street, all in small editions, each lovingly assembled. The jackets are silkscreened by different artist's or band members, the paper stock bein a heavy gauge what's near cardboard that's perfect for the sometimes elaborate screens what is laid down. To date I think there's seven releases & it's anyone's guess if more's to come. As it states on one of the inserts, "there is no way to contact Awesome Vistas". You might say they's along the lines of them Morant Tapes series of 10" lathe cuts from a couple yrs back except this is high grade 12" vinyl dudes. I ain't had a problem w/none of'em, actually I've enjoyed them all & considerin what a mixed bag they was, that's sayin somethin. But seein as how I've only been back to North America & home but a week now, I need to get my sleep patterns up to EST. So I've asked a couple Irish buddies of mine, Gerald Fitzpatrick & Patrick Fitzgerald to guest "curate" this column. Personally, I think the point/counterpoint buddy thing is insipid & lazy, so if this at anytime starts to read like the C&D column outta Arthur, you'll know where this idea come from. There ain't no reason for these 2 to be pseudonymous though. If you gotta problem with what they think, just stop on by to get your ass whupped, that's fine.

Enablers-The Achievement (1 sided lp, AV-01)

GF; (shaking a Belfast Bomber) Whatya know about Enablers?

PF; (lighting a cigarette & bats out the match) Well, they say me grandmother was responsible for me uncle Brian bein a nasty cur & me grandfather's hopeless alcoholism.

GF; (agitated) Not them ya twit, the band!

PF; (gently pouring a can of Guinness into a pint glass) ah, this record we're a hearin now. I like the voice, it's quite Welsh soundin (laughs).

GF; Ya, it's some voice, a fella by the name'a Peter Simonelli.

PF; Right, one'a them.

GF; (curious) One'a who?

PF; An I'tal.

GF; (rolling his eyes), Jesusmaryandjoseph, what's his heritage got to do w/all the tea in China?

PF; Dunno, just sayin's all.

GF; Well, it's a story put to music. Very San Francisco, ya can almost smell the Mission.

PF; (squinting, confused) Smell the missus?

GF; (yelling) THE MISSION! You know, the Mission district. The music takes me there too, very Toiling Midgets in a way.

PF; (pouring a Jameson) Ya, I hear it, very Saccharine Trust as well.

GF; (himself pouring a Jameson) Your right! Good on ya (they clink glasses in a toast).

PF: (browsing the insert) There's a paragraph here where he's on about a tranny goin mental. Do ya recall the time we was lost in San Fran & ended up in the poofter bar?

GF; (exhaling a cigarette) I do.

PF; And the poor bugger who was buyin ya drinks & asked to give ya a blowjob? And ya dropped him with a punch?

GF; (inhales the cigarette again, looks away & exhales); Ya, twas a tough call. No way for him to know I didn't need the work!

(GF & PF crack up)

Linda Hagood-Pink Love Red Love (Av-06)

PF; (snorting a line of cocaine off this lp jacket, then picking it up for closer inspection) Christ, this is a cover, innit?

GF; (head titled back & holding his nose) Ya, it's quite good. I thought ya said you know this woman, didn't ya say twas a bartender?

PF; (confused) Fucked her?

GF; (squinting at PF) What?

PF; Aye?

GF; (voice rising, eyes darting) The singer, here the artist in question, Linda Hagood! You'd drink at her bar, yes?

PF; (swirling an iced glass of Bailey's) Ya, indeed, the Confederate bartender. Lovely girl. Didn't know she made music.

GF; (smoking a cigarette, looking at insert, sweating) Ya, she pretty much does it all on this one.It's quite good, funny as well, reminds me a bit of something you might get from Yoshimi. "Trippy" ya might say.

PF; (teasingly) Ah so......

GF; (staring directly at PF) I suppose now you speak Japanese do ya?

PF; (gesturing w/left hand) Vely rittle (laughs)

GF; (laughing) That's ridiculous. You reckon we could say this was a psychedelic record?

PF; (exhaling cigarette) I do.

GF; (teasingly) But you also think that mushroom's on a cut of beefsteak is psychedelic as well, ya?

PF; (tilts head forward, blows smoke directly into face of GF) I think your mother thinks so, that's what I think.

GF; (incensed, stands up) My MOTHER? Let me tell ya somethin about my mother (charges PF, fistfight ensues).

Dragging An Ox Through Water-The Tropics Of Phenomenon (Av-07)

GF; (uncorking a magnum of malt duck) Aye, this isn't bad, a one man affair is it?

PF; (holding plastic champagne flute, looking at insert) I thought ya meant the bubbly (laughs). I reckon it is, hard to read this blasted fine print. Ya, here it says 'all instruments, etc, by Brian'.

GF; (pours & fills 2 flutes, they clink glasses) I'd say he owe's a bit to Mayo Thompson's 'Cory's Debt To His Father' lp.

PF; (lights cigarette, downs malt duck, pours a Jameson) Your onto something, I do declare. Sounds like he's a bit of an experimenter.

GF; (downs the cold duck) What, you reckon he's poof?

PF; (knocks back the whiskey) Proof? What proof?

GF; (smoking cigarette) I said HE"S POOF.

PF; (squints) Where's your proof?

GF (visibly frustrated) Christ, that's what ya said! Now I'm confused.

PF; Is that right? Last time I checked ya was Gerald Fitzpatrick. Confused is no name for an Irishman. Folks'll take ya for poof.

Thee Oh Sees-Peanut Butter Oven ep (AV-04)

PF; (mixing a gin & tonic sans ice) Aye, what's this your playin? Sounds freaky.

GF; (snorting a small pile of cocaine off the back of his fist) Umm, ah, Thee Oh Sees. Ya, it's quite good. It's a band w/this legendary SF bloke, John Dwyer.

PF; (takes a long pull on his drink followed by his cigarette, exhales) Right, Coachwhips fella. This is quite spastic, brilliant rhythm section, infectious to say the least.

GF; (pogoing in front of turntable, boths hands out & batting like flippers) Ya, they're hard not to like. And this Dwyer chap is daft, his mind seems to race constantly. And this guitar on 'Quadrospazzled', aye, it's like a cross between Ward Dotson & Karl Precoda. A long way from Pink & Brown. Ya remember Pink & Brown?

PF; (drains cocktail, pours Jameson, lights cigarette, bats out match) Pink & Brown? (squints) Your knickers ya mean?

GF (remains dancing, breathing heavily, head shoots sharply around to left, stares at PF, confused) Whot in the bloody hell are ya on about?

PF; (teasingly) Them knickers of yours. (exhales smoke) by the time your finished w/that spastic dancin they're to be pink & brown! (convulses in laughter)

GF (stops dancing, walks over to bar & picks up empty gin bottle. sneaks up behind PF who is still in laughing uncontrollably & whacks his in the head, knocking him to the ground) Is that right? Ya know I've a spastic colon & I asked ya to keep it to yerself, aye?

PF; (groggily) Aye, ya did. Pass us a fag, ya?

GF; (hands him a cigarette) Here ya'are. A whiskey then?

PF; (smiles) Ya, could do.

GF; (pours 2 whiskeys, they toast); To a fine record.

PF; Aye, a fine record indeed.

Jackie-O Motherfucker-The Cryin' Sea (AV-03)

*Note; At this point both men are barely coherent. Faced w/imminent blackout, the lads resort to the last move left in their arsenal; quote verbatim from the pages of Finnegan's Wake.

GF; A spathe of calyptrous glume involucrumines the perinanthean Amenta.

PF; fungoalgaceous muscafilicial graminopalmular plan-teon; of increasing, livivorous, feelful thinkamalinks

GF; luxuriotia— ting everywhencewithersoever among skullhullows and charnel

PF; cysts of a weedwastewoldwevild when Ralph the Retriever ranges to jawrode his knuts knuckles and her theas thighs.

GF; one-gugulp down of the nauseous forere brarkfarsts oboboomaround and you’re as paint and spickspan as a rainbow

PF; wreathe the bowl to rid the bowel; no runcure, no rank heat, sir; amess in amullium; chlorid cup.

Hey thanks fellas! That was, uh, somethin.........

Awesome Vistas is distributed by Revolver USA, contact
to find out all about'em. PLEASE-the Sic Alps & Thee Oh Sees is now OOP, so no need to bug him where they's concerned.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Many Has Called, Three Is Chosen.....Some More New Reviews

The record's what's piled up here durin my absence, well, it's akin to one of them Matthew Brady photographs of the Union dead at Antietam Bridge. Like cordwood, so I'm tryin to hype (or huff) as fast as possible.

I like the alliteration of Heathern Haints even if I ain't gotta clue to what it means. Could be someone's name, you know, like Pink Floyd. But let's fry that fish another day. These guys is one of the new breed of 3rd eye guru's basking in the lysergic eddy's of Shoegaze but w/a pretty neat comprehension of early Rain Parade (think an extrapolation of that debut 7" on Llama), the psychic channeling of Spacemen 3 + hints of cognizant appreciation for the Cogle/Stapleton Christchurch shimmer. All them elevators stop at the thirteenth floor, a matter of fact not lost on the 4 track's that comprise this 12". Comes in a silkscreened double sided chipboard sleeve too. Goin up?

A Homosexual is a Homosexual is Bruno Wizard. So sez I. And if any y'all have been apprehensive as to the worth of this seemingly outta nowhere 'Love Guns?' 10"re-emergence, I'm tellin you's to save that cuticle skin from chewin another day. If I'd had my druthers I would've figured this to be solo, like the Sir Alick & The Phraser 7", but once I shook the package, out jumbled an insert statin the opposite. Could be I'm biased, but I don't reckon Bruno's missed a beat. Peeps might pweep that the production ain't as crisp as yore, but I lost my taste for micro-brew salon talk some time ago, thank you very much. Unlike, say, Pere Ubu, whose post Rough Trade career has never cottoned to me, the "new" Homosexuals can drop near perfect baby's like this till there ain't no lavender left to spare. Second edition of 300 available now, but for how long?

The X! label has steadily built a solid discography documentin the contempo Detroit scene & anyone worth their salt will tell you concentratin on one city for yr output is (usually) a fool's errand. But that buck stop's here. What's there, somethin like, 14 releases out? And not a runt in the litter? Hell, at that rate X! is headin towards the legendary status of US labels such as Dangerhouse or VVV for keepin it real w/the hometown feel. Naturally, some's outta print, but what's soon to come is this monster lp comp entitled 'Shiftless Decay' what's a stoned bone of Motorcity meltdown. And yeah, there's an early trio demo of Tyvek rippin up 'Flashing Lights', the post Chrome demolition of Human Eye + Little Claw dishin out another take on 'Feeding You Your New Head' (w/Kilynn showin up both Niagara & Rockee from Flirt in the process). Fillin out the rest of this stunner is Tentacle Lizardo (a personal fave), Frustrations, Terrible Twos, Heros & Villains, Johnny III Band, Mahonies, THTX & Odd Clouds (whose brand of LAFMS blorp is always spot on). For whatever reason, Hero's & Villains & Johnny III really made me wanna dig out some Cincecyde & that Brain Police 7". Say what you will about the excellent 'Detroit On A Platter' v/a from back in the day, 'Shiftless Decay' is gonna be THE one for the droolers from here on out. Chalk up another winner for the best label in the city that's more fun to visit than to live in.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

After What You've Just Said, I Don't Know What You Mean.....The Return Of A Man Called Roland Woodbe

Hardy-har, I bet you's all thought I was gone for good. Truth be told, I weren't so sure myself if I'd be gracin the pages of blogland ever again neither. Right when I thought my service to God & Country had all but been depleted, that's when I got the call for some PSYOPS bullshit that proved to damn near be my physical undoin. What started out like routine debriefing's of some agitated CIA "muleskinners" down to Ecuador ended up gettin me ass deep in subterfuge & some ancient conspiracy threads what had my head spinnin & landed me in a jail cell for near 3 months time ( nabbed w/a sizeable portion of cocaine, planted of course). Ecuador has some harsh laws when it comes to this monkey powder but I came to learn that my incarceration was nothing more than a setup. A ruse if you will. Once inside I was to make nice to some folks that supposedly had heavy connections. So it was a case of the hunted becomin the hunter. And if I had time (& the proper clearance) I could tell you some stories what involve Nazi pastissier's, pearl divin off the coast of Venezuela, a secret Kennedy rum plantation, the self propelled human cannon, white rails inhaled off the hot latin ass of an (allegedly) ex Noboa mistress + nuclear secrets lyin at the bottom of the lost island of Elugelab. But them's for another day. Right now I'm more anxious than a 'lude queen on prom night to hump a few of these here records what's overflowin at casa Woodbe. Sorry to all you's out there what might've been lookin for a best of 08 from me. I just don't got the love this time round. Instead I'm gonna focus on some stellar releases what come out but seemed ignored, or stymied the dimmer rock-writer bulbs, doe-eyed in the kilowatt's. I'd say it's great to be back but I don't wanna presume any cognitive deficits just yet, if you know what I mean.

A couple've guppies I know seem perplexed by my pro stance on this Crazy Dreams Band lp what's on Holy Mountain. What's up their collective ass is that alls I do is bitch & complain about all the New Weird half-assed shit & hereI am now championing some of it's major domo's. If you say so. But are they? And am I? It is true, the affectation's, constant name-dropping & shameless bill-hogging (not to mention miles of just terrible releases) laid down in the annals of the day-to-day history of this aforementioned genre are deplorable. But it was a lost time for some, lot's of the underground rock had shifted into formlessness & the "improviser"/noise "artist" was top dog. My accusers has even taken to callin me a hypocrite as I work for Siltbreeze, sayin the label was responsible for the glut of crap spewed out en masse on account of introducin the world to Charalambides, Tower Recordings & UN. All's I can to that is blamin us for somethin like, say, Sunburned or Vetiver, is like blamin Nietzsche for Hitler. Go ahead, get riled up! I'm just makin a point. Now w/this Crazy Dreams Band, I'm told they's full of NWA high security types but I don't care. They manage to keep things percolatin w/enough genuine osmosis that I'm just about this far ( it's close, why, there's hardly any gap at all!-Capt'n Siltbreeze) from buyin completely into their neo-psychedelic glublub. The real highlight is Lexie Mountain. Beardo's & Arthur devotees might see this performance & gloat about the 2nd coming of Pomerance, but last I checked, this weren't a comedy record (ding!). I reckon she conjures up all sorta diva's, from Sumac to Joplin to Linda Sharrock & it's cool to see her takin a crack at the rock format. Actually the vocalist she most reminds me of on here is Ricky Williams & if this lp is the second comin of anything it might as well be 'Sea Of Unrest'. And a track like "Seperate Ways" is filled w/enough blind faith, it's enough to charm me outta my shirt'n flaunt the ol' chestnut's (hairs'n all) alfresco long as it takes. So be afraid, be very afraid. This fucker can be bought direct too, go to
for the fix.

Another record what's along the same lines is this little fella by Terminal Wasteband, a two song 7" for the estimable Black Velvet Fuckere label. Last I heard from these gouchos they was lightin up the sonic skies w/a brand of fuzz they called 'Barn Rock'. But a move northwest & so many Trappist ales later, maybe it's safe to say the barn has given way to a shed. But density is relative & on here the trio don't lunge into the whoosh of Hawkwind & Mountain as before, yet they ain't missed a beat neither. These tracks seem more set the controls for the heart of the rural-delica sun, following the not so easily understood maps of neo-cartographers such as Thinking Fellers & Strapping Fieldhands. The moral of this offering might be 'revenge is dish best served cold' & if you miss Blackjack mailorder as much as I do, they you know what I mean. Distro on this dude seems scant, try

When I opened the package for Boron And The Grebes 'Your're A Horrible Person' 7" ep, Mr. Boron felt compelled to include a note so'd I knew what a grebe is. Mr Boron, PLEASE! This is Roland Woodbe your speakin to. I have done ate more grebe's than you'll ever know. My mother used to make a version of the Turducken w/ grebe, possum & chipmunk. Um-um, that was some good eatin! Mr. Boron went on to explain he made this record to attract bandmates & I wish him the best've luck. It's a very decidedy lo-fi affair & kinda reminds me of a cross between Amor Fati & Slicing Grandpa. Maybe you don't "need" it or maybe you do. Surely ain't many of'em made, go to & see what's what.

The 7" debut of the (new) Cro Magnon seems to have put the pout in the lip of grumpier gus' out there. And to that end I will say I could be confounded why anyone other than the band themselves would see the point of gettin this thing on vinyl but perhaps that's the rub; it all comes back to one's taste's. I'm bettin that if you played these tracks back to back w/the ones by old Cromagnon there's be as many what says it all sucks as would stand & applaud. 20 yrs ago when Happy Flowers (& later) Lisa Suckdog unleashed their feral frenzy they was lauded as 'genius'. Could be as they was self released & came outta nowhere, we was all so taken by the outrageousness, it was easier to fawn that to fart. But they was in on the joke or rather, drew a line to see who'd stick around & see how it played out. And maybe the same could be said about the new Cro Magnon's. As for Bruit Direct buyin a cat in a bag by puttin this out, I don't think so. What's a good horror movie w/o some screamin girls? Bruit Direct is now 3 releases into a narrative of rich, post-sanity, aural grindhouse zonk, now w/2 shrilling, barely legal heroines
to advance the hysterical depravity. No one's askin you to kiss'em, but don't turn your back on'em neither, okay?

I know this Pop Horror 7" has been out for an age, but I's just now gettin to it. Kinda suprised that my Anglo obsessed buds weren't more smitten with this. It's got a great lost in time chug (a little bass heavy on the 1st track maybe), plus a cool contempo DIY skip in it's step that reminds me of Dry Rib & Desperate Bicycles. The 2008 answer to Hand Grenades (honkin bass & all)? I wouldn't say no!