Monday, June 29, 2009

If Nestor's Carbuncles Could Talk.....The Induced Musical Spasticity of BUMFS LP Boxset

With the notable exception of 2 entries penned by tea-steepers, I have seen nary a smidgeon've ink spilt on behalf of this outstanding tub've left field hash slung by a here-to-for unknown assortment've egg pounders what called themselves the Butte County Free Music Society. But I ain't surprised by the crickets. After all, what widdle bwoggers out there in internetland today would have a 1st hand inkling as to Bananafish Magazine, which in true Bizarro World style is the reverse genesis for it's existence? And even if they had clue, the dissemination is fairly dense. The participants in this art/noise/theater/kitchen sink production is about as tight lipped 'n secretive as a posse've Masons bidding in a goat auction. But I's always liked a challenge (as well as knowin my ass from elbow) which is why I suspect I was eventually ushered into the B-Fish fold by a certain I. Vern Beezer for the last few issues've that illustrious magazine's run. But it weren't like I got the secret handshake or keys to the temple. No, all's I got was piles of shitty cd's & cdr's to rail about! But it was invigorating nonetheless. Pffft, will you look at me? In full digression, my apologies to you all. Why don't we get off here & see how many ways we can skin this cat.......
Let's take a trip to Chico, Ca.Home to a state university, I'd wager it's undoubtedly the core reason this group've fiddlestickers was able ferret each other's out; they was there to be learned.If you's go to your olde tyme record collection it ain't likely you'd pull out much vinyl from Chico in this era (circa 83-84). Obviously there was plenty goin on, but unlike their erstwhile sympatico's to the south (LAFMS), this group seen fit to keep their hijinx on the down-low. Sure, Babs Manning would get the 28th Day goin, but outside've that, what'm I missin? I did spent a bit've time there around that period (as a laborer in orchards & whatnot) & I can tell you that it was mostly a town filled w/cowboy types, stoners, frat dorks & simliar dunderheads. So it's nice to know that buried within the confines of the ubiqitous pecan & fruit tree groves was a small but thrivin bastion of lasciviously insatiable insanity what seems a cross've (free deformed) Harrad Experiment meets (Cali version) Yoknapatawpha County.I remember an ad once what read 'LAFs do occur at laf-ms', so I imagine a fair amount've the same kind've pone bein baked here; BUFs buf-msing (say whaaaaaaat?-Capt'n S/Breeze) for the sake've snoots & snorts. And sure enough it's all splayed out here for them ears've yrs to have a gander, 4 lp's, a cd + a mess've full color inserts (poster too!) what to assemble the pieces & participants. To me it's a testament to the beauty of margins & more so, the marginality of the avant garde, underground or whatever you wanna label it. I don't think the BUMFS thought it out like the LAFMS, or rather, weren't as whole hog artistically driven for posterity. I ain't criticizin, hell, no one gave much of a shit about LA Free Music releases in the mid 80's so it ain't like BUMFS was gonna use that business acumen as a template for spreadin their withering infestation. For yrs this was all documented & passed around on cassettes, maybe a dozen or so people worldwide havin any knowledge or interest in it's contents. Which makes sense, given the time frame. I mean, it's pretty of-the-moment, sometimes it works & sometimes harder.Personally, I wish I knowed more about Hypnagogic Jerk. Them two toxic hummingbirds could sputter 'n pollinate the stamen's of my brainfield all day long! And that's just a tip of this collection. There's lot's on here to decipher & I think that whoever decided put up the coin to see it compiled & released was doin the Lord's work. I suppose if I had to make a comparison to something on the LAFMS discography-to keep the pikers happy & maybe even move a unit of this're two-I'd have to say it saddles right up there w/the Lightbulb Emergency 2xcassette sampler what come out towards the end've that collective's imprint. Them two tapes was my only companions for 3 cross country trips back in the day & I wouldn't have had it any other way. Left a lot've casualties in it's wake too. I expect the same from this box've records & cd as I prepare for a river ride which is to commence on Thursday. My rock barge (named the USS Miss Monroe) is all loaded up & what's waitin for me at a private dock I has in Martins Ferry, Oh. If any of you's live on the banks from there on down to New Orleans & by chance hear a weird or befuddlin storm comin outta the night, well.....that'd just be the likes of Bren't Lewiis, Walking Jock, Conduits & an a cadre've others croonin off my hi-fi, tryin to charm you into the muddy arms of the undertow. And don't worry about leavin behind no dryin off towel. There'll be no comin outta the water this time.
The Induced Musical Spasticity of BUMFS......25 years of the dip that keeps on dipping, finally & forever. Distro on this dude is scant, try; or

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Because I Could Not Stop For Death, He Kindly Stopped For Me.....Reviews X 5!

The latest outfit to pony up & stir-fry outta the lo-fi wok is from Davis, Ca & calls themselves Green Green. Predictably there's nothing remarkable about it, unless you's think RTFO Bandwagon deserve a Northern California Appreciation Chapter. If that's the case, do you's also think that your parents was two dogs who fucked each other in the ass & a puppy popped out? you? Comes w/a little band pin I'll never sport, but ain't lost. Yet.
300 of these, collectors go to;

Around 10 yrs ago or so, the whole New Weird America was in full throttle, perhaps the last generation of mongrels to possess an inkling of 1st degree knowledge of punk, improv & prog before they's was all ground up together in the grinder. Interestingly, it was said dunces what spun the crank, thereby creatin a bleak musical smorgasbord of amateurism in the form of little cdr patties as well as elaborately constructed cassettes molds & other vacuous whatnot. But enough of that diatribe, my point is how's now there's some've them Kabobs what's reinvented themselves from the New Weird to somethin more akin to the Old Weird, thereby makin'em New Old Weird American Americans. D. Charles Speer & The Helix is part've of this sect, if not it's leading voice what w/a couple lp's & now this 7" under their collective belts. And as such, they warmly embrace the music/stylings of the original denizens 'n patrons w/rich & harmonious flair. On this little fella Mr. Speer & Co. unwind w/some rural rock ala post Band frolic that on one side ('In Madagascar') tugs on the beard've Levon Helm & on the flip ('Bar-Abbas Blues') pats the fanny've Robbie Robertson. I used to have a shirt what said, 'Big Pink Was Not A Myth' & here you's got more proof for the pudding. Purchase this at;

Dan Melchior has been much in demand this yr & like any solid mercenary, he delivers w/force & thunder. Without a doubt one of my favorite tracks've to date is his (apropos) menacing ode 'Post Office Line', haha, just the organ refain itself has enough lethal rounds in it to take out an entire station. This latest offering via Dull Knife is no slouch neither, 'Terrible Shame' bein absorbed in similiarly resigned, post psychedelic/hangover clarity as any've the outstanding tracks what can be found on the last V-3/Jim Shepard releases (atwixt 'Pimping In The 90's & 'Motorcycle Movie'). 'Ghost Of A Flea, Pt. 2' doesn't knock on the door so much as kicks it down & while it might jog my memory as a modern day companion to Flipper's 'Old Lady' dirge, unlike Shatter & co.-who liked to bully from a safe distance-Dan make it abundantly clear he's in the house to rob the men & fuck the women. Or is it the other way around? Either way I'm given the guy a wide berth! Another one what's 300, find out more from;

Mr Pumice is a fella what's something of a pleasant enigma. By that I mean in the post X/pressway, post Gate breeding kennels've New Zealand noise rock pups, Mr. P seems to be the only one what's no longer exclusively bein weened on the lathe cut teets of the perpetually nursing Geraldine bitch. He's actually gettin pressed up on regular vinyl! How many to date I cannot say, but this new split w/Grouper has just arrived & his entry ('Twin Neck Double Kick Bum Chin') is classic; a detached sci fi sea shanty, enveloped in fog, rockin against the winter waves & peppered by a sharp,salty, sea air. What was once South Island vices is now become North Island habits, but Pumice is by no means a counterfeit of those what was brewin up afore, ney, his grok is more a distended homogenization of all what's been chuffy & left of the dial from the Andband down & counting. Grouper also deliver w/a haunting number lost in the mist. Stunningly elegiac, it's hard to know if she's waving or drowning.If I's ever get to hear them Mary Briefcase records I only hope they deliver a fraction of the same beauty.

Bill Orcutt might be the closest thing we's got to a underground rock version of Tommy Pynchon. Ain't no one's seen him in an age, a statistic (or whatever) he likes just fine. And of course there's the stories; how he moved to the Ukraine & started a school what teaches bears to play hockey. Or the one about him livin in the Congo & bein an arms dealer. And I don't mean weapons neither, I mean real life arms! Who'd buy such a thing? I reckon there's nothin wrong w/keepin your audience mystified, no matter how bizarre or gruesome the conjurin. And every now & again he takes time off doin Lord knows what to release a record, the task of findin a copy bein no small feat neither. The one what come around for a minute a few yrs back was as ambiguous as his day to day & while I found it confoundingly charmin then, I can't claim that it has left much of an imprint now. But I doubt I'll be sayin that about this new one what's called 'High Waisted/Big Ass Nails'. You might think upon 1st listen that Bill's slingin w/one of them dagger's he wielded so perilously in Harry Pussy, but stick your neck out a little further & you'sll realize he's forged a whole new scimitar which has done cut off your head. At that moment of impact them ears'll ring w/a hum've cacaphonous fuzz, then a mass've guitar rush w/the gust've Antennae Jimmy Semens + fury've of Saharan string mangler Doueh will flood over your nimble brain. And suddenly, almost as abruptly as it began, it is over. Except now friend..... you will eat no more hotdogs. The chopping block only has room for 100, line up here; &

Monday, June 22, 2009

That's Life? How The Hell Should I Know Baby!.....At Long Last, New Reviews!

It's been a while & let me tell you's, I can't recall a time when the old maxim, 'better late than never' EVER had a more literal (& profound) resonance. See, I done went & got burnt out on all this underground rock nonsense. It all's got to soundin more or less the same. I wish I could say for the good, but to be honest, it was more for the worst. Writin (or criticizin) on a blog weren't gonna change anything, but that's hardly a news flash. I reckon I just figured my time & efforts would be better served doin another kind've work. An old Saigon buddy of mine, a Swiss fella by the name of Aldo Gygax told me about some opportunities w/him up to Chomolungma (or Mount Everest as it's known to westerners) & if that ain't gettin away from it all, I don't know what is! So off I went. Aldo got me set up in Jiri (my sincere thanks to my host's there, Dawa & Chopel) & once I got to the hang of things, I made the trek over to Lukla to begin my apprenticeship. Once that was learnt I was assigned to South Base Camp, ostensibly to work w/the Sherpa's settin to fixed ropes & whatnot for climbers to begin their ascent's to destiny. But I reckon Aldo had other ideas for me. Next thing I knowed, I was put in change of makeshift 'Tea House' & cookin food for the various trekkers what was passin through. It weren't what I was expectin (or hoped for), but you either learn how to hit the curveball or you go down swingin. And no one love's a curveball more than ol' Roland Woodbe. The Gygax plan was "Grande western gastro grub far east of the Pecos', an idea which made no sense given our scenario. But Aldo had went & done a thesis on James Cloyd Bowman after 'Nam so he was all the time goin on about Pecos Bill & Slue-Foot Sue, so it was thematic if nothing else (what's up w/the Swiss & old west folklore?). I figured it was also a by-product of his "crops"-this food servin bein a "front" if you will- what he growed in Katmandu, but that weren't a topic we's talked about, if you catch my drift. Whatever the basis, it turned out to be a most lucrative proposition. You ask anyone what's ate at the Lasso Lounge (nothin more than some canvas, wood & tin but it's design woulda given Frank Gehry a boner) up the Southeast Ridge just this side've the Western Cwm & I bet you's they's will talk a blue streak about the Bronco burgers (ground yak meat) seared in gee (not to mention the Tornader Tots, Tibetan tubers bein about the best on this planet!). I had this one Sherpa guy by the name of Katu what was just about the fastest line cook I's ever seen. He really did get the hang of things pdq. The bread up there ain't much to speak of (it's fried rather than baked), so we didn't have a sandwich as you'd get 'round these parts. But you put a fried egg on one of them dudes & you could just about write yourself a ticket to anywhere in this universe! Talk about a hit, hell, them French & Japanese (especially) would be mountaineers just about shit themselves when they got a taste of what we's turned out. Not that I was countin, but I reckon the Lasso was probably most liable for more climbers comin up, piggin out, then gettin off than any from frostbite or lack of oxygen. Shit, I'd like to think we was savin lives in a few instances! You should see some of these goobs what think's they's is gonna be the next Edmund Hillary. I've seen more qualified lookin pindicks on the Epic Theatre Blog. All's I can say about it is this; if a burger & fries (at 17,000+ ft) is enough to entice a peckerwood outta climin the world's highest mountain (this is w/the 25K done spent on a permit too), well.....can I cook or can I cook?
But that life got tiresome, so dull in fact that when I got a cdr from Mr. Siltbreeze w/tracks've some of the new stuff that had been floodin in for my perusal, it got my radar piqued. I'd seen my share of frozen toes & blackened noses.And the level of entitlement these hikers permeate, even the most wizened servers & bartenders would howl w/derision (sauce on the side is the least of it up there, pal). I said goodbye to my staff (I esp. miss Mida, what a pistol she was!), hiked back down to Lukla for the rest of my belongings & began my epic journey back to the Fishtown of Philadelphia. And here I am, behind this keyboard one more time. It's funny what you miss, especially what don't come to the forefront of your mind. And I don't mean that new Psychedelic Horseshit 12"either, though it is sweet. I just ate me a pint of fresh picked strawberries & all the overpriced/hyped Mexican Summer records out there COMBINED couldn't compare to something as simple & delicious. What with this music & food comparison's, I think I'm finally startin to acclimate myself back into the tenure of Siltblog. Am I stoked? Probably not as much as you are Hoss, but then I'd be lyin if I said I don't appreciate bein appreciated. So w/that in mind, let's see if I can sniff some truffles outta this mess.

I did enjoy the Mantles debut 7" ep what was released a yr or so back, a demure yet solid grower spiked w/pop-psych moves that seemed germinated as much from early Chills as it did Kendra era Dream Syndicate. This new one on the Mt. St. Mtn. label keeps that notion locked 'n loaded, however on these 2 fantastic cuts there's a breezy 'n original confidence that is undeniable, which is to say these guys (& gal) are as much a contemporary distillation of the sassiest moments found on the Velvet's 3rd lp as them aformentioned influences was in their nascent endeavors. At the risk of soundin maudlin, there ain't many little records comin out these days I care to give more than a cursory listen to, but this one I keep playin over & over. To my ears it's about as close to perfect as you can get. 300 was pressed, check it out via & dig the band at

Another burst of 45 rpm brilliance is this mindblowgly great 1 sided gem (via Columbus Discout Records) from the lost archives of Jim Shepard entitled 'The Voices Of Men'. With assistance from Roxanne Newman & Nudge Squidfish I'm thinkin this might've been a V-3 outtake cut around the same time as them tracks on the 'Earth Muffin' ep. It's got Jim's tenorous gallows wit 'n lyrics splached onto some highly diggable Eno-esque musical twitter, imagine a pre-apocalyptic interpretation of 'The Third Wheel' & just in case you ain't sold, there's some Rev. Jim Jones heralding tacked onto the end for further dark,comic effect. Jeez....I tell ya, there ain't a day goes by I don't miss that fucker. But I ain't gonna eulogize, hat's off to the CDR crew for findin this beaut & pressin it up. What's more, it's free. Shepard would've loved that! (NOTE-This record is no longer available).

Matt Korvette ain't afraid to chort about his enthusiasm for the contempo dark/cold/goth/techno aktion what's ragin across Europe. In fact, he's put his money where his mouth is & released 'Right Thant', a willfully under-the-radar 7" of electro/industrial-ized wave that would seem to be an estimable calling card into the plethora of club thumping genre benders.And as the groups therein seem fueled by limited edition releases (& 7"ers in particular) then Herr Korvette's entry fit's like 3 shots've Jager into a highly combustible shaker've German Leg Spreader. For some reason I feel encouraged to mention Haus Arafna & their doppeganger November Novelet, but then I'm liable to get light-headed alot sooner now than in the day's of yore. Maybe yr pipe is filled w/stronger smoke. I was told this was ONLY available for the asking (ie, no distro), so if curious, you could do worse than chime up here;

Comin outta nowhere is this shimmering nova of blissful folk-psych from the leading voice of the Newe Detroite (?), Aran Ruth. I gotta admit, she cut me off at the knees, what I know about her (& this Newe scene) wouldn't fill the paper on a hit've blotter, but wow, I sure am willing to change all that right here 'n now! Ruth ably summons a voice & ethereal aura not unlike Linda Perhacs & while it may not play as vocally zonked as the tastier cuts on 'Parallelograms', the 3 tracks on this 7" ep are still pretty tranfixing stuff. Even a tune as seemingly 'straight up' as 'Cast Your Ship Upon Rain' is so coddlingly lysergic it feels like 4am no matter what time've day it's played. And the flip delivers the goods as well, this time dressed in wisps, hums & echoes of practically kosmische design. Comes in a lovingly handmade jacket, penned w/all the baffling geometric artful whatsis once attributed to the El Saturn style. What a treat. Try for more info.

Someone told me I'd like this Pheromoans record on account of how much they's resembled The Fall. Seein as how this person was someone what knowed me, I assumed they meant that once great band durin their formative yrs on Step Forward. But whatever, I don't hear it, nor did it strike me that these guys shared anything w/The Fall outside of a shambling nature. The one track, 'The Man Who Wolf Whistled' has a kind've NWRA drum patter but I couldn't follow the gist of the muttered narration-which resembled a halfhearted Shadow Ring at best-so I zoned out & dreamt instead of cold kidney pie & warm imperial ale. The flipside started out nicely, 'Revamper' bein a splendid discharge of DIY gurp ala Different I's, you know, goin nowhere fast & lovin every step. 'Penis Envy 96' breaks off from there but only runs headlong into a thicket of Country Teasers like bramble. I dunno, can't says it's neither to condemn nor condone. They's certainly got the right foundation to be a contender & Matt Z from Tyvek says they's a good band live. And who am I to argue w/the inventor of Ass Rocks? Stateside find this at; & for further info;