Saturday, October 31, 2009

Person Pitch - Panda Bear (#10, 2007)

"Take one day at a time,
Everything else you can leave behind,
Only one thing at a time,
Anything more really hurts your mind.

I don't want for us to take pills anymore,
Not that it's bad." - Take Pills


"Comfy in Nautica" from Person Pitch (2007)

There's been some pretty heavy foreshadowing of this album. Because it looms so large over 2007, probably the consensus non-mass-market record of the year. At least that's what the stickers said on the cd I bought in Avon, CO.

First, I mentioned not being much of a Beach Boys fan, then putting two direct descendents in the Top 10. Later, I hinted at how I should probably be a bigger Animal Collective fan, but am not. I already unsuccessfully tried Sung Tongs (2004), downloaded live recordings to no avail, and even possible album-of-this-year Merriweather Post Pavilion hasn't grabbed me yet. But this one is majestic, for a certain frame of mind.



The album straddles a few extremes: sampladelic experimentalism with pure pop hooks, background washout versus microscopic intricacy, skeletally spare structures built from orchestral layers. First "Comfy in Nautica" enters with some industrial clatter, into a sunny sing-song over a gospel-loop bluesman's foot-stomp handclap pattern. Electronic noises swirl and waves of reverb crash into the ending. Hard to say how much has really happened. "Take Pills" also starts off with some ambient found sounds, then there comes a tambourine. Peeking through is a meandering folksong for hip young adults. At exactly halfway, the beat starts to shuffle up and the voices start chasing after one another. A bright and sunwashed melody about throwing away our drugs. Then a train leaves the station...



"Bros" is epic, and the early part wears Brian Wilson on its sandy, Hawaiian-print sleeve. Even as dark undercurrents begin to tug at weary legs, until the screaming and crying begins. The submerged Spanish rhythm gives way to an upfront and insistent gallop, without affecting too much else. Things keep shifting. Now we've got both rhythms over each other, the singing drifts off, and somehow digital chatter and vibes have already snuck in. Cutting in with backwards-masking vox and stop/start dynamics, more layers start piling up again. Sanity has left the building, there might be a trumpet or other horn, beach bunny giggling, a western tv show gunfight...
A teenage symphony to acid?



Stuck between the two long-form songs, "Im Not" is relatively slight, and transitional. Like a calm between attention storms. The two-parter "Good Girl/Carrots" is as long as "Bros," but breaks it out more. The tabla intro signals the most electronic-rhythmic section of the album, not necessarily to any real benefit. The middle third is a relief after the glitchy siren loop: pretty singing, rolling piano, gears 'n' clockwork click-track(s). The final part is a little closer to side 1's rhythm, noise and voice combos. Afterwards comes the somehow ambient-and-squelchy "Search for Delicious," which is either relaxing or unsettling (depending on how close a listen). And the final track, "Ponytail," is the shortest and most straightforward song, wrapping things up very nicely.



You can see why this album is popular with music critic types, right? Lots of different angles, things to talk about, compare and contrast. Sounds really good too. I prefer the first half, and if the rest were that way it might be a total favorite. But it might not be a better album, and I can understand other people maybe wanting more of the latter half. Which says a lot about a very good record.

Person Pitch
Official/Myspace - myspace.com/rippityrippity
Purchase - Amazon
iTunes - Panda Bear

Genre - Gospel Noise Pop
Review - Pitchfork (ended up as their #1 of the year)

Also, I did it! Finished the Top 10 before month's end...

The Future of the Top 10

Wow, can't believe it's been two years! Of top tens...

Starting with the original post on the original plan for the original episode of the original podcast (which is still on the table), I think the Top 10 has provided a really useful framework for me. I can always write about music I love, and it's triggered a lot of springboard ideas when they've been running low.

20th Century Rocks
With the 2009 Year-End extravaganza (at least three lists planned!), 2006 in Nov., and 2005 in Dec. - that's half the current decade by year end. I've also randomized the previous four decades, to keep the historical record spinning. Going forward, for each 21st century list, I'll do at least one year each from the '90s, '80s, '70s, and maybe the '60s. Pre-Highway 61 Revisited (1965) album lists might be a little tough for me.

Depending on time constraints and quality of the particular year, I might post fully on just the #1 - or I might go for the complete set. Or I might scrap the records altogether and do something different. Top 10 films of 1963? Top 10 Grateful Dead concerts of 1979? Top 10 Oliver North quotes of 1987? The possibilities are dizzying...

I've also added a new section on the control panel sidebar to more easily organize and access the lists as they accumulate.

The Audiobelisk

Chic-A-Go-Go...-A-Go-Go

Know what's great? Chic-A-Go-Go!! The dance show for kids (of all ages), on Chicago cable access tv. Here's my top 10 videos from their extensive collection.

1. The Flying Luttenbachers on Halloween!


2. Neil Hamburger


3. Mainliner (Acid Mothers Temple)


4. Tortoise


5. Neko Case (as Wanda Jackson)


6. Guitar Wolf (interview & video)


7. Sonic Youth (Steve inteview & in-studio dance)


8. Jesus Lizard (Yow interview & El Train)


9. OK Go (with NPR All-Stars backing band)
Kinda reminds me of Pearland's The Judys...


10. The Residents video segment by Lil' Ratso!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Record Review: Embryonic [Deluxe]

This is one of two posts that I've wanted to do, but couldn't quite get a handle on what it should be. Awhile back, we'd talked about pre-ordering Embryonic (2009) from Oklahoma's Flaming Lips. I did so, and received it mid-October... and I'm not sure yet.

Embryonic
Embryonic is the perfect name for it. It's a double-CD full of rough drafts, interludes, and reworkings of the same ideas. I like it better than the previous At War With The Mystics (2006), although I'm still not sold on the now sound of overdriven saturation. So maybe it's half-baked in a good way? Three of the first 5 songs do very similar things: loping, throbbing pulses with squelchy background noises and busy, bombastic drumming. In pseudo-mathematical terms, "Hex" + "Sparrow" + "Leaves" = "Take Meta Mars" x "Hypnotist??" Early there on the first disc, the third and fourth tracks kinda sound like re-imaginings of two specific songs from Zaireeka (1997). But I like all that stuff.

Wayne 2009
I won't go through every song, but "Gemini Syringes" is a nice, mellow semi-instrumental that flows into "Your Bats." The first one on disc two takes about halfway to kick into pretty much the only normal rockin' we get, "The Ego's Last Stand" (but not for long). Karen O's silliness doesn't really improve "I Can Be A Frog" for me. So, we've got animals, Can, ego, astrological signs, Evil, and other cosmic concerns - yep, it's the Flaming Lips!! The next three are what I like most: "Sagittarius Silver Announcement" (effortless psychedelic drift), "Worm Mountain" (anthemic speaker blow-out), and "Scorpio Sword" (approaching Sunn O))) mega-drone by balloon)...

Drozd 2009
You get the idea. There's some good stuff there at the end too, especially "Silver Trembling Hands." So what you've got, with the wealth (excess) of material and modern technology, is the makings of a good live show or your own single-album edit. Here's my new version: Embryonic Redux (50 mins, 13 tracks). I couldn't have done it without 'em! Overall, I think it's an expansive grower. Maybe I'll come to love some of the lesser cuts, it's certainly happened before. Although I'm pretty sure "Frog" is this year's "Free Radicals" for me. I really dig about half of it, a small portion is slightly underwhelming, and I skip a couple of songs regularly. Plus, the big 10th anniversary re-master will probably sound great without all the levels pegging infrared!


Full/Litho
Finally... the deluxe package comes in a sweet furry case, with a bonus audio DVD. Also received a nice wide-screen lithograph print (seems like it might be the gatefold cover on the vinyl edition).

Indricothere - Indricothere (#9, 2007)

"The indricothere is a long-limbed, hornless rhinoceros that evolved in the Eocene epoch and continued through to the early Miocene. During the late Eocene and early Oligocene, the indricothere evolved and quickly grew to huge sizes. The indricothere reached the peak of their evolution through to the early Miocene, where they had become truly gigantic animals. These were the largest land mammals that ever lived, equaling the medium-sized sauropod dinosaurs in size." from Wikipedia



Indricothere plays the kind of music a cheesy sci-fi movie would show a future post-apocalyptic dystopia's youth culture going mad over (an old crank's thinly-veiled put-down of contemporary youth culture's goddamn racket!). A drum machine jackhammers inhumanly and almost arhythmically, unpredictably reversing course or stopping full. A guitar (or two) shreds mercilessly, somehow keeping up with the sadistic robotic assault. Sometimes a synthesizer will slip into the fray temporarily. There are no vocals. It is extreme. It is metal. It is avant-garde.

This is the debut EP from Colin Marston's solo identity, and the idea of a full-length LP makes me shudder. Five songs is just the right amount for such a barrage of what could be viewed electro-grindcore prog. The tracks all have Roman numeral titles, but don't present in their typical order. They are: II, V, IV [embedded above], I, and III. Summarizing each would be silly. They all simultaneously sound the same and contain a mind-boggling variety. Each has numerous and diverse sections, usually a couple that let you catch your breath for a few seconds of heavy metal. "III" even has some portions of clean guitar work. The shorter tracks, "IV" and "I," are probably the more straightforward entry points.

The Warr Guitar
So, Colin Marston. Unbeknownst to me, he made his mark early this millennium playing the Warr Guitar (a Chapman Stick on steroids) with Behold... The Arctopus. They played similarly experimental, progressive extreme-metal as a trio. Then (and now) he played bass in the well-respected Dysrhythmia, another avant-metal band. And most recently, he's shared guitar duties in the mighty Krallice, a USBM band of pure awesomeness. The other guitarist is former Flying Luttenbacher Mick Barr, who also does some Indricotheric stuff as Orthrelm, Ocrilim, Octis, etc... Check out this live video! Gilead Media did a really nice job on both the Indricothere vinyl (comes with cd) and the colored vinyl for Krallice's debut 2xLP!


Indricothere
Official/Myspace - myspace.com/indricothere
Purchase - Gilead Media
iTunes - Indricothere

Genre - Pummeling Technical Blackened Death
Review - Metal Underground

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Astralnauts Are Go!!
Astral Headspace, Vol. 1

See this Comp Index post, or the COMPS section at right, for current Download links.

Astralnauts Are Go!!
Over the weekend, I'll be blogging (or not blogging) from Austin, TX!

So, in case that's actually not blogging, here's the first ever Astral Headspace compilation download: Astralnauts Are Go!! 15 tracks, two hours, covering this stuff I've been squawkin' about - plus more - from the best freely available music out there. Use the instructions for downloading .zip files from MegaUpload (step #3 forward).

The Audiobelisk
[Click audiobelisk to begin download.]


Astralnauts Are Go!! Astral Headspace, Vol. 1 (2009)

01 "Space" - Beyond the Wizards Sleeve
- Shatnertrek intro from OOP West EP

02 "Long Distance Voyager" - Space Debris
- Krautrock Sessions: 1994-2001 and .mp3 from band's site

03 "Alien Abduction" - Linus Pauling Quartet
- All Things Are Light and .mp3 from label Camera Obscura

04 "Crossing the Blacklight Void" - Thru Black Holes Band
- All band's output available at Aural Innovations

05 "Samtidigt" - Dungen
- Downloaded from Pitchfork's Forkcast blog

06 "Statement" - Boris
- Smile and .mp3 available at All That Is Heavy

07 "Teleforce" - Majeure
- Timespan available from Temporary Residence. Mp3 downloaded from Pitchfork track review.

08 "Comfy in Nautica" - Animal Collective (Live, 1/21/09, NYC)
Live recordings available and mp3 taken from Archive.org

09 "Plain Material" - Memory Tapes
- Seek Magic available from Rough Trade. Mp3 downloaded from Pitchfork track review.

10 "I Knew" - Lightning Dust
- Infinite Light available from Jagjaguwar. Mp3 downloaded from Pitchfork track review.

11 "Vampire" - Pink Mountaintops
- Outside Love available from Jagjaguwar. Mp3 downloaded from Pitchfork's Forkcast blog.

12 "Carpenters and Sailors" - Christian Kiefer/Jefferson Pitcher
To All Dead Sailors and .mp3 from label Camera Obscura

13 "Voodoo" - Voodoo Suite (with Bliss Blood)
Many Bliss Blood-related mp3's available at BlissBlood.com

14 "Dimensional Bleedthrough" - Krallice
- Dimensional Bleedthrough and mp3 taken from label Profound Lore

15 "Godspeed/Sonic Prayer" - Earthless (Live at Roadburn)
- Live at Roadburn on and mp3 taken from Tee Pee Records


After uploading the compilation, I thought of using my mad MS Paint skills to make some cover art. So, neither of the "covers" in this post are on the download. Feel free to copy them over if you put images with your audio files.

Also, sorry about the random bitrates and volume levels. I figured it's best to use the original free promotional downloads, and they vary. Enjoy!!


Astral Headspace, Vol. 1

Limited Editions of 200!

Thrill! To a dark vision of something grainy!
Witness! My terrible photography "skills!"
Check Out! The two ltd-ed releases I got this week!!


Etching not visible...
[Click all my photos for giant size]

First up is the new solo effort from A.E. Paterra (drummer for Zombi), as Majeure: Timespan (2009). Pitchfork has one track up for the streaming/download. Two slabs o' vinyl, three songs (with full mp3 download)! The fourth side has an etching similar to the inside of the gatefold cover. The 2xLP record itself isn't limited, but the sky blue-white-navy splatter vinyl is!

Sides 1 and 3Sides 1 and 3

Sides 2 and 4Sides 2 and 4

Inner GatefoldInner Gatefold, with bonus shadow!

Order up! [$12]

Timespan


I also got Austin post-rockers The Calm Blue Sea's 2xCD score for Fritz Lang's silent Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1923). Full title is... Siegfried: An Original Score by The Calm Blue Sea (2009). You can check out the whole thing, with film, at this YouTube playlist! Also limited to 200 copies, this is packaged in recycled card stock, and all the artwork appears hand-stamped in black ink.

Front, bound in twine

Back of package

Order up! [$15]

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Athlantis - Eyvind Kang (#8, 2007)

"Te quoque Maurtem aduoco, ne dedigneris tuos
hic promere scorpiones, serpentes, aspides,
viperas, hircos, hoedos, pardos, canes,
cynocephalos, apros, pantheras, lupos, onagros,
equos, hyppelaphos, vulpes, tuasque caeteras
bestias atque feras..." - Inquisitio
(Worst year ever to use lyrics for the Top Ten!)


"Andegavensis" from Athlantis (2007)

Eyvind Kang is a composer - like, that's what it says on his business card. (Probably.) But his stuff, like it or loathe it, is clearly composed... most likely with sheet music and everything. Might even be conducted too!

So there's a lot going on here, but it would have to be modernist neo-classical. (Probably.) The first section, "Ministers of Friday" has a noirish feel to it, with a menacing brass ensemble. I've gone ahead and put four of the shorter movements together in one clip, so that also includes track 2: "Vespertiliones," which gives a taste of the choir and chant and drone vocals. Above is "Andegavensis," a great place to start with its unearthly temple voices and transporting acoustic guitar. It's followed by "Rabianara," half of which is bare minimalism with Black Metal/balloon-rubbing vocals. The second half is overwhelming 2001 Monolith wig-out music.



"Inquisitio" is formed by Latinate klaxon announcements, with a congregation responding, back and forth over a slight sitar pattern. (Oh, did I mention all of the 'libretto' is in Latin? It is.) Then a glorious angelic choir emanates from the sky to round out the experience. "Ros Vespertinus" continues the beautiful lady-singing theme, this time solo with absolutely minimal accompaniment. Seriously, it might as well be a cappella. The next two sections,
"Conciliator" (a trumpet reveille) and "Iupitter" (a less hysterical Carmina Burana), are on the video with "Ministers of Friday" linked above.

"Repetito" and "Lamentatio" are aptly named. The first repeats, and the second has sorrowful wailing. I'm not sure if this project is off-putting, esoteric, challenging, or just weird - but I think it's really fascinating. I wonder what the sounds and lyrics mean, in terms of song titles and Atlantis in general. But it might spoil the mystery, the wonder. It definitely makes me want to get more Kang (he has a new album out). Anyway, the title track appears late, and is a bit of subdued and spooky minimalism (female). Followed by "Aquilas" which is subdued and foreboding minimalism (male), culminating with some horrendous screaming. The end of the great city, perhaps?



Might have to bust out my Latin dictionary and see how the epic poetry skills have held up...


Athlantis
Official/Myspace - myspace.com/eyvindkangeyvind
Purchase - Amazon
iTunes - Eyvind Kang

Genre - Noir-Jazz Opera-Chant Neo-Classical
Review - Tiny Mixtapes

Whaddya call THIS?!

Inspired by the new "Incredibly Strange" tag, we're proud to present some Norwegian... something. Sci-fi loungecore? Narrative glitch-metal? True scandanavian avant-freak?

[intro track.001]



[semi-title track.003]

[extended track.004]





[The end of the world.007]

That's about the first 1/2 of Cords.Wires (2005), from Bogus Blimp. Weird, huh? I actually kind of like it...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Multo Morricone Bizarro

Crime and Dissonance
Ennio Morricone is known for two things: writing Sergio Leone film scores, and writing the musical scores for about a billion others.

Crime and Dissonance (2005) was co-compiled by Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle/Faith No More/etc...), put out on his own Ipecac Recordings label, with liner notes by John Zorn (Naked City/Masada/Book of Angels/etc...) - so you know it's gonna be freaky. And it is. The selections come mostly from obscure late-'60s and early-'70s films. Including apparent soft-core porn, so a soft-core *NSFW* [not safe for work] warning on the videos. The only movie I was familiar with is Dario Argento's debut, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970).

I'm just going to throw out what's already available on YouTube. The comp is 30 tracks of noisy guitar skronk, sexy mellow interludes, heavy jazz vibes, and just about everything wild and of the era. 2xCD for a favorable price! My more favorites embedded, rather than linked... but it's all groovy.

... okay! I made one video, because this song is pure insanity. It goes from pastoral to choral chanting to boogie-psych to military marching to baroque classical, then mix-mashes it up again.


"Ricreazione Divertita" from Crime and Dissonance (2005)


Disc 1, track 1: "Giorno di Notte" - funky wah-wah and organ breakdown, from Una Lucertola con la Pelle di Donna (1971), a Lucio Fulci giallo.


"Astratto 3" - percussive insanity plus sexy moaning, from Veruschka: Poesia di una Donna (1970), an art-horror film with the titular experimental super-model.

"Corsa sui Tetti" - shuffley jazz chaos vibe, from L'Uccello dalle Piume di Cristallo (1970), the original Dario Argento giallo.

"Placcaggio" - basslines and squawking sax, from Il Gatto a Nove Code (1970), another Argento giallo, with Karl Malden!!


"Seguita" - chase theme and noise-burst, from Gli Occhi Freddi della Paura (1971), which might have inspired Funny Games (1997, 2007).

"Titoli (L'Uccello dalle Piume di Cristallo)" - heartbeat pulse on the edge of ecstasy, from Argento's The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1970)

"La fotographie" - short 'n' swank, from Veruschka (1970), the body-painting chameleon model...

"Spiriti" - jazzin' into synths drone, from Fulci's Una Lucertola con la Pelle di Donna (1971), or "Lizard in a Woman's Skin" (?!?!)

"Ninna Nanna per Adulteri" - a pastoral lullaby, from Cuore di Mamma (1969), which sounds incredibly fantastically bizarre!

Disc 2, track 1: "Trafelato" - piano bombastico, from Giornata Nera per L'Ariete (1971), a stylish, late-'60s murder-thriller:


"Sensi" - your clockwork's sprung, from Un Bellissimo Novembre (1969), possibly a generic sex farce...

"1970" - smoldering ghostly terror, from Cat O' Nine Tails (1970), of Malden fame!

"Esplicitamente Sospeso" - sequencers and synth bloops, from Il Serpente (1973), Brynner! Fonda! Yul! Henry!

"Sequenza 10" - gypsies stealing your shadow, from Sesso in Confessionale (1974), sounds like an 'academic' excuse to eventually get to the sexy.

"Paura e Aggressione" - too smooth for humans, from Giornata Nera per L'Ariete (1971) a.k.a. "Evil Fingers!"

"Folle Folle" - someone's gonna get hurt by the jazz-funk, from Gli Occhi Freddi della Paura (1971), or "Cold Eyes of Fear!!!"

Two Hunters (#7, 2007)
Wolves in the Throne Room

I think I didn't plan this out so well... Wolves in the Throne Room's Two Hunters (2007) discussed already in the inaugural Black Metal Classics post, with clips for every single song. But it had to be done!!

So, go there first. I'll just lazily post a track each off their two releases from this year. (Hey, I'm trying to finish this before November!)

First: "Ex Cathedra" from Black Cascade (2009), the better of the two albums.




Lastly: "Hate Crystal" from the 2-song EP Malevolent Grain (2009).




Still pretty cool stuff, but Two Hunters is definitely their pinnacle so far. I do like the new cover art better, though [click for lg sizes].

Black CascadeMalevolent Grain

Not quite as dark, but such is progress...

Two Hunters
Official - wittr.com/
Myspace - myspace.com/wolvesinthethroneroom
Purchase - All That Is Heavy
iTunes - Wolves in the Throne Room

Genre - Transformative Black Metal
Review - Prefix Mag

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rainbow - Boris (#6, 2007)

Like the musical act this particular list is aiming towards, Boris seems like a band that I should like, that I could like... but it just hasn't worked yet. Really except for Rainbow (2007) - recorded with Michio Kurihara, Japanese guitar-noise demi-god and member of numerous other bands. Notably Ghost, whose Hypnotic Underworld (2004) I highly recommend. But Boris' brand of droning, sludgy, psychedelic doom usually misses the mark for me. This one proves that maybe it's actually me missing the mark.


"Rainbow" from Rainbow (2007)

O there's drones here, including the opener "Rafflesia" [live], but so much more... The title track (embedded above) floats along, all ghostly vocals and understated groove, until Kurihara inappropriately breaks out the fuzzbox overdrive. Boris never flinches. The vocals on this record seem a bit more diverse, along with the music styles. Up next is "Starship Narrator" (below), which cruises on a Krautish pulse with a baritone chant until the singing part kicks off. Then Michio takes command and steers it back into the Fuzz Nebula. That's why he's the co-pilot.



I was a little surprised there were missing songs on YouTube. Boris fans seem like the thorough type. So, the next four songs are on a couple of home-brewed videos (not necessarily my best work). "My Rain" is a miniature, lyrical guitar interlude with a back-masked rhythm. Leading into "Shine"... a somewhat droney but also more musical number with a very cool smoldering, slow-burn front section.



"You Laughed Like a Water Mark" is my favorite Boris song I know. Musically, it's got a similar foundation as "Rainbow," cool and easy-going. But the breathy female voice is replaced by fairly melodic male vocals, and the fuzz lead is more in the groove. I added as much of "Fuzzy Reactor" as would fit, but had to cut a bit off the end, so consider it a bonus track [edit]. A nice sound, actually reminds me a bit of Dragontears, which is high praise indeed.



And the final song (except for the 14,000 alternate versions' bonus tracks), "Sweet No. 1" starts out simultaneously funky, spare and noisy. Then busts out with some Earthless-worthy free-form heavy-guitar jams, alternating with agitated rock-star vocals. Seven minutes of mayhem! It is awesome.

As I mentioned, there are several different formats and releases, with different bonus tracks. I think the coolest is probably "Olhei Para O Vento Varrendo As Nuvens (I Looked Up at the Wind Sweeping Clouds Away)" from the Japanese 2xLP version. It's a 20+ minutes of low-register guitar-amp noise/feedback, building up to some distorted but restrained noise. If that's your sort of thing...

Beyond Rainbow, I would definitely suggest reading about different albums before buying. Boris and Kurihara collaborated again on a two-epic LP, Cloud Chamber (2008), but it appearss to be more experimental, noise-y, and super-rare.

Rainbow
Official - inoxia-rec.com/boris/
Myspace - myspace.com/borisdronevil
Purchase - All That Is Heavy
iTunes - Boris

Genre - Epic Shoegaze Experi-Metal
Review - Pitchfork

Three Who Would Open
for Butthole Surfers

Breaking the genre grouping trend early, here are three great bands that I fully discovered as opening acts for Butthole Surfers. Not even half as diverse as all their openers, these are the three (maybe the only 3) that I went on to follow since. The Flaming Lips (4/27/1988 and 4/28/1988) have had a wild and woolly career since this era, but they were already a (LOUD) force to be reckoned with. Ed Hall (5/2/1990 and 5/4/1990) was one of the greatest live bands in Texas history. They appeared in Slacker (1991)... and they're still doing it with the mighty Pong, which includes a member of the other opener Pocket Fishrmen. It was weird mixing Butthole Surfers, industrial supergroup Pigface, and bluegrass champions The Bad Livers (4/21/1991). But this super-pickin' trio stood out despite not pegging the volume into the deep red. As the Flaming Lips were known to do...



"Redneck School of Technology"
The Flaming Lips (OKC, OK)
Telepathic Surgery (1989)
Also available: "Unconsciously Screamin'"




"Luke Flukenstock"
Ed Hall (Austin, TX)
Gloryhole (1992)
Also available: "Guido O'Brien" and
Live in Norman, OK (7/11/1992)




"The Men in Black" (Motorhead/Johnny Cash medley)
Bad Livers (Austin, TX)
Live at Saxon Pub, 8/12/1991
Also available: Danny Barnes doing "The Adventures of Pee Pee the Sailor" (written by Paul Leary)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lovecraftian Cover Art!
The Evil One - Roky Erickson

The Evil One
With Halloween still coming up, let's have another horrorific album cover. Here we have Roky Erickson's all-time great The Evil One (1980)! That's the original record cover up there, with the rune of unpronounceability title (in pink, lower right). Down below is the re-named one with legible title and band credit on the cover.

Perfect cover art, with some monster of the id shattering Roky's psyche to escape beyond. Sending all-seeing eyes everywhere, splattering terror and chaos from within. There's a little of the action madness of Jackson Pollock, a little of the 3-color comic books in the dot patterns, a little of the incipient '80s in the color scheme. And Roky fully in control amidst the maelstrom, just as with the music on the album.



Produced by CCR bassist Stu Cook, The Evil One crackles from start to finish. I believe this kicked off Roky's third way for solo efforts: screamin' and wailin' over pretty straightforward hard rockin'. (The other two being weirdo-consciousness or love-pop acoustic freak-folk, and Buddy Holly homage.) Amazingly, his voice has held up over all these years! Here you get B-movie-horror anthems-for-the-ages about Two Headed Dogs, Creatures with the Atom Brain, Demons he Thinks Of, Bloody Hammers, and others.

I got this on cassette from a record store in The Galleria after hearing "Burn the Flames" in Return of the Living Dead (1985). Eventually, I dug into the 13th Floor Elevators, but just saw Roky live for the first time earlier this year. Great show! Back-up band was good but not The Black Angels, who played with Roky late last year. Regardless, having been a fan for 20+ years, it was great to see him on stage, in good health and great spirits!

The Evil One

Saturday, October 24, 2009

12 Golden YouTube Greats

So far, only a brief mention of Ween here, and that's insufficient. So I've dug into the crate (YouTube), and located 12 (twelve!) videos for our loyal reader to peruse. Culminating in - of course - an Astral Headspace exclusive!!

Brown Boognish
12. "She Wanted to Leave" - Stubb's, Austin, TX, 8/10/2007
(Round 2!) This was the opening song of maybe the best Ween show I've seen. Just look at that (streaming) setlist! I knew going in from the previous night's slightly more hitsville set, that this probably would be special. This is one of my favorites, and I didn't expect it at all. Much less first up!


11. Beavis & Butthead watch "Push th' Little Daisies"... and also
"Freedom of '76"... and "Can't Put My Finger On It."
(These guys got no future.)

10. "Cover It With Gas and Set It on Fire" (1992), with Muppet Viking Pigs. Which is, I think, what Ween had in mind on this one.
(Also, "The Stallion, Pt. 2" by Mr. Ed, from the same guy.)


9. "The Mollusk" (1997), with Legos!!


8. Ween's cameo in the It's Pat film (1994), including "Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese." I've never seen this movie, and today was the first time I've seen of their part. Pretty humourous... (Pat, those aren't hallucinogenic mushrooms. They're from Safeway.)

7. "I Got A Weasel," old skool home videotape. 1989, mang.


6. Offical video for "Transdermal Celebration," included on the Live in Chicago dvd (2004). I remember being fairly impressed by the professionalism at the time.


5. "Dr. Rock," from German tv 1997.
(And "She Wanted to Leave" from the same show.)


4. "The Final Alarm," from public access tv 1997.
(And "Buckingham Green" from the same show.)


3. "Birthday Boy" - Upper Darby, PA, 11/24/2007.
Great song from their first album (1990)!


2. "Buenos Tardes Amigo" - Washington, DC, 5/22/2000.
Great song from their best album (1994)!


1. "Powder Blue" - from 12 Country Golden Greats (1996). This record was released, then almost immediately recalled because they "accidentally" left the Muhammad Ali recording in this song.
So, if you weren't immediately stoked about an all-country album from Ween, you might never hear it as intended. Until now!
(Also, here's the demo with Ali.)



I can't claim those are the best Ween videos available, but a pretty decent collection for a couple hours work. Feel free to suggest others in comments... Hahaha!!!

Boognish Rising

Halfway Pitstop 5.5 Top Ten 2007

To avoid the deja vu of repetitive redundancy all over again, I left out my 2008 Top Ten acts from the 2007 Top Ten albums. But if not excluded for variety's sake, a few would have clearly made the cut.

Burning Off Impurities
Burning Off Impurities (2007) - Grails [#6, 2008]... Possibly #1 of 2007, and maybe Grails' best album overall - to my knowledge.



Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky (2007) - Earthless [#3, 2008]... Their album that found its way to me first. Here's a 'short' song, only eight minutes, and it's a Groundhogs cover!



George & West (2007, EPs) - Beyond the Wizards Sleeve [#1, 2008] At the risk of being redundantly redundant (see previous post), these would have to be included. Several songs not compiled on Ark.1, including the Star Trek intro/theme and "Hey Bulldog."



2000 Micrograms from Home (2007) - Dragontears [#2, 2008]... Just recently got this one. Some very cool stuff, but can't yet say it would be Top 10 material.




I still haven't made it around to these, although I'm sure they're all more than worthy of my time & money:

Buzz for Aldrin & Monclovia (2007) - The Pillbugs [#4, 2008]

Tio Bitar (2007) - Dungen [#5, 2008]

A Rather Solemn Promise (2007) - Tom Carter & Christian Kiefer [#8, 2008]

Into The Sun: Live At Burg Herzberg dvd (2007) - Space Debris [#7, 2008]... Well, I bought it, but my domestic DVD player can't handle the region.

BBC "A to Zed" BTWS

"Before we start, if we start, I gotta know something: the things I say to you, what comes out, is that just between us... like a lawyer or a priest? Absolutely, he said. No matter what? No matter what. I watched him when he said it, I believed him. How do we start? We started when you walked in here. So then I had to laugh, HAHA! Alright, you got me! All I had was an opening. I didn't know where you'd go from there, so I couldn't be there ahead of you."

Birth EP
Whenever I load stuff onto my iPod, my car stereo resets to continue playing a 2-hour podcast of a BBC show, featuring one of Beyond the Wizards Sleeve. It's "The A-Z of Erol Alkan" from Radio 1.

When it starts (if it starts), it's gotta go:
A: Art of Noise – "Close To The Edit"
B: Beach Boys – "All I Wanna Do"
C: Can – "Vitamin C"

Apparently, the host has done a ton of A-Z shows with different musical acts.


I'm only now up to J, but it reminded me to continue my project of figuring out the puzzle of Ark.1 (2008)~~~


Track 2: "Get Ready to Fly"
Could not find original, but I actually do dig this French psychedelic-experimental band and their own song "Ready to Fly" (2008)! Which I might have originally found looking for BTWS originals...
[Edit 5/9/10: Thanks to the Anonymous comment! For pointing out what it is: re-animated The Hooterville Trolley "No Silver Bird." Awesome!!!]


Track 3: "Dig It" - re-animated Monkees "Can You Dig It?" (from the film Head, 1968). Definitely the most worthy thing by the Pre-fabs. The movie, not necessarily this particular song.


Watch at DailyMotion

Track 4: "Electric Bananas" - re-animated Electric Prunes "The Great Banana Hoax" (1967). I only have their debut LP, which is pretty goofy '60s West Coast novelty garage.

Track 5: "Aglarsa Anam Aglar" re-animated 3 Hur-el song by the same name (1976). I'd assumed this was Turkish because of their '60s and '70s history of Westernized psych-rock music.

Track 6: "Sunday Morning Sun-g" - re-animated Bill Holt's "Program 10 Part 6" (1973), sooo great!

Track 7: "Don't Cry Girl" - still no idea, Hungarian spacey rock?

Track 8: "I Swim Around" - re-animated Neu! "Hallogallo" (1972), also sooo great!


Track 9: "Bubble Burst" - re-animated Small Faces' "Don't Burst My Bubble" (1968), not at all what I was expecting!



Track 10: "A Path Through The Forest" - re-animated synonymous song by The Factory (1967), included on the Nuggets II (2001) UK compilation.

Track 11: "Light Years" - The Rolling Stones' "2,000..." (1967)

Track 12: "Red Tuesday" - couldn't find this one either. A synth song with that title by The Frank David Selection led me to Moog/sitar player Okko Becker. But that lead unearthed only unrelated oddity, like this.

Track 13: "Winter in June" - gardening tips by this guy (discussed in this interview). [Link updated 3/27/10 from this.]

Track 14: "Midas Reversed" - re-animation of The Hollies "King Midas in Reverse" (1967)...


The Fold/Ark.1

Here's the best Archive.org BTWS search I could figure out, and here's the iTunes link for Erol Alkan podcast, which includes BTWS live sets. And here's more info on the podcasts.

Not much to listen to, but... Live! Spacemen 3's "Revolution" re-animated at The Green Man Festival 2009.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Os Haxixins - Os Haxixins (#5, 2007)

Somewhere to think, Need to leave you.
It appeared to me on grass, And if the rocks should fall.
David and his irises, In some place of mind - Rays.
Behind the UFO's, Between some sisters.
Later I come back... Acid driven, I returned crazy.
I go with the new! - títulos da canção


"Onde Meditar" from Os Haxixins (2007)

Ignoring the last three decades of musical advances (hell, three and a half!), Os Haxixins do one thing: mid-'60s garage-psych. And they do do it well. Drugs, fuzz, and rockin' in the streets of Sao Paolo, Brazil! Next time you have a happening and it freaks you out... you'll have been to a party where they were playing Os Haxixins, but never one where Os Haxixins were playing!! Based on this interview, I think the name is either Portuguese for Assassins or has something to do with hashish, or is a play on the connection between those.

Seriously, they've got the whole scene down. Songs rush by, with 17 in 40 minutes on the album, 3 minutes is an epic. You get some Mayo Thompson vocal stylings on "Dirty Old Man" (live), but overall, beyond the language, it could be any American punk band from the '60s with a fuzzbox and cheap organ. And it feels as vital as anything since the originals. "Preciso Te Deixar", "Surgia por Sobre a Relva" (live) - that's right, I'm just throwing song links in randomly!


***After tinkering with this, dropping the volume, upping the quality... I think that's the best I can do, without making it a 10min load. The album does not have that fluttering though.***

Not sure if it's purely the garage influence or just the similar levels of studio experience, but they get everything so right/wrong so effortlessly. The way certain instruments (guitar and organ) are so out front, weird early fade-outs while things are still going, etc... Most of the available clips are live (and YouTube), so it doesn't really convey the garage authenticity of the actual recordings. But the songs and the playing are up to the pure sounds of the freakout! Check out the interplay on the back half of "E Se as Pedras Cairem" (embedded above). Or "Em Algum Lugar da Mente" (live), or "Raios" (live)... I want them playing the Astral Headspace Fest 2010!!



There's another studio one, "Depois eu Volto!" And another from the album, "Acido Fincado!" And "Eu Vou de Novo" (live).

Okay. Awesome, right? Here's the A-side to last year's fantastic single, "Depois de um LSD" ("After Some LSD")! Something tells me Mtv Brasil is slightly cooler than the American version... ever was.




Oh, I looked it up: "haxixe" is Portuguese for hashish.

Os Haxixins
Official/Myspace - myspace.com/oshaxixins
Purchase - Bomp Store [LP]
iTunes - Not yet...

Genre - Brazilian '60s Fuzz Garage
Review - Alborde