Thursday, April 28, 2005

cult of the week - Nomeansno

artist: Nomeansno

title: Mama

year: 1984

label: self-pressed

personnel: Rob Wright (bass, vocals, guitars), John Wright (drums, vocals, keyboards)

tracklisting: living is free, my roommate is turning into a monster, red devil, mama’s little boy, we are the chopped, no sex, rich guns, no rest for the wicked, living in detente

cotw say…

two decidedly geeky looking brothers from British Columbia soon grew into one of the premier punk bands of the last twenty years. and yet, before Nomeansno first fielded any guitar-based neuroses, they debuted with this, totally different musical proposition.

‘Mama’ really should be heard by lots of people. to describe it as ‘jazzy-Devo’ is a start perhaps, but that tag must not be allowed undermine the standalone brilliance of this record. keyboards and guitar are pushed far back into the mix (and usually dropped completely) in favour of the quite brilliant chunky bass runs and drum fills of the likes of ‘Rich Guns’ And ‘Mama’s Little Boy’. of course, the Wright brother’s warped vision and deviant humour are never that far away, particularly on ‘…Roommate…’, ‘No Sex’ and the intense swirl of ‘Red Devil’.

so, should you hunt down Nomeansno’s first album? yes, and we mean it maaaan!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hasil Adkins, R.I.P.

The man who ate the can of Campbell's soup that Andy signed and hadn't the slightest clue that he'd done anything wrong has passed. Let's have a hunchin' moment of silence for a true weirdo.

The Future of the Music Dork in the Digital Age

Until I can get Cathy Lynch's great photos of Monday night's reading at Moe's into an uploadable state, I'll hold off on posting a recap. We had a blast, though, and you can get an idea of the proceedings by visiting Jay Hinman's Agony Shorthand blog, where he's posted the piece he read on the pressing question of just what's next for compulsive collector types. (I think Jay's maybe onto something with his predictions. Heck, liner note queen Dawn Eden already has exchanged chamber pop for Jesus Christ.)

Dylan Symposium in NY, moderated by LITG contributor Andrew Hultkrans

His Back Pages: Writers on Dylan
A Panel Discussion on Bob Dylan at Housing Works Used Book Café

Jonathan Lethem (novelist, Motherless Brooklyn, Fortress of Solitude)
Luc Sante (author, Low Life, The Factory of Facts)
Susan Wheeler (poet, Smokes, Source Codes)
David Gates (novelist, Preston Falls, The Wonders of the Invisible World)
Robert Polito (author, Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson)

Co-moderated by Alan Light (editor-in-chief, Tracks magazine) and Andrew Hultkrans (author, Forever Changes)

Wednesday, May 4, 2005, 7PM

Admission is free; Book donations encouraged

Housing Works Used Book Café
126 Crosby St. btwn. Houston and Prince Sts.
Phone: 212.966.0466

Sunday, April 24, 2005

cult of the week - Equal Local

artist: Equal Local

title: Madagascar

year: 1981

label: Missing Link

personnel: Dean Richards (electric guitar, electric bass), Philip Jackson (synthesizers, beat programmes), Melissa Webb (synthesizers, piano), Bryce Perrin (acoustic bass), Mick Hauser (saxophone)

tracklisting: madagascar, the cult of simplicity, block at the top

cotw say…

comprising various figures from the Melbourne post-punk scene - most notably ex-members of synthpunk band Whirlywirld - Equal Local where a popular, if short-lived, live act in the early 80s. despite never managing to stretch their particular oeuvre over a full album, this brief EP remains an significant musical manifesto.

an instrumental ‘synth’ band that employs acoustic bass, sax and piano does sound as original as it reads (reeds?). over ticking rhythm boxes, Richards and Co. weave hypnotic little tunes that, if anything, hint at a noirish take on American east coast jazz-fusion. throughout, ‘Madagascar’ certainly conjures up images of underground spy or thriller films. and whether intentional or not, ‘The Cult of Simplicity’ and (the left-hand piano run of) ‘The Block at the Top’ pack plenty of suspense around their sparse arrangements.

local, maybe. but equal to what exactly?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Give the Geeks Some Love

So advises the SF Weekly, which picks our Moe's reading in Berkeley as the thing to do next Monday night, to wit:

Monday, April 25, 2005
With our day jobs to hack through and cats to feed, who has time to rifle through the used record bins at thrift stores to find that perfect score? Luckily, Los Angeles based Scram Magazine's new book, Lost in the Grooves, paws through the dusty bins so we don't have to, offering more than 100 tributes to obscure aural ephemera. Scram's vinyl junkies come to the Bay Area tonight to share stories about their most demented finds. Highlights include Jay Hinman's lecture on "The Future of the Music Dork in the Digital Age" and John Trubee's Behind the Music style tale of making a fake suicide threat to get a record deal. Give the geeks some love at 7:30 at Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph (at Dwight), Berkeley. Admission is free; call (510) 849-2087 or visit

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Free Lost in the Grooves Bay Area Events

We're taking the book on the road next week with two great happenings in Berkeley and SF. Thanks, Cathy & Rik for the nifty flier! Hope to see you there, or the other there!

On Monday, April 25, 2005, 7:30pm, Moe's Books, Berkeley, CA. Lost in the Grooves contributors read, sign books and share tales of record collector excess.
Location: 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley CA 94704, phone (510) 849-2087. Reading: Kim Cooper (editor, LITG, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, and Scram Magazine) David Smay (editor, LITG and Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth), Max Hechter, Brian Doherty, Richard Henderson, David Cotner, Jay Hinman, Chas Glynn, Michael Lucas, Kevin Carhart, Alec Palao, plus a special guest appearance from LITG featured artist John Trubee.

Saturday, April 30, 2005, 9:00pm, Rite Spot Cafe, free show featuring Scott Miller performing songs from Game Theory and the Loud Family albums featured in Lost in the Grooves PLUS Savage Republic/ 17 Pygmies guitarist Jackson Del Rey performs Savage Republic songs not heard for more than a decade. Location: 2099 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110, phone: (415) 552-6066.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Yikes Weekly

Our pals at Fantagraphics just announced that Scram 16 cover artist (and the best cartoonist of childhood since Sparky Schulz) Steven Weissman is launching a weekly online "Yikes" strip, featuring those adorable demons Li'l Bloody, Kid Medusa and "Sweet" Chubby Cheeks.

A new "Yikes" strip will be available every Monday morning on the Fantagraphics site via a prominent "YIKES" link on the home page. There's already a sample up if you click on the graphic at the top of this page, but it's coming up too small to read easily, at least on my browser. I'm sure they'll work out the bugs momentarily. -Kim Cooper

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Jack Nitzsche's 'Hearing is Believing'

I just recently purchased the new Jack Nitzsche collection “Hearing is Believing: 1962-1979” and I am not totally in love with this collection – but I am really intrigued with Nitzsche and his work.

For instance I love his “Lonely Surfer” album and a friend of mine got me a copy on vinyl “Jack Nitzsche Plays Chopin” (I may not have the correct name of the title) and that is super as well. I also like his work in Crazy Horse – not that crazy about Neil Young’s material – but really love his arrangements on the Stones recordings as well as his work on the Spector records.

Most of the material on this collection I feel is sort of ‘hack’ work done by a really great arranger. I am sure there are reasons why they couldn’t use material like Jagger’s ‘Memo from Turner” from “Performance” (another great piece of work by Nitzsche) and that I think is a great shame.

So I was wondering if anyone on this list or blog has heard this collection and what their thoughts are on it. There are 26 songs and I think half of them are either really interesting or just plain fantastic.

cult of the week - Palais Schaumburg

artist: Palais Schaumburg

title: Das Single Kabinett

year: 1981

label: ZickZack

personnel: Holger Hiller, Thomas Fehlmann, Timo Blunck, Ralf Hertwig, F. M. Einheit

tracklisting: rote lichter, gluecklich wie nie, kinder der tod (version), telephon, kinder der tod, aschenbecher

cotw say…

misleadingly lumped in with the numerous ‘Neue Deutsche Welle’ bands [German New Wave], Palais Schaumburg remain perhaps the greatest German alternative band of the very early 80s. ‘Das Single Kabinett', simply collects together their early singles to provide the neatest summary of where Schaumburg were at.

the basic ingredients were intriguing enough. treated rhythm boxes and wandering bass riffs, all topped off by Holger Hiller’s highly neurotic, occasionally deadpan, vocals. what’s key, however, are the powerful electronic effects and strange sampled noises that flick on and off throughout, serving as a taster to the excellent music that Hiller would put out as a solo artist later in the decade. drums make their debut on the (almost) catchy ‘Telephon’, with the rest of side two continuing to expand the sound. the inclusion of trumpet on both, the second take of ‘Kinder Der Tod’, and the Beefheart constructs of ‘Aschenbecher’, makes them particularly appealing and provides a good introduction to the sound the eponymous debut album that followed.

this mini-lp remains fairly hard to find. a sad state of affairs for music that deserves to be held in much higher esteem.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Do You Digg Us? Really Really Digg Us?

Have you been enjoying the historic L.A. 1947project, with its recent posts on brawling Vegas-bound plane passengers, duck-crazy vegetarians, cranky hold-up men and guys looking for their babies in the strangest places?

If so, please visit Digg to state that you think the 1947project is worthy of note. You can Digg anonymously with a simple click, or create an account and become a known Digger. This is nifty site for getting a head start on things that will be in millions of inboxes a couple of days from now, and if our site gets more Diggs, more people will see it as it moves up in the ranks. So thanks! -Kim Cooper

Jake Thackray makes MeFi

Lost in the Grooves fave rave, the uncategorizable Jake Thackray gets a front page post at internet clearinghouse Metafilter today. Dave Thompson reviewed his Last Will and Testament LP in the book. -Kim Cooper

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

C'est Le Tosh et le Vian dans Book Soup Ce Soir!

Here's an announcement of a delightful, free event hosted by Lost in the Grooves contributor and publishing maven Tosh Berman, tonight in West Hollywood. Tosh is an hilarious speaker, as anyone who saw his Billy Fury tribute at Vroman's last month can attest. This is a must for those in the vicinity... if you're planning to attend, be sure to email Tosh to ask that he make a CD for you. (It may be too late to reserve one, though--sorry I didn't post this sooner) -Kim Cooper

Just a quick reminder that the translator Paul Knobloch and me, Tosh the publisher, will be presenting Boris Vian's 'Autumn in Peking' at Book Soup this coming Wednesday April 13th at 7:00 P.M. I will be giving a small lecture on Vian & Paul will read an excerpt from 'Autumn in Peking.'

The event is free, there will be wretched wine (on a budget), the entire TamTam Books line (besides Vian, there is also Serge Gainsbourg and Guy Debord) for sale - and as a special gift for those who come to the event - a free CD of really rare Vian related music.

For instance the original soundtrack to 'I Spit on Your Graves,' plus recordings by Vian (both his jazz work as well as his songs) and if not all, at least most of his pals : Juliette Greco, Henri Salvador, Alain Goraguer, Andre Popp, Claude Nougaro, and a vintage Serge Gainsbourg among others.

At the moment I can only offer this free cd to those who are coming to the event at Book Soup. If you can drop me a line ( and let me know if you are coming to the event - it will give me an idea how many cd's to make.

Thanks /Merci

Monday, April 11, 2005

Rodney on the Walk

Go Go Giddle Partridge alerts me to a burgeoning campaign to honor longtime KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer--AKA the guy who promoted all your favorite music for decades without getting rich (though he did get to kiss a lot of young girls)--with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This isn't as improbable as it sounds: there are plenty of old time broadcasters on the Blvd., their stars marked with a snazzy retro microphone graphic, and the main barrier to getting a star these days is coming up with the outrageous nomination fee, currently $15,000.

I grew up in Hollywood, and Rodney was my two-streets-over neighbor (1400 N. blocks of Vista and Sierra Bonita respectively), so it would be pretty cool if this came off.

If you'd like to contribute, spread the word or visit the site and make a Paypal donation. (Cher was the first to open her spangly handbag.) And no, in case you're wondering, he never kissed me. However, he did tell a girl from my class that he could get her really good Rolling Stones tickets. -Kim Cooper

Fleagles Rock Downey

Edwin's new band the Fleagles are playing at the Anarchy Library on Friday, April 15. Check out the flier here, and go down to drown your tax day woes in the teen punk mecca in the town the Carpenters made memorable.

Lemme spread the word...

Since it seems I have a gift for writing press releases that get noticed, and my email press list is bulging at the metaphoric seams, I've decided to launch a new venture called Explosive PR.

There are a lot of great, full service publicists that will take care of a band through a tour and record release, following up with writers and reporting progress to the label. Explosive PR is a different kind of publicity agency; I call it Publicity Lite. For a very low price (starting at $99 for a press release and media mailing, with discounts for multiple mailings), I can create and circulate an effective press release to a network of thousands of working journalists and editors. The band or label is listed as the contact person for further inquiries.

If you’d like to promote an artist, but don’t have the budget to hire a full service agency, please check out to get an idea of what Explosive PR can do for you. -Kim Cooper

Sunday, April 10, 2005


I'm Margaret and I'm the newest member of the LITG blog family.

I'm coming from an odd direction. My record collection and I have been apart for three LONG years so I'm getting re-acquainted with some old favorites and wondering why, in some cases, I hoarded such absolute, mind-numbing garbage. Please join me as I weed out the pure foolishness from worthless junk and blather about some of the greatest uses for plastic on Earth.

We'll also be playing a grand game together called "Back to the Curb" where this poor record hoarder, having seen the light of back pain upon moving her thousands of LPs cross-country, now devotes her summer to selling or throwing away at least one third of her record collection. Yes, it can be done! It ain't moving back to California. I'll tell you that much.

cult of the week - Voice Farm

artist: Voice Farm

title: The World We Live In

year: 1982

label: Systematic Records

personnel: Charly Brown (lead vocals, keyboards, treatments), Myke Reilly (backup vocals, keyboards, electronic percussion), Debra Hanes (drums, synare)

tracklisting: a.m. city, lost adults, beatnik, davy’s big battle, mam made me do it, sally go round the roses, double garage, follow me home, voyeur, cheeno, over and over

cotw say…

the second instalment in our ‘Sally Go Round the Roses’ series comes via this San Francisco electronic group, whose debut album remains remarkably different from the comparatively conventional electronic pop fayre offered up by Brown and Reilly later in the decade.

‘The World We Live In’ is not an easy album to describe. a not-unpleasantly disjointed collection of synth experiments that comprises instrumentals (e.g. the noirish ‘Follow Me Home’ and melodically Numanesque ‘A.M. City’ - check out the great ‘boiinng’ noise), reverb-heavy, undanceable, songs (e.g. ‘Over and Over’, ‘Beatniks’, ‘Double Garage’), and general oddness (‘Cheeno’). a dreamlike – sometimes nightmarish – quality pervades throughout, giving the impression that there’s much more to Voice Farm than initially meets the ear. and yet, the group chooses to adorn the front cover sporting nothing more than their underwear! certainly crediting a single member with drums is somewhat misleading on an album where the rhythm box rules.

the world we live in. a mighty strange place indeed.

Erik -

Friday, April 08, 2005

33 1/3 blog

David Barker, editor of Continuum's 33 1/3 series, for whom I'm soaking in Neutral Milk Hotel lore for a book due out late this year, has launched a blog for sharing news about the series. Earlier this week he posted an excerpt from Don McLeese's upcoming volume on the MC5's Kick Out the Jams (their most book-worthy album, I reckon, though for sheer sonic bliss gimme gimme High Time), plus a full list of upcoming titles. I didn't realize that Ric Menck was doing Notorious Byrd Brothers--which is great; you definitely want a studio wonk to explain what was going on in that gorgeous slab o' PVC. -Kim Cooper

Must-have psych discs for new/renewing subscribers

Pat Thomas writes to inform us that the latest issue of HARP magazine is the "psychedelic" issue, and features a list of the 10 "Must Have" Psychedelic Records of the eighties. #5 is Absolute Grey's "Green House." We still have a few copies of the 20th anniversary expando edition of the "Green House" CD available to Scram subscribers, be they new or renewing, so if you're curious, email to reserve your copy now.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Eek, an APE!

Bay Area Scramsters with a yen for sequential art are directed to attend the Alternative Press Expo and related events this coming weekend.

You can visit with Scram's official cover artiste Miss Andrice Arp (issues #1, 10 and the current #20) at the Alternative Comics tables (#434-435), where she will be holding court with her colleagues from Hi-Horse. They'll also have some art on view at the Glacial Hobo art gallery, tables #459-461. Glacial Hobo is also home to new art from Tom Neely, who did all the wonderful art in Lost in the Grooves and the cover of Scram #18.

And on Friday night, our pal Jesse Reklaw (who does the marvelous dream-toon Slow Wave) will be hosting a night of nutty animation, the Kartoon Kocktail.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Scram Swag

Did you know we have all kinds of nutty Scram and Lost in the Grooves inspired products in our Cafepress shops? Like this Peter Bagge mousepad for one...

Lost in the Grooves happenings in Berkeley & SF

Bay Area Scramsters are urged to join us for two groovy, free events in the last week of April.

Monday, April 25, 2005, 7:30pm, Moe's Books, Berkeley, CA. Lost in the Grooves contributors read, sign books and share tales of record collector excess. Location: 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley CA 94704, phone (510) 849-2087.

Saturday, April 30, 2005, 9:00pm, Rite Spot Cafe, free show featuring Scott Miller performing songs from Game Theory and the Loud Family albums featured in Lost in the Grooves PLUS Savage Republic/ 17 Pygmies guitarist Jackson Del Rey performs Savage Republic songs not heard for more than a decade. Location: 2099 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110, phone: (415) 552-6066.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Back from Athens

'Scuze the absence of editrix-penned posts recently: I've been in Athens, GA, interviewing folks for the Neutral Milk Hotel book I'm writing for the 33 1/3 series. My lovely assistant Craig and I started feeling like we were in the midst of a Citizen Kane scene, as each person we talked to supplied new facets of this fascinating and touching story. I'm more excited to be working on this book all the time.

Thanks go out especially to Mike, Eric and Leslie, who were such great hosts even as the former two raced to complete the new Athens Music Museum (website still in progress) for Sunday's grand opening. The indefatigable Mike and Eric work at Wuxtry Records, host Athens Popfest, publish Bee's Knees zine and put out indiepop records under the Happy Happy Birthday To Me label. They also know some pretty amazing stories about rednecks.

And even if they'd been really mean to us, I'd still say that you should check out Leslie's Pancake Meow website, where she sells the most astonishingly realistic scented clay jewelry that looks like cakes, pies, ice cream and (wow, unbelievably perfect) stacks of maple and butter drenched pancakes.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

cult of the week - Del-Byzanteens

artist: Del-Byzanteens

title: Lies to Live By

year: 1982

label: Don’t fall off the mountain

personnel: Josh Braun (percussion and drums), Dan Braun (percussion and drums), Jim Jarmusch (vocals, keyboards), Philippe Hagen (bass), Phil Kline (vocals, guitar)

tracklisting: lies to live by, draft riot, war, sally go round the roses, girls imagination, welcome machines, apartment 13

cotw say…

actors becoming singers and singers becoming actors is an all too familiar occurrence these days. that’s what makes acclaimed film director Jim Jarmusch’s stint in the this fleeting post-punk band such a welcome distraction. but even that should not be allowed to detract from acknowledging The Del-Byzanteens as a fine New York post-punk band.

‘Lies to Live By’ starts off excellently with a serious of memorable, non-aggressive statements, typified by the guitar-bass-keyboard interplay of the melodic title track. by contrast, the far darker, percussive turns of ‘Girl’s Imagination’ and the outstanding ‘Welcome Machines’ on side two are reminiscent of early Wall of Voodoo in absolute top form (minus Ridgway’s drawl).

one of the surprise moments of the lp is a seriously cool reading of the Jaynetts’ haunting ‘Sally Go Round the Roses’. even more interesting perhaps, is that another band on the opposite coast was busy interpreting it too. next week, folks, next week.

Erik -

Friday, April 01, 2005

The world is a very strange place. 2nd live Jandek show announced.