Friday, April 28, 2006

Moving House

Editrix Kim will be taking her future LITG postings to the new and improved, currently featuring great lost albums and a couple dozen ace obscure music bloggers.

Users of feed readers can subscribe to Kim's blog here.

Or just pop over to the site and poke around.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

First Nick Sylvester, then this

Tis the season for petitions. Chuck Eddy was let go from his music editor position at the Village Voice yesterday. Sign here to urge the new owners to reconsider.

To Michael Lacey and Andy Van De Voorde of Village Voice Media:

We the undersigned, consisting of music publicists, music people and Village
Voice readers, hereby request the reinstatement of Chuck Eddy as music
editor of the Village Voice. The official reason given for his termination
was "reasons of taste." Seeing as Chuck did his job and did it with
efficiency, intelligence, character and humor, to say nothing of good taste,
we find the grounds for his dismissal unreasonable bordering on
incomprehensible and ask that he be restored to the position he has occupied
for the last seven years.

Village Voice senior editor and rock critic Robert Christgau said of Eddy,
"There have been many good music editors, but Chuck Eddy was the most
efficient, most professional I worked with. He was fabulous to work with. He
was the only editor who got his sections in not on time, but ahead of time.
He was so easy to work with. He was great."

Since Village Voice Media assumed control of the Voice in November, Chuck is
the 17th employee to leave the paper, either by resignation or termination.
It is clear that the Voice is being made to change in ways that are
rendering it indistinguishable from every other weekly in the country. Chuck
had been writing for the Voice since 1984, it was voices like his that made
it the paper what it was. Their loss is our loss.


Mark Gorney - Worldisc (
Josh Mills - It's Alive Media (
Regina Joskow - Universal Music (

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Zines for Amoeba Petition Success!

Just one week after the editors of The Big Takeover, Dumb Angel Gazette, Roctober, Scram and Ugly Things posted an open letter to Amoeba Music seeking to get the store to carry indie zines, and after more than 350 kind folks took the time to sign the attached petition (link below) pledging their support, we were contacted by the management of Amoeba's L.A. store with a gracious email offering to work with us to make a select group of high quality indie music magazines available to their customers. Interested publishers can contact me for more information.

The specifics of the zine section are yet to be determined, and it's not clear which stores beyond LA will be effected, but for now I just wanted to spread the good word. It's great to know that sometimes all it takes to get a timely idea adopted is finding the right way to ask. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to sign the petition or forward it, and stay tuned for Zines at Amoeba!


Thursday, April 06, 2006

McDonald's History Tour, April 22 in SoCal

Scramsters are invited to join our pal Chris Nichols as he leads a groovy tour into the secret recesses of fast food history. It's the:

McDonald's History Tour
Saturday, April 22

Join McHistorian Chris Nichols to discover the rich and hidden history of Richard and Maurice McDonald, founders of McDonald's. Travel in a luxury motor coach down Route 66 and into the Inland Empire where you will visit the sites and people that helped form the world's largest restaurant chain.

Tour stops will include a working orange grove, you'll tour a 19th century blacksmith shop where the first automation tools were invented, a visit to the museum on the site of the very first McDonald's. We'll also meet some of the folks who were there at the beginning. From a carhop to the neon man who installed the very first golden arches.

A non-McDonald's lunch will be served at the museum. Snacks and water will be provided. Our story starts when the brothers come to California and ends when Ray Kroc buys McDonald's.

McDonald's History Tour
Saturday, April 22
$50 all inclusive
Send payment to:

Chris Nichols
c/o Los Angeles magazine
5900 Wilshire Blvd., 10th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90036

or paypal to :

Questions? Call 213-804-4184

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Amoeba Needs Zines!

Dear friends,

In tandem with my fellow editors of The Big Takeover, Dumb Angel Gazette, Roctober and Ugly Things, I've launched a petition campaign asking Amoeba Music to begin carrying zines in their California stores.

Since Amoeba came to Los Angeles, Rhino and Aron's Records have closed down, leaving us with very few places where independent music zines can be found. Since the management of Amoeba doesn't want to talk with us about carrying zines, we hope we can change their minds by showing them how many music fans would welcome the addition of zines to their stores.

So please, if you are a music fan and a reader of zines, take a moment to click below and tell Amoeba that you'd like to be able to find both in their stores. And spread the word!

On behalf of my fellow editors, the artists we review, our printers and folks who like to read in the bathtub, I thank you.

best regards,

The Cool Die in Sets of Three

You can stop holding your breath now:

Buck Owens
Nikki Sudden
Gene Pitney

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Phil Ochs Tribute, Sunday night in Brooklyn

Never mind the moribund Ochs tributes. Occasional Monk Mike Fornatale and pals send Phil's songs out into the ether in a spirit of glee:

Come see us play! Raucous Phil Ochs tribute show!

We will be bashing our way [tenderly] through a brace of our favorite Phil
Ochs songs on the 30th anniversary of his death, April 9 (Sunday) at 8PM.


We've been to Phil Ochs tribute shows in the past. (OK, if you haven't, then
just play along.) They tend to be a bit morose. Even dire, sometimes.

Yes, the guy wrote some pretty depressing songs, fair enough. And people who
play these songs at tribute shows tend to dwell on the sad, hopeless aspects
of them -- compounded by the unavoidable fact that, after all, THE GUY KILLED
HIMSELF after his muse melted away.

But to us, Phil's music isn't about depression, it's about redemption.
Besides -- you know us, we don't do "morose." We're raising the bar. ;)

In fact, we're going to raise the entire bar (Magnetic Field, Brooklyn --
where else?) about ten feet in the air, on Sunday April 9, at 8PM, with a
somewhat cheery and rollicking set of Phil Ochs songs played as only we would
them -- and go ahead and read into that whatever you like.

So come, if you're a fan. Come if you're NOT a fan -- you will be by the time
we're done with you. And get there on time, dammit, you do not want to miss
the accordion solo. Or the red white and blue Buck Owens guitar, or the orange
Burns 12-string -- that's right, orange. If that's not worth your time then I
don't know what is.

Who? Peter Stuart -- bass, acoustic and electric guitars, echoplex, singing,
Ben Franklin glasses. Mike Fornatale -- acoustic, electric and 12-string
guitars, banjo, singing, accordion (maybe) and soulless yuppie accountant
Wendy Fornatale -- keyboards, acoustic and electric guitar, no singing, and
she'll probably be wearing contacts. Mike Sinocchi (of The Insomniacs) making
his first fill-in appearance with us -- drums, no singing, no glasses, and
really cool hair. And Mike O'Neill (whom I haven't even met yet -- hope he
comes to
rehearsal tomorrow) on occasional bass. I don't know if he wears glasses or
not, but I'll let you know soon.

Magnetic Field
97 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11201

So we'll see you there, yes?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Go See The Fleagles!! Free! Sunday in L.A.

The Fleagles will be celebrating the release of their new CD "Goodbye to Mars" this Sunday 4/2 at Mr. T's Bowl with a free show. The Fleagles will be playing two sets, and in between DJ Don Waller, Agent 00Soul, will be spinning the platters.

Date: Sunday, April 2
Time: 7pm
Place: Mr. T's Bowl, 5621 1/2 Figueroa, Highland Park, CA, 323-692-3136
Directions: Take the 110 freeway northeast from I-5. Get off on Ave 52 exit, go left. Right on Figueroa. Park in parking lot behind Mr. T's and enter from the back.

Sign Jeff Barry's Birthday Card

If you love those great girl group records, Andy Kim and the Archies, send a little birthday love out to the genius who made them swing when you sign songwriter/producer Jeff Barry's virtual b-day card. Bubblegum webmistress Laura Pinto says: "The big day is next Monday, April 3rd, and I want to do something special for Jeff's 68th so I've set up a QuickTopic message board just like I did for Ron [Dante]'s birthday last August. Here's the link:

Monday, March 27, 2006

Bubblegum Achievement Awards DVD Release

October was International Bubblegum Month, a celebration of the chewy chewy sound that stretched from Europe to Canada to Australia, with the grandest of happenings in Los Angeles: the 2nd Biannual Bubblegum Achievement Awards.

Canned Hamm and the Bubblegum Queen performed live and hosted a night of many delights, including a puppet spectacular by the Bob Baker Marionettes, the L.A. premiere of a documentary based on the book "Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth," Abram the Safety Ape's tribute to Lancelot Link, and musical performances from Ron Dante solo and in duets with his fellow Archie (and 2003 Gummy winner) Toni Wine and the Ohio Express' Joey Levine.

Then it was time for the Gummy Awards, with trophies presented to Steve Barri (Lancelot Link, Grass Roots), Ron Dante (Archies), Dr. Demento (radio hero) & Joey Levine (Ohio Express).

Now available: a 71 minute DVD spectacular featuring the highlights from this most pink and magical night, The 2005 Bubblegum achievement Awards Show. Copies are available for $22 postpaid in the USA and for $25 elsewhere. Please send payment in US dollars to Scram, PO Box 31227, LA, CA 90031, or paypal to scram @ scrammagazine . com.

Please note that the documentary is not included in the DVD package, and the puppet show has been heavily edited due to time constraints. Special orders for a second DVD containing the entire puppet show are possible. Email scram @ scrammagazine . com for more info.

I used to have dreams like this...

...only they were always set in basements.

A small town Ohio family record store, frozen in time since 1970, has finally been sold to the highest bidder. The contents will be on view and passed on to new homes at the Austin Record Convention over the weekend. Gaze upon the photos, drool, and dream.

RIP Nikki Sudden

Terribly sad to learn pirate Nikki died over the weekend after a show in NYC.

Scram never got a Nikki interview, though we tried. He liked blondes too much to talk to brownette me and Maggot, but we did speak with his compadres David Kusworth and Marky in a little piece we call Drinkin' with the Jacobites.

Our sympathies go out to Nikki's family and friends.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

EMP Pop Conference Takes On The Guilty Pleasure

I like to think that our anthology Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth had a little something to do with giving a bunch of academics and rock critics the nerve to spend a long weekend wallowing in the guiltiest pleasures their devious little minds can devise. It's cheap! Drop by and leave your blush at the door.

For full schedule, click below--

Ain't That a Shame: Loving Music in the Shadow of Doubt
The 2006 Pop Conference at Experience Music Project
Seattle, Washington, April 27 - April 30

Friday, March 24, 2006

Federal Duck S/T CD (Radioactive)

When I get my time machine working, maybe the eighteenth or nineteenth thing I’m gonna do is port back to the studio where the Federal Duck were making their (I assume—it’s on Radioactive, so notes there’s not) sole album, grab hold of the pseudonymous producer’s lapels and hiss, “Listen, bub, you got an ace mournful New England garage pop songwriter in this George Stavis kid—so drop the rest of the repertoire and focus on the band genius and in 35 years fanzine writers will cream all over this disc instead of giving middling reviews that rely on that tired old time travel gimmick.” The Stavis tunes really are strong enough to recommend the whole album, which when not working this haunting, wintery academic sound ala the Rising Storm plays around with neo-Vaudeville, heavy acid rock, old time banjos and a smattering of head humor, all played with sophistication and imaginatively arranged. Surprised I’ve never heard of these ducks before.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dream Lake Ukelele Band on Lost in the Grooves

Dream Lake Ukulele Band is a Lost in the Grooves exclusive. Click to sample the music or purchase.

Dream Lake Ukulele Band
Dream Lake Ukulele Band
(Crest, 1976)

What do you get when you cross twenty-seven ukuleles, a Little Marcy record, and the Langley Schools Music Project? The result is a bizarre hybrid called the Dream Lake Ukulele Band, a Florida school group whose performances are documented on Crest Records, a New York vanity label. The back cover shows twenty-seven grade school aged students, all wearing white shirts and red vests, the boys also wearing neckties. Sound boring? Not when every kid is smiling and holding a ukulele.

The lead-off, “There’s So Many, Many Ways,” is one of the more charming Christian songs around, but I’m sure my opinion is altered by the sheer innocent joy of twenty-seven children’s voices singing in harmony while strumming their ukuleles. That spirit changes a bit though, when the songs veer off into the Bicentennial patriotic songs that fill the rest of Side 1. Such lyrics as "My Sunday school teacher loves me when I am never late" preceded by "God loves when I learn to shoot the gun" makes one wish that the band director would have been cool enough to be teaching the kids David Bowie songs.

Fortunately, Side 2 has the perfect antidote, for that is where the children present and sing their own original compositions. Compiled under headings such as "Wish Songs," "Name Songs," and "Music Songs," each features a progression of five to ten kids strumming and singing solo. These aren’t loud bratty kids singing "Tomorrow" at the top of their lungs, but more often small waif-like girls singing with very timid voices. My heart melts whenever I hear one girl who sings, "I am Mary, I like to play the ukulele" or another girl whose verse starts by saying her parents are always busy, and then proceeds with "Daddy is a band director, Mommy is a piano teacher, I love them." This record is listed as being Volume Seven, which definitely makes me wish that I also had volumes One through Six. (Vern Stolz, from the book Lost in the Grooves)

Are you a member of the Dream Lake Ukelele Band? If so, please contact us!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Chamber Strings on Lost in the Grooves

The newest addition to the Lost in the Grooves fold is The Chamber Strings, a Chicago band of the mid-'90s whose soaring orchestral pop art is like the interesection of Bacharach and Tonight's The Night-era Neil Young. Lovely stuff. Sample some tunes or buy a disk when you click here.

John Trubee's Prank Calls CDs, exclusively on Lost in the Grooves

The latest addition to the LITG music store are four of John Trubee's legendary Prank Call CDs, available for sample or download:

Greatest Prank Phone Calls Of All Time Vol. 1
Greatest Prank Phone Calls Of All Time Vol. 2
Greatest Prank Phone Calls Of All Time Vol. 3
Greatest Prank Phone Calls Of All Time Vol. 4

Monday, March 20, 2006

LITG Seeks Bloggers Of Underappreciated Sound

Do you have a blog or website that celebrates great neglected music/culture of the sort we honored in the Lost in the Grooves anthology? Are you interested in reaching a wider audience for your writing? Does your site generate an RSS feed, or are you willing to have a feed created?

If the answer to all of these questions is yes, you might be a candidate to join the Lost in the Grooves syndicate. At our new site,, we are currently syndicating or hosting the writings of 15 pop fiends. Syndication means we automatically republish their blog postings, with all links and images intact, with a link in every post pointing back to their blog. Hosting means we provide the blogging engine and technical support for the writer's blog.

We already have a terrific slate of blogs--including Andrew Earles, Cult of the Week, Domenic Priore, duck stab, Ed Ward, Gary Pig Gold, Hayden Childs, Ken Rudman, Mark Prindle, Mike Appelstein, Tony Sclafani, Tosh Berman and LITG illustrator Tom Neely--and are eager to add more to the roster. So if you are an offbeat music blogger, or you know and love one, please drop a line to me, Kim Cooper, at for more info.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Introducing The Lost in the Grooves Record Store

I am pleased to announce that after some digital hiccups that derailed
the first attempt at a Lost in the Grooves music store, we've been
taken under the wing of the Maryatt Music Group, and are back online
and in business selling MP3s of individual tracks (99 cents) or full
albums (most are $11.95) for download or as physical CDs. The site is
live at:

I hope you'll stop by to hear samples of tracks by our exclusive
artists, including:

BRUTE FORCE (linguistic trickster and singer of the farest-ever Apple
45)... COSTES (Suckdog's early collaborator, utterly unique Francophone
noise guru) ... FUGU (French one man band orchestral pop majesty)...
THE LEOPARDS (mid-70s Kansas City Kinksy pop legends)... GIBSON BROS
(mid-80s punk-blues visionaries from Ohio)... LIPSTICK KILLERS
(Australian surf-garage heroes, with Radio Birdman connections and
perfect pop sensibilities)... THE ORGONE BOX (one man band from rural
England channeling the most exquisite aspects of 60s pop-psych)... SEX
CLARK 5 (brainy, ultra-catchy Beatlesque pop from Huntsville,
Alabama)... SUCKDOG (post-punk avant-garde opera from the incomparable
Lisa Carver)... JOHN TRUBEE (iconoclastic prankster and deconstructer
of jazz and rock convention). Coming soon, more from JOHN TRUBEE and

LITG music is licensed directly from the artists, and they are paid for
every track sold. And due to our partnership with Maryatt Music Group,
you might even hear some of these tracks on soundtracks or in ads.

We welcome your comments and recommendations, on the LITG site or in
the community forum. We'll be adding new music, plus blogs from artists
and writers, regularly, so stay tuned.

Thanks for your interest in Lost in the Grooves, and for supporting
independent musicians.

-Kim Cooper, Editrix, Lost in the Grooves & Scram Magazine

Monday, March 13, 2006

Eefing on the air

Inspired by Deke Dickerson's article on eefing in the latest Scram, the always intriguing Jennifer Sharpe turned in a neat little exploration of that weirdly American rhythmic wheeze on NPR's Day To Day. It's archived here.

cult of the week - P'o

artist: P'o
title: Whilst climbing thieves vie for attention
year: 1983
label: Court Records

personnel: Peter Price (drums, keyboards), A.C. Marias (electric bass guitar, voice), David Tidball (clarinet, voice), Bruce Gilbert electric guitar), Graham Leiws (electric guitar, voice, keyboards)

tracklisting: time and time, back to back, holy joe, earl, vanite, today's version, i will, mhona, blind time, crystal streams

further info:

cotw say…

what with the re-release of their first three truly groundbreaking albums, it's time to, once again, celebrate the true post-punk genius of Wire. or at least one of the many solo projects featuring bassist Graham Lewis and guitarist Bruce Gilbert, recorded during the band's 1980-86 hiatus.

conceived initially as a live project (and partially improvised in places), "Climbing Thieves..." was hastily recorded before the band was forced to end. the deadpan vocals and drum machine of 'Time and Time' and thundering bass of 'Holy Joe' are reminiscent of a well-tempered Psychic TV. but although the music is decidedly avant garde in places ('Earl' has a creepy, ritualised feel), the slow-paced and semi-ambient album never loses it's sense of beauty, thanks in no small part to the haunting and strangely catchy 'Mhona'. the unmistakable highlight, however, remains 'Blind Tim', a heavily processed synth loop with oriental embellishments over which David Tidball offers a bizarre spoken monologue. once heard never forgotten.

given such P'o-tential, it remains a disappointment that the album's sound is rather muddy. however, we heartily recommend grabbing your wellies and wading towards it.

erik -

Thursday, March 09, 2006

To do: call Abram the Safety Ape, gross him out


Have a good story about a time you sent yourself to the
emergency room, set your hair on fire, or dropped a shot glass into
the garbage disposal... that sort of thing? Here's a chance to share
your story with the whole world wide web world!

A couple days ago, The Art of Bleeding began recording
stories for its GORY DETAILS AUDIO ARCHIVE. Just call the toll free
number, leave your story as a message, and within an hour or two, it
will be uploaded to our online archive so others can indulge in the
sweet schadenfreude of your most painful moments. More details at

Listen here:
GORY DETAILS 24-hr HOTLINE: 888-467-8535

Monday, March 06, 2006

Phil Ochs' early albums

Phil Ochs All The News That’s Fit To Sing CD (Collectors Choice)… The title of his debut record for Elektra and the cover photo paint Ochs as a topical folksinger and songwriter, a somewhat academic observer of his somewhat trying times. He’s already found a couple of unsung heroes to laud (Lou Marsh and Medger Evers), tosses a sweet nod at Woody Guthrie in the memorial tune “Bound For Glory,” but he also has a tendency to preach. So there’s welcome levity when “The Ballad of William Worthy” kicks in, a funny, sing-song catchy chronicle of a reporter who went to Cuba and had his citizenship stripped for the privilege. A promising debut, but stiff.
Medium Image

Phil Ochs I Ain’t Marching Anymore CD (Collectors Choice)… On his terrific second album, Ochs’ no longer comes across as an uptight young singer of issues, but as a loose and inventive composer using the folk/storytelling conventions to express a more personal vision--one that would reach its full flower after he left New York for the reinvention capital of Los Angeles. In the first two tracks, the title song and “In The Heat of the Summer,” he slips fluidly from the role of universal soldier to topical troubadour, explaining the summer’s riots through a sympathetic class analysis married to a lovely cyclical melody. His confidence, intelligence and the sweetness of his voice make him a fine tour guide to the psychic map of young, left wing America in 1965, and its interests in civil rights, the death penalty, division between the states and the rise of militarism. One flat point comes with “That Was The President,” a predictable and tedious dirge for Kennedy, but even that becomes interesting when placed beside the incredibly powerful song “The Crucifixion” that he’d write a few years later, once he’d processed his grief and disappointment and found metaphors to express how important JFK felt to Ochs and his peers.
Medium Image

cult of the week - Delta 5

artist: Delta 5
title: See the Whirl
year: 1981
label: Charisma

personnel: Alan (guitars, vocals, marimba), Ros (bass, vocals), Bethan (bass, vocals), Julz (guitar, vocals), Kelv (drums, percussion, marimba) and others
tracklisting: innocenti, final scene, circuit, open life, trail, shadow, delta 5, anticipation, journey, make up, triangle, waiting, telephone, different fur

further info:

cotw say…

with a CD compilation finally seeing the light of day this year, it's high time that we reassessed the work of Delta 5. very much part of the English post-punk 'funk' scene, Delta 5 are probably best remembered as a band with two (female) bassists. a band that, sadly, only managed to produce one full-length album before calling it quits in 1981.

syncopated rather than sinewy, and angular rather than angry, 'See the Whirl' is a measured, arty slice of post-punk that has much in common with The Raincoats as it does with Gang of Four. among the album's many attractive features are the highly distinctive, multi-tracked (unilateral) female vocals, which possess a beautifully deadpan, unhinged quality. similarly, the addition of a brass section, not to mention piano, expands the sound considerably and serves to take the band further away from funk to all sorts of places (big band, country, even latin). many will be disappointed by the lack of punch in the production - you would hardly notice that there are two bassists unless it was pointed out to you - but each short, speedy burst is as interesting as the next. highlights include 'Journey' (part of a second side that has slightly more in common with Gang of Four than the first), 'Innocenti', and more avant garde efforts such as 'Telephone' (with its syncopated chorus and cool guitar solo) and the cowboy romp of 'Trail'.

see the whirl. then purchase it immediately!

erik -

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

YouTube goodness for Lost In The Grooves fans: The Osmonds doing "Crazy Horses". DAMN!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Terrastock announcement, April in Providence

I wouldn't make too much of the " EXCLUSIVE USA appearance!" by Bridget St. John, who has lived in NYC for years, but then again I would because she is exxxxxxxxquisite!

"Terrastock and its audience are part of a necessary support system,
because in a music business centered on the search for the next big
thing, someone has to dig through record catalogues to discover the
next good thing, or search the archives to rediscover the last lost
thing." - New York Times

"A gathering of true believers, somehow combining the retro-obsessed
nerdiness of a Star Trek Convention with the most open-minded and
avant-garde elements
of the indie rock underground, all gathered together under the
genre-spanning umbrella of psychedelia."
- MOCA Los Angeles

TERRASTOCK is the official festival of internationally acclaimed
underground music mag, The Ptolemaic Terrascope (now Terrascope
Online), which has provided a voice to obscure, occult, mind-altering,
and deeply heavy aural explorations since 1989. Since its inception
in 1997, Terrastock has occurred five times, on both U.S. coasts and
in Europe. The festival gathers musicians and fans from all over the
world. The bill features a mix of big and small, wildly popular and
completely obscure, old, new, noisy, and quiet.

This year's line-up of over 30 bands brings performers from four
continents, including Japanese band Ghost (who will be making this
their last U.S. performance "at least until Bush is out of office"), re-emerged 60's
brit-folk icon Bridget St. John, Paik, P.G. Six, Charalambides,
Kemialliset Ystävät, Bardo Pond, Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood,
Kinski, Lightning Bolt, and the elusive grand-daddy of psych folk
himself: Tom Rapp of Pearls Before Swine.

So why are we telling you this? Because Terrastock is and has always
been a just-eeked-out D.I.Y. happening and we need you to help us
spread the word. This is a totally non-profit venture (the bands are not even paid!) but we
must cover enormous airfare, travel and hotel expenses for over 150
performers, not to mention venue, sound and equipment needs. All of this comes from ticket sales and we need your help to get the word out and sell some tickets. Tell
all your friends, or just come yourself!

We're also selling ads in our PROGRAM BOOK and we have tables
available for VENDORS. We are very interested in sponsorship too.
Please get in touch for more info!!

When: April 21-23
Where: Providence, RI, USA
For more information and ticket purchases:
Contact: Jeffrey Alexander :: :: (401) 831-9327

Terrascope Online, Secret Eye Records and AS220 present:

April 21-22-23 in Providence, RI
Pell Chafee Performance Center and AS220
35 bands! 35 hours of music!
Tickets on sale NOW!
PHONE CHARGE: 401-831-9327

Avarus (Finland) **first-ever and EXCLUSIVE USA appearance!
Bardo Pond (PA) ** EXCLUSIVE appearance!
Black Forest/Black Sea (RI)
Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood (Australia) **first-ever USA appearance!
Charalambides (CA/MA)
Cul de Sac (MA)
Damon and Naomi (MA)
Fursaxa (PA)
Ghost (Japan) ** EXCLUSIVE USA performance! quite possibly their
Glenn Jones (MA)
The Green Pajamas (WA)
Kemialliset Ystävät (Finland) **first-ever and EXCLUSIVE USA appearance!
Kinski (WA) ** EXCLUSIVE appearance!
The Kitchen Cynics (Scotland)
Sharron Kraus (England)
Landing (CT)
Larkin Grimm (RI)
Lightning Bolt (RI)
The Magic Carpathians Project (Poland) ** EXCLUSIVE USA appearance!
Major Stars (MA)
Marissa Nadler (RI)
MV/EE Medicine Show (VT)
Paik (MI)
PG Six (NY)
Jack Rose (PA)
Salamander (MN)
St Joan (England)
Bridget St. John (England) ** EXCLUSIVE USA appearance!
Spacious Mind (Sweden)
Spires that in the Sunset Rise (IL)
Tanakh (Italy/Canada)
Thought Forms (England) **first-ever USA appearance!
Urdog (RI)
Windy & Carl (MI)
plus TOM RAPP playing Pearls Before Swine songs with members of Ghost,
and Black Forest/Black Sea ** EXCLUSIVE appearance!

Kick-off show the previous night ("4/20", heh) with ACID MOTHERS
and AREA C -- at AS220

cult of the week - Manuel Goettsching

artist: Manuel Goettsching
title: E2-E4
year: 1984
label: Inteam

personnel: Manuel Goettsching (guitar, electronics)

tracklisting: quiet nervousness, moderate start, and cetral game, promise, queen a pawn, glorious fight, h.r.h. retreats, (with a swing), ...and sovereignty, draw

further info:

cotw say…

to produce an album that is heralded as being ahead of its time is one thing, but to have this happen to an album recorded three years prior to its first release, not to mention one that is essentially improvised (!), is quite something else.

when krautrock legends Ashra Temple's guitarist Manuel Goettsching sat down one evening in 1981 to improvise an hour long piece using nothing more than a guitar and synth sequence, he probably didn't bet on creating the world's first ever trance record. but arguably, 'E2-E4' remains just that. centered around a shuffling drum machine rhythm and a syncopated, melodic bass sequence - with a variety of 'ambiences' drifting in and out of the mix - the album is both totally hypnotic and, which is essentially what sets it apart, defiantly fresh and modern-sounding. indeed, I defy anyone to claim it sounds dated. a whole half-hour has actually gone by before any guitar comes in. even then, Goettsching's masterfully understated playing perfectly suits the backing, which remains fairly static for the album's second half. avoiding even the faintest hint of a 'rock' solo, Goettsching instead plays in a jazz style, with some reviewers even drawing comparisons to George Benson.

heavily sampled by Detroit techno pioneers, and part-inspiring the nineties' explosion in European trance, you heard it here first. classic, classic, classic.

erik -

Monday, February 27, 2006

Tagged, dag nabbit!

Adrienne Crew has the flu. And in her delerium, she has smeared me with a meme. And also Arianna Huffington, who I fear will not respond, so it's really the least I can do to tag back.

Four LA Things Meme

Four Jobs I've Had in My Life in LA:

Editrix, Scram Magazine
Exhibition Coordinator, MOCA
LP Shrinkwrapper, The Record Connection
Restaurant Critic, Citysearch

Four Movies About LA I Could Watch Over and Over:

The Cool Ones
Double Indemnity
In A Lonely Place
Meshes of An Afternoon

Four Places I’ve Lived All Over L.A. (with food memories from each)

Beverlywood, and Mama Tina's hamentoshen
Venice, and the cookies with sprinkles free from the bakery ladies just for being cute
West Hollywood, Pioneer Chicken dinner when mom didn't feel like cooking
Lincoln Heights, pistachio-cinnamon ice cream on a hot day on Broadway

Four LA Themed TV Shows I Love to Watch:

Quincy, ME
Where The Action Is
The Dr. David Viscott Show, featuring Dr. D.V.'s ginormous head

Four Places I Would Vacation at in LA:

The Biltmore
With the subterranean lizard people below Chinatown
Inside a revolving 76 Ball
Hotel Green (good enough for Duchamp, good enough for me.)

Four LA based Websites I Visit Daily:

LA Observed
LA Brain Terrain
Curbed LA
Lotta Livin

Four of My Favorite Foods Found in LA:

Chicken roll at 101 Noodle Express, Alhambra
Bean and rice burrito (no queso), Super Tortas, Hollywood
Chili en nogada, Babita Mexicuisine, San Gabriel
Glutinous rice balls in fermented rice mash, Giang Nan, San Gabriel

Four Places in LA I Would Rather Be Right Now:

Under the bell wheel, Museum of Jurassic Technology
Butterfly Pavillion, Natural History Museum
Mathematica, god damn it
Pandora's Box, 1966

Four LA Tags:

Allison Anders
Rodger Jacobs
Larry Harnisch
Jonathan Foerstel

Call for Artists: Save the 76 Ball!

This is an open invitation to artists who love the 76 Ball.

As you may know, Texas oil giant ConocoPhillips has purchased Union 76, and has been quietly pulling down the beautiful orange and blue 76 Balls and replacing them with ugly flat signs in red and blue. The ball's original designer, Ray Pedersen, is behind our petition and boycott campaign to Save The 76 Ball, as are nearly 1000 petition signers. Our campaign has received coverage on the BBC, LA Business Journal, Brandweek, OC Weekly and KIRO radio Seattle.

ConocoPhillips refuses to talk with the media about this issue, so you can bet they won't respond when we ask them to confirm or deny the rumors that the removed 76 Balls are being SMASHED INTO TINY PIECES. Since they are so secretive, I feel it's up to the artists of the world to show what's happening through the magic of pen, ink, Photoshop, etc. This is your chance to show what the powers that be don't want us to see--just like Goya, Gericault and Picasso!

If you'd care to contribute an image to the campaign, I would love to share it with the world on our website, along with a bio and link to your website. We got 51,000 hits over the past month, and I'm continuing to alert the media, so this could be a cool way to show your work off to gearheads and design fiends.

Please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested. Any help or suggestions you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

best regards,
Kim Cooper
Editrix, Scram Magazine
and chief troublemaker, Save The 76 Ball

Saturday, February 25, 2006

L.A. Radio Wackiness

Leaning over at the counter at the EZ Lube to read the costs on the screen, I saw the name of the other gal waiting for her car to be greased: Tina Delgado. My god, she really is alive!

Also: over on Franklin Avenue, Mike is sharing some vintage printed radio surveys for KFWB and KHJ.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Best Living Songwriters poll

Paste Magazine is taking a reader poll of the greatest 100 living songwriters (and songwriting teams), and you can click over and pick your top 20 now (look for the link at the middle right of the page). Write-ins are encouraged, so be sure to correct the obvious oversight of leaving Scram faves Deniz Tek, Scott Miller, Brute Force and John Parker Compton off the list.

Here's my picks (and I am sure I'm forgetting someone I'll regret); if you vote, please list yours on the comments below:
1) Alex Chilton
Arthur Lee
Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil
Brian Wilson
Carole King/Gerry Coffin (sic!)
Colin Blunstone/Rod Argent (they forgot Chris White, but I ain't blowing a write-in on one Zombie!)
Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry
Jeff Mangum
Jimmy Webb
Joni Mitchell
Pete Townshed
Ray Davies
Roky Erickson
Steve Earle
15) Peter Perrett (Only Ones)
17) Scott Miller (Game Theory/Loud Family)
18) Brute Force
19) John Parker Compton (Appaloosa)
20) Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Brute Force, Monday night in NYC

Scram fave Brute Force in a rare (in all senses of the term) performance:

Gramercy Park South Brutegig!!
Monday, February 27, 8PM
at the famous Players Club
16 East 20th Street

Monday, February 20, 2006

cult of the week - The Creepers

artist: Creepers

title: Rock 'n' Roll Liquorice Flavour

year: 1987

label: Red Rhino Records

personnel: Marc Riley (vocals, guitar, drums), Eddie Fenn (drums, guitar, piano), Phil Roberts (bass, vocals), Mark Tilton (guitar), Simon Taylor (guitar), Mike Gallagher (saxes), Jon Langford (guitar), Dick Taylor (guitar), Eric (accordian)

tracklisting: liquorice flavour, sweet retreat, cheshire life, rosalyn, derbyshire, tearjerker, fillet face, 'cept for you, fan club, act your age, bastard hat, curl up and dye

further info:

cotw say…

guitarist Marc Riley had his very own music industry baptism of fire by managing to remain a member of The Fall for a whopping 4 years. his post-Fall outfit, The Creepers, gradually grew in confidence with each of their five albums before finally calling it a day on this, their final, but greatest effort.

comparisons with The Fall are inevitable, but - with the exception of 'Fan Club' - unfounded as The Creepers' sound(s) is far removed, if still resolutely 'Northern'. Riley & Co. explore a far wider palette of sights and sounds on 'Rock 'n' Roll Liqourice Flavour', all of which are very palatable. in between excellent, melodic punky (not punk) songs such as 'Cheshire Life' and 'Curl Up and Dye', you'll find the honky tonk drinking song piano of 'Sweet Retreat', eighties indie ('Tearjerker'), avant folk ('Bastard Hat'), something approaching goth ('Cept for You') and a neat cover of The Pretty Things' 'Rosalyn'. the cool metronomic drums, sinister riffs, distorted stylophone and bizarre spoken monologue of the album's standout 'Derbyshire' warrants a special mention. Riley's versatile voice adjusts perfectly to every setting on the album, with the band duly following suit. accordian is used to particularly great effect.

a fine album, with barely two tracks that are the same. liqourice allsorts indeed!

erik -

Sunday, February 19, 2006

LA event announcement: Report from the Ghost City, 2/24-25


The Disembodied Theater Corporation brings you an evening of dispatches, news, songs, and fragments from the Ghost City: the skeletal remains of industry, railways, and graveyards that stand as remnants of a lost society. Filmmaker Ross Lipman joins this odd assortment of media artists, musicians, and performers in presenting a haunting assemblage of ruins, rants, and shards of memory that paint a collective portrait of dystopia.

Featuring new works by:

Jewlia Eisenberg (of Charming Hostess)
Rebekah Greely (of WACO)
Steve Gregoropoulos (of WACO, Lavender Diamond)
poet Jen Hofer
Nora Keyes (of the Centimeters)
filmmaker Ross Lipman
Heather Lockie (of Listing Ship, Eels)
soprano Claire McKeown
filmmaker Lee Anne Schmitt
pianist Anna Simpson
Laura Steenberge (of Listing Ship)
Joe Tepperman (of Ego Plum Ebola Music Orchestra)


is a newly created performance group founded by filmmaker Ross Lipman to realize temporary manifestations of non-filmic cinemas


is an exhibition rotunda and garden dedicated to the production and exhibition of the 360 degree panoramic landscape painting, widely popular some 150 years ago and nearly forgotten today, along with the presentation of other 19th Century inspired entertainments.

Friday Feb. 24th & Saturday Feb. 25, 8:30 p.m.
The Velaslavasay Panorama
1122 West 24th Street, Los Angeles



An adventure in psychogeography through New York's High Line
PowerPoint performance written and narrated by Ross Lipman

Suite for Bass, Viola, and Trombone by Laura Steenberge

with Heather Lockie and Joe Tepperman

Photos by Leigh Evans, Ross Lipman, Nina Mankin

The High Line is the abandoned freight rail that runs through the west side of Manhattan. Recently designated the future site of an undetermined public space, it for the moment remains a haunted paradise above the city--a verdant wasteland inhabited only by occasional taggers, wanderers, and police. In October 2004 a ragtag group of us ventured up to explore. As we were to learn, it's a space with its own internal logic, interacting with its visitors in a way unique to each.

Terry Melcher - S/T CD (Collectors Choice)

On this 1974 debut, the Byrds/Raiders producer spins his own web as a Beverly Hills country boy, soothed by strings, loping cadences and harmonies (including those of mom Doris Day), racked by the existential anxieties that fill Joan Didion’s west coast tomes. The darkness might be read as post-Manson stress (Melcher’s house on Cielo was the first creepycrawl target), or just post-paradise anomie. Either way, it’s a tense and provocative mix, and an interesting oddity to be filed between the Burritos and Jimmy Webb.

Mott the Hoople - Family Anthology double CD (Angel Air)

Aptly titled 32-track sampling of rare, vintage Mottisms intermeshed with high quality pre- and post-band tracks from various associates, with the results unpredictable, but quite listenable. From tough live band performances to new wavey solo turns, sinister experiments to important demos, there’s a world to explore. Highlights include Mick Ralphs’ Gary Glitteresque 1970 demo for “Can’t Get Enough,” a mournful Mad Shadows outtake that presages Wildlife’s sound, Dale Griffin’s lecherous scat take on “Lady is a Tramp,” and a psychotic Joe Meek-inspired instro by The Paper Bags, a punk-era Morgan Fisher lark. With extensive liner note interviews and fannish passion tempered by connoisseurship, this is a terrific sampling and a strong tribute to an underrated band.
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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Tarantella - Esqueletos CD (Alternative Tentacles)

Esqueletos is theme music for a surrealist carnival where the calliope plays all night long for an audience of inanimate objects. Picture a skeletal cowboy kicking an old tin can down the fairway and you've got the makings of a video. At first you might think Mazzy Star (and I also hear Adam Ant and the Feelies), but Siouxsie Sioux is clearly the chanteuse most absorbed into singer Kal Cahoone's repertoire. The band runs the gamut from sentimental waltzes to rocking alt country. Street cred dept.: features members of Slim Cessna's Auto Club and Blood Axis. (Margaret Griffis)
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Lost Sounds S/T CD (In The Red)

A few months ago, when a friend in Memphis mentioned that the Lost Sounds had disbanded, I was more than a little disappointed. Rarely do I like, let alone love, bands that wear their influences on their guitar straps, but these guys (and gal) were just too damn good at what they did to dismiss offhand. Like their other releases, this self-titled album is a curry filled with the most recognizable punk/new wave flavorings out there: Screamers, Missing Persons, Runaways, Devo and Gary Numan. Pick your spice, it’s here seamlessly blended into a fine, fine platter. Each listen is more enjoyable than the previous. (Margaret Griffis)

Angels of Light & Akron/Family CD (Young God)

The last thing I'd ever expect to write about a Michael Gira record is "imagine a great Beatles record" and yet: imagine a great Beatles record! Okay, so the aforementioned Merseydelia might be heavier on the Akron/Family side of the split, but even taking that out, Gira is still left with the same backing band. (The first seven songs are theirs; the last five are A/F with Gira.) The Liverpudlians aren’t the only classic rockers to make an appearance. The Stones, Beach Boys, Amon Düül II, Japan and Lou Reed stumble through--there's even a Dylan cover--a collage of world, folk and skronk sounds presented in an acid-washed, often hillbilly groove. The lessons of the last forty years of rock have been learned, but don't make the mistake of believing this is easily-accessible radio fodder or a platter bereft of noisier elements. It's a mature offering with engaging soundscapes and lyrics that merit deeper investigation. Perhaps, Akron/Family are to blame or laud for what at first might seem incongruous to fans of the heavier Swans or lighter Angels of Light releases, but this unrelated foursome of noodly multi-instrumentalists provide an exquisite soapbox from which Gira can quietly scream his dreams. Imagine Gira as Dorothy reaching Oz to discover kooky chums wrapped in infinite colors, then realizing that Oz is home. The clean production does wonders, adding an immediacy and intimacy that previous albums never quite got. It’ll be interesting to see where the yellow brick road takes them from here. Wonderful! (Margaret Griffis)

Angels of Light & Akron/Family CD (Young God)

The last thing I'd ever expect to write about a Michael Gira record is "imagine a great Beatles record" and yet: imagine a great Beatles record! Okay, so the aforementioned Merseydelia might be heavier on the Akron/Family side of the split, but even taking that out, Gira is still left with the same backing band. (The first seven songs are theirs; the last five are A/F with Gira.) The Liverpudlians aren’t the only classic rockers to make an appearance. The Stones, Beach Boys, Amon Düül II, Japan and Lou Reed stumble through--there's even a Dylan cover--a collage of world, folk and skronk sounds presented in an acid-washed, often hillbilly groove. The lessons of the last forty years of rock have been learned, but don't make the mistake of believing this is easily-accessible radio fodder or a platter bereft of noisier elements. It's a mature offering with engaging soundscapes and lyrics that merit deeper investigation. Perhaps, Akron/Family are to blame or laud for what at first might seem incongruous to fans of the heavier Swans or lighter Angels of Light releases, but this unrelated foursome of noodly multi-instrumentalists provide an exquisite soapbox from which Gira can quietly scream his dreams. Imagine Gira as Dorothy reaching Oz to discover kooky chums wrapped in infinite colors, then realizing that Oz is home. The clean production does wonders, adding an immediacy and intimacy that previous albums never quite got. It’ll be interesting to see where the yellow brick road takes them from here. Wonderful! (Margaret Griffis)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Appaloosa S/T CD (Collectors’ Choice)

Of all the albums celebrated in the Lost in the Grooves anthology, this is the one that drove our central thesis—your favorite album is in this book, and you’ve never even heard of it!—home to me. MVP essayist Brian Doherty picked this exquisite 1969 LP, and wrote so eloquently on its sophisticated charms that I knew I had to hear it. Happily, Edwin Letcher had bought it new, and sure enough, I fell in love. It’s neat to replace my poppy CDR with this official reissue (though the mix sounds a little sweeter and I suspect there were some uncredited shenanigans at the mixing board). John Parker Compton might just have been the most effortlessly upper crust songwriter of the sixties. His band sounds like the Left Banke filtered through the Social Register and smeared on a blini. These charming, arch, irresistible melodies, baroque, loping and very clever, will blow the mind of anyone who digs the Kinks and Zombies, and who longs for something that good that they’ve never heard. This is it, lost in the grooves and found anew.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

V/A Thai Beat A-Go-Go Volume 3 CD (Subliminal Sounds)

This is the final volume of an archeological reckoning of Thailand’s neglected pop archives, which is some of the oddest stuff you can stick into your earholes. Kicking off with a greasy porn-funk celebration of kickboxing, the comp delivers sassy covers of familiar faves from the McCoys and Troggs, an Elvis impersonator, sub-Santana wanking, hyperactive disco, a Black Power testimonial, what sounds like a musical comedy routine, and a memorable tribute to Soul Dracula. It all suggests that the Thai scene was fertile and inventive, and while the results can be appreciated for their novelty value—see: Panatda’s Ramones-meets-outer-space-pony synth opus “Let’s Go!”—many of these tracks swing quite wildly on their own terms. Fun!
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Monday, February 13, 2006

cult of the week - Smalts

artist: Smalts

title: Werktitels

year: 1982

label: Plurex Records

personnel: KJ Boterbloem, W Dekker, F Van Manen, P Mulder, R Ootes, I Schalkx

tracklisting: werktitel 7, werktitel 5, werktitel 1, werktitel 8

cotw say…

jollyfied name to the contrary, Minny Pops were one Holland's premier synth/ wave gloom merchants. centered around the baritone of Wally van Middendorp, the Pops' Joy Division-esque sound was unmistakable, if occasionally an acquired taste. the sole EP from two-member side project Smalts, (almost) dropped the vocals altogether for a series of intriguing musical soundscapes.
rather than churn out a series of derivative, sub-par Eno experiments, 'Werktitels' contains some very interesting music indeed. drums and percussion are used to great effect throughout, with plaintive synths used to create semi-melodic drones that give the EP a fairly 'folky' feel that's most prevalent on 'Werktitel 5'. 'Werktitel 1', however, is undoubtedly the standout, perhaps because the remaining tracks are so criminally short. a seriously cool layered, live percussion loop fades in, synths soon following with a tongue-in-cheek melody that sounds like it's been lifted straight from a b-movie horror soundtrack. spacious production gives the EP an ethereal quality that keeps it in considerably lighter territory than one might imagine.
a neat series of pieces that remains as unclassifiable as it is interesting.

erik -

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Book Soup podcast

On Wednesday night, the good folks at Book Soup in West Hollywood hosted a reading and q&a of my book Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. Thanks, Kelly and Louis, for such a warm welcome.

This was the first time I've taken this material on the road--albeit only ten miles from home--and I found that it was quite emotional to read these highly charged paragraphs out loud, and to connect with people who feel so passionately about the music. I felt energized at the time, exhausted next morning.

The bookstore annex was packed with a kind and attentive audience, including KXLU's Peter Choyce, Black Dahlia scholar Larry Harnisch, historic preservationist John Arroyo, This is Burning Man author Brian Doherty and Craig Ceravolo.

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I read excerpts spanning the whole of the book, and finished by playing a recording of Jeff playing "Little Birds"--which I was surprised to discover almost no one in the room had heard before. I think everyone was pretty stunned by it. Then I took some questions and signed folks' books. The bookstore was happy, because 25 people bought 30 books. And I signed another couple dozen, in case you want to stop by Book Soup soon and get one for yourself.

My sweetheart Richard documented the evening with photographs and in this podcast, where members of the audience share their experiences with Aeroplane and what it continues to mean to them.

I hope we'll have another podcast to share from the Vroman's reading on March 25, but in the meantime, if anyone reading this would like to make their own MP3 podcast along this theme, please host it for free on and email me (at amscray @ gmail . com) when it's live. I will put links to your podcasts up on the webpage dedicated to the book.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Real Kid Allen 'Alpo' Paulino, RIP

Dave Laing writes:

Just heard that Allen 'Alpo' Paulino, founding member of the one of the
greatest rock'n'roll bands ever, the Real Kids (and an early member of
the mighty Cheater Slicks, co-leader of the Primitive Souls and an
on-again/off-again Nervous Eater), died today in Boston. Not sure of
what happened yet but Carl Biancucci of the Classic Ruins told me Alpo
went to bed with a cold and never woke up. Alpo was one of my heroes for
the past 25 years and releasing the Primitive Souls EP and meeting Alpo,
Billy Borgioli and John Felice in the mid-90s were two of the highlights
of my life. Alpo was a great guy - a smart-arse but charismatic and
charming as hell, and ly impossible not to like. I never saw the
original Real Kids play - never had the chance to see one of their
reunion shows even - and now I never will.

Anyway, let's hope Alpo's death does not go unnoticed by the rock world
at large (esp. Mojo, Uncut etc). If all he'd ever done was play bass on
that first Real Kids record he would've been one of the greats to be
sure... My favorite Alpo moment on record though is his b/vocals on the
live version of 'Bad To Worse' on the 'Grown Up Wrong' album - he sounds
like his hearts about to burst. That's about as thrilling as rock'n'roll
gets in my book.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Baffling pan for Lost in the Grooves

I have no idea what book this Craven fellow got in the mail, but it doesn't sound like it was LITG! No, wait, I get it... he read the index and forgot to read the book. Of all the acts derided below, only Adam & the Ants have an entry in the text, and the others are just mentioned in passing as part of our grand accounting of a few hundred of the most amazing albums most people missed. (Our actual File under A section comprises The Action's Rolled Gold, Adam & the Ants' Kings of the Wild Frontier, Herb Alpert's Whipped Cream & Other Delights, Alvin & the Chipmunks' The Alvin Show, Appaloosa's Appaloosa and The Auteur's New Wave.)

Lost in Who's Grooves?, January 31, 2006
Reviewer:Craven Moorehead (Key West) - See all my reviews
I suppose if you're a typical pop-junkie weened on boy bands and a steady diet of commercial T-40, you may have missed some of the music and musicians in this book. As an avid music fan, I never missed Christina Aguilera (though i wish i had), AC/DC, Tori Amos, Adam & the Ants, America, Paul Anka, the Archies and so many of the other artists mentioned in this book beyond the "A" section of the index. I don't necessarily blame the book, for the average American sheep plumping on a steady major label spoon-feeding of aural air biscuits this is probably much more interesting, and the teen dreamer dying to pick up the "lost" Aguilera material will be elated. For anyone who's looked beyond, followed and taken an interest in music, this will make a good coaster. Again, not the book's fault, mine for not reading more before I made the purchase.

Saint Etienne After-Party in NYC

Hey boys + girls:

Le One Night Stand—New York's official international dance party—is throwing a very special pre-Valentine's celebration for British pop group Saint Etienne on Monday Feb 13th.

Come out and dance!


Le One Night Stand
Monday February 13th
Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, NYC
11 pm - 4 am

FREE w/ flyer or print out
$5 w/ out flyer

Special Guest DJ:
Bob Stanley (Saint Etienne)

Resident DJs:
Melody Nelson (Calling All The Kids)
Sheila B. (BUST + Cha Cha Charming)
Josh Styles + Peppermintwist (Smashed! Blocked!)

Plus go-go girls: Anna Copacabanna + Kamila

Monday, February 06, 2006

Judy Henske & Jerry Yester - Farewell Aldebaran CD (Radioactive)

This is one of those legendary lost records that “everyone” talks about, where after you finally hear it, you have even less of an idea of what it is than before. Brutally aggressive when it’s not being elegantly folksy or bubblegummy, then in turns decadent, satirical, apocalyptic, histrionic and demonic, these young marrieds—a folk-blues goddess and an ace journeyman with ties to the Spoonful and TMFQ—created a truly unpredictable mélange of pop, antipop, subpop and artifice. With so many disparate facets, the whole of Farewell Aldebaran (1969, Straight Records) can only appeal to the openest of minds, but odds are at least one part of it will blow all of yours.
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Lazy Farmer - S/T CD (Sunbeam Records)

Ah, they had me at the first dulcet tones of the 1970s Britfolk flute. Here we have a recording issued in Germany in 1975 by English folkie guitarist Wizz Jones, his wife Sandy on banjo and vocals, Don Coging on banjo, COB’s John Bidwell on flute, flageolet, guitar and vocals, and Jake Walton on dulcimer, hurdy-gurdy, guitar and vocals. These folks were inspired by John Burke’s classic instruction book Fiddle Tunes for the Banjo as a jumping-off point for some great arrangements. On “Railroad Boy,” for example, they’ve used the hurdy-gurdy to give it a medieval edge. There’s a song by Ralph McTell as well as one by the influential American banjoman in London, Derroll Adams. (Brooke Alberts)

Lark Pien's art blog

Scram 21 cover artiste Lark Pien has launched a new blog offering sneak peaks of works in progress. Her critters are cute but quite formidable. Have a look!

cult of the week - Duffo

artist: Duffo

title: Bob the Birdman

year: 1981

label: PVK Records

personnel: Duffo (vocals), Rob Adams (drums), Sev Lewkowicz (keyboards, vocals), Dick Middleton (guitar), Tim Wheatley (bass guitar)

tracklisting: bob the birdman, slave of marakeesh, daddy is a mushroom, le posuer, walk on the wild side, elephant man, (i am) the fly, new york is the moon, crazee man

cotw say…

the post-punk era is of course littered with mysterious, unclassifiable individuals. so, what to make of someone who has made well in excess of a dozen albums, spent a period signed to Beggars Banquet, and yet remains a relative unknown - or least virtually forgotten?
'Bob the Birdman' was already Australian Jeff 'Duffo' Duff's fifth album. his fifth. musically, Duffo's album has a somewhat uncomfortable feel, largely due to the fact that it sits between genres. something like Bowie crossed with Andrew Lloyd-Webber, the album consistently leans towards musical theatre thanks to the use of strings and colourful, expansive production (synths are used to give the album a 'spacey' feel). usually it works, making songs like 'Bob the Birdman' and 'Le Posuer' genuinely affecting, and others such as 'Elephant Man' at least highly distinctive. however, some may find the album too Broadway to stomach. Duffo also dabbles in reggae ('Slave of Marakeesh') and disco on his utterly bizarre take on 'Walk on the Wild Side' - in equal parts hilarious and horrific. and before you ask, no, '(I am) The Fly' is not a cover of the The Wire classic, but a fine ballad in its own right.

generally more renowned for a series of publicity stunts and the occassional practical joke played on unsuspecting journalists, it's high time that Duffo's considerable body of work was reappraised.

erik -

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Bob Pfeifer popped in L.A. wiretap case

Bob Pfeifer, right, late of swell ClevePop outfit The Human Switchboard and later prez of Hollywood Records, has been arrested in connection with the Anthony Pellicano surveillance case, the L.A. Times reports. He had apparently had a long personal and professional relationship with "The Pelican." Was AP alleged to be spying on artists or employees for the label head? Unclear, but more indictments are expected Monday.


Friday, February 03, 2006

Edwin Letcher Goes Everly Crazy!

The Everly Brothers Gone Gone Gone CD (Collectors’ Choice)… It’s a good thing the Everly Brothers didn’t let something as petty as a few years without hits deter them from putting out album after album of high quality material. This is one of the best records they did in the mid-sixties. Gone Gone Gone was a return to rock and roll after four years trying their hands at everything from Christmas and country music to adult contemporary fluff. The songwriting is superb throughout. Don and Phil struck paydirt many times with tunes by the Bryants, so it’s only natural that five of the twelve songs here are theirs. But someone should do a collection of Everly-penned tunes someday. Three of the twelve winners on this disc are theirs and they shine just as brightly. (Edwin Letcher)

The Everly Brothers It’s Everly Time CD (Collectors’ Choice)… This is a killer diller album, the first in a whole string Don and Phil recorded for Warner Brothers. They had a somewhat better track record on the independent label Cadence, but hit the ground running for the WB. And while their audience might have quit buying the records in the same gigantic quantities, the boys never slacked up any on their end. The songwriting team of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant were responsible for half the songs on this effort and their work stacks up well against past glories like “Wake Up Little Susie” and “Bye Bye Love.” All the material is strong, with Don’s “So Sad (to Watch Good Love Go Bad)” one of my faves on this set. (Edwin Letcher)

The Everly Brothers Roots CD (Collectors’ Choice)… This was the last studio album Don and Phil did with Warner Brothers. The boys and the label heads pulled out all the stops and put together a wonderful country-rock record. Unfortunately, there just weren’t very many folks clambering for such an animal, and this became yet another well-intentioned and executed project that went nowhere. The lads did a couple Merle Haggard songs, and covered Jimmie Rodgers, Glen Campbell, Ray Price and George Jones. Ron Elliott of the Beau Brummels was heading in the same neo-country direction and supplied a couple songs as well as some guitar and production work. There are some orchestral, almost psychedelic touches sprinkled throughout that add an otherworldly quality to the material and give it a nicely cohesive feel, even though the album mixed state-of-the-art ’68 rock with clips of the Everly Brothers’ act circa 1952. (Edwin Letcher)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Irving Fields Trio - Bagels and Bongos CD (Reboot Sterephonic)

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Inaugurating a label dedicated to spotlighting great Jewish contributions to avant-pop is this frisky, Latin-tinged set of Hebraic instros. While piano trills are more prominent than the titular hand drums, it’s a fun set of cocktail music sure to pique the interest of your inner Esther. Pick hit: “Havannah Negila.”

Petra Haden Sings: God Only Knows

Not content with tranforming The Who Sell Out into an all-girl, all-sung mesh of magic, Ms. Haden has turned her pipes to one of Brian Wilson's most ethereal compostions, available for free download on her website.

And on the reinventing the Who tip, check out "My Generation" as an ASCII movie, by artist Yoshi Sodeoka. (thanks, Richard!)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Pazz & Jop Poll

Each December, The Village Voice polls scads of music critics on their favorite releases of the previous year. I like to eschew the byzantine point-allocation system and the whole of the singles chart, and send some love to a mix of reissues and contemporary artists. Here are my picks for 2005. Visit the Voice to see what the other writers loved. (Metal Mike Saunders' selections are always worth a peek.)

Lori Burton -- Break Out (Rev-Ola)
buy the album

Bridget St. John - Songs for the gentle man (Cherry Red)
buy the album

Haden, Petra - Sings: The Who Sell Out (Bar/None)
buy the album

Dino Valente - S/T (RPM)
buy the album

The Moon's a Harsh Mistress: Jimmy Webb in the Seventies (Rhino Handmade
buy the box set (out of print, expensive)

see also:
Archive/ Live At the Albert Hall 1972
Letters, released April 2006
El Mirage, released April 2006
& So, On, released April 2006
Words & Music, released April 2006
Land's End, released April 2006

Paul Williams - Someday Man (Collectors' Choice)
buy the album

One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found (Rhino)
buy the box set

Foster, Josephine - Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You (Locust)
buy the album

Barracudas - S/T (NDN)
buy the album

Appaloosa - S/T (Collectors' Choice)
buy the album

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Nick Tosches at work

According to Publishers Lunch, Nick Tosches has just signed a deal for an "impressionistic history of the past half-century of rock 'n' roll, centering on the life of record producer Phil Spector." Look for it in 2008.

Monday, January 30, 2006

4 Unknown Boys From Nowhere Tracks Surface!

LITG Superspy Matthew Specktor has discovered a mysterious website which hosts five MP3s by eighties Ohio's masters of garage revivalism, the Boys From Nowhere. In addition to their celebrated namesake DMZ cover are fine takes on the Kinks, Wailers, Sparkles and Music Machine. Matthew called main Boy Mick Divvens to inquire as to the provenence of this goldmine, and learned that Mick doesn't even remember recording these songs, but reckons they must have been laid down circa "Beg." And "Beg," for them that don't know, is just about the rawest slice of teenpunk animosity ever captured... or why don't I just let Matthew tell you all about it, in his essay from Lost in the Grooves?

The Boys From Nowhere - The Young Lion 45s

The Highway to Hell is paved with bad imitations. Discarded tubes of lipstick and the sloughed-off leathers of Stooges-wannabes stand by to warn the hopefuls who stagger along the time-honored—and widely dishonored—passage. In the late eighties, the LIE and Mass Pike were crowded with bands who fancied themselves the new Stones, or Dolls (allegiance shifted around 1985 from Pebbles comps to MC5 reissues), but these outfits disappeared in the hair-apocalypse that was Guns N’ Roses. Which is a crooked way of approaching Boys From Nowhere, the greatest garage band you’ve never heard.

While Lyres and the Chesterfield Kings were trying to drag us back to sacred-mono, Mick Divvens was shaking his mane to Uriah Heep records. While Jeff Conolly was struggling to accept the world hadn’t ended in 1967, Mick was on about the merits of Ratt’s first 45. Yet brushing aside specious punk notions of purism, the fact remains that Divvens recorded some of the finest singles ever waxed by a guy named Mick. Vaulting over the usual obstacles— slack-jawed drummers with lucrative sidelines in armed-robbery, feckless sidemen too busy griping to show up for practice—Divvens did it the hard way, playing organ, guitar, duck-call and hair-on-fire screaming for a series of self-released singles that needed to be heard to be believed.

Combining the pant-pissing heaviness of the best Detroit thug-rock with prime sixties ‘tude, these were a far cry from the fey recidivism of bands I won’t name, unless I already have; “Beg,” “Jungle Boy,” and (especially) “I Don’t Bother” approach Stooges-like levels of intensity without sacrificing melodic interest, and—with that duck-call—nodding towards the retarded art-punk of fellow Ohioans Pere Ubu. These were subsequently reissued on a series of Spanish, German and Australian 12-inches that sounded as if they were mastered in a laughing-gas factory. Tinny, cruddy (the original pressings were both, in a good way) and sped-up, they led some to wonder what the fuss was about. An album on Skyclad followed. But the best are still those early singles, and it’s a crime against humanity Divvens still has boxes of ‘em in his garage. He ought to be sending children to college on their backs. Maybe then someone could come forward to show the Hives, White Stripes, etc. how it’s done. (Matthew Specktor)

One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girls Group Sounds Lost & Found 4-CD box (Rhino)

Medium Image

Melodrama gets a bad rap, but there are few emotional experiences that are as pure, as enervating. American teens in 1963 didn’t have opera (light or otherwise), pulp horror magazines or the Grand Guignol, and they couldn’t have cared less about their mother’s soaps, but they did have the radio. And in two minute increments, the radio fed out miniature urban operas packed with enough misery, longing, pain and conflict to satisfy their every vicarious desire.

Revisionist pop memory sometimes obscures just how ubiquitous Girl Group music was in the early sixties—the Beatles were even star struck over Ronnie Spector--but since many of the groups were interchangeable puppets fronting for producers and songwriters, albums were a rarity, and women’s voices get short shrift on oldies radio, relatively few of the acts are remembered by non-collectors. But as One Kiss makes immediately and forcefully clear, there was much more to the GG sounds than the Ronettes, Shangs and Supremes.

And what One Kiss is mostly is thrilling, pushing track after marvelous track of unknown, impassioned, instant teen pop into ears that too rarely find such a concentrated bounty. I’m personally most pleased to see the Goodees, the exquisitely tasteless Southern-fried Shangri-La’s, find a wider audience with their “Leader of the Pack” cop “Condition Red”—especially when the record sounds so great—but there are dozens of acts that deserve spotlight treatment. Like the mysterious Bitter Sweets, turning in a clinically hysterical Shangs’ routine penned by Brute Force… or the very fine (and finally gaining notice) Reparata and the Delrons… the Lovelites, authors of the most agonized “somebody ple-eeease” ever laid on tape… Dawn’s relentless, paranoid “I’m Afraid They’re All Talking About Me”… Toni Basil’s washed up lament “I’m 28”… and teen guitar goddess Char Vinnedge, whose Luv’d Ones were riot grrrls in 1966. Then there’s “Peanut Duck,” an utterly mad, irresistible slice of Philly Soul recorded by a nameless singer, discovered on an unlabeled acetate, and subject of a growing cult.

The set’s greatest strength is its lack of orthodoxy, so rather than a tour of the Brill Building and Spectorland (Phil’s ouput is conspicuously absent), the Girl Group definition is expanded out in distant ripples, not just to Memphis’ Goodees but to England for Andrew Oldham discovery P.P. Arnold’s lovely early recording of “The First Cut is the Deepest,” into the rockabilly raunch of Wanda Jackson, from soul to surf to and all around the pop bubble.

This is a gorgeous box, a worthy tribute to the women who are on it. The package’s conceit is that it’s a black and white striped, velvet-lined hat box with a cord handle. Inside, each CD mimics a different vintage compact, complete with a mirror and photo-realistic pat of powder. Each CD is a powder puff. But that’s where the soft and floppy metaphor ends, because these dolls are tough and artful, and they come bearing great gifts to all who have ears to hear. Essential.

cult of the week - Ted Milton

artist: Ted Milton

title: Ode: O, to be seen through your eyes!

year: 1986

label: Toeblock Records

personnel: Ted Milton (sax, vocals), Hermann Martin (synthesizers)

tracklisting: ode: o, to be seen through your eyes!, slies are bruised, the porcine colonel's left over women

cotw say…

Ted Milton, better known as the visionary, if inimitable, leader of Blurt, remains one of post-punk's forgotten heroes. Blurt's combination of squawking sax, angular guitars and funk-influenced drumming still draws immediate comparisons with James Chance, an unsatisfactory tag when you consider that Blurt swam in more original and avant-garde waters.

"Ode" is not only noteworthy because it saw Milton record under his own name, it also marked an interesting departure from Blurt, whose organic sound was temporarily replaced by Herman Martin's synths. the results are mixed. the title track comprises a Milton monologue over dated programmed drums, which detract slightly from the power of Milton's highly animated voice. 'Skies are Bruised' (great title) is much better. Martin's synth stabs and textures are suitably ominous and combine excellently with a superb sax riff that hints strongly at the Blurt classic 'Bullets for You'. undoubtedly the EP's standout. meanwhile, 'The porcine colonel's left-over women' buries Milton's rant and sax in the mix somewhat, giving the track a cool, meditative feel thanks to some sparse, repetitive synth programming.

not for the fainthearted, but who cares. let it blurt!

erik -

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sugarlumps: A Psychedelic Selection of Groovy Movers and Sweet Freakbeat (Hard Soul/Acid Jazz)

An unexpected but homogenous mix of new and vintage sounds from the guys who had those great shirts custom made in the first place, and the guys young enough to be their grandkids who paid too much for them in 2003. Highlights include Andys Lewis and Ellison’s sneery minimalist psych collaboration, a trashy Barry Tashian-produced frat raver by the Argonauts, Groovy Ruben’s shaggy hepcat tale and a lost and luscious proto-Faces jam. Pan-generational grooviness and a cool party disc.

Buy direct from the label (where you can sample tracks) or from Amazon.

1947project in the L.A. Times

When not chasing musical phantoms down rabbit holes, I blog historic L.A. true crime at 1947project. Earlier this month, my blog colleagues rented a couple of tour busses and took our readers out for a wild day's ramble over crime scenes notorious (SLA safe house, Dahlia dump site) and forgotten (Ghost in the Garret, The Fox). We had a ball!

It was our pleasure to host the Times' intrepid Cindy Chang on our Dahlia Day Crime Bus tour to sites macabre and fascinating. Her story is a terrific snapshot of the mood of the tour and our aims in writing the blog and dragging folks around the city.

We were thrilled to discover we could sell out two full sized tour busses with only minimal publicity on this and other blogs, and in the L.A. Alternative, and are already planning future Crime Bus and Crime Walk outings to introduce more retro gore hounds to the forgotten weirdness of our city. So sign up for the mailing list* if you'd like to be informed when reservations open for the next tour, and check out this podcast, a sampling of the Dahlia Day route. But be warned: there's a lot of humor, but it is not for the squeamish.

yours in darkest noir (with a cherry on top),

*AOL's browser does not recognize the sign up page. Please use another browser to join.

Two More Lost In The Groovers go 33 1/3!

First Andrew Hultkrans wrote the book of Love. Elisabeth Vincentelli gave ABBA the nod. Then I went to Athens and discovered what made Neutral Milk Hotel tick.

And today, with David Barker's announcement of the next 21 books in the 33 1/3 series, two more Lost in the Grooves anthology contributors are slated to join the gang. Among them, my longtime editorial partner (and perhaps the most provocative pop thinker the series has yet to host) David Smay, with a book on Tom Waits' swordfishtrombones, and Hayden Childs diving into Richard and Linda Thompson's Shoot Out The Lights.

Congratulations to David and Hayden, and the other happy pitchers. And to the pop freaks who can look forward to books on Beefheart, Patti, Nick Drake, Television, the Minutemen, Throbbing Gristle and... well, visit the 33 1/3 blog for the full list.