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 :: booking@as220.org :: (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: www.ashra.com

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 - http://www.cultwithnoname.com

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: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/s.bending/creepers/index.html

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 - http://www.cultwithnoname.com

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
reservations: corpusfluxus@oblivio.com



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.
Medium Image

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)
Medium Image

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.
Small Image

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!
Medium Image

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 - http://www.cultwithnoname.com

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.

Small Image
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 ourmedia.org 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 Amazon.com 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 - http://www.cultwithnoname.com

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