Monday, December 31, 2007

dre just called say they're tearing down the wreck room. damn.

carl stone

computer muso carl stone's got a website, including plenty audio samples that sound more interesting than laptop "bands" i've seen where i swear the ppl were playing solitaire during their "performances." thanks to herb levy for the link. other arts website up soon, he sez.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

me-thinks 12.27.2007 pics

other stuff we've been listening to

gustav mahler, symphony no. 9 -- the 1938 recording by bruno walter and the vienna philharmonic, because reggie rueffer said that's the _good_ one, and because we were so moved by hearing the fw symphony play der mahler's lengthy rumination on death earlier this yr. this recording is of historical interest because not long afterward, the anschluss came and the conductor and many of his musos had to unass the country, kinda like the trapp family singers.

destroy all nels cline -- on this, his best alb, the wilco gtrist and frequent mike watt collaborator demonstrates as much compositional acumen as he does improvisational smarts. echoes abound: zappa, king crimson, mahavishnu, nirvana, and much more.

husker du, warehouse: songs and stories -- when i got out of the airforce in '92, having spent the years from the death of "new wave" to the birth of grunge guarding freedom's frontier, i went to john bargas and asked him, "what did i miss?" his reply: "the minutemen, the replacements, and husker du." he wasn't wrong. on this, their second sprawling double elpee as well as their swan song, the huskers reach for the moon, sun, and stars and frequently grasp them. the schism between mould and hart is terminal (kinda like the white album beatles) and the roar of mould's gtr is reduced to transistor radio fizz. this stands with zen arcade, workbook, and copper blue among his finest achievements.

leslie west, mountain -- mountain, the poor man's cream and a seminal influence on lawn guyland bar bands of my snotnosehood, was best known, of course, for climbing, which bore both the cowbell-intro'd radio hit "mississippi queen" and "theme for an imaginary western," on which ex-cream producer felix pappalardi (r.i.p.) profitably borrowed jack bruce's operatic tendencies, but i prefer this nominal leslie west solo album that preceded it. especially "blood of the sun" (whence a certain early-'70s redolent foat wuth hard rock outfit took their name), "dreams of milk and honey," "southbound train" (which my idiot college band usedta play), and a great cover of "this wheel's on fire," which _almost_ makes me wanna check out the ceedee of all dylan toons mountain released this yr.


courtesy of arthur, here's some magma to start your day. if your favorite band was really cool, they would invent their own language and play wagnerian jazz-rock like these guys.

Friday, December 28, 2007

new stuff i'm waiting to hear

...and review for

vinyl 7" from the great tyrant

jim colegrove-produced spoken word-and-blues cd from wes race

solo cd from jasper stone frontguy ed voyles

cd's from the hochimen and the rueffer brothers

what's been spinning at our house

how's your news? -- calvin from the asian media crew let us borrow this documentary about five physically and mentally disabled people who meet at a summer camp and travel across the country doing man-in-the-street interviews. the reporters are engaging characters, and it's interesting to see the way their interview subjects respond to them (although my sweetie, who works with medically fragile, multi-disabled kids, is bugged that larry perry, who's now 65 and communicates using hand signals for "yes" and "no," doesn't have the use of an augmentative communication device). this could be part of a new genre: disability road pictures. another one we've viewed this yr: 39 pounds of love, the story of a 34-year-old, texan-born israeli animator with spinal muscular atrophy who travels across the u.s. to confront the doctor who examined him at birth and gave him 6 years to live. and he gets to ride a harley (well, in a sidecar).

lost in the stars: the music of kurt weill -- another cast-of-thousands production by snl musical director hal willner, this 1985 trib to threepenny opera composer kurt weill (a big influence on folks we dig like tom waits and mark growden) includes the likes of waits, lou reed, marianne faithfull, dagmar krause, and charlie haden applying their unique spins to weill's cabaret-music-for-the-end-of-the-world. found a cassette of this for cheap on amazon, and like willner's mingus, monk, and disney projects, it's a beguiling movie-for-the-ears that we can't seem to get enough of. on alex ross' recommendation, i've got the 1930 recording of the threepenny opera coming, too.

les rallizes denudes, are you rallizesed? -- thanks to jon teague, julian cope, and dan mcguire, this year i got my first earful of noisy japanese psychedelic bands like high rise, mainliner, and les rallizes denudes that bring to their logical conclusion some musical threads i've been obsessed with since my first teenage exposure to jimi's woodstock and monterey feedback apocalypses, the mc5's kick out the jams, and the first two velvet underground albs. the shadowy 'n' mysterious les rallizes, who existed as a band from 1967-1996, have recently released a deluge of product on the equally shadowy 'n' mysterious ignuitas and univive labels. most of the univive stuff is multi-disc and prohibitively expensive, even by japanese standards, while the ignuitas is merely exorbitant. i copped the ignuitas are you rallizesed? double cd when it was _very_ briefly available via forced exposure on the basis of relative economy ($28). it's from a '74 show that includes feedback-drenched versions of the third album velvets-y "enter the mirror," "the last one" (which curiously appears mid-set unless the compilers tampered with the sequence), garage-punk pounder "my conviction," and my current fave, "tenshi - koori no honoo," which unfolds as ominously as my preferred yodo-go a go go track "flames of ice." plus lotsa spanish-tinged gtr wonderment that puts me in mind of television (the band, not the appliance) and some of jimi's more out-dere woodstock improvs. not bad for a buncha nipponese francophiles. still need to hear fushitsusha and the jacks (besides the one song i have on a compilation).

me-thinks, gideons, panther city bandits

the mighty me-thinks wound up closing the show at 6th street live last night. haltom city's pride had a few issues to contend with, including ray liberio's voice blowing out after the second song and a malfunctioning smoke machine that first wouldn't work at all, then blanketed the room in an acrid fog that sent a coupla dozen punters out onto the shiver-inducing patio. sir marlin von bungy's stepping up to claim his rights as the gtrist who plays all the hooks and is starting to solo more, to good effect, if not always audibly due to a muddy mix that owed more to excessive stage volume than it did to anything andre was doing at the board.

gotta give the me-thinks credit for following the gideons, who played yet another best-show-of-theirs-i've-ever-seen on the occasion of drummer/dj/robert wyatt fan terry vernixx valderas' swan song with the band he helped found (he's moving to albuquerque, where he'll continue spinning techno 'n' house and kick the traps with dallas expat reed easterwood's band). with carl pack testifying from behind a pulpit that they found odin-knows-where and augmented by lee allen, whose six-string bass added a heavy stoner vibe to their garage-punkitood, the gideons ripped through a set that included a bo diddleyfied version of the stooges' "i got a right." for yr humble chronicler o' events, it was as big a thrill to see carl pack still standing at the end of the night as it was to be pummeled by his band's pedal-to-the-metal fury.

the panther city bandits, now featuring the ubiquitous matt skates on bass (can josh clark on drums be far behind?), kicked 'em out with their distinctive blend of heartland, celtic, and punk influences. in preparation the j'int's grand opening as lola's next month, wizard o' sound andre edmonson's made further improvements in the light 'n' sound, and they've thankfully moved back some of the tables that were getting in the way when folks wanted to stand up in front (which is how you're _supposed to_ watch a rawk show, kids).

Thursday, December 27, 2007

speaking of led zeppelin reunions... are the viking kittens. (thanks to farren for the link.)

melodica festival

as loth as i am to visit big d for any reason, the metromess underground will be out in force for the melodica festival in exposition park, february 22-23. so far, the card includes stumptone, sub oslo (!), the strange attractors, the great tyrant, life death continuum, yells at eels, an' like that. yowzah!

other arts

while waiting for herb levy to get his other arts website online, been checking out the artists he's bringing to van cliburn recital hall next year: carl stone (march 7-8) and wayne horvitz's gravitas quartet (april 4-5). while i find the promo material for computer muso stone's most recent alb al-noor as perplexing as my pal jay hardesty's explanations of his tone23 project, the sound samples i've heard from gravitas quartet's 2006 alb way out east put me in mind of dave douglas' charms of the night sky, a fave spin around mi casa. maybe it's the unusual instrumentation (oboe, cello, trumpet, piano), maybe it's the "chamber music with improv" approach. whatevah, it sounds intriguing to me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

peter feresten doco

and here's anthony vasiliadis' short documentary on legendary fort worth photographer peter helms feresten. r.i.p. "picture pete."

da kobe at da wreck

here's vid of metalhead, faheyite, and expat lawn guylander darrin kobetich at the wreck room (r.i.p.)'s last ever fwac acoustic monday, 9.24.2007.

stumptone @ lola's grand opening 1.24.2008

looks like stumptone -- whose boss-ass new cd gravity finally released is set to drop in late february -- will be playing the grand opening of lola's (the j'int currently known as 6th street live) on 1.24.2008.

speaking of 6th street, i'll be there tom'w night, suited up with the asian media crew to shoot pics of the mighty me-thinks before the gideons play their last show ever with 'riginal drummer terry vernixx valderas.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

today sweetie is cooking me an english breakfast, including a few glasses of port, and stilton cheese with crackers, after which we're probably going back to bed for awhile. then we'll get up and watch movies (aimee and james gave me a set of anthony bourdain: no reservations on dvd) and eat pork sandwiches with cranberry relish. life is good.

Monday, December 24, 2007

christmas can really hang you up the most

since my first wife and i split up, i've always hated holidays --
mostly spent 'em sitting by the phone waiting for my kids to call
which sometimes they did
it ain't that way anymore since i married my sweetie
but sometimes i still get in that mood anyway

last night we had dinner with my middle dtr, her fiance, and her niece
(who now lives with her daddy in arlington)
piper made me the best santa claus pic of all time
and her mama baked some of the best chocolate chip cookies i've ever tasted
we gave andre a bamboo plant and got some of his mom's famous pasta sauce

aimee showed me the trailer for stallone's new flick
(which i refuse to name or link to -- fuck that pornography of violence)
he wastes a bunch of dudes who look like the asian media crew
in the goriest and most graphic ways imaginable
(i'm the guy who couldn't believe it

when my kids watched american werewolf in london
and 30 people bought it in like the first minute
also thought it was bullshit when ppl i knew laughed and thought it "ironic"
when travolta and jackson blew that dude's brains out by accident in the car
in pulp fiction)

maybe sly's trying to make a political statement -- turn his character
into a monster (like, um, america?); maybe his flick is like predator
told from the perspective of the title character -- but i doubt it
(the auteur, of course having sat out his own opportunity
to be a real-life action hero in college, in _switzerland_)

when i got married the first time, in noo yawk,
my future ex-wife actually saw stallone in macy's
standing around, waiting for somebody to recognize him
"and he was about _this_ tall," she said,
holding her hand up at about shoulder height to her

anyway i've been remembering christmases from the past, two in particular:
one the year i dropped out of school and was closing my store on christmas eve
when i walked outside to see my town blanketed in newly fallen snow
i remember looking up into the streetlight and watching the snowflakes swirling
so pretty

the other is the last christmas before i left new york for good
i'd been out late drinking and went to sleep with my foot on the floor
to keep the room from spinning; at five a.m., my parents
burst into my room and were jumping up and down on my bed, yelling
"wake up, it's christmas!" -- payback is a mofo

they always _could_ be willfully perverse;
lately his nutritional status has been a concern
and she gave us a scare last week when she was missing for 21 hours
coming home from the bank via philadelphia, asbury park,
the george washington bridge and the delaware water gap

at first she was lost, but after awhile i think she started to dig
the thelma and louise aspect of it
(after all, as my sweetie sez, this is the girl who left hawaii by herself
at age 27 to travel around the world, back in 1952
when _nobody_ did that)

i'm going to go spend some time with them next month
and my mother might get to come spend some time with us after that
i've been humming opera arias at work and thinking about how
my recent interest in classical music (and indeed, my life-long search for
the loudest and most emotionally cathartic sounds --

from the who 'n' hendrix to the five 'n' stooges
right up to the japanoise i'm investigating today)
might be a reflection of his love for the bombast of strauss 'n' wagner
and, in a weird way, the way i'm going to keep him alive in my memory
when he's no longer around

Saturday, December 22, 2007

schoenberg's five orchestral pieces

to read alex ross' the rest is noise: listening to the twentieth century is to experience a history of 20th century europe and 'meercuh through the prism of classical music: the fin de siecle vienna of richard strauss and mahler; the paris of stravinsky; the weimar berlin of kurt weill; the new york of gershwin and ellington; how music fared in stalin's russia, fdr's america, and hitler's germany (and i'm only halfway through the book). ross' webpage of sound samples is also pointing me toward things like this vid of arnold schoenberg's "five orchestral pieces," which includes images of the composer and his world along with the performers. will definitely be investigating more of this stuff in 2008 (when not listening to the stooges).

urizen pics @

my sweetie took a bunch of pics of urizen's ridglea extravaganza last night. you can see 'em at (click on 'em to make 'em big.)

"santa claus conquers the martians" on mst3k

dropo, you're _still_ the laziest man on mars.

r.i.p. joe strummer

joe strummer, a cat who really meant it and died way too soon, left the planet five yrs ago today. his streetcore alb remains a frequent spin around mi casa. a charity for musos has been set up in his name. we anxiously await the release of the future is unwritten in ntsc dvd. rest in justice, joe.


celebrated my sweetie's first night of christmas break by toddling over to the ridglea theater to catch urizen, the arty prog-metal outfit whose new universe e.p. i just reviewed for i love fort worth. the boiler suit-bedecked boyzzz -- brothers thomas (gtr/vox) and daniel (keys/vox) drinnen, julio escamilla on octupus-limbed drums, and matt garrison (gtr) and james wicks (bass) handling the bits the drinnen's can't on stage (only have so many arms, y'know) -- played an hour's worth of toons from their new one and 2005 full-length autocratopolis, balancing bombast (in the best sense) with bits of business like having daniel don an oil-derrick looking apparatus (with a bowling bowl as counterweight -- nice touch) to hold one of his keyboards for a jan hammer/edgar winter-like solo turn, or a robot (ok, a guy wearing what appeared to be the casing to a window a.c. unit) that seemed bent on self-destruction even before thomas shot it down with a flamethrower gtr. associations abounded, from devo (the suits, the synchronized head movements) and zappa (the sarcasm) to faith no more and dallas-based shtick-rockers honchie, but overall, 'twas the most entertaining show we've seen in ages. also in the house: sam damask from austin-based thrash-funkers little brian and dave kaplan from local death metalers-in-transition benevolence. if you wasn't there, you missed it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

h-b fz

on the occasion of what woulda been frank zappa's 67th b-day, here's a link to an interesting analysis of his musical world.

blackland river devils

it seems darrin kobetich is in a new band every week:

Born of THE ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN ROTTEN APPLE GANG, in December 2007, this is the Dallas/Fort Worth based off-shoot of the band. Adam Kobetich, the core member, banjo picker/vocals/creative force behind the GANG has been residing in Austin, TX for the past year, and is building a chapter of the band, there. So, there are select gigs when the entire GANG plays together, wherever it may be. That said, the D/FW members decided to chose a name for themselves recently, to avoid confusion while performing under the name THE ROTTEN APPLES without certain members being present. That name, BLACKLAND RIVER DEVILS is the result of what happens when members Mark Deffebach and Darrin Kobetich waged an email war - of course with participation and insight from members Erich Schriefer and Bond... Andrew Bond. Erich suggested localizing the name. Mark suggested something to the tune of Blackland Praire. Darrin stomped and jumped up and down, exclaiming that he wanted a name with devils in it. So, they decided on BLACKLAND RIVER DEVILS. Andrew said that was kick-ass . . . also adding that he was easy. The name Blackland refers to the prairie land in Texas, that stretches south from just below the Red River, to the San Antonio area, known as the "Blackland Prairie". The Trinity River flows through Dallas and Fort Worth and Darrin thinks it should be named "Blackland River", because it sounds cooler. In keeping with the tradition of folklore and songs about murder woven through turn-of-the-century mountain music, "devils" was added.

darrin also forwarded an interesting reminiscence of john fahey.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

happy 50th b-day, mike watt

watt celebrates his 50th trip around the sun today. here he is playing funkadelic's "maggot brain" with banyan in 2005:

and here he is playing the stooges' "funhouse" with his missingmen this year:

couldn't find vid but there's an mp3 of him playing beefheart's "my head is my only house unless it rains" with his black gang in 1998 here.

sam walker solo @ scat jazz lounge, 12.21.2007

this from jazz gtr hotshot sam walker:

I'll be playing some solo guitar in Fort Worth for those of you that don't want to make the drive to Dallas or McKinney or Plano or ...

Friday, December 21st, from 5-7pm

Scat Jazz Lounge
111 West 4th, Suite 11
Forth Worth, TX 76012

end of the year at the i-94 bar

the i-94 barman put out the call for end-o'-year top tens at the end of october, so of course i've changed my mind since then, but my submission (along with a pic from my b-day; how does he _do_ that?!?!?) is here (you gotta scroll down a bit).

a new year's resolution of sorts

even though the stoogeband remains a going concern (on temporary hiatus until after the great tyrant records) and there's another possible musical outlet i wanna explore after taking care of some family biz in new jersey early next year, i've decided that in 2008, i wanna go back to doing what i always seem to do (with varying degrees of commitment/success) when i'm "between bands": learn to play some captain beefheart music -- which is my very favorite music to play after the stooges and funkadelic, both of which i've been fortunate to be able to play in the past coupla yrs. some of the youtube vid i've recently discovered will help. i've even made a list of 13 pieces i want to focus on, some of which (*) i already know at least part of:

witch doctor life *
ice rose
bellerin' plain *
woe-is-uh-me-bop * (i learned this from a tape bruce crystal and ken duvall made in 1977)
a carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond *
flavor bud living * (i used to practice this and the previous toon incessantly when i lived in the "divorced dad apartments" in benbrook 10 yrs ago)
peon * (ron geida tabbed this out for me from an online transcription 10 yrs ago, but after seeing the gary lucas "flavor bud living" vid, i think some of the voicings in it are wrong)
kandy korn * (bruce wade taught me this in 1975)
low yo-yo stuff *
nowadays a woman's got to hit a man *
tropical hot dog night *
dirty blue gene
big eyed beans from venus

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

more japan ADDENDUM

tonight, thanks to my sister-in-law in illinois, i'm listening to the aforementioned love, peace & poetry: japanese psychedelic music, a german comp that's not a half-bad companion to julian cope's japrocksampler tome. while it doesn't contain any of the crucial stuff, it provides a nice overview of several of the strands in copey's narrative.

the "group sounds"-type bands included here (the happenings four, the mops, the beavers) are of mainly historical interest (i.e., pretty lame), but i dig the sides by foodbrain and apryl fool more than cope does, possibly because i'm a bigger fan than he is of period psychedelia like src and "mk I" deep purple. the tracks by shinki chen from his solo album, with foodbrain and speed, glue & shinki confirm that comparisons of the gtrist with hendrix are indeed spurious; he's more in leslie west or robin trower's league, which suits me just fine. (i also find it hilarious that sg&s's singing drummer went by the name of "joe smith," since that's also one of asian media crew member ratsamy pathammavong's pseudonyms.)

some early roots of flower travellin' band are audible here: a cut by yuya uchida & the flowers, whose challenge! alb was just reished in japan (most valuable player: katsuhiko kobayashi on lap steel), and the title track from kuni kawachi's kirikyogen alb that features future ftb frontman joe yamanaka's tortured tonsils. besides the song from blues creation's classic demon and eleven children alb, there's also a session appearance by kazuo takeda on takashi nishioka's tokedashita garasubako alb which has a nice garage-psych sound. band i wanna hear more of: the jacks, whose anguished garage blues, sung in japanese, influenced japanoise outfits like high rise and fushitsusha while inspiring comparisons to yanks like quicksilver messenger service. stirring stuff. again, thanks betsy and dave!

captain beyond on youtube

well whaddaya know. found these youtube clips of captain beyond, the ultra-archetypal early '70s band that brought together rod evans (vox) from my fave (mk I) deep purple lineup with larry reinhardt (gtr) and lee dorman (bass) from, uh, iron butterfly, and bobby caldwell (drums) from johnny winter and. hey, rich hurley, you seen these?

urizen review @

the review i penned of urizen's new e.p. universe is live now at hooray!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

da kobe in da fort

i'll be working this friday evening, but you've still got two, count 'em, two chances to hear darrin kobetich's solo acoustic gtr wonderment:

5:30 PM - 8PM
Freds Texas Cafe
915 Currie St
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

9:00 PM - 1AM
Blue Grotto
517 University Dr
Fort Worth, Texas 76107 (817) 877-9947

Monday, December 17, 2007

"the rest is noise" and a real good night at hpb

my sister-in-law in seattle, who reads this, sent my sweetie 'n' me a christmas package, and being the kind of kids we are, we opened it immediately. (thanks, cari and mike!!!) she must have intuited that i need to get smarter about 20th century classical music, what with our attendance at the fw symphony's mahler festival and my excitement about the presence of herb levy's other arts here in the fort, because she sent me a copy of the rest is noise, a critical history of 20th century music from wagner to stockhausen by new yorker music scribe alex north. dude's not only an engaging writer, he even has a blog with links to sound samples that illustrate what he's writing about, which will hopefully make me feel like less of an idjit the next time i have a convo with herb.

she also sent me a gift card from half price books, which gave me a reason to go dig through the stacks of vinyl at the ridgmar store while my sweetie was taking care of some other biz. they must stockpile some good stuff for the holidays, because i was able to spend what she sent and a little bit more in about 10 minutes (in between shooting the shit with a nice cat named darren white who freelances for the star-t and sez he might wanna write about the stoogeband sometime). found a copy of tom waits' closing time, which my sweetie (a big waits fan) had never owned before; the u.s. version of the first clash alb, which i was thinking about as i spun the u.k. version this morning (possibly because i heard the 'meercun version first, i believe that it was only improved by the substitution of four u.k. singles for songs that were on the 'riginal elpee); put back a copy of husker du's warehouse: songs and stories when i found the replacements' let it be; did the same with a neville brothers anthology when i found sly & the family stone's greatest hits; and a u.s. copy of radio birdman's radios appear to go with the saints' (i'm) stranded that i found at hulen street a few weeks back. all in all, 'twas a real good night. all thanks to my sweetie's li'l sis.

ADDENDUM: the sly skips. damn! and the '77 clash songs definitely sound like they were remastered for the '79 u.s. release; the bass and drums on the 'meercun version are just more _present_ somehow.

urizen @ the ridglea, 12.21.2007

unlike the mighty me-thinks, who once had to have a cd release party minus cd's, arty metallers urizen have been favored by the lords of production and will actually have copies of their new universe e.p. to sell at the ridglea theater this friday night. i'll post a review on i love fort worth this wednesday. so there.

watch julio escamilla work:

Sunday, December 16, 2007


in my last act as the "booking agent" for the dave karnes trio, i got them a gig at our friends will and dana's wedding. within two minutes of arriving at the spot, i had three people ask me, "who's that bassplayer?!?!?" (it was dave's regular sunday night compadre drew phelps, along with a tenor player named carl whose last name i forget because i suck.) at one point i walked over to the other building where the restrooms were, and when i came back, the trio was just finishing joe henderson's "inner urge," which i know is a fave toon of dave's from the tour he and i did with nathan brown, a seeming eternity ago. i then got to play "stump the band" with a request: they didn't know "ruby, my dear" (which i'm going to get jhon kahsen to play someday before i die, i swear), but they managed to pull off "bemsha swing," following drew's lead. it was the hippest wedding band i've ever heard. congrats, kids!

here's what dave does when he's not playing jazz (a photo shoot -- !!! -- with his new pop-rock project pretty baby):

fandom fandom

somebody musta made les rallizes denudes evil genius takashi mizutani aware that julian cope's japrocksampler book was out, because a new batch of "quasi-legit" product by that shadowy and mysterious jappsych outfit has appeared on forced exposure and elsewhere, reminding me of the obscene price of japanese cd's, and the general insanity of record collecting.

also stumbled on an interesting belgian-based zappa-related blog/online community the day before it was served a cease-and-desist by the zappa family trust's attorneys for streaming bootleg audio, reminding me of how the level of discourse and civility in such communities tends to drag the gutter (i'd a thought one poster in particular was a shill for the zft, if they were dumb enough to hire an angry and abusive shill). the intarweb: it's so much more than p0rn.

all of which pales in significance to the _real_ stuff about my family that's occupying my mind lately, but it's a good way to kill time when i have insomnia late at night.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

watt int

here's a good interview with mike watt, who turns 50 this year just like me and william bryan massey III.

the clash

here's proof positive that the clash were better before they discovered rockabilly haircuts and mick jones bought that gawdawful flanger thingy. happy 52nd berfday paul simonon!

Friday, December 14, 2007


in similar spirit, but at much greater length, here's the wire's list of "the 100 most important records ever made."

Thursday, December 13, 2007


perhaps because i was raised by a mother who usedta buy books that were nothing more than lists of books and leave them lying around the house for my big sis 'n' me to discover, i'm a sucker for things like this list of "great sci-fi books for people who think they hate sci-fi." more for me to read in the new year (when i've already quasi-committed myself to delving deeper into joyce).


here's a link to an excerpt from michel delville and andrew norris' tome frank zappa, captain beefheart, and the secret history of maximalism. and i thought ben watson was an over-thinker!

and because i couldn't resist, here's gary lucas playing beefheart's "flavor bud living" from that same french concert in 1980. i once learned to play a version of this off a henry kaiser alb, but i can see now it was wrong -- seems don liked to make his gtrists use those voicings high up on the neck to make their hands hurt more.


looks like the gideons show at 6th street / lola's on 12.27 will be their last with original drummer terry vernixx valderas, who writes:

I am leaving Oklahoma for good in February. The Lola's gig in the Fort will be my last gig on drums as a Gideon. We are relocating to Albuquerque New Mexico. I am hooking up musically with Reed Easterwood (he of Southern Junkie fame and of many Dallas studio guest spots in the past) and plan on playing in his band as well as continuing as a psychedelic techno ranger.


from darrin kobetich:

This is the closest thing to a Hammer Witch reunion there ever will be. Wayne Abney [bassist/vocalist], founder of said band, as well as bands Null And Void and Mother Thumb (post HW) still has a lot to say after a near fatal motorcycle accident in August of 2006. In October, 2007, he teamed up with blast-master drummer, Ed (Guapo) Valez, to pound out some ideas. Wayne called Darrin Kobetich [who was guitarist for HW, 1989-1994-when the band split, and went on to form Amillion Pounds soon afterward, and is currently playing solo acoustic guitar . . . and in a bluegrass band, The Electric Mountain Rotten Apple Gang]. They jammed. The chemistry is still there. They've all known each other since the late 80s, when the Dallas/Fort Worth thrash scene was in its hay-day. Ed was in a band called Malignancy [as well as later bands, Comatose and Asphyxia], who practiced next door to Hammer Witch. He currently plays with When Life Has Ceased and Violent Intentions. He and Darrin always hit it off, stirring up a whirlwind attack of improvised riff mania. All three have jammed together in various projects over the years, but never in this current line-up. The name, SUMASSOULS {pronounced, "Some Assholes"} was just a joke [when asked what the name of the band would be, Wayne replied, "I don't know - Some Assholes - We're going to some shit hole to see Some Assholes, brah! AHAHAHAHA!"], to begin with, but ended up being a keeper, when suggested by a certain lovely lass within the camp, to alter the spelling and also further stating that the band members are often referred to as "assholes". The band certainly did not want a cookie-cutter metal name with a ridiculously unreadable logo. You have to admit it does look pretty cool, spelled out like that. I'm sure it might confuse some neo-hippy-dippies though, thinking it looks like a jam band name. Should be interesting to see the reponse. They are working on fresh material and it's highly possible that Hammer Witch songs will be performed at future shows. The best way to describe the new sound is a blending of stoner rock riffs with blast beats. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


my buddy dave usedta play a danelectro bass back when i was trying to insinuate him into bands i was in during high school, as did the bassplayers in beefheart's magic band. you occasionally see pics of jimmy page playing a danelectro gtr, too. while i wasn't thrilled with the reish danelectro gtrs from a few yrs back, they've apparently upgraded their hardware (my big beef was the shitty wooden bridges), and apparently they now have a line of stompboxes that retail for $19. haven't heard 'em yet, but i'll definitely be checking 'em out the next time i'm in the market for a distortion or overdrive box. i liked their daddy-o overdrive pedal real much back when i had one (before i switched to ts-9's and fuzzfaces). it seemed to give a little midrange boost even when it wasn't on.

more beefheart vid

from snl, 11.22.1980. never saw or heard of a four-piece magic band before. these are the cats i saw him with in '77 (with another gtrist). jeff moris "white jew" tepper (gtr) went on to work with p.j. harvey, frank black, tom waits, an' like that. eric drew "kitabu"/"black jew" feldman (bass/keys) replaced allen ravenstine in pere ubu and actually has a metromess connection, having produced tripping daisy and the polyphonic spree. robert arthur williams (drums) made solo records for a&m and then disappeared from sight.

thisun's from french teevee, 11.7.1980, same musos plus richard "midnight hat size" snyder on gtr. "i hope reagan doesn't start a fight." ha! i know it's a lot of clips, but gawd i love this band.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

but max, you can only sell 100% of anything

here's a wired piece about biz plans as the new d.i.y.

greydon square, mc hawking

what my middle dtr's been listening to lately: atheist rapper greydon square, a compton-born ex-gang banger and iraq war army vet who's now a physics major. he released his second alb the compton effect this year and has a ton of vids posted on youtube including these 'uns.

also: mc hawking, a "nerdcore" artiste who mixes synthetic voxxx and gangsta rap pastiche with theoretical physics spiel. wtf?!?!?

advice for parents

when contemplating news about one's adult children
it is beneficial to remember
that they are not put here to meet anyone else's approval,
only to become that which they will become
and if they can be satisfied and happy
with the choices that they've made,
that is about as good as it can get.

top secret...shhhows

from top secret...shhh:

We have 2 more shows for you to wrap up 2007. Come celebrate yet another wonderful 12 months of life, love, music, and community.

Wednesday December the 26th @ Embargo with the DJ Orchestra 10 pm
8th and Calhoun downtown FTW

Sunday December 30th @ the Chatroom Pub with the DJ Orchestra 9 PM
5th and Magnolia, south side FTW

These will be the last 2 chances to see this band live for a while as we will be focusing on the studio side of things for the rest of the winter and early spring.

jack rose

had to pass on darrin kobetich's invite to catch awesome fingerstyle gtrist jack rose at emo's in austin, but found this series of clips on youtube that make me wish i hadn't. btw, darrin's providing the entertainment for fonky fred's new year's eve feast, so if you're flush with cash (or credit card balance), you have one more reason to throw down (besides outlaw chef terry's food from heaven).

yellow payges, explosives

speaking of bomp, i was surfing their mailorder today for the first time in awhile and noted that they're stocking some japrock items nowadays, as well as reished discage by the yellow payges and the explosives.

cowtown gtr eminence bill ham once blanched when i approached him after he played a jazz set at the moon and mentioned that the payges' single "crowd pleaser" usedta get played on the radio in noo yawk when i was a snotnose. the yellow payges were a buncha el lay yardbirds-who wannabes that employed ham (who'd played in the haltom city-based garage-snot outfit the nomads) and fellow fort worthian bob barnes (who'd done the same in paschal high's pride the elite) when they cut their '69 album for uni and made this cringe-inducing appearance on crappy teevee detective show the name of the game. sorry, bill.

the explosives were my favorite local band when i briefly lived in austin at the ass-end of the '70s. they later gained notoriety as roky erickson's backup band (after the nervebreakers bailed on the honor) -- see the clip below for a 2007 performance -- but they were one of the more musical outfits in a nascent punk scene that also included the more exalted huns and big boys. their dark secret was that drummer "steady" freddie krc and bassist waller "sonny" collie III (a.k.a. wc3) -- who sat out the most recent spate of gigs with roky because he's "not a comeback-oriented musician at heart" -- were moonlighting from jerry jeff walker's band. a few yrs back i revisited the continental, site of many explosives gigs back in the day, and wondered how such big times fit in such a tiny room.

new arthur mag out and by now justin should have dropped off copies at spiral diner, the chat room, and 6th street live. you can also read it online if you don't mind pdf files.

new stoogeaphilia slideshow

That's right, kids: by laboriously copying the code from The Box That Wouldn't Copy (in a manner that'd hopefully make Matt proud), I've finally managed to post a slideshow of Kat Shimamoto's pics from our recent soiree at 6th Street Live on the Stoogeaphilia Myspace thingy. 'Twas awesome, you were awesome if you were there, now we just have to find a spot to play in February or March. Any ideas?


The Rock 'n' Roll Secretary

greg shaw

so there's a new book out on the late rock enthusiast/journo/record collector/label honcho/notorious womanizer greg shaw, whom i had the privilege of interviewing for a fanzine back around the cleavage of the decades: that'd be bomp: saving the world one record at a time, put together by lit brit mick farren and greg's ex-wife suzy shaw. as a 16-year-old san francisco sci-fi nerd, greg founded the very first (pre-crawdaddy!, pre-rolling stone) rock zine, mojo navigator, which in the fullness of time morphed into the bomp! zine/label/distro. he championed garage, punk, and "power pop," and showed that a youthful infatuation with books 'n' music could last a lifetime and even bear significant fruit.

more japan

digging around online, i found a compilation called love, peace & poetry: japanese psychedelic music that includes a lot of stuff referenced in julian cope's japrocksampler, including tracks i haven't heard by happenings four (a "group sounds" outfit who put keyboards out front a la the nice and soft machine); foodbrain (a "super session" band whose sole alb cope disparages at seemingly every opportunity); apryl fool (including "the lost motherland," which he sez "does approach genuine meltdown"); speed, glue and shinki (whose first alb dan mcguire sez is "easily one of the ten best albums i've ever heard"); folkie refuseniks the jacks; tokeashita garasuhako (with sesh gtr by blues creation mainman kazuo takeda); justin heathcliff (future new age snoozer osamu kitajima's attempt at replicating the brit psych sound); jazzer masahiko satoh (who merits a full chapter from cope); kuni kawachi (who had the foresight to employ flower travellin' band musos on his kirikyogen alb); the mops (hyped as "japan's first psychedelic band"); and the beavers (whence came ftb axe monster hideki ishima). we'll soon see how it sounds.


been losing sleep over my dad's dropping some pounds this week, but tonight i got a nice surprise: my sister-in-law in illinois sent me some pics (actual prints, not electronic simulacra) of my sweetie back in her high school/early college days. she sure was a cutie.

i'm off from work for the next two days. tomorrow i might walk to 7th street barber shop to get a haircut, because inasmuch as i like having hair under my collar to help keep my neck warm when the weather gets cold, it's also kind of an annoyance. or, if it rains all day, as it's forecast to, i might just stay home and do nada until it's time to cook the roast i'm making primarily so we can have leftovers for hash on wednesday.

it would probably take another ailurophile to appreciate this, but i can't hear the phrase "led zeppelin reunion" without imagining our cats dancing on their hind legs, paws upraised, smacking their leathery lips. must try to sleep more.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Monday, December 10, 2007

captain beefheart

at their best, the minutemen and their sst labelmates saccharine trust remind me of these guys: captain beefheart & his magic band, shown here in performances from belgium 1969, detroit 1971, and paris 1972. when we were college roommates, bruce wade (with whom i became friends solely on the basis of our shared ability to sing all of the parts from live at leeds, including the mistakes) introduced me to this music _one song at a time_. even after i had all the records and had heard countless shitty audience cassettes of different lineups of the band playing this music, it took seeing the '77 version twice to make me realize that this wasn't the total fucking chaos it sounded like at first flush -- it was _orderly, rehearsed_ cacophony. which opened the door for me to hear free jazz and multitudes of other things.

double nickels on the dime

listening to a radio show about the minutemen's double nickels on the dime on the watt from pedro show while reading an interview mike watt did with michael t. fournier, who wrote a book about the minutemen's 1984 masterwork.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

carey wolff, velvet love box @ 6th street 12.15.2007

this week's dream gig: ex-woodeye frontguy carey wolff, who bares more of his soul than yr average singer-songwriter, backed by the velvet love box guys, who can play anything. it's at 6th street live (i'll call it lola's when brian changes the sign) next sat'day.

r.i.p. john lennon

as stated elsewhere, i wasn't a big fan of john lennon's band, but i like the idea of him a whole lot today: liverpool roughneck who found himself playing eight-hour sets out of his mind on speed the reeperbahn club owners gave him, he wasn't really comfortable with the celebrity it brought him and his mates, but used the platform anyway to make statements that, in the fullness of time, make a hell of a lot of sense. like that other great '60s icon martin luther king, he raised people's expectations for peace and justice in the world to a level that might not have been reasonable, but still seems like a dream worth pursuing.

murdered 17 years ago yesterday. rest easy, bro.

Friday, December 07, 2007

r.i.p. karlheinz stockhausen

the pioneering avant-garde and electronic composer karlheinz stockhausen has left the planet, aged 79.

communication breakdown

here are two versions of my fave led zeppelin song that illustrate perfectly what was subpar about 'em as a band -- page's atrocious gtr tone in the first and their onstage propensity for ruining perfect arrangements with diffuse jamming in both. back in the day, i was too much of a snob to dig 'em (same way i was with the beatles and van halen); i preferred the yardbirds and early jeff beck group over page 'n' plant's pack (listen to truth, released 1968, back to back with the first two led zep albs to see whence the zep boyzzz copped that portion of their early thunder they didn't steal from vanilla fudge). that said, i still drive faster anytime i'm behind the wheel and this song comes on the radio.

t.v. eye

me-thinks gtrist / hella nice guy sir marlin von bungy let me borrow the first two issues of video rock zine t.v. eye. firstun focuses on man's ruin records (r.i.p.) and stoner rock eminences queens of the stone age, nebula, and high on fire. most interesting band on the tape imo was drunk horse, who rawk like demons while looking like high school emo kids. second ish features seattle/sub pop hotsoes mudhoney, the murder city devils, and zen guerrilla, but my fave segments are with dan mcguire's fave band the heads and j. mascis & the fog, including a clip of mike watt singing "t.v. eye" (even though i think stoogeaphilia does it better).

Thursday, December 06, 2007

feldman at the modern

from herb levy of other arts:


I've been remiss in not forwarding this sooner. Even if you missed Louis Goldstein's performance last Sunday, this coming Saturday you have the chance to hear the second part of an ad hoc Morton Feldman festival here in Fort Worth.

Why Patterns? is a comparatively short piece from Feldman's late period, only a half-hour long, and it's really wonderful. I hope to see y'all there.




*Morton Feldman's/ Why Patterns?/*
*Elizabeth McNutt, flute; Steven Harlos, piano; Christopher Deane, percussion*

*Saturday, December 8, 2:00 pm*
*Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth*
*3200 Darnell Street*
*free admission*
presented in conjunction with the exhibition
/Declaring Space: Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein/
Music that matches the art of Rothko, Newman, Fontana and Klein:/ Why Patterns?/ declares a space that reflects these vast canvases. Feldman, a personal friend of Rothko and Newman, creates an ethereal music inspired particularly by Rothko: in Feldman's own words, "the degrees of stasis found in Rothko were perhaps the most significant elements that I brought to my music from painting." Its ever-shifting textures draw the listener from the surface beauty of a few simple melodies into the inner life of sound. In this meditation, time and space become one.

more information: ( 817) 738-9215 or

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

willie b. interviews jimmy page

fz called rock writing "people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read." but what would he have made of william burroughs -- the old junkie/queer/apocalyptic narco-fantasist -- interviewing jimmy page, the leader of what was then the biggest rock band in the world, for crawdaddy! in 1975? read it and cogitate.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

end of year stuff

wherethehell did 2007 go? it's already been a coupla weeks since i submitted my end-of-year "best of" list (which i invariably revise before doing the same task for the village voice) to the i-94 bar. here's a round-up of things i dug this year.

1) a whole lot of good local records: john nitzinger's kiss of the mudman, p.p.t.'s tres monos in love, the fellow americans' search for numb, addnerim's the potential threat, blood of the sun's in blood we rock, carey wolff's i'm still the darkness (and urizen's universe will be out before the end of the year). already looking forward to the release of already completed newuns by stumptone and goodwin in 2008, and the result of sessions that are planned for the new year by the great tyrant and pablo & the hemphill 7. whew!

2) reunions: two of my favorite bands that i never got to see during their actual existence got back together to play reunion shows this year -- spot and bindle. i'm hoping we haven't seen the last of the latter outfit; film, as they say, at 11.

3) jazz: as enumerated elsewhere, there's more jazz being played on the evening stage in this town than there has been since the regrettable demise of caravan of dreams. three of my favorite manifestations: jhon kahsen's bi-monthly avant-garde evenings at sardines, dave williams' ornette coleman repertory band ornettology, and the fifth avenue jazz collective.

4) books: the publication of julian cope's japrocksampler, joe carducci's enter naomi, and tom wright's roadwork, three of the best rock tomes i've read in many moons.

5) "legit" music: the fort worth symphony's mahler festival and herb levy's other arts presentations of modern music (performance artist ellen fullman; pianist louis goldstein performing pieces by morton feldman and john cage). one symphony muso i know says the three-evening mahler event was "the best we've ever played," and the one night i caught definitely inclines me to want to hear more of our orchestra. levy promises more performances in '08; i'm noting the dates so i can ask for those nights off from work!

6) playing: stoogeaphilia is me and four friends who just happen to be my favorite local players on their respective instruments, playing music i've wanted to play since i picked up a guitar in what's become, for me, a serial peak experience. my gratitude to them knows no bounds.

7) gigs: aside from the stoogeband (this comes after because i'd _always_ rather play than watch, no matter who it is), there was that 1 guy at the wreck room, fred's fest at fonky fred's, the entahr last weekend at the wreck (r.i.p), and the great tyrant's halloween extravaganza at the chat room.

bring on the dancing horses.

gideons/me-thinks/panther city bandits 12.27.2007

the triple bill to beat for december is undoubtedly the gideons -- with lee allen and johnny singularity on dueling basses and original drummer terry vernixx valderas, who unfortunately is moving to albuquerque and not back to the fort like some of us were hoping -- topping a bill with the mighty me-thinks and fairmount faves the panther city bandits at 6th street live on december 27th. hellz yeah, ya mo' be theah. maybe you too?

fz "the yellow shark"

a coupla years before his death, frank got to fulfill one of his lifetime dreams -- seeing worthashit orchestral renderings of some of his compositions (by the ensemble modern, a frankfurt-based chamber ensemble). the recording of their performances (the yellow shark) is probably my favorite zappa alb now, and now someone has posted parts of the broadcast concert on youtube.

fz in sweden, 1973

well, this is something i hadn't seen before: frank in sweden, 1973, playing some of his _challenging_ (as opposed to crowd-pleasing) music in the company of ruth underwood (percussion), ian underwood (winds and keys), bruce fowler (trombone), tom fowler (bass), ralph humphrey (drums), jean-luc ponty (violin) and george duke (keys) -- the overnite sensation band. by the time i'd become a fan, some of these folks had gone on to make bank with their own f*sion projects, but i like 'em better here, performing "dupree's paradise" and "greggary peccary suite." watch frank conduct the band just like he did that aussie tv audience, and listen to george go all jaki byard at the end of his segment.

fz "video from hell"

thisuns a _long_ one (about an hour, in two parts). i usedta have this compilation of '60s (original mothers of invention) to '80s (up to around jazz from hell time) stuff -- including the aussie tv bit excerpted a coupla posts back -- on vhs a long time ago but i lent it to a dude i worked with at radioshack and he moved without bothering to return it. feh. nice to see this stuff again.

how i met my wife


i was standing at the end of the bar at the black dog
waiting to see an (acoustic!) goodwin show
(matt learned how to play all the songs on guitar
in the alley out back five minutes before they hit)
when she approached me and said she was promoting
a benefit at the wreck room for a local disabled athlete
who was trying to get to the paralympics.
she handed me a big packet of stuff and said
she'd like to talk to me about it for a few minutes
when i wasn't too busy.

after she walked away, it occurred to me
that i wasn't doing anything at that very moment
and so i walked over to where she was sitting
and asked if she wanted to talk right now.
we went outside and when i suggested
that we could sit down on the stoop, she asked,
"you're not from around here, are you?"

later on, she suggested that we meet at the hideaway
because she lived around the corner from there
and i figured it was the nicest blow-off line
i'd ever heard. i'd go sit at the bar
and drink a couple of beers with brian sharp
and then go home. but she showed up.

that night i laid pretty much every card on the table
that i figured would be a deal-breaker.
(after my last girlfriend i'd done stuff i was ashamed
of while i was doing it in service of not being alone,
until i decided that i was perfectly alright by myself.)
she accepted me anyway, and in the fullness of time,
she made me want to divest myself
of all my self-defeating behavior
and be something more like
the man i want to be.

Monday, December 03, 2007

r.i.p. fz

i knew that this would eventually show up on youtube: vid of frank zappa, who left the planet 14 years ago tomorrow, conducting the audience on an australian talk show in a spontaneously composed piece of music -- kinda like he usedta do with his bands onstage sometimes.

i musta seen frank eight or nine times back in the '70s -- more times than i've seen any other performer, in fact. but these days, my favorite music of his is the symphonic stuff he did at the very end of his life -- the yellow shark with the ensemble modern, and the synclavier realizations on civilization phaze III, including this one.

urizen @ the ridglea, 12.21.2007

urizen drummer julio escamilla says that their c.d. release party has been moved to the ridglea theater because the rockyard is closed. rockyard, we hardly knew ye.

sad day

they lost a student at my wife's school over the weekend.
i don't know how they do it -- it takes more strength
and courage than i've got to invest so much in little lives
that are so fragile.

my friend's cat is dying and i'm sitting here
with augie the kitten attacking the cursor on my screen
and trying to help me type, reminding me of just
how precious life is.

Dan McGuire's "Phosphene River"

Ohio-based poet Dan McGuire of Unknown Instructors/Jamnation fame is back with a new “collaborative compilation” of poetry-rock. This time out, he was actually approached by the bands, who sent him tracks to overdub his spoken word performances onto instead of using found tracks. The resultant disc is 73 minutes, but seems shorter; the tracks have a nice organic flow, alternating shorter pieces with longer excursions and including a couple of musical respites, in contrast with Jamnation’s unremitting intensity.

If you’re creeped out by the stalker-like tone of the opening “Her Kind” (“A woman like that is not afraid to die”), don’t be; the words were penned by McGuire’s inspiration for the project, Anne Sexton, a Pulitzer winner who fronted her own “poetry rock” aggro (known as Anne Sexton & Her Kind, of course) before committing suicide in 1974. Cleveland improv outfit Fuzzhead builds a menacing groove around her words. On the following track, “Red Hills,” McGuire spins a Reedian drug tale while one man band Adam Payne a.k.a. Residual Echoes demonstrates the continuing validity of Uncle Lou’s “I Heard Her Call My Name” solo guitar style.

On “Are You A Dragon?,” Chicagoans Plastic Crimewave Sound set up a Krautrock-like ostinato before the words “He believed in the Stooges” cue an eruption of Ashetonian fuzz ‘n’ feedback frenzy as the poet spews Biblical jive: “Water from the rock my motherfucking friend / The miracles down here they never end.” The icily ambient tone poem “Heavy is a Dynamic” follows, surely the most accessible sounds ever to issue from the mind of Acid Mothers Temple guru Kawabata Makoto, as McGuire intones, “Rhythms I have so longed to take / Slowing speed a calculation / Like flies to a feculent pile / Full of flowers grown to beguile…” “Out There” is a tale of parental intrusion into a teen psychedelic idyll, with appropriate bleeps ‘n’ blorps from a crew of Ohio players McGuire dubbed Catacomb.

The album’s poetic payoff is the trifecta starting with “Potter’s Field,” a tale of familial betrayal set to more Stoogian guitar fury with the momentum of prime Hawkwind (courtesy of New York psychsters White Hills), continuing with “Sire,” in which McGuire imagines the idiot box as Dark Lord to the heavy blues-based psych of NoCal youngsters Mammatus, culminating with “Mystic Healer/Less Is More,” a sprawling free-form freakout by Bristol-based Brits the Heads, over which the poet explores repressed sexuality with the same relish Richard Hell reserved for the scene in Go Now where he fucks his aunt. The last track -- a guitar instrumental (“Memoration”) by Dave Mitchell, whose ‘70s band Josefus contributed “Dead Man” to Jamnation -- gently waltzes us out of McGuire’s world and back into our own.

Phosphene River is the most fully realized work yet from McGuire. Here’s hoping there’s more; currently, he’s taking a break from the rock to hone his poetry chops. Cop from

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hadaka No Rallizes' "Yodo-Go-A-Go-Go"

Finally got ahold -- via Forced Exposure -- of this ceedee after reading Japrocksampler author Julian Cope's ecstatic screed when it was his Head Heritage album of the month earlier this year.

Hadaka No Rallizes, a.k.a. Les Rallizes Denudes, were a Japanese band that existed between 1967 and 1996. They totally fulfilled the promise of their 'meercun contemporaries like the Velvet Underground, the MC5, the Stooges, and the more extreme bands that wound up on the Nuggets compilation; in turn, they spawned noisy Japanese psych outfits like High Rise, Mainliner, and Fushitsusha. Les Rallizes achieved notoriety when their original bassplayer was involved in the 1970 hijacking of a Japanese airliner to North Korea in what was known as the "Yodo-go incident," which is whence this shiny silver disc's title came.

Four lengthy tracks form the core of this collection, bracketed by two shorter tracks each at the front and back, including two different versions of the garage-y "Otherwise My Conviction," on which Mizutani's vocals were supposedly so shitty that he vowed never to enter a recording studio again. They don't sound that bad to me, comparable in fact to those of an American teen-snot act like the Shadows of Knight. The longest track here, the anarchic "Smokin' Cigarette Blues," can hold its own with the likes of the Velvets' "I Heard Her Call My Name," the Stooges' "L.A. Blues," and '68 MC5-at-the-Grande Ballroom noisefests like "Ice Pick Slim," "I'm Mad Like Eldridge Cleaver," and even "Black To Comm" its own self. Its extended meltdown maelstrom features sounds as disparate as somebody blowin' a tuneless harp Dylan-style, and a rocket ship taking off. It's also mastered lower than anything else on the disc, so if you turn it up loud enough to hear, you'll wind up getting blown away by the track ("Fields of Ice") which follows, a relentlessly unfolding slab of sinister sound that creates a sense of foreboding and dread unheard of since Suicide's "Frankie Teardrop," or maybe "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet" on the first Mothers of Invention album. (I know, I'm dating myself, but whatthehell.)

This is a band I've been waiting all my life to hear. In my obscurantist heart, they hold a place as beloved as that held (for entahrly different reasons) by Sonic's Rendezvous Band. Or Bindle.

As it seems Brother Cope's book has generated a fair amount of interest in psychedelic noise from Japan, I'd snap this up posthaste if I were you; there's no telling how long it'll be around for.

stoogeshow pixxx @

my sweetie had her camera at 6th street live for last friday night's show, and she's posted some shots of stoogeaphilia, one fingered fist, and the fellow americans on her photo blog. (click on 'em to make 'em big; they're pert darn snat imo.) i'm also gonna upload a few selected one on the stoogeband's myspace thingy because she said we could do that.

nitzinger and caffeine

the kinks

here's a vid of "dead end street" from '66 that was supposedly banned by the bbc for its allegedly morbid theme. in the fullness of time, ray davies seems more 'n' more like the best english songwriter of the '60s. at least to me he does.

other arts update

from herb levy:

Just a quick reminder below of the two concerts Sunday and Monday nights, details below. I know this is a very busy time of year, but I hope you can make it to one or both of these concerts.

Here's a URL for a pick box from yesterday's GO & there's also an interview with Louis scheduled to run in Sunday's Star-Telegram that's not yet available online.

Kristian Lin also wrote a preview piece in this week's FWWeekly.

captain beefheart

now, here's a band that knew how to move: the last edition of captain beefheart's magic band, in their '82 vid that was "too weird" for mtv which now resides in the permanent collection of the museum of modern art in nyc. apparently, some form of the magic band plans dates in 2008. intriguing.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

stoogeshow, karizza's b-day

so stoogeaphilia played its last show of the year at 6th street live last night. this morning, i got to open the market sleep-deprived, hung over and deaf. it was worth it. when my sweetie told me she thought it was our best show yet, i figured that was just because she hadn't seen that many stoogegigs. but then i saw sam and jeanne, who have seen lots, at the market this morning and they said the same thing. all i know is it was a fun one, including unrehearsed backing vocals by matt and sir steffin on "chinese rocks" and a meltdown on "1970" (which we hadn't played in awhile) instead of our customary "little doll." i think it was as cathartic for everybody involved as i hoped it'd be. now we'll have some downtime while jon gets ready to record with the great tyrant, something we're all looking forward to hearing.

before us, the fellow americans proved that matt hickey doesn't need anybody else to do his singing for him. the three-piece lineup (following the departure of jeff price, who sang on their search for numb ceedee that was favorably reviewed by no less of a personage than chuck eddy) sounded taut and tough, with hickey snarling the lyrics while torturing his new semi-hollow epiphone with bridge p-90 (ni-i-ice) while hal welch (bass) and caleb dissmore (drums) stoked the engine room.

after that, one fingered fist followed with a set of madcap hardcore hi-jinks, featuring three-way wiseass banter between tequila joe (voxxx), professor josh (gtr), and captain willie (bass when not tending bar at the shamrock pub). my favorite parts of their stage trip are professor josh's weird-ass body movement/facial expressions while playing, and trucker jon's relentless smash and scatteration behind the traps.

did my heart good to see 6th street filled with people i know, including cameron and chris from merkin, richard hurley from blood of the sun (i'm going to get those cd's to you soon, rich, i promise), a clean-shaven sir marlin von bungy from the mighty me-thinks (who played bass with the stoogeband on what turned out to be our last show at the black dog around this time last year while matt was in tennessee), and clay stinnett from kamandi (whom i hope will be calling me soon to do another show, hint hint). felt almost as home-like as the ol' wreck room.

tonight we went to dinner to celebrate a friend's birthday at ovation, so i dreamed about chicken and waffles -- which definitely ranks among the five best meals i've eaten in my life -- all day long. i even told chef keith hicks that he should commission red young to write a jimmy smith-styled instrumental entitled "chicken 'n' waffles" in the manner of all the food-themed songs from the heyday of hard bop and organ trio funk. 'twas cool seeing the wreck room crew (including carl and tina pack, who were there celebrating their third wedding anniversary) taking over a corner of ovations' bar. nice to have good friends. we had to forego the that 1 guy show at 6th street, even though i left my jacket on the stage the night before, because i could feel myself fading as we left the restaurant and i'm opening again in the morning. happy berfday to karizza, tho, and happy anniversary to carl and tina.