Thursday, January 31, 2008

great american novel

um, it's a band, fronted by okie will gillham, with lost country's rob caslin on bass. they play rootsy punky rawk in the manner of folks we dig like tim carroll, terry anderson, and eric "roscoe" ambel. they be's at the moon this sat'day night, opening for cityview. should hit 'round about 10:30pm. they'll be the ones who look like this:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

garage rock fuzz fiesta on kosmik radiation radio

i'm opening the market tom'w a.m. but right now i've got insomnia, so how better to kill a coupla hrs than with the "garage rock fuzz fiesta" on kosmik radiation radio, which features lotsa monks wonderment plus velvets, who, creation, early randy holden (with the other half) and much much more. truth be known, i'm kinda burnt out on this style, but hearing it in this format is pert near perfect. it'll be available online thru 2.13.2008. dig it.

when you get done listening, dig these clips of '60s japanese "group sounds" outfits the golden cups, whose bassplayer wound up in speed glue & shinki (here playing a skip james chestnut already bastardized by cream, src, and deep purple, among others); and the mops, who were promoted as "japan's first psychedelic band." remember, when you want the police to come, just turn up the amps!

zeni geva

been waking up in the middle of the night not remembering where i am, a curious hangover from two weeks of sleeping in somebody else's house. still have another day before i go back to work, so i'm thinking i'll take another long walk, this time to fonky fred's to grab another burger (perhaps inspahrd by andy in the clip below).

been listening to scott walker's twisted operatic journey through the trough of despond the drift (opening track of which, "cossacks are," really does sound like something the great tyrant might play), krautrock pioneers faust's 71 minutes of faust (which i bought after seeing it in teague's van and can appreciate for its makers' influence on japanoise practitioners like magical power mako as well as the same "zappa-without-the-bullshit" effect nathan brown once ascribed to henry cow), and the last zeni geva cd 10,000 light years from 2001.

zeni geva's the prog-y, math-y hardcore trio (two gtrs and drums, but a far cry indeed from hound dog taylor's houserockers or jon spencer's blues explosion) led by k.k. null (born kazuyuki kishino), whom teague cites as his fave japanoisician. the band's name translates as "money violence," and they've had four albs produced by steve albini. notwithstanding my usual disdain for metal bands whose singers sound like they took voice lessons from satan, this stuff seems to work on the same braincells as wetton-era king crimson, a good thing imo. must hear more.

the wonder of stevie

inspahrd by big mike, here are my three fave stevie wonder toons. and yeah, they're all slowuns.

organ jazz in fort worth

jazz gtr hotshot sam walker sends:

A new group that we've been rehearsing will have it's premier performance tonight at the Scat Lounge in Fort Worth. We'll be playing some funky organ jazz from 9pm to 1am. Come out and support local jazz!

Scat Jazz Lounge
111 W. 4th St, Suite 11
Fort Worth, Texas 76102

Also, the same group will be playing on Super Bowl Sunday at the Lightcatcher Winery from 2:00pm-4:30pm. You can come and hang out and still make it back in time for kick off!

Lightcatcher Winery
6925 Confederate Park Rd/FM 1886
Fort Worth, TX 76108

Joey Carter - organ
Sam Walker - guitar
Kyp Green - bass
Pete Wehner - drums

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

melodica festival in dallas, february 22-23

while i hate going to dallas for any reason, thisun might just be too good to pass up.

the rpm challenge

hey musos! wanna record an album in february? gowa-a-an. i dare ya!

jersey jive

home again, taking a few days to shake off the f-x of my recent sojourn in new joisey, which included coming to terms with a few unpleasant realizations and an extra super double helping of stress. at least i was able to gain some empathy for what my big sis goes through on a daily/weekly basis. and nicotine remains generally available in the northeast, although the price differential with heroin is shrinking, and you can't smoke indoors anywhere. also, i got to see things i miss like neighborhood bars 'n' grocery stores with apartments upstairs, and _diners_. also noted how much undeveloped real estate there is in sopranoland, which, as my friend geoff from philly sez, "considering it's the most densely populated state, is a good indication that we're still far from soylent green."

had to pass up oppos to hear the fort worth symphony at carnegie hall and blue oyster cult at irving plaza, and by the time i had the uncommitted hours to visit the princeton record exchange, i decided to roll up in a fetal position and rock instead. spent a lot of time at my mom's house, where there's no music playback equipment, to streaming toons from kosmik radiation radio, the watt from pedro show, and (the latter of which seems to be unavailable for the moment). in the car, a burned cd-r from stumptone gtrist frank cervantez that included toons by led zep (an ace live "since i've been loving you"), ethiopian jazz cat mulatu astatqe (whose music i didn't realize i'd heard before in the bill murray flick broken flowers), u2 producer dude daniel lanois, brit post-rockers talk talk (who apparently made lotsa nice music after "it's my life"), john fahey, papa m (see clip below), space needle, and sun kil moon _saved my life_, so now i've got more music to find out about.

made it out one night to a spot called novita's (formerly the cornerstone) in metuchen (same town where hembree played with the underground railroad a coupla yrs back, it turns out) to hear some jazz last friday. a good crowd, considering it was opening night (there was still a big dumpster full o' detritus on the sidewalk outside, and the screensavers on the pos terminals still had the joint's old name/logo), and decent-if-pricey italian chow, along with some musos my brother-in-law's been going to hear for yrs. gtrist was a pittsburgh native named ron affif who had some nice bebop chops but couldn't seem to regulate his volume to the point where the rest of the band (including a japanese lady pianist named tomoko ohno who had a nice herbie-mccoy thing going on, when you could hear her) was audible from the p.a.-less stage. plus he looked kinda like one of my other brothers-in-law would if he played gtr and did the carlos santana squint 'n' grimace routine. (sorry, michael.) per art blakey's dictum, the best muso on the stand was the drummer, cat named nick scheuble, whose gig it might actually have been -- he made the announcements and seemed to drive the proceedings, had a good sense of the dynamics of the room, and even switched to brushes to solo. couldn't get them to play "ruby, my dear," though. someday. somewhere.

Monday, January 28, 2008

the rose: a sense of place

pssst! wanna see a documentary about the rose marine theater?

junior wells and buddy guy

from chicago, 1970, here's proof positive (if any is needed) that all blues doesn't suck. for further evidence, check their '65 hoodoo man blues elpee on delmark, which is as essential as air 'n' water.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

sailor jerry

my netbud andrew in philtown pulled my coat to this pert neato music blog. home tom'w, and not a moment too soon.

Friday, January 25, 2008

musical anagrams

because i am a word nerd, i am amused by this.


someone told me that at the end
of the path i'm on right now,
i'd find enlightenment

so here's what i learned
on this trip
in a nutshell:

if you're lucky enough to survive
all the bullets, buses, and bacilli
life has to throw at you,

at the end of the day,
you wind up in this broken little body
that won't let you do much of anything

so if you've got dreams,
whether they're big or small,
you'd better get busy making them real


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

great tyrant vid

pssst...wanna see a complete great tyrant show (from club dada in dallas, 9.8.2007)? it's here. the band will be recording at the echo lab the end of january. since every show of theirs i've seen has been different, it's hard to know what to expect, but expect something dark, atmospheric, and aggressive.

the story of "pleased to meet me"

tom'w is my mom's 83rd b-day, and i'm bummed i'm gonna miss the "grand opening" of lola's (the j'int previously known as 6th street live, especially stumptone's performance. (hint: they hit at 11.)

this one's for you, katboy: the story of how the replacements recorded pleased to meet me, the first cd john bargas handed me when i got out of the airforce and asked him, "so, what did i miss in the '80s?"

Interview with my mother (slight return)

One summer when I was in business school, I worked in the pineapple cannery.

I must have been tiny. They gave me the job of going table to table. At the first table, the pineapples would come down the chute after they were skinned, and people would trim the eyes and edges off them. At the next table, they were sliced, and at the last table, the slices were sorted by size. In 1942, the pay was 41 and a half cents an hour. I think the sorters were paid a penny or so higher.

It was noisy! There'd be tin cans rattling overhead, and supervisors on the catwalk. Everybody was talking, but their hands were as busy as their mouths. You had to shout! It was interesting, if only for a summer. I enjoyed the company.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

monroe, n.j., 1.22.2008

i feel like an insect
that's been squashed
on the windshield
of a fast-moving semi,

my exoskeleton shattered
and my gelatinous insides
oozing down in a slippery rivulet,
obscuring your vision.

Interview with my mother 3

I loved my single life.

I worked in Honolulu for the Hawaii Visitors Bureau for seven years. My friend Peggy Kainuma had gone to business school with me. She and i had planned to move to New York together, but when the time came, she hadn't saved enough money, so we agreed she'd join me later. George Peabody, who had a PR firm in New York, was passing through Hawaii on his way to visit an account in the Philippines and asked my bosses who he might hire and they recommended me. I left Hawaii on March 15, 1952. My boss' wife, who was from Scarsdale outside New York, let me borrow her camel hair coat, which she didn't need in Hawaii. After I arrived in New York, I had it cleaned and sent it back to her.

At first I looked for jobs with transportation companies, figuring I might be able to get reduced-price tickets, but I wound up going to see George Peabody, and he hired me. His offices were across from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Through my work connection with the Philippine Association, I met my friend Kiching, who was an accompanist for her cousin, a mezzo-soprano named Conchita Gaston. They wound up moving back to the Philippines. Their family was rich; they owned plantations, although not as big as McBride. Rich people.

About three months after I arrived in New York, I met Peggy in Buffalo, where her sister was, and she came to live with me. She went home after a year and a half. She said, "Next time, I'll come to the west coast," but she came back to New York.

I loved that life -- here was so much to do! We went to lots of plays and concerts, and movies when it was hot (to take advantage of the air conditioning). We'd come home at 2 o'clock in the morning. At first, we lived on the west side, at 85th Street, a block from Central Park. The west side was more exciting, with lots of stores and restaurants. The east side was more tony. It was good fun! We lived next door to my brother Tom and his wife Mildred. We'd take turns cooking. Mildred was a hairstylist and always cooked dinner on Wednesday, which was her day off. A couple named Mary and Bill Kochiyama used to invite all the Hawaii kids. I'd always take them a can of coffee because they had to many visitors. I met lots of Hawaii kids, expecially after I moved uptown to 109th Street, near Columbia University.

New York was safe in those days. My friend Shirley's uncle, who was a city bus driver, used to pick me up at 125th Street and take me to his house in Queens. I stayed over there my first Thanksgiving in New York. Shirley had been a nurse, and had a real mean figure.

I had lunch with my friend Ruth every day. She had a laugh that would make her turn red in the face. Americans didn't usually do this, but because she was European, we'd hold hands when she walked. When she married a Portuguese student, she kept it a secret at work -- she didn't want them meddling in her private life.

After I moved to 58th Street, my sister Tomie came and lived in a women's dorm -- like the YWCA, but not the Y. She came and visited me in the hospital when your sister was born. She stayed in New York about two years, then she went back to Hawaii and wound up moving to San Francisco.

She'd been married to the son of a family my parents knew from back in Japan. His father came to my parents and promised they'd take good care of her. Old Japanese style, a new bride was like a servant, and my parents worried because she wasn't well. As part of her dowry, they gave a washing machine, which most people didn't have back then. Her husband was nice, but her mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law were hard to get along with. Once she came home or a visit and told my parents, "I'm not going back." She'd been married about two years. My oldest sister Chiyoko worked in a store that had a lunch counter, and Tomie's ex-husband came in and asked after all of us by name except her, so my sister volunteered that she was doing fine. He wound up marrying one of Tomie's friends.

Although he never spoke of it, I think my father was very angry with that family. My parents treated us as if we could do no wrong. Once a woman had a piece of firewood and was ready to hit her child with it. My mother snatched it away and hit her. "Does that hurt?" she asked. "You're bigger than your child!" Later she felt sorry and took the woman some cans of fruit as a gift. The woman said, "No, I want to thank you for what you did."

nitzinger shows in the fort

this from '70s rawk legend john nitzinger:

February 23, 2008, Saturday
Special show - Nitzinger Almost Unplugged
at Rahr & Sons Brewing Company:

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
701 Galveston Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76104
817-810-9266 office

Also, mark your calendars for April 26th - Hip Pocket Theatre's "Pocket Full Of Blues" Festival 4:00 p.m. until around midnight!! Stay tuned for more info....


been preoccupied with family stuff, but i still shed a tear every time i watch this. there was a time during my life when giants still walked the earth.

Monday, January 21, 2008


waiting to go with my big sis to start moving my mom's stuff to assisted living. it's gonna top out at 25 degrees here today. stumbled on these episodes from a bbc documentary on improvisation that was written and directed by the late brit gtrist derek bailey.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Interview with my mother 2

My mother used to clean houses for haoles [white people]. There was an English minister, a bachelor, and she used to clean his house and do laundry for him. Once she put starch in his underwear and asked him, "Agates skin hemmuka?" ["Did it scrape the skin off your balls?"] She was quite old then. He went back to England to get married, and when they came back, he brought his wife to my mother's house to introduce her.

My time was innocent; my contemporaries were like me, at least the girls were. I don't know if it was different for my brothers. We used to make our own dolls, Japanese style, with kimonos. We had boxes with pieces of fabric on them and we'd play house. We'd carry our boxes between each other's houses.

We used to bathe together in the ofuro. Everyone in the village went to the same bathhouse. The baths weren't segregated. The water was heated by steam from the sugar mill. You'd wash before you got in, then you'd soak. Eventually we had our own bathhouse. My father brought home wood from the mill to heat it.

It must have been a hard life for the laborers, but the kids were happy. The plantation gave us kerosene for free. It was like a southern plantation for the slaves -- the plantation furnished us with necessities. Everyone had a kerosene stove in those days. Everyone would bring their big 10 gallon cans on kerosene day. We lived in the plantation houses for free. Every time a new baby was born, they added a room.

There was a warmth about our family, probably because we were so crowded. We slept on the floor on futons, which our mother made. In our teens, we had beds. There were lots of children in our family, so we were always in each other's hair. My oldest brother had his own room, and my two sisters who still lived at home shared a room. My brother Tom was the baby of the family, so he slept with our mother, and after he was born, I slept with our father.

Celebrations were communal affairs. When someone got married, the plantation put up a pavilion. It was only a temporary building, so the walls were made from palm fronds. There was a platform. The mothers would all help cook. They'd each take a knife and an apron and gather at the family's house to cook. They'd bring platters from home with their names on the bottom. One man who was a bachelor would assign tasks to the women. There were no tables and chairs. We sat on zabuton [cushions] at low tables. The women served the food; teenage girls would be asked to pour the sake. At parties, my father drank and danced. He was very graceful; he'd learned dancing as a child.

New Year's Eve was a real big deal; Christmas wasn't celebrated. Our mothers stayed up practically all night to fix the next day's food, which was prepared once a year. There were lots of firecrackers. My mother would get me a small packet, and my brothers got bigger ones. The next day, there'd be red and green all over the ground from all the firecrackers. The first thing you did when you got up the next day was take a bath for the new year. My mother had to heat the water. Then we'd meet at the school and go to the Buddhist temple, all dressed up. The young men's association donated oranges and candy. The priest would conduct the ceremony. In the afternoon, the ladies would take the school bus and go to the movies while the men partied in the community hall. When everybody had cars, we'd take a couple of them instead of the bus.

Sometimes Mrs. Otoke, the woman who owned the school bus, would call around and invite everyone to a picnic on the beach. We'd cook chicken hekka (which is what they now call sukiyaki) over charcoal. Mothers made onigiri [rice balls]. When the sun started going down, we'd all go home. All the major pleasures were communal. We didn't have fancy entertainment, but I looked forward to those picnic lunches.

At family affairs, your uncle Charles Koga was the head chef. He loved to cook. he and your uncle Noboru Igawa became good friends. They'd talk about retiring together. Their wives would sit and read magazines and Charles would cook for all of them. But he died on the way to his retirement party when he was 65.

Immigrants used to help each other. Our neighbor in Kohala was Chinese. When she had babies, my mother would go bathe them. They were surprised that she didn't put her feet in the tub; she bathed them from outside. Once in Honolulu, the Chinese woman who had been our neighor in Kohala invited us to dinner. She made shark fin soup and a lot of really fancy food. Then she lined up the kids. She wanted my mother to see all the babies that she had bathed.

Ethnic groups didn't usually intermingle. On New Year's, the Portuguese and the Puerto Ricans would play music, going from house to house. They wouldn't come inside; they'd play out in the yard and we'd sit out on the porch listening to them. Then my mother would bring them sushi. During wartime, rice was rationed because it had to be transported to Hawaii. The Portuguese staple was bread, and they would give bread to the Japanese. It was real good bread, baked outdoors in brick ovens. But different ethnic groups didn't socialize except on special occasions.

Mrs. Otoke's school bus used to pick up the Portuguese kids. You had to pay monthly. The Filipinos didn't ride the bus; they'd walk. It was three miles to the elementary school. I couldn't wait to get to 3rd grade, when our parents allowed us to walk. You felt so grown up!

I was sad when I went back to visit. My house was gone. As soon as people moved out, they bulldozed the houses. By that time, people were renting them.

We didn't think we were poor. Everybody was the same. One girl told me her father and my father made the most money. Things like that were never talked about in our house. Everyone had a garden and a chicken run. My mother used to kill them, and my father cooked them at the table over charcoal. You kept adding to the pot. We'd eat the chicken and rice, then at the very end, my mother put noodles in the sauce and they'd call us back. My brother Tom brought a friend from Honolulu who loved it. Tom said he couldn't stop raving about our father's chicken hekka.

Outhouses had one big hole and one small hole for the kids. It was stinky if it was someone else's! Then they graduated to outhouses over a ditch and they'd flush them out from time to time. In my time, it was just a deep hole. When I was a teenager, new houses had flush toilets, but my parents had outhouses the whole time they lived on Kauai.

When I came to the mainland, my mother was afraid because I was going so far away. I told her, "You came farther. This is my own country. I speak the language. You were braver."

goodwin vid

by comment, katboy thoughtfully provided a link to vid of goodwin's demolition of bar of soap last night. i'm suffering major sg envy. new rekkid (out 2.29) is boss too.

the angry young them

couldn't get the goodwin live feed from bar of soap last night, but could get this clip of van morrison's early '60s group them off of youtube. haven't really been into anything van's done since astral weeks (one of the great records), but these belfast boyos were definitely the shit when it came to u.k. arranbee. (think the gtrist ever saw the 'oo?) plus, their cover of "it's all over now, baby blue" wiped the floor with dylan's 'riginal.

here in sopranoland, i've been listening to lotsa internet radio, and discovering the verity in my middle dtr's observation that the wider dynamic range on classical cd's makes them less-than-optimal listening for the car. however, the mix cd-r i got from stumptone gtrist frank cervantez kicks much ass; just need to wait to get home to find out what's on it (besides led zep's "since i've been loving you").

Saturday, January 19, 2008

my mother's silver service

my mother bought her silver service when she was 21, living and working in honolulu. she paid on them monthly for 10 years. her family never had silverware when she was growing up -- they used hashi. (that's chopsticks to you, gaijin.) when she got her silverware, she invited her sister and brother-in-law to dinner. they were very impressed.

dad's important papers

it's like a crazy jumble sale:
pages of computations, memos from 50 years ago,
medical and financial papers, all mixed up
with ancient utility bills, advertising circulars,
birthday cards, empty envelopes, and an invitation
to the credit union gala at the k. of c. hall
back where he used to 1983.
it's all here, except for the things he says
he's trying to find, and i can't help
but see it as a metaphor for the way
we cling to shreds and scraps
while the things we really value
are allowed to slip away.

Interview with my mother

My father's parents came from Oshima, an island in the Inland Sea. My mother's parents came from Kumamoto prefecture, on the southern island of Kyushu. Her father Toraki Sato was born in December 1882, a second son. Not many first sons from Japan wound up in Hawaii, because by custom, they inherited property. Toraki left Japan because he only had a small plot, too small to farm. He donated it to a Shinto shrine when he left. My older aunts, who were born in Hawaii but lived in Japan for a period while they were growing up, remember a "big river" that ran under the house. When my mother visited Japan for the only time in 1982, while I was stationed in Korea, she said she saw the house and the "river" was "a little ditch."

My grandfather Toraki was apprenticed to a blacksmith. He used to shoe horses. After he'd moved with his wife Chie (born four months before him) to Kohala, Hawaii, his boss transferred to the McBride sugar plantation on Kauai and sent for him. When the family -- the parents and six children (my uncle Tom was the only child not born on the Big Island) -- arrived on Kauai, the company sent a truck to pick them up with all their possessions. This wasn't commonly done for Japanese immigrants, so my grandfather must have been highly thought of.

Before World War I, Chie returned to Japan with the oldest four children. The outbreak of war prevented them from returning to Hawaii, and they stayd there for five years. My grandmother was plump and fair, with reddish hair, so people in Japan called her "Ijing" (foreigner). My mother used to tease her that she must have had some Dutch blood. Chie had very little schooling, but as an adult, she could still recite her elementary primer from memory.

My grandfather was quiet and reserved, but dignified and not without his own kind of humor. Once my grandmother was talking about him to her children, who laughed uproariously, not because of what he was saying (as she thought), but because her husband was standing right behind her. When she realized there, she startled. "All lies!" he said before walking away. Once he told my cousin Richard Koga, who was a talkative child, "Males should only speak three times a year!"

When I was a child, I was amazed that my mother could remember the names of all the families in her neighborhood when she was growing up, and all the family members, as well as all of her classmates from every year at school. She can still remember some of this. "House number 1 on our street was the Ohara family, with three sons. House number 2 was an elderly couple with no children. We were house number 8. House number 16 was the Hasegawa family, who had one daughter. They used to stand inside our gate and listen to us laughing while our father played with us. We made a lot of noise."

My mother was very aware that her family had limited resources. When her mother offered to pay for her to have piano lessons, she refused, because the family hadn't been able to pay for her older sisters to have them. She didn't go to college because she wanted her older brother Ed (who had missed the first couple of years of school due to illnesses and so became her classmate) to have the opportunity. Later, Ed persuaded their parents to send their youngest brother Tom to St. Louis Academy on Oahu because it was a better school than the ones on Kauai. Instead of attending college, my mother went to business school, which she never completed. Firms would call her school asking who the best students were and take them on for temporary assignments. She worked temp jobs with labor unions and the local chamber of commerce. After World War II, she worked for the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, when Hawaii was being developed as a tourist destination for all the demobilized GIs who'd come there during the war.

My mother's older sisters all studied sewing in the Japanese way in Hilo. My grandfather knew tatting and taught them to make lace. When my grandmother "tried to make [my mother] Japanese," her sisters told their mother, "Leave her alone. She's American." (to be continued)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

goodwin review @

feast or famine: there's _another_ review i wrote, this time of goodwin's cleverly-titled sophomore disc 2, at while the disc won't be out till 2.29.2008 (release party at the ridglea theater), you can hear the toons this friday at 6th street live (i'll call it lola's when i see the new sign).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

stumptone review @

stumptone's new cd, gravity finally released, won't be out till next month, but you can read a review i penned of it here. they be's at 6th street/lola's on 1.24.2008.

Monday, January 14, 2008

harmonica hi-jinks

hembree: i see your buddy greene and raise you toots thielmans.

tripping music

besides the aforementioned sides by thrones and trad gras och stenar, i'm taking a few discs i'm currently obsessed with (messiaen's quartet for the end of time, the 1938 bruno walter recording of mahler's symphony no. 9, magical power mako's trance resonance) as well as a few i've been meaning to spend some time with (mixes by stumptone's frank cervantez and other arts' herb levy, as well as some john carter that herb generously burned for me), and (courtesy of teague) death comes along's self-titled second album and the boredoms' vision creation newsun.

home away from home

turns out the fw symphony is performing at carnegie hall the night before i come back from nj -- a new piece by osvaldo golijov commissioned by the basses, plus brahms 'n' tchaikovsky warhorses -- and i might get to go (thanks, paul) if allah is merciful and fortune smiles.

aquarius records

i've always bought most of my cd's used, but i've been having fun reading the reviews on the website of aquarius records, a san francisco emporium that's "old enough to know better," having opened its doors in 1970 (!!!). penned by store employees, they're some of the best rekkid-related consumer guidance you'll find on the intarweb, imo.

and away we go

leaving for jersey tom'w. while i'm not a fan of air travel, the airport security experience is beginning to remind me of the trainyard scene from the pianist, and the weather where i'm going is frosty, with a fair amount of precipitation predicted while i'm there, i'm adopting the attitude i always do when i travel, which is "whatever happens, happens." plus i've got a book.


going through the stacks looking for cd's to take to new joisey (an exercise my sweetie 'n' i spent a lot of time going through in october, when we spent hardly any time at all in the car and thus, didn't get to listen to most of what we'd picked out), remembered that i have the day late, dollar short disc by thrones, the one-man-band solo project of joe preston, bringer of the four-string apocalypse for the likes of earth, the melvins, sunn o))), high on fire, an' like that whose alb sperm whale julian cope liked a lot. as for day late itself, it's surprisingly varied within the realm of heavy 'n' dark, and meets the criteria of being really long (eliminating the need to change discs while driving) and not too distracting from the task of navigating the garden state's ridiculous traffic system. (recently my dear old grey-haired mom scared the living bejeezus out of us by going missing for 21 hours as she made her way home from the bank via philadelphia, asbury park, new york city, and the delaware water gap. having driven in jersey before, i could kinda relate.)

trad gras och stenar

uncle johnny bargas brought me back their djungens lag cd after seeing 'em in san francisco in 2003, and graham richardson taught 'em how to drink tequila shots when they played at the wreck room (r.i.p.) the following year, but these guys -- the final fruition of a floating crap game that went through incarnations as parson sound, international harvester, and harvester before settling on the moniker that means "trees, grass, and stones" in their native swedish -- have a history dating back to 1967. by the time they were touring free festivals in 1970 (as documented on djungens lag), they were purveying a form of hipi pastoralism that sounded for all the world like an acidulated third velvet underground album as well as contemporaneous german stuff. they're the subject of the 2007 documentary from moja to minneapolis, which chronicles their travels across the states (no vid from el wreck, unfortunately) and is supposedly out on ntsc dvd.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

this morning

...i looked at myself in the mirror and thought, "da-a-amn, son, you're starting to look like one of the orangutans from planet of the apes." oh well -- at least they were intelligent, right?

bruce bickford

every thanksgiving, when my sweetie 'n' i watch frank zappa's baby snakes with the cats, i wonder if "that guy" -- claymation animator bruce bickford -- is still living. turns out he is, he's still working, and there's a documentary film out about him, too.

(thanks to arthur for the coat-pull.)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

last night

had aimee and piper over for dinner
after my sweetie took them out to buy dresses for aimee's wedding.
they looked so cute in the pics she took, trying 'em on.
aimee said the pork chop i cooked was perfect and piper
actually enjoyed some of the food (we got mrs. baird's bread,
chicken nuggets, and waffle fries for the occasion).
next time have to remember to get steak fries instead --
didn't know she likes 'em mealy.

afterward i dreamed that my mother needed her blood tested
but it couldn't be because the power cord for some machine was missing
(in the dream, found a note like one coworker would write to another;
for some reason, it made me really angry: "would you like me
to go to fucking radioshack and buy you another one?").
also dreamed about a deceased daughter (not one of my real ones) --
a strange note. put me in a weird frame of mind today.

all day long at work, i was more irritated than i'd usually be
by stupid shit, and i figure it just means that i'm vibing up
to go to jersey next week and help with my parents -- i feel like
i've gotta go there ready to fight, not that there's anybody there
i'm interested in fighting. just need to be in a "making
shit happen" frame of mind, rather than being overwhelmed
by the enormity of it all.

magical power mako's "trance resonance"

it's interesting how much japanese underground music has a ritual or theatrical basis. take masaki batoh's band ghost, f'rinstance, who are pretty pedestrian when they try and rawk out like a conventional western rockband, even with michio kurihara soloing on gtr, but can be hypnotic in the way they blend acoustic instruments with electronics, and do a lot of performances in sacred spaces (shrines, temples, churches, etc.). you can hear some of the same ritualistic tendency on magical power mako's trance resonance from '94, which my sweetie likes 'cos it has a voice output device on it. there are percussion bits that remind me of harry partch's delusion of the fury (see clips below), but of course partch was influenced by japanese noh plays. as hembree would say, "the world is both big and small." mako's also been tarred with the "world music" brush, and he mashes up various ethnic sounding percussion elements with krautrock-style space drone, spanish gtr, and electro clatter, but it's definitely _not_ a "dance record" (as the forced exposure blurb implied). my fave bit comes when he interrupts what sound like bolivian panpipes with random blasts of feedback and synth farts. oh yeah: you can find both this and blue dot on amazon for real cheap.

Friday, January 11, 2008

magical power mako's "blue dot"

when i was going to college for a minute back in the mid-'70s, there was a fella i knew there who had all the same equipment as jimi hendrix and could make all the same noises as jimi without playing a lick of music. once he even burned a marshall cabinet in the basement room where we usedta rehearse. (he also had an upholstered stratocaster, but that's another story.) that's what magical power mako's cd blue dot reminds me of: it's like electric ladyland, minus the songs. and i mean that in a _good_ way: after all, what use have japanese people for blues or r&b, even kan mikami, who calls his music "japanese blues" but sounds more in the neighborhood some sake-swilling geezer like my grandfather roaring his discontent than anything even remotely connected with african-american slave culcha. yeah, imagine if "1983...(a merman i should turn to be)"'s space jammage were extended to double elpee length. mako's drummer careens through space in sub-mitch mitchell fashion while the bassplayer burbles away as cluelessly as noel redding and mako himself creates an echoplexed feedback apocalypse better 'n the one randy hansen did for coppola's do lung bridge scene. best track: "mako drum," on which an echo-driven repetition morphs into a groove. this is lsd (or whatever)-addled silliness of the first order. plus, the animal on the cover looks like a squeezil. originally released on japanese marquee in 1995, reished stateside on atavistic.


damn! flipside trio played at the scat jazz lounge last night and i didn't know. shame on me! lotsa good stuff upcoming this month, including keith wingate (1.15 and 1.22), paul unger (1.17), dave monsch (1.25), joey carter (5-7 mon-fri and 1.30), and a tribute to marchel ivery (1.29). must check out when i get back for joisey.

dub for breakfast

courtesy of arthur, here's a li'l snippet of dub history with bunny lee, king tubby, and prince jammy.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

tokyo flashback 2

p.s.f. records (short for "poor strong factory" or "psychedelic speed freaks," depending) is a japanese label known for releasing the works of prolific avant-gardists, experimentalists, and psych weirdos like keiji haino (fushitsusha/vajra/sanhedolin), kan mikami, and asahito nanjo (high rise/mainliner/musica transonic/toho sara). since 1991, they've released six volumes in their tokyo flashback series of psych comps (an asia flashback volume, including korean and chinese artists, was released last december). i just got my hands on volume 2 and it's pretty high quality stuff, redolent of everything from summer of love frisco to noo yawk "no wave." set opener white heaven's "silver current" comes across like john cippolina jammin' with the chocolate watch band. perpetually black-clad master of all that's underground haino joins nanjo-san's power trio high rise for a workout on what sounds suspiciously like the beatles' "taxman," while elsewhere haino throws a ten-minute tantrum with fushitsusha in the form of a cover of "marianne" by '60s icons the jacks, and nanjo achieves feedback nirvana with ohkami no jikan on "thin city part 2." maher shalal hash baz sound barely capable of holding their instruments, while marble sheep and the run-down sun's children, led by ex-white heaven gtrist/captain trip records honcho ken matsutani, recall every good note ever played by jerry garcia and the after bathing at baxter's-era jefferson airplane. over hang party bring in velvets-via-my bloody valentine drone 'n' thump, while yura yura teikoku (called "yura yura kingdom" here) don't sound anywhere near as impressive as they did on their youtube vids (see earlier post). kousokuya, a three-piece with female bassist/vocalist, sound like all the feedback near-meltdowns from the interstices of the who live at leeds (a good thing, imo). ghost's track bears a curious resemblance to english folk music. a mixed bag, but enough to make me curious about the other volumes. might have to take thisun with me to jersey.

i'll sleep when i'm dead

not only am i an insomniac, but the house my sweetie 'n' i have lived in for the past almost-four years has a phone number which apparently used to belong to both a religious bookstore (which apparently is still showing it in one of their directory ads) and a doctor's office. so even if i don't drink too much coffee when i wake up early to make my sweetie breakfast, chances are good that some asshole is going to disturb my beauty sleep wanting a bible or an appointment. shame, shame!

scott walker

listening to kosmik radiation radio this morning, i got my first taste of scott walker, a singer namechecked by jon teague whom i remember reading about (as a member of the walker brothers of "make it easy on yourself"/"the sun ain't gonna shine anymore" fame) in my bible from snotnose/proto-music nerd daze, nik cohn's rock from the beginning. hearing scott's doomy baritone let me know in an instant where bryan ferry, eno-period david bowie, and iggy's bowie-inspahrd "opera voice" were coming from. an ohio-born jacques brel obsessive who made his way to california and thence to swinging london with his "brothers" -- either to pass for brits and "re-invade" their homeland or dodge the draft, depending -- his 2006 album the drift includes a song, "jesse," in which elvis confronts his stillborn twin ("i'm the only one left alive!") as some kind of metaphor for 9/11. of course, there's a biopic. his latest release is the music for a dance piece for "able-bodied and disabled dancers." fascinating stuff, and clearly an influence on the great tyrant, who record the end of next month.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

anthony bourdain

so i just spent three days at home, all good intentions to the contrary, lying on my ass, swilling wine, listening to messiaen's quartet for the end of time and a compilation of '90s japanese psychedelia called tokyo flashback 2, reviewing a cd i can't mention yet, and reading anthony bourdain's restaurant confidential. i tellya, this guy is my new hero: he can cook, he can write, he's funny as hell, and he likes punk rock. and he's from new york (well, new jersey). what's not to like?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

goodwin @ 6th street live, 1.18.2008

heard a rumor that when goodwin (whose sophomore ceedee should be ready _just any time now_*) takes the stage at 6th street live with darth vato (celebrating their 200th show!) on 1.18.2008, they're gonna have a _mystery special guest gtrist_ on board. hmmm...wonder who it could be? but i know at least one who's been in a band (or two) with all of the goodwin musos. now _that_ would be something. now i'm _really_ sorry i'm gonna be out of town for the show. but you prolly won't be.

* ADDENDUM: make that 2.29.2008, unless tony was just kidding on the radio the other night.

yura yura teikoku

here's yura yura teikoku, who formed in '89, appeared on psf records' tokyo flashback compilation series, and recorded four albs for ken matsutani's captain trip label before signing with sony (!!!) japan. somehow, they've managed to parlay velvets/rallizes weirdness into mass-ass popularity -- in japan, at least. go fig. maybe it's the surf-pop influence that's audible in the second clip. or the twisted zz top/john lee hooker-ism in the third. must...hear...more.

Monday, January 07, 2008

obama vs. mccain?

now that would be interesting.

the other detroit story

reading tony reitman's "the detroit hardcore scene" in swindle magazine. thanks to elisa ambroglio of magic markers / arthur mag for pulling my virtual coat. great musical archaeology. looks like an interesting rag, too.

is it any accident...

...that i've dropped my vinyl copy of the stooges' funhouse -- my favorite rekkid on _earth_ -- more times than any other that i own? i think not.

rob bosquez

was happy to see foat wuth dramatist rob bosquez at a friend's wedding (congrats yvonne and carlos!) over the holidays. he's been busy writing, and in 2008, he'll have two new plays produced at the rose marine theater, as well as his the boxer and the blonde by the butterfly connection.

kosmik radiation radio

here's the streaming archive of an interesting radio show out of madison, wisconsin, of all places. shows are only available online for two weeks after they broadcast, so the japrocksampler show that aired 12.12.2007 is already down, but the karlheinz stockhausen one will be up until 1.16.2008. dig it!

ADDENDUM: for an interesting auditory experience, play the interview in the first youtube clip over the radio show. stockhausen's music is mainly available via his own website at prices even more extortionate than the zappa family trust demands. maybe that's fitting/proper, though -- psychedelic music (which by my definition includes fz and '70s miles as well as the beatles and all the '60s musos who followed in their wake) really does begin here. "ceylon" even makes me think that cecil taylor musta been listening.

jr. walker, stevie wonder, the intruders

here are three more songs i remember from junior high school.

the drummer in one of the first live bands i ever saw, who were a coupla yrs older 'n i was, loved the fill from "uptight" so much that he played it on every song.

altho i was loth to admit it at the time, i always loved this kind of '60s vocal r&b and was quite surprised yrs later to hear latin express playing songs like the intruders' "together." this one was always my fave, however.

good rats

speaking of italo-american rockers from lawn guyland, here are the good rats, a band founded in the '60s by singer peppi marchello (the guy with the aluminum baseball bat) and his brother, gtrist mickey marchello (who usedta sport a big beard back in the day but now looks kinda like carlos saenz) and still, incredibly, active today (with peppi's sons on gtr and bass). we usedta make fun of these guys back when they were playing the same circuit as twisted sister and rat race choir (some of whose mbrs wound up backing john entwistle around the same time as these clips -- '97 and '99 -- of rats "original lineup" reunion shows), but in the fullness of time, they sound like a good old jazz-infused '70s hard rock band. what's not to like? (answer: peppi's ballads, which i'll not force you to endure.)

young rascals

in the german-irish-italian catholic 'hood where i grew up, these guys were bigger 'n the beatles, despite the silly-ass little lord fauntleroy suits they started out wearing.

who knew back then that they were covering a song 'riginally cut by the olympics?

two of 'em usedta play with joey dee & the starlighters of "peppermint twist" fame. (i'm hoping the size of joey's head in this vid is a function of tv distortion.) integrated band -- pretty cool for 1962. other ex-starlighters include jimi hendrix and...joe pesci! (you think i'm funny, like a clown?)


looks like i missed the deadline for the village voice pazz and jop poll -- that's what i get for not checking my yahoo spambox for six months or something. oh well. getting ready to head back to new joisey to take care of some family biz, so i'm kinda focused on that. i have three days off this week and don't even have anything i wanna write about. will prolly just do the floors in our house and cook a coupla good dinners for my sweetie (who goes back to work tom'w after two weeks off). maybe i'll walk up to 7th street barber shop and get a haircut. will have to borrow a gtr from my big sis while i'm up there so's i can learn "30 seconds over tokyo" in preparation for resumed stoogeband activity in february.


here's vid of the band ghost, led by gtrist masaki batoh. (michio kurihara is also a member.) i dig the way they combine folk, psych, and traditional japanese elements, kinda like the geinoh yamashirogumi and j.a. caesar sides i got from teague.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

magical power mako

well now, these are certainly some bizarre japanese ppl. as chronicled in julian cope's japrocksampler, magical power mako was a child prodigy fringe weirdo who started recording his own music as a teenager in 1970 and remains active to this day (the clips below are from 2006 and 2007, respectively). from what i've been able to glean so far, his music is krautrock-inspahrd trance-psych. looks like music from heaven from '81 was his "good" record, but that falls outside cope's late-'70s cutoff, so no help there. must investigate further.

johnnie taylor, james brown

i remember hearing these in the lunchroom in junior high, 1968.

bertha coolidge

bertha coolidge reunion show is on for next sunday, 1.13.2007, at 6th street live.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

bird and whale

daniel huffman, ex-ghostcar muso who might or might not be part of the next kamandi incarnation, sent this link to a site where you can stream or download ppl's mix tapes, including one he made.

boris w/michio kurihara

here's my fave current band not from the 817, boris, with guest gtrist michio kurihara (ghost/white heaven), playing three songs from their "rainbow" alb collaboration that i somehow managed to miss last yr, on tour in the states last october.

Friday, January 04, 2008


i kept cracking myself up the other night at work, thinking about the episode of anthony bourdain: no reservations when he's in vietnam and they tell him that the animal he's eating is "squeezil" (it turns out to be a porcupine): in my mind, it's become a kind of emblem of undeliciousness, which i imagine looking like the long-snouted stuffed animal i won for my sweetie on the boardwalk at seaside park a coupla yrs ago. tonight my middle dtr brought her niece over for dinner and i was reminded that to my granddaughter, all of the food at my house is like squeezil. the bread is hard and even the orange juice has pulp. i've got to remember to buy a bag of frozen chicken nuggets. and maybe a loaf of mrs. baird's to keep in the freezer.

r.i.p. tahiti's mom

our friend tahiti from ppt lost his mom this week. sounds like she was a great lady.

"Fort Worth -- Frances Dorcas Lawson Archey, 65, a retired special education and music teacher, passed away Wednesday Jan 2, 2008 following a long, hard battle with multiple sclerosis. Frances Archey was born Jun 2, 1942 to William and Frances Lawson in Tifton, GA. She grew up in Piermont, NY attending Tappan Zee High School. Upon graduation from high school, Frances entered Howard University in Washington, DC where she earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Upon graduation from college, she married her spouse of 41 years, Walter J. Archey, Jr., a career airforce officer. During her married years, Frances was involved in many pursuits ranging from raising three sons to being president of the Toastmistress Chapter at Ellsworth AFB,SD. Additionally, she taught music in her home as well as in several different public schools around the country. Frances and her husband moved to Fort Worth in 1987 and made it home. She was a member of the congregation of the Church of The Holy Apostles and was involved in numerous committees and groups within the church. Frances was a bright, energetic person who had many friends and admirers. Her strong suit was her creative genius which she employed in all aspects of her life. Although she has suffered from MS most of her adult life, she always had a positive attitude and never felt sorry for herself. Survivors: Husband, Walter Archey of Fort Worth. Sons, Walter Archey III and wife Danielle of Fort Worth, William Archey and wife Maureen of Chicago, IL and Benjamin Archey of Euless, TX.; mother, Frances Lawson of Oxford, NC; sister, Lutrell Bullock of Oxford, NC; grandchildren, Walter IV and Asha Archey of Fort Worth."

our kitten predicted the iowa caucus outcome

the other night, augie "the suckler" came in through the cat door and made a sound like "bra-a-a-ak." we both heard it. at the time, i commented that he was probably talking back to the squeaky cat door. in the fullness of time, i think it's possible that he was predicting barack obama's victory in the iowa caucus. call me crazy.

here's some iowa muso playing a song he wrote about the caucus which makes me think that carey wolff should write a political song.

let sam cooke have the last word:

Thursday, January 03, 2008

sharon jones & the dap kings

here's something uplifting to get me out the door to work. boy am i sorry i missed her when eric hermeyer brought her to the wreck. best woody guthrie cover of all ti-i-ime.

epi g-400

when my indonesian squier strat clone (which i changed strings on yesterday for the first time in i can't remember how long) finally shits out for good, i think i'm gonna get me one of these. while it doesn't have p-90s like my '65 sg did, i like the alnico humbuckers better 'n the open-coil ones, and i've seen these on offer for like three bills, which is twice what i'd pay for another black strat clone, but i figure it's all hypothetical anyway. and it comes in cherry red.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

amazing journey

so anyway, my sis-in-law sent me the dvd of amazing journey: the story of the who, which isn't gonna make anybody forget jeff stein's the kids are alright, but is still worthwhile viewing if'n you're a fan. in fact, if you're _not_ a fan, it'll give you a better idea what all the fuss was/is about than tkaa, altho from the fanboy's perspective, it's frustrating to catch glimpses of so many classic shows (including the aforementioned london coliseum, tanglewood, and charlton, not to forget leeds 2.14.1970, which i didn't even realize was filmed) and not a single complete performance in the bunch (except the two songs that kit lambert and chris stamp filmed at the railway hotel in 1964, which appear on the second disc).

i'll admit that 1) the 'oo were the first band that i ever loved and 2) i've been ambivalent about them since quadrophenia. by the time i got out of high school in '74, i'd lost the thread, and as much as i tried to convince myself i liked their albs starting with who are you, i almost walked out on 'em when they played dallas in '79, and i still projectile vomit anytime i hear "eminence front." i viewed all their post-'83 reunions pretty cynically, altho i was surprised at how impressed i was when i ponied up $80 for a friend's extra ticket to see 'em in y2k (altho it still felt creepy to be in a reunion arena-ful of ppl my age or older). and when i expressed said cynicism to hembree, his response was something along the lines of, "if i can tour with a band i love to play in when i'm 60, you betcher ass i will." point taken.

i always say that my favorite muso stories are about groups of ppl growing up together through music, and it certainly ain't townshend and daltrey's fault that they got to have more time together than, say, the mc5 (subject of my all-time fave rock biopic mc5: a true testimonial) did, or that they managed to garner more fame 'n' acclaim in their days than my local faves from here in the fort have. the filmmakers (murray lerner, who filmed the 1970 isle of wight festival, and paul crowder, who edited lotsa vh-1 behind the music episodes as well as stacey peralta's dogtown and z-boys) deal with the tough stuff -- the deaths of 11 fans at cincinnati's riverfront coliseum in '79 as well as those of moon, entwistle, and townshend's svengali kit lambert; they even briefly touch on the latter-day (unproven) kiddie porn allegations against townshend, and interview early producer shel talmy (who successfully sued the band for breaking his contract and once tried to sell his who master tapes on ebay).

for once, the dominant voice in the narrative is someone other than townshend's -- in this case, daltrey, who's never been my favorite but comes across a lot more sympathetic than he did, say, on the kids are alright bonus disc where he sounded, um, kinda brain-damaged. maybe i'm getting sentimental in my dotage, but i find it disarming to hear a man in his 60s talking about wanting to be like elvis when he was a teen (and realizing that he actually lived that dream, which musta felt like sci-fi to somebody from his west london 'hood). while there's no way that the 2004 song "real good looking boy" is going to supplant sell out or leeds when i need a who fix, i find i'm able to respect it more 'n lots of their late-period music, and even muster some interest in the mini-feature on its recording (with, um, greg lake on bass!). in the fullness of time, in fact, it's the connection in the now between these 60somethings that gives this telling of their tale its special poignancy.

the 'oo @ charlton '74

two of my fave songs that i didn't even realize they played at that show. christ, there's a lot of this stuff out there. there's also a '75 show from the houston summit out there in youtubeland. the intarweb really _is_ so much more than p0rn.

the 'oo @ tanglewood '70 and london coliseum '69

usedta have these clips on the 30 years of maximum r&b vhs, which i recall being boss if a li'l too heavy on the post-moon material. if someone like the hendrix family were handling the who's release sked, they'd put these shows out in their entahrty.

the 'oo on french tv

been watching a new doc on the who (about which more later) courtesy of my sister-in-law in illinois (thanks, betsy!), and just stumbled on these clips which were taped in england, late '66, and aired on tv in france the following year -- some of the best footage of them i've seen from the period.

never say never again

i did some scrawl for this week's music feature in the fw weekly in response to associate editor anthony mariani's question, "what would hang on the walls of a hard rock cafe-type bar/club in which all of the memorabilia was 817-related?" the italian kid used all but one of my submissions, but my faves are actually one of his ("one of matt hembree's clones") and one of ex-cd warehouse dude justin press' ("crates from sound warehouse and peaches record store"). and, heh heh, the li'l stoogeband is actually mentioned twice in the piece.

darrin kobetich

...gots a gig coming up at 4 star coffee bar on 1.19.2008, a "gtrists-in-the-round"-type situation with his pals kavin allenson, underground railroad progfather bill pohl, and austinite jimmy jo natoli. (kavin and bill also have a date at the blue grotto on 2.16.2008.) darrin also sez that sumassouls, his new project with his 1989-94 hammer witch bandmate wayne abney (bass/voxxx) and drummer ed velez, has been writing material and could be ready to take it to the stage by springtime.

ADDENDUM: darrin's also playing at fonky fred's this sat'day, 1.5.2008.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

the meters

need a relief from all this melancholia...think it's time for an infusion o' funk from the fonky meters, from nawlins:

the last song ever at the wreck room

...from the gideons:

da fudge

as i listen to early-'70s japanese psych and think i'm being reminded of led zep, black sabbath, src, mountain, mk I deep purple, the pretty things, an' like that, underneath it all is _the influence that dare not speak its name_ -- the evil spectre of the vanilla fudge.

wreck room demo pics @

my sweetie posted pics of our beloved spot as a pile of rubble here. so many memories, gone to dust.