Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Things we like

1) The cymbal wash Mike Throneberry played during Stumptone's set at Lola's last Monday that sounded as if it was flowing naturally out of the harmonics from Chris Plavidal's guitar. Chris says Stumptone's new record will be out in the fall. All I ever need is something to look forward to.

2) The new Fungi Girls cassette Old Foamy. When I last saw them a couple of years ago, these boys were playing live shows of withering intensity, and you can hear some of that in these three songs. No one else I've heard in the last decade has a better command of the impulse that birthed surf music, "garage rock," and punk (with a little psychedelic spice floating atop the ocean of reverb). Sky is moving to Oakland in December, so this could be their swan song, but what a way to go.

3) The musical dialogue Mondo Drummers honcho Eddie Dunlap got into with a blind high school student when Mondo played the annual picnic for visually impaired students at Greenbriar Park. Mondo now has a gig the third Thursday of every month at Shipping and Receiving.

4) The Fort Worth debut of Wire Nest. Sure, their visuals weren't working, and Frank and John said they weren't able to get into the intuitive space they like to inhabit, but their deep beat science sure sounded good to me, and whetted my appetite to hear Sub Oslo when they play Lola's with Pinkish Black and the Diamond Age on June 14th.

5) The CD-R of guitar instrumentals my friend Jim Crye (Volume Dealer, Lifesize) handed me when we ran into each other at the market. Jim's a metal virtuoso of imposing expressiveness that more people should know of, and he's crafted easily digestible settings for his jaw-dropping fretwork that recall Steve Vai and Joe Satriani back when they were commercially viable.

6) The new, Britt Robisheaux-produced CD by Momentary Gamelan Ensemble aka the remains of HIO. The sound is more unified than it was back when Hickey and I were adding our boing-boing/pounding and scraping noises to the mix, and the net effect is either monotonous or hypnotic, depending upon what you like. Terry, Mark and friends continue holding down a regular gig the last Sunday of every month at the Cellar.

7) The new Neil Young record A Letter Home. Recorded in the record-your-voice booth in Jack White's Nashville record store, the covers of songs Neil loved in his yoof remind me of crappy cassette recordings I made when I was trying to learn to sing and play at the same time. The intimacy is charming, as are Neil's messages to his mom -- "Talk to Daddy, and say hello to Ben," which made me realize that Neil's son is named after his old steel guitarist.

8) Crate-digging at Doc's. While I have a higher hit rate online, there's nothing like holding a record in your hand to tell you whether or not you really need it.


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