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[ aquarius records new arrivals list #127 ]


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-=- =-= -=- =-= -=- =-= -=- =-= -=-   Aquarius Records

=-= -=- =-= -=- =-= -=- =-= -=- =-= New Arrivals #127
-=- =-= -=- =-= -=- =-= -=- =-= -=- 28 December 2001

Hello and happy holidays!

We weren't sure if we'd be able to get a new list out before the end of the year, what with people going off on vacation (or getting sick -- Andee's got what he calls "pneumonia", and Jeff was out for a week with chicken pox, believe it or not, the poor boy!) and the general Xmas bustle. But we've managed to throw one together somehow, and it's got a ton of great stuff on it, including new releases from the Wu-Tang, Barry Adamson & Pan Sonic, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, Enslaved, Fushitsusha, and local darlings Coach Whips. Then there's some great Swedish psych reissues, and two new volumes of the Love, Peace & Poetry series, and some new noise/electronics/drone discs from Japan's Alchemy Records label! Oh, and don't forget to check out the many, many volumes of rare DIY/punk/powerpop tracks compiled on cd-r by the folks at Hyped 2 Death that we just got in... Yep, tons of great stuff!

However, we've picked only one record of the week this time, that's the fab Devil's Anvil album of Middle Eastern fuzz-psych rock from 1967. Only one record of the week, 'cause there were too many runners up to easily decide on additional honorees (Nagisa Ni Te? Enslaved? International Harvester? Kemialliset Ystavat? Infidel?/Castro!? Cylob??)

Daniel Robin has finished a new episode of his AQ domcumentary series, to be found at http://neighborhoodfilms.com. In this one he embarrasses Windy by filming her shoes and such. I mean, the woman has nice shoes, but calling attention to them has given her red cheeks. And we have a great argument (er, discusison) about Allan's nice new shirt he got from his ultra cool clothing designer galfriend.

We'd also like to warn any local folks who're buying used goods *not* to do business with a Scott Standridge. This guy sold us a used iMac recently. Within a week the monitor started going wonky, and within another coupla weeks the hard drive up and died. To make matters worse, after we had spent hundreds of dollars installing a brand new hard drive, now the internal power supply is on the blink and must also be replaced. Dude ripped us off. We bought the Mac in good faith. Did Standridge do the right thing and give us our money back? Of course not, and he also refused to even split the repair / replacement costs. So, please *beware* of this untrustworthy seller.

So, please enjoy the list, and have a happy New Year! We wish all our friends and customers (one and the same, usually!) all the best in 2002. Lots of love to all from your pals at AQ.

----*
----* Record of the Week :
----*

album cover FREAK SCENE, THE / THE DEVIL'S ANVIL Psychedelic Psoul / Hard Rock From The Middle East (Collectables) cd 15.98
In light of recent events, we figured that this reissue of "Hard Rock From the Middle East" would make a great choice for record of the week...no, we don't mean 'cause of the current war, we mean because of the popularity of the "Turkish Delights" and "Hava Narghile" compilations 'round these parts. We've been super-into those collections of fuzzed-out '60s Middle Eastern psych-rock this year, as are quite a few of you, judging by their still-booming sales. So, when we recently discovered this 1998 cd that contains the reissued The Devil's Anvil album, it quickly became a favorite at AQ.
The cover art shows the band hangin' in the desert in front of the pyramids of Egypt -- but don't be fooled, they were actually mostly Arab-Americans, based in New York City. Still, their rock n' roll was as authentically "Middle Eastern" as their Turkish contemporaries. They could have held their own with the likes of Erkin Koray and Mogollar.
Ok, now we'd better explain about this particular cd (pay attention, it gets kinda confusing): Sony's Collectables has reissued two long-out-of-print 1967 albums by two totally different bands on *one* disc. The bands are tenuously connected through the friendship of The Freak Scene's Rusty Evans and Felix Pappalardi of The Devil's Anvil, as the two had played together four years previous. Okay, so maybe it's a bit of a stretch putting these two albums together on one disc. Whatever. The real treasure here is The Devil's Anvil album.
The Devil's Anvil got together in the happenin' mid sixties Greenwich Village scene, playing their Middle Eastern influenced music at folk cafes and rock clubs. Eventually they hooked up with classical musician-turned-rocker Felix Pappalardi (producer of Cream's "Disraeli Gears", later to play alongside Leslie West in Mountain). He began playing bass with the band and eventually scored the group a record deal. The resulting album was truly one-of-a-kind and would certainly made greater impact had it not been released on the very eve of the Arab-Israeli war in 1967. Thus, no New York radio stations would play it and unfortunately the album has remained an expensive collector's find until now.
The rock contained herein is absolutely kick ass, with bluesy and impassioned Arabic vocals, electric (or at least amplified) oud, bouzouki, tamboura, durbeki as well as the usual rock suspects of (fuzz!) guitar, bass and drums. The majority of the tracks here are either rock arrangements of traditional Middle Eastern and Greek numbers or original compositions, but a couple are actually straight traditional numbers with no western instruments at all. Plus there's an excellent Middle Eastern-esque rock arangement of "Misirlou" that's perhaps the best version ever recorded, IMHO. And the record ends with a Devil's Anvil original that kinda reminds us of one of the Beatles' more Eastern-influenced tunes. This is about as good as it gets. Even if the Freak Scene album doesn't interest you at all, this cd is still worth buying for The Devil's Anvil alone. Very, very highly recommended! Nay, ESSENTIAL.
(As for The Freak Scene -- you might guess from that band's name and album title, The Freak Scene were a bit of a psychedelic-era novelty, a studio project put together by producer/songwriter Evans for CBS Records. The record exploits all of the trippy tropes of the times, from Eastern-raga modes to LSD-inspired lyrics. It's no classic, but does include at least one truly great psych-pop track, the Nuggets-worthy "A Million Grains of Sand". The Freak Scene also indulges in dated but amusing free-form sound-collage experiments like "...When In The Course of Human Events (Draft Beer, Not Students)" which tries to make a statement about the whole sixties counterculture vibe. It's a mix of Pete Seeger, Laugh-In, an LSD party -- Vietnam-era pop culture hippie kitsch -- consider it a free bonus that comes with The Devil's Anvil album.)
RealAudio clip: THE DEVIL'S ANVIL "Wala Dai"
RealAudio clip: THE DEVIL'S ANVIL "Shisheler"
RealAudio clip: THE DEVIL'S ANVIL "Hala Laya"
RealAudio clip: THE DEVIL'S ANVIL "Basaha"
RealAudio clip: THE FREAK SCENE "Draft Beer, Not Students"
RealAudio clip: THE FREAK SCENE "A Million Grains of Sand"
RealAudio clip: THE FREAK SCENE "My Rainbow Life"

----*
----* Selected New Arrivals :
----*

album cover 310 Nothing To See Here (Desolat) cd 14.98
Simply subtitled "Short Stories by 310," "Nothing To See Here" lives up to its name as a series of short tracks culled from processed field recordings of waves crashing, creaking floors, crickets, Southern gospel call-and-response choirs, distant church bells, feet shuffling across a dishevelled floor, and a whole bunch of other very discreet sounds. Instead of their usual post-rock / electronica (ala Fridge or Four Tet) 310 offers a sound quite similar in feel to Stars Of The Lid with dreamy fluctuations of synthetic sound, tremolo vibrations and ambient swish. Nice.
RealAudio clip: "Nothing To See Here 4"
RealAudio clip: "Nothing To See Here 6"

album cover 500 FT. OF PIPE Dope Deal (Beard of Stars) cd 14.98
Detroit's 500 Ft. Of Pipe are another new band of hard-rockin' hopefuls in the crowded stoner rock arena, and they are better than most. What with their Motor City pedigree, they align more with Stooges-fans Monster Magnet than with Kyuss (Kyuss being the most common template for young stoner rock bands to follow, y'know). There's (of course) a big drug fixation going on here -- witness song titles like "420 to Go", "Dope Deal", and "D.E.A." Loud, bass-heavy, rock action, with psychedelic balls enough to cover Donovan's "Sunshine Superman"! Allan's fave stoner rock disc of the year.
RealAudio clip: "Detroit City (Never Done Me No Good)"
RealAudio clip: "Wear It Out"

album cover ADAMSON, BARRY + PAN SONIC The Hymn Of The Seventh Illusion (Kitchen Motors) cd 15.98
From its beginnings, the Icelandic arts organization Kitchen Motors has been pairing off interesting cross-platform artists who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to work together. "The Hymn Of The Seventh Illusion" was a commission by Kitchen Motors for Pan Sonic and Barry Adamson to score a composition for the Hljomeyki Choir from Iceland. Surprised yet delighted to be working together, Adamson (best known for coining the term "imaginary filmscore" within his amazing noir albums such as "Moss Side Story) and Pan Sonic (the Finnish pioneers of ultra-minimal techno) had arrived an amazing piece that could have been a snippet from the eerie GYoRGY LIGETI chorales that were so instrumental to the sense of alienation within Kubrick's "2001." Utilizing the natural reverberation from Digraneskirkja church in Reykjavik, Pan Sonic and Adamson gently fluttered sustained vocal tones amidst the space, occasionally allowing for the choir to delve into a simple haunting melody, whilst Pan Sonic sets down a very subdued electronic back beat. Hopefully, the Kitchen Motors collaboration between Adamson and Pan Sonic won't end here!
Compounding the collaborative spirit, Kitchen Motors employed The Hafler Trio (whose solo member Andrew McKensie now lives in Iceland) to remix "The Hymn Of The Seventh Illusion." As McKensie has been moving further away from the fictional research projects and more towards the electro-acoustic studies from Luigi Nono, The Hafler Trio is a perfect fit. This remix has stretched and abstracted the polyphony of the chorus into a very creepy extended drone collage. Very nice work!
RealAudio clip: "The Hymn Of The Seventh Illusion"
RealAudio clip: "The Hymn Of The Seventh Illusion (Hafler Trio Remix)"

album cover AIRPLANES ARE BETTER Power (ReSTART) cd ep 5.98
Here is a new ep from this power pop trio of twenty year olds from El Paso Tx. They sound like emo boy rock, ala Slint (only harder) Drive Like Jehu or June of 44. You know what im talking about. three songs. Full sounding and driving with dual vocals. produced by Jim Ward of At The Drive-In.
RealAudio clip: "Orange On Brown"
RealAudio clip: "You Look Left"

album cover AIRPORT 5 / GUIDED BY VOICES Fading Captain Series #16: Selective Service (Luna Music) cd 12.98
Oh, those familiar voices and just as familiar chord changes of Bob Pollard and Tobin Sprout. In my opinion, the most successful tunes here are the more upbeat ones, the slower ones tend to somewhat trudge along. The title track I've fondly renamed "Hold Your Horses, I'm Tuning My Guitar". Yup, another episode in Mr. Pollard's ever-growing Fading Captain Series. For GBV die-hard completists only.
RealAudio clip: "Selective Service"
RealAudio clip: "Stifled Man Casino"

album cover AMM Fine (Matchless) cd 17.98
AMM emerged from the first generation of UK free jazz musicians in the mid-60s, taking the notion of spontaneous improvisation well beyond any of the kind of restrictions that would locate their music within the realms of jazz, minimalism, rock, or Fluxus-based composition techniques. If there is any taxonomic space for AMM (beyond simply being AMM), it would have to be near John Cage's indeterminancy yet shaped by a collective understanding from a group that has been listening to each other quite intently for almost 40 years. While guitarist Keith Rowe and percussionist Eddie Prevost have been involved in AMM since the beginning, pianist John Tilbury began his tenure in the ensemble in the early '80s, superceding Lou Gare and Cornelius Cardew. Between Keith Rowe's growling guitar feedback and use of transistor radio hum, Prevost's scraped metals and bowed cymbals, and Tilbury's abstractions from prepared piano, AMM speaks between the borders of synethetic and acoustic to create their textually rich yet quietly mapped out music. "Fine" is their latest artifact created as the accompaniment for the dancer Fine Kwiatkowski. This album is one of AMM's quieter albums, utilizing space and volume very effectively throughout this gritty abstraction built from the tiniest application of electrical buzzings, grating motors, metallic clatter, shortwave modulations, steel string scrapings, and spartan clusters of notes from Tilbury's piano. Many talented artists have attempted to emulate them, but AMM remains in a class of its own, and this album is no exception.
RealAudio clip: "Part One"
RealAudio clip: "Part Six"

album cover ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM Shopping Carts Crashing (Antipop Recordings) cd 25.00
Anti-Pop has been one of my favorite hip hop groups almost from the first time I heard them, melding an old school, deadpan sort-of tongue-tied De La Soul flow, over unlikely loops and strange samples, with bizarre and confusingly brilliant lyrics that occasionally move beyond bragging and boasting. The deal was sealed when I got to see the ultimate soundclash: Alec Empire spinning rafter-rattling, hyper-distorted beats, Merzbow spitting out shrieking, hissing white noise, and the Anti Pop Consortium, somehow rapping over the whole mess, and fitting perfectly. 'Shopping Carts Crashing' is a Japanese-only release that came out last year, but we only just now got enough to list it. And it's worth the wait. Sparse and dark loop-scapes under a landslide of rapid fire rhyming, boasting on a level so beyond mere mortal rappers that those dissed will very likely not even realise it, instead, scratching their chins, confused, and reaching for their dictionaries. Awesome production, with soaring strings (plucked and bowed), buzzing electrical interference, woofer-rattling synths, old 606 and 909 drum programming, vocoder, space echo, and of course...shopping carts crashing, literally. But the MCs are the main attraction, spitting out rhyme after rhyme of verbose lyrical fuckery, free flowing non-sequiters, mutated metaphors and straight up old fashioned bad ass mouthing off! So so good. Worth the import price tag! And I like it even more since I discovered that one of the guys in the Anti-Pop Consortium is the same guy who is always mean to me whenever I visit a certain 'other' record store.
RealAudio clip: "Angular"
RealAudio clip: "Tilt"
RealAudio clip: "Throat Cultures"

album cover AOA Emotion Vacation (Psy-Harmonics) cd 16.98
AOA is a Boredoms related group featuring newest member E-da and bassist Hilah (formerly Hira). "Emotion Vacation", their second full length, was recorded in Melbourne, Australia by "deep house / industrial techno / trance" producer Ollie Olsen. Eye supposedly makes a guest appearance on one track -- playing gong -- nothing exceptional, though. Very drum heavy and trancey, but unfortunately doesn't quite live up to our high expectations or overall high quality of most Boredoms-related projects (Z-Rock Hawaii, anyone??). Certainly worth seeking out for hardcore fans, but if you're looking for more psychedelic drum circle trance-out, best to seek out Psycho-Baba first.

album cover AUBE Timemind (Alchemy) cd 19.98
Wow! An exceptional release from Akifumi Nakajima aka Aube! While most recordings by this highly prolific artist utilize unique sound sources (water, fluorescent lamps, heartbeat, or most notoriously - an amplified Bible!), "Timemind" is a more rhythmic, one might say musical affair which involves the Firstman SQ-01 - a monophonic analogue sequence synthesizer produced in the early eighties. Psychedelic synthesizer trippiness in the vein of Klaus Schulze (the liner notes say "Timemind" is dedicated to him), Tangerine Dream, Terry Riley and Doctor Who! the second installment in Alchemy's incredibly awesome "Inner Mind" series of cosmic-psychedelica!
RealAudio clip: "Timemind/Bar 2. 1-A" III"

album cover BILLION DOLLAR BABIES Complete Battle Axe (NMC) 3cd 29.00
A tasty three disc set from Billion Dollar Babies, the band comprised of three former Alice Cooper Band members who namd themselves after an Alice Cooper song and recorded just one album in 1977 -- Battle Axe. While disc one is the entire Battle Axe album presented for the first time on cd, and disc three is their first ever live show (Flint, Michigan 1977, totally fierce!), it is disc 2 that I keep coming back to. These are the original demos, and while there's lots of tape hiss and murky production on the demos, I really like their rough handhewn quality. Lots of cowbells, buttkicking hooks, fistpumping attitude, glam-via-Arizona wonderfulness. A very cool previously undiscovered hard rock gem.
RealAudio clip: "Shine Your Love"
RealAudio clip: "I Miss You (live)"

album cover BLIND GUARDIAN And Then There Was Silence (Century Media) cd ep 8.98
It's not the long-awaited new full length album from these Tolkien-obsessed German heavy metallers, but it IS two new songs, one of 'em a bona fide epic clocking in at 14:07, and that's cause enough for rejoicing 'round these parts! We've been waiting for a follow-up to their amazing "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" for a couple years now, and this (along with the Lord of the Rings movie!) has really upped our anticipation! This uber-popular band (in German, Japan, Korea... and Middle-Earth, at least) specializes in Queen-meets-Maiden power prog pomp metal. But, unlike similar over-the-top contemporaries like Rhapsody and Lost Horizon, they somehow AREN'T as cheesy and absurd... No, you really have to respect 'em as artists. They have a certain dignity. You won't catch them running around in frilly shirts, waving swords (not that there's anything wrong with that, but...) -- indeed, in the cd-rom video that is included on this cdep, the band performs in t-shirt and jeans, looking a lot more like Kreator or some other non-fantastical metal band. But, musically, they surely create otherworldly, incredible epics. "And Then There Was Silence" has an ancient Greek theme, fitting for a band that themselves will someday be considered classic.
RealAudio clip: "And Then There Was Silence"

album cover BORTHWICK HOLLAND FILLIERS Helene (Temporary Residence Ltd.) cd 12.98
When D.C. recording engineer / producer Trevor Kampfmann himself makes music, he goes by the moniker Trevor/hollAND. Dunno if you recall the Takako Minekawa remix record from a few years ago, but Trevor contributed what is in my opinion the best remix on it... and surprise!, rumor has it he didn't even use any of Minekawa's songs in the remix, he just handed 'em whatever totally-unrelated music he was working on at the time, which happened to be amazing. Here Trevor again teams up with photographer Mark Borthwick (who took the photo for Sonic Youth's Thousand Leaves album) and French model Helene Filliers who provides a somber, toneless reading of a fragmented love poem written by Borthwick. The entire 38-minute recording is done in one track -- it's actually the audio to an art installation -- with long stretches of silence and repeated vocalizing from Filliers (she says "and then..." like 47 times), punctuated by some audio trickery such as tape loops and stereo separation.
Unfortunately it's only when trevor/hollAND lets loose with his musical interludes that the record gets going. Acoustic guitars mingle sweetly with chiming synths and stuttery percussive loops and cuts. He knows how pretty his material it is, and knows that in order tone down the sweetness it's better to situate his music within more experimental contexts. Trevor/hollAND and Borthwick are certainly talented, but this record is trying my patience. A disappointment from the usually trustworthy label Temporary Residence. Comes with a couple Borthwick polaroids and a foldout poster with the poem's text.
RealAudio clip: "Helene"

album cover BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE Bravery Repetition and Noise (Committee to Keep Music Evil) cd 14.98
The follow-up to last year's 6-song EP "Zero: Songs From The Album 'Bravery, Repetition And Noise'" (which it should be noted actually only contained 3 of the songs from this full length) and 1998's album-proper '"Strung Out In Heaven" finds Brian Jonestown Massacre moving even further from their earlier, considerably more volatile, Stones-esque presence as well as their later rootsy blues phase. Now in their eleventh year, they've still got their trippy, psyched out edge, but without a hint of the raucous irreverence of their past. BJM mainman Anton Newcombe has incorporated all of their past stylistic turns with a somewhat more early '80s Brit sound; I might even venture to say that the fourth and fifth tracks sound a bit Cure-ish. The final track is a great, expansive special mix of the track "If I Love You" -- mellow, moving and verging on pretty.
RealAudio clip: "Open Heart Surgery"
RealAudio clip: "If I Love You"

BRUHIN, ANTON Orax / Rotomotor (Alga Marghen) cd 16.98
An archival release of '70s cassette-tape works by this odd Swiss sound artist, consisting of environmental sounds, ping-pong recording techniques, and other spatial / audio experimentation. Byram thinks most of this is the sound of good European arts funding gone to waste, except for the last piece, which is an absolute mindnumbing half-hour palindromic recitation of German words arranged by their similarity in sound. Makes the disc worth owning for this track alone. Allan agrees that "Rotomotor" is the best track, but he finds the rest of this at least intriguing, especially through earphones.
On a side note: If you come into AQ fairly frequently you may have observed this customer we have that is always knocking shit off the counter. We want to say something to him but we're too embarrassed to confront his hamfistedness, so we're passive-aggressively mentioning it here, for 6000 people to enjoy. Well, said customer has acquired a young apprentice now, and one night the two of them came in together to polish up their anti-social skills. Anyway, the younger fella comes up to the counter to ask about this cd, if we have two of them -- cuz of course these guys must be peas in a pod -- so they can both get one. Well, turns out that the nicely sealed copies we showed 'em both had ever so slight dimples on the upper right hand corner (like a light impression made by a pointed object, so slight as to be practically invisible). Because of this, annoying apprentice desired the display copy instead. But if YOU can deal with the "invisible dimple", we've still got a couple copies.
RealAudio clip: "Orax"
RealAudio clip: "Rotomotor"

album cover BYRDS, THE The Preflyte Sessions (Sundazed) 2cd 27.00
In 1964 recording engineer Jim Dickson set down on tape the earliest incarnation of the Byrds, even, it seems, before they named themselves that -- they had also used the monikers Beefeaters and Jet Set (a Jet Set single is included here). This is what some refer to as the purest version of the Byrds -- the quintet of Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, Michael Clarke and Chris Hillman. It's pre-"Mr Tambourine Man", pre-their debut album, pre-Gram Parsons, pre-country rock, pre-psychedelia... this is The Beginning of The Byrds. Some tracks feature McGuinn before Dickson had even introduced him to the Rickenbacher 12-string, so the Byrds-style twangy lushness isn't always present here. Some of you will most likely say, well, if it was pre-everything that made them special, then what's the point? Well, fair enough. This is certainly only for the Byrds collectors amongst us. But the warbly acoustic versions of many Byrds songs are glorious to hear. And as David Fricke rightly says: "This may be the most honest music the Byrds ever made, because they did it without a thought for who might hear it or how it would sell." McGuinn himself recalls, "We *barely* knew the tape was rolling."
The cd comes packaged in a slipcase with an excellent accompanying book of liner notes, many darling photos (those guys were like 20 years old, so young!), 2 nice postcards, discographical info, & comments from all the bandmembers, plus Pamela Des Barres, Domenic Priore, etc.
Annoyingly, the LP version, while it is on 180 gm vinyl and features a nice gatefold sleeve for its two albums, only features 28 tracks. The cd version has 40! Huh? And while the 16 of the tracks on the cd version were previously unissued, only 9 from the LP version have never before seen the light. I never understand the logic with these things -- is Sundazed ripping off the LP buyers amongst us, or are they trying to tell us that the extra tracks on the cd version are kinda throwaways anyway? Sigh...
RealAudio clip: "You Showed Me (Acoustic)"
RealAudio clip: "Boston (vers. II)"

BYRDS, THE The Preflyte Sessions (Sundazed) 2lp 16.98
In 1964 recording engineer Jim Dickson set down on tape the earliest incarnation of the Byrds, even, it seems, before they named themselves that -- they had also used the monikers Beefeaters and Jet Set (a Jet Set single is included here). This is what some refer to as the purest version of the Byrds -- the quintet of Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, Michael Clarke and Chris Hillman. It's pre-"Mr Tambourine Man", pre-their debut album, pre-Gram Parsons, pre-country rock, pre-psychedelia... this is The Beginning of The Byrds. Some tracks feature McGuinn before Dickson had even introduced him to the Rickenbacher 12-string, so the Byrds-style twangy lushness isn't always present here. Some of you will most likely say, well, if it was pre-everything that made them special, then what's the point? Well, fair enough. This is certainly only for the Byrds collectors amongst us. But the warbly acoustic versions of many Byrds songs are glorious to hear. And as David Fricke rightly says: "This may be the most honest music the Byrds ever made, because they did it without a thought for who might hear it or how it would sell." McGuinn himself recalls, "We *barely* knew the tape was rolling."
The cd comes packaged in a slipcase with an excellent accompanying book of liner notes, many darling photos (those guys were like 20 years old, so young!), 2 nice postcards, discographical info, & comments from all the bandmembers, plus Pamela Des Barres, Domenic Priore, etc.
Annoyingly, the LP version, while it is on 180 gm vinyl and features a nice gatefold sleeve for its two albums, only features 28 tracks. The cd version has 40! Huh? And while the 16 of the tracks on the cd version were previously unissued, only 9 from the LP version have never before seen the light. I never understand the logic with these things -- is Sundazed ripping off the LP buyers amongst us, or are they trying to tell us that the extra tracks on the cd version are kinda throwaways anyway? Sigh...

album cover CAROL OF HARVEST s/t (Second Battle) cd 19.98
German progressive folk-psych with female vocals from 1978, originally a private press rarity now reissued on cd with some bonus live tracks (including a song called "Sweet Heroin", not too pastoral that).
RealAudio clip: "You and Me"

album cover CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE Pocket Symphonies For the Lonesome Subway Cars (Tomlab) cd 15.98
AQ's sweetest pal Owen Ashworth moved from SF to lo-fi pop haven Portland, OR a short time ago. And we've dearly missed his quiet, but completely passionate enthusing over our mutual pop faves -- in particular, Young Marble Giants. The minimal, sweet music that he creates under the moniker Casiotone For The Painfully Alone is certainly lo-tech and lo-fi, but totally high on shy boy romance and earnestness. 'Pocket Symphonies' (released on German label Tomlab) maintains the intimate bedroom recording feel of his debut 'Answering Machine Music'. Owen's soft vocal delivery once again really brings to mind the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle, but also Mike Donovan of SF's Church Steps, with the barely audible, almost spoken, hesitant vocals, programmed drumbeats and occasional static-y casio-noise bursts... or, I imagine, Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields, Sixths, etc) as a young schoolboy. If you haven't seen Owen play live, you're missing a precious experience, this big bespectacled boy behind tiny synths, one heel shyly pivoting left and right to keep time. Super simple but with an undeniable catchiness. Sixteen fragile'n'pretty, electronic toybox heartstring pullers.
RealAudio clip: "Lesley Gore On The TAMI Show"

CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE Pocket Symphonies For the Lonesome Subway Cars (Tomlab) lp 13.98
AQ's sweetest pal Owen Ashworth moved from SF to lo-fi pop haven Portland, OR a short time ago. And we've dearly missed his quiet, but completely passionate enthusing over our mutual pop faves -- in particular, Young Marble Giants. The minimal, sweet music that he creates under the moniker Casiotone For The Painfully Alone is certainly lo-tech and lo-fi, but totally high on shy boy romance and earnestness. 'Pocket Symphonies' (released on German label Tomlab) maintains the intimate bedroom recording feel of his debut 'Answering Machine Music'. Owen's soft vocal delivery once again really brings to mind the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle, but also Mike Donovan of SF's Church Steps, with the barely audible, almost spoken, hesitant vocals, programmed drumbeats and occasional static-y casio-noise bursts... or, I imagine, Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields, Sixths, etc) as a young schoolboy. If you haven't seen Owen play live, you're missing a precious experience, this big bespectacled boy behind tiny synths, one heel shyly pivoting left and right to keep time. Super simple but with an undeniable catchiness. Sixteen fragile'n'pretty, electronic toybox heartstring pullers.

album cover CHARLES ATLAS Felt Cover (Static Caravan) cd 16.98
Local guy Charles Wyatt along with Matt Greenberg returns with a second Charles Atlas full length, this time released on the dependable Static Caravan label. Looped haunting guitar, lulling stereo-separated pulses, softly-uttered melodies, plus some minor-key atmospherics that're very "post-rock" in their wistfulness. A very quiet album where not a lot happens but that's how it was meant to be, I think -- just right for falling asleep to.
RealAudio clip: "Valdivia"

album cover CHURCH STEPS Criticism (Flapping Jet / Dial) cd ep 9.98
Sounding a lot like indie rock fave Smog (if Bill Callahan would only keep up with the state of music today, instead of sounding more and more dated with each release), Church Steps cloak the most heartfelt sensitive-guy vocals in a shimmer of melancholy. However, this second EP from the group reveals a subtle shift. On their previous outings the "Jewelry" cd-ep and "Brisbane Cats" 7", two seeming incongruities were successfully melded: the mellow guitar strum and murmured vocals of Mike Donovan and the considerably more aggressive digital abrasions of OST. Perhaps a foreshadowing of the departure of OST from the CSteps roster, gone are his trademark bursts of chilly caustic circuitry, to be replaced by gentler hums and warm whirrs. A *very* pleasant record. We can't wait 'til there's a full album!
Cover art by beloved local artist Jo Jackson.
RealAudio clip: "Meismine"

CIRCUS DEVILS Ringworm Interiors (Fading Captain) lp 14.98
One of last list's "Records of the Week", now on vinyl!
New project from Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices... and it's great, probably the best thing he's done in years. Thank goodness! We were afraid he'd lost it, y'know. The guy is so prolific that it's hard to keep up the enthusiasm when the quality of his recent work has been, to put it nicely, inconsistent. But lemme tell ya, he paired up with the right band this time, brothers Todd and Tim Tobias (anybody know from these guys?), who inject the GBV jangly indie sound with adrenaline, distortion, kick ass energy, and *noise*. Actually the only relation to GBV here is Pollard's delivery, cos the music is completely different. When Pollard isn't singing, the Tobiases take over with howls and yowls of pure instrumental ferocity. Parts of it are angular and arty, like Gang of Four or Wire. Sometimes there's a Stooges-like hollow roar, sometimes it's a metallic blast of Pere Ubu-style Cleveland punk... 28 short sharp snapshot songs in 42 minutes. Excellent.
RealAudio clip: "Feel Try Fury"
RealAudio clip: "Spectacle"
RealAudio clip: "Lizard Food"
RealAudio clip: "Knife Song"

album cover COACH WHIPS Hands On The Controls (Black Apple) cd 11.98
Woo-hoo! Just in time for the week after Xmas -- you know, the week where you buy *yourself* some presents. And what nicer way than to give yourself the gift of John Dwyer. Yep, Rhode Island via SF scene fixture, daily AQ-visitor, roundly acknowledged wise ass, some people just know him as "Pink" (of Pink & Brown). As crazy hyper leader of garage-trash trio Coach Whips, he'll twist you around, sass you to your face, make you duck for cover, he'll jump on the tables in a frenzy of just wanting to wake up this town, this scene, our sorry mellow asses. He'll screech into a voicebox and wreak havoc with the guitar while the other John Harlow pounds the floor tom and MaryAnn wields the tambourine so hard she might break it. Like Pussy Galore and the Gories ran over the White Stripes in the middle of the road! Grimy three chord rockin' with energy to burn.
RealAudio clip: "Everybody Wants Some"
RealAudio clip: "The Ride"

album cover COIL Moon Milk (In Four Phases): The Solstice And Equinox Singles Collected (Eskaton) 2cd 15.98
During the past decade, Coil has undergone a drastic metamorphosis that began with the extravagantly dark electronica of "Love's Secret Domain" and continued up to the kosmische ambience of "Musick To Listen To In Dark Vol 2." With all of the albums since "Love's Secret Domain" moving far away from their perverse use of pop structures, these more recent recordings initially had very little immediate impact on us. Yet with the reissue of their solstice / equinox series of singles onto this double CD set, it is clear that Coil's newer "lunar music" requires time for it to settle and perhaps ripen with age. Well, it's taken 3 years for us to really warm up to these recordings, which at the time of their release in 1998 seemed merely adequate.
Coil intended to thematically correspond these songs' droning poetry to the solstices and equinoxes corresponding to when they were made. Mostly they center around a miasmic abstraction of spartan, dirge arrangements for a few instruments (cellos, church organs, spanish guitar), maintaining their solemn pursuit into sonic alchemy. For the most part, Coil's John Balance hushes his voice into mere whispers of his pagan recitations, which barely stand out of the lulling instrumentation, although "The White Rainbow" track from the Winter single stands out as a eulogaic song dominated by Balance's rich singing. The album works much better than as a collection of singles whose original release format seemed far too abrupt for the extended atmospheres that are common throughout the whole series.
And to piss off everybody who bought the original series, Coil included a bonus live track.
RealAudio clip: "A White Rainbow"
RealAudio clip: "Bee Stings"

CRACOW KLEZMER BAND The Warriors (Tzadik) cd 15.98
Newest entry in the Radical Jewish Culture series released on John Zorn's imprint Tzadik. Based in Poland, this band is supposedly quite avant garde... but I'm not sure what's so "radical" about them. This is somber, melodic, minor-key instrumental Jewish traditional music played out on accordion, violin, clarinet, and double bass; and will most likely appeal to fans of Masada (Zorn's own klezmer improv group) and that Evan Lurie disc from many years ago, that had the gorgeous wistful accordion, remember (Selling Water By the Side of the River)? The music is certainly very pleasant, and it has a grown-up, smoky, sophisticated tone to it, but let's face it: this is kinda predictable, not "radical". (Sometimes Tzadik's self-aggrandizing obis are really over the top.) That doesn't mean it ain't nice, though!
RealAudio clip: "Klezmer Rhapsody"

album cover CYLOB Cut the Midrange, Drop The Bass (Rephlex) 12" 8.98
Cylob's new three-track single has caused a bit of a stir here at AQ. Not 'cause of the title track, a catchy electronic pop-dance ditty a little safer than similar efforts from Aphex and Squarepusher ("My Red Hot Car" comes to mind, but this is less edgy, more "retro"). Not 'cause of track two, "With This Ring". No, it's the third track, an electronic adaption of the traditional British sea shanty "What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor", that's causing the fuss. Most of us here at AQ can't stand it (anymore), but Allan helplessly likes it and Windy likes to play it because there's always the chance that it will cause Allan to involuntarily dance a little jig. And seeing Allan's butt shaking is a sight to behold, let me tell you. Silly stuff, sure to drive even all of us insane eventually. But for the moment it's an AQ (if not UK) dance smash, following in the tradition of another Rephlex-released and Cylob-produced track, The Jones Machine's "I'm The Disco Dancing" from a few years back.

album cover CYLOB Cut the Midrange, Drop The Bass (Rephlex) cd ep 8.98
Cylob's new three-track single has caused a bit of a stir here at AQ. Not 'cause of the title track, a catchy electronic pop-dance ditty a little safer than similar efforts from Aphex and Squarepusher ("My Red Hot Car" comes to mind, but this is less edgy, more "retro"). Not 'cause of track two, "With This Ring". No, it's the third track, an electronic adaption of the traditional British sea shanty "What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor", that's causing the fuss. Most of us here at AQ can't stand it (anymore), but Allan helplessly likes it and Windy likes to play it because there's always the chance that it will cause Allan to involuntarily dance a little jig. And seeing Allan's butt shaking is a sight to behold, let me tell you. Silly stuff, sure to drive even all of us insane eventually. But for the moment it's an AQ (if not UK) dance smash, following in the tradition of another Rephlex-released and Cylob-produced track, The Jones Machine's "I'm The Disco Dancing" from a few years back.
RealAudio clip: "What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor"

album cover CYLOB Mood Bells (Rephlex) cd 17.98
So Cylob are kind of a gimmicky band. Once in a while they come up with a great electro pop gem, like the (admittedly love-it-or-hate-it) sea shanty on their Cut the Midrange ep we review also in this list. But now they've bestowed this silly, silly full length on us. Called Mood Bells, it is just that, the sounds of all sorts of bells, gongs, and various other resonating percussive instruments. Very simple and serene, with lots of time devoted to waiting for the bells to fade out and such, but not beautiful enough or melodic enough or (face it) good enough to warrant such stark simplicity -- and not only that but I'll bet these sounds were made by pushing the "bells" sample button on a Casio or something. Maybe that's too mean. But this isn't good enough to warrant wondering about it any longer. Check out Cylob's sea shanty instead!

album cover DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL So Impossible ep (Vagrant Records) cd ep 10.98
Still no one from the Vagrant roster of artists has come even remotely close to the emo-power pop majesty of the Get Up Kids or their oddball side project Reggie And The Full Effect. With Dan Hoerner, formerly of Sunny Day Real Estate, Dashboard Confessional has the pedigree to be as good as any of the great emo groups, but haven't quite gotten there yet. On the "So Impossible" EP, Dashboard Confessional turns singer-songwriter with 4 tracks of acoustic guitar-led songs full of harmonies that have been strained to the brink of tears, similar to the better work from later period Rainer Maria. If any of their future records can really rock-out with songs like these, they could give the Get Up Kids or Rival Schools a run for the money...
RealAudio clip: "Hands Down"

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE The Photo Album (Barsuk) lp 13.98
Now on vinyl!
It's with a heavy heart that I bring you this report of the new Death Cab For Cutie record. I've listened to it several times now in the hopes that, like the last two albums, it would grow on me. Sadly, rather than grow, it has shrunk upon me like a pair of high water pants so that now my crotch... well, you get the idea. No, it's just that with the exception of a few songs it's really quite un-inspired, devoid of hooks and generally a big disappointment from the great northern hope. But I'm going to leave it at that and give you some samples to listen to so that you can judge for yourself, because Death Cab is still very near and dear to our hearts here at Aquarius.
RealAudio clip: "We Laugh Indoors"
RealAudio clip: "Blacking Out the Friction"
RealAudio clip: "Styrofoam Plates"

album cover DE LA SOUL AOI:BIONIX (Tommy Boy) cd 17.98
The less said about this album the better. Unless you're saying, "It ain't no 3 Feet High and Rising."

album cover DESAPARECIDOS The Happiest Place On Earth (Saddle Creek) cd ep 6.98
...is where you'll find these quavery-voiced emo boys -- namely one Conor Oberst (aka the leader of Bright Eyes). Hear them practically hollering the words to get their message to you. Driving drumbeat, crunchy guitars, springy melodic hooks sorta like a cross between Superchunk and Treepeople. This EP is just a hint of what's to come -- a full length debut in early 2002. On the label that's home to The Faint and yes, Bright Eyes.
RealAudio clip: "Happiest Place On Earth"

EHLERS, EKKEHARD Plays Cornelius Cardew (bottrop-boy) 7" 8.98
Yet another volume in the slew of vinyl only releases by German electronic artist Ekkehard Ehlers (Autopoieses, Auch) in tribute to various artists musical and otherwise. "Plays Cornelius Cardew" is two brief sides of lovely layered soundscapes as only Ehlers can conjure. Sampled sounds are seamlessly woven into dense, textural tone poems highly reminiscent of Wolfgang Voigt, most noteably in his work as Gas. But, like the rest of the series, one can only imagine what, if anything, Ehlers' music really has to do with the artist in question. What next? Stockhausen? Feldman? Brahkage? My Ass? I mean, really: marketing ploy or true artistic homage? Either way, we like the results.

album cover EISENBERG, JEWLIA Trilectic (Tzadik) cd 15.98
It's Jewlia Eisenberg from the local Idiot-Flesh-related group Charming Hostess! Along with a few similarly angel-voiced men and women, Jewlia has constructed an album of intricate harmonies -- all of it a capella and just bell clear. Elements of Bulgarian women's choir, songs sung in German, etc. Really deft vocal work, although somehow a little geeky.
RealAudio clip: "Meister of Kultur"

album cover ELECTRIC COMPANY Greatest Hits (Tigerbeat6) cd 14.98
Brad Laner's Electric Company gets the remix treatment from many of his wonderfully talented friends: Kid 606, U-Ziq, Blectum From Blechdom, Pimmon, Phthalocyanine, Tom Recchion (y'know, from the LAFMS!), Leafcutter John, Frank Bretschneider, Geoff White, Timeblind, Jasper, Lexaunculpt and Kim Cascone.
RealAudio clip: KID 606 "Josie and the slamming Demonic Riffs Rmx"
RealAudio clip: BLECTUM FROM BLECHDOM "Elco-Meon-oh"
RealAudio clip: U-ZIQ "Octelcogopod u-ziq rmx"

album cover ELLIS, HORTENSE Hortense's Last Stand (Creole) cd 14.98
As a proud rocksteady collector, I'm a little embarrassed to say I never gave Hortense Ellis much time until we got this nice collection in recently. Hortense was the sister of the much-more-famous Alton Ellis, and she dueted with him on many tracks, as well as providing back up vocals for many many folks during her 40+ year career -- she started performing at age 14 and died in the year 2000 at the age of 51. And somehow she also found the time to have FOURTEEN children! Let's all just pause and reflect on that fact for a moment. Anyway, what does she sound like? Hortense's strong voice is bell clear, and she uses that purity to great effect -- by letting the voice *break*, stumble, or get a tiny bit raspy during emotional parts that she wants to emphasize (see her big hit "Unexpected Places"). That's kind of Hortense's brilliance. In fact, my ultimate favorite rocksteady singer Phyllis Dillon was a big fan and tried to emulate her. Hortense did a lot of covers, as was the wont of many rocksteady artists who were deeply influenced by American soul music of the early to mid-'60s, including Streisand's "Unexpected Places", "Stand By your Man", etc. The music is mid-tempo, with trilling organs, sweet harmonies, plink plink guitars. The only problem is that there are no liner notes, so it's hard to tell when the damn tracks were recorded -- is the bulk of it from before and during the rocksteady era ('67-'69), or are some from later stages in her career (she held the torch for rocksteady her whole life, but some of these tracks display reverb and echo typical of '70s straight up reggae)? Still, despite a dud track or two, this is a very nice collection from one of the best -- yet somehow unfairly forgotten -- female reggae singers. Recommended.
RealAudio clip: "Unexpected Places"
RealAudio clip: "Dearest"
RealAudio clip: "Housewife Choice"

album cover ENSLAVED Monumension (Osmose) cd 14.98
Ivar Bjornson, Grutle Kjellson, Dirge Rep and R. Kronheim are Enslaved. We mention them individually because they and their band deserve to be household names, at least among Aquarius customers. Enslaved are definitely one of our absolute favorite Norwegian black metal acts. Indeed, I (Allan) would go so far as to say, forget Norwegian black metal -- Enslaved are one of the best rock bands in the world today, period! And "Monumension" is their new album, one so highly anticipated here at Aquarius that it's hard to write about. First, the fear: was it even possible? Was it realistic to expect that this band could possibly top their previous album, the Aquarius Record of the Week honoree (list #101) "Mardraum"? Is disappointment inevitable when hopes are so high? We were a-tremble upon first listen, let me tell you. Well, many listens later I'm glad to report that this new Enslaved effort lives up to its mighty predecessor(s). This release marks the 10th anniversary of Enslaved's unique brand of "Viking metal". But it seems like they're travelling not across the waves in longboats, but through the stars in astral bodies. That is, when they're not simply thrashing like more down-to-earth rock n' roll demons. What an amazing band. Spacey, intense, complex, primal, chaotic, beautiful...
Ok, enough hyperbole (for the moment). What's "Monumension" really like, and how *does* it compare exactly to "Mardraum"? Well, somebody had told us to expect that the new Enslaved would sound like Genesis, but that's definitely not the case. True, '70s prog rock a la Genesis (or, maybe more accurately, King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator) certainly flows in the blood of Grutle, Ivar and Co., along with the more ancient blood of their Norse ancestors. Opeth fans will hear the parallels. But are they truly warriors of modern prog? Not quite, as they are so much more. The first thing an Enslaved fan will notice is the surprising prevalence of death metal style vocals alongside the black metal rasps and Viking chants. Vocally, lyrically and musically, this is some seriously heavy stuff, and violent. But it all flows, sometimes into realms so tripped-out and Floyd-ishly psychedelic that you'll forget you're listening to "metal" at all. But then, the next song will start with a blood-quickening, bone-jarring riff to remind you. Like on "Mardraum", the band brilliantly weaves various metal/rock styles into pure Enslaved music, perhaps upping the "folk" aspect a bit (which balances those death metal elements nicely). There's even a bonus track by a related band called HOV (Trygve Mathiesen and a "tribal choir" which includes all the members of Enslaved) that's meant to evoke traditional Viking music -- although the band stresses that "Enslaved has never been about reproduction or literal interpretations. It is more of a quest for creating our own musical traditions and dimensions. The band is built upon the philosophy, magick and myths of the Vikings, not a desire to dress like they did during a historical period or to talk exactly like them. It is something deeper than a mere roleplay to please the outer eyes and ears." These efforts by Enslaved certainly have resulted in surreal, epic, timeless metal for the mind, body and soul.
So yes, these rune-obsessed geniuses, mere youngsters wise beyond their years, have created another utter masterpiece. And it's not just me -- everyone I've discussed this record with agrees that it's amazing. Arrrgh -- my fanboy ramblings can't even begin to do it justice. Emperor, Satyricon, Ulver are all great Norwegian black metal bands that in various ways and to various degress have also branched out into the beyond, but Enslaved are something else again.
RealAudio clip: "The Voices"
RealAudio clip: "Vision: Sphere of the Elements - A Monument Part II"
RealAudio clip: "The Cromlech Gate"
RealAudio clip: "Convoys To Nothingness"

album cover FALL, THE Are You Are Missing Winner (Cog Sinister) cd 21.00
Mark E. Smith sounds like a drunken Howard Cosell, as he continues down the sad path of self-parody. Unlike last year's exceptional "The Unutterable", this record confirms that, unless you're helplessly obsessed, you'll never need to buy a new Fall record.
RealAudio clip: "Kick the Can"
RealAudio clip: "The Acute"

album cover FAT JOE Jealous Ones Still Envy (Atlantic) cd 16.98
You need this record just for the single 'We Thuggin', maybe one of the best singles of the year, a wickedly catchy track of bouncing, party gangsta hip hop, with an insanely catchy R. Kelly chorus (and lucky you, there are two versions; the remix features a different arrangement, and all different vocals, including a particularly nasty Busta Rhymes guest spot). But outside of those tracks, this is a pretty solid record. Huge beats, monster production, boasting and bragging, bitches and ho's, Miami beach parties, lots of guns and lots of fucking. And one track even features the amazing growl of Buju Banton.
RealAudio clip: "We Thuggin'"
RealAudio clip: "We Thuggin Remix"
RealAudio clip: "King Of New York"

album cover FAUST Ravvivando Remix Maxi Single (Klangbad) cd ep 8.98
Soft Cell remixes Faust?? That's right, the legendary, eccentric krautrockers Faust hit the dancefloor with the help of Soft Cell's David Ball (and one Ingo Vauk as well). The track "Wir Brauchen Dich #6", taken from Faust's last (and quite excellent) album "Ravvivando" from a few years back, gets strapped to some heavy Neu!-ish motorik beats on the three remixes on this ep, which apparently precedes a full-length Faust "Ravvivando Remixes" disc yet to come. The fourth track reprises the album original, which of course is still the best, but the others are interesting novelties for Faust fans (and, possibly, *really* "interesting" novelties for Soft Cell fans!).
RealAudio clip: "Wir Brauchen Dich #6 remix"

album cover FELDMAN, MORTON String Quartet (II) (Hat Hut) 4cd 34.00

album cover FIGURINE The Heartfelt (Monika) cd 16.98`
This is the second full length release by this amazing trio which features a member of Dntel. Some of the sweetest electronic dance melodies are found right here on 'The Heartfelt'. Imagine the Pastels, Aphex Twin, New Order and Future Bible Heroes (the hi-energy disco side project of Magnetic Fields Stephen Merritt) having a slumber party. Hints of 80's synth pop merge and mingle with early rave or current experimental electronics. There are lovely new wave heart-wrenching vocals, with perfect, sweet boy/girl harmonies. It's no surprise that this gets the thumbs up from AQ friend Owen Ashworth of Casiotone For The Painfully Alone.
RealAudio clip: "Impossible"
RealAudio clip: "Stranger"
RealAudio clip: "Way Too Good"

FOUR TET Paws Remixes (Domino) 12" 9.98
From Kieran Hebden of Fridge comes a remix ep ("Paws") from his latest album ("Pause") under the moniker of Four Tet. Four tracks, including remixes by Konshik, Manitoba, and Boom Bip (who makes the most unpalatable song from Pause, that "No More Mosquitoes" song, actually listenable.)

album cover FOUR TET Paws Remixes (Domino) cd ep 6.98
From Kieran Hebden of Fridge comes a remix ep ("Paws") from his latest album ("Pause") under the moniker of Four Tet. Four tracks, including remixes by Konshik, Manitoba, and Boom Bip (who makes the most unpalatable song from Pause, that "No More Mosquitoes" song, actually listenable.)

album cover FUNKSTORUNG Vice Versa (!K7) cd 17.98
Just like Funkstorung's previous album "Additional Productions," Vice Versa is a collection of their remixes of other people's work. But unlike "Additional Production" this albums isn't terribly good. Since the majority of the remix offers that Funkstorung has accepted haven't been very good to begin with (i.e. lite jazz saxophonist Nils Petter Molvaer, A Guy Called Gerald, Tocotronic, Jean Michel Jarre, Philip Boa, Notwist, and some other people who should have known better), it's hard to tell if Funkstorung is suffering from bad source material or if they've gotten stale. Either way, Funkstorung's production work has shifted away from the complex algorithms as Autechrish mimicry to super minimal back-to-the-basics hip hop breakbeats, which just replace the rhythmic tracks from the original. A disappointment to say the least.

FUNKSTORUNG Vice Versa (!K7) 2lp 19.98
Just like Funkstorung's previous album "Additional Productions," Vice Versa is a collection of their remixes of other people's work. But unlike "Additional Production" this albums isn't terribly good. Since the majority of the remix offers that Funkstorung has accepted haven't been very good to begin with (i.e. lite jazz saxophonist Nils Petter Molvaer, A Guy Called Gerald, Tocotronic, Jean Michel Jarre, Philip Boa, Notwist, and some other people who should have known better), it's hard to tell if Funkstorung is suffering from bad source material or if they've gotten stale. Either way, Funkstorung's production work has shifted away from the complex algorithms as Autechrish mimicry to super minimal back-to-the-basics hip hop breakbeats, which just replace the rhythmic tracks from the original. A disappointment to say the least.

album cover FUSHITSUSHA Origin's Hesitation (PSF) cd 23.00
Keiji Haino and his psychedelic power trio Fushitsusha have long made some of Japan's heaviest, darkest, most fucked up sounds. They're a legendary "free rock" outfit, up there with the Dead C, Skullflower and few others. They're a unique band that with this new disc could be said to have gotten even "uniquer" (if only that wasn't such bad English).
At their last San Francisco show a few years back, Haino and Fushitsusha's drummer had an "epsiode" that resulted in, upon his return to Japan, the drummer's retirement from music! Rather than drafting in a new drummer, Haino and bassist Ozawa decided to remain a duo, with Haino taking over the drumming duties. This is the first recording by this new, unusual, reduced Fushitsusha line-up. Unusual because Haino's monstrous wall-of-feedback guitar was probably the reason most people listen to the band in the first place. Well too bad, meet the new, stripped-down, guitarless Fushitsusha!
Origin's Hesitation starts off with Haino in a maniacal percussion frenzy, as if he'd always wanted to be the drummer in Fushitsusha and is now just so excited to be behind the kit he can't help but try to play all the drums at once. But after the first track, he calms down a bit with the drumming, putting more of his energy into what must rank as some of his most dramatic, tortured vocals ever. And that's saying a lot. These cries and utterances are accompanied by sparse but deliberate drum and bass hits, using space and silence. Both Haino and Ozawa use live electronics to loop their instruments, but this is a lot more primitive sounding than most "sampler" utilizing music!
You might have to already be a fan of Haino/Fushitsusha to get into this -- at least, it's probably not the place for novices to start. Very anguished, very abstract. The heavy guitar sounds that linked Fushitsusha's past work to the rock music of Blue Cheer or Crazy Horse are of course gone, but this is still "heavy" in an emotional sense. And certainly "fucked up."
So, after reading all the above, you probably still want to know "is it any good?" Well, Andee of course hates it, as he does pretty much any release where Haino opens his mouth. Allan on the other hand thinks this is kinda cool, even though he does prefer Fushitsusha with guitar. But he likes contrary, counter-intuitive rock bands like US Maple and Starfuckers, which in some ways this echoes.
Handsomely packaged, as always with PSF Fushitsusha releases, with cd and booklet in a black paper mini-gatefold sleeve. Smells good!
RealAudio clip: "track 1"
RealAudio clip: "track 4"

GUENTNER, MARKUS In Moll (Kompakt) 2lp 16.98
Another of our staff-chosen Records of the Week with a vinyl version now also available. Here's what we said in AQL#126 about this fabulous record: Squelches and whirrs nestle in rolling hills of fuzzy dreamy drones as clicks and pops struggle for air beneath a downy blanket of suffocatingly gorgeous billowy clouds of synth wash. Sound good? It does.
It's German electronica artist Markus Guentner's debut cd for the Kompakt label. For those of you who don't know, the Kompakt label has developed an almost timeless aesthetic, not unlike the 'heroin house' sound of Chain Reaction. The Kompakt sound is an application of the often invoked but rarely successful working model of 'ambient techno'. A good example of this sort of thing that AQ-customers probably know about ('cause we sell so many of 'em) is the Wolfgang Voigt project Gas. His minimalist techno releases (in particular the Gas album "Konigsforst") are some of the few electronica albums that all Aquarians can agree on and strongly endorse.
In creating "In Moll," Markus Guentner has done more than his part to fill the void created by Voigt's unusual absence, with a disc that captures much of the feel we liked so much about the Gas records, a sort of dreamy melancholy that manages to be both wistful and hopeful, lonely and warm. Jeff thinks it has a real "change of seasons" vibe, that harkens, again, to Gas. And while the Gas comparison is surely accurate (if you haven't caught our drift already, let's state: fans of Gas should pick this up without a second thought!), Guenter does add his own flair to Voigt's signature sound though, creating a more varied and more dynamic soundscape than Voigt's pastoral hum and thump.
RealAudio clip: "In Moll 3"
RealAudio clip: "In Moll 5"
RealAudio clip: "In Moll 7"

album cover HARVESTER Hemat (Silence) cd 14.98
We stocked a cd reissue of this rare Swedish psych LP from 1970 a little while back. The discs we had then turned out to be bootlegs (which we suspected, a fact confirmed by the group's old drummer, who emailed us!), and were soon gone -- but thankfully here's another, fully legit reissue of the same LP, complete with a bonus track (oddly enough, the title track) and extensive liner notes in English. Yay! Here's a slightly modified version of what we said about his album back on list #120:
Perhaps you read about or bought the Terry Riley-influenced Parson Sound double cd we raved about not long ago? Well, Harvester (after releasing another LP under the full name of International Harvester -- see elsewhere this list) was a future development of the Parson Sound band. And after Harvester, they became the semi-legendary Trad, Gras och Stenar (Trees, Grass and Stones). Although we think the absolute best stuff we've heard from these guys dates from their Parson Sound incarnation, this disc is pretty cool too. "Hemat" ("Homeward") has been described by someone in the know as "mastadon waltz-drone / acid soaked free jam psychedelia." Which is not only a pretty accurate description, but also a cool phrase to quote. The disc starts with a lovely mellow hippy-folk tune that matches the dreamy landscape painting on the album's cover. Then with track two things get heavier and more Parson Sound-like. The mastodon waltz has begun, as flutes trill and Swedish freaks chant. The disc progresses into ethnic-tinged free rock/jazz ("Nepal Boogie") and even an unrecognizably drugged-out downer version of "Everybody (Needs Somebody to Love)". Loose and stoned this disc most certainly is, forty-one minutes of almost-lost music drifting through the haze of time to trip you out today.
RealAudio clip: "Nar Lingonen Mognar"
RealAudio clip: "Kristallen Den Fina"

HIGH ON FIRE Art of Self Defense (Tee Pee) lp + 7" 15.98
Stoner/doom heads, alert! The Man's Ruin-released cd of this album is now out of print (although, we stocked up right before the label went under, and still have a few copies). Now, however, there's vinyl! It comes complete with new (better) cover art courtesy of the Roger Dean of the stoner rock scene, Arik Moonhawk Roper, and a bonus 7" with two new tracks, including a cover of Celtic Frost's "The Usurper"! Here's our review of the original "Art of Self Defense" cd:
The Bay Area's slowest, heaviest, potsmokin'est doom metal combo Sleep (RIP) lives on in the form of ex-Sleep guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike's new band High On Fire. Sleep's last album, the infamous "Jerusalem", consisted of but one, super-long super-slow track. High On Fire speeds things up a bit (only a bit) but maintains the heaviness and the trademark Sleep sound. Right on.

album cover INCAPACITANTS Repo (Alchemy) cd 19.98
Alchemy Records digs into their vaults yet again to re-issue on cd a 1989 Alchemy LP by the notorious Japanese noise act Incapacitants. This makes for Incapacitants' eighth cd release on Alchemy! Wow, what a legacy of high-end skree, low-end rumble, and everything in between. As well as the "Repo" LP, this disc includes a bonus track taken from a 1985 cassette, the "Triangle8000" split release with Hijokaidan, which main Incapcitant T. Mikawa recently remixed. If you like NOISE you're already an Incapacitants fan, but if you don't -- stay away!

album cover INFIDEL? / CASTRO! Case Studies In Bioentropy (n/a) cd 11.98
This is a very strange record. And you know that around here, for something to strike us as strange, it's gotta be really weird. A strange 'rock' record is a much more rare creature than just a strange record. I mean, at AQ we have been known to carry elephants playing gamelans, disembodied voices from beyond the grave, insane guys singing along to Stryper, found love letters on tape... but this record is really strange... and it's made only with guitars and drums and a studio. That takes something special. So special in fact, that I'm having a little bit of trouble describing it.
My first inclination is to say O.L.D. meets Tool meets Fantomas meets Scanner meets Lustmord. But that doesn't quite capture it. There seems to be some sort of linear narrative, based on germs, or sickness or at least some sort of conspiracy. Dark rumbling drones and endlessly sustaining horror movie upper register skree underpin mumbled dialogue, panicked arguments whispered in a dark alleys, and computer voices offering plot exposition and ominous warnings. Then bursts of chugging distorted guitars, and spastic drumming (as well as computerized beats) explode through the thick curtain of gloomy drone bringing to mind the grinding rhythm of the Ruins. The record continues with monstrous slow core sludge splattered with fucked up noise and malfunctioning electronics that slowly mutates into a buzzing oversaturated electronic rhythm. And it just keeps getting weirder and weirder with dreamy gauzy nightmarescapes, huge pounding hyper distorted big beat electro, more confusing chopped and processed dialogue, repetitive and grinding almost-metal rhythms and the record ends with a totally crushing track of multi layered guitars, distorted and buzzing, squealing and pounding relentlessly as the story continues to its appropriately doomed ending. This record is so epic and intense, right down to the striking cover art: a close up painting of some sort of ocular surgery! Fans of any of the bands I mentioned above should definitely check this out as well as you 'dronologists' and even you jaded rockers. This record is definitely one of the best surprises of the year. An 'Operation Mindcrime' for the experimental set!
RealAudio clip: "The Violence Of Hygeine"
RealAudio clip: "The Act Of Sterilization"

INTERNATIONAL SUBMARINE BAND, THE Safe At Home (Sundazed) lp 15.98
Gram Parsons = Country Rock Pioneer. Before he made those two incandescently beautiful solo albums with Emmylou Harris (that IMO no record collection should be without, and we always have them in stock), before he joined the Byrds, he formed the International Submarine Band who recorded just this one album for Lee Hazlewood's record label, with Hazelwood chanteuse Suzi Jane Hokum as producer. Not nearly as good as the Parsons material later to come, it's still pretty worthwhile... and how nice to have it on 180 gram vinyl with one extra track previously unavailable on record.

album cover INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER Sov Gott Rose-Marie (Silence) cd 14.98
The late sixties Swedish musical aggregation that was Parson Sound / International Harvester / Harvester / Trad, Gras Och Stenar (really all one evolving band) was basically an example of the genre we've decided to call "international krautrock". Like a Scandinavian Amon Duul, these freaks tap into some decidedly cosmic psychedelic sounds, and aren't on some sunshiney '60s flowers and beads trip. No, their sound certainly acknowledges death and darkness. We've already raved about the Parson Sound collection released earlier this year. "Sov Gott Rose-Marie" ("Sleep Tight, Rose-Marie") was the next step for this group, recorded under their new name International Harvester (taken from the American heavy machinery company, but also intending a Harvester / Grim Reaper double-meaning, with International giving it a political bent). This album, released in 1969 on the Finnish label Love Records, now makes a long-awaited cd appearance on Silence (along with their follow-up under the shortened name Harvester). It's pretty fucking great. If you've heard and loved the Parson Sound like we did, just come and buy this now! It's got grinding cello, baying horns, hippie percussion, mesmerizing jams *and* sudden jarring juxtapositions, from total mellowness to the very heavy. International Harvester mix folk music (though not to the extent they did on their next album, "Hemat"), jazz, field recordings (singing birds, barking dogs), lullabies, and more into their mind-blowing stew of psychedelic "free rock", which is also full of Terry Riley / Eastern inspired repetition and drone. Lyrically, this is just as radical, not shying from religion and politics.
Silence has added an incredible, lengthy (24 minute!) bonus track called "Skordetider" ("Harvest Times") that the band originally intended for an album B-side but never used. It's hypnotic, powerful jam that could have fit well on that Parson Sound release. In other words: wow! Additionally, this cd features extensive liner notes documenting the group's history (the same essay is also found in Silence's reissue of the Harvester album, but with different photos). Along with the Parson Sound double cd, this is definitely one of the reissues of the year for us.
RealAudio clip: "Ho Chi Minh"
RealAudio clip: "Skordetider"
RealAudio clip: "Sov Gott Rose-Marie"
RealAudio clip: "There is No Other Place"

album cover JANDEK Worthless Recluse (Corwood) cd 8.98
Jandek's thirty-first album unfortunately fulfills the self-effacing title, as the Texan hermit offers his third album of a capella 'songs' and poetic readings. As difficult as they may have been to listen to, his arrangements for questionably competent guitar picking and stumbling drums are sorely missed. While these a capella albums are at the bottom of the Jandek catalogue, he has been mucking about with his 4 track giving a few interesting 'effects' upon his voice. But that's all...
RealAudio clip: "You Wake Up Deadmen"

album cover JAY-Z Unplugged (Roc-A-Fella) cd 14.98
We've all been going a little Jay-Z crazy around here, playing 'The Blueprint' to death in the store, and if you have MTV, you're probably sick to death seeing clips from Jay-Z's unplugged set. But it ranks up there as one of the better 'Unplugged's (the Nirvana one being an obvious favorite). For this performance, Jay-Z wisely got the amazing Roots to back him up, and they are SO TIGHT and right on, that there's times you can't even tell it's a live band, and then there's times when they sound even better. They're also one of the few bands who tried to keep with the unplugged theme by replacing their DJ with a human beat box, doing some of the rhythms and -all- of the scratching. But for me, the Roots are the main attraction, with ?uestlove's wickedly groovy drumming as well as 2 percussionists and some amazing bass playing (carrying most of the melodies). Also present were Mary J. Blige and one of the folks from hip hop sensations N*E*R*D. This is definitely essential if you're already a fan, but this might also soften the ears of those of you who have been a little hesitant to take the hip hop plunge. Cause this is like a great funky soul record with catchy songs, great hooks and a great vocalist, who just happens to be rapping.
RealAudio clip: "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)"
RealAudio clip: "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)"

album cover HIROSHIGE, JOJO Crimson Voyage (Alchemy) cd 19.98
Japan's Alchemy Records has started releasing discs in a new cosmic-music-oriented series called "Inner Mind Music", and label boss Jojo Hiroshige's Crimson Voyage is one of the first offerings. With guitar, keyboards and percussion he creates some spacey electronic soudscapes in the vein of the '70s kraut masters. He's joined by a female singer who adds some high, perhaps wordless vocals to the three lengthy tracks found here. (Actually, she is credited with lyrics, so I suppose she's singing something in Japanese, but her delivery is still pretty effective for us non-Japanese-speakers.) Crimson Voyage is dark and droney, but a far cry from the extreme noise that Jojo is known for in his band Hijokaidan. Rather beautiful.
RealAudio clip: "Ko-Ku"

album cover JUAN DE LA CRUZ BAND Up In Arms (Shadoks Music) cd 14.98
Here's that other Juan de la Cruz reissue we promised last list in our review of their "Shake Your Brains" album. "Up In Arms" was the band's debut from 1971. Like "Shake Your Brains" this is psychedelic hard rock, but it's a bit more psych, and less hard, than that album. On "Shake Your Brains" the band was stripped down to a power trio, but here they're augmented with piano, organ, sax, and flute, instrumentation that brings in some jazzier, trippier sounds than the basic garagey heaviness found on "Shake Your Brains". The liner notes tell us that the band was one of the Philippines's biggest, partially thanks to their performance in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Cultural Center of the Philippines! That led to them gigging at that same Cultural Center with the Philippine National Philharmonic! Wow. It's a little hard to imagine that their brand of bluesy, heavy-duty hippie rock really meshed well with a symphony orchestra (doing songs like "Mystery Roach" and "Requiem For A Head"?), but I guess Deep Purple was an inspiration. Anyway, "Up In Arms" has got some fine acid-rock jams, as well as mellower psych-pop moments. Which are nice, if not exactly what we were hoping for. BUT, the bonus tracks that occupy the entire second half of this hour-long disc (tracks 7 through 12) are quite a bit heavier. Recorded "live and in concert", the Juan de la Cruz Band kicks out the jams on a bunch of Tagalog-language cuts including several from the "Shake Your Brains" LP. No info is provided as to where or when this live stuff was recorded, but it all sounds great, and is totally rockin'.
RealAudio clip: "Requiem For A Head"
RealAudio clip: "Sarap Ng Buhay"

album cover KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Suurempi Pieni Palatsi (Alice In Wonder) cd 16.98
The hard to pronounce Kemialliset Ystavat play a mysterious, fucked up brand of psychedelic improv folk music -- fractured, fairytale sounds from the woods of Finland. Well, more likely a bedroom studio in Finland. But Kemialliset Ystavat seem like they belong in a forest, an old dark magical forest. This is their first full length cd, after several obscure and odd releases over the past few years (homemade cassettes, a one-sided LP for Fusetron, a 3" cd-r on Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers, a split 7" on Bad Vugum, etc.). Indeed, this disc actually consists of material originally released on a limited 7" last year, plus lots of bonus stuff.
It's primarily the work of one main band member, Jan Anderzen. He's helped by, among others, our friend Sami Sanpakkila (of Es, Kiila, Velvolino and Fonal Records). Maybe the closest comparison we could make would be to NYC's Tower Recordings. But Kemialliset Ystavat's damaged psych meanderings somehow capture an even more "authentic, exotic" mood of post-krautrock wonderment than that conjured by the New Yorkers, although we love them so.
After getting all those great sixties International Harvester, Trad Gras Och Stenar etc. reissues in, it's nice to know that their spirit of psychedelic exploration is still alive and well in Scandinavia, thirty years on!

album cover KING TUBBY Firehouse Revolution (Pressure Sounds) cd 14.98
I really wanted to like this one a lot more. One thing Pressure Sounds can do really well is put together handsome album art and King Tubby's Firehouse Revolution is no exception. The vinyl especially cuts a dashing figure with its matte finish. Firehouse Revolution is a collection of late period recordings (1985 to Tubby's death in 1989) done at King Tubby's state of the art "100% Digital" facility that he built in Kingston's Waterhouse district, also known as the "Firehouse" due to the frequency of gun fire in the neighborhood. The collection is an attempt to demonstrate that, while his former apprentice Prince Jammy pioneered the digital reggae sound, Tubby was not one to rest on his laurels and that his work in his new studio was just as cutting edge in eighties Jamaica as his early experiments in dub were in the seventies. The problem is that this period of reggae is generally not highly regarded as the most inspired or crucial. Pressure Sounds argues that, like the cold reception that reggae received by the critics in its early stages, this era of digital reggae will eventually get its come uppance in the form of a plethora of reissues much like the profusion of 60's comps that everyone wants now. "You heard it here first" Pressure Sounds seems to say but, although there are some interesting electronic bass lines to be found here, I for one prefer to remember King Tubby by the ovesaturated analog tape and spring reverb that he built his reputation on. Having said that, I say also Kudos to Pressure Sounds for having the vision and or foresight to put together a collection of unique material in the hopes that this may inspire other labels in the business of reissuing Jamaican music to lay off the old standbys for a while and dig a little deeper into the vaults for some more previously un-exploited gems. A final word of caution to those making assumptions about King Tubby's career: you won't find many dub tracks here, but you will find lots of vocals from the likes of Anthony Red Rose, King Everall, Lloyd Hemmings, Little John, King Asha, Johnny Osbourne and more. Comes with several pages of well written liner notes.
RealAudio clip: "Original Sound"
RealAudio clip: "Version"

album cover KOZELEK, MARK White Christmas Live (Sub Pop) cd 14.98
Limited to 5000 copies and mainly available only thru web and direct distribution channels, we're pleased to be carrying this live album from Red House Painters' Mark Kozelek. It's got three of the AC/DC covers we love so much, delivered somber-Kozelek-style of course, along with other Red House / Kozelek favorites. If you can believe it, the tone and mood of this album is even MORE intimate than his already-intimate studio recordings. A nice intro to his music, if you're not already familiar with him. Also a nice collectors item for uber fans. He does "White Christmas"!
RealAudio clip: "Evil"
RealAudio clip: "White Christmas"

LINDBLAD, RUNE RL (Firework Edition Records) lp + cd 19.98
As decreed by the dual monarchs of the Kingdoms of Elgaland / Vargaland (those being CM von Hausswolff and Leif Elggren), Swedish composer Rune Lindblad should be held in the same canonical reverie as Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, and Pierre Schaeffer. For Lindblad engaged the spirit of ardent innovation, brash risktaking, and an unwavering social agenda that could easily be found in the works of those more well known composers. Von Hausswolff -- having studied under Lindblad in the '80s -- had already released a number of Lindblad's compositions on his Radium 226.5 label (all of which have been reissued through Pogus on CD), now he, Elggren, BJ Nilsen (aka Hazard), Edvard Graham Lewis (of Wire), Kent Tankred, and a few others have put together this compilation as an homage of Lindblad's work. Sprawling across a cd and an lp, "RL" begins with two pieces from Lindblad himself - which are haunting musique concrete / electronic music compositions that also appear to involve some amplifier / microphone feedback synthesis, in the end sounding like lo-fi recordings of Morton Subotnik topped off with emotionally charged spoken word snippets. The cd portion of this package continues with various experiments that follow the sonic intent of Lindblad with Edvard Graham Lewis and BJ Nilsen offering a dark, fluid pieces of Eno ambience, Tankred and Elggren sputtering through amplified motors and shortwave dissonance, Von Hausswolff laces distant vocal samples with the ominous pulse of a ventilator.
The lp is much more loose in its interpretation of Lindblad with Brommage Dub pulling off a good Monolake / Chain Reaction piece of minimalist techno, and Jean-Louis HuhtaJ offering some leftfield electronica a la Two Lone Swordsmen or Plaid. Nice work, but doesn't really hold much insight into Lindblad's work beyond distant samples. Nevertheless, this is an excellent overview of Lindblad's work and his influence over contemporary Swedish experimental electronics.
RealAudio clip: RUNE LINDBLAD "Worship Op. 196"
RealAudio clip: EDVARD GRAHAM LEWIS "A Strong Candidate For Isolation"
RealAudio clip: C.M. VON HAUSSWOLFF "Out Of Optica 1"

album cover LOCUST Wrong (Touch) 2cd 21.98
Two disc set. One of the discs is atmospheric layers of electronica of the not-quite-noisy noise flavor, as we have loved Locust for in the past. This is a cool soundin' disc, but it's meant to be played simultaneously with an accompanying CD wherein Locust's Mark van Hoen gets his pop on, as he is wont to do, and when he does pop we have to say we don't like him. Female vocals, you know the type, breathy and ethereal. So if someone gives you a $22 gift certificate, buy this and throw away the disc with the vocals. Happy Holidays!

album cover MASSIMO Hey Babe, Let Me See Your USB And I'll Show You My FireWire (Mego) 3" cd 9.98
Gross! Okay, referring to the cover art, wherein an image of a naked man sitting in a chair with a FireWire cable superimposed in place of his dick via Photoshop is coupled with a similar image of a man's ass sporting a rather large USB port: One of the most annoying traits of current electronic music is the fact that artists like to fetishize aspects of their equipment -- that was okay when electronic music consisted of knobs and levers and oscillators and physical objects found only on electronic music equipment. But when it comes down to USB and Firewire and common things used by everyone from accountants to musicians, it's just dumb. Anyway, that's beside the point. It's just that the idea was probably a funny idea to the folks at Mego (and the images themselves are good for one laugh), but plain retarded in execution. Maybe that's what they were going for... This ep from the Sicilian Massimo is full of extremely loud digital farts and squiggles akin to Pita or a more hyper/short attention span Russell Haswell. The cover art as mentioned before takes digital pornography to new levels. Nasty.

album cover METALUCIFER Heavy Metal Chainsaw (R.I.P) cd 14.98
You have to be pretty darn metal to get into this band, and that's as it should be: no poseurs allowed!! Metalucifer are Japanese metalheads (some from the cult black metal combo Sabbat) paying tribute to the glory days of '80s true metal, a la Maiden and Priest. This is their third album, following up to 1998's "Heavy Metal Drill" and 1996's "Heavy Metal Hunter" (what's next, Heavy Metal Hacksaw? Heavy Metal Pliers?). Brilliant, aren't they? And utterly ridiculous of course, something I doubt guitarist Elizabigore or bassist Geniezoluzifer would deny. In fact, they may be the MOST ridiculous tongue in cheek (yet kick ass) metal band ever. Get this: track four on here is called "My Way Is Heavy Metal" while on their previous disc they had an anthem entitled "Heavy Metal Is My Way". Wow. If you think that's stupid, I don't need to tell you not to buy this album. But if you think that's kinda rad, then, this is for you -- and it's not just for laffs either, 'cause they really do lay down the metal law fairly convincingly: screaming guitar leads, triumphant lyrics, pounding drums, majestic riffs, the works. A Thor for today. Over-the-top and awesome.
RealAudio clip: "Warriors Ride On The Chariots"
RealAudio clip: "Heavy Metal Samurai"

album cover MIRRORS Hands In My Pockets (Overground) cd 15.98
Rare tracks from this band of punk rock new wave misfits. Active for about three years in the about-to-be-obscenely-fertile Cleveland punk rock scene, the Mirrors formed in 1972 and were broken up by 1975, just as Cleveland was poised to unleash a barrage of snotty punky new wave mayhem on an unsuspecting public in the form of the Dead Boys, Rocket From The Tombs, The Electric Eels, the Pagans, Pere Ubu and more!
Think early punk rock mixed with a little Velvet Underground. Thirteen unreleased tracks and two exclusive tracks!
RealAudio clip: "Cheap and Vulgar"
RealAudio clip: "Muckraker"

album cover MIRZA Last Clouds (Ba Da Bing!) cd 13.98
It's strange how often instead of a proper album, a band's posthumous live/odd-n-ends release often ends up being my favorite (sez Allan), like A Minor Forest's "So, Were They In Some Sort of Fight", This Heat's "Made Available", Devo's "Hardcore Devo Vol. 1", half the stuff Faust ever released, and now Mirza's "Last Clouds" cd.
"Last Clouds" collects a bunch of early and unreleased material from the now-defunct San Francisco space-rock / drone-core ensemble Mirza (which was Glenn Donaldson, Brian Lucas, Steven R. Smith, and Mark Williams). Specifically, the disc includes the four tracks from Mirza's debut 12" inch (orginally released by Autopia in 1996) and seven previously unreleased tracks recorded from 1995-98 -- live improvisations from shows and rehearsals we think.
Glenn (who remains very active in the post-Mirza outfit Thuja, as well as other projects like The Knit Separates, Blithe Sons, Skygreen Leopards, etc.) describes these recordings as sounding like early Skullflower. And it's true that there's a psychedelic density of sound shared by both Mirza and Skullflower, but Mirza was prone to meander where Skullflower's structured moments were much more brutal and unrelenting than these sensitive boys could ever be -- although some of these tracks come mighty close! On these disc, Mirza plays around with various drugged-out psych-rock riffs that get incrementally heavier throughout each track, rhythmically emulating the best Krautrock grooves that doubtless occupied a lot of their listening. Inspired stuff, in all senses. This material will definitely come as a bit of a surprise to those who know Mirza from their more "ambient, bliss-out" styled stuff on the Darla label! Also fans of Thuja's gorgeous drone-jams, or Steven R. Smith's lovely solo releases, may be astonished at how noisy, loud, heavy and rocked-out some of this is, but we're sure they can dig it. More proof that Mirza and their whole extended musical family were/are something for us here in San Francisco to be quite proud of, in the realm of worldclass psychedelic drone improv rock. And look out for the brilliant new Thuja album "Ghost Plants" coming in January on the Emperor Jones label for further confirmation of this fact.
RealAudio clip: "West"
RealAudio clip: "Acts/Volcano of Birds"
RealAudio clip: "Nostalgia"

album cover MYSTIKAL Tarantula (Jive) cd 16.98
In my (Andee) quest for the coolest, meanest voice in hip hop (and my never-to-be-realised dream of a tuvan throat singer fronted hip hop group) there have been quite a few contenders. Ice Cube of course. DMX and Onyx. So far the leader of the pack has been a not-so-well-known rapper named Nine, who has a sort of Tom Waits meets Popeye sort of thing going on. But then there's Mystikal. He got a voice that's rough and gruff and gravelly. Plus his delivery is that sort of 'I'M SO PISSED I'M ABOUT TO HAVE A CORONARY...ARRRRGHHHHH' that rivals the delivery of fellow 'angry' rappers Onyx. But the last record as well as this new one, both sport singles (and an album track here and there) that feature Mystikal's spot-on James Brown impersonation as well as a stripped down, super spare production with funk / swing horns. And sometimes I wish the whole record sounded like that. But it doesn't, and that's okay. Because the rest of the record is still great, with a slick and aggressive production that owes much to Timbaland and the Neptunes (aka NERD) (if some of the tracks aren't actually produced by them). And the 'Bouncin' Back' single is just the icing on the cake, with shuffling funky-jazz drums, old swing band horns, and Mystikal, growling and purring, with lots of 'Uh's and 'Ow's, sounding like the new Godfather of Soul, circa 2002.
RealAudio clip: "Bouncin' Back (Bumpin' Me Against The Wall)"
RealAudio clip: "Tarantula"

album cover NAFTULE'S DREAM Job (Tzadik) cd 15.98
This dynamic twenty-first century klezmer ensemble incorporates jazz improv, guitar-hero mannerisms and heavy-ass textual references into the rich klezmer tradition. It's kinda Frankenstein, but successful nevertheless. These are live performances from a couple 2001 shows, and the attendant live-energy animate and enliven the arrangements. Part of John Zorn's Radical Jewish Culture series.
RealAudio clip: "job"
RealAudio clip: "industrial bulgar"

album cover NAGISA NI TE Songs For A Simple Moment (Geographic) cd 15.98
"Songs For A Simple Moment" is an introduction to the musical world of Shinji Shibayama. Since 1992 Nagisa Ni Te has released four records of honest, fragile psychedelic folk. With ties to Maher Shalal Hash Baz, whose members have at one time or another collaborated with Nagisa Ni Te, this collection released via Stephen Pastel's Geographic label comes just in time, as the western world's interest in Japanese psychedelia, from the '60s and beyond, is at an all time high. Formerly of Kansai legends Idiot O'Clock and the Hallelujahs (who have three tracks included here), Shibayama has been a major figure in the Osaka psych underground. His small label Org has released a handsome amount of incredible records by Maher Shalal Hash Baz and Naoki Zushi of Hijokaidan, as well as his own Hallelujahs (reissue on PSF) and the first three Nagisa Ni Te lps (all of which have recently been reissued via P-Vine in Japan).
With a revolving host of guest musicians, the core of Nagisa Ni Te centers on Shibayama and his partner Masako Takeda. Drummer Ikuro Takahashi, most recently of Fushitsusha, had once been a major part of the lineup, but has recently, mysteriously retired from music altogether. But that's another story...
In the Japanese psych underground, there is a strange coexistence of feedback/noise and earnest, heartfelt acoustic folk. Nagisa Ni Te embrace both aspects and combine the two at times. Think a more naive version of Tim Buckley or Neil Young. And if you're at all familiar with the brittle psychedelia of Shizuka, or the primitive guitar feedback freakout of the obscure '70s psych gods Les Rallizes Dénudés, you will definitely want to venture forth. From the fragility and innocence of "Star" and "They" to the shattering, feedback drenched Rallizesesque live rendition of the twenty minute epic "The True Sun", this comes highly recommended as an introduction, and is a great companion to the growing output of Nagisa Ni Te! (Even if you're already a fan and have their Japanese import cds, you'll probably want this for the rare/unreleased/live tracks included.)
RealAudio clip: "They"
RealAudio clip: "The True Sun"

album cover NERVE NET NOISE Various Amusements (Hronir / Staalplaat ) cd 14.98
"Various Amusements" by the Japanese glitch / onkyo / minimalist ensemble Nerve Net Noise was billed to us as an electronic meditation on the common activities of teenage girl's afternoon, such as shopping, talking on the phone, putting on make up, taking a nap, cooking, etc. With such an unusually literal intentionality applied to the pure tones, ear-piercing vibrations, and minimalist noises found within, it's impossible not to qualify "Make Up" as a track sounding as if the fictional girl were applying her make up with a belt sander! The only track that had any resemblance between the activity explained in the title and the sonic quality of the music itself was "Cooking," which at a stretch could the digitalization of eggs frying in a pan of hot oil. It's difficult to imagine what Nerve Net Noise (who are two grown Japanese men) really wants to convey through such an absurdist exercise. Chalk it up to being "conceptual."
RealAudio clip: "Afternoon Nap"
RealAudio clip: "Make Up"

album cover NIGHT SUN Mournin' (Second Battle) cd 21.00
Yet another amazing discovery in the realms of unheralded heaviness from the '70s. Krautrockers Night Sun released this, their only album, back in 1972, and probably the only heavier sounds produced on earth that year were produced by Black Sabbath (and, hopefully, some other as-yet-unknowns). Seriously. If anything's "proto-metal", this sure is. Deep Purple (the keyboards and high-pitched vox) meets Sabbath style DOOM guitars. These guys must have been gobbling both amphetamines and downers 'cause the disc goes to both extremes of doom-paced creepy crawls *and* manic prog-spazz riff, uh, mania. '70s proto-metal to file alongside Buffalo, Toad, Leafhound, Captain Beyond, Blues Creation, and early Pentagram. Why Night Sun aren't huge cult heroes we don't know...
RealAudio clip: "Slush Pan Man"
RealAudio clip: "Got A Bone Of My Own"
RealAudio clip: "Plastic Shotgun"

album cover NONDOR NEVAI The A Capella Cantata (Flemish Masters) cd 12.98
This record sucks. But goddamn it's SO good. Released on the truly cult Flemish Masters label, this has to be one of the most fucked cds ever. So much so that Andee really wanted to make it record of the week. But when you listen to the sound sample you'll understand why we didn't. Maybe. Basically what this is, is some guy, talking, singing and sort-of-testifying over scratchy records ranging from Saturday Night Fever to Stryper. The vocals are heavily reverbed and way higher in the mix (if you can call it 'a mix') than the 'backing tracks.' The subject matter ranges from himself, to pseudo-abocalyptic prophecies, to monsters (sort of), to all kinds of other stuff, but most of it is almost-incomprehensible, rambling, possibly drug-induced ravings. Surreal and amazing and completely stupid. In other words, COMPLETELY ESSENTIAL. (!)
RealAudio clip: "Breach Of Contract"
RealAudio clip: "Weirdo On Disco Mountain"
RealAudio clip: "Is This Good For Vulva?"

album cover NOW IT'S OVERHEAD s/t (Saddle Creek) cd 13.98
From Athens, GA comes a nice breath of fresh air -- Now It's Overhead. The oddly-named band is two boys (the main guy is Andy LeMasters) and two girls (both of Azure Ray), all of whom have strong Bright Eyes connections, and they have made a mellow, midtempo record that's slowly but surely growing on us in a big way. The lead vocalist's stunning delivery just glows with warmth and earnestness, like that of Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous, Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, or Silkworm's Joel Phelps. A lush blanket of super ethereal female vocals gently croons in the background, who remind Andee of (I kid you not) Ladysmith Black Mambazo's quiet chorus. It's very low key and very pretty -- for fans of Lambchop, Beta Band, and all the aforementioned bands!
(Andee just did the Ladysmith Black Mambazo dance here in the office, it truly must be seen to be believed... where's Daniel Robin with the video camera whan ya need him?)
RealAudio clip: "Blackout Curtain"
RealAudio clip: "Who's Jon"

album cover OUTKAST Big Boi & Dre Present (LaFace) cd 16.98
Yep, it's true. A greatest hits record. Right off the bat, we should tell you to just get all the records, cause they're all great. But if for some reason you've been living in a cave or on the moon, then by all means get your grubby mitts on this puppy and expose yourself to the wonderful, funny, funky world of OUTKAST. All the hits are here: 'Rosa Parks', 'Ms. Jackson', 'Aquemini', 'Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik' and more. Also includes three brand new tracks!!

album cover PEANUTS: THE ART OF CHARLES M. SCHULZ (Pantheon) book 30.00
Brand new book out covering the art of Charles M. Schulz of Peanuts fame. This is a GORGEOUS book! It was designed by star book graphics guy Chip Kidd, who was also responsible, among many other things, for the gorgeous packaging on the Chris Ware Acme Novelty Library book. The Schulz book is the same size and also features a cool dustjacket -- instead of a foldout poster like the Ware book, it's simply a little shorter than the book itself, so a strip of the b&w hardcover shows thru above the full color dustjacket. Oh so nice. And the contents are super interesting -- there's old postcards and scrapbook drawings and Peanuts dolls and toys. The older strips are often pictured not cleaned up and modernized, but were scanned in as is, with yellowing newsprint and wrinkles, and random pencil marks on them. Quite an artifact, this book!

album cover PHOENECIA Odd Job Discrimination (Schematic) cd 12.98
Not to be confused with the "Odd Jobs" remix cd, this new 12" of remixes sees Florida's IDM wunderkind Phoenecia get tackled by the likes of Adult., Matmos, Prefuse 73, Dino Felipe, Otto Von Schirach, and Jeswa. Nicola of Adult. replicates the vocal samples that Phoenecia took from "Me And My Rhythm Box" (from the film soundtrack of Liquid Sky) with icy determination.
RealAudio clip: MATMOS "The Climactic Battle Scene With Rom & Josh Version"
RealAudio clip: ADULT. "Compurhythm"

album cover PINETOP SEVEN Lest We Forget (Self-Help) cd 11.98
A special album from Pinetop Seven, a staff fave band whose simple dark ballads are augmented with strings and lush textures, bizarre and exotic instrumentation, all resulting in gut wrenching, brutally intimate country epics. The vocals are deep and trembly like the guy singin' 'em might be about to have a breakdown -- Roy Orbison channeled through Jeff Buckley, Thom Yorke, and Chris Isaak.
This tour-only disc is officially now only available via direct mailorder from the band, but we convinced 'em to let AQ have a few. Various songs that had to be left off previous albums (although they're great songs and NOT filler), plus a 32-minute improvised soundtrack to the silent film Wind. Oh, and a surprisingly good *remix* of a song called Mission District, that's actually quite evocative and wonderful, bringing out some of the most sombre qualitites of the band's sound via looped repetition and added rumbling rhythms.
RealAudio clip: "Mission District"

album cover POINTS OF FRICTION Sackcloth & Ashes (Anomalous) cd 14.98
Back in the early 80s, Points Of Friction emerged out of the longstanding friendship from a handful of art-school misfits attending the Los Angeles Pierce College, as a means of unorthodox experimentation with consumer electronics and cheap instruments. While such homebrewed activities paralleled the Mike Kelly / Jim Shaw damage in Destroy All Monsters and the playful, who-gives-a-fuck attitude from the Los Angeles Free Music Society, Points Of Friction appeared to have specific goals of alienation and dis-ease in mind. "Sackcloth & Ashes" originally released back in 1984 on the LAFMS offshoot label Solid Eye is purportedly the most confident and polished construction from the colllective (NB. this is the first recording we've heard from Points Of Friction, but we'll trust Eric at Anomalous in such an assessment). Keyboards and primitive electronics undergrid the activities on "Sackcloth & Ashes" providing very tense atmospheres through sustained tones and b-movie minor chord progressions. All sorts of lo-fi field recordings, fuzzy Nurse With Wound like amorphous guitar fuzz, and proto-Matmos amplifications of things like snapping shrimp and a diseased lung add a creepy mad-scientist gone awry aura to the basic electronics. Within this album, Points of Friction have built a strange Frankensteinian creation out of the sonic debris left behind in their native Los Angeles, strangely sounding like the recent darlings of thrift-store brutism, Wolf Eyes. What goes around, comes around, eh?
RealAudio clip: "Fastidious"
RealAudio clip: "Acid Rain"

album cover PRE-TEENS Sunday Morning Service (11345 Records) cd 9.98
With the female yowls of Sleater Kinney, the in-your-face sweet presence of Mates of State, and indie rock power chords that twist your heart ever so painfully, the Pre-Teens break out with their second album. Possibly a little derivative but their hearts are totally in the right place.
RealAudio clip: "Railing"

album cover RHAPSODY Rain of a Thousand Flames (SPV) cd 14.98
These over-the-top, sword-swinging Italians return with not a new album but a 42-minute "ep" teaser for their upcoming 2002 full-length. As always, they've cranked out some utterly ridiculous yet wonderful symphonic fantasy metal. The thirteen minute track "Queen Of The Dark Horizons" pays tribute to their countrymen Goblin by quoting a part from Goblin's soundtrack to Dario Argento's Phenomena horror flick. Elsewhere, in the four-part, 22 minute epic "Rhymes of a Tragic Poem -- The Gothic Saga" Rhapsody employs an excerpt from a Dvorak symphony. But it's their own keyboard-laden, hyperspeed pomp prog metal stylings that make them the guilty pleasure they so surely are for several of us here at AQ. Rhapsody's obsession with Hollywood fantasy soundtracks pretty much defines the word "bombastic" in the realm of metal. Blind Guardian, Lost Horizon, Labyrinth, and others (all great) can try to compete, but nobody does it quite like Rhapsody.
While supplies last, we'll be stocking the digipack version of this disc, which folds out into a pop-up monster, and features a cd-rom video clip for the title track. The video is unbelievably cheesy, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
RealAudio clip: "The Poem's Evil Page"

RILEY, TERRY / PIERRE MARIETAN Keyboard Study 2 / Initiative (Get Back) lp 16.98
Two sidelong pieces recorded in 1969 and performed by Groupe d'Etude et Rèalisation Musicale of France, or simply the GERM Ensemble. Riley's "Keyboard Study 2" is a twenty-four minute minimalist exercise for two pianists (executed here by Gèrard Frèmy and Martine Joste). Due to substandard recording quality, this is not considered an "essential" Riley recording, but it is a beautiful and worthwhile document, nonetheless. Pierre Marietan, Swiss-born French avant composer, disciple of Boulez and Stockhausen and founder of GERM, offers an early composition for the emsemble. Repressed on hefty 180 gram vinyl with original artwork fully intact in a heavy gatefold sleeve. A rare non-jazz release in the mighty BYG / Actuel back catalogue!

album cover ROYAL TENENBAUMS, THE OST (Hollywood) cd 17.98
The new movie from the guy(s) who brought us Rushmore, a BIG AQ favorite. As was the amazing soundtrack, a great mix of obscure (and not so obscure) sixties psych-pop that somehow managed to be an incredible mix-tape-style compilation as well as being absolutely perfect for the film. So we haven't had a chance to see the film yet, but we were pretty excited about the soundtrack too. So here it is, and sadly, it doesn't hit nearly as hard as the Rushmore soundtrack. I imagine in the movie these songs are probably perfect, and maybe once we've seen the movie, we'll HAVE to own the soundtrack, but on their own, these songs just aren't that exciting: Nico, Bob Dylan, The Clash, The Ramones, Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, The Velvet Underground, and a few more with incidental music by Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo. All great stuff, but does anybody need another compilation with songs by artists you already like and whose records you probably already have? Maybe if you loved the movie enough. We'll see.

album cover SACHER-PELZ Mutation For A Continuity (E'est / Alga Marghen) 4cd 43.00
"Sacher Pelz offered up burnt offerings, and finally they began to say to the other: 'The true MB is the giver of acts of vengeance to us," quoting Maurizio Bianchi from the obtusely apocalyptic liner notes to his 4 CD box of his earliest material as Sacher-Pelz. In the late '70s, the enigmatic Bianchi produced four cassettes as Sacher Pelz that he had given to a handful of his friends and to the very few proponents of experimental music in his native Italy. These recordings were self-described as musique concrete albums, but are clearly situated outside of the realm of academia and the institutionally driven music of Pierre Schaeffer or Pierre Henry. Instead, Bianchi had fused the most primitive application of musique concrete (music composed with tape and a razorblade) with the principles of Throbbing Gristle's "entertainment through pain" and William Bennett's extremist Come / Whitehouse projects. Within the Sacher-Pelz cassettes -- which have been resurrected this box set on E'est / Alga Marghen -- Bianchi could easily be crowned as one of the '70s forefathers of 'anti-music' alongside Lou Reed for his legendary "Metal Machine Music" and Boyd Rice with his "Black Album."
Stephan Kraus' well researched website on the history of Bianchi (which can be located at Brainwashed) indicated that much of the original source material from these cassettes was taken from Bianchi's abused Kraftwerk vinyl, then vastly recontextualized into monotonous loops, completely devoid of anything sounding like Kraftwerk. I guess it could be the music of Kraftwerk, but if "Autobahn" had been exhumed from a lengthy burial in a murky swamp.
"Cainus" is Bianchi's very first outing, finding him enthralled by the looping technology of a varispeed tape machine. An entirely decentralized affair, this recording takes those post-mortem tones from his beaten Kraftwerk albums and warbles arrhythmically through several repetitions then shifts into a different loop. "Venus" is similar in the arrhythmia of looping textures, but finds Bianchi experimenting with the varispeed and with an additional synthesizer bleeding through the turgid noise. Even within these recordings which are decidedly primitive, Bianchi makes it very clear that the monotony and dullness of his records are an intentional pursuit for his music, as exorcisms of the existential frustrations of life. "Cease To Exist" progresses more into the sinister dense collage work that precedes his masterpieces as MB, "Endometrio" and "Carcinosi." The final Sacher Pelz recording "Velours" is the most advanced of the four with the loops showing a much broader spectrum from clarity to abstraction, with some of his samples coming directly from Neu! "2" (an interesting choice as that album was a remix of Neu!'s earliest recordings!), but most distorted into a bass-heavy muddle of Merzbow proportions.
It must be stated that while this Sacher-Pelz boxset is an fascinating document of Bianchi's earliest work, this box isn't nearly as good as the truly depressing but totally overwhelming MB recordings.
RealAudio clip: "Crime Uberall (from "Cainus")"
RealAudio clip: "Venus (from "Venus")"
RealAudio clip: "Exterminans (from "Cease To Exist")"
RealAudio clip: "Sans Sang (from "Velours')"

SHARROCK, SONNY Monkey-Pockie-Boo (Get Back) lp 16.98
The amazing Sonny Sharrock cranks out three lengthy tracks for the BYG/Actuel label, accompanied by his lovely wife Linda, bassist Bob Guerin, and drummer Jacques Thollot. "27th Day" is a seventeen minute free psych epic that begins with minimal abstraction (and Sharrock on a slide whistle!) and slowly builds into a massive freakout fireball. "Soon", written by Linda Sharrock, is another ferocious jam that doesn't let up for its eight heart-stopping minutes. Finally, the closing "Monkey-Pockie-Boo" is more abstract and mellowed out, with Sonny and Linda chanting back and forth in an indecipherable, unconventional vocal style. The combination of Sonny's guitar playing and the voice of wife Linda on tracks like "27th Day" and "Soon", I would say, could almost definitely be a major influence on Japan's free noise guitar god Keiji Haino. Very psychedelic at times, totally out there and intense. Like most releases in the BYG/Actuel catalogue, recorded in the legendary Studio Sarawah in Paris on June 22, 1970. As always, pressed on hefty 180 gram vinyl and housed in a heavy gatefold jacket with original artwork.

album cover SHIVER San Francisco's Shiver (Shadoks Music) cd 15.98
The music on this cd represents the entire recorded output of this obscure early '70s acid-rock band. Shiver recorded this stuff live to two-track tape in the summer of 1972, and while they never released an album back in the day, it's clear that the world is ready for their heavy guitar jams now. Well, maybe not the world -- but certainly those of us, mostly too young to have "been there then", who aren't entirely satisfied with today's stoner metal and are always looking for the real deal, the lost stoner psych monster.
Basically, Shiver were a bunch of hard-rocking hippie freaks, brought together by a Texas-bred drummer who moved to San Francisco to take up where his obvious heroes Blue Cheer left off. They soon had a rather rough, tough reputation, playing Haight street fairs and Hells Angels biker parties. At one point they even had a singer with an iron hook for a hand, which he could use as a slide for his guitar, or for more violent purposes. Shiver played "heavy psychedelic rock" at its most primal -- no overdubs, raw as hell.
Portions of this were previously available as an expensive Rockadelic LP, but the cd adds quite a few extra, lower-fidelity tracks as a "bonus."
RealAudio clip: "Bone Shaker"

album cover SPACE MACHINE Cosmos From Diode Ladder Filter (Alchemy) cd 19.98
Osaka-based artist Takushi "Maso" Yamazaki has taken quite a turn these past couple of years. His more well-known alter-ego Masonna is best known for ear shredding cut'n'paste sonic assaults. Masonna's live performances consisted of Yamazaki screaming into two or three microphones, hurling himself onto effects boxes and destroying just about anything in his way. Yamazaki's interest in analogue electronics and modular synthesis was evident on his collaboration with Fusao Toda (of Angel 'In Heavy Syrup) -- Christine 23 Onna's "Shiny Crystal Planet" -- a hyper blend of '60s exotic breaks flooded with psychedelic synthesizers and tons of echo. As Space Echo, Yamazaki goes one on one with The Putney, a compact modular synthesizer developed in 1969 by EMS, as well as the Doepfer A-100 Modular system and a slew of echo machines for total tripped out effect! Not rhythmic like Christine 23 Onna, but very similar in Yamazaki's tweaked out knob twiddling and full on psych-distorto overload. The first in Alchemy's Inner Mind Music Series of cosmic psychedelia themed sonicscapes.
RealAudio clip: "6"

STEREO TOTAL Musique Automatique (Bungalow) lp 12.98
Now available on snow white vinyl! Another Euro-pop swingin' shimmy-shake affair from the very cosmopolitan Stereo Total. Once again, a lyrical cocktail shaker of French, German, English and... Turkish! Many moments that would make obscure, eccentric '60s lounge-y/ad jingle composer Charles Wilp leap to his feet in his astronaut suit. If you don't know this gent of whom I speak so highly, check out his awesome "Bunny" album. Anyways, back to Stereo Total, stylistically this seems less eclectic than their past albums, but no less ultra-pouty and playful. The second song, "L'Amour A 3" sounds like a cover, but I'm not sure of what. Perhaps you can recognize it? The middle of the album is a lively, thumping party unto itself particularly tracks 8 through 10 ("Forever 16", "Je Suis Une Poupee", and "Ich Weiss Nicht Mehr Genou). Also brings to mind one of Cup's super-faves the fearless and fabulous French duo Les Rita Mitsouko.
RealAudio clip: "L'Amour A 3"
RealAudio clip: "Je Suis Une Poupee"
RealAudio clip: "Nationale 7"

STROKES Is This It (Rough Trade) lp 18.98
Import vinyl version of this current big thing. Complete with original butt cover and "New York City Cops". Here's our review of the cd version:
First came the drooling adulatory reviews from music writers, then the inevitable backlash from the few freethinking music critics who were all "what's the big deal?" I'm not quite sure where we are right now in the chronology of The Strokes hype timeline. But who cares -- we all just wanna know what it sounds like, right?
The Strokes play decent, even pretty likable, indie-sounding rock with scratchy-radio-style vocals put thru a distortion pedal (a la Jon Spencer), jangly guitar similar to old REM or the Soft Boys, and a general tone that ranges from the bouncy desperation of "Lust for Life"-era Iggy Pop and the Pixies, to the perfectly-crafted pop of, say, Spoon or the Pastels. Rock critics with something to prove are falling all over themselves claiming that the Strokes sound like the Velvet Underground, but for me that only comes thru in the drummer's defiantly simple rhythms and the singer's nasal delivery, which would be commendably like Lou Reed's except for this annoying end-of-lyric breath-y thing he does far too often, like Christina Aguilera (speaking of which! see Aguilera Strokes remix here: http://www.morewebspace.fsnet.co.uk/remix.mp3, [thanks, Mark]).
So, the AQ verdict on the Strokes is *eh*, it's pretty okay, a lot of folks will find it pleasantly accessible and fun. Hey, we'd still recommend the last Spoon record over the Strokes, but you could do a lot worse.

album cover SURFACE OF ECEON The King Beneath The Mountain (Strange Attractors Audio House) cd 13.98
A bit of a surprise, this here record. Folks from Yume Bitsu and Landing (two bands I think are ok, but not any big deal) have pitched in and come up with this little gem. Epic space rock full of dark drones and shimmering washes of My Bloody Valentine-ish guitar. A lot of the record is reminiscent of Peng era Stereolab, but minus the vocals (thankfully). And parts of it are covered in the trademark gritty noise typified by New Zealand label Corpus Hermeticum. Extended bits of improvisatory minimal guitar slowly build into motorik rhythms and then eventually explode into gales of My Bloody indie metal! A very nice combo! Fans of Stereolab, Mogwai, Slowdive and the like will LOVE this.
RealAudio clip: "The Open Sea"
RealAudio clip: "Silence Beheads Us"

album cover TANGERINE DREAM SYNDICATE III Violins for III Stooges (Alchemy) cd 19.98
Another in Alchemy's new Inner Mind Music series of spacey delights -- "Live at Alpha Centauri" it says on the inside. The Tangerine Dream Syndicate wears its influences proudly -- the band is made up of Tommy Conrad (cello, violin), Johnny Conrad (electronics, violin, voice), and DeeDee Conrad (bass, violin, voice). Yes, their names (and the album's title and the band name too) are a bit overt and silly but this is actually some really fine drone improv! Even though they'd like you to imagine that they're Tony Conrad's lost brothers, we suspect that beneath these assumed names you'd find some well-known Japanese underground noisicans. But they are indeed spiritual, musical brothers with the American violinist and his '60s Dream Syndicate colleagues, along with '70s German spacemeisters Tangerine Dream. It's a successful homage that makes for some mighty fine, late night drifting listening. It's just one track, nearly a full hour of high-end string drone, subsonic bass throb, and electronic swoosh. File in the "quite omnious yet strangely comforting" section of your cd collection.

album cover TATE, HOWARD s/t (Koch) cd 12.98
Reissue of an LP that Atlantic originally put out back in 1972. Howard Tate ("one of the top ten R&B singers of all time" sez Jerry Ragovoy, who incidentally produced this album and Tate's lone other LP for Verve) quit the music biz in '74 for a career in insurance (and, later became a minister) but has been enjoying a renaissance of late, getting back on stage with some new music, again collaborating with Ragovoy! Our friend Nick Tangborn turned us on to this guy -- he actually saw him on his "comeback" tour, at a bar in New Orleans, and described the experience as akin to seeing Otis Redding!
This LP features 12 tracks of relaxed funk and soul, always groovin and showcasing Tate's undeniably star-quality vox, with material by Ragovoy and Tate (and covers of Dylan and The Band!). Tate's other album is supposed to be even better, but this is pretty fine for what it is. Despite his talent, Tate never really "made it" but it's nice to know he's not forgotten.
RealAudio clip: "Keep Cool (Don't Be A Fool)"

TRACK STAR The Chord / Green To Gold (Omnibus) 7" 4.50
Wyatt Cusick is one damn fine pop songcraftsman (you may have also heard his skills at work in the wonderful Aislers Set). He, together with bandmates Matthew Troy and Brian Girgus (formerly of Lowercase) presents this lovely short'n'sweet two-song single.... maybe even too short! It seems the songs are over before they've barely begun. Consider this just a hint of their new material on the horizon which, rumor has it, they're currently finishing up in the studio. Yay! Yay! Now, you might think me completely nuts, but I think Side One's "The Chord" pulls a few melodic/vocal elements from that ol' tune "Locomotion", but in the hands of TrackStar, it works. Side Two's graced with "Green To Gold", an intimate number that will definitely please any Belle & Sebastian fan. Splendid.

album cover TRAD, GRAS OCH STENAR s/t (Silence) cd 14.98
Not a new reissue ('95 actually), but newly in-stock along with a slew of more recent Silence-label reissues of other related Swedish late '60s heavy psych. The post-Harvester quartet Trad, Gras Och Stenar (Trees, Grass and Stones) was the most "rockist" outgrowth of the Parson Sound/International Harvester collective which you'll find celebrated elsewhere on this list. Indeed, this album starts with two covers of well-known rock tunes, one of the Dylan/Hendrix classic "All Along The Watchtower", followed by a version of "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" that is so depressed and wasted-sounding that it *really* sounds like they can't and won't get no satisfaction, ever! Pretty soon, though, they've given up on any Top of the Pops pretentions and are delving into twisted, waltzing, freak-psych compositions that draw more from traditional Swedish folk music than British/American rock n' roll (although the fuzz guitars remain). Some of the material here also recalls the minimalist throb of their earlier work in Parson Sound and International Harvester.
What Forced Exposure's Hrvatski said of the Harvester album applies to this as well: "Another piece to the incestuous little jigsaw that was the 1967-1972 Swedish druggist music school dropout sector." A jigsaw well worth spending some of your time with!
RealAudio clip: "All Along The Watchtower"
RealAudio clip: "Tegenborgsvalsen"

album cover TRUTH AND JANEY No Rest For the Wicked (Monster) cd 12.98
Reissue of a rare 1976 album by this legendary (among collectors anyway) trio of hard-rockin' Midwesterners. Truth & Janey were heavy and energetic and had some great songs but disco apparently killed 'em off. We're left with this album and the the bonus singles tracks that comprise this cd. Guitarist/vocalist doesn't quite have the voice for the two blues covers they attempt, but the rest is mighty good. These longhaired youngsters were into bellbottoms and fully-cranked Marshalls -- so if you are too, check this out! Another authentic '70s stoner rawk classic for today's fans to listen to and learn from.
RealAudio clip: "Down The Road I Go"
RealAudio clip: "It's All Above Us"

album cover TV POW Despite Ourselves (Fire Inc.) 3"cd 9.98
The Chicago lap-top trio TV Pow has always been a hit or miss operation, situating themselves closest (when at their best) to their one time Icelandic collaborators Stilluppsteypa as a recombination of microwave / glitch work and the erratic, shifting collage technique of The Hafler Trio. This record too is a collection of mixed results, starting off nicely with a set of modulated (and audible!) tones intertwined with a strange crackle of unidentifiable field recording, very bass heavy thumps and harsh edits emphasized by harsh static bursts. TV Pow peters out with some gossamer applications of barely audible glitches that warranted the title "this is the part the austrians like." Is this the futute of artistic satire?
RealAudio clip: "(slow) jam"
RealAudio clip: "this is the part the austrians like"

album cover UPSILON ACRUX Last.Train.Out (Hactivist) cd 11.98
Get your nose back in those math books 'cause Upsilon Acrux are back. Slowly simmering tension builders of abstract, prog-y, post rock-ification. Proggy and chaotic, stop/start mayhem and ultra complicated instrumental workouts. Dark, repetitive rhythms ripped apart by bursts of frenzied sputter and stretched out hum and buzz. Some amazing drumming and some unbelievable song structures. UA puts almost all of their instrumental-post-rock-sort-of-metal brethren to shame!
RealAudio clip: "Propeller"
RealAudio clip: "Get.down.upon.it"
RealAudio clip: "The.wack.art.deception"

album cover VAN ZANDT, TOWNES Live At McCabes (Return To Sender / Normal) cd 15.98
Posthumous release of humble and down to earth folkster Townes Van Zandt recorded live at McCabe's, a musical instrument store in Santa Monica, in 1995. The performance is as intimate as the location would seem to dictate -- the small shop only held about a hundred maximum for any given performance -- with Townes often stopping mid song to deliver asides and sharing anecdotes with the audience. Features Kelly Joe Phelps playing dobro on a couple tracks. This pressing limited to 2000 copies.
RealAudio clip: "Pancho & Lefty"
RealAudio clip: "Banks of the Ohio"

album cover VON SCHIRACH, OTTO Escalo Frio (Schematic) cd 14.98
Von Schirach's second long player of leftfield electronica, very schizo, following his spastic "8000 BC", also released this year. Quite prolific, Mr. Otto Von, for he could have edited the best parts of each release down to one powerful record. Features guest appearances by Matmos, Jeswa and Takeshi Muto, among many others.

VON SCHIRACH, OTTO Escalo Frio (Schematic) 2lp 14.98
Von Schirach's second long player of leftfield electronica, very schizo, following his spastic "8000 BC", also released this year. Quite prolific, Mr. Otto Von, for he could have edited the best parts of each release down to one powerful record. Features guest appearances by Matmos, Jeswa and Takeshi Muto, among many others.

album cover WEGMULLER, WALTER Tarot (Spalax) 2cd 18.98
This 1973 krautrock rarity was reissued a few years ago as a deluxe box set complete with reproductions of the Tarot cards designed by German gypsy painter Walter Wegmuller. That uber-expensive deluxe version quickly went out of print, and now we have a nicely presented double cd set of the same music, minus the cards. The 21 tracks on here are, however, dedicated to the Major Arcana of the Tarot deck. Whether you're into the mysticism of this or not, its the trippy "kosmiche" krautrock music that makes this worthy of purchase. Wegmuller (with producer Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser) directed an all-star cast of German underground musicians including Manuel Gottsching, Walter Westrupp, and Dieter Dirks in creating a sometimes maniacal, sometimes zoned-out krautrock classic. It really is similar to early Ash Ra Tempel, Brainticket, or the Cosmic Jokers (indeed, the cast of musicians pretty much IS the Cosmic Jokers). Wild, weird stuff that wanders from electronic soundscapes with portentous voice-overs to acid guitar freakouts to mellow flute-led folk jams... Every track/card is different. If you can tolerate some of the hippy excesses (and the talking), this has much to offer. We can imagine that the Current 93/NWW folks must have been really into this!
RealAudio clip: "Die Hohepriesterin"
RealAudio clip: "Der Hohepriester"

album cover WHITEHEAD, PETER Now This (Out Of Round) cd 11.98
The local label Out of Round has been laboring quietly in the background, not calling a lot of attention to itself yet turning out record after record that are consistently of similar mood -- due to the fact that they all play on each others recordings. The homegrown label's "sound", then, is one of a grimy circus atmosphere, like Fellini's La Strada if it was set in some dusty corner of an urban American metropolis. There are lots of slowed down polkas and depressed waltz time-signatures, dour vocals, sad accordians, and dolefully plucked guitars. Great mood music for the Tom Waits fan in all of us who feels like Waits is just too hip for his own good these days.
Check out www.outofroundrecords.com -- we carry all of their releases. For a limited time only, get an Out of Round Records label sampler free with purchase any full length on the label.
Peter Whitehead is my favorite artist on the label. This Mission-ite is British-born and a cool instrument-maker, who croons downer vocals over otherworldy stringed instruments just "off"-sounding enough to be delightfully puzzling. Piano, mandolin, zither, siren, "spike fiddle", lyre. Very cool layers of lush metallic sounds acts as climaxes to his Michael-Stipe-like haunting verses.
RealAudio clip: "More"

album cover WRIGHT, SHANNON Dyed In The Wool (Quarterstick) cd 14.98
Shannon Wright returns with a dozen new songs of dark, winding torment. Filled with deeply emotive and visual lyrics - poetic and bittersweet. Envision her wringing her hands, walking the floor - a dusty threadbare path the proof of her paces - as the lovely, shadowy instrumentation slowly echoes her solemn mood. Sort of brought to mind a less trilling Tori Amos with the Dirty Three in tow. Quite nice.
RealAudio clip: "Method of Sleeping"

album cover WU-TANG CLAN Iron Flag (Columbia/Loud) cd 16.98
Back again, with a burst of gunfire and the sound of sirens, and thankfully they didn't wait 3 years this time. And as far as we're concerned they're still at the top of their game. It doesn't hurt that the majority of the 'Clan are wicked lyricists and fucking great rappers, but the RZA is still there, pulling loops out of his ass and coming up with some of the best tracks in Wu-Tang history. Track 5, 'Uzi (Pinky Ring)' is worth the price of admission alone, shuffling old school Eric B and Rakim drum loop, with stabs of SOUL POWER funky horns and reverbed minor key far away guitars, and some super cool modulated scratching. I (Andee) heard this track in the middle of a megamix on L.A. radio at 2 in the morning, between lots of stoned rambling, arguing and some really bad mixing. I knew it was Wu-Tang but I didn't know there was a new record and of course the DJs didn't back announce the tracks (they never do.). The rest of 'Iron Flag' measures up pretty nicely, with a surprising amount of meat, not a lot of filler. LOTS of horns, some not-offensive soul diva vocals, wah wah guitar, strange loops, and just a generally great production. The only weak moment is the pointless Flavor Flav track. It seems like he does the same rap in the same song on any record that'll have him. But that's a small complaint for a record this good. The WU is back! 'Ya'll Been Warned.'
RealAudio clip: "Uzi (Pinky Ring)"
RealAudio clip: "Ya'll Been Warned"

album cover XBXRX / MISS PUSSYCAT / QUINTRON Mardi Gras (Gold Standard Laboratories) 7" 4.50
Sadly enough, the spaz-bot combo known as XBXRX is no longer with us, but before their demise they did this collaboration with Miss Pussycat and Quintron, New Orleans' reigning art royalty - creators of the Drum Buddy, amazing, twisted puppet shows, and crazy, rad, fucked-up music - an obvious 3-way match made in heaven.

ZEN GUERRILLA Heavy Mellow (Flapping Jet) picture disc lp 12.98
SF's finest R&B&Rockn'rollers offer up a gorgeous picture disc lp, in a limited edition no doubt, featuring a colorful painting three-eyed skeleton playing a watermelon mandolin, riding on a flying carpet...ok, so from a distance you might mistake it for a Greatful Dead thing, but it's actually pretty cool. Musically, side 1 gets you three tracks recorded live at Holland's Lowlands Festival last year, and since the Zen G boys are at their best kickin' out the jams live on stage (damn they're a good live band!) I guess the next best thing to seeing 'em would be to hear concert recordings on a spiffy picture disc. Side 2 lets you hear 'em in the studio, with two songs recorded this year in Seattle by Jack Endino.

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album cover V/A Anthology 2: Come Organisation Archives 1981-1982 (Susan Lawly) cd 16.98
Along with Throbbing Gristle's Industrial Records, William Bennett's Come Organisation was one of the seminal publishing entities for transgressive British art in the late '70s and early '80s, mostly for his own projects Come and Whitehouse, but also a few other recordings from Maurizio Bianchi (recording under the Leibstandarte SS MB moniker), Sutcliffe Jurgend, 150 Murderous Passions (a collaboration between Bennett and Nurse With Wound), and probably some other projects that have eluded my research (if anybody has a discography from Come Organisation, please let me know!). While the Come Organisation is no longer active, Bennett has founded Susan Lawly to continue publishing Whitehouse material. This document is the second collection of material from the Come Organisation vaults, comprised of the last Come album "I'm Jack," highlights from the conceptually based compilation "Fur Ilse Koch," and a two tracks from Bianchi's "Weltanschauung" album.
For the Come album "I'm Jack," Bennett had worked with Foetus' Jim Thirwell to create two very odd pieces of primitive anti-punk. On one track Bennett took up the drums, with Thirlwell on guitar, electronics, and vocal duties; and the other track found the two switching yet performing similar pieces. Starting off with the sludgy guitar feedback that has since become the staple for bands like Earth, the Melvins, and Harvey Milk, Come sporadically drop in unstructured double kick drum beats before unleashing a belligerent feedback / synth noise.
Ilse Koch was the wife of the commandant at the Buchenwald concentration camp during Nazi era Germany, and had developed an unsavory fashion aesthetic of furnishing her lampshades with the skin from dead prisoners. Obviously the material from the Come Organisation compilation that is dedicated to her is certainly not for the squeamish. The anonymously produced tracks from Musique Concrete and Etat Brut both employ similar methods of media appropriation into bizarre collages with lots of Jim Jones references. But it is the Nurse With Wound track "Fashioned To A Device Behind A Tree" that is the highlight to both "Fur Ilse Koch" and "Anthology 2" on which a little German girl pleads for her father accompanied by an ever intensifying psychoacoustically irritating high frequency drone. Very creepy. The MB tracks are also quite impressive, with his signature aesthetic of sinister electronic dirges that are continuously collapsing under the weight of an existential gloom.
Bennett indicated in the liner notes the possibility of reissuing "Fur Ilse Koch" at a later date, pretty much all that is missing from that compilation and these highlights are the shock tactic insertions of Nazi speeches, Manson gibberish, and the Japanese Imperial War anthem. The tracks featured here do well enough to frighten and horrify without such obvious references.
RealAudio clip: NURSE WITH WOUND "Fashioned To A Device Behind A Tree"
RealAudio clip: COME "President, Your Prick's Stiff"
RealAudio clip: LEIBSTANDARTE SS MB "Endoradiaion"

album cover V/A Homework #1 1/2: US Experimental & Artpunk 45s, R-U (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
Hyped To Death's Homework series covers many subgenres of the American DIY scene, so many that Chuck needed three discs just for his 45s beginning with letters R-T (and we know he still has tons more)! Where volume 1 focused on general DIY punk and new wave, volume 1 1/2 takes on the "experimental" punk / no-wave picks of the bunch (and to confuse matters worse, continues on volume 3 with tracks from LPs). An indespensible collection for anyone interested in North American No-Wave, New York and beyond! Features the legendary THEORETICAL GIRLS and STATIC, both led by Glenn Branca circa 77-79. Theoretical Girls included future producer extraordinaire, Wharton Tiers. The Static was a three piece featuring Barbara Ess (Branca's wife and member of Y-PANTS as well as an amazing experimental composer these days...) and Christine Hahn, who went on to join Berlin's extraordinary Malaria! Los Angeles Free Music Society vets SMEGMA do an excellent, grinding track. Chicago's SPECIAL AFFECTS (a band which later became Ministry after Al Jourgensen joined) create a No-Wave dance rhythm blueprint that is still in use today. Two tracks from Cleveland's more-Electric Eels-than-Pere-Ubu REDNESS. Portland's SCHWUMP (who later appeared in Vileness Fats) is backed by the Residents in their signature lo-fi pop style; from an extremely rare 45 on Ralph Records! Pre-Mission Of Burma SPACE NEGROES predict "1984". Oh! There's also a rare track by a criminally underrecorded and short lived San Pedro group called SLIVERS featuring George Hurley of the Minutemen! Kinda like Minutemen meets Nervous Gender with Lora Logic on sax! Really amazing stuff, as with all in this series. Also featuring tracks by VERTICAL SLIT, SURVIVORS (SF), RALPHS, SPANISH DOGS, SECRETS OF LOVLINESS, ZACH SWAGGER, RADIO FREE EUROPE, TOM & MARTY BAND, RAISINETTES, ROSSI JERI and ARMAND SCHAUBROECK STEALS.
RealAudio clip: THEORETICAL GIRLS "You Got Me"

album cover V/A Homework #4: US DIY Punk LPs, R-Z (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
Volume 4 of H2D's Homework series of North American DIY rounds up tracks from punk and "grind" LPs from bands starting with letters R-Z. Some of the obvious desireables: HALF JAPANESE's "I Want Something New" from the ":30 Over DC" comp. and Don Fleming's VELVET MONKEYS ensures that "Everything Is Right". Obscure Oakland pop-punk act YO (featuring Greg Baker) bring "Good Tidings" with two tracks from said EP. The *awesome* DOW JONES & THE INDUSTRIALS from Indiana play fucked synth-punk about appliances. Florida's TEDDY & THE FRAT GIRLS had a reissue of material from '79 released on Alternative Tentacles in the mid-eighties. "I Owe It To The Girls" pops up here. NYC's Puerto Rican mod-garage punkers WILDFANG's "That's Right" sadly never hit record store racks as their "Cross The Rubicon" didn't even make it past the test pressing stage. Fortunately their EP, "What Is Wild" proved they were "More American Than Johnny Carson" and makes an appearance here. LA's all girl STERILES are "On The Rag" with the hilarious "You're So Glam It Hurts". Boston's V: makes another Homework appearance, future Magnetic Fields collaborator Susan Anway was a member. Another Boston group, TWO BY FOURS, makes another appearance as well with two tracks of disjointed retardation. Ohio's RACHEL SWEET covers DEVO's "Be Stiff", from a promo-only tour LP on Stiff Records! Also tracks from REALLY RED, SCREAMING URGE, RANDY & THE GOATS, 100 FLOWERS, BRIAN SANDS, UNDERACHIEVERS, WASTED LIVES, VOODOO IDOLS, SORRY, WILD STARES, SECRET MAMMALS, DOW JONES & THE INDUSTRIALS, JOHANNA WENT, DAMORONICS, ROY G BIV, WOMBATS, PHIL SHADES and ROCK STARS OF LOVE.

album cover V/A Homework #1: US DIY Singles, R-T (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
It's the "Nuggets" of late-'70s-early-'80s American DIY/punk. As with the other two compilation series that we stock from Chuck Warner's Hyped 2 Death cd-r label (Messthetics and Teen Line), these discs feature way cool, super rare tracks from bands that you'd otherwise never hear, or even hear of. Thank's to Chuck's loving work (collecting, compiling, annotating) you're all set for a crash course in what was going on in the underground when you (probably) were in elementary school, for the bargain price of only $9.98 per lesson.
See our review of the first in the Messthetics series for all the details about the Hyped 2 Death project.
In keeping with the H2D modus operandi, volume one in this alphabetically organized series oddly starts with R, not A. Some of the 28 cuts on here are by the Realtors, the Real Wigs, the Twinkeyz, Teenage Boat People, Rebby Sharp, and there's even a cut from the 1984 debut single
by the then Rhode Island-based Throwing Muses.

album cover V/A Homework #2: US DIY Punk & Punkwave Singles, R-T (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
Volume 2 of H2D's series of North American DIY, like volume 1, gathers 45s starting with letters R-U. This collection, however, centers on punk and "punkwave", generally harder stuff than the pop / new wave of volume 1. SF's RED ASPHALT play grinding Pere Ubu-style agit-punk that could just as well fit with the No-Wave mood of volume 1 1/2. Boston/NYC synth punk groop RENTALS dominate the disc with three tracks, one of which has a rhythm akin to early Stereolab! They later got picked up by Beggars Banquet... When Mark Bingham left Bloomington, Indiana (and MX-80) for NYC, he played a bit for Glenn Branca and formed his SOCIAL CLIMBERS in '81. "Hey" is a drunken sing along from the pre-Monster Magnet SHRAPNEL outta Jersey. Another notable track comes from SF, in the futuristic punk (think early Devo) of UNITS (a song dedicated to finding a job -- a sort of non-punk anthem, ironically). Ooh! UNIT 3 WITH VENUS, an LA group with a bratty 11 year old Venus spouting about how she "don't like beer"! Also tracks from TRACERS, 'S NOTS, TENANT T.V., TENANTS, STORY OF FAILURE, SIMPLY SAUCER, SF'sTANKS, SCIENTIFIC AMERICANS, MARC THOR, URGE, SKOINGS, READYMADES, STANDING WAVES, HUGH BEAUMONT EXPERIENCE, REALTORS, STUDENT TEACHERS, TIKIS, TUFF BUNNIES and TWILIGHT PEOPLE.

album cover V/A Homework #3: US DIY & Experimental LPs, R-Z (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
Volume 3 of H2D's Homework series of North American DIY rounds up some obscure LPs in the R-Z section of Chuck's collection, focusing on strange pop, "experimental" punk and underdocumented No-Wave. This disc kicks off with a quirky pop gem by STROKE BAND, an early group of Don Fleming (future Sonic Youth / Velvet Monkeys / BALL) and Bruce Joyner, jangly guitars and cheesy synths... Followed by a track off Fleming's VELVET MONKEYS LP, "Future". Boston's SALEM '66 is a post-Maps project of Judy Grunwald, released on Homestead in '84. Boston's 2X4s' "Another 8 Hours of Boredom" sounds like the Knack's "My Sharona" on PCP. Have you seen that punk rock/pre-riot grrl (by like, ten years) coming-of-age b-movie "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains" starring Diane Lane, Paul Cook and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Paul Simonon of the Clash and a really young Laura Dern? Anyway, if you've seen the flick, you'll know what I mean when I say the track by NYC's SNATCH sounds like the Fabulous Stains (there's also a radio ad for a Snatch 45 at the end of this disc that doesn't, though...) Cleveland's STYRENES (ex-Electric Eels / Mirrors) throw down a brilliant freakbeat stomp from their "Girl Crazy" LP, strange how the vocalist sounds just like Dave Thomas... Boston's V; features the sweet vocals of Susan Anway, who later went on to sing with Magnetic Fields. NYC No-Wave Y PANTS aren't afraid to be boring with an "Obvious" track from the Wharton Tiers-produced LP. RAT AT RAT R had a record on NY artpunk label Neutral whose guitarist John Myers was once a member of Branca's orchestra, here they prove that "Rock'n'Roll Is Dead Long". Also featuring tracks by REVERSIBLE CORDS, NURSES, PHILLIPO SCROOGE, DRUM BUNNY, Oakland's YO, SNEAKERS, BRIAN SANDS, TELEFONES, WILDFANG, ARMAND SCHAUBROECK STEALS, BILLY SHEARS, ROMANS (ex-Deadbeats, Monitor (obscure synth-punk from LA!)), TOMMY DOG, THE SCENE IS NOW, MOCK TURTLES, TINY DESK UNIT, 17 PYGMIES and RAISINETTES.
RealAudio clip: SNATCH "Second Rater"

album cover V/A Homework #5: US DIY & Experimental Singles, V-Z (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
All sorts of styles on this volume as it covers 45s in the very small V-Z section of the alphabet. XXOO is Jad and David Fair. VELVET MONKEYS are here again, twice. X-X (aka X-BLANK-X) was a post-Electric Eels project of John Morton and Anton Fier, two tracks surface here. NYC No-Wave in full effect here, Y PANTS prepare "Beautiful Food" from their Branca-produced 7" on 99 Records. WKGB, from Jersey, was a minor irritation which sparked interest from UK experimental label Fetish. WILMA was a SF No-Wave act that was probably in the wrong place at the time their single on Subterranean came out ('81). WHAT NOW was David Auchenbach's pre-Small Factory band from Providence, RI (where he still records many fucked up experimental punk acts these days). Not to be confused with the metal band of the same name, Grand Rapids electronic trio ZYKLON pump out hard edged new wave. Also tracks from ZOOMERS, VORES, ROSE WHIPPER & MARK STOWE, WILD STARES, VERGE, XMAS EVE, WHITE BOY, WHOOM ELEMENTS, X-ILES, YOURS TRULY, ZENITH EFFLUVEUM, ZANONI, ZOO TYPES, YAM SLAM and BLAKE XOLTON.

album cover V/A Homework #6: US DIY Punk Singles, A-B (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
Volume 6 in H2D's Homework series of North American DIY centers on punk 45s that begin with the letters A & B. A BAND is an early Wharton Tiers group from NYC. Detroit's ALGEBRA MOTHERS (aka A-MOMS) make an appearance (also check their appearance on volume 7!). Most other bands here are fairly obscure: ALCOHOLICS, ALTER BOYS, ATILA-TV, B TEAM, BASICS, AIRCUTS, B-LOVERS, BUDDHA COLLECTION, BIZARROS, BUNNYDRUMS, AMPS, BOOM, BELLE STAR, BABY FLIES, BEEF PEOPLE, AMBIENT NOISE, ADAPTORS, AESTHETICS, B PEOPLE, BRONCS, AMERICAN GORILLA and BUMP CARS.

album cover V/A Homework #7: US Experimental & DIY Singles, A-B (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
More "experimental" punk, No-Wave, and just plain goofy North American DIY in volume 7 of HTD's Homework series. Concentrating on 45s starting with the letters A & B, this collection features more obscurities than the last "experimental" volume as well as many bands with cheap synths. SF's BOB, for one, is a pleasant surprise. A crushing artwave punk outfit circa 1980 that boasts a guitarist well-informed of the guitar freakouts of Sonny Sharrock! Another SF obscurity, BRAIN DAMAGE, coughs up a Twinkie from their 1985 EP "Kill Dan White". America's greatest rock critic, LESTER BANGS and his notorious "Let it Blurt" surfaces on this disc. The 1977 penned (recorded 1979) self-destuctive tirade about a bitter relationship with a manipulative ex, with references to Lou, Iggy and Otis. With Robert Quine on guitar, mixed by John Cale. "See you in hell, baby!" New Orleans BUNS offer the rocker "Anti-Matter", while a NYC Suicide copy named ANTI-MATTER lurk in their "Industrial City". Californian JOHN ALLAN ARMSTRONG creates his own industrial soundscapes ala Throbbing Gristle. Another New Orleans group, the BALLISTICS sound like the Contortions if James Chance had a gruff voice. ATTACK UNDER ATTACK is Jeff and Jane of Boston's Rentals - dark lo-fi electro. Detroit's ALGEBRA MOTHERS or A-MOMS for short are the sadly underrecorded No-Wave underdogs their "Modern Noise" still sounds modern indeed: processed vocals, a driving fuzzed-out bassline and cheesy carnivalesque organ. One of the best band names ever, too! Another Detroit group, APPARITION and their "Astral Spirit" is a psychedelic gem full of reverb and echo and swirling synths. Plus tracks by BELLE STAR, BIG STICK, AUGUST SONS, AMAZEMENT COMPANY, ANNE MARIE & THE PISTONS, LES SELDOMS (neither A nor B, but from a Subterranean split EP entitled ARIZONA DISEASE), BANKS, BUDGUZZLERS, APPLIANCES, BENDERS, BOG PEOPLE, A WESTERN FRONT, BOLIVIANS and BLUE COLLAR.
RealAudio clip: A-MOMS (ALGEBRA MOTHERS) "Modern Noise"

album cover V/A Institute of Sonology 1959-69: Early Electronic Music (Sub Rosa) cd 15.98
Collection of recordings made at this Utrecht, Netherlands as a studio for electro-instrumental music and attached to the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Contains your standard academic tape and electronics fare for the period. Features pieces composed between 1959 and 1969 by composers connected with the institute. Features compositions by Dick Raaijmakers, Frits Weiland, Ton Bruynel, Konrad Boehmer, Gottfried Michael Koenig and Rainer Riehn. Includes nine pages of liner notes detailing the history of the institute and brief bios of the composers.
RealAudio clip: RAAIJMAKERS, DICK "Piano-forte"
RealAudio clip: BRUYNEL, TON "Freflexen"

album cover V/A It Came from Memphis Vol. 2 (Birdman) cd 13.98
This comp was recorded by a variety of artists from 1950 to the present. The music ranges from traditional blues to mid 60's soul pop to the rad blues rock that made bands like The Gories, The White Stripes, Demolition Doll Rods, and Black Top what they are. Some songs even sound a bit like the Cramps. If you love garage, the drunk fucked up bluesy kind you should hear this. Some of the tracks have a low fi hiss and crackle, giving it an old, rare record feel, but could bug some audiophiles. 17 tracks, varying in quality and style, some of it was cheesy but on the whole very nice. Being that blues/garage is so big nowadays, this old Memphis stuff should be heard and acknowledged.
RealAudio clip: MOLOCH "Smokestack Lightning"
RealAudio clip: SELVIDGE, SID "By Your Side"

album cover V/A Love, Peace & Poetry: British Psychedelic Music (Normal / QDK) cd 14.98
Another new entry in Normal's Love, Peace & Poetry series devoted to giving a round-the-world tour of rare album tracks from the psychedelic era. Unlike some of the other volumes in the series (Latin American, Asian, the newly released Japanese volume, and the planned Brazilian and Canadian ones) British psych-rock has already been mined to death, so this disc's compilers really had to dig out the most obscure as opposed to the "best of" British psych (there's no Pink Floyd or Beatles on here, of course!). Still, it's pretty cool. There's a lot of Hobbit/fantasy rock, trippy and funny and light. One standout is Tony, Caro & John's "There Are No Greater Heroes" which sounds JUST LIKE Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel! Wow.
There's a few heavy, rockin' tracks here too, like the Blue Cheer-ish acid rock of The Dark, or Bodkin's Deep Purple-isms, but mostly it's folkier fare (Parameter, Mark Fry, Oliver), spacey, proggy stuff (Forever Amber, Lightyears Away), and some late '60s pop-psych too (Gary Walker & The Rain). Also: Pussy, Dogfeet, Motherlight, Candida Pax, Andwellas Dream, and Red Dirt. Most come armed with a lot of fuzz-distortion. Not our favorite of the LP&P series, but definitely worthwhile for fans of drugged-out hippie rock!
RealAudio clip: TONY, CARO & JOHN "There Are No Greater Heroes"
RealAudio clip: DARK "Maypole"
RealAudio clip: LIGHTYEARS AWAY "Yesterday"

V/A Love, Peace & Poetry: British Psychedelic Music (Normal / QDK) lp 16.98
Another new entry in Normal's Love, Peace & Poetry series devoted to giving a round-the-world tour of rare album tracks from the psychedelic era. Unlike some of the other volumes in the series (Latin American, Asian, the newly released Japanese volume, and the planned Brazilian and Canadian ones) British psych-rock has already been mined to death, so this disc's compilers really had to dig out the most obscure as opposed to the "best of" British psych (there's no Pink Floyd or Beatles on here, of course!). Still, it's pretty cool. There's a lot of Hobbit/fantasy rock, trippy and funny and light. One standout is Tony, Caro & John's "There Are No Greater Heroes" which sounds JUST LIKE Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel! Wow.
There's a few heavy, rockin' tracks here too, like the Blue Cheer-ish acid rock of The Dark, or Bodkin's Deep Purple-isms, but mostly it's folkier fare (Parameter, Mark Fry, Oliver), spacey, proggy stuff (Forever Amber, Lightyears Away), and some late '60s pop-psych too (Gary Walker & The Rain). Also: Pussy, Dogfeet, Motherlight, Candida Pax, Andwellas Dream, and Red Dirt. Most come armed with a lot of fuzz-distortion. Not our favorite of the LP&P series, but definitely worthwhile for fans of drugged-out hippie rock!

album cover V/A Love, Peace & Poetry: Japanese Psychedelic Music (Normal / QDK) cd 14.98
Following the excellent Latin American psych and Asian psych collections in the Love, Peace & Poetry series (and the not as hot American one) comes two new comps, one devoted to British bands and this one, dedicated to the wild and crazy sounds of psychedelic-era Japan. (Next in the series, we're told, will be Brazil and Canada.) There's some '60s fuzz-beat stuff on here from "Group Sounds" acts like The Happenings Four, Justin Heathcliff, The Jacks and The Mops, plus quite an abundance of early '70s era heavy guitar rock from killer groups like Blues Creation, Speed Glue & Shinki, and Foodbrain. That's partially because the Japanese psych-scene was really acid-rock oriented, and also 'cause the stuff that wasn't, was generally too spacious and abstract to fit comfortably on a single compilation disc. Thus, there's no Taj Mahal Travellers, no Far Out, and no Far East Family Band. The songs on here are more in the 3-4 minute range, there's no room for the side-long album cuts in which some of those bands specialized. Which is too bad, 'cause as cool as this comp is, it's not the complete picture. There's not even any Flower Travellin' Band, one of our favorite hard-rocking '70s Japanese psych groups. Despite those omissions, however, this is still a recommended compilation, especially if you dig the Hendrix-inspired, drugged-out mayhem that many of these bands dish out. Of course you do! Especially if you're a fan of current underground Japanese music. You know that Japan is one of the few places in the world with a truly happenin' modern-day psychedelic rock scene -- we're talking active bands like Acid Mothers Temple, Fushitsusha, Mainliner, High Rise, Ghost, and (especially nowadays) the Boredoms. Yup, in Japan, psychedelia is still live and well. Any fan of those bands certainly should delve into their historical inspirations from their native land, and this comp is a great starting place for such exploration! 17 tracks, all from super-rare LPs, many not readily available as cd reissues as yet.
As with the rest of the Love, Peace & Poetry series, it should be noted that all the cheesecake blonde girl photos decorating the cd package were taken by Bunny Yeager, the awesome woman photographer most famous for her work with Betty Page. That doesn't mean that they're terribly appropriate images to this comp, but still, Bunny Yeager, yeah.
RealAudio clip: SHINKI CHEN "Freedom Of A Mad Paper Lantern"
RealAudio clip: SPEED, GLUE & SHINKI "Run and Hide"
RealAudio clip: JACKS "Gloomy Flower"

V/A Love, Peace & Poetry: Japanese Psychedelic Music (Normal / QDK) lp 16.98
Following the excellent Latin American psych and Asian psych collections in the Love, Peace & Poetry series (and the not as hot American one) comes two new comps, one devoted to British bands and this one, dedicated to the wild and crazy sounds of psychedelic-era Japan. (Next in the series, we're told, will be Brazil and Canada.) There's some '60s fuzz-beat stuff on here from "Group Sounds" acts like The Happenings Four, Justin Heathcliff, The Jacks and The Mops, plus quite an abundance of early '70s era heavy guitar rock from killer groups like Blues Creation, Speed Glue & Shinki, and Foodbrain. That's partially because the Japanese psych-scene was really acid-rock oriented, and also 'cause the stuff that wasn't, was generally too spacious and abstract to fit comfortably on a single compilation disc. Thus, there's no Taj Mahal Travellers, no Far Out, and no Far East Family Band. The songs on here are more in the 3-4 minute range, there's no room for the side-long album cuts in which some of those bands specialized. Which is too bad, 'cause as cool as this comp is, it's not the complete picture. There's not even any Flower Travellin' Band, one of our favorite hard-rocking '70s Japanese psych groups. Despite those omissions, however, this is still a recommended compilation, especially if you dig the Hendrix-inspired, drugged-out mayhem that many of these bands dish out. Of course you do! Especially if you're a fan of current underground Japanese music. You know that Japan is one of the few places in the world with a truly happenin' modern-day psychedelic rock scene -- we're talking active bands like Acid Mothers Temple, Fushitsusha, Mainliner, High Rise, Ghost, and (especially nowadays) the Boredoms. Yup, in Japan, psychedelia is still live and well. Any fan of those bands certainly should delve into their historical inspirations from their native land, and this comp is a great starting place for such exploration! 17 tracks, all from super-rare LPs, many not readily available as cd reissues as yet.
As with the rest of the Love, Peace & Poetry series, it should be noted that all the cheesecake blonde girl photos decorating the cd package were taken by Bunny Yeager, the awesome woman photographer most famous for her work with Betty Page. That doesn't mean that they're terribly appropriate images to this comp, but still, Bunny Yeager, yeah.

album cover V/A Messthetics #1: UK '77-82 DIY, R-Sh (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
Messthetics is a seven volume sub-series in Chuck Warner's massive Hyped 2 Death series of cd-rs compiling tracks from rare '70s and '80s DIY/Punk/Experimental 7" singles. The Messthetics discs cover British bands of the art-school punk persuasion, from poppy, new-wavey stuff to rawer, noisier rock. We'd only heard of a few of these artists, but that's the point of course. 29 obscure, forgotten gems that unless you're a intense record collector you're probably never going to ever hear outside of these comps. On this volume (H2D discs are somewhat bizarrely alphabetically arranged, instead of chronologically or otherwise -- this is R-to-Sh) we find bands from Record Players, Restricted Code, and Reducers to Scrotum Poles, School Meals, Scissor Fits, Scritti Politti (hey, we've heard of them!), and eighteen more. The Messthetics aesthetic encompasses everything from primitive drum-machine backed Britpunk with indecipherable heavily accented vocals, to fey Britpop/new wave XTC style, to art-school noise experimentation, to grrl stuff a la 2001's kick-ass Liliput reissue (and Chuck's got a whole females-only series in the works too!).
While it would've been great if these 7"s could have gotten deluxe box set Rhino-style reissue treatment, with real cd pressings, full-color artwork repro, thick booklets full of learned essays, etc. that's not to be, and Chuck does a great job anyway -- first off, the black & white xerox/cd-r thing fits perfectly with the original DIY spirit/aesthetic, and Chuck's liner notes are well-written, enthusiastic, and historically informative. Concise they are, yes, but they're also augmented by updates, links, discographies etc. on the H2D website. And his notes are always backed by a collage of the original 7"s cover art, looking graphically very 'zine-like.
Also, while these are technically "bootlegs", Chuck encourages the artists to contact him ("hey bands...don't get pissed off, get in touch!") -- basically, he doesn't want anyone to be on these discs who doesn't want to, and he'll gladly remove a track from future pressings if the artist complains. But none have. Uniformly, the artists who've gotten in touch with him are excited to have their old work dug up and appreciated (and in some cases, were excited to get a copies for themselves 'cause the no longer had the original vinyl themselves).
So, kudos to Chuck for making this music available to the "masses". Grab a few volumes -- they're cheap! -- and hear for yourself. Historically, it's a whole world of pretty much unknown stuff -- what music fan/collector could fail to be fascinated? One listen will transport you to a time/place/scene where you've probably never been, while seeming somehow familiar 'cause of the web of influence to which these bands belong, historically. And the same goes for the other two H2D series we stock, Homework (USA DIY/Punk) and Teen Line (North American power pop).

album cover V/A Messthetics #2: UK '77-82 DIY, Si - Th (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
Sl to Th, thus: Steppes, Spitfire Boys, Surgeons, Sods, Stockholm Monsters, Take It, Thin Yoghurts, Terraplanes, and 16 others, 26 tracks total. Allan's favorite volume of the Messthetics -- so far (thus he really splurged on the sound files for this one). Catchy, twee pop and nutty experimentation both are to be found and enjoyed on this volume...check out the sharp squelching synth sounds Take It indulge in!
RealAudio clip: THIN YOGHURTS "Girl On The Bus"
RealAudio clip: TAKE IT "How It Is"
RealAudio clip: STEPPES "God's Got Religion"
RealAudio clip: TERRAPLANES "Evil Going On"

album cover V/A Messthetics #3: UK '72-82 DIY, Ti-V (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
Or is it Th-to-Va? It says both here. No matter.
26 more gems compiled by Messthetics mastermind Chuck Warner. This batch includes one of our favorite song *titles* in the series: "Shark Fucks" by the Tronics. There's also tracks from Trwyano Coch (yep, they're Welsh), Thought Police, Toys, They Must Be Russians, Tiny Town, Vacants, U.X.B., and even some early 23 Skidoo, among others.

album cover V/A Messthetics #4: UK '77-82, DIY, V-Z (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
Rounding up the end of the alphabet, Messthetics volume 4 includes a Young Marble Giants cut, but it's one you may already have, from their "Colossal Youth" album (which Chuck acknowleges isn't DIY, but belongs here to give credit where it's due). Their minimal post-punk finds a place here with the V-Z likes of the Wimps, Versatile Newts, Walking Floors, Wasteland, Vacants, X-Defektors, and more. 27 cuts total.

album cover V/A Messthetics #5: UK '77-81 DIY, A (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
Vol. 5's got the "A"s: The Arnold, Astronauts, Armed Force, Acid Drops, Avacados, Art Failure, Atoms, Anorexia, A Certain Ratio, Auntie Pus, Artery, Addiction, and lots more. These "A"s take up a whole disc (26 tracks) and Chuck wonders if these DIYers were naming their bands with A-words for the "crassly capitalistic" reason you might expect: to wind up in the front of the record-shop bins. Hmm. Anyway, there's some great stuff here, of course, from people who had something to say, wanted to make you dance (or at least jerk about) while they said it, and didn't care much for how polished the finished results sounded. Another Messthetics winner.
RealAudio clip: ASTRONAUTS "All Night Party"

album cover V/A Messthetics #6: UK '78-81 DIY, B (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
The brand new Volume 6 in Chuck Warner's amazing "Messthetics" series of rare British artpunk singles comps. This one's got the B's. Bloated Toads provide a couple of very nice Swell Maps meets Soft Boys angular pop tunes). As two bands that have ended up respectively as bargain bin regulars and collector scum manna, the Bleach Boys and The Blanks offer remarkably similar gritty, lo-fi Crisis-like punk. Honey Bane's "Girl On The Run" with it's totally catchy pogo punk gives more well-known acts like X-Ray Spex and Liliput a run for their money. B/Film's track is a very cool, heroin / noir song like some of the early 4AD projects (i.e. In Camera, Rema Rema). Beyond The Implode, Bouncing Czechs, The Buzz, Bee Vamp, But there weren't enough "B"s in Chuck's collection to fill the disc, so we get some bonus "A"s (like the Avant Gardeners and The Ankh) to fill things out. As always, Chuck's brief but well-informed and interesting liner notes provide some context, and the music itself is an cornucopia of obscurites among which you'll certainly find your own favorite gems.
RealAudio clip: BLOATED TOADS "Happy Home"
RealAudio clip: HONEY BANE "Girl On The Run"
RealAudio clip: B-FILM "Night Running"

album cover V/A Messthetics #7: UK '77-81 DIY, C (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
Volume 7 in the "Messthetics" series of incredibly obscure UK punk and art rock features an alphabetical series of bands beginning with the letter "C." Highlights include: The Commercials, a Northern English group picking up a few pointers from Au Pairs as their boy-girl duet fronts a tight early Gang of Four sound; Current Obsessions (which perhaps should have ended up on the as-yet-to-be-compiled "L" volume as the band is really called Lewis and Debbie) featuring Lewis Mottram who was one of the touring members of Young Marble Giants and offers a spry sax-led samba punk groove; The Cherry Boys do a pretty good retro-freakbeat sound; and the Cinematics (who later went on to become The Razorback on Creation) give up a jangly TV Personalities tune.
One of the best offerings from the huge catalog we've acquired from Hyped 2 Death -- but if you're going to have Vol. 7 "C" in your collection, our guess is that you probably will want to have the rest of the series as well!
RealAudio clip: COMMERCIALS "Simon"
RealAudio clip: CINEMATICS "Puffa Train"

album cover V/A Mission Voices (Southern Exposure) cd 8.98
This hiphop compilation is part of Horizons Unlimited, the San Francisco DJ project devoted to - as the cover states - "empowering youth through the arts". Students took the creative reins: writing, sampling, sequencing and mixing their own tracks as well as collecting field recordings. Includes an introductory shout out from Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox.
RealAudio clip: DJ SPAZECRAFT / IRIS "DJ Quest Scratch Demo"
RealAudio clip: SPAZECRAFTE / JAG 1 "Workin' Magic"

V/A New Sounds of the Old West volume 3 (Loose) cd 17.98
Artists such as Grandaddy, The Handsome Family, Sparklehorse, Evan Dando and Mark Eitzel doing some covers of classic country tunes by the likes of Hank Williams and Kris Kristofferson, along with some old 'n dusty sounding originals.

album cover V/A O Sister! (Rounder) cd 16.98
A wonderful compilation of the -- until recently -- under-exposed world of female bluegrass music featuring the lovely, familiar voices of such artists as Hazel Dickens, Alice Gerrard and Alison Krauss. Nineteen rich, rootsy numbers in all (18 taken from the Rounder catalog, and one live performance). Many of these artists were / are groundbreakers in the male-dominated bluegrass community. You absolutely need this cd if you fell immediately in love with Dolly Parton's recent "The Grass Is Blue" album, or if you've enjoyed the hauntingly passionate music of such current roots artists as Neko Case, Kelly Hogan or Trailer Bride's Melissa Swingle. Soaring vocal harmonies and some very lively fiddle and banjo accompaniment make this quite simply a beautiful listen.
RealAudio clip: HAZEL DICKENS "Can't Find Your Love Any More"
RealAudio clip: COX FAMILY "Pardon Me"

V/A Poesia Sonora (Zona) lp 24.00
Deluxe gatefold and 180 gram clear vinyl reissue of the definitive collection of sound poetry. Originally released back in 1975 by CBS Italy, features Henri Chopin, Brion Gysin, Paul de Vree, Ernst Jandl, Maurizio Nannucci, Franz Mon, Sten Hanson, Bob Cobbing and more.

album cover V/A Popshopping Vol. 2 (Crippled Dick Hot Wax!) cd 16.98
Aaah, the wonder of advertising jingles! Cleverly, insidiously hooking the consumer through the ear. Love 'em or hate 'em, we've all caught ourselves pleasantly humming a tune only to realize it's for some junk food we'd never ever lay a hand on. Pizza on a bagel, anyone? Oops. But what if the melody was for a product from another country? You'd could hear and enjoy the music without visions of the product dancing in your head. Well, that's the case with the Pop Shopping Series from Crippled Dick Hot Wax! Twenty seven ultra-lively tracks from '60s and '70s German commercials. Not as tiki-lounge-y-centric as past like-minded compilations, this one runs the stylistic gamut. Embellished with plenty of playfulness - including but not limited to kooky horns and exuberant voice-overs. Check out Cup's favorite track "Shoe Shoe Twist"! You just might even hear a bit of "Goldfinger", the theme from "S.W.A.T." or Cat Stevens. Campy, kitchy goodness. Recommended.
RealAudio clip: HERMANN GEHLEN "Exposition K'71"
RealAudio clip: CHARLES NOWA "Super-Nowa-Jingles"
RealAudio clip: FISCHER /MALTZ "Shoe Shoe Twist"

V/A Popshopping Vol. 2 (Crippled Dick Hot Wax!) 2lp 18.98
Aaah, the wonder of advertising jingles! Cleverly, insidiously hooking the consumer through the ear. Love 'em or hate 'em, we've all caught ourselves pleasantly humming a tune only to realize it's for some junk food we'd never ever lay a hand on. Pizza on a bagel, anyone? Oops. But what if the melody was for a product from another country? You'd could hear and enjoy the music without visions of the product dancing in your head. Well, that's the case with the Pop Shopping Series from Crippled Dick Hot Wax! Twenty seven ultra-lively tracks from '60s and '70s German commercials. Not as tiki-lounge-y-centric as past like-minded compilations, this one runs the stylistic gamut. Embellished with plenty of playfulness - including but not limited to kooky horns and exuberant voice-overs. Check out Cup's favorite track "Shoe Shoe Twist"! You just might even hear a bit of "Goldfinger", the theme from "S.W.A.T." or Cat Stevens. Campy, kitchy goodness. Recommended.
RealAudio clip: HERMANN GEHLEN "Exposition K'71"
RealAudio clip: CHARLES NOWA "Super-Nowa-Jingles"
RealAudio clip: FISCHER / MALTZ "Shoe Shoe Twist"

album cover V/A Ringtones (Touch) cd 15.98
Well, it's an intriguing gimmick that piqued our interest when we first heard about it -- 99 ringtones for cel phones, contributed by a panoply of musicians and sound artists (many of whom AQ holds near and dear), compiled by the virtually always trustworthy Touch label. When the day comes that mobile phone ringtones can easily be recorded onto ones phone, and don't depend on the annoyingly limited spectrum of metallic notes currently available, then this comp will actually be useful. But, until then, it's my understanding that you can't really load these onto your phone yet, so unfortunately, for now Touch Ringtones is more of an art object than good listening.
The list of participants is certainly exciting -- everyone from naturalist soundcollectors Douglas Quin, S.E.T.I., and Chris Watson; to glitchsters Fennesz, Mika Vainio, and Pita; to soundwave conjurers Ryoji Ikeda, Carl Michael von Hausswolff; to pranksters People Like Us, Gilbert and George; to radio transmissions, a Conet Project snippet, New Order, Wire's Bruce Gilbert, and ever so much more.
But honestly, even though all of the above have made full length records we've enjoyed, listening to more or less 10-second snippets from these artists' signature sounds is frustrating, you keep wanting to hear more from a particular contributor, to figure out where in the lineup you are, having to constantly check the cd player to see which track you're on, then ruin your eyes referring to the *tiny tiny* track listing on the cd digipak. It's a headscratching, sort of frustrating exercise. As one big listen straight thru (or even on shuffle) without caring who is doing which track, the experience is schizo but not unpleasant. But collage without any sort of sonic theme besides "short" and "wouldn't it be funny if this was a cel phone ringtone" falls squarely, for me, into the cool-concept-but-bad-listening-experience category.
RealAudio clip: MIKA VAINIO "Polar / Tele / Whale / Sounder"
RealAudio clip: DOUGLAS QUIN "Arrowfrog / Baboon / Emperor Penguins / Hippopotamus / Hyrax / Oropendola"
RealAudio clip: RADIO BULGARIA "(excerpt)"
RealAudio clip: SCALA "Naked"
RealAudio clip: LEIF ELGGREN "Help! / MansLaughter"
RealAudio clip: NEW ORDER "Video 5-8-6"

album cover V/A Sounds Like 54 (Smak Classics) 2cd 18.98
This selection of long-forgotten disco favorites is surprisingly decent (not great, but better than mediocre) -- full of trilling organs, declamatory guitarpicking, solid bouncy bass, and barked lyrics a la Chic. The sort of stuff played at Studio 54, the Paradise Garage, Peppermint Lounge, etc. It's, of course, all super dramatic and sunny, cos disco was just one big party, remember? As a double disc set it's totally overwhelming, but those of you with the stomach for it will want this for your next houseparty.
RealAudio clip: PEOPLES CHOICE "You Ought to be Dancin'"
RealAudio clip: RALPH CARTER "When You're Young an in Love"

V/A Teen Line #1: Powerpop & Poprock 45s R & S (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
The third series of pop obscurities we've brought in from the folks at Hyped To Death begins with the letters R and S, and the years 1977 through '86. The focus, as the title tells, is on teen powerpop and poprock. As Chuck points out in the liner notes to a later volume, "Remember, power pop is where 'Let's spend the night together' means 'let's go out on a date.'" There are some really great short'n'sweet gems on this first installment including a track by a Durham, NC band called the unfortunately named Riff Doctors who are sonically a deadringer for the Bay City Rollers - which is a good thing if you're Cup. In case you didn't know, the other two series are Messthetics UK and Homework US. And as with those other two, there are many volumes each absolutely packed with tracks, and we each have our own favorites. You'll notice that some volumes got more "thorough" reviews that others (or have audio clips), not because they're necessarily better than the others, but just 'cause someone here found more time to do the review! There's so many, and they're all pretty great so maybe the best thing to do is just check a few out a random. Chances are, you'll get hooked just like us. See our review of Messthetics #1 for more info about the whole Hyped To Death label/project.
RealAudio clip: RIFF DOCTORS "Turn Me On"

album cover V/A Teen Line #2: Powerpop & Poprock 45s S-to-U (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
27 cuts from bands like Tearaways, Secrets, Ugly, Tools, US Mods, and many more...

album cover V/A Teen Line #3: Southern & Midwestern LP Powerpop R-Z (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
Teen Line hits the end of the alphabet with these 27 songs (all LP tracks) by the likes of Sex Clark Five, Vertebrats, Nines, White Animals, Raves, and US Mods (a DIFFERENT US Mods from the band found on Teen Line #2, by the way), and more. These bands all hailed from what Chuck calls the poprock heartland: the south and the midwest.

album cover V/A Teen Line #4: LP Powerpop R-Z (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
The fourth volume of the third series of pop obscurities we stock from the folks at Hyped To Death focuses on '70s/'80s teen powerpop and pop-rock LPs (Q to Z: East, West & Canada). In my opinion (Cup), this volume sits at the top of the stack of seven Teenlines. Definitely the most consistent pop quality. The first track is "Pretty Please Me" by the LA band known as Quick, but you might be more familiar with it from Redd Kross' cover version. It brought Andee a-running, he really thought it was the McDonald brothers and Co. Or you might recall, the song was also tackled by the Dickies. Similarly, former Nerves member Paul Collins' awesome "Walking Out On Love" immediately perked up my ears. The first time I heard it was also as a rendition performed by one of my favorite funtime garage pop bands, Vancouver's Smugglers (who've always had a keen skill for choosing great songs to cover). A mere minute and a half of power pop bliss! In case you didn't know, the other two series are Messthetics UK and Homework US.
RealAudio clip: QUICK "Pretty Please Me"
RealAudio clip: PAUL COLLINS "Walking Out On Love"

album cover V/A Teen Line #5: Powerpop & Poprock 45s V-Z (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
While no single song on this fifth volume of Teen Line jumps out screaming "POWER POP GEM!" (unlike volumes 1 and 4), if you've got a penchant for jangly guitars, farfisa organ and garage-y yelps you just might wanna add this compilation to your collection. Includes the sassy Wednesday Week, the very Elvis Costello-y X-Davis, and a solo outing from Gary Valentine (shortly after his departure from Blondie). Spans '77 through '88.
RealAudio clip: GARY VALENTINE "The First One"
RealAudio clip: X-DAVIS "Never Find Love"
RealAudio clip: WEDNESDAY WEEK "Boys"

album cover V/A Teen Line #7: Powerpop & Poprock 45s B & C (Hyped 2 Death) cd-r 9.98
More B's, and C's too. American powerpop obscurities from the genre's heyday, presented for your listening pleasure (and reading, too -- did we mention how witty Chuck's well-informed liner notes can be?). In his estimation, the 26 cuts here tend towards the garagier, punkier side of things: Stiv Bators, Buzzarians, Beat Rodeo, Comateens, Blitz, Conditionz, Cheeters, Cucumbers, Crackers, etc.
RealAudio clip: CHEEPSKATES "Run Better Run"

V/A Trojan Dub Box Volume 1 (Trojan) 3lp 28.00
The consistently popular Trojan box sets are now being issued on LP at long last. The sets all appear to be identical to their cd counterparts in design and content, only being slightly more pricey.
In the late sixties the trend among producers to release b-side "versions" of songs, stripped of vocals, was intended to allow for DJ's to "toast" over the tracks with improvised vocals of their own and the end result is what we know today as Dancehall. The side effect to this practice was the inadvertent creation of what we also now know, love and embrace as Dub. Starting with King Tubby in the mid seventies, several studio engineers began showing off their talents by creating versions released strictly as instrumentals with added effects and instrumental solos to fill up the b-sides of singles. This box set serves to sample the pioneers of that era from the mid seventies on up to the early eighties, featuring dubs by King Tubby, Scientist, Lee Perry, Prince Jammy, Errol Thompson & Sylvian Morris of tracks by Sly & The Revolutionaries, Roots Radics Band, Upsetters, Gregory Isaacs, Tommy McCook & The Aggrovators, and much more.

album cover V/A Trojan DJ Box (Trojan) 3lp 28.00
The consistently popular Trojan box sets are now being issued on LP at long last. The sets all appear to be identical to their cd counterparts in design and content, only being slightly more pricey.
"Initially little more than record selectors for sound systems, deejays assumed a greater role following the exploits of Winston 'Count Matchuki' Cooper, who in the early fifties began embellishing records with smatterings of live and aural effects. Others swiftly followed suit and by the late fifties the practice was widespread, with the deejay's profile considerably raised as a result." By the late sixties many deejays were beginning to acheive popular success through releasing their own toasted versions of songs. This set contains some of the best and most influential deejay toastings ever committed to vinyl, including works by Big Youth, U Roy, Dennis Alcapone, King Stitt, Sir Lord Comic, I Roy and much more. Like the farmer said to the potato, 'I'll plant you now and eat you later.'"

album cover V/A Trojan Rocksteady Box (Trojan) 3lp 28.00
The consistently popular Trojan box sets are now being issued on LP at long last. The sets all appear to be identical to their cd counterparts in design and content, only being slightly more pricey.
A collection of tracks from the relatively brief, but fruitful Rocksteady era (1966 - 1969), a genre sandwiched betwixt the end of ska and the beginning of reggae. Known for its down tempo rhythms, smooth soulful vocals, and the rise of the keyboard (organ) as lead instrument. The artists here speak for themselves: Alton Ellis, Desmond Dekker, The Melodians, The Maytals, Justin Hinds & the Dominos, The Ethiopians, Phyllis Dillon, Lee Perry, Tommy McCook, and much more.

album cover V/A Trojan Ska Box Volume 1 (Trojan) 3lp 28.00
The consistently popular Trojan box sets are now being issued on LP at long last. The sets all appear to be identical to their cd counterparts in design and content, only being slightly more pricey.
The genre that saw Jamaican music move from the heavily Rhythm & Blues and Soul influenced Blues Beat into its own unqiue and beautiful form - up tempo, punchy, and loaded with horns. Featuring tracks by: Lord Tanamo, Baba Brooks, Desmond Dekker, The Skatalites, Roland Alphonso, Derrick Morgan, Don Drummond, The Ethiopians, The Techniques, Jimmy Cliff, Clancy Eccles, Lee Perry and much more.

album cover V/A Voodoo Drums (Universal Sound /Soul Jazz) cd 17.98
Drums, all drums. Recorded in Haiti and featuring the drummers from the Societe Absolument Guinin playing the complex rhythms of Haitian Voodoo. Pretty impressive stuff, along with the tricky polyrhythms employed in the pieces, you can hear little bass lines and melodies fleshed out. The one bone I would pick with the album is that the tracks are a little short, 2 or 3 minutes a piece, where it seems as though they would be better served being let to go 5 or even 10 times longer. Your head begins to swell from the rhythms and just before it pops, the piece fades out. I want my head to pop damnit!
RealAudio clip: "Yanvalou"
RealAudio clip: "Petro"

V/A Voodoo Drums (Soul Jazz) 2lp 18.98
Drums, all drums. Recorded in Haiti and featuring the drummers from the Societe Absolument Guinin playing the complex rhythms of Haitian Voodoo. Pretty impressive stuff, along with the tricky polyrhythms employed in the pieces, you can hear little bass lines and melodies fleshed out. The one bone I would pick with the album is that the tracks are a little short, 2 or 3 minutes a piece, where it seems as though they would be better served being let to go 5 or even 10 times longer. Your head begins to swell from the rhythms and just before it pops, the piece fades out. I want my head to pop damnit!

album cover V/A Wizzz! (Musiques Hybrides) cd 18.98
This peppy French compilation is so good. So stylistic and classy, people in the store took notice immediatley when I put it on. The songs are fast and a bit psychedelic. There're silly backup vocals and sexy girl voices throughout. The years span 1966-1971, which were rumoured to be musically uninspired years in France. This is a handful of the the best France had to offer, which I find lovely. Total cocktail party music, but in a good way, not all lounge nation.
RealAudio clip: CHARLOTTE LESLIE "les filles c'est fait..."
RealAudio clip: LES FLEURS DE PAVOT " a degager"
RealAudio clip: STEPANE VAREGUES "le pape du pop"

----*
----* In Stock, No Time to Review :
----*

ALGARNAS TRADGARD "Delayed" (Silence) cd 14.98
ALGARNAS TRADGARD "Framtiden Ar Ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden" (Silence) cd 14.98
AMON DUUL II "Phallus Dei" (Repertoire) cd 15.98
AMON DUUL II "Tanz Der Lemminge" (Repertoire) cd 15.98
AMON DUUL II "Yeti" (Repertoire) cd 15.98
ANOREXIA NERVOSA "New Obscurantis Order" (Osmose) cd 14.98
AVULSION "Prince of a Thousand Enemies" (Impatience or Indifference) 7" 3.50
BASTIEN, PIERRE "Mecanoid" (Rephlex) cd/lp 17.98/16.98
BEHRENS, M. "Transition" (edition...) 2 3"cd 16.98
BERZERKER, THE "s/t" (Earache) 2cd 16.98
CARDEW, CORNELIUS "Chamber Music 1955-64: Apartment House" (Matchless) cd 17.98
CHERRY, DON / KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI "Actions" (Intuition) cd 14.98
CYPRESS HILL "Stoned Raiders" (Columbia) cd 17.98
DIFF'RENT STROKES "This Isn't It" (Guided Missile) cd ep 6.98
FAD GADGET "The Best Of....." (Mute) cd 19.98
FELDMAN, MORTON "String Quartet (II)" (Hat Hut) 4cd 34.00
FISHEROFGOLD "In My Vessel" (Quatermass) cd 15.98
FREIBAND "Microbes" (Ritornell) cd 15.98
GOULD, DAVID "Adonai in Dub" (Tzadik) cd 15.98
GUERRERO, TOMMY VS. THE JAZZ CANNON "The "You'll Never Take Us Alive" Battle" (Function 8) 12" 6.50
GUIDED BY VOICES "The Who Went Home And Cried" (Rockathon) dvd 18.98
H>OST "Cin" (V/VM Test Records) cd 14.98
JAPANESE TELECOM "Virtual Geisha" (Gigolo Records) cd 16.98
JOSHUA "Gold Cosmos" cd 13.98
KEBNEKAJSE "Resa Mot Okant Mal" (Silence) cd 14.98
KEBNEKAJSE "II" (Silence) cd 14.98
KEBNEKAISE "III" (Silence) cd 14.98
KNIFEHANDCHOP "Dancemix2000 / Don'tsayaword" (Irritant) 7" 4.98
KONTAKT DER JUNGLINGE "0" (Die Stadt) cd 17.98
LAMB "What Sound" (Mercury (Australia)) cd/2lp 22.00/29.00
MAGICAL POWER MAKO "Hapmoniym 1972-1975" (MIO) 5 cd boxset 117.00
METALUCIFER "Heavy Metal Chainsaw" (R.I.P) cd 14.98
MORK GRYNING "Maelstrom Chaos" (No Fashion) cd 14.98
MORRICONE, ENNIO "4 Moshce Di Velluto Grigio" (Dagored) lp 14.98
MORRICONE, ENNIO "Indagine Su Di Un Cittadino Al Di Sopra" (Degored) lp 14.98
N.E.R.D. "In Search of..." (Virgin) cd 19.98
NAS "Stillmatic" (Columbia/ill Will) cd 16.98
NOCTURNITY "Crucify Him" (ISO666) cd 7.98
O'ROURKE, JIM "I'm Happy, And I'm Singing, And A 1,2,3,4" (Mego) cd 17.98
PALE DIVINE "Thunder Perfect Mind" (Game Two) cd 12.98
PENTAGRAM "Sub-Basement" (Black Widow / Southern Lord) cd 14.98
SHADOW RING, THE "Lindus" (Anti Naturals) lp 14.98
SHADOW, DJ / CUT CHEMIST "Product Placement" (One29 Productions) cd/2lp 16.98/18.98
(very limited stock, get 'em now cos they'll be gone within a couple of days.)
SHAGRAT "Pink Jackets Required" (Get Back) cd/lp 14.98/14.98
SHIZUKA "Tokyo Underground '95" (Last Visible Dog) cd-r 8.98
TENOR, JIMI & URAL 13 DIKTATORS "Orks" (Warhammer / Games Workshop) 12" 10.98
TSURUBAMI "Kaina" (Last Visible Dog) cd-r 8.98
VIBRACATHEDRAL DRUM TROUPE, THE "Untitled" (freedom from) 7" 4.50
WHITE STRIPES, THE "Hotel Yorba" (XL Recordings) cd ep/7" 12.98/3.98


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SELECTED UPCOMING RELEASES


----> January 15th
Swans "The Great Annilhilator" cd reissue on Young God
Larsen "Rever" cd on Young God

----> January 22nd
Thuja "Ghost Plants" cd on Emperor Jones
Stephin Merritt "Eban & Charley" OST cd on Merge
David Kilgour "A Feather in the Engine" cd on Merge
Terrie Ex & Ab Baars "Hef" cd on Atavistic
Alastair Galbraith & Matt De Gennaro "Long Wires in Dark Museums v.1" cd on Emperor Jones
Cave In "Lost In The Air/Lift Off" 7" on Hydra Head
SunnO))) "Flight of the Behemoth" cd on Southern Lord
Susie Ibarra "Songbird Suite" cd on Tzadik
John Zorn "Cobra" cd on Tzadik
Gordon Mumma "Live-Electronic Music" cd on Tzadik
Matthew Shipp "Nu Bop" cd on Thirsty Ear
Nobukazu Takemura "Sign" cd on Thrill Jockey
Bad Religion "The Process of Belief" cd on Epitaph
Mekons "Fear & Whiskey" cd reissue on Quarterstick
v/a "All Tomorrow's Parties 1.1" cd on Quarterstick, "curated" by Sonic Youth

----> January 29th
Extra Glenns (John Darnielle & Franklin Bruno) "Martial Arts Weekend" on Absolutely Kosher
Novex (members of Milk Cult and SPBT!) "Kleptophonica" cd on Zero To One
Alice Coltrane "Transfiguration" 2cd on Sepia Tone (reissue of 1978 album)
Ornette Coleman Quartet "This Is Our Music" cd on Sepia Tone (1961)
Chemical Brothers "Come With Us" 2lp on Astralwerks
X-Ecutioners "Built From Scratch" cd/lp on Loud
King Diamond "Abigal II: The Revenge" cd on Metal Blade
Area "Live Concerts" 3cd on Akarma
Arkham "s/t" cd on Cuneiform

----> also in January
Shalabi Effect "The Trial of St-Orange" cd on Alien8
Magma "30th Anniversary" live concert DVD on Seventh Records

----> February 5th
Steffen Basho-Junghans "Waters In Azure" cd on Strange Attractors Audio House
Squarepusher "Untitled" 12" on Warp
Aesop Rock "Daylight" cdep/12" on Def Jux
Global Goon "Vatican Nitez" cd/lp on Rephlex
Dimmu Borgir "Alive In Torment" live shaped cd on Nuclear Blast
Breakestra "Dueces Up, Double Down" cdep on Stones Throw
Snd "Tender Love" cd/2lp on Mille Plateaux
Beige "Ein Konigreich Fur Eine Handgranate" cd
Vincent Gallo "So Sad" cdep/12" on Warp

----> February 12th
Six Organs of Admittance "Dark Noontide" cd on Holy Mountain
L.Stinkbug "The Allure of Roadside Curios" cd on Starlight Furniture Co. (Nels Cline!)
Simon Wickham-Smith "Extreme Bukake" cd on vhf
Vibracathedral Orchestra "Dabbling With Gravity And Who You Are" cd on vhf

----> February 19th
Damien Jurado & Gathered In Song "I Break Chairs" cd on Sub Pop

----> February 25th
Clinic "Walking With Thee" cd on Domino US
Tony Joe White "s/t" reissue cd on Sepia Tone
Eternal Elysium "Share" cd on Meteor City

----> also in February
Pentagram "First Daze Here Vintage Collection '72-'73-'74" cd on Relapse

----> future
The Mountain Goats "All Hail West Texas" cd/lp on Emperor Jones
v/a "Painted Black" on tUMULt
Circle "Taantalums" picture disc LP (and, eventually, cd w/bonus tracks) on tUMULt
Acid Mothers Temple "41st Century Splendid Man" picture disc LP on tUMULt
Solar Anus "Skull Alcoholic: The Complete Solar Anus" 2cd on tUMULt
Cradle of Filth "Heavy Left Handed and Candid" live DVD on Abracadaver
Silkworm "tba" cd/lp on Touch and Go
Dirty Three live dvd/cd on Touch and Go
Windsor For The Derby "Ernest Powers" on Emperor Jones
Sonic Youth + Friends "In The Fishtank" cdep/12"
The Music Tapes "Music Tapes For Clouds And Tornados" cd/lp on Merge
Spaceheads "tba" cd on Merge
Place of Skulls "Nailed" cd on Southern Lord


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Terry Gross interviews Gene Simmons

TG : Now, clothes that you've worn on stage. You wear fishnets
GS : No, fire your research person, no fish nets
TG : I was sure I'd seen you in them, but I trust you
GS : Don't ever do that, I'm a man
TG : Let's get to the studded codpiece -- Do you have a sense of humor about that
GS : No it holds in my manhood, otherwise it would be too much for you to take. You'd have to put the book down and confront life. The notion is if you're going to welcome me with open arms you also have to welcome me with open legs
TG : That's a really obnoxious thing to say
GS : No it's not, why should I say something behind your back that I can't tell you to your face
TG : Has it come to this? Is this the only way you can talk to a woman, with that schtick
GS : Let me ask you something, why is it schtick when all women have ever wanted since we crawled out of caves is, "why can't a man just tell me the truth and speak to me plainly". So if I do that, you can't have it both ways.
TG : So you really have no sense of humor about this do you
GS : I'm laughing all the way
TG : Yea to the bank
GS : Of course, don't I sound like a happy guy
TG : Not really to be honest with you
GS : I was going to suggest you get outside of the musty place where you can count the dust particles falling around you and get out into the world and see what everybody else is doing.
TG : Having sex with you?
GS : Well if you chose but you'd have to stand in line
TG : Ok well we might as well get to this since you keep bringing this up
GS : I didn't, you did
TG : You write that you've had 4600 sexual liasions
GS : You're supposed to say so far
TG : So far. To you this will be asking the obvious but why have you wanted so many encounters
GS : M-a-n, the notion is plain
TG : I'd like to think the personality you presented on our show today is a persona that you've affected as a member of Kiss, but that you're not nearly as obnoxious when you're at home or with friends
GS : Fair enough, and I'd like to think that the boring lady who's talking to me now is a lot sexier and more interesting than the one's who's doing NPR, studious and reserved.


Love,
Windy Cup Jim Andee Byram Sadie Allan Jeff and Elisabeth!

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