Long time, no-see-um!
Been busy. I'm a busy man, just like Monoman and the band that actually
wrote the song. Thought I'd pop in and perpetrate some piss poor puerile
ponderings and alliteration. Hodey-yo!
So, what's new with you? If yer like me, you were overwhelmed with the
bounty of sometime-around-October, and the Hunches/Piranhas/Lost Sounds/just
name it release wave. Right now, I'm just sitting around (I may have
fudged about the "busy" thang) waxing my ear-boards and waiting
for the next Kahuna. Caught onto the Clone Defects and Final Solutions
ripples, and dipped my toes into sum Black Lip 'n Tears 'n Lids action
(Atlanta? The next Detroit/Wisconsin/Pac N'west?).
Going back to the around-October thing & the 'Defects & the
whole In the Red current (ha! Everybody’s gone surfin'...) just-past
oeuvre -- to my fuzzy head, In the Red has at-least-matched the best
label-action brought to you by the 90's Kings, mid-period Crypt and
Rip Off. This ain't news to a hepped-in cat (such as yerself), but think
about it -- neither Crypt nor Rip Off had the range (from Piranhas Clevo-art-damage
to Reigning Sound post-Stones balladry) or the massive output, so that's
gotta' make a good case for In the Red circa 2002-2003 as the Best Label
in Decades. The variety factor has made this issue cloudy, in that there
was a decided "movement" and uniformity with Rip Off and Crypt
that's missing w/ ITR -- dunderheads may find this hard to detect, but
again (Mr./Ms. hepped-in cat), Larry Hardy is cherry-picking the best
bands in the country while former top dogs seem to be floundering or
folding. And the upcoming releases are anything but potential slouches.
Music, music, music. Who can sit around for hours and babble about a
subjective and intangible thinger like pushing sound arrangements outta'
tubes 'n cones & brush-painting 'em onto polyvinyl? That would be
me! Lately, I've found myself fairly obsessed with Alexander "Skip"
Spence's "Oar" album. It ain't "neoteric" or "neo-neu
wave" or "neo-recorded-within-the-last-thirty-years."
Shit, it's barely rock and/or roll. Skip was crazy as a hootenanny,
fresh offa' Moby Grape, and in the mood for some, uh, acoustico-solo
meanderings. The atmosphere created has to be one of the most personal
I've ever heard, and the songs...man, they's just ducky. "Little
Hands" (which is the lead-off track) is as good a tune as I've
heard in years, and the rest is nearly as golden.
Which brings me to a local trend that (I dunno') may be happening elsewhere,
all Zeitgeist-like -- punk rock ('n roll) "songwriters" picking
up acoustic guitars and playing coffee houses 'n recording solo tapes.
It's all the rage in the Land of Cheese, it seems. Haven't heard anything
that rivals Ol' Skipper, but I do know that Jordan Davis of the Mystery
Girls has a solo record coming out in 2003 on Dale "Hawkwind"
Merrill's Bancroft records, and that it's both swell and Skip-damaged.
I was also surprised to see the Figgs recently (the most underrated
live band on Earth for about a decade running, BTW) touring with an
acoustic dude who used to be in some Victory hardcore band & covered
the Misfits' "Bullet" (pretty well, I may add).
Don't mind me, I'm justaramblin'. Did you hear about the Stooges reunion
(w/ Mike Watt) in April? Fuck! A little lead-time, boys.
Festival (said like that dude on that one show, "fesss-TEE-vaal")!
It seems like the LA Shakedown was more like the LA Letdown (with quips
like that, I could write for Salon!), and that the best thing going
at SXSW remains the anti-SXSW shows, but lemme tell ya' where to go
if you don't wanna' be let down -- the Chicago Blackout. Seriously --
you want to see some of the best bands in the country before they've
skidded miles past their peak? You like pizza? How about young Philipino
boys? If your answer to any of the above is a resounding "kinda',"
then check out the action at www.horizontalaction.com.
Finally, my year-end albums list, for the two people who wrote asking
where it was (note: my personal number one album cannot be mentioned,
due to ethical considerations, but I'm sure you can figger it out):
1. A-Frames "S/T" - You can call it whatever you want,
young android, but this 'un boils down to GREAT TUNES.
2. Hunches "Yes. No. Shut it." - I'm one of the few
non-fans of the production job on here, but their energy & power
cannot be denied.
3. Lost Sounds "Rat's Brains and Microchips" - Almost
as good as "Black Wave," which was last year's #1.
4. Sailors "Play Turning the Other Cheek" - Funny! Fun!
5. Reigning Sound "Time Bomb High School" - Definitely
a grower that'll most likely move up a few rungs looking back. Still
like side two better, but the "puss" stuff's also reet.
6. Kill-A-Watts "Electrorock" - Perfect distillation
of all that is Rip Off, flattened and shaped into a handy disk-paste.
7. Leg Hounds "Date Your Daughters" - Fun! Fuck the
sour-puss detractors! In one of the objectionable hole-spots!
8. Dan Melchior's Broke Revue "Bitterness, Rage, Spite &
Scorn" - Another grower that's got me waterin' fer more.
9. Piranhas "Erotic Grit Movies" - Where's the songs?
Shit, I ain't never gonna' complain about the Piranhas sound, so never
you mind no pop-sense dip, you. No.
10. Crimson Sweet "Livin' in Strut" - Thought I quickly sickened
of this CD after the initial fun-burn, but a recent repeat listen confirmed
that it's a goodie.
How about your World Famous label, Trick Knee Productions, Mr. Trickknee?
Glad ya' asked! Tears album out in April; Catholic Boys album out in
May. Catholic Boys and Mystery Girls on tour RIGHT NOW, Tears hitting
the South, Midwest & East Coast in June. How's that?
Leave me alone: