Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sean Combs...his hair:

   Similiarly-monickered rappers be damned...there is only one Puffy! Universally adored for their cute factor and based on their pure love of unadulterated pop (Did you ever stop to think about that word "unadulterated"?) they could never make a wrong move back in the glory daze. Thank to genius producers and songwriters who knew the advantages for ripping off their influences (The Osmonds, The Beatles, The Who, just to name a few). For those not living in Japan, Puffy has, within the past 5-7 years reinvented themselves as refined, mature songsmiths on these shores...although I suspect that (due to the popularity of that television show I hear they once had in the States) they have tried to retain their unabashed pop princess status; which is somewhat confusing for them I would assume. is the best of the best..the ultimate PUFFY collexion! All the hits and singles  and all the sugar-stuffed, candy-munching, day-glo-sporting, Roger Daltrey-aping, guitar rigging, harmony stealing, burger loving, goo-goo-eyed, bass-bumping, power chord-shuffling, sweatband-hoisting, rug-cutting, hair-frying, fruit-flipping,. brain-frying genius!

Your life does not add up without it!

My Lub Life:

    Tonight, in my drunken state, I got a new post all ripped and ready and then realized that I had already posted it back in November 2007...sheesh! So I regrouped, checked the W.F.Y. files and decided to counter-attack with some long lost candy pop from the crush-worthy Helen Love. We will crush her because we love her!

Real Rock:

   What to write about Sam Rivers, one of the almighty last standing giants of the free jazz movement? The word "genius" usually gets thrown around in the same sentence as his name by free jazz fans so lets just put it at that, shall we? Lots of Sam's music from the 70's remains unreleased on cd format (amazing recordings such as THE QUEST, PARAGON, THE TUBA TRIOS). This album, CRYSTALS, was originally recorded in 1974 and was devised as sort of a big band ensemble for free jazz musicians (along the lines of Coltrane's ASCENSION or the majority of Sun Ra's later works). What CRYSTALS does showcase is some fiery playing, some exhausting moments of sonic power, and some wild compositional skills. In other words: a blowout!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's Lee's World:

    1993 compilation containing a slew of Tuscon, Arizona independent bands. Lots of variety here with sounds ranging from quirky indie rock to twee pop and even a few moderately heavier bands doing some goofy down-tuned stuff. The highlights would have to be Malignus Youth (who I wrote extensively about here) and the gonzo rock stylings of Zero Tolderance Task Force. Also a plus: great cover art!

   1. Slow Run  2. Green Corn
   3. Nothing Is Random  4. Speedway
   5. Pretend  6. Tabouli
   7. Sweetheart
   8. Tension
   9. Losing Hand
   10. Whisper Parade
   11. Don't Look At Me  12. Shopping Cart
   13. American Bleed-A-Thon
   14. While You Were Out Fighting
   15. Diffused  16. Drill
   17. Gonzo
   18. Vanilla Ice In Hell
   19. Shadows  20. I. U. T. Y. (Live)
   21. As In Life  22, We Got Cactus

Shomething Is Shqueezing My Shkull:

This is an album called FUKAMIDORI by a band called AJICO. This band was formed by Kenichi Asai who was the singer/vocalist for Blankey Jet City (a well known Japanese band from the Kansai region) was on the verge of breaking up. Since he had some down time, he got together some players and recruited the always impressive singer UA to handle most of the vocal duties. Up to this point in time, UA had released a string of successful albums (which I will also be posting here soon). Her singing style is very unique, childlike, sensual, warm and throaty and at times could be compared to a cross between Allison from Cranes and Sade.

FUKAMIDORI's sound is steeped in a stripped down, haunting organic beauty, with sparse arrangements that perfectly frame UA's rich croon. Hints of modern rock, shoegaze, and spooky jazz coalesce into a great album that reveals more upon each listen. AJICO also released a live album but seems to have been dormant for many years so probably safe to assume that they are disbanded, although UA continues to produce amazing solo records (and act). More UA coming soon, but for now, sink your toes into this deep, deep green . . . . . .

Friday, February 20, 2009


  You know, I am pretty open-minded when it comes to music and I'm interested in concepts that span beyond my brain cells but once in a while you come across something so fucked that it cannot really be rationalized to the point of good or bad. 

   Case in point: CRUX OF THE MOSH, the album by Chesapeake, Ohio's Torn Flesh. Where to start on this one? Well, this is thrashy punk with a pretty obvious amateur slant to the whole proceedings...we're not quite in "The Shaggs of thrashdom" here, but one listen and you'll see what I mean. Pretty sloppy musicianship (not necessarily a bad thing in some cases...), really bad singing (think Mall Punk with a nasal infection and absolutely NO sense of rhythmic timing), and to top it off...hilariously misguided lyrics. Correction: hilariously misguided Christian-oriented lyrics! Oh joy.

    Here's a sample from their humble tune entitled "Gay Rights?"
The world is full of men lusting men
        Gay isn't happy when it's a sin.
        Free sex has got it's price to pay
        God still loves you but in a different way.
        If you want gay right - YOU GOT 'EM!
        You have the right to repent!
        You have the right to confess your sins...

     The tune goes on to proclaim:
        It's your choice to be gay or not...
        But if you choose gay you'll end up mighty hot...yow!

    Now, one could go on to state how this is paranoid homophobic rambling...but you don't even have know why? Because the fact of how BAD it all is overshadows any of it's other shortcomings. The blatant goofiness of the sentiment is almost forgivable, considering.

   Later in the album, the attempted epic feel of "Innocent Eyes" is sabotaged by incompetent playing, half-assed emotion, and ludicrous lyrics sung in an even more ludicrous voice:
        Children are playing on the street,
        running and screaming in bare feet.
        Children are learning in Sunday School,
        all about Jesus and the golden rule...
       Children happy and safe in bed,
        Mom and Dad are happily wed.
       Happy baby is being spoon fed,
        patted on the back and placed into bed.
       Kids spend money at a movie flick,
        a comedy or drama - whatever they pick.
       Twinkle twinkle, you're a movie star...
        until you get dumped out of someones car.

   Please keep in mind that no matter how inane these words may seem when read, imagine how even more ridiculous is sounds when these lyrics are growled by a really awful singer who is accompanied by a fifth rate gang of wannabe Punks for Christ trying to make it sound all emotional and heavy and deeeeep.

   I could go on and about the track where some member of the band imitates a dog barking, silly samples, a punked-out rendition of "Happy Birthday", or how the band seemingly love the title of their album so much they they see it fit to repeat it throughout the length of the recording at a slowed down speed that surely must have reflected their sense of "Gee, this studio technology is great...we can even slow down the tone of our voices...Killer!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Paging Mr. Aube...You Have A Call At The Front Disc.

   As promised, the remix project/tribute album to AUBE's seminal single-source noise/ambient album PAGES FROM THE BOOK. According to the liner notes, each artist was sent the sound sources ranging from 10 second loops to 4 minute drones and then given free reign to mangle, strangle, confangle their own twisted take on an already twisted, brilliant idea. The list of contributors is long and impressive. Hell, even Nakajima-san shows up to remix his own work.

Disc One:
Brume, The Remote Viewer, Sirconical, Supermassive, Pefkin, Vir,
Princess Dragonmom, Merzbow, Flutter, Persona, Wheaton Research, Monera, Hood

Disc Two:
Aube, Coeurl, Totemplow, v/vm, Briane Lavelle, Supermassive, Steward, 
Disco Operating System, Wheaton Research, Phosphene, Drekka, Volcano The Bear


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Word! the Holy Word, That Is...

   Praise be to Aube, sonic shapeshifter of all single source sound generated noise recordings. Did anyone manage to pick up the awesome EMBERS album I posted a while back? Hmmm...comments were typically low on the WFY HQ for such an amazing piece of art. Pissy-tissy...your loss. Better grab ahold of PAGES FROM THE BOOK while you can. This time, Nakajima-san worked with only pages of the Bible to create the soundscapes therein. That's right...all the sounds/noises/disturbances were created solely from pages of the Grrrreatest Story Ever Told! Whether those pages were brushed, tapped, slapped or ripped is Aube's business. Feel the organic fury...bow down to thee one true (noise) god! Is this noise? If so, someone needs to create the Trinity of figureheads for this was done for jazz...Coltrane the Father, Ayler was the Holy Ghost, who was the the son? Actually if I had to ride that ladder, Sun Ra would notably be the Father, but...AUBE has got to be the Holy Ghost of Japanese noise...the man hardly gets a mention. Pure genius...but also probably in a different class altogether than say Hijokaidan or Incapacitants, Merzbow, etc. AUBE's frame of mind simply seems more...focused and steely. More cold and calculated.

     Anyone have a time machine or any other low-cost method to travel back in time? I want to revisit the night I witnessed AUBE blowing the crowd at Cafe Independents in Kyoto...opening up for Whitehouse! Lucky nights....lucky nights....

Tomorrow: the AUBE Pages From The Book covers album....yes!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Need To Bleed:

     Can't think of a better way top start of the new week with a rare little Roky Erickson treat. This cd contains a batch of unreleased music...most of it live, a few acoustic renditions, some spoken word piece here and there, and the standout being an unheard composition "Realize You're My Sweet Brown Angel Eyes" which is classic Roky material...all sweet and warm melodies with a muscular rhythm line. There's even a track here called "Bumblebee Zombie" which sounds like it might be a rehearsal recording. All killer stuff. And although it has been wonderful to see Roky's profile rise in the past years due to his health increasing; I still can't help but wish he would grow his damn beard out again. 

1) Bloody Hammer (studio acoustic '76)
2) Miss Elude (studio acoustic '76)
3) Haunt (studio acoustic '76)
4) Laughing (studio acoustic '76)
5) You Don't Love Me Yet (studio acoustic '76)
6) Creature With The Atom Brain (Live '80)
7) I Think Of Demons (Live '80)
8) Two Headed Dog (Live '80)
9) Bumblebee Zombie (Live '76)
10) Click Your Fingers Applauding The Play (Live '77)
11) Mine Mine Mind (Live '77)
12) Things That Go Bump In The Night (Live '76)
13) Here Today...Gone Tomorrow (Spoken Word '80)
14) Realize You're My Sweet Brown Angel Eyes (studio - date unknown)
15) Love To See You Bleed (Spoken Word '80)
16) Please Don't Kill My Baby (Live '78)

     Oh, by the way, did you ever hear about Roky's short-lived rap project?
I think it was called MC Bloody Hammer. Oh--hahahah

Saturday, February 14, 2009

9 And You:

     The first time I was visiting Japan. I was more than ready to hit some of the local record stores and see what could be uncovered. Walking up to one of the massive Tower Records, I noticed  a cd on the front display rack that immediately caught my eye. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was the brand new Takako Minekawa album! I had been a fan of her since the Roomic Cube recording. This was back in '98 or so and my head was buzzing with all sorts of Shibuya-cum-Paris kitsch pop. Takako takes a deliberately more electronic approach to that sound and oozes a cold warmth into her songwriting process. Admittedly, this style doesn't really get me all ga-ga anymore these days; but I was pleasantly pleased how well FUN9 has stood the test of time ('s been less than 10 years since it was released, but nonetheless...). The second song "Plash" is probably worth the download. It's all ultra grooved out with fuzzy distorted synth madness and a weird robotic rhythm flushed out with big production values (much more so than her previous albums) and Takako's sweet childlike singing pinning it all down.

Whirled Peas:

     I could go on forever about The Dead Milkmen. About how they were always unfairly lumped into a "punk" genre (probably thanks to their most popular single "Punk Rock Girl), or about the psychoanalytical aspects of songs sung by Joe or Rodney, or about how this band seemed like one of the first semi-outsider bands to emerge as underground MTV cult heroes in the 80's and lead a wave of influence that really never caught up with them. And how odd it was that this band of jokesters ended up on the Disney-funded Hollywood Records in the 90's (!!!) and created the album known as SOUL ROTATION.

     Now, this record was blasted when it was released and it kind of became the "lost DM album" after Hollywood just shat all over it (did they treat Stryper the same way? God forbid.) and let it go out of print 2 days after it was officially released. To be honest, I don't remember being terribly impressed with SOUL ROTATION when first released. It didn't contain the same gross-out ands slapstick sense of humor that previous DM releases had offered. The production was certainly more polished than I was expecting; and the basic feel was just just didn't smell like other Dead Milkmen albums that I had known. However, it has become one of those recordings that has meant more to me as time goes on. There are subtle hints at genius scattered throughout these tracks even though at times it sounds like the DM boys are kind of clutching at straws to make an impact in one of those "Hey--we take ourselves seriously as artists, too." scenarios. But overall it works. 

     I like this Joe sings more songs  on this one.

Strung Up & Out:

     When I figured it was about time that I began posting some new material here on these dusty blogger pages, I had to choose between starting again with a bang or a whimper. My answer came to me each night as I settled into bed and found myself constantly returning to one of my ultimate favorite late-night records of all time. A record called HARD AGAIN by Scott Tuma.

     Scott Tuma is of of those artists that has an uncanny ability to craft a truly unique sound full of msytery, power, and sheer unpretentious beauty. Using the acoustic guitar as the main instrument, these pieces are more like sketches of songs than actual songs...remnants from a faded sketchbook of ideas. The notes drift and hang in the air....tangling themselves up in smoke and creeping through mirrors of the mind. In short, this is music made up of memories. When I lie in bed and listen to these haunting compositions floating in and out of my head, I picture walking through a carnival ground, long after closing time...maybe the sun is about to rise and all the carneys are involved in the last minute revelry before closing out. Someone is strumming a banjo behind the big tent, there's a dwarf learning how to drink absinthe, a ballerina is winding down her toy soldier dance before the dawn... or better yet, these are the sounds of the morning after the carnival has left town. There's not much left on the grounds except for a few ropes, bits of trash, and sounds....sounds on the wind of the previous night's frolic. Echoes and spirits entangled within the fabric and patches of the breeze. There is a melody there somewhere, but only the fragments remain. It's all left up to the inner ear to connect the dots.

     I could go on and on, but I simply ask you to take some time and breathe and live with this sound. Americana? Ambient? Both and album.

Jesus Told Me To Share:

First things first...gotta get this repost out of the way.
Had more than a few requests for this mammoth live
MAGMA set..and who could blame them? This is deep.

Last chance, people. Hope this makes someone happy.

Monday, February 9, 2009