Monday, November 21, 2011

Beware Of Clevo

Tonight We're Gonna Partay Like It's 1999

Beware of Clevo is part Eric's Trip, part Mellow Candle, and all Capitol Hill hipster.  I'm not a hundred percent sure, but they sound vegan to me.  They had a cd out in '96, and I guess this was an ep or a demo or something that came out afterwords.  Violins, expect violins.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Adding Machine And Mars Accelerator

Alternateenage Wasteland

I've been digging through Jack Devo's music room and came across this alternative chick magnet the other day.  A split 7" featuring two nineties bands you've never heard of.  Oh, Jack, you're so cool and indie rock, can I hang out at your place and smoke American Spirits with you while we listen to Dub Narcotic Sound System and vote for Michael Dukakis with full knowledge of irony?  Why sure you can, first just let me make sure my flannel is properly ragged and my soul patch is in place, then we can talk about Jim Morrison's poetry together like it doesn't suck.  Would you like your latte with soy?
Mars Accelerator were actually pretty cool for a Seattle band three years out from the death of grunge.  Nobody knew what the fuck to do with music back then.  Six Finger Satellite and shit.  The whole record sounds like Pavement to me.  I like Pavement.  I saw them on MTV once.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mumbo Gumbo

This is a tape from the Davis, CA band Mumbo Gumbo. As the name implies, this sounds like zydeco, with plenty of country and oldies-era rock thrown in. Cowbell and accordion and your mama. High energy, corn-fed, pig raising, pig eating, cheap beer swilling, love-handle jiggling, cholesterol raising, diabetes type 2 getting, first cousin marrying, tooth losing, Walmart gift-card receiving, out of high school dropping, party music. Music for people who like to whoop it up, get shit-faced drunk, hit on anything that moves, make asses out of themselves in front of the whole town, and then sheepishly go back to work on Monday pretending like nothing happened. My kind of music.

Mumbo Gumbo

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Polar Bear

Eric Avery and Harold Barefoot Sanders III

The debut 12" of Eric Avery's post-Jane's Addiction band Polar Bear.  This is a rough, mainly-instrumental, sampler and sequencer-heavy, dubbed-out mellow trip of a record.  It's about as far removed from the edgy, wound-up atmosphere of Eric's old band as he could get, and I'm sure it was a  deliberate move.  Six lengthy, meandering tracks to enjoy, most of which turned up on future Polar Bear releases in barely recognizable form (tightened-up, shortened, and vocalized).  Excellent music to focus in on from 1996 and Man's Ruin Records.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Un-Sound Food

Scheme The Scene.

The second compilation from Father Rob Records.  Father Rob was a dude some years older than the rest of us, who was legendary as the hardest-of hardcore punks the island had to offer.  His ingestion of illicit substances was also legendary.  Quite the swell of pride was felt by all the Rhino Bulletz when he showed up at a show of theirs at the local VFW hall, all denim and leather, looking glassy-eyed and menacingly slack-jawed.   It seemed only fitting that this hero in the community be commemorated by having a label named after him.  The chronicler of the scene, incidentally, is a great guy who was affectionately known at the time as "Softcore" - in contrast to "Hardcore," (the singer from Stench Mob).  Hardcore was a snotty, irreverent, sunglass-wearing punk kid who's family was of Grunge royalty, and consequently had a lot of hangers-on.  Softcore and Hardcore were friends, but Softcore was less aloof, friendlier, and more charismatic.  More human, basically.  Hence, the distinction, Hardcore vs. Softcore.
The Vashon Island music community, like seemingly every artistic community in the Pacific Northwest, was an incredibly incestuous one.  For example, take a look at the folks on this compilation: The leadoff band, Innocent Criminal, had Ian and Jorma, both former members of Rhino Bulletz.  Jorma also drummed for the Stench Mob, who had Nicky as bass player.  Nicky wound up as bassist and songwriter for Shang Hi FI, which also had Isaac and Nathan of Rhino Bulletz (both also bass players) in its earlier incarnation, Pit Boss.  Nathan played in Buttlips, with Bjorn from Punching Bag and Alf from Mirth/Bad Dose/Screeming Peeholes.  Alf, Raven and Jon from Bad Dose regrouped minus Jake and Jeremy to form The Revival.  Bjorn and Nathan did Linus Jolt with Ben, who also played the keys in Mirth.  The Goonies featured Peter, who also performed in the very different band Biocide, with Charles from Charlies Taxidermy and Liam of Beetbox.  Their vocalist Ryan was the sick mind behind Dr. Catharsis (more on him in the future).  Mike and Cody from Sleepy Turtle joined forces with Matt from the Goonies to form Fat Angel... It goes on and on and on...
Twice as long as its predecessor Jesus Barn Rasing, and featuring stronger material, Un-Sound Food was a fitting snapshot of Vashon's young musical community at one of its high points.

Track List: Side One
Innocent Criminal: Voodoo Child
Innocent Criminal: Lenny
Rhino Bulletz: Black Crow
Rhino Bulletz: Jorma's Song #2
Rhino Bulletz: The Next Final Sollution
Buttlips: Yeah-Right
Buttlips: I See 'Em All
The Revival: Love Together
The Revival: Fever
Da Stench Mob: No Control
Da Stench Mob: Fun To Kick A Hick
Pit Boss: Lenhart Elixer
Pit Boss: Mass Tired
Charlies' Taxidermy: Pass The Bees Please

Side Two
The Goonies: Crock-N-Roll
The Goonies: Fusebox Polka
Convulsion: Inside
Convulsion: Nostalgia
Sleepy Turtle: Weirdo Billy
Sleepy Turtle: You
Sleepy Turtle: Killers Of The World
Linus Jolt: Very Proper
Linus Jolt: Spaghetti Man
Charlies Taxidermy: Eternal Equinox Pt. 1
Charlies Taxidermy: The Mark Of The 5th Apostle
Pit Boss: Fat Kid
Beat Box: High Haywood Jones

Un-Sound Food

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jesus Barn Raising

The Birth Of Father Rob Records

Vashon Island was a crazy place to grow up.  Isolated from the rest of the world, you had to take a boat to get to anywhere.  Seattle lay across the water to the north, Tacoma to the south, and although only a 15 minute trip by ferry, both cities are worlds removed from the rural psychedelic wilderness that is Vashon.  
This is a compilation of Vashon high school bands from the mid-90's, but it's also much more than that.  Growing up in the Pacific Northwest that time was a truly magical experience if you were of a musical bent.  Grunge had hit not long before, changing the face of popular music, and the folks responsible lived only a handful of miles away.  Along with Nirvana, Soundhardon, Pearl Jam and Mudhoney, Olympia bands had also filtered into the mix, most notably the K Records crowd with their fiercely DIY mentality.  Add the new crop of punk bands like Green Day and Rancid and Superchunk to the turgid batter, and All of a sudden it was okay, and even supercool, to be an unpolished musician who owned a four-track and knew only one power cord.  In the hands of a bunch of wildly creative, stir-crazy, stoned-out-of-their-goards kids who grew up on their parents' Marley and Floyd and Dead records, voila, you have the document that is Jesus Barn Raising:  The first release from the Vashon-centric Father Rob Records (and chock-full of references only a Vashonite would understand), spearheaded by a freshman in high school with a passion for releasing the local talent he heard and took part in.  With this compilation you have pop culture seen through the distorted lens of a hallucinogen-drenched isolated farming community, on tape!  Whether attempting straight-ahead punk, pop, or heavy-knuckled grunge-rock, (or whatever suited their raggedy fancy), everything these adolescents executed is through a distinct psychedelic haze of mushroom-spores, arsenic, and gauze-drenched giant puppets.   Believe me, there was no escaping it, even for those who weren't into drugs.  It was in the fucking soil, the fucking water, literally.  
So sit back and listen with an open ear and and open vein to the psycho-garage sounds of the Jesus Barn.    

Track List:  Side One
Mirth - Learning To Fly
Bad Dose - Hugs
Screeming Peeholes - Wail To My Soul
Sleepy Turtle - Batman Song
Sleepy Turtle - Nature Boy
Stench Mob - Googe
The Goonies - Uptown Rat

Side Two
Charlie's Taxidermy - Mutilation Maddness
Sleepy Turtle - Solitude
The Goonies - Boys Just Wanna Have Fun!!
Convulsions - Epiphany
Bad Dose - Queen Of Pain
Punching Bag - Mr. Turkey Trot

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pink Floyd Live 1974 Wembley Empire Pool

This is a dirty, ragged Floyd boot I picked up from a street vendor in London years and years ago.  It's a sloppy, out of tune performance, and the band sounds exhausted.  The only one who sounds like he's genuinely into it is Rog - he plays the bass with such aplomb.  Besides Dark Side in its entirety, this double tapes' second half features early working versions of "Shine On," "Dogs," and "Sheep".  "Echoes" rounds out the lengthy set.  

Wembley '74

Thursday, October 20, 2011


The Dewey Decimal System 7"

These guys used to come into the used bookstore I worked at every week and buy classic sci-fi and fantasy paperbacks.  Calling their style of music "edu-core", they'd sing literary criticism about various notable fantasy/sci fi authors, while throwing books at the audience.  They played heavy, fast, and loud, with vocals ranging between a growl and a lower growl.  They used to play at the metal venues in town.  They also played at libraries.  This 7-song 7" features the tracks "J.R.R. Tolkien", "Jules Verne", "H.P. Lovecraft", "Michael Morcock", "Robert E. Howard" "John Brunner", and "Frank Herbert".  Do you get the awesome picture? 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Float Up CP: Kill Me In The Morning

I Wish This Party Would Go On Forever

The Pop Group were an incendiary and revolutionary art-punk act.  When the Pop Group parted company, a few of the members went on to form the equally incendiary, if not as revolutionary, Rip, Rig + Panic.  Dropping the abrasive, jarring sound of the former band, this new incarnation favored anarchistic funk and jazz-inflected party music.  When Rip, Rig + Panic met their end, three members of that group then reformed as Float Up CP.  Saxophonist Gareth Sager, percussionist Bruce Smith, and vocalist Neneh Cherry went in a decidedly pop-friendly direction (although still frenetic), creating a slicker r'n'b/funk/jazz foundation for the young Cherry to shine over.  She's the star here, no doubt, and it was no surprise that she would eventually break out in full force as a solo artist.
I was able to find this online a year or so ago, but this is a new vinyl rip, as the version I found on the webs had the bass so far in the red it drowned out nearly everything else.  This one's toned down a little.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fire And Faster: After The Acid Reign

Art Rock Confidential

I found this as a teen at the St Vincent's in downtown Seattle, and it's been etched into my psyche ever since I first listened to it that afternoon.  This is some of the artiest, most produced, most intricate music ever to grace Seattle's musical landscape.  Quite a departure from the hundreds of bar bands that defined Seattle music back in 1983.  As a kid I never knew how exactly I should approach this tape; I was always half amused and half impressed.  Certainly I was intrigued, as I kept returning to it again and again.  
An interesting tidbit of information: When I pulled it out of the stacks yesterday to rip it and post it up, I looked over the lyric sheet and noticed for the first time that this tape is the brain child of the Brothers Parashar (Rick and Raj, owners of London Bridge Studios, and who recorded and produced a ton of grunge and alternative A-Listers back in the 90's).  Apparently they tried their hand at being musicians before they decided to be millionaires.  Listen.