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JUNE, 2008

Recordgeek2001@yahoo.com

Click HERE to visit the site archive.

The picture above is a still from WILD ZERO, the greatest rock and roll movie ever made. This film has everything any one could ever ask for in a movie: wild rock music, guns, zombies, undying teenage love and GUITAR WOLF!!!

"Wild Zero"

A PSYCHOZOIC BESTIARY

SOME BANDS WHO WANT TO BORROW YOUR MIND

With so much older music featured on the site, it's always fun to run down a list of the newer bands and artists that I've discovered recently. Since my taste in contemporary music tends to run more towards the neo-psychedelic end of the spectrum, most of these groups are esoteric and trippy in some way, though not necessarily in a stereotypically sixties-reverent way. What some of you have already noted as my "problematic" relationship with black metal continues, now manifested in my interest in the totally singular, sometimes great, Dead Raven Choir. Follow the links to get loud with the now crowd, baby!

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MUDBOY - The experimental organist.

http://www.mudboymusic.com/

HARVEY MILK - Heavy rock from Athens Georgia

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=24229658

BURNING STAR CORE - Fragile and expansive psychedelic sound environments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7N3-ENXC9Q

DEAD RAVEN CHOIR - bizarre black metal folk rock from Poland by way of Texas, or vice versa.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vdRTQo39YE

JESSE SYKES AND THE SWEET HEREAFTER - Gorgeous and spare dream music featuring the lovely voice heard on the recent SUNN 0)) / BORIS album, Altar. This is what country music must sound like on the moon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMHdWqrWalE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfzZ7T2Loao&feature=related

OLD TYME RELIJUN - "The Dream Catcher in the Rear-View Mirror of Life." Backwoods No Wave.

http://www.myspace.com/theoldtimerelijun

KNIVES OF RESISTANCE - Ambient psychedelic folk.

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=111405877

PHARAOH OVERLORD - The majesty of the Almighty Riff.

http://www.psychedelic-music.net/pmdb/db3/db_band.php4?id=669

THE BLACK ANGELS - The Doors Meet the Velvets at Mazzy Star's house, then everybody gets Denude.

http://www.theblackangels.com/

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TERRASTOCK IS COMING!!!

The biggest news in my music-centric universe for the Summer is that Terrastock, North America's leading festival for Neo-Psychedelic Bliss and Psychotronic Mayhem, is coming to my hometown this month! From June 19-22, Terrastock will be held at the Melwood Art Center in Louisville, KY. The Line-up is a veritable who's-who of the current Psychedelic Underground: Plastic Crimewave Sound, Damon and Naomi, Makoto Kawabata (of Acid Mothers Temple,) Wooden Shjips. Oneida, MV + EE, Bardo Pond and many, many others. June 22 will even see a reunion of seventies psychedelic proto-punkers Simply Saucer.

Click here to visit the official Terrascope webpage, where you will find ticket information, a schedule of all four nights and exhaustive links to audio, video and other information on all 40 bands and artists slated to perform.

As for your humble web-host, I'll be looking most forward to Saturday, when WOODEN SHJIPS will play. Although the whole roster this year is as impressive as hell, these guys are still my current favorites, and I can't wait to see them live!

...but KAWABATA MAKOTO, whose performance closes the festival on Sunday night, is sure to be a mindblower as well!

Word has it that SIMPLY SAUCER might be a huge disappointment. After all, it has been a long time since their 1970's heyday. Still, their old stuff rules, and I'd feel like a complete chump if they put on a great show and I missed it. See ya there!

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PURE POP FOR THEN PEOPLE

More Used Record Reviews

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all underlined items are links to video, audio and / or further info: 

(v) denotes a video link 

(a) denotes a link to audio files

(i) denotes a link to another article or website


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Voivod - KILLING TECHNOLOGY LP (v)

The 1988 album on which this much revered French Canadian band outgrew its thrash metal roots and began to develop its own voice. Outside of a few obvious riffs, this is scarcely metal at all. Spiney, twisted and violent, this music owes much to the then-current european Anarcho-punk sound, albiet run through the conceptual blender of Voivod's own unique sonic vision of techno-social collapse. The bass sound is huge, the drums almost tribal (as per a tribe of cannibal pigmies living inside your trash compactor.) The lead guitar rattles like a rusty chain. Voivod would eventually smooth down some of their rough edges, but here they were still as raw as a chewed up scab.

Like most Voivod albums, this one is an impenetrable science fiction concept album, concerning the futuristic adventures of an alien called - surprise! - Voivod. This is not, however, the streamlined future fable typical of the prog rock, sci fi genre. This is a dystopian universe, teetering on the brink of the final calamity, infested with malignant technologies that scurry across the darkened cosmos like a horde of mechanized cockroaches. An utterly black, utterly essential vision.

The Decemberists- CASTAWAYS AND CUTOUTS (v)

Although I've loved all the Decemberists' albums, this one remains a sentimental favorite. A little rougher around the edges than their later work - Colin Malloy has had A LOT of vocal coaching since this was recorded - but possessed of a stately melancholy that really hits on an emotional level.

Possessed - BEYOND THE GATES LP (v)

This group's debut album, SEVEN CHURCHES, is supposed to be a cornerstone of what would eventually become black metal - form your expectations accordingly. This is their other album, from 1987. Combat Records invested a lot of money in the record's elaborate packaging, but they should have saved their jack and hired a better producer. Not that even the best production would have elevated this tepid trash above the realm of the generic. Par-for-the-course, Satanic lyrics strive to create a horrific atmosphere, but it's hard to be very scary when the band sounds like a Slayer cover band rocking a carshow, the demons on the cover look like calamari and there's a picture of the band posing with somebody's mom on the inner sleeve. The guitarist here is none other than Larry LaLonde, later of Primus.

Hole - CELEBRITY SKIN CD (v)

This 1998 album, the last stand for this seminal but often problematic grunge band, seems more of a lost Smashing Pumpkins album than a proper Hole LP. Billy Corgan seems to have taken a much larger role in the proceedings than has been acknowledged, and obviously coached Ms. love a great deal, as she sounds like his stand-in most of the time. If you have ever wished the Pumpkins had stuck to a hard rock sound, or hadn't become so arty after ADORE, this one has "you" written all over it.

"Runnin' For Your Lovin" is the first track from the 1977 album, Right On Time by the Brothers Johnson. The rest of the album is a bit tepid to my ears, but man - isn't this song just a perfect slice of Quincy Jones-produced, smooth-as-glass 70's soul?

Soul Coughing - EL OSO CD (v)

The hit album from 1998. By this point, Soul Coughing was sort of a Devo for the post-hip hop generation. Catchy wierdness with heavy dub feel and fat ol' beats.

Mazzy Star - AMONG MY SWAN CD (v)

The group's last album, from 1996. Languid hymns from the Church of the Nodding Hippie. Perhaps a little too languid over the long haul, but simply gorgeous as long as the spell remains unbroken.

Melvins - THE BOOTLICKER CD (v)

One of the Melvins' "wierd" albums. These songs largely eschews the band's usual heavy riffing for whispery, quiet arrangments that build tension without the expected heavy metal catharsis. the Melvins album to play at your next midnight seance, or virgin sacrifice soirée.

Fleetwood Mac - MYSTERY TO ME LP (v)

A better album than its pedigree would suggest. As of 1973, most of the real talent had either left Fleetwood Mac or hadn't become involved yet. De facto leader Bob Welch was still an embryonic talent whose best work lay well ahead of him, as was Christine McVie, who had yet to disinguish herself to the degree she would on later Mac albums. What a surprise then that Mystery to Me isn't half bad. A collection of tunes that run the gamut from balladry to inspired, if typical, seventies guitar rock to accomplished fake jazz. Much of this suffers in comparison when the modern listen reflects on a) how much better Fleetwood Mac was up until Danny Kirwin was fired and b) how much better Fleetwood Mac would soon be with the departure of Bob Welch and the introduction of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. This does not. however, detract from the inventive drive of such tracks as the classic "Hypnotized (see video link above.)"

Chic - RISQUE LP (v)


This 1979 collection of atmospheric ballads and disco torch songs is certainly Chic’s finest moment. It serves, simultaneously, as a farewell to the disco era and as a signpost to the musical trends and revolutions of the 1980’s. Even if one ignores most of this record and considers only the hit, “Good Times,” Risque’s importance and lasting influence on rap, neo-soul and pop is obvious. 


By ’79, Chic were disco only because no one knew what else to call them. Their slick, frictionless grooves had far less in common with the sweatier dance floor funk of groups like the Traamps than with the smooth, industrial precision of seventies Krautrock, ala Neu!, Harmonia and Kraftwerk. Journalist Paul Lester once called Chic’s sound that of “glass mountains on fire,” an image I’ve always found fitting, as it acknowledges both the smoldering, emotional quality of the band’s music, along with its cool, studio perfection. It’s a shame so few at the time could appreciate what Chic was really up – at least not enough to keep them around after fad disco went down at the dawn of the 80’s. That Chic was tossed in the same dustbin as Lipps Inc. is unjust and infuriating. 

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NATAS

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A HISTORY OF HEAVY METAL

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PUNK ROCK

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OLD WEIRD AMERICA: THE ARCHIVISTS

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CHILDREN'S RECORDS

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KIDS ON RECORD

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FIFTIES ROCK 'N' ROLL: THE GREAT AND GOLDEN ERA

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CULTS

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FREE JAZZ

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JACKIE WILSON

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NICO

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PRE-WAR BLUES FAVORITES

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OTHER CLASSIC ALBUMS OF THE 1970's