Saturday, October 04, 2008

PLAYLIST 10/4/08 - WBLSTD 66.6 FM

Dead C "Power" (Siltbreeze)
Dead C "Bury" (Siltbreeze)
Dead C "Bury (Refutatio Omnium Haeresium)" (Siltbreeze)
Marzette Watts Ensemble "Play It Straight" (Savoy, aka 'The Internet')
Propinquity "And I A Fairytale Lady" (The Numero Group)
Sir Douglas Quintet "Mendocino" (Takoma)
The Clean "Tally-Ho" (Matador)
Eddy Current Suppression Ring "We'll Be Turned On" (Arrghht!/Goner)
Fuzzhead "A-OK" (Pointless Music)
Fuzzhead "Wake Up America" (Pointless Music)
Studio 1 "Rot 1" (Studio 1)
Drexciya "Dehydration" (Submerge)
Drexciya "Bang Bang" (Submerge)
Vita Noctis "She Likes Me" (Flexi-Pop)
Suicide "Shadazz"(Island)
Eric B & Rakim "Microphone Fiend" (MCA)
Ghostface Killah "Nutmeg" (Epic)
The Five Discs "Never Let You Go" (Rhino/WEA)
Cymande "Genevieve" (Sequel)
Curtis Mayfield "We Got To Have Peace" (Curtom)
Socrates Drank The Conium "Destruction" (Anazitisi)
The Gordons "Joker" (Flying Nun)
The Gordons "Sometimes" (Flying Nun)
This Heat "The Fall of Saigon" (These Records)
Rush "Tears" (Mercury)
Terry Callier "You Don't Care" (Cadet)

Man, I've started listening to the Dead C again big time, in anticipation of their new album Secret Earth and a show coming up here in Chicago in a couple weeks. If there were a couple more hours in the day, I would do a mega-post about how I've been listening to this band for 13 years now, starting from when I saw 'em open up for Sonic Youth at First Avenue in Minneapolis in the Summer of 1995. It was the first time I ever heard them and they blew me away with what sounded like aging noisy dirge punk as some sort of harbor-town sea-folk played inside a hurricane. I bought the Metal Heart 7" at that show, which was cool enough but it was two short sides of obtuse instrumental noise jam. My travelling partner K. Brock sprung for an LP however, Operation of the Sonne, and a few days later when we were all back in Nebraska we huddled in anticipation around the turntable.... and heard slow-developing no-developing turgid feedback/drone improv with eldritch thick-accented spoken word muttering over the top. That wasn't what they sounded like at First Ave... where were the SONGS, man? A couple weeks later I bought The White House and it didn't help much either when it started with like 14 minutes of noise improv. But it actually had songs, once you got past the noise, and they turned out to be very good songs. The noise was great too - said 14-minute track was a doozy called "The New Snow," and I still play it every year the first time it really snows. (In fact, this remains my single favorite Dead C record, but more on that some other lifetime.) A few weeks after that, I bought the CD of Trapdoor Fucking Exit, and it was almost ALL songs, and even though I recognized a handful of 'em from the show, it still didn't sound like the same band. Live they had been loud, full, and heavy, but Trapdoor Fucking Exit sounded spindly and thin, purposefully weak and distant, music like dead and torn leaves hanging outside your window, rattling and swaying in a wet greenish grey ocean breeze..... I became obsessed with the album anyway, with its black-on-grey text-only front cover, the Middle East rebel on the back cover, and the blurry band photo on the inside along with blunt track listing. Hell, I was obsessed simply with the way the track-listing looked, these intense one-word song titles typed on the page.... "Heaven".... "Mighty".... "Power".... "Bury"..... "Sky".... "Bone".... "Krossed".... And finally, after listening to the album a lot for a couple years, I came to realize that the songs, these dry and torn leaves, were in fact played much the same way they were played that night at First Avenue. It took me awhile to figure this out because the club was a much different acoustic space than the room where Trapdoor Fucking Exit was apparently recorded, and the equipment used there was probably a lot more "pro," but the real reason is that they play a naturally confounding dream-music and like a dream the details are often distorted and blurry when recalled, whether by memory or by recording equipment. Anyway, we start today's show with three cuts from Trapdoor. (And by the way, this is a great interview with the Dead C's Bruce Russell - excellent stuff about how independent music works and misconceptions about 'lo-fi' among other things.) Holy shit some blog posted the Marzette Watts album, not the one for ESP, but THE OTHER ONE, the Savoy label one that Thurston Moore raved about on his free jazz rarities list for Grand Royal Magazine back in like 1992 or something. So far so good, I heard this album was "cooler" than the "hotter" ESP one, and it is, produced by Bill Dixon, just a nice late-night feel but still plenty out-there and uncompromising. Nice discussion about it here at the Destination:Out blog. Hey, you gotta hear the Wayfaring Strangers: Ladies From The Canyon CD on The Numero Group label. I don't know how they found so many completely unknown and lost Joni-worshipping private-press albums that were actually this good, but they did. Pretty much every track is great, and this one by Propinquity might be the very best. Couldn't resist playing "Mendocino" and "Tally Ho" back to back because of that roller-rink organ dancing through both (I love it how "Tally Ho" is called "the 'Louie Louie' of New Zealand') and then follow 'em up with that super happy keyboard tune on the Eddy Current Suppression Ring album. All the jams by Studio 1 (a project by Wolfgang Voigt, aka GAS) are very minimalist but I think "Rot 1" is the minimaliMOST! I've really only heard two albums by the long-running Ohio psych band Fuzzhead, the recent Burning Bridges and Raining Sparks companion CDs, which are awesome Ameribeat trance-psych jam stuff, but this older cassette Fuzzhead is Love sounds a lot different. I mean, the extended trance-grooves are still there, but this is like noisy industrial avant pop... I'm still baffled. Drexciya are minimalist as hell as well (wax is for Anthrax, still they can rock bells), hard Detroit techno coming out in the early 1990s right on the heels of Underground Resistance. Like UR, Drexciya wore bandanas over their faces and it was a long time before anyone really knew who was in the group. Also, Drexciya had the best band mythos: " underwater country populated by the unborn children of pregnant African women thrown off of slave ships that had adapted to breathe underwater in their mother's wombs." Vita Noctis track is on the None Night of Flexi-Pop Vol. 1 CDR release, from the German label Flexi-Pop. I know absolutely nothing about any of this stuff, I just downloaded it off a blog. I'm guessing it's from the 1980s and Vita Noctis is probably from Europe but they could be from Bloomington, Indiana or something for all I know. The genre might be what is known as cold-wave. The aforementioned blog starts to explain everything (and also offers about 30 different entire Flexi-Pop compilations for download, including this one). "Shadazz" is from the very proto-flexi-pop second Suicide album. Released in 1980, produced by Ric Ocasek, it has a really strange tone: total post-Cars pop sheen without washing out any of Suicide's malevolance. "Tears" by Rush is just stunning. It's possibly the least metal thing a metal band has ever done, and Rush has done plenty that is barely metal at all (like more or less their entire career from Grace Under Pressure to the present). It's from 2112, which is such a bad-ass album, of course they could get away with this song in that context, but today I heard it all by itself on shuffle, and it is literally a lush 1970s ballad that might as well be by Helen Reddy... Helen Geddy, anyone?

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