Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Miss High Heel The Family's Hot Daughter CD
Alan Courtis Unstringed Guitar & Cymbals CD
Psychic TV Force Thee Hands Ov Chance

Public Enemy Fear of a Black Planet
Wraiths Plaguebearer
Die Kreuzen vids on YouTube

Starting the day with two new ones from Blossoming Noise - the long-long-awaited Miss High Heel retrospective CD, awaited by me because it was a Chicago band, a supergroup in fact, convened by Tom Smith and associates during his extended 1995-1996 residency in the Windy City, with Smith and Marlon Magas on twin vocals ("a thoroughly ersatz Sam and Dave" says TS in the liners), Weasel Walter on drums, Azita Youseffi and Jim O'Rourke on synths, Bill Pisarri and Chuck Falzone (both of Flying Luttenbachers) on basses, rounded out by no less than Jodi Mecanic (of Duotron and Monotrona) and Nandor Nevai (the one and only) and Mike Green (Boat Of) on I'm not even sure what. There's talk of harmolodics in the liners, and that ain't ersatz, as this is basically a brutal double quartet, a hellish post-noise rethink of Ornette's Prime Time, with such twists as the drums doubled by cryptic and relentless blast collages assembled by Smith from death metal CDs, and the doubled lead vocals that incessantly shout down fans and critics and know-it-alls and know-nothings alike. The disc is exhaustive to say the least... there was a moment when I had been listening for what seemed like a good 30 or 40 minutes and thought, "Well, it's probably almost over" and walked over to the CD player to find that it was on track....8 out of 21. And 9 through 21 weren't no one-minute novelty items either. In spite (or because) of the band interplay being so ruthless and larger-than-life, I'll probably never be able to listen to the disc all the way through. But I'm still kind of excited that it's finally here. The Alan Courtis disc went on next, also new on Blossoming Noise, and it was a lot less attacking, more of a distantly droning comfort blanket to wrap myself in, but maybe it was too comforting because I didn't even notice any of it at all, really. Courtis was in Reynols... I can't tell now, did everyone love them at the time or was it just me and 19 of my readers? Either way I miss the punk graphics and raw humor of Courtis's work with Reynols - it's the Moncho input that I'm missing, in other words. (That's for us 20 superfans to understand.) So, mixed feelings about these two Blossoming Noise discs, but the album by Wraiths from the UK label Paradigms really jumped out and insinuated right away. I thought the music was gonna be Black Metal or at least BM-ish, you know, with vocals and songwriting, but it's just this pulverising ritualistic organic black noise that has got me wanting to pull out my Wolf Eyes releases again. Wraiths give it a twist though, it's an instrumental power-stoner slow-down industrial stretch-out noise style that is certainly similar to Wolf Eyes, but the dude/brah Americanism is exchanged for something more esoteric. These Die Kreuzen vids are one of the greatest things ever to happen to YouTube, all from an appearance they did on Milwaukee public TV waaaay back in I'm guessing early 1983, soon after Cows and Beer came out. Amazing band, even better live. Be sure to watch the interview, they are super chill - the bass player is the most likely to get a little HC angry and talk for awhile, but he too is ultimately a sweet-tempered guy that saves the shredding for the songs. "Self-taught" he says in the vid, confidently. They all shred, check this one out and anything else from user ButterKnifeLtd:

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