LIGHTNING BOLT Conan 7" (Load)
Consider this band that does drum & bass, with actual drums and bass.
Lightning Bolt are the current warlord kings of rock and everything else;
playing an FMU benefit last year, the masked duo sat at the ready with
their instruments, ready to go, in the rear of the club, blowing out into
full flight the second the previous performer finished her last note on
stage with zero downtime! While many fled, those who stayed saw the
drummer pounding away like a crazed Animal from the Muppet Show while the
bassist shoved all his bass head controls up to the top and went apeshit.
This 7" sounds like it was recorded on Pluto.
LIVE HUMAN Elefish Jellyfant (Matador)
Bay Area favorites finally get some national notoriety, and
well-deserved. Live Human take on a most pleasin' mode of jazz crashing
into hiphop & turntablism, utilizing a more "real" drum and bass (i.e. a
drummer and a bass player), always animated and electric. Features DJ
Quest of the awesome Space Travellers.
HARVEY MILK Courtesy and Good Will Toward Men (Tumult)
A reissue of a vinyl-only release from 1995, Harvey Milk (named for the
slain San Francisco gay/community activist) are best described by the
presskit's "Dario Argento-meets-Melvins" tag. Gorgeous, slow-moving guitar
figures erupt into scary-as-hell furnace blasts of crushingly heavy guitar
and drums. Brooding, atmospheric, and all over the place (there is a
Leonard Cohen cover that is to be heard to be believed). Excellent.
RALPH LUNDSTEN Electronisk Musik (Andromeda)
An awesome 4CD artifact that came to us from Ralph himself over in
Sweden; Lundsten is usually left out in discussions that group electronic
music pioneers (for example, he is nowhere to be found on the recent Ohm:
Gurus of Electronic Music box), but he created some truly fried and
amazing sounds with self-assembled devices while holed up in a Swedish
castle in the 1960's. One of these devices, the "Love Machine", apparently
fedback from skin contact with the performer, taking their "emotion" and
transforming it to sound and light. As with most of these primitivist
electronics folks, later stuff veered into new age, but this set is pretty
damn amazing throughout all 4 discs.
KROPOTKINS Five Points Crawl (Mulatta)
Second album wedding the fife-and-drum goat-hollering sensibilities of
Otha Turner and straightforward downtown NYC. Composer Dave Soldier (of
Komar & Melamid "Most & Least Popular Song" fame as well as many other
projects) gathers a crew that mixes local musicians with the likes of Mo
Tucker (ex-VU drummer) and vocalist Lorette Velvette (veteran of cool
Memphis outifts like the Hellcats & Alluring Strange) for great results.
MYLES OF DESTRUCTION That Boy Has Problems (Gruntled)
If the genre of gay home bedroom/heavy metal needs a leader, it is
definitely the young man known as Myles of Destruction. Truly bizarre,
guitar-less, and lo fi screeching, rocking and politicizing, with a
version of Cyndi Lauper's "She Bop." Could a Stephin Merritt/Slayer
collaboration be that out of the question in the future?
PEOPLE LIKE US Thermos Explorer (Hot Air)
On the same label that brings us Stock, Hausen, & Walkman, PLU is the
wonderful Ms. Vicki Bennett, who, like SH&W, juxtaposes forward-thinking
electronics & sampling with a great sense of dark humor towards British
culture (among other things). Educational films/records, pointless British
call-in radio shows, and rude sounds all swirl around in the PLU orbit,
and her recent film-and-music show at the Polish Home in Brooklyn was one
of the highlights of my year.
NOONDAY UNDERGROUND Self-Assembly (M21)
Ex-member of Adventures in Stereo Simon Dine's tidy assembly of breezy
60's-delic melodies, Beat Club rhythms, theremin samples and more with a
dynamite cockney soul singer names Daisy Martey make this an
out-of-left-field surprise for the lo-fi clubster set. "London" has seemed
to become a station hit as we speak.