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Recent Faves from the WFMU Record Library
November 2003

Reviewed by Music/Program Director Brian Turner

THE DEAD C / The Damned (Starlight Furniture Co.)
Lester Bangs would have a field day dissecting the Whitey Blues of the Dead C, who, like Fushitsusha are hanging on the "rock band" thread by a mere string but indeed embody the spirit of all that is true R&R is a most altered way. Getting together in New Zealand in the late 80s, Bruce Russell, Robbie Yeats, and Michael Morley took on the spirit of pure noisy improvisation through the use of cheap and basic guitars, primitively played drums and spuzzed out old amps, that sometimes drift and sometimes locks in and charges down the highway like a hippo. On their latest, "Truth" opens the album by locking it down immediately and rolling around what sounds like Morley trying to play the chords of "21st Century Schizoid Man", but what ensues is murky, static and totally electifying free rock played by guys who know. Once in a while, a song will develop around a long, looped guitar bit that makes no sense, but then on tracks like "The Provider" the quirk in that loop becomes the centerpoint of all interaction and the maddening tick that sticks in your head. If the Dead C decide to turn their attention towards electronica, it would be an interesting thing I'm sure for what would be a surely unconventional approach, but for now the basic formula still continues to kill.

VARIOUS / Hot Women: Women Singers From Torrid Regions (Kein & Aber)
No, this isn't the free CD that comes with the latest MAXIM mag, though the title sure would indicate so! Actually, it's a collection of 78s compiled than none other than R. Crumb. People who have been waiting years for the next Secret Museum Yazoo compilations should welcome this, it's fantastic. All sounds from the 1920's to 1950's and comprised of musicians and singers from locales such as Brasil, East Africa, Madagascar, Algeria, and Mexico, including Carnivale orchestras, Tejano stringbands, Parisian Creole songs, Chilean folk chanteuses, and more. And it should be mentioned that Crumb's liners and of course artwork make this whole package even more appealing.

ELEVENTH DREAM DAY / Prairie School Freakout (Thrill Jockey)
Recorded on one Louisville night in 1987, EDD's classic is reissued here with a bonus EP and enhanced CD with rare live footage. For the uninitiated, these guys (and of course Janet Bean, now of Freakwater) embodied American DIY spirit like few others; loud guitars, sputtering amps, Crazy Horse dynamics of explosive solos weaving their way in and out of songs that held their ground with the best of the garage/psych revivalists in their bowl haircuts, not to mention the arty dudes meticulously studying the Verlaine/Lloyd guitar heroics note for note. EDD made it all flow naturally; they even conjured up the best punk-poetry lyrics this side of X as if the music wasn't great enough. I only had the chance to see them once live, but I remember they totally tore the bar up in total twin-guitar mayhem that inspired the heck out of me. And when they were all done, they finished up with Wire's "Low Down". Great document of post-prime Dream Syndicate USA rock.

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