NIHILIST SPASM BAND/Japan (Alchemy Japan)
This group of Canucks have been
skronking for over two decades creating a strange, undefinable body of work
evading both rock and jazz tags. It's a lotta noise, and it's done well on
both traditional and homemade instruments. Recorded live in Japan in 1996,
they just played their first NYC show recently.
VARIOUS/ PAMTONDO (Pamtondo)
A great new compilation of electric and acoustic music from Malawi in the
heart of Africa that avoids the slickness and packaging of many world comps
of recent years. Straightforward raw pop, African blues, Chewa folk,
gospel, even a strange accordian/choir rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" all
meet up on this nice collection.
VARIOUS/FOR THE DEAD IN SPACE (Magic Eye)
Pearls Before Swine's
subterranean waves promised revolution in a hazy cloud of smoke, and today
a multitude of bands pay tribute to the music of Tom Rapp & PBS and prove
there is very much still one nation underground. Flying Saucer Attack,
Tower Recordings, Masaki Batoh of Ghost, Damon and Naomi and others who
obviously have soaked in the Pearls' strange aura of folky confusion all
STEREO TOTAL/Monokini (Bungalow)
Recent guests of the Stork Club on WFMU and all-around town sensations when
they recently visited NYC, Stereo Total are a half-French/half-German
outfit (with vocals in both languages as well as English and Italian) that
emit goofball casio grooves, three-chord buzzsaw punk anthems and more.
Imagine Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin jamming out in a garage with Trio
and maybe you get an idea.
DAVID KILGOUR AND THE HEAVY 8's/David Kilgour and the Heavy 8's (Flying
Pavement, GBV and many more owe quite a bit to New Zealand's David
Kilgour, who with the Clean, Great Unwashed, Stephen, the Pop Art Toasters
and more blazed a trail in the 80s that do-it-yourself popsters would
scamper down in the 90's. His latest is once again full of the sunny
hookiness and pristeen strum-guitar that characterized his first two
(poorly distributed) solo LPs.
COLDCUT/Let Us Play (Ninjatune)
After some killer singles, Coldcut continue to deliver the goods in this
veritable buffet of soundclash. Jazz, funk, dub, hip-hop and more are all
thrown into the blender with help from Jello Biafra, Talvin Singh, and our
own Steinski (with a sexy softcore porn contribution!)
RALPH CARNEY/Ralph Sounds (Birdman)
Tom Waits sideman/collaborator with the Oranj Symphonette, B52s, Marc Ribot
and more, Ralph Carney approaches the studio with the precision of a master
who, for the most part, has no academic handle on any of his instruments
(he comes closest on sax). Saw, cello, jaw's-harp, piano, trombone and more
are all tossed together on these tracks; all improvised but thanks to
Carney's amazing creativity build into fascinating themes and short songs.
JIM O'ROURKE/Bad Timing (Drag City)
One half of Gastr del Sol and collaborator with just about everyone in
today's avant-indie circle, Chicago guitarist O'Rourke once again makes you
pay attention as he evokes the freedom of Derek Bailey and the dream-like
dissonant folk of John Fahey around a myriad of connective but independent
sound sources; drone, pedal steel, trombone and more quietly interact
around O'Rourke's gentle pluck to once again stunning effect.
RAYMOND SCOTT/Soothing Sounds for Baby (Basta)
This three-CD set compiles
the music from a set of records cartoon music composer/band
leader/electronic music innovator Scott produced for the Gesell Institute
of Child Development in 1963. Finally, folks can hear a little-heard side
of Scott, primitive synths of his own invention wheezed and whirred in
hopes of, yes, putting babies to sleep. Liner notes by WFMU's Irwin Chusid.
JESSIE MAE HEMPHILL/Feelin' Good (High Water)
Finally a CD reissue of her
1990 LP and 1985 High Water label single will allow more folks to hear the
amazing roots rock of Memphis' Jessie Mae. Far from the traditional woman
blues-belter, Jessie's sweet voice becomes an element in her primitive
rockin' tunes based in the great tradition of folks like Fred McDowell and
the fife and drum groups that haunted the hills during her childhood. She
rakes a mean electric guitar.
LUCAS AND FRIENDS/Discover a World of Sounds (Vinyl Communications)
amazing collection of found tapes, home "radio shows", poems, and tons of
kids abusing each other on mic was put out by Pea Hicks, who has most
recently resurrected the Mattell musical toy the Optigan in his band
KOMAR & MELAMID WITH DAVE SOLDIER/The People's Choice Music (Dia Center)
web survey of what elements people like and dislike in their music yielded
the two amazing tracks on this CD: "Most Wanted Song", and "Most Unwanted
Song". The former is probably what you'd expect, slick, mushy oversinging
by a female in a contempo R & B style. The latter mashes up country, rap,
opera, and kids singing about the topics people least want to hear about.
In other words, the perfect WFMU song.