Spacious, avant jazz in the realms of Spontaneous Music Ensemble that carries frictional shards sharp enough to shave your globe off yee shoulders and across the valley. Highly tempered and action packed with a sniff of underbelly, Parker, Bailey, and KISS. The make up is: Jason Bivins [electric guitar], Marty Belcher [soprano saxophone], Joe Donnelly [baritone saxophone], Matt Griffin [drums] and Richard Patterson [flute, vocalization]. A force to be reckoned with.
Mr. Science was a linchpin of the Indiana punk scene in the late 1970s and early '80s. As a member of Dow Jones and the Industrials, Science added a mass of bleeping, lurching technology to the roaring punk anthems. He was also the DIY engineer at Zounds Studios in West Lafayette -- where he recorded some of the state's classic punk/art records.
In 1978, Science -- also known as Brad Garton -- began writing twisted new/no wave songs on keyboards, Moog, Orchestron, organ, synthesizer and other newfangled instruments of the day. This 1978-79 EP compiles five songs that survived from that era -- four unreleased until now and available for the first time since their recording nearly 40 years ago.
NYC/Atlanta trio of Andrew Burnes (guitar), Davd Daniell (guitar), and Bryan Fielden, (drums). This debut full-length takes the six-string blues dissonance to new heights. Glacial tempos rich in melodic-flow position themselves between the partial jazz trappings. Quite a technical (and emotional) leap from the debut 12"
"Music that often sounds like it's on the verge of collapse... Just get inside and follow your mind."-- Adding & Abetting
And that’s the story of jazzâŠ Get it? Well, maybe you had to be there when legendary saxophonist Akira Sakata, guitarist Jim O’Rourke and bombast rhythm crew of percussionist Chris Corsano and double bassist Darin Gray (aka Chikamorachi) jumped in the van for a Japanese tour. This two CD set documents their 2008 jaunt — not the first and far from last — in blistering detail. Shades of Last Exit, Coltrane’s Live in Seattle and even Kousokuya appear here but this quartet has nailed its own unique ‘n’ volatile tension and symmetry during its past six years together. Until now, their albums have only been available as Japanese imports. This is also the third U.S. release by Sakata on Family Vineyard in the past three years.Throughout Sakata charges upper registers on alto sax yet still hooks stunning phrases and harmonic themes. O’Rourke’s radical, electric guitar blasts are massive volleys of pure sound. All the while, Gray relentlessly anchors the torrent with subterranean grooves, scrapes and slaps while Corsano lays waste to his kit, pounding polyrhythms and tones. Together passages transform from blinding, uncompromised brutality to zones where Sakta’s sweetened melodies dance slowly alone and O’Rourke, also on harmonica, adds lonesome country blues. Over-the-top at times, but hey, that’s the story of jazzâŠ If you want Grade-A, blood splattered free music, this is it, but you gotta pay for it.
It gets nasty at times--feedback laden, meters in the red--even psychedelic as Tigersmilk pour it on thick, straight from some cosmic mind's eye teat. Android Love Cry is the third album from the voodoo concrĂšte jazz crew of Rob Mazurek (Chicago Underground, Mandarin Movie, Exploding Star Orchestra) on cornet, laptop/synth (and banjo), acoustic/electric bassist Jason Roebke (Rapid Croche, Fred Lonberg-Holm Trio), and percussionist ylan van der Schyff (Talking Pictures). It's a dynamically gorgeous and dissonant thirteen part cycle that delves into obscure conditions of wilderness and transformation backed by a pulsing and often volatile syncopation not far from Max Neuhaus' electro-acoustics or even Cluster's space 'n' rhythm glow. Even with engorged synthesizer and percussive fields Tigersmilk's heart is the post-bop flare of Bill Dixon's late-60s orchestra and the oceanic pull of minimalist cool. Tradition is deep in these abstractions--it's the unshakable bond of these three travelers who've created an album even a dark prince would love.
A haunting and volcanic suite of electric guitar and piano from the modern master of the avant blues and the abstract -- Loren Connors. Angels That Fall slips deeper into Loren's headspace where vocalists in glissando and the swelling romanticism of chamber strings echo from beyond this mortal plane. Transcribed through Connors’ effect-laden six strings, he carries the listener from bluesy violence to sadness, hope and eventually a piano coda. Angels That Fall was recorded May 2016 at First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn, NY. This 500 edition 1-sided LP features cover art by Connors and a full-color inner sleeve with portraits of Connors. Includes download coupon.
Apache Dropout is a full on lysergic boogie trio from Southern Indiana who’ve self-released a handful of recordings while touring the sub-U.S. during the past couple years. Finally, their debut LP is here to catch you up with their three-minute-&-less anthems crafted of ‘60s epoch fuzz. With mostly guitar/bass/drums they channel soul melodies, primitive rock thump and blasted solos that are soaked in the dimethyl-trip of teenage visions (see songs “Sam Phillips Rising” and “God Bless You Johan Kugelberg” for that) and a few whifs of Tuli Kupferberg. Sonny Alexandre is the enigmatic howler/vocalist/guitarist whose swagger and melted riffs leads the way. Formed in 2008, the group’s previous endeavors include John Wilkes Booze, Hot Fighter #1 and Lord Fyre. Recorded by the band at their own Magnetic South Studio, they’ve pushed these 11 songs into highly textured nuggets of punk art that follow in the wave of The 13th Floor Elevators, The Velvets, and Patti Smith Group. We’ve got no doubt, this is going to floor all ears in 2011. Album art and horn arrangements come by way of John Terrill (co-founder of the late '70s new/no wave Dancing Cigarettes) and final audio polishing by engineer Paul “Z” Mahern, vocalist of the legendary Zero Boys.
Aria Nativa is more than Paul Flaherty’s third solo saxophone album; it merges rhapsodic avant garde music, patriotic dream verse, and mortality into a frighteningly pure work of audio, visual and literary sledge. Recorded during a pair of 2007 performances, its four pieces capture lifeblood in stunning detail from foot stomps to gut hollers and crowd roars as Flaherty’s free power blues dips into the well of wretchedness and raises with fists of mirth. It’s the sorta record that splays naked the artist for all: equal parts wise ass and universal vision. From his early 1970s woodshedding through a dozen plus albums each with drum buddies Randall Colburne and Chris Corsano, and collaborators Bill Nace, Wally Shoup and Sunburned Man of the Hand, Flaherty remains a total wildcat — on and off the alto/tenor horns. For this LP his massive tonal craft is equally matched by Ken Hill’s gorgeous cover shot of a snow blown grave and “No More America” — Ken DelPonte’s epic poem that spans nearly five decades and fills the back jacket, framing the atmosphere the music was recorded under. Each 500 copies contain a download coupon for MP3 version of the album that includes a bonus track of “No More America” read by the author.
Arm of the Starfish is the fifth full-length release from the outdoor wandering The Blithe Sons, the Jewelled Antler-related duo of Loren Chasse (id Battery, Thuja) and Glenn Donaldson (the Birdtree, Thuja, Mirza), and their second CD for Family Vineyard. Performed mostly in coastal environs on acoustic and battery-powered instruments, the sound of waves, wind, tide pools, seabirds and shifting sand plays an active role in these minimalist folk atmospheres. Incorporating 12-string cuatro, acoustic guitar, dulcimer, banjo, harmonium, percussion, toy amplifiers, wood flutes, Thai mouthorgan, violin-uke, Casio and Donaldson’s mysterious vocal utterances, Arm of the Starfish evokes haunted shorelines, windswept cliffs and vast undersea caverns. The Blithe Son’s previous Family Vineyard release We Walk the Young Earth was critically acclaimed the world over by Mojo, The Wire, Pitchforkmedia, Vice, Dusted, Signal to Noise, and many other publications.
Vocalist, lyricist, and cynic Rich Stim is back on game, dropping his deadpan, Dada-views on the modern world. Energy wasters, SUV hounds, drunks, and despoilers all get laid out one-by one. Backed by original members Bruce Anderson (guitar), Dale Sophiea (bass, samples), Dave Mahoney (drums) and long-time associates Marc Weinstein (drums) and Jim Hrabetin (guitar), MX-80 has recaptured their time-tested bizarro song-form while adding new layers of blood and seed to tangle up any conceptions or reservations you may hold.
An old fashioned duet with no rules: electric guitarist Jason Bivins and percussionist Ian Davis at the crossroads of American Underground Improvisation. Outside the near blazing solos and riffery of Van Halen proportions there are the clusters of shiny metal, the rattles of Han Bennink-like trappings that poke out like shrapnel. Then there is the roar of 1000 stuttering jazzbo guitarists and drummers with their hands tied down and jaws pried open and ready to feast on this. Now imagine the entire Incus roster growing up on DC hardcore (Bivins) and the South Carolina “chittlin’ circuit” (Davis). This is the place where the two meet: Benthic, the bottom layer of the ocean, where everything slowly sifts down towards, where only the blind fish can truly see. Using few tricks and slight of hand movements, these two players take their instruments at the base level, volume and technique are pushed back and forth. Davis’ use of tiny-spaghetti-like sticks pick apart the micro-placed notes Bivins can spin off the granular surface of his guitar strings. As leader of the Micro-East Collective and countless other North Carolina Triangle groups, Davis has kept his pace up for the past 20 years, backing everyone from Trailer Bride to Andrew Voight. Newcomer Bivins has kept up with the Micro-East and the Unstable Ensemble.
Both Will Escape is the debut full-length between electric guitarist Tashi Dorji and percussionist Tyler Damon. In the long tradition of string/drum duets -- from Bailey & Bennink to Haino & Yoshida -- these two cleave out their own unmapped continent of sound. Across four pieces they connect lashes of ecstatic intensity and outer reaches of texture and timbre. At times Dorji's brutal electric torrents meld into Damon's metal and tonal abstractions.
These two developed in parallel for years before forging an ongoing duo in 2015. Dorji has released a string of startling acoustic albums that've rescrambled six-string notions of jazz/improv/Flamenco. Damon's rethink of overtone and rhythm is enraptured as it's stupefying in solo exhibitions or with Mars Williams, Darin Gray and Thee Open Sex. Edition of 500 LPs with download coupon.
Don't call it a comeback. Bridge Out!, the first release in almost a decade by the outlaw duo of saxophonist Paul Flaherty and percussionist Randall Colbourne, is better thought of as a renewal, a reawakening of a collaboration which has lain dormant for too long. Joining forces in the late 1980s, these two New Englanders released over a dozen uncompromising albums of avant garde jazz on their own and other labels that have since vanished into legend. Since then, Flaherty has expanded across the world stage in improv, out-rock and noise (with Chris Corsano, Thurston Moore, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Wally Shoup, etc.) while Colbourne pursued private study. Together again, they’ve created eight instant compositions of coiling sax lines and polyrhythmic patterns that commemorates the past celebrates the new. Includes liner notes by Nick Cain.
Bruce's second installment. The production and narrative flow by Dale seals this brutal lament on Man's copious history.
"Anderson's guitar emits bell-like tones at one moment, and squalls of white noise at the next. The nearly half-hour "Feud," built around an insistent, clanging low-end figure, stacks whistling guitars and sporadic bass pulses to haunting effect. "Blood" employs more musicians and fewer notes, holding to one low tone for the entirety of its ten-minute length."-- Billboard
Tokyo-based guitarist/singer Hisato Higuchi has shaped an inimitable sound sphere of solitary electric notes that drape across his unearthly moan during the course of two full-lengths and an EP. Channeling loneliness and desires as elegant six-string tone poems, Higuchi has reached the heights of fellow travelers from Meredith Monk to Charalambides. Though Butterfly Horse Street adds an unexpected snarl as Higuchi erupts into free/noise, wall of sound guitar style that echoes the most ecstatic string manipulation of Masayuki Takayanagi or Donald Miller (Borbetomagus). Ferocious and howling, Higuchi still paints desolation whether bleeding into the red or as hushed beauty.
Family Vineyard reissues an obscure and sought after punk/new wave treasure. Dow Jones and the Industrials’ 1981 debut and sole 7-inch EP, originally issued on the Hardly Music label, is immaculately re-mastered from the original tapes and now available on audiophile vinyl. Dow Jones and the Industrials of West Lafayette, Indiana existed from the late 1970s into the early 80s amongst a stylistically matchless state-wide scene that included The Gizmos, Zero Boys and Dancing Cigarettes. This EP -- of which original copies have swapped hands for more than $400 -- contains the often bootlegged and covered anthem “Can’t Stand the Midwest,” along with “Let’s Go Steady” and “Indeterminism.” The four member DJI combined jagged rock ‘n’ roll songwriting with emerging electronic instrumentation and smart-ass collegiate humor into a wild new wave sound that won them immediate popularity among Indiana’s punks and co-eds of the day and has remained in the hearts of record collectors these past 30 years. Includes exact reprints of the two different versions of an insert included with the original record. Family Vineyard will be reissuing the complete recordings of Dow Jones & The Industrials later in 2011.
For just more than two years starting in 1979, Dow Jones and the Industrials created roaring art-punk that collided with the confusion and celebration of technology. Their left field approach turned gnarled guitar riffs into unshakable melodies battered by synths and propelled with sharp lyrics. The songs railed against the boredom and cultural blandness of the Midwest and mirrored the paranoia of the era.
As maverick studio producers and ace songwriters, the Industrials realized a vision and sound not only on par with contemporaries Devo and Pere Ubu, but still relevant and cutting today.
Outside of bootleg compilation appearances and the overpriced collectors' market, the music of DJI has been unavailable for 35 years until now. "Can't Stand The Midwest 1979-1981" includes 29 songs remastered from the original tapes: The Industrials' side from "Hoosier Hysteria," the rare 1980 split LP with the Gizmos; 1981 7-inch EP; 9 unreleased studio tracks; live versions of unrecorded songs and more. A 12-page booklet features liner notes by the Gizmos' Dale Lawrence and Keith Smith's never before seen Indiana punk scene photos. The 2xLP also comes with a 70-minute DVD of a September 1980 club performance and download coupon. CD version has one less song.
Little Howlin' Wolf is a street musician, bluesman, actor, storyteller and truth seeker. He is also a true outsider, whose wrenching soulfulness and fire-brained intensity have been captured in a breadcrumb trail of confounding and intentionally obscure self-released records.
In the late 1960s Wolf -- born James Pobiega in 1950 -- was already a saxophone wailing fixture at the legendary Chicago hangout, Maxwell Street Market. By the mid-1980s he released nearly three dozen 45s. Those singles are sprawling journeys into Wolf's world vision, as told through his gravelly voice and an array of instruments in styles and influences not limited to: American Indian, Polish and gypsy folk musics, Voodoo, vocal chants, blues, calypso and avant jazz. Often, it's all filtered through overdubbed abstraction.
Wolf issued two LPs collecting some of those singles -- "The Guardian" (1982) and "Cool Truth" (1985) -- both now reissued by Family Vineyard."Cool Truth" is a damaged, hallucinatory journey that radiates from a Chicago blues core. Performing most, if not all, the instruments himself -- sax, guitar, harmonica, marimba, etc. -- Wolf speaks in tongues, hollers and serenades. The 12 songs recorded between 1979 and 1983 alternate between Sun Ra-style orchestration and primitive forms to more traditional blues takes.
This reissue features replicated LP jackets, with Wolf's original transcendent liner notes, and labels bearing the Solidarity Solidarnosc Records name; never before seen photos; new essay by ethnomusicologist Ian Nagoski; and download coupon.
Hey, smooch! The Foole, aka Dan Ireton, has finally come out and endeda near decade of silence and Daze on the Mounts, a spiralingthree-dimensional crest of the so-called avant-folk expression, is thecelebratory homecoming. Originally a limited 2004 CDR, this reissuepresents the colossal side for all. In collaboration with MattValentine and Erika Elder (MV&EE/Bummer Road and Tower Recordings),two of modern-time's purest interstellar travelers, Dredd Foole boundsbetween Tim Buckley-esque bellow and a hyper-extended take on the songform (a dewy mash of Ra-space and Vermont-lore) alongsideenvironmental treatments (harmonica, synthesizer, percussion) and hisown acoustic guitar work to fully transcend limitations. From thevisceral 80s garage days with The Din to becoming a beacon for many afree folk explorer, the Foole remains a bona fide master of universalrevelation.
Dialogue is the first American release by Tokyo's Hisato Higuchi. Originally a puppeteer, Higuchi has transformed his glacial, shadow-box inspired hand movements to the twilight theater of electric guitar. His six-string melodic tones and hushed vocals fan out from the haunted torch songs of Patty Waters and moon-like ambiance. Higuchi's seemingly wordless Japanese croon is a smoky, after-hours call of loss or introspection. The songs of Dialogue float like spectors, each piece manifests itself in a unique and singular conception that seeps into your mind and soul. The perfect introduction for stateside listeners.
The Last Four Digits were a pioneering Indiana new wave band, gigging steadily between 1980 and 1982. Two versions of the band existed, both are documented here. The Last Four (4) Digits (L44D) released the 7" Big Picture EP on Hardly Music in 1981, the same year the band covered Captain Beefheart’s "Diddy Wah Diddy on Gulcher's Red Snerts Indiana punk/new wave compilation LP.
Following personnel changes, The Last Four (5) Digits (L45D) emerged and recorded several tracks. L45D toured the east coast in 1982, culminating in a live show at CBGB NYC on Valentine’s Day 1982. L45D included keyboard/synth wizard Brad "Mr. Science" Garton who joined upon leaving Dow Jones and the Industrials.
Dreams is a reissue of Chris Forsyth’s second solo album. In 2009 Forsyth pressed up 100 LPs for a European tour and created quite an uproar of approval by the heads who managed to score a copy. Now available again, Dreams rightfully shows Forsyth at the creme of American guitarists who blend masterful skill of country/blues with sometimes violent aggression or mind-bending arrangements. Dreams was recorded and mixed between 2007 and 2009 and catches Forsyth in the studio layering acoustic and electric guitars and organ with contributions from his guests, creating four pieces which are full of the raw power and intuitive delicacy that characterizes his live shows still. Dreams crosses free-wheeling minimalist rock balladry and anarcho-improv surrealism with a fearless approach to beauty in a deeply psychedelic landscape. It features contributions from his Peeesseye bandmates Jaime Fennelly (synth on one track) and Fritz Welch (drums and vocals on another) as well as the soaring trumpet work of Nate Wooley and organ, saxophone, and snare drum overdubs by another longtime collaborator of Forsyth’s in Phantom Limb & Bison, Shawn Edward Hansen. This is Forsyth’s second solo record, preceding Paranoid Cat, which was released on LPâearlier this year on Family Vineyard.
Unstable Ensemble's third full-length is their most finely honed improvisational gesture. Embers is a mĂ©nage of sax/guitar melody slivers shifting amongst crackling electronic tones and bowed percussion. Existing amongst the shadowy fringes of North American improvisation since 1999, Unstable Ensemble's driftage has carried itself vast miles toward border crossings and large/no audiences to bestow ephemeral sound demonstrations as anti-placates to jazzbo tokers and noise-junkies. Encapsulating many forces, Embers surges with titanic electronic gale and absolute stillness while inner lyrical intricacies summon forlorn memories. A wholly distinct extension of the Musica Elettronica Viva and AMM world-view.
Debut collaboration of New York artists and long-time duo partners Alan Licht and Aki Onda, whose combined history connects artists straddling the pop and experimental worlds, including Fennesz, Loren Connors, Takemura Nobukazu, Lee Ranaldo, and Toriko Nujiko. In the past decade their montage-inspired solo work---Licht's permutational guitar and tape pieces on Rabbi Sky and A New York Minute, Onda's field recording recontextualizations on Bon Voyage! and Ancient & Modern---has co-existed with their experimental sound/visual projects Text of Light (Licht) and Cinemage (Onda). Everydays is five grandly formed soundscapes that mix Onda's poetic/textural cassette sounds and the rhythmic/lyrical pull of Licht's guitar. Morphing from recognizable structures to dissonant hammered chunks and rapid cut-ups, the album perfectly weaves their signature applications of sound diaries, minimalism, grainy fidelity, looping and free blues into a dynamic and ambitious statement.
Fakerie is a digital sĂ©ance of aural and visual sculptures by the New Zealand artist Rachel Shearer, formerly known as Lovely Midget. Filmed in an environment to facilitate focused listening, Fakerie is as much for the ears as the eyes. Glowing white lights ebb and expand from darkness in shifting series — like clustered stars — as penetrating resonances of acoustic and electronic overtones decompose into the tiniest sand-like components. Traces of Mary Lucier’s mid-1970s burn films and Francois Bayle’s musical investigation into the physical and psychical world is present. The specially programmed Region 0 (free)/NTSC format DVD plays in constant loop. Its 22-minutes can be expanded into hours allowing the user to immerse themselves in the work. This DVD is Shearer’s first long-form film release. In the past 20 years she has released records on Siltbreeze, Xpressway, Flying Nun, Corpus Hermeticum and Ecstatic Peace as Lovely Midget and with Queen Meanie Puss and Angelhead. Packaged in a mini-LP-styled gatefold book, this set also contains a 20-page booklet investigating the ghosts, distances and signals of fakerie.
Debut by the Polish (now Chicago based) duo of Przemyslaw Chris Drazek (acoustic guitars) and Robert Iwanik (electric bass, trumpet, vocals). While drum-less, the two create an inverse of the crushing weight through trance-like acoustic guitar picking coupled with deep valleys of silence, distant trumpet, light drones, and Iwanik's soothing bass. Drazek's amplified acoustics can jab like John Cale's final ecstatic strokes during The Velvet Underground's "European Son" or awaken the spirit of Polish composer Krzysztof Komeda.
Flying Basket is a zonked and fantastic double album of avant jazz, discord and deconstructed rock by five master practitioners. It also marks the debut collaboration by a pair of Japan's legendary transgressors -- saxophonist Akira Sakata and noise pioneer Masami Akita, aka Merzbow.For the past ten years Sakata has rededicated himself to fiery free jazz alongside guitarist Jim O'Rourke and monstrous rhythm section Chikamorachi -- Chris Corsano (drums) and Darin Gray (double bass, percussion). Sakata's playing remains beautiful and exploratory as it did 40 years ago.
But with this quartet, plus special guest Merzbow, the wheels snap off: Sakata ejects the sax and howls; O'Rourke bleeds the guitar of melody, leaving only pulsating electricity. The drum/bass truly swing it and nail it down like Ali/Garrison. Merzbow's analogue sound mass cut textured furrows headlong into these four, leaving behind harmonic shifts and caterwauling in the wake. There's minimalist motifs and repeating horn/bass/six-string phrases woven in but Flying Basket remains a massive free flowing, hallucinatory zone of propulsion. No clichĂ©s. They just kick out the jams.
Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin December 2014 by Rashad Becker. 150 gram LPs housed in popping gatefold jacket hand sculpted by Jeremy Kannapell; CD in a Stoughton tip-on mini-LP sleeve.
Drummer Kid Millions and saxophonist Jim Sauter vaporize the annals of rock 'n' roll n' jazz into pulsating feedback/propulsion on Fountain - their second album. Across six pieces they explore massively hypnotic tonal harmonics and torrential rhythms. This is hardcore abstraction from two New York sherpas yanking us headlong into a third-eye odyssey, surpassing altitudes merely attempted by others. Kid is founding member of Oneida and the ace behind the percussion-focused Man Forever. Sauter is synonymous with the 35-year juggernaut Borbetomagus - pioneers of sound/jazz vivisection and inexorable vision. While both are known for feats of extreme artistic endurance, as a duo they opt for ferocious concentration - a savage pop-style of density and texture. As an omnipotent duo, neither Kid or Sauter anchors the other, instead they smash the fulcrum and spin perpetually in free-fall. LP in edition of 800, includes download.
Friendly Pants is the first American release by legendary Japanese saxophonist Akira Sakata in more than 20 years. It pairs the 65-year-old traveler alongside Chikamorachi, the bombast rhythm section of drummer Chris Corsano (Paul Flaherty Duo, Bjork, Jandek) and acoustic bassist Darin Gray (On Fillmore, Grand Ulena, Brise Glace). Since the late 1960s, Sakata has been a constant figure in jazz and creative music scenes as an ever evolving and adventurous, multi-instrumentalist, and member of classic groups such as Yamashita Yosuke Trio and Wha-ha-ha plus many of his own, like the Sakata Akira mii. He has recorded with Chris Cosey, Peter Brötzmann in Last Exit, DJ Krush, Yoshimio, and others.
Since 2005 Sakata has been aligned with Corsano and Gray — a duo equally informed by underground American rock, noise & free jazz — and already issued two other smoked and blown out albums with them in Japan. On each of those they were joined by Jim O’Rourke, who remains in the producer’s chair for this session. Sakata deliverers ferocious / highly lyrical approaches to the post-bop field and with Chikamorachi’s recalls late-period John Coltrane or Pharoah Sanders during the early 1970s at times. While the three smear and tear at the edges, Sakata’s massive tone and melodic sense reins in the chaos to create beauty and awe.
Originally issued on O’Rourke’s Japanese imprint Shakaijin Records, Friendly Pants is now reissued for the rest of the world to dig.
Between 1988 and 1998, John Terrill (co-founder of the late ‘70s new/no wave Dancing Cigarettes) recorded this album and made a few copies for close friends and for mailing to musical heroes. In another era, it could have stood next to Scott Walker or Michael Hurley’s early albums or even Randy Burns’ LPs on ESP Disk. It’s an out-of-time classic that mixes honey baked orchestration, acoustic soul, and pop-psychedelia into cracked and spellbinding songs. Now reissued for all and remastered with a bonus track from 1984. “I feel this album is a little gem. Lyrically—a man up against it (Frowny Frown) as opposed to (Smiley Smile), but still leaning towards humor, kindheartedness, and no bitterness within the adversity. A very feeling album and all kinds of sonically interesting things. The kind of direction Brian Wilson might even have taken himself if his own circumstances had been different. Beach Boys meet Mothers of Invention.” — Bill Fay.
Grand Ulena is the new blistering rock group of ex-Dazzling Killmen bassist Darin Gray. The St. Louis instrumental trio â rounded out by guitarist Chris Trull (Darling Little Jackhammer) and drummer Danny McClain (Johnny Angel, Arrmy of Robots) â has been bewildering Midwestern audiences on throughout 2002. Their debut, Gateway to Dignity, is a solidification of the past 15 years of rock music, rhythm, jazz and it splintered offshoots. Grand Ulena is disjunct rhythms played at high velocity. Disjunct beats played under broken and jagged melodies. Repetition of the retarded. Complex structures combined with complete and utter failure. Failed soloing combined with rigid riffery. Extended instrumental techniques forged into song. Polyrhythmic, Polyphonic -- Damn Jim!, Poly-EVERYTHING! The success AND the failure of rock. Addicted to practicing. Addicted to perfecting and imperfecting. Addicted to the ridiculous and the impossible. Years of practicing before playing a show. Writing, destroying, moving beyond maintenance, and giving it their all but not giving it all away! If Rock is ridiculous, then Grand Ulena is in Full Shenanigan Mode and keeping it realer than real!