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Thursday, March 31, 2011

WWW of Spin Turlock #25: The Harvey Box Reviews, Episode 237-3A

The Harvey Box Reviews, Episode 237-3A
Continuing with the bazillion or so CDRs Harv sent me, this series of articles is expected to wrap up in the year 2060, which –by an amazing coincidence – is the year noted mathematician Isaac Newton expected the world as we know to end.
I’ll start off with some notes from my favourite recording artist, “Various”

Byron Coley & Mister Moore ponder the meaning of Pulsallama

Various – (Soul Jazz) New York Noise Vol. 2
This makes a nice companion to Messrs Coley & Moore’s No Wave: Post Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980. No Wave was a loose term applied to a number of NYC based acts in the late 70’s who took the punk ethos one step further by playing aggressive electric music which removed virtually all of rock music’s previous parameters and references. Ergo, most of this will sound like noise to rock audiences. Nice noise, though, to quote Ed Breau. The big names of the day are all here: Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham, early Sonic Youth, & Mofungo, all of which have ties to earlier epochs of post-orchestral 20th century avant-garde composers. There’s also a poppy thing from Pulsallama, which sounds ok to me, too. The Byrne/Eno cops/antecedents lose points, though

I don’t play this around Shirley... *** 1/2

Six Organs of AdmittanceDark Moontide

I missed “freak folk” when it came down the pike six, seven years ago. This outfit was one of the leaders of that pack, and there are some nice John Fahey-esque (he IS an adjective now!) guitar & drone bits. But the lack of song-craft discipline bothers me. I think I’ll get my haircut now..** 1/2

Hawkwind Distant Horizons

Hawkwind was one of the groups associated with the space-rock tag. Best known for having incubated Lemmy from Motorhead, they have been recording releasing a steady stream of releases through the past two decades. In 1997, this meant pushing the electronics up & forward in the rhythm, presumably to attract rave attendees. I don’t think it worked as a career move (merely existing for 40 years works for them), but it’s not a bad disc per se, either. ***

Orange Bicycle –S/T

Twee British psych-pop from 1969, best known for siring artistes who would later clock in with some Andrew Loog Oldham string charts for the Verve. There’s a few pshit n’ giggle moments, but not enough to warrant taking 40 minutes out of my life. * 1/2

And again, from my fave artist, the pick of the bunch...

Various - Down In the Basement: Joe Bussard’s Treasure Trove of Vintage 78s

Easily the best thing I’ve heard from the Harv box to date. To say it’s a collection of old-timey 1926- 1933 78s doesn’t do it justice. There were loads of lame 78s back then. What Bussard has done is to take the shining oddities of that period from the folk genres of the day: blues, string-band, gospel, hot jazz combos etc and put them under an umbrella that makes contextual sense to the thoroughly modern listener. There is very little of that rare for rarity’s sake quality in the programming of this There IS a lot of hoopin and hollering and carrying on. Stack o Lee & the Garbageman await you here. Stick Out your can & buy this recording now! *****

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WWW of Spin Turlock #24: March On, Metro!

Yeah, well March came in like a lamb here in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Specifically, the roast mutton sitting at the bottom of the freezer.
These are a few things that have made me perk up this winter...

John Harvey, noted poet, former wrassler & lead singer of the hardly-lamented Hated Uncles, sent me an enormous pile of recordings to plow through. Apparently, Harv is a believer in the "everything onto the hard drive" theory of music appreciation. Ergo, the cleanse out.

We're talkin' everything from latter day Hawkwind/Hawklords to Torch of the Mystics by the Sun City Girls (still one of my fave raves 20 some years later), to, um, a really comprehensive John Denver set. In the coming weeks, we'll plow through them. Highlights of the last group of mailings include that Sun Ra singles comp, John Cale Sun Blindness sets, and an early Miroslav Vitous thing (pre-ECM).
Harv is still blogging away in Haida Gwai (hey, that rhymes. I'm a poet/named Mowat), waiting for his big chance to escape the Queen Charlotte Islands; start a wrasslin/organic food commune in Nelson, B.C.. That last statement may not be totally accurate, but let's see him deny it...

Future issues of G-Mole will have at least 2 quickie type reviews from these boxes..

As some of you know, I moved to Grande Prairie to live with a grand lady named Shirley. However, I see some of you are still single. To help you cope, why not read Sofi Paparmarko's excellent blog, Sexy Typewriter *1
I met Sofi through - what else- my endless endeavours to plug Simply Saucer. At the time, she was one of the Three Wise Women of Toronto (her, Liz Worth, and Sara Saljoughi)doing the Rawk writhing thing. In recent years, her musings about relationships have earned her notice from the Globe & Mail, and a column spot on the Canoe site.

ST pulls no punches in dealing with the perils of modern dating & specifically, the pratfalls of the on-line scene. (Full disclosure: on-line meetings CAN work, that's how Shirley & I met. We were the only 40-plus people on the now-defunct site who could spell) Sofi's own experiences reads like a series of love train wrecks, and when she gets GUEST columnists on the blower, the horror escalates. You can't help but look, Ethel! And she's not afraid to take the piss out of TV-hyped dating sites & boorish people The former link should be made mandatory reading...Four stars. Roll over Ann Landers, tell Josey Vogels the news!

Finally an appeal: Help the MU in your neighbourhood. In the U.S., that would be WFMU-FM. American readers can go here to help...

In the parallel universe known as Canada, that would be CFMU-FM. Both of these stations provide the kind of programming you just can't get from commercial radio. And that includes Satellite stations. Don't be a dink, click on the link on the banner that sits atop the blog.

Well, gotta run. there's vacuuming to do and a humungous pile of CDs to take in...

*1 Note to young readers: a typewriter is what old geezers like us used to communicate with before the computer era.