Thursday, May 29, 2008

3, 4, 5 HB7 45 and 33

Captain Hammond - "Origin [the APOLLO 7 version]" (Hammond Beat cat. HB7-03 Side A (Ltd. Ed. 250 w/ credits insert))
I watch A LOT of documentaries about Space. A WHOLE LOT of them. The intro to "Origin (Apollo 7 Version)" could easily be the best soundtrack to the Big Bang Theory or perfect accompaniment for a lift off out of our atmosphere. There is a unique feel here not found on other similar minded recordings. Funky Cha-Cha drums under the bleeps and bloops of the synth that suddenly give way to a thick bass line and atmospheric wash of synth elevate this moment from an intro to a happening. The Organ underpins everything holding its course and allows the Synthesizer to be the guidance system but the Hammond is the true Captain of this ship and soon takes control for the rest of our voyage. As we fade to the horizon while the synth continues communicating with mission control and all systems are go.
The Futuro Seven - "Mercury Wonderland [the MECHANAUT version]" (Hammond Beat cat. HB7-03 Side B (Ltd.. Ed. 250 w/ credits insert))
Another amazing intro. Percussion, with what sounds like a backward loop kick off a nasty bass line from the organ. It is almost a fight between good and evil as somewhat silly bleeps and bloops trickle down throughout one tough little groove. Soon the silliness fades to the back and the Organ cranks up leading the charge. Sometimes repeating a groove can ruin the effect or lessen the drive but here it is almost relentless and burns until the floor gives out. It all winds down to to an out of breath finish. This is recorded really well giving room to each instrument and sound. The drums sound huge but never crush or get in the way of the tasteful percussion and synth effects. This is the only track I know by The Futuro Seven but I would love to hear a less effected piece. For now I'll have to settle for this little slice of greatness.

Tony Face Big Roll Band Featuring Yo Kalb / Tony Face Big Roll Band - "Lady Day & John Coltrane" b/w "Hey Bulldog" (Hammond Beat cat. HB7-04 (Ltd.. Ed. 250 w/ credits insert))
"Lady Day & John Coltrane" is easily one of my favorite Gill Scott-Heron songs so I'll try not to compare them. But, what does come to mind is the incredible Dana Bryant version of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" from way back in 1993 (Yes, I used to frequent the Giant Step events. When they were good they were great but when they were great, they were transcendent). Tony Face and Band really push the tune along which adds to the songs tension but Yo Kalb (of The FABULOUS Soul Snatchers) never seems hurried. Her vocals have a confidence and a hint of sultry attitude enough to stand up to any thing the band serves. The band is certainly tight and dead on the money with their choices. The Organ steps out with some nice double timed playing that really gets the head bobbing. There is always something nice about playing or a player (Paolo "Apollo" Negri) who gets really aggressive right before graciously stepping aside to allow another to shine. In this case Ms. Kalb comes right back in never missing a beat and joined at the hip by the Guitar right to the end. On the B-Side of this Soulful Jazz Funk workout is one of the few Beatles songs I play on a regular basis. There is something very "Get Out My Life Woman" about the groove so right off the bat that's pretty damn appealing. This is the IN YOUR MOTHERFUCKING FACE treatment this song needs if you are going to cover it. Pounding Drums and stabbing Guitar are immediately followed by what seems to be a possessed Organ. There is control and things do appear to be organized but this is a blowing session of the best kind. Drums flail and crash, Guitar strings get tortured, Bass lines thunder through the house and the Organ is shook to its core. I will play this a lot and I will play it loud. If you are going to do a cover make it your own. Just like a stray you have to break it with love and then make it obey you. "ATTACK!"

Phat Fred - "Yu Nou Rili" [live in Denmark] b/w "Memphis Train" [live in Denmark] (Hammond Beat cat. HB7-05 (Ltd.. Ed. 250 w/ credits insert))
Goddamn these guys are tight. You can hear a thousand bands play a similar brand of music but when you hear it all come together like this it gives you chills. This is LIVE?! You gotta be shitting me. Aside from the completely outstanding playing the recording is equally as perfect. There is always an argument over whether the New Funk bands sound as good as their forefathers and whether or not to call this Retro or not. Here's a definitive answer to both of those questions, PHAT FRED! just listen to the sound of the Organ and the precision of the Drums and Bass. I am not kidding, at times I swear I hear horns but it is because of the layered combinations of sound. Extremely tasteful Guitar slips in and out with a warm lush tone but this is an Organ session so the Guitar will have to wait for the next 7-inch to take center stage. I'll certainly buy that one as well. On the B-Side the band takes Rufus Thomas' "Memphis Train" at a quick pace. There are vocals on this side though I wish there were not. Mr. Wilkinson doesn't have a particularly bad voice it is just that it isn't seasoned enough. Let's face it, you try to remove Rufus Thomas' voice from your memory. I hope I never do. Phat Fred is such a tight incredible band that an instrumental version would have been just as perfect as their performance on the A-Side. Here again the Organ bounces along with the slamming beat and Bass. Each time Mr. Wilkinson stops singing and tosses off one of his sweet ass guitar riffs so effortlessly it is inspiring. The band plays like they have been playing together since birth. In the fade we are treated to what may have lead to a tasty little drum break but fade it does leaving us wanting MORE!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

PSS on Nickle and Dime Radio - Tues. May 20th !!PM-2AM (WFMU 91.1)

Hello Y'all,
You'll have to excuse me but I saw the eye doctor earlier and he put drops in my eyes and now I can't see shit.

My love of music comes from my parents. My collector's sickness comes from my Dad. My Dad got his knowledge of what was new, and what was old, from various sources but one source we still have in common is WFMU. My Dad has been a listener since the station took to the airwaves. I definitely credit my love of varied sounds from growing up listening to the station. Now we get to twist our son's mind with that same frequency. He won't leave the house on Saturdays without a fill and forget it if Todd-O-Phonic Todd is on... "POW! POW! POW!" Over the years I have been fortunate enough to produce some artwork and music for the station and better yet I have been involved with some programs on air. It looks like I get to invade another program and one that I have had nothing but respect for for many years, more years than both of us would like to admit. I have been listening to $mall ¢hange's show for years and I am usually in complete awe. (Check out the archives of his show for proof - His mixes are amazing... I, on the other hand, have no idea how that is done. I will be sitting in with him around Midnight which means I get an hour or so to watch closely. I assume his technique is greatly different from mine as I blindly grab records from my box, hope to get the speed correct and let fate handle the rest.

- pat.

Primitive Sound System
On Nickel and Dime Radio with $mall ¢hange
Tuesday May 20th from 11PM - 2AM - Live Stream
91.1 FM in New York
90.1 FM in the Hudson Valley - $mall ¢hange Archives

This was the hardest batch to pick. One hour of records to be played on radio. Playing records in a bar is so completely different than on the radio that I wanted to bring stuff that just doesn't work in a bar. Since I am still struggling with with focusing I am just going to list some things in the box and bag but honestly have no idea what will happen when I am there.

Specks Williams - "We Gave The Drummer Some" (Jax cat. A - 117)
Sons of Darkness - "Funky Thing" (P & G Records (P.P. Means Poor People with Potentiality) cat. 445)
Can - "Shikato Maru Ten" (United Artists Records cat. 35 304 (German))
Soft Machine - "Joy of The Toy" (Command ABC Records / Probe cat. CP-452)
The Human League - "Being Boiled" (Fast cat. Fast 4)
Pop Group - "We Are All Prostitutes" (Rough Trade cat. Rt 023)
Bad Brains - "Stay Close To Me" (Bad Brain Records cat. BB001)
Menomena - "Posh Isolation" (Polyvinyl Rcord Co. cat. PRC-085-7)
Directions In Music - "Toy Boat" from Plum (Thrill Jockey Records cat. THRILL 200)
Enzo Bontempi - "Italian Spiderman Theme" (Soulful Torino Records cat. STR 003 / RK45 017)

Butthole Surfers - "Bon Song" from Widowmaker! 10" (Blast First cat. BFFP 41)
John Murtaugh - "Slinky" from Blues Current (Polydor cat. 24-4016)
Arthur Russell - "Let's Go Swimming" from World of Echo (Who knows it is IMPOSSIBLE to pick one off here!) (Upside Records cat. UP 60009-1)
Francois Rabbath - "Hesitations" from Bass Ball (Phillips cat. PHM 200-128 (hi-fi Monaural)
Hugh Hopper - "Minipax I" from 1984 (CBS cat. S 65466)
Jo Jo Smith - "Stomach Muscles" from Jazz Dance Today (Hoctor Records cat. HLP-4104 (X4RM-1762)
Brommage Dub plays Rune Lindblad from Rune Lindblad "RL" (Firework Editions Records cat. FER 1028)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Primitive Sound System at Moonlight Mile Friday May 16th

Hello Y'all,
"GIMMIE INDIE ROCK!" This Friday I'll be spinning a batch of 7-inches before and in between some fine young bands making a racket and shaking the walls with their Rock-&-Roll music and Electric Twangers. This happening all goes down at the stunning Moonlight Mile Studios located in the heart of Hoboken's flood lands. Moonlight is the exceptional studios manned by the extremely talented Mike Moebius. He spends his days and nights slaving over microphones, wires and fragile musician egos. So, occasionally he needs to actually make some money to keep the studio afloat (remember the flood zone... bad joke, sorry). Donations are accepted and in return Mike lets you draw a cold brew (or two, or three) from a freshly tapped keg. So come by and enjoy the music, the beer and the fine Hoboken property people pay millions to live on.

- pat.

Primitive Sound System
"Audio Visual Triumphs and Disasters" -

$7 donation for bands/beer for the night. don't be a cheapskate.

FRIDAY, MAY 16TH 9pm doors.
123 Harrison Street (between 1st & 2nd Street)

(former Aviso Hara/Clydesdale)



Some records in the box:

The Bongos - "Telephoto Lens" b/w "Glow In The Dark" (Fetish Records cat. Fetish-003)
"Glow In The Dark" is a perfect me. A raw aggressive recording with a messed up intro, strong drumming, jangly guitar, and nonsense lyrics that clocks in at about two minutes. The Bongos were always the most aggressive band that looked like they could be taken out by a good gust of wind. Of course they were dethroned by the Violent Femmes, whose name said it all so perfectly. One of the hardest things to do is pick "favorites" amongst a wall of thousands of records but there is rarely a moment that I am not in the mood to hear this.

Fred Brockman - "Drive, Drive, Drive" (self released in 1991)
The run-out groove says "It's 1969 OK." and "It's 1969 Baby." on the B-side. I like that. The intro to this song could never prepare you for what is coming. This is Fred Brokman singing his heart out and Ron Metz (Human Switchboard) tapping out a slightly Country groove. The whole thing is slathered in angst and pure emotion giving it a genre wrecking sound and feel. You are unlikely to shake this from your mind just like a great Horror Movie. Fred sounds genuinely hurt and pissed and his lyrics pretty much confirm this. Try swallowing this, "Why should I care where we're going, when I don't expect to find, anything that would be different than the life I left behind." Followed by, "See I can still hear her crying, see her falling to the floor. See I can still her the silence as I was backing out the door." Or this little beauty, "Drive, drive, drive cause you're never going back to the man I left lying alone on the tracks." "Drive, drive, drive, like your finally free; for better or worse your driving with me." If I remember correctly Fred designed copy centers or some shit; which would seem to be the least defining thing he did. Obviously he was a great song writer who wasn't afraid to let it all hang out. Maybe that is why this record means so much to me. Few artists can really open up in such a way that is also repeatedly entertaining. Fred was also an Engineer at a studio in Hoboken gleefully called Snack Time and told some great stories about Ohio. (I am still hoping to see the Super 8 footage he shot one afternoon with George Clinton). Did I mention that he also edited Psychotronic magazine, maybe he still does? Or that he designed the cover of The Human Switchboard 45 described above.

Das Damen - "Bug" (SST cat. PSST 190 7")
By 1988 Hardcore was a thing of the past and some of the early players matured, for lack of a better word. Das Damen definitely had a sound I was into following the end of Hardcore and this single in particular always stood out in their live shows. They certainly went on to write better songs ("Noon Daylight" for Twin Tone," Sad Mile" for Sub-Pop) and of course with practice comes perfection. They unfortunately called it quits before they ran their course and probably at their peak of creativity. There is something to be said for that because we never saw them become shitty. They were a great band that left behind some great records. "Bug" combines a sense of Psychedelia, Pop Music and even throws in a moshy little break. Many bands soon followed with this sound but few could combine the elements and sound so unique.

The Feelies - "Original Love" (Stiff Records cat. BUY 65)
Few bands deserve the praise their fans bestow on them. Fan praise can come from too many places and is always subjective. Sometimes though a band or artist comes along that is so worthy of that praise that critics and fans alike seem to agree as one. The Feelies were such a band. "Original Love" opens with a haunting guitar which opens up into a more positive strumming but still maintains its ghostly quality. This of course is in sharp contrast to the love gone wrong lyrics that never seem positive. If you have seen the movie Smithereens you have heard this song used to perfection throughout the film. If you have never seen Smithereens you need to turn off your stupid computer and find a copy NOW! There are no stand out elements of any one Feelies songs as there are never any weak parts or moments. Their song writing and execution is flawless. Though they were never CRAZY on stage for some reason I have seen them more than any other band. Maybe it was the desire to see something so wholly together possibly fall apart. Mindless, drooling NASCAR fans wait for a crash and I guess so was I.

The Human Switchboard - "Prime Of My Life" (Square Records cat. sq-one)
Breakneck drums kick off this two minute and twenty five second tornado. Human Switchboard definitely fall on the more experimental side of things and unfortunately are not everyone's cup of tea. Hell, I'd rather drink what they are having anyway. The "Prime Of My Life" seems to be over before it even gets started but isn't that the way it is? Frantic guitar and indecipherable lyrics seem to fly out of Bob Pfeifer and his only tether is Myrna Marcarian's backing vocals and pounding Farfisa. Ron Metz continues his assault only slightly holding back during the chorus.

Peter Holsapple of The H-Bombs - "Death Garage" (Car Records cat. CRR-5)
Raw and a little soulful, Peter Holsapple leads The H-Bombs, which he is apparently only a member of along with forrner Hobokenite Chris Stamey and Pop engineer extraordinaire Mitch Easter, into the far corners of his garage after night fall. What they seem to find there is quite horrifying regardless of how benign some of the goings on seem to be. Fashion seems to concern them most, "There's nothing quite like going out of style" gets repeated throughout the song. Upon exiting we discover we are bloodied and bruised so it is probably best to heed his warning. The whole thing is recorded perfectly murky and one of my favorite moments is when Mitch Easter almost loses it during one of his rolls. Truly precious.

Too tired to continue but I wanted to write about these as well...

American Standard - "Really" (Maggadee Records cat. MD-007)
Cell - "Cross The River" b/w "China Latina" (City Slang cat. EFA 04921-45 (blue vinyl))
Dr Janet - "Starry Eyes" (Ringers Lactate cat. RL01)
Earthpig - "Sweet Chocolate Brown" (Sol cat. SOL-909)
Hypnolovewheel - "WOW" (Alias Records cat. A018)
Jad Fair - "Books" (Smells Like Records cat. ?)
Mosquito - "Oh No, Oh Yes, Oh No" (Erl Records cat. ERL-009)
Sleepyhead - "Punk Rock City USA" (Slumberland Records cat. SLR 018)
Sonic Youth - "(Over)Kill Yr Idols" (Forced Exposure cat. FE-001 (hand colored cover))
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - "Train #1" (In The Red cat. ITR 019 (with jukebox card))
Television - "Marquee Moon" Part I & II (Elektra Records cat. K 12252)
Vineland - "Unfreindly" (The Matt Label cat. 004)
Vitapup - "My Abortion" (Thrill Jockey cat. Thrill #018)
Yo La Tengo - "Cast A Shadow" (Bar None Records cat. AHAON-4502)