Monday, August 29, 2005

Texts of Antiquity I: "Incredibly Terrible Music" (Bananafish, 2000)

Incredibly Terrible Music

Written by TS in 2000 for issue 14 of Bananafish; published that same year. This is the complete, unexpurgated text.


Dye-pots in the torchlight? "To get the taste of him outa my mouth." He drove his XKE green to steel blue, from a delicate pink, everything recorded by Dicky Lee, each place strong. I scouted around and found a joint where variegated stars in a firmament of foliage looked like the tearless eyes of the kids I was used to. They drift under hulls, level my head, ease my most sinister strokes. "Ought to, " I thought. I was getting flat on the ass side, with no other tastes or swollen smells or lay-flaked Night to rise with it. Blue-eyed blood, forty-two hours without a drink. Hulls' souls became stagnant, made woman out of man. "Damn," she said, "don’t hold back -- make me come, pound me!" I was pooped -- pseudo-rock energy, half-closed lids, prow set against pleached arbor of stone, torture of the rat. They’d drink and bang us, grab, grab, grab, and have another flower, the humblest sown like an anemic Joan. Sing? Goddamn, man...

"Arms shrunk into dolphin’s dogs--"

Arms lopped clean off to distract from the alizarin hues and monstrously oneiric harmonic haunts of moldering Waco mystic Jerry Hunt's posthumous Song Drapes collection (Tzadik), for which no less than sixty-eight varieties of "Sheesh!" have, at last audit, been sounded. Heartfelt, with poignant patches lashed atop pregnant folds of mange, this docudipilatory CD nonetheless (or, providently) denudes its subject, a minor composer with what appears to have been a great, gulping, unslaked thirst for life, or, at the very least, possessed with an engaging personality. Although recorded to Hunt's (ludicrous) specifications, the music rarely evokes more than an anxious, ataractic curiosity, a puzzling series of eyebrow tics in the cloudless wake of DayQuil ingestion, or a househusband's neutral appraisal of a fat clot coughed up after a vegetarian chili dinner. There are concessions to blunted truth, however, and a loose fistful of beauty. Much of the credit lies at the intricately bound feet and spike-scarred mons of Karen Finley, who plods adequately through the quag of Drapes' incorporeal first half, but then ditches the Kitchen playbook and lets fly with the outstanding "Ugly Man." Of Ms. Finley's fellow, collaborative vocalists, Shelly Hirsch fares best with "The House." Of Mike Patton, nothing may be said, save "Thanks for those Melvins albs, dude!" (Well, perhaps no gratitude tendered for the soul-deadening Crybaby, but The Bootlicker certainly justifies Patton's continued existence, even taking his inept, Zorn-fed solo turns and the endlessly appalling Mr. Bungle into account.) A more fitting epitaph to Hunt's unfocused, but undeniably hard-wrought art would perhaps have been a book of annotated sheet music, accompanied by sketches, photographs, doodle-strewn bar napkins from the strip clubs where he performed, and a CD-ROM containing pertinent extracts from Tzadik's cred ledgers, whose scatter chart X axis values continue to tumble.

A surface of revolution is formed when a curve in the zx plane is an annular or crescent-shaped disk, bearing low-income census tracts, vanomycin-resistant enterococci, embedded in paraffin. "When I opened the salon about 12 years ago, I had a red neon sign that said ‘Tangles, genuine Prada and Louis Vuitton skew lines, electric razors as potential vectors for Viral Hepatitis!’” A brewery makes three basic beverages: A Stool Specimen Negative for Occult Blood (3.2%), Christ Church College Carriage Rates (5.1%), and All Adults Are Presumed Competent Until Proven Otherwise (a malt liquor emollient). Snow covers the ellipse.

"Arms' desire for oral pow'r!"

Arms not fed into abstracted woodchipper tropes, but sleeved in the inevitability (gruesome, or revelatory, or otherwise) of your faithful, chicken-pluckin' scribe's actually having to fucking listen to the Young God double CD reissue of Swans' Filth/Body to Body, Job to Job. But I'm auditioning the Mott box for the umpteenth thyme instead, and gimme "Crash Street Kids" over "Mother, My Body Disgusts Me" any old Paleozoic era. (Gimme Franco Donatoni, for that matter, 'cuz his retrograde contrivances trumped Gira's blistering selflessness, which anyway was couched in phlegmy and unregenerate solipsism... As if you worms didn't already know!) Okay, so I'm listening to it (Filth, that is) and the re-master bristles with rote clarity. A dullard's sweetsop, regressed narratives of the trajectories of morning-after smack-snot clots. Flaked verdigris, corpulent drum technicians. And pretty fuckin' unintentionally comic. Can't make it past "Power for Power." (Oops, made it to "Weakling.") Mosimann and Kane (I guess) are the stars here... Woe unto their flatterers; the hot male rod and the cold black cloth...

"And arms betrothed to arms and legs which hemmed me from all sides..."

No mention, acknowledgment, or intimation of appendages throughout the oft-plumbed, but ever-piquant depth of Anus Presley's Music to Listen to While You're Dead (Jazzassin). A valedictory uroscopy, inexpressibly terse; a torus through which second-hand vertiginousness makes sheep's eyes at the numbed, naphthalenic mouth of sound-sodomy. (Two sheared limbs ascendant!) From 1987-1991 these hyper-expulsive Nordic drunks plied an exceptionally fecund (and laudably risible) trade; that an essence has at last been extracted (to compact disc) should not suggest that its wellspring has been poisoned, or otherwise diluted, or even identified with certainty. Raise a tawny urine sample to these incandescent o(l)afs; their laggard ambition kept a prodigious cerebrality at bay... Although very much of its period, and ineluctably fixed to milieu (the unmarked backwoods rail crossing 'twixt steam-powered R*zn*rian industrial wank and the coal-fed engines of noise hegemony), Dead, a celebratory ode to excrescence, is often superb.

(And often fed arms of calf-length boots, vaginal reflexologies, the Virginia House of Burgesses...)

The Centimeters present The Facts of Destiny (Win), as with all ultimately illuminating outsider poopmuzik, was initially off-putting. After repeat listens I'm a goddamned convert, an unabashed (cough) camp follower. Only one or two errant, self-reflexive lyrical nods mar this otherwise wonderful (mais oui) collection; idiots would do well to note that songwriting really fucking matters. Tonalities are the bitch, of course, and chemistry is ever unstable. But for this CD, at least, The Centimeters have nailed it with precision ("Look at Me Now," particularly "Three Cups of Coffee," so scrupulous in its deployment of one delightful, poignant Russell Mael-ism, and the Jimmie Rogers-penned "Desert Yodel," posited amidst the styrofoam pound-note stacks in the foyer of Dinky Diamond's nightmare villa) and blunt, preternatural clarity ("Fangs," "Dracula Gary," "If Only My Dog Would Barely Like Me," the extraordinary "Hovering Ponies"). So much to admire here - Rebecca Lynn's honeyed, dispersive violin solo on "Gary," Phillip Haut's astute, effortlessly increscent ivories (manqué), and the great fucking vocal duo of Max Gomberg and Nora Keys. Certainly an opium-dusted ibex wing in the fedora of Mr. Don Bolles (I'm thinking William Conrad in Cry Danger, as perhaps re-cut by Curtis Harrington ca. '53, or a soft Molly Haskell), and a mothballed victory for aesthetes 'n snobs of all plastique castes. (Warning: this may not be your shade of Mike Asher interior latex...)

"Arms, heraldries, the rotten fruit of mediation - arms not yet ablaze!"

The Necks' damnable Aquatic CD (Carpet Bomb) has (urp) stumped me utterly. It's been on my fine RCA modular shite-unit for at least seven hours, and I've likely listened to it more than the band themselves. "Music for tanning," I first thought. ("Pappy," I began, "Vlad... Knock-knock, you sons of bitches!") Then, "music for a slightly outré Manassas, Virginia pool party." (Luigi Nono 3, led by Bruce Hornsby 5, examining computer graphic printouts with pale face, red cheeks, rising from below.) But facile declamations do neither the trio nor their laudable, yet puzzlingly unsatisfying two-part composition justice. They come on kinda Cologne by way of John Wardle's minicab's beaded seat blanket (each acorn laser-etched with Human Condition and Patrick Fitzgerald discogs), and the very sorta (ughnh, AAUGH!) Tortoise-esque-ish-ness of it all makes one want to stomp to the head of the nearest taxi rank, hijack a hack to an overcast prog purgatory, and beat the shit out of Mike Ratledge, Keith Tippet, and, just for the hell of it, Christian motherfucking Wolff, or whomever the fuck it is who runs Roy Clark's Branson, MO Mo' Wax Theatre and Lacquer Works! (And otherwise pummeled conveyance analogies.) I hate my VCS3! Madame Hauk at Triebschen sez non!! (No, no, I've lost it. It's a good album, y'know, perfect for gals who dig Herman Nitsch who dig guys who dig the dubbed-up dregs of the Bristol scene... 1598: Horace Andy tribute artiste Sir Richard Steele Is the Great Fire of London UK is seized with terror at a country inn... "Marveling at the shape of my hand under the current of...") No! I want to do this fucker justice, dear, uhh, readers, but the words... (Madeski, Martin and John! WE HAVE WHALE SONG!! ) Apologies to all. Aquatic is just too goddamned obliging; there are no ravishments!! (But, The Necks are exemplary musicians; Hammond and piano jock Chris Abrahams fucking rocks! Digs Tetragrammation artiste Homogeneous Dark Field!) Degeneration of obtuse tops of tinkling car-horse tea; music for merely satisfactory fellatio! (Sorry... I'm sending this straight to Dave Sprague.)

"Arms despair in a great phalanx of attacks and unvoiced sounds..."

A right crummy crowd of half-assed tightrope walkers, blunt-toed black shoes... What do you think about Soviet tuned Burmese gongs, bastards! Using 16 singers and the Air Force Rhythm Section from fellow Club DNA artists Throw the Bum Out, Locksmith!, the breastpockets of the spotless, white Aalborg Noise Jihad's contributors' dress shirts were thusly inscribed: "Folklore and Gunnery" (Marquis Konspirator); "Astragalus und Oxytropis!" (Luca Brasi's Revenge); "I was a self-willed mushrooming sheltie!" (Kummerlige Forhold); "My straw hat mingles..." (MaaletHelligerMidlet666). Dodge a kick in the bleeding cosmococcic fucking spark! (Bronze casts of the fans of this CD are on display in the apron pockets of the fair and fluent of inert slag...)

"Arms! Words wine and oil, and curd, eager droppings..."

Monumentally Retarded: The Burping Turds Retrospective Compilation (on, keep up, children, the ever, uh, duckbespoken, quacksprecht-besotted Burping Turds imprint) is an absolute, a maggot in a cherry, a minimal skeleton to the flesh of idiot sp**ch. And frequently very goddamned funny. "Tardacious Medley" is standard-issue, Scotch brand, ahh, detournment (BURP!), doubled in the fourth in quasi-organum, in double canon in contrary motion ignoring tonal centers, metrical conflicts, HILARIOUS at the apex and foothills of the more off-handed scab forms. Sportscreme is a devastating band name; "John Lennon Stuffed Seven Irish Setters in Frank Sinatra's Pussy," the lone contribution of the Saginaw-based moron cabal, is perhaps less inspired, but nonetheless enjoyably enervating. I'd sign each of the glorious feebs appearing on this CD to long-term, aggressively binding major label contracts; why shouldn't Tittyfuck a Volkswagen have the opportunity to vibe with Emilio Estefan?

"And clanking arms, a wood-burning car, small platter of train after train!"

Oh my... Seems poor Mason Jones scanned a few of the less-fetid pages from the Mnemonists and Peach of Immortality playbooks, got himself drafted to a fifth-tier Texas League farm club with single-A pretensions, enrolled in an dodgy summer skills camp (Photoshop Type Tool Blunders and You!), emerged from the showers (where he refused to remove his mortarboard, emblazoned as it was with de rigueur Mainline screenprint logo) and went deep into schmavant mainstream drone lanes, seeking hot, spiraling portent. If the painfully slo-mo evidence of Jones' Midnight in the Twilight Factory CD is to be believed, then it appears that the diluted clamor mogul has once again dropped the fucking pill. ("Wire-wrapped strings can be scraped with knife blades, strings can be plucked with the fingers, fingernails, back issues of Unsound, or a variety of plectra." - Henry Cowell, 1637) Some okay moments on the Monotremata release; a muted beeswarm here, a creaking barn door elsewhere, a comfort in mummified syntagma, a basic understanding of dead and dying tongues, snoutless platypus snufflings. But, yeah, POI did it with more, er, humanity (a rebarbative, amyl nitrate ethos; clitoral impressions on rice paper), and Biota did it with admirable consonance. Midnight is too fanatically insipid; would it kill this miserable cunt to listen to at least ONE Gilbert O' Sullivan album? Snooze templates for Franklin Bruno chin-counting contests. (The back cover candy thing is kinda nice...)

"Arms livened neither with outraged eyes nor bloody dressing gown..."

And gilt beech bark falls from the laminated sepals of the pores of The Town Dandies, whose sumptuous My First Stampede CD destroys everything ever fucking recorded, including Pope Pius IX's 1902 wax cylinder recitation of "Ave Maria," the unissued Miklos Gemirzky edit of Stealers Wheel's Ferguslie Park, and assorted mid-period Merton Parkas b-sides, especially the "Vespa sans-culotte" Hal Russell collab. Remove those yellowed bridges and mouth this imperfectly formed (yet oddly sapid) enterococal corpus: "Haircuts Now!" induces paroxysms of near-ineluctable joy, as does the exquisite "Balloons for Sale" (which wouldn't have been forlornly miscast within the monochromatic gatefold of a mid-70s Portuguese boot of A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing demos). "Manly Footwear" and "Out Here" exalt tonal shamelessness with baffling, exhilarating (sl)ease, and the estrogen-patched "Hartley Brothers" (bravo!) projects Udo Kier's head onto Dack Rambo's grout-tiled shoulder as they and a less-contestably fused Ray Milland/Rosie Greer trade Polydor-era Keef Hartley jibes whilst blasting rotten cedar sandwich boards from an imagined, aboriginal AIP wardrobe trailer. Geoff Ellsworth's pipes are thus distressed period quack cure placards shielding $500 per ounce aquifers, and Steven McElroy's mattes are wrought with a wizened delicacy that should readily appall most MSBR mailing list members. The ’98 B2E release is still pretty goddamned ripe: there's a too-well-tanned pathologist in New Canaan shouting "Litotes? Li-to-tes?," and from the breast pocket of his ochre and turquoise Greg Norman Collection PlayDry moisture-wicking polo blouse fall five lipgloss-smeared Wells Fargo traveler's checks, each with the following inscription: "I'm sorry I borrowed The Virtues..." He smiles, wipes the soot from his collar, and weeps softly to Stampede's "Moustache Country." As should you, you fucking brute.

"Their legs (perhaps plunged in the heath), their arms (of shrouded hearse-horses), arses of worm-red pitch and leggings!"

I suppose that one should be at least perfunctorily grateful for Gravitar's ineptly-limned You must first learn to draw the real CD compendium, as it nests far more than its share of disarming insinuations amid stoner psych-jam sophistry, or mimesis, or semaphore, or stubborn refusal to evict its lesser, compulsive self from leeched, rock-salt shale. A daring, folk-fanged pout of denial, Harry Truman on the scabbed, splintered, black-blood knuckle of Mount St. Helens' obliterative fist of pressure - his dental work merges with the tree line as air becomes liquid and Monotremata closet space violently retracts. Doomed, but surprisingly spry on the fifth and sixth auditions; "U.R.R." foists Hedy Lamarr's endocrine-print Extase chemise atop a Jasper Johns Ballentine bronze of Michael Shrieve...

"Arms of Denmark Eight, crushed 'neath weight of mammoth Dressler tribute scribe..."
There's no way to convey the greatness of Life Is Splendid, the near-complete and completely fucking staggering, untransmissibly ecstatic document of the Sun Ra Solar Myth Arkestra at the 1972 Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival. So I shan't waste anyone's semi-precious time, except to note that this Total Energy CD redeems Mr. John Sinclair for all that woeful White Panther nonsense (and the Up comp!), and that June Tyson delivers... no, just fucking smacks you in the Kuiper Belt with a volcanic performance that rates with the first two (pre-Mute) Galas albs, Calas' Tosca (EMI CD57 47 175-8), Ut's less-decorously forged (i.e., non-Albini) efforts, Dan Automator's recent Vitamin C remixes, etc. Go!!

"Unsung ancestral swarms, crushed thoracic cushions, and mirrored arms, retrograde inversions..."

And a matrilineage framed in terms of the hostility produced by the threat of ambiguities both disagreeable and perversely desirable... Nick Cain shall extend no embrace to the binary fecundities exuded in God's Girlfriend's sterling Whore Damage CD, but then he's never taken the official Cadence Roswell Rudd butt plug all the fucking way to Breton's thermite-lashed laugh-lines, non, mes amis? We fear no penetrations; Hell's torments are reserved for the unblinking. Free-glam enthusiasts seeking ermine-drenched Eros (or at least a Fad Gadget/Lyubov' Popova cage match) should pray for such thorny symbol forests. Simultaneously threadbare and programmatically ideal, Brigit Brat's impossible automatisms evoke the inexorable swagger of 'shroomed-out eyebrow dye confabs, suffused with the coarse cosmetic/cosmococcic realities of poor diet and scabby knees which never seem to mend. An excellent album, the bulk of which was recorded many drag lives ago ('91-'96). Doth Ms. Brat yet breathe? The agreeably garish Tinman issue reveals little, and I unreservedly recommend "Bones," "Octavia Sings," the lot. Why? 'Cuz I can deal with industrial-goth apertures when they induce anaphylactic splendor (viz. Gary Numan's astonishing 1998 Exile alb). Bill Callahan is the real faggot, of course...

Joyce, Wake (i.): "This is seriously meant. Here is a homelet not a hothel. That's right, old oldun!"

Ten billion style points immediately subtracted from Molasses' not-so-impermeably austere, yet dutifully affecting, habitually lovely (yup), and goddamned insufferable you'll never be well no more CD; the absurd labyrinth of home-tooled and screen-printed folds, ties and envelopes had me aching for a fucking Bob Seeger longbox, and snuffed every particle of desire I might have harbored for the (er) Fancy release. After a month or two I returned to the disc, and observed the following: Scott Chernoff has a laudably assured sense of mise-en-phase, and perhaps the least sympathetic lead voice since Bernardo Lanzetti (Chocolate Kings-era Premiata Forneria Marconi, and subsequently a songwriting partner of Amos Garettt's; a notable composition appears on Alan Stivell's Renaissance of the Celtic Harp 3: The Adam Kidron Sessions); Norsola Johnson and Thierry Amar's backing vocals on "Five Hundred Miles from Baltimore" could scarcely be improved upon, and although Xenakis' 1976 Retours-Windungen (for Twelve Celli) blows the fuck out of Mike Heron's '74-ish Smiling Men with Bad Reputations, the mouth-watering "Baltimore" hook effortlessly blasts the desiccated shit(e) whorls from the cheaply stapled seams of my own band's misbegotten Vedder Vedder Bedwetter; Chernoff's "Sleeping Pill Blues" vocal (with slight and quite likely maligned snarl!) is thankfully more atavistic; Molasses would slay on a November caravan tour of The Midlands. Compere? An animatronic Mel Lyman, natch!

"Stunted aaaAaAAaRrRRRRrmMmssSss in parallax, lesser logismos, whitey whitey kay, in every fucker's way!"

In Greek, the renunciation was called the apotaxis and the submission to Christ the syntaxis... In spite of ruthless hashhouse operators, among vices mutually contradictory in practice, the stews still wear striped pajamas. Case in point? Asshole, and their eponymous 1998 CD on Brooklyn, New York's likely sundered Yeehaw imprint (catalogue number smut002): tawdry, yes; sorrowful, assuredly so. Offensive? The contention is fairly posited, but the conclusion is pretty obvious... And applicable in the obverse for Blaise Sivula and Donald Miller's Glass Factory CD-R on Lincoln, Nebraska's tenacious, wearily orthodox Last Visible Dog boutique. Mr. Sivula is a particularly adamant improviser, and Mr. Miller's sixteen decades of service with Dutch academic art cabal Thee Magnanimous Cuckolds are all too well documented. Although the sounds recorded for Glass are occasionally compelling as chronology (the accrual of raccoon-piss calderas atop Doric capitals of wasp droppings), one must in fairness note that the wave forms produced by a snore, an oscillating Emerson Essential Collection 36" Northwind ceiling fan, and a simmering kettle of vanilla-spiked TheraFlu are rather regrettably similar... And neither bolstered by the non-standard narrative ambivalence nor repelled by the untenable verisimilitude of 400 Blows, at least as exhibited within their self-titled Total Annihilation CD. It ain't Ernst's Au-delà de la peinture, and it's not even a faded Jean Gruault autograph from the L’Enfant Sauvage wrap party, but it’s fucking emancipated, and the resurrected archaisms of these probably too contemplative second-unit Léaud stand-ins rock my nitrate-slathered frame enlargements from The Big Combo. (Ditch the v/o jazz, lads, or lay down 256 tracks of it; the middle ground breeds Chris Knox fan club treasurers.)

"Arms, syrinx-like, spring-blooming bulbs of Miró's loom..."

Cable cars have added excitement to the climax of many a film adventure, notably Administrative Error, The Journey Took No Fewer Than Thirteen Days, The Doctor Noticed That the Sounds Had Stopped, The Better to Denounce Their Fraudulence, I Am One of Those for Whom Crying Is a Joy, But Not Before Duly Affixing His Initials, and King Vidor's curious 1942 lamentation The Vogue for Phrenology Was Then at Its Height. Land of Thin Dimes provided a s/t soundtrack for Phrenology's resolutely charmless, "contemporary" prequel, Could I Skim My Pots and Go Over My Butchers' Accounts? (Toadophile CD, 1999); if frat ragas as bag-assed as "A Dynasty That Never Was" or "Nitronics" are any indication, then these benign guitar-store madonnas have indeed taken to rifling the moldier reaches of the Primus/Flecktone ice-box, and at all hours... Whilst making the TLASILA Channel crossing in 1998 with Gregory Chapman, Andrew "Andy Bolus" Bullock, and Rat "Frank Falestra" Bastard, I was seized by an intractable desire to crack the then-burgeoning electronica market. As we slumped glumly in the arguably less garish of the ferry's two cafeterias, I produced a recorder and, with Mr. Bolus' able assistance, mic'd first a knife rattling atop our table, and then a packet of butter. (The results were sent to the Mille Plateaux-associated I Have Not Actually Read Deleuze label, but to no apparent avail.) And I would dare suggest that a three-minute transcription of the latter tape would yield significantly more delights than Zone Tripper's ghastly Friction CD, which unwisely composites a, ahem, kinda dubwise Len Kravitz into the bleak, pig-knuckled lieder of the pitiable Absolut Null Punkt. (Or, Marshall Crenshaw in cobalt Ken Cole pumps fronting Fushitsusha.) In either case, an all-time low for Tzadik, and a monumental embarrassment for timorous, pasty-jowelled mixer Roli Mossiman, who seems scarcely able to manage one track (a sine wave at 4dB, for fucking instance), much less the 64 likely squandered for this abysmal vanity ablution/blow party. Odd, then, that his contributions to the Fraudulence OST (and that of its sister film A Woman of Wit and Talent and an Occasional Playwright) should have seemed so essential... With Screw, the well-intentioned NSW fife and comb combo Scratch My Nose pay tribute to Keith Rowe's beleaguered Doctor Noticed score (reviled by 60s critics, later revived by Jazz Calendar composer Richard Rodney Bennett via abstractions for his serie-noir debacle Johnny Zebgruder), achieving wildly mixed results. The 1997 Oracle CD contains but three tracks, each perforce less declamatory than Bennett's breathless distillations, but assayed with an abject verve at odds with Rowe's Spartan ostinatos. "I Have No Ready Answer," with its pleasantly obtrusive Giselher Klebe samples, is the best of the disordered lot. Their arms assume the appearance of Spes' smooth sumac...

"Arms resort to anecdote, Atlantis '58; baroness (yolk agar), a house of walking swastikas..."

Jayne County's curiously-titled Fuck Off 2000, a semi-sulfurous ode to the 1660 succession of Charles XI of Sweden (and, more specific to its narrative, the '61 Kardis confirmation of the peace of Stolbova) upends busilar membrane resonators altogether and lodges itself within the nuclei of thyrotrophin-secreting basophilic cells, where it is most commonly perceived as a transgendered harridan's stock screed, or, if the listener hails from either Staten Island or Ibiza, a vibrant renovation of Armand Van Helden's incontestably track-suited milieu. But, Jodhpurs, y'know? The a capella mix of the Royalty 12-inch is a ludicrous, irresistible butch-phallic thrill, and the fact that neither The Dire nor Patrick Marley's I Don't Get Out Much will give it a micron of coverage retroactively lends it the weight of a billion gaseous, pink-hued star clusters. Much more satisfying than the Electric Chairs' pitiably bare-bosom'd version... Debase two thousand copies now!

"Sheepberry nanometers! Cramped provocateurs! Arms in ragged, piggish relief! Arms of will of ass-cosmos!"

Towery city and branchy between tow'rs! Bulb has been way fuckin' accurate of late with its Tahiti orange 'n salmon nailgun, what with the Wagnerian-Creole morphemes of Temple of Bon Matin's compulsively luminous Bullet into Mesmer's Brain (which I didn't produce, but mil gracias for the kind synaptic misfires and cedar goblet scaffolds; Ed Wilcox is perhaps the most abundantly au fait of this miscegen-eration's 'vestigators of bright suicide silks and forked chimera's tongues), Mikey Wild and the Magic Lanterns' pineapple puke-caked, Das Plakat/Jugenstil/fetal rat perambulator-approved I Was Punk B4U Were Punk (whose "Stuff My Bunny," "I Am the Crucifier," and the unassailably elegiac "I Was on Dope" annihilate the error-strewn ESP-Disk, Corpus Hermeticum, Blue Note, Columbia Masterworks, and Niflhelm Sacrolumbar catalogues with pitiless élan), Andrew Wilkes-Krier's GO-GO-GO-GO-GO!!! 1971-2009 manifesto Girls Own Juice, which deftly leapt from IRCAM concrété to pink Tennessee marble, incorporating prophetic, Delphic turns from Stanley Clarke and beryllium-brushed Language poet/demobbed sestina John Ashbery, and 25 Suaves' self-titled (and light-blue staining), exceedingly militant roadhog of a fucking GREAT rock CD... "Detroit," "Stones Fan South Carolina," "Diana Ross," and "Phoney Eye" surpass Joey Heatherton's sunless, banana-fig breasts (but only as displayed in Ed Dmytryk's Bluebeard, of course!), and "Allbacks" is better than a quick-eyed Swede's inveterate stabs at Philomela's transformative Sirius song... A different church, suitors, and your waxless ears yield to the maiden-flap lapping of their snug wigwam's galvanometric threnody...

"Through arms, hawk-like rubber plungers as radishes, cloudless curds of Mayo Thompson's lies..."

Impossible to argue with Mascara-Sue's red-wool bonnets, carrots, violent and miraculous perturbations of primkissed, discursive polyp-song; with each of the Biro2 CD's serene discontents, pestilent equivalencies of le p(o)op postiche (the mephitic shuffles of the shitsucking Olivia Tremor Control salon seep slowly to mind) are rendered to foetid husk. Another cardinal yellow head-trapping for the fertilized ovules and alkylating agents of the Dual Plover imprint, to whom we owe trumpeting ciphers of desire and a privileged client's caning for the release of Funky Terrorist's similarly impeccable Beauty Is the Beast CD-5. Although its staves are used only to indicate the pitch of terminal notes (oil of lettuce, Una Señora sin Mancha, rippling forms of cranks, diaphragm-racked), "Okinawa" nonetheless swallows the prick of luxuriant mass and livid joy to the hilt. Ditto "Cocktail Lady," which rises, falls in boiling, strenuously tongued ur-cycles. "2 Scratchy 2 Dance" poses its liquored Origen scales in ambulatory and radiating chapels, and clouded riches are thus devoured, my tumescent, navy-blue wool worms! Fruit heads (Bine, winded Hare, common Chickenbrow) are also used in brewing... American Cherry's gift for painting women and children's portraits at mid-leg, mid-body, sliced longitudinally, as white-footed mice and deer mice is shown at its best in I Y Yang Manu's welcome CD-R reissue of Pretty Wild/Baci Baci Baci. Its Mylar cartouche reflects a crush of black-muzzled pop figures (in Leon slip, a localized Texas glaze), and for "Female Animal," "Mother Fucking Melo Melo," "Opus Pistorum," and the translucent corsets and collars of "Rocking Chair," we must surely extend Caravaggic luxuries of abstraction: pools of available light, mocking, fog-bound airfields.

"Left of left, of left-left-LEFT! Arms of astonishing upper case, East's first nudes; Bosch's constants' cankers!"

Leaving his office in his messenger suit, Sun Ra (descendant of poet Cowper), wading through sinuous, choppy, straggling processionals, laid the basis for centuries of persecution of, er, taboo-breaking Drag City and Kranky artistes. A solitary hussar (in argosy transferr'd), dying among spiders, and with instruments capable of then-undreamt varieties of expression (to shun the heaven that leads men to this hell), H.P. "Sonny" Blount (a herringbone pattern) kept an eternal vigil on the corridors reflected in the mirrors of his heels. And thus the deep armchairs at the DIW imprint have deigned to reissue the Arkestra's delectably dégagé, 1988 Pit-Inn, Tokyo recordings as Cosmo Omnibus Imagiable (sic) Illusion (on both CD and Flat Obedience formats). Your life begins NOW... And awakens to The Sun Ra Arkestra Meets Salah Ragab in Egypt, which is a goddamned amazing recording by anyone's manifestly prefigured standards, seven prose treatises of shocking vernacular fecundity framing ankh-rending collaborations between the Arkestra and Ragab's astounding, jacquard-curtained Cairo Jazz Band and the Cairo Free Jazz Ensemble. Balla's Staircase and Good-byes as divine pathogen, p'rhaps, a vertiginous, inexpressibly sapid and baroque spiral, a bottomless chasm in which ethereal, smiling creatures (polished and detailed horses, a flaming, half-shaven and betressed pilgrim's zodiacal cube, a crescent moon in classical drapery) are disappearing. The Golden Years of Jazz CD features a superb, anomie-snapping essay by Omniverse Sun Ra author Hartmut Geerken; get your asses back in time (May '83) to El Nahar Studio, Heliopolis, and try not to rub your augur's crook over the guest lounge's chair cushions as the engineer rolls playback on "Egypt Strut." The turquoise of his raiment alludes to the colors of Europa's methane-slush sea lanes... Ra swam them all.

"Dragon tree, trunk-thick clusters of orange-fruited arms, "paramour" misread, first water..."

Crossed Out, Slap-a-Ham's eponymous 47-song CD obit of the late (1990-1993) Encinitas, California quartet (purveyors of impromptus, epithalamiums, and madrigaux) merits your attention as a red-rose algae'd bellyache, albeit absent trad side stitching. Hardcore's folk-like meters and ecclesiastical preoccupations ritualize fervor as artisanal objects, and Crossed Out's kiln was loaded for first firing with the clotted distrust of the ballast of graph scores, pitch-to-voltage converters, and devils' eyes as morning stars. Rec room recitations of tracks from their Cloisonné Snuff Bottle of Turquoise Blue and White Enamel Ground with Coral Stopper split (with six-petal'd blossoms Man Is the Oft-Perturbed Indigent) are silver-mirrored ballistae of counterpoised malarial fescue.... Horns' palate clouded? The BOXmedia/Philosophy Shop release of Kazumoto Endo's While You Were Out CD provides a ferry route for Phrygian fathers (and a half-sodden bridegroom's produce parcel) on a 60-hour voyage from Mpulungu, Zambia (its ghost awakened as caricature), to Bujumbura, Burundi (starlets of Ikenga in Number Eleven Fantasies: Singh in Limbs); philosophical nihilism may yet find an ultimate path of salvation in the rituals of laboratory transgression. Endo's dogged insistence that free will must somehow exist, even in a wholly determined universe (the Mancini-esque tropes of the title track, the T-shaped baths of "Last Train to Nishi-Funabashi") saves the "post-n*ise" n*ise impulse from pagan fatalism. And leads, bedizened, to naked inconsistency. Both "Evergreen" and "Boom Boom Roppongi" swing perilously from moyenne bourgeoisie to Suspended Ball marsh, yet prosper on the banks of those chalk circles. But cultured nobodies be damned! Buy two, you (rightfully) cynical fuckers, and support Kazumoto's exotic sunburst ministry. There is color and sonorous force amid the calculated omissions; his leaves are reputed to have laxative properties... Lust spike, Scissor High! Stirling, Scotland's B. Hatleskog began his AD/AA/DAT imprint to declaim the Americanization of beige-grey macrostructures and bowed fields of iron filings. A__D__/A_A/D__AA__T_, the label's subsequent CD-R comp, savors the latency of genre-specific imprecision; Ydmykelse's "Upside Down Egg" feathers, then scolds its associations with lowlife cotton wools and unfashionable emulsions, while Apostels' "Professional Gun," an impenitent ode to the great themes of religion (the Scythian lust for gold, the steady propagation of animal style), resembles, in its magnificent churlishness, the Jethro Tull of Benefit, and by torturous extension Ian Anderson's indifference to Renaissance ideals of beauty, decorum, lobelike arms, and polygonal apses. The flowers of Pan Ten's "Bassssab" are in axillary and terminal umbels; Both Holes' "31399#1" has the soft hue of a slightly hanging belly. Esma's "Action#3" is adopted into an Aberdeen clay clan by dint of its twisted cords and patriarch's daughters' black sleeveless cowldresses (which puzzle over alphabets and Monet's frontal views of rows of poplars). Plastic crinoline white cotton tank-tastic!

"Arms, dissolves, multiple exposures! Arms' irises, deadpan allure!"

Bastard Noise's ascetic traditions go back more than 2,000 years, and the gentle equivocations of The Analysis of Self-Destruction belie their old sofa covers' large horsemen's cloaks. "Death Wish for the Dying" is the album's reverse Borgia Codex, and in the colloquial pleats of its deerskin folds we find the God of Life (Mrs. Hermine H. Turner) seated back-to-back with the Lord of Death ("Christ Receiveth Sinful Men" composer Mrs. Addie McGrannahan, craggy fist clutching a commander's staff of orb-ring'd epicycles). Neither funnel nor bell-shaped, neither white nor pink, neither pale red nor lilac, the Alien8 CD would posit itself as an exploded oil drum, a blotched and bristling pillar. Self-Destruction's rustic stiffness offers us a valuable lesson of the power of restraint; their tea caddy has a double lid and the smallest possible opening... Emil Hagstrom's cs wks 87-97 vol.1 is a surprisingly fine compilation. The Freedom From CD-R release employs hand-manipulated paper cut-outs and oils displaced by styluses; boy-girl narratives give rise to overhead projections of liquid tables, near-lethal bathtub brews. The action of "1" occurs entirely on the ceiling of Jeremy Day's oriole’s elm and twittering, restless clouds; Eric Wivinus remains motionless throughout. In "3," Robin Edgerton, portraying Chippewa captive "Clay-Bank-Curses-In-Her-Brain," is distorted with giant mirrors. Matt St. Germain's woodcuts and engravings achieve a heel-strung dilation and spring-flower’d fluidity of movement in "4," ostensibly an ode to the birth of Hagstrom's daughter Peyote Tryptych. The album concludes with "7," and in its strongly symbolic dance sequences Mr. Hagstrom (aka “Hyacinth Girl”) seems to transcend gravity, reality, half-bushels of ambition and indigestion. Those who groan under the chronic visitations of Stock R.S.V.P. would do well to receive this inexplicably carminative liturgy... "Girl with a Cow and a Ewe 2000," the phantom track mistakenly included with pre-release copies of Glen Hall's Hallucinations: Music and Words for William S. Burroughs, was a trumpet of violent and irregular trumpets, an oxen's firebox eye; daubed up with mud, its chimney-tops covered with sheets of tin to prevent cool-cracking, it was believed by the ancients to be fatal for flies and snakes, slumbering Goliaths at ground-tide. Mr. Hall's quite worthy and râle-perforated Leo CD features the inestimable Roswell Rudd on nine of its 14 tracks; okapis also eat the charcoal of trees burned by lightning… Idiosyncratic Or prexy “Sir John Soane” on the release of his logo's Or Some Computer Music CD: “We watch the log! Thousands never use Law-Law! Whose hand slave? Dollars and the wrong!” Fingers rough from handling noseholes lopped by shameless strokes are contemptuous of the banalities of harmonious synthesis; the album’s squat proportions and voluted Ionic pieties tongue arsenals of wavetrap fetishists' labor-saving spoonfists. Trevor Wishart's "Fabulous Paris," although marred by half-closed long vowels and domes of whitened coals, casts Liotard's Mary Gunning as a small-toothed palm civet. Steven Travis Pope's "Kombination XI parts 1-6" spreads itself atop hedgebanks, moutan and tree peonies, nonpathogenic gram-negative cocci commonly found in the mouths of White Friars. Ubik's muslin mufti "Plex" has been interpreted to reprazent either the establishment of the kingdom of God at the second coming of Christ or the spiritual regeneration (swaying, sprinkling, springing) of papyrus, wax tablets. Able was I ere I saw Kasper T. Toeplitz!

Joyce, Wake (ii.): "Comme bien, Comme bien! Feefeel! Feefeel!"

Screamers' Demos 1977-1978 LP is an astonishing find, Tikal's plundered North Acropolis, an abandoned palace of jade, flint, obsidian, coiled sea fans, incised Mayan deities, rivaling Henry Moore's stage dressings for Don Giovanni, Spoleto, 1967, or the impact of a searing phosphorus shell on Chagall's stained-glass cubes and slide projectors. "I Wanna Hurt" surpasses Suicide's "Frankie Teardrop" in every conceivable measure...

"Arms in Doppler shift, Eve 6's take on the Almagest..."

Neil Campbell and Decaer Pinga's Strobelights to Boston CD-R (Chocolate Monk/Hell's Half Halo) first flourished at Antwerp, A.D. 80, where satraps lay divided by mutual distrust. Cited as "Umasu, who is called Artakshatsu," their primary hosts gave birth to a wingless generation of parthenogenic females known as sexparue (as in the foxglove aphid). Moved by the love of her brother and convinced of the injustice of the removal of the corpse of Polyneices, Dora's prolonged droughts relieved the nausea and vertigo which occurred in fossil arachnids. Neil's mouthparts were subsequently adapted to piercing, sucking, biting, grating, and sawing; Dylan's studies for the silver sulfide Masieri memorial solidified his reputation as the greatest Spanish dance artist (aka "Eye of the Ether") of his generation... Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock collaborate with Dorian Sparta founders Decaer Pinga on the Chocolate Monk/Hell's Half Halo double CD-R rosette Omitting the Troll, and with disc two's "Gimme a Pigfoot & a Bottle of Go Go," Ayrshire's Ailsa Craig is brazenly transformed into a conical, ear-flapped knit-wool gorro rising 1,114 feet above the double copper vases and Bagobo soul-snatchers of Loch Ryan. Disc one's "The Goat Rating Scale" (or "mulga," a dwarf Acacia scrub) resembles the extinguished paschal candle of the Feast of the Touchhole...

Joyce, Wake (iii.): "Crown of the waters, brine on her brow, she'll dance them a jig and jilt them fairly..."

Ten reasons to adore Alva's Slattery for Ungdom CD (Menlo Park): listening to "Sharch of Tearry," one becomes aware of the bones of the earth, the rocks and hills of Cézanne's Road to Aix with Viaduct; "Kill Everyone" is a liquescent Val-de-Grâce, so close in style to the Baroque architecture, bashful blue solvents, and mordant chlorides of 17th-century Rome; the preference in "Charotcha" of strength to elegance arouses violent opposition from the established (and dwarfish) figures of the ancien régime (you know who); the wildly neighing stallions of "Racstasy" prefigure the blatant polychromatics of static Salons from Helsinki to San Francisco; "World of Lonely Afterthou Ght" has a wonderful vigor and dark beauty, reflecting the delight in life (and linguists’ death prayers) shared by Michelle Anderson, Aida Ruilova, and Liza Wakeman; in their fascination with tragicomic-comic conceptions of human destiny, Jove’s paternity (the sons of Dardanus, “Blasted eelgrass!”) ; the use of space and mass in "March to Underneath" suggests an abstraction of Utrillo's pervasive melancholy and the sanguine geometries of Archipenko; the subtly graded depths of "Happysick" recall Serrazin's allegorical bas-reliefs and dramatic, luminous marbles; with harmonies of line and delirious proportion "Ooon Ong" masterfully dissolves into its reflection; "Drabardi" posits its draped and muted foreground figures in the whispering shade of haunted gardens, filled with sensual undertones; the shadowless abstractions of "...." invert bold simplifications redolent of Sérusier, skillfully juxtaposing the synthetic sonorities of the Avant debut with Slattery's violent facets. A breakthrough recording? Was Gide in motherfucking flux?

Tom Smith

Happy New Year from the Harz...

Hello Droogs, Happy 2019! I‘m in the Harz region of Germany, enjoying a three-day getaway to cap off an eventful year, one marked by celeb...