following on the heels of Et Cetera, here‘s some more under-appreicated free-form kraut greatness.
… or is it? according to discogs, the title is “Lady Blue” (also the name of the second track)… but from what i can gather, i think discogs has it wrong in this case. doesn’t really matter though – if you’re like me and have gotten a bit burned out on this whole “let’s re-issue every goddamn bar band who pressed 100 copies of a record in the 60s or 70s” psyche/kraut-revival shit, this might renew your faith in the idea that there are still some underrated/undiscovered gems from that period waiting to be unearthed… or at least properly acknowledged. i’m not even gonna try to do this one any more justice with words – ya just need to trust me that it’s THAT good and go get the damn thing already
after Kick to Kill recently posted material by the criminally-overlooked Breadwinner, i got to thinking about other bands in a similar vein… y’know, that whole Albini-esque, not-quite-hardcore group of bands in the 90s who set the stage for what’s now generally known as “math rock”… taking hardcore energy levels and infusing them with elements of prog-rock, while avoiding the levels of pomposity and wankery suggested by the latter term. outfits like Pitchblende, who’ve been well-covered here already… or these personal favorites of mine, Dazzling Killmen, spearheaded by Darin Gray (who was also part of Brise Glace – i seriously hope you lazy bastards don’t need a hyperlink to take ya to the post right below this one). preceded perhaps only by the likes of Bitch Magnet and bearing a slight tonal resemblance to various Albini-related projects of the day… anyway, i’m sure you get the point that i’ve been enjoying this album ever since it first crossed my path, so hear for yourself what my fuss is all about
let it immediately be known that i’ve never been Jim O’Rourke’s biggest fan… despite enjoying some of the projects he’s been involved in as a collaborator, most of his solo material never struck a chord with me for one reason or another. this particular project however – featuring Christoph Heeman (of experimentalists HNAS), Henry Kaiser, Darin Gray (of Dazzling Killmen – watch this space scroll up), Thymme Jones (Cheer-Accident) and Dylan Posa (Flying Luttenbachers) – with it’s This Heat-like take on “rock” has always been a glaring exception to my aversion. the group changed members during its existence, though its releases were limited to this, a single and a compilation track. and they sort of did another album as well, with KK Null of Zeni Geva – which i posted AGES ago – under the name Yona Kit. so ultimately this leaves me having to begrudgingly admit that, although i never quite understood all the fanfare about him in the various “scenes” he floated through; whenever O’Rourke got down to work with other collaborators, the results were always – at the very least – decent.
when i was involved in 90s cassette culture, there was this guy named Keith Nicolay who was always happy to swap professionally-pressed CDs for our lowly home-dubbed (and eventually, pro-duped) cassette releases. his project, Post Prandials, was an experimental/improv collective based out of NYC and centered around a core membership of himself, Bob Aaron and John Burgos. other members/collaborators came and went across different releases, but these three were a guaranteed constant (at least on the releases i still have). this particular outing consisted of the smallest group of performers among the three releases i was able to dig up (more to follow) and although not blatantly billed as such, was a collaboration with John Hajeski, another well-known figure in the culture of the day. a continuous hour-long direct-recorded improv, divided into multiple tracks. to hear it as intended you’ll probably wanna load this in iTunes and let it do the “gapless playback” thing. certainly a blast from MY past – hopefully someone else will remember and/or enjoy it as well. ya gotta love the cover-art spoof, even if this kinda thing isn’t yer bag sound-wise.
this is probably up somewhere already but i don’t care. it needs to be here as well. classic Hellhammer/Frost worship from the crust camp of the day. crossing punk and metal when it was still completely “unfashionable” to like both. this ain’t your daddy’s crossover though kids – it’s your GRANDdaddy’s.
while we’re in the mood for juvenile 80s thrashcore, how about one from these fellow Canucks who easily eclipsed Carnivore – and just about everyone else – with their own special brand of inimitable juvenilia…
it’d be pretty easy to start shit-talkin’ Pete Steele if one wanted to take an “i’m so underground, dude’s a sellout” approach… but the fact of the matter is, at least in the earlier part of his career, there were few musicians better than him at making fun of their audience – or record label – so blatantly and still managing to make them enjoy it. there were likewise few others with an equally brilliant sense of humor. take “Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity” on Type O Negative‘s “Slow, Deep and Hard”, with it’s Beatlesque sing-along chorus “i know you’re fucking someone else… HE KNOWS YOU’RE FUCKING SOMEONE ELSE” etc… or how about the follow-up “live” album (live only in the sense that it was recorded in one live studio take, with fake audience sounds mixed in afterward) “Origin of the Feces” – made to appease their label between “proper” releases and featuring, as per its title, a close-up green-tinted shot of Steele spreading his hairy ass cheeks as the cover “art”. even the “Bloody Kisses” track “Black No. 1”, somewhat of a hit for the band, poked fun at the audience they would gain in spades with subsequent releases.
but before all that, there was Carnivore. not really much different sound-wise from early Type O Negative… except with Carnivore, you had 4 of the most scuzzy-lookin’ long-haired metal dudes ever playing what was essentially New Yawk Hawdcore with lyrics appealing – however sarcastically – to the white supremacists and/or skinheads of the day. it still makes me laugh to picture moron nazi skins showing up at a Carnivore gig and being bewildered by the amount of hair on stage. if you have no sense of humor, a thin skin, think it’s still 1986 and consider Tipper Gore your hero, this stuff might piss you off. if you’re anything like me, it’s at the very least good for a nostalgic chuckle or two.
many a Kayo Dot fan has lamented the demise of Toby Driver‘s former project Maudlin of the Well… and with good reason. said lamenting apparently led to a dontation-collection via Maudlin’s myspace page and PayPal (one donor reportedly contributed $10,000.00 to the cause – bet he’s getting a special edition of some sort), culminating in what will materialize as a new studio album from the band sometime next year. <monty burns voice> eeeeexxxxxxcellent </monty burns voice>… until then, we can take a short trip back in time to enjoy one of their (criminally o.o.p.) older releases.
so this band rolled through my town a little while back. i knew nothing about them, but was interested enough in the band they were playing with to check it out. glad i did. two dudes got on stage. some casiotone beats and happy-go-lucky key-sequences started up. some loose-but-propulsive live drumming began. soon came the SY-style wall-of-chord/drone guitar and vocal contributions from both guys that all meshed into a wall of sound made only more pleasurable by the accompanying projector backdrop. these Baltimore natives have a good deal of media kicking around already – hear some more for free at good ol’ myspace – though to be honest, any audio recordings i’ve heard do no justice to the wall of sheer euphoria they hit you with live. not to mention the absence of that whole “video” aspect. still, they made 25 of these up b/c they’d run out of “official” pressings of anything to sell me by the time they got to our point of their tour and it gives a nice little taster. ok, well, i’m not sure what the fuck’s up with the second track on this thing – they did nothing like that when i saw them – but, whatever. these boys should be a hit with the “Modern Mutant” crowd, if they aren’t already. i mean, they’ve got some upcoming shows with Health – what more convincing do you need? not to mention, ya gotta give props to any dude who’ll go on stage in an old-school metallica shirt to play this kinda stuff to the type of audience who’d come to see it 😉
“The psychedelic find of the decade: their long-lost final magnum opus. Rumored to exist for years: often put down as just rumor though. Here it is, unearthed from tapes thought lost forever but now found after nearly 30 years. The first thing to be released from Ya Ho Wha 13 since 1975. In the spring of 1975 the Family was homeless and was traveling on the West Coast after having been driven out of Hawaii by local laws (they would return later that year for what would be the final time with Father). Ya Ho Wha had taken a spontaneous journey to the East which had culminated in his initiation in the Great Pyramid of Egypt on Easter Sunday. Upon his return to the San Francisco area a warehouse in Corte Madeira was rented for the Family to gather for their Aquarian style morning meditations and meetings to greet the dawn. This is where The Operetta came down. It represents the first musical channeling from the time after Ya Ho Wha’s Easter Resurrection in the Great Pyramid (returning transformed) and the last total musical recording he would make with the band. The 6 pieces which make up The Operetta form the culmination of all the Ya Ho Wha recordings — thunderous percussion, massive psychedelic guitar swirls are all vying for space with Ya Ho Wha’s spontaneous chanting in this intense journey into inner self. The final and most awesome of all their creations. A strictly limited edition 2 LP set presented in a gatefold cover featuring previously unseen photographs from the Family’s personal archives, it comes with an insert featuring a transcription of Ya Ho Wha’s thoughts and comments on the piece when he heard the tapes played back to him shortly after they were recorded. One off pressing — this is destined to become as rare as the Higherkey originals.”
so there ya have it. sometimes it’s better to just let the promo-kit shit speak for itself. even years after my own discovery of this group, i’m still not sure what to make of all this Father Yod business. but that doesn’t really matter.
it would be almost impossible, i would think, for anyone who had anything at all to do with cassette culture in the 80s and/or 90s to have not run across this guy once or twice. even without actively pursuing his material, he was always showing up in the oddest and most random places… compilations, radio shows, etc. too bad then that some of today’s Modern Mutants probably have no clue about his existence, since his quirky one-man-band act – though less spastic and more experimental than the likes of Trin-Tran – would likely be adored by their lot. well, here‘s a vinyl collection (released on Old Gold in 1999) of various Yxi output from 1981-86. as good an introduction as any for the uninitiated, and perhaps somewhat of a “greatest hits” type thing for those already in the know.