Friday, July 21, 2006

One way conversation

TEENAGE FILMSTARS "Dressing up for the Cameras"

Best piss-take on the Jam, ever? Perhaps. Great song, regardless. Love the Jowe Head-style bass. Really digging the O Level/Teenage Filmstars compilation on RevOla, A Day in the Life of Gilbert and George this morning.

is done, in production; cover will look like this, only better (with gooooooooold). Pre-order capability to show up on YETI site shortly.

HALLELUWAH festival site is up (uhh, hence the link to the left) --very bare bones now but info. about other aspects of the fest as well as info. about the fest-only LP (Deerhoof, Alela Diane, Valet, Michael Hurley, Nudity, Rick Bishop, and more...), as well as how to get tickets, all that jazz, will be up on there shortly. This bit about it was nice.

Sitting here in the slowly swelling heat anticipating the 102-105 projected temp. today, trying my absolute best not to lose my shit over a good chunk of change owed me by an insanely rich computer type company I did some work for back in March. Their system is so insane, labyrinthine, and mind-numbingly not at all oriented towards anyone doing creative work (not any of the templates they offer for invoicing make any sense to me -- not a one, out of three) so I feel a wee little bit like our pal THX 1138 today. Just a wee bit.

I feel that I've been very patient until now, especially as this is my first time working for these people, and it does often take longer to get paid when you're a freelancer. But Jesus fuck I don't know if it's the heat or what but I just feel like my head's going to explode from this stuff. Feeling this way could have something to do with the fact that my brother dumped the entire task of finding his baby mommy a place in Portland, in the next week, same time I myself have to pack and move... I haven't got my hernia fixed yet so I'm a bit worried about literally spilling my guts in that procedure. (TMI? Too bad!)

So, if anyone knows of a 2BR/ 1BA near OHSU close to bus lines that allows cats and is under $800, let me know, OK? Thanks a gazillion.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

We want to live...

3Ds "Evocation of WC Fields"

For no reason other than I just imported tracks off the CD last week, here's a fun ditty by New Zealand's 3Ds, from their 1990 disc Fish Tails/ Swarthy Songs for Swabs, which combines their first EP and LP, plus an extra track or two. People who say they sound like the goddamn Pixies are so wrong it makes we want to umm, to tell them how wrong they are. Loudly.

Got the final manuscript for the Luc Sante collection Yeti Books is publishing next Spring; of course, it's awesome. Also in the final throes of getting YETI 4 together--we send off pages to the printer on Monday. The disc is being mastered right now. And the first book we're publishing, Jana Martin's short story collection Russian Lover, is coming together as well. Damn.

We'll finally have a site up for the Halleluwah Fest in the next week or so. Looks like I'm spending the next week crazily assembling a cool LP with unreleased tracks from some of the festival performers, which will be available at the show only, for not too much dough ($10 maybe?). That is, if it can actually get manufactured by the end of next month. Thus far, though, Rick Bishop, Truman's Water, Nice Nice and Deerhoof all seem into the LP thing (as well as the fest itself of course). I hope it happens as I think it'll be a rad/ fun souvenir type thing.

Posting has been re-enabled after a long absence, FYI. I finally figured out if you just use one of those crazy scrambled word filter things you can keep the blogspam out, or most of it anyway.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

When I was alone you promised the stone from your heart

SYD BARRETT "Dark Globe"

You probably know this already but it looks like Syd Barrett passed away, age sixty.

Monday, July 10, 2006

In the palace of the Lord

VAN MORRISON with Bob Dylan "Foreign Window"

I think this is from a live show in the late '80s, Dylan presumably on harmonica. I like the way the pseudo mystical sheen of the studio version is gone; it just sounds like two dudes on a boardwalk somewhere. It's kind of puffed-up and full of itself but what song that namedrops Rimbaud and Lord Byron wouldn't be?

Today I give thanks for iced coffee, Oregon blueberries and Tuli Kupferberg's Listen to the Mockingbird book. For no reason other than when I wasn't working or furniture hunting at "the bins" (score! for $30.50: two ottomans, two nice mis-matched dining room chairs, one big bulky old stereo console furniture thing--which was actually free by the side of the road, a paperback about Chinese medicine, and a very oddly shaped modernist mini-bookshelf) these things provided major relief.

Friday, July 07, 2006

And the rest of the scene still exists

BIG BOYS "Which Way To Go"

Not a rare song, nor a particularly unheralded band this time. The summer makes a lazy man extra lazy. Well, maybe they were a bit unheralded outside of Austin and L.A. at the time, but surely that's been redressed by now. Wikipedia credits them for spreading hardcore across our fair land, which seems pretty wrong to me both on the historical side of things and the musical side, but I don't feel like ever dipping into "correcting" a Wikipedia entry. I mean, I'm a geek and all but I'm not that kind of geek. You know, the kind who cares about accuracy too much.

I do know that this tune is from the Texas band's posthumous 1984 release on Enigma, No Matter How Long the Line Is at the Cafeteria, There's Always a Seat. It's always been one of my three favorite Big Boys songs, and needless to say I was delighted when Seam did a slow-kiddie-core cover of it a few years later.

Didn't get turned on to this band until after they'd broken up, thanks to onetime dorm-mate Al Brown, who lent me this album like in '87, along with the just-released Paid in Full. If you click on that link, check out Alex's Alice Coltrane painting from last year. Holy hell. I always knew Alex was smarter and more talented than anyone else at school, but I didn't realize the dude is brilliant until a few years ago.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Fundamental Tom

TARA JANE O'NEIL "Fundamental Tom"

Nice instrumental piece from the new TJO jam In Circles, which is flat-out fabulous. You better get yourself a copy of her two import CDs issued on vinyl by the brilliant Mississippi Records, and soon.

If I may lazily slip into self-promotional mode, one of the dozen book projects we have on the back burner is a small, square hardbound, thick full color book of Tara's visual work, with a CD of all new material included. We're gonna do the same with E*Rock, but his will have a DVD inside. OK, enough goofing around.

Now to cogently segue into the confessional mode, I have to say I'm a bit stressed to be meeting my girl's folks for the first time tonight. Also, am I the only one totally confused about is it a Monday or is it a Wednesday or what? Something tells me no.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I lost my sense of

THE GREAT UNWASHED "Sense of Balance"

This live ca. '81 song is from the Oddities Two cassette, which I believe has yet to receive a release beyond its initial cassette pressing in the '80s on Flying Nun. Used to own a copy; my brother Kevin came up with a CD burn of it that sounds rather nice for my birthday or Christmas or something the other year.

This was/ is an awesome present as I'd not heard these particular Clean and Great Unwashed songs in years, and I cling to my belief that a lame little throwaway song by the brothers Kilgour bests most acts' best tunes. I am a very difficult person to get gifts for. I either have it or I used to have it or have a Very Big Opinion about it (how could you get me that? are you saying I'm friggin lame?) that precludes me from digging it. Or if I don't have it already or haven't heard it or read it how can it be any good? Hah. Just kidding. Sort of. My sister Katie gets me fancy soap, which is a very smart gift, and if she's saying I'm smelly or soemthing at least she's saying that nicely. My other sister simply gives me some cash; all these gifts are perfect. If you want to give me a gift sometime, and I know you do!, make it cash or fancy soap or an obscure recording of some sort that you know for a fact I do not have. OK, glad to have that cleared up.

Last night while putting the final finishing touches on the YETI 4 CD, I thought that what I should do with the YETI discs now that we're going to start coming out with them more often (really) is to turn a small chunk of each (and space inthe accompanying issue) over to a series of bands I've always loved and yet who maybe people don't know so well, focusing on rare/ unreleased material by each (not super obscure but like... the Grifters, the Clean, 39 Clocks, Charlie Pickett and the Eggs, June Brides maybe). 'Cause it sure would rule to, for instance, have a handful of rare Clean/ related tracks on one disc?! We'll see.

I also really want to have "guest curators" each time now, as both Eric from Mississippi Records and Adam Forkner both got me some amazing stuff on the new one... YETI 4 has four amazing Ethiopian, Eritrean and Kenyan tracks from the '20s and from this year that you've never heard before. And they rule. And they make me not so bummed that there is hardly any gospel on this disc.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Cheer up my brother


A neat trick many gospel artists did was to slightly recast traditional songs as their own (a practice not in any way endemic solely to gospel). I'd assume this was in order to get the publishing money (or at least to give that money d'reckly to their record label presidents), right? Anyway, this here smoove, jubilee style reworking of "Farther Along" is not the Swans' greatest moment by any means. But it does show how even when they were coasting, it was like at ninety miles an hour.

Hope you all had a great time celebrating the nation's independence from a repressive, regressive government that cared not a single whit for the well-being of its people...

Ohhhh, wait. Fuck.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

It is grand


Some people believe the great sanctified blues singer E.W. Clayborn, whose first recordings for Vocalion simply bore the credit THE GUITAR EVANGELIST, played slide guitar lap style. I'm becoming obsessed by his music, and there's so little known. We just have one photo from a Vocalion sleeve. Paul Oliver surmises the dude came from Alabama in his great study Songsters and Saints, based on the fact that he shared a session with Charles Davenport who was from there.

Dude's vocals are stern and restrained, his lyrics often pretty uptight recriminations that say stuff like "That's the Wrong Way to Celebrate Christmas Day" or "Everybody Ought to Treat Your Mother Right," and at least three songs warn that you basically can't trust anyone (Oliver does a slight bit of armchair shrinking which does seem warranted). As often stated, the dude basically played the same way in each song: almost the exact rhythmic pattern, slide lines that answer the vocals, and nearly the same chords every time as well. So, unlike the often similar Blind Willie Johnson, this is not a dude you would ever invite to a party.

There remains something I love about him, though. Some things, I mean. That clean and delicious guitar style? The jaunty little two-step rhythm he has going on by plucking the bass strings like that? The fact you kind of know what you're going to get with him? Because I still love the three R's so much (of course they are... repetition, repetition, repetition)? This song is one of his happiest and most uplifting, btw.

Speaking of uplifting, dude, I try not to complain... (Ummm, really I do!) But some of these complications from diabetes really blow, especially the fact that the vision in my left eye has gotten quite a bit worse since my "out of control diabetes" diagnosis last December. I just got new lenses and I'm having to learn to see/ focus differently, I guess? There are permanently popped blood vessels in that eye now (sweet! I always look stoned!?) so I'm afraid the best I can do in that eye now even with a much stronger prescription is not-that-fuzzy, where the right eye is different, it can see a lot more clearly. This has been the case for many months but in glasses that were way out of whack so everything was fuzzy. I dunno, it is possible that this prescription is wrong but I've known my eyesight in that eye got worse. I just thought somehow that corrective lensescould, you know, correct it? The good news is the damage coulda been a lot worse, but isn't. People go blind from this shit, you know? Anyway, sorry for venting here; today, it's that or putting my fist into the drywall.

How bad-ass was that? Wooooah, fists in the wall, man. Clearly, I am the most bad-ass lover of sanctified blues on my entire block, I bet. Or this part of the block, anyway.