BULL TONGUE review column by Byron Coley and Thurston Moore (Arthur 33/Jan 2013)

Originally published in Arthur No. 33 (Jan 2013)


BULL TONGUE
by Byron Coley & Thurston Moore

- Exploring the voids of all known undergrounds since 2002 -

1 CLAUDE PELIEU It has been ten years since the French-born artist, writer, and translator Claude Pelieu died at his home in upstate New York. His memory has been well served this past year, by the publication of at least three books that should be of extreme interest to anyone with a true hankering for the avant garde. The first is Kali Yug Express (Bottle of Smoke Press, bospress.net), a fantastic cut-up novel originally published in France in 1974. Translated by Pelieu’s late widow and long-time partner-in-crime, Mary Beach, it’s great to finally have a chance to read this book in a language we completely understand. As with some of his other work, Pelieu’s cut-ups do not always flow with the same dream-logic that guides Burroughs’ hand when he’s navigating similar waters, but it reads quite well. And Bill Roberts’ production standards are as high as ever. Second up is Un Amour de Beatnik (Non Lieu, editionsnonlieu.fr), a collection of letters and poems sent to Pelieu’s first wife (Lula Nash) in 1963-64, along with examples of his visual work from the early ‘60s. Although it’s all in French, the book is written in a relatively straightforward way, so you can parse it out even if yr French is as rusty as ours. Fully annotated, with period photos, a good chronology and whatnot, it’s a very solid read (and Claude’s early Leger-influenced paintings are quite a revelation). Third is Pelieu Mix/Etat des Lieux (la Notonecte, 15 bis rue Noel du Fail, Rennes, 35000, France), assembled by Benoit Delaune. Pelieu Mix is mostly a facsimile edition of some of Pelieu’s notebooks from the late ‘90s, filled with various texts, collages. It’s a great, beautiful jumble of stuff, presented spiral-bound, and now that we’re examining it more closely we realize it may have come out a while ago. But we just got it, so fuck you. More info on Pelieu and his art (as well as Mary Beach’s) can be had at beachpelieuart.com. Worth whatever eye strain it takes.

2 SPECTRE FOLK Spectre Folk is Pete Nolan’s long-running non-Magik Markers combo. And their new album, The Ancient Storm (Vampire Blues, vampireblues.net), is a quartet scene, with Pete joined by Aaron Mullan, Steve Shelley and Peter Meehan. Dreamier, poppier and ghostlier than previous efforts, it is tempting to call this the best record with a world class foodie (Meehan) since Robert Sietsema’s last recording with Blinding Headache. The longer tracks have a splendid psych droopiness and the whole thing just flows like butter. Meanwhile, Nolan’s label, Arbitrary Signs (arbitrarysigns.blogspot.com, has continued to flower slowly. Most recent drop was Your First Ever River by United Waters. UW is the new solo (or solo-esque) project by Brian Sullivan from Mouthus. The guy’s a brutal arm-wrestler (take our word!), but he also shows an incredible deftness with deeply murky pop constructions on River. Even more than with Brian’s other project, Eskimo King, the sounds here are bizarre but assembled with a precision recalling some of the best efforts of the long-gone Bobby J label. It’s a record that rewards heavy, smoked listening. Don’t think we ever mentioned the last record on Arbitrary Signs either, which was Four Corners Bounce by Devin, Gary & Ross. The surnames invovled are Flynn, Panter & Goldstein, so you can be assured this project is also a riot of screwed-up ‘60s pop readymades, interspersed with doper madness and actual songs that will twist yr mind like taffy. Don’t not check it out.

Continue reading

HOUSEKEEPING NOTE

BYRON COLEY, whose work has appeared in every single issue of Arthur ever published, has been named Arthur’s first and only “Senior Writer.”

Now enthroned, he has submitted his first-ever (!?!) cover feature for Arthur: a 10,000-word interview, with 202 sidenotes, that will run in Arthur No. 34, our March 5, 2013.

He will bury us all, and we will like it.

BULL TONGUE by Byron Coley & Thurston Moore from Arthur No. 25 1/2

Note: The following was intended for publication in Arthur No. 26′s original print date of February 2007. Arthur No. 26 was eventually published in September 2007, with a completely different, fresh column.

BULL TONGUE
Exploring the Voids of All Known Undergrounds
by Byron Coley and Thurston Moore

Bull Tongue 80 for 06

1. GOTHENBURG BLOOD CULT – New tape label out of Sweden bartering in ultra hell noise. Check out the compilation Fuck Money, Fuck Life with grinding hardcore spew from Maniac Cop, Ochu and Treriksroset. Sweden’s such a beatific place, it’s hard to figure the gore mania the noise scene there is so preoccupied with.

2. SAME BAND – Boxed Set 10 CD box (Disques Dual) Amazing documentation of a Portland, ME combo who existed in an oddball universe akin to some of the best just-pre-punk weirdos. They came along later than bands like MX-80 Sound, but manifest a similar vibe, which makes sense because their roots stretch back to the Granite Farm Band, a combo formed in ’68. Part free-form, part Zappa, part punk, this is rural-experimental fuckeroo of the highest order. Includes some DVD video footage, interviews, a great booklet of fliers and pics, and is contained inside a most lovely wooden box. During their lifetime they cut only one LP and one 45, but this set (recorded between ’77 and ’80) captures a brilliant, beautiful strangeness.

3. SIC ALPS – Pleasures and Treasures LP (Animal Disguise) It’s time for Sic Alps to fully bust out. An incredible raw psychedelia is being played here and after a couple of down-low tapes on Folding and Animal Disguise we’re steamy mouthed listening to their first LP (which is basically an early version of the band with the awesome Bianca Sparta of Erase Errata.)

4. DESPERATE MAN BLUES DVD – director: Edward Gillan (Dust to Digital) Nice to have a DVD of this great documentary on Joe Bussard, plus another featurette, King of the Record Collectors, and other bonus stuff. Bussard is a stone gas, grooving around his basement amidst one of the finest collections of pre-war 78s ever assembled. A few nice archival shots of Fahey, too. And the stories are hilarious.

5. RAYMOND DIJKSTRA – Der Triumph LP (Le Souffleur) What sounds like a man scraping broken glass on metal with brain-burnt organ accompaniment makes for one killer LP. Dijkstra has been honing his skin-splitting aurality for years and presents us this masterpiece in a hardback linen box sleeve.

6. LOU DUBOSE & JAKE BERNSTEIN – Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency (Random House) There’s nothing in here you didn’t suspect, but Dubose & Bernstein lay out the whole ugly quilt for the entire world’s inspection. Research and writing are both excellent. You’ll puke. Again.

7. NON-HORSE – Rigor More cassette (Not Not Fun) Vanishing Voice member Gabriel Lucas Crane’s spirit-sonic masterpiece told in 77 chapters of beautiful mystic tones.

8. VALERIE WEBBER – Thin Little Arms Build Castles (Big Baby Press) Webber has hit a new mark with this book of poems. They glower with a savage steaminess that recalls (in part) some of Lydia Lunch’s best work. But she does not have Lydia’s vicious nihilism. Valerie’s possesses a strangely juicy optimism as often as it does darkness, and there is a humor poking through many of the pieces, letting in illuminative shards of light. Favorite poem: “I Am Bitch Almighty.”

9. JAMIE FENNELLY – Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down cassette (Deep Fried Tapes) Out of nowhere, well Philadelphia actually, tape label with regional creative-squall action. Fennelly’s excursion here looks like it would be old-timey hoedown but it’s a great dark, droning improvisation that strokes the inner gore nicely.

10. HI GOD PEOPLE / DEAD C – split LP (Nervous Jerk) Debut release by the great Australian label formerly known as Art School Dropout. Dead C’s side was live at the 2002 ATP Festival and is a brilliant evocation of elemental, abstract forces, culminating in a destroyed exorcism of “L.A. Blues.” The flip, by Melbourne’s finest, is their own, very special sorta rumble through a variety of style-dodges. Wonderful destruction of pre-dawn tongues.

11. SWORD HEAVEN – Ohio duo that blamm-oed through the USA this summer really just killing live. Super intense drums/etc music-action with a blasted dose of off-the-stage and in-yr-face performance wildness.

12. P SHAW – Strings (Pshaw!) P Shaw has long been one of Boston’s great creators. His homemade comics are jammed with crazy details and storylines that will make you spit cereal out yr nose. Anyway, Strings is something like the story of Death Rattle Cat, plus related sketchbook material. And if it doesn’t melt yr eyes, well, that’s just too bad.

13. BLUES CONTROL – Riverboat Styx cassette (fuckittapes) Sweet rolling psyche minimalism from Brooklyn. Members of the way more abstracted Watersports.

14. KA-NIVES!! – Get Duped LP (Lance Rock) Crude, stupid, intimately sloppy garage punk from Houston. Drunkenly related to the great Sugar Shack, this one will make every cup in yr house quiver like a tin rattle.

15. NEUNTOTER DER PLAGE – The Spectre Sows His Seed cassette (Truculent) Howling dark ambient spook core. Perfect long winter night blood ritual groan fest. One of the better labels out of Providence, RI.

16. KAREN CONSTANCE & LAUREN NAYLOR – Chapters PORTFOLIO (Someone Else) 20 gorgeous two-sided prints by these brain-felching UK artists—one side b&w, one side color—all images drawn from deep wells of the impossible. Corrosive dreamscapes at their absolute finest. Beautiful!

17. RUNDOWNSUN – Of all the tape labels that spray paint their cassettes it’s this Canadian label that does it most exquisitely. Gorgeous, dot-dash Pollock abstraction with lovely topographic sensuality.

18. STUMPS – Split Fleet Dodge LP (Palindrone) Cool New Zealand trio antics from Antony Milton and pals. From winsome electro-dribble through into full-blown avant-rock splooie, this LP includes some splashy guest organ work by Campbell Kneale and great wobble-vibes galore.

19. FEMINIST ACTION BRIGADE – Formerly known as Feminists Against Bush, an open-forum collective of women expressing through music, art, ideas, opinions the state of power-imbalance in regards to gender and politics. Their FAB site has the story. Co-organizer Marissa also has a wicked cool experimental sound-jam cassette on Tobi Vail’s Bumpidee tape label called Marissa Magic! Also a good place to hook up with awesome liberation-punk trio, The Punks.

20. OGX – 2LP (Old Gold) Not sure if this has been out for years already or something, but it just landed in the box. Anyway, it’s a tenth anniversary comp for the great Old Gold label, and it includes all kindsa sick shit–from the high-end improv of Charlie Parker (the band) to live duo work from Eugene Chadbourne & Davey Williams. Solid and handmade—just like crack!

21. RAIONBASHI – Chloral Works I & II LP (Entr’acte) Not sure if chloral is a misspelling or intentional. But as insanely heavy as this body-part sound/yodel manipulation one-sided LP goes who cares? Raionbashi is a German dude, part of Schimpfluch Aktionist scene, and this is a weirdo tongue and ass slap piece of amplification that is full on hot n’ nasty.

22. MONDO MACABRO – Still the coolest exploito DVD reissue company going. Highlights from this year include Snake Dancer (the highpoint of South African stripper cinema) & The Bollywood Horror Collection Vol. 1—a two-disc set with a pair of amazing satan-o/vampire flicks and great documentaries.

23. KENT TAYLOR AND ALAN HORVATH – looking for d.a. levy (Random Sightings) – THE d.a. levy BIBLIOGRAPHY Volume 1 [1963 – 1966] (Kirpan Press) Premier volume rundown of every publication d.a. levy involved himself with. With full-page reproductions of many of the titles. Essential resource for anyone into the work of one of America’s greatest voices of inspired dissent and bloodymindedness.

24. DAN NADEL – Art Out of Time (Abrams) Dan Nadel of Picture Box edited this superb anthology, subtitled Unknown Comic Visionaries 1900-1969. Some of the text is a little hard to read, but it’s worth the eyestrain to see this stuff—it’s unbelievably choice and weird!

25. THE BRATS – Criminal Guitar LP (Rave Up) Oh my God, The Brats were the perennial house band at Great Gildersleeves down the street from CBGB in the ’70s. With punk in full-on birth pang The Brats were still stuck in New York Dolls/Sweet mode with shag hairdos and platforms, starry-eyed that Kiss made it big and street-wise enough to acknowledge that the New York Dolls just plain OD’d. Thirty years down the road listening to this assembly of demos, practices, live shit and their one and only 7” its cool to hear how these guys were kinda great in a genuine NYC street trash “raunchy rock” way. Where’s our Quaalude Queen now?
Continue reading

BULL TONGUE by Byron Coley & Thurston Moore from Arthur No. 24 (Sept. 2006)

first published in Arthur No. 24 (September, 2006)

BULL TONGUE
Exploring the Voids of All Known Undergrounds
by Byron Coley and Thurston Moore

First of all, a few people have been griping lately that they continue to send us stuff to review and they aren’t getting any word aktion in return. To this, we say—sorry. We get a numbing amount of material to review, and the vast bulk of it is actually pretty interesting. We do the best we can, although there has been talk about supplementing the print column with something additional that’d run on the Arthurmag.com website. In the meantime, don’t lose the faith. If you are doing good, idiosyncratic work, we’ll do what we can to pass the word one way or another. Keep it coming.

Upset The Rhythm has been one of the coolest collectives tooling around London since their inception in 2003. They put on shows by the most radical of radical post riot punk action core noise freakers who happen to blow through town as well as put a few records out. They’ve really scored hard with a split release LP by howling UK psyche-tribe femme jamsters Leopard Leg and San Francisco all-girl metal/howl 4tet T.I.T.S.. Both these bands are super wild with Leopard Leg being a 10+ outfit of London and Brighton women stirring up a drumming, whooping cry to the Goddess light of sound, vision and pre-rock soulfire. T.I.T.S. have weirdo metal moves informed by the legacy of S.F. underground experimental noise and good times rock chaos catharsis from whence they came. The total witch jazz guitar juice and pummel bass/drum bash here put us on high alert. This split LP Throughout the Ages is a gorgeous gatefold affair and one anyone’d be a sap to pass on.

Tony Rettman, long time major domo of 200 Pound Underground, has been expanding his empire lately. He’s doing all kindsa crap on his new WFOT imprint, and one of the neatest is a book of art by Marcia Bassett and Matthew Bower. Not sure if it has a title, but it’s great stuff – avant garde van art at its finest. Good thing to look at the next time you spin that Hototogisu 3LP set. Fusetron and Volcanic Tongue handle it. Michael Bowman’s Nova Feedback is also easy on the eyes. The first five issues collect a hot bouquet of drawings and collages that range from extremely casual to speed-freak-detailed. Some of them have a very ‘50s animation feel to them (although the subject matter has a tendency to be bit perverse) and it would be mighty interesting to meet a woman who was covered with his designs as tats. There’s also another great booklet from L.A.’s Hello Trudi folks. Bro, Maybe the Good Times Are Over is a beautiful menagerie of smuts both crude and cruder. Garry Davis has also come through with something different: a booklet of collages called You’re On Glue. Done over the course of 17 years, it’s a wonderful collection of image-chops, very few of which fall into any of the standard style-holes one might expect.

Help yourself to an exquisitely duppy split LP, shared by Dinosaurs, Baseball & Hopscotch (a sorta Indiana spazz-prov all star orchestra) and France’s Glen or Glenda (Friends and Relatives). DBH lock onto a riff the way a horny poodle locks onto your pantleg, burrowing snoots deep into your, uh, snoot receptor. It’s reminiscent of a more jazzbo-oriented Fuzzhead or something. Glen or Glenda are a trio who go from grunting metal-themed instrumentals into a very bruising jazz/noise hybrid at the drop of a chapeau. I have no real idea what the fuck they’re up to, but what’s not to like? Check their website and see if you can get an accurate fathom reading.

Most interesting rock read this time might well be the interview with Portland, Maine’s the Same Band in Kapital Ink. Although I’d never heard of the combo—and still haven’t heard a note they played—the story they tell ranges from Marion Brown’s tenure at Bowdoin College through the punk era, and it’s highly reet. Also up there in any terms you’d care to name is Dumb Angel #4. Largely penned by surf/Beach Boys scholar, Dominic Priore, this issue is a wild dive into Southern California beach culture of the early/mid ’60s. Includes a piece by Harvey Kubernick about Phil Spector, a great survey of the early work of artist John van Hammersveld, stuff on Les Baxter, and wads of words and pics regarding the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Dick Dale, et al. It’s been a long time since the last one, but the wait was definitely worth it. As is issue #6 of George Parsons’ always-delirious Dream magazine. Noted in some circles as the most heroic looking interviewee in that Jandek documentary, Parsons has assembled a great set of pieces regarding psych, folk and general undergroundery (My Cat is An Alien, Bridget St. John, Vibracatherdal Orchestra, Windy & Carl, etc.) and packed it all up with a dandy CD featuring all of the aforementioned and more.

Swinging Michigan aktion comes in the form of the Tender Swarm LP by Genders (Ypsilanti). It has a disntinctly post-punk Brit sound with shards of PiL, the Pop Group and even Furious Pig rooting around the garbage-strewn lanes of the upper midwest. How careerist! There is also a post-punque classique feel to some of the moves on first, before and never again (Mt. St. Mtn.), the debut LP by San Francsico’s the Mall. But they intersprese their bass lobbery with geographically appropriate references—a little Residents on the vocals, some Tuxedo Moon on the keys, even a touch of Sleepers in the guitar. Mix that with murky original stutterage and you get pretty cool results. Nice looking album, too.

It was with tremulous hand that we snatched up Tim Mitchell’s book, Sonic Transmission: Television, Tom Verlaine, Richard Hell. Continue reading

BULL TONGUE by Byron Coley & Thurston Moore from Arthur No. 25 (Nov. 2006)

first published in Arthur No. 25 (November/Winter, 2006)

BULL TONGUE
Exploring the Voids of All Known Undergrounds
by Byron Coley and Thurston Moore

Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Bar are a married couple from Flensburg, Germany. Hjular is an artist into collecting art-music and outsider weirdo records. He met Mama when she was 17 and the two of them live out in some mysterious house of cosmic wonder, where they record all kinds of bizarre jams and release them on their own Schöne-Hjuler-Memorial-Fond label in editions of 5 to 50. If you look on their site you can see their discography which is massive and, for the most part, sold out. We were finally able to grip a copy of their 100th release, fortuitously in an edition of 100. Wiederaufnahmeverfahren II/06 (SHMF) is a split LP by the two and if it’s any indicator of the Fluxus pleasure found on the previous 99 releases, then someone please start eBaying those discs cuz we need to hear more. Mama’s side starts with a series of similar sounding high pitched noise junk jolts, then develops into a Rita Ackermann-esque investigation of nursery rhyme sensuality, becoming alluringly repetitive and ultimately crazed as Mama’s lovely sing-song voice is transformed into deep-pit screams of anguish. Wicked. Kommissar’s side is more typically dada, running some very damaged no-fidelity frequencies against Germanic babble. The record comes in three different editions. One has a box with the LP, art, plus other sundries, and it’s cool to see the pair’s ephemeral clutter, particularly the art they make—hers, abstract paint; his, twisted eros collage. But the recordings are what’s key here for sure. A fucked earfull.

Ah, Belgium…perhaps not a comment we utter as often as we might, but it has a nice feel as it flutters over the tongue. And that’s just what it does when Satanische Vrede, the debut LP by Belgium’s Silvester Anfang (K-RAA-K) is playing. So rural, psych and folky they almost sound Finnish, Silvester Anfang is a Maldegem-based outfit whose membership changes with weather and circumstance. They use a barrage of standard rock instruments, but also lotsa odd-sounding string and percussion bits, to create a loopily chiming instrumental sound, more explicitly “out’ (in improvisational terms) than most similarly styled units. There’s nothing precious about this, and it teeters very close to the vibe produced by ostensible post-jazzbos, such as the Sea & Sun Ensemble. Which means there’s good gobbling for the whole trough. R.O.T.’s L’ecurie LP (K-RAA-K) is another explorational Belgian dive into some kinda forest primeval, but their journey is more about electro-acoustic tents propped up by crackling electronic fires in the middle of dark glens. Improvised in a kitchen, this is the sort of music horses hear right before they go to sleep. For good.

Most mind-felching graphics comp to come along lately is definitely the sixth edition of Sammy Harham’s Kramers Ergot (Buenaventura Press). This large paperback is a headrush from beginning to end. It checks in on most of the interesting styles of art currently residing in the graphics underground, from semi-realist to primitive to ratty to psychedelic to computer-generated. It’s one of those books you’ll look at ‘til your eyes get tired, then return to as soon as they’re well rested. Contributors include Gary Panter, Paper Rad, Jeff LaDouceur, Suiho Tagawa and more; the visuals range from single panel gags to long, complex sagas. Amazing. Buenavista has a couple more solid new titles out also. There’s Private Stash, a sleeved, accordion-style portfolio of glamor and nude drawings by Crumb, Clowes, Bagge, Burns, Panter, the Hernandez Bros. and others. There’s also issue 8 of Comic Art, which is a more serious journal devoted to the history of comics. This issue has a great piece on S. Clay Wilson’s newly discovered juvenilia (more on him later), a long Drew Friedman profile, stuff on the pulp art of Edd Cartier, and much more to tickle the brain of the form’s devotees. John Yee’s Arf Museum (Fantagraphics) has a second issue out as well, also taking a somewhat scholarly in-depth approach. Yee’s passion, however, is the juncture between “high art” and comics, so this issue explores that crease. Our fave things this issue are a great Mort Walker piece about meeting Roy Lichtensetin and a survey of gorilla ‘n girl art, but you’ll undoubtedly have your own picks.

The young and dapper Alex Neilson of Glasgow, Scotland is a polite and altogether engaging fellow. He is also one of the most exciting free-spirit percussionists shaking shit up in these halcyon days. His fusion of traditional and avant-garde folk inspirations with free jazz exploration is young and tender and, like a fine clotted cream, superbly succulent. He records with Taupis Tula, a trio consisting also of David Keenan and Heather Leigh Murray (propietors of the Glaswegian record store, Volcanic Tongue) and was a live collaborator on Jandek’s initial sightings. What we have here is his latest solo splooge, An Old Soul At The Helm (Chocolate Monk), recorded under the Directing Hand monniker. Drawing from the percussive history/mind of such stalwart beat babes as Milford Graves, Chris Corsano and Tsuchitori Toshiyuki, then snuggling it with a heartfelt hug for Scottish countryside balladeering is a right-on move to our ears. This CDR, featuring through-the-haze vocal accompaniment by Christina Carter on one track, is the goddamn cheese. Get it and track down his previous sides on Secret Sound, Memoirs Of An Aesthete and—definitely—the new LP, Belsayer Time (Time-Lag) by the trio of Neilson, Alastair Galbraith and Richard Youngs. This is music for the ages and a fantastic visit from New Zealand’s Galbraith. Side one is all wheatgrass and psilocybin while side two is electric jagged crystal strikes. A total must. Power trio of the year.

Oren Ambarchi has long been one of the more interesting figurines on the Australian event horizon. His work with the Menstruation Sisters and Sunn O))) is perhaps his best-known stuff, but he released a deadly series of LPs in the late ‘90s exploring explicit experimental techniques for electric guitar. He has now returned to this concept with the Stacte Motors LP (Western Vinyl) and it’s something worth uncorking immediately. Like the legendary Remko Scha, Ambarchi employs machines to play his guitar strings here. Rotating motors with strings attached slap the guitar in a hypnotically rhythmic fashion while the hum of electricity and various overlays raise the shimmer-potential to extreme heights. Comprised of two long pieces, the album is trance inducing in the best possible way. Ambarchi also works with Australian sound artist, Scott Horscroft, on a split LP shared with the late Japanese experimentalist, Takahito Nakazato (Textile). More guitars are machined on his side, although the results emphasize clutter over calm. Recording as Hado Ho, Takahito’s offering is a suprisingly laidback series of sounds produced by amp noise, mircrophones and bad connections. For all that, it has enough open space inside it for the listener to breath, which isn’t always the case when Japanese noise is on the box.

S.F. guitar improvisor Henry Kaiser has released Domo Arigato Derek-sensei! (Balance Point Acoustics), a wonderful tribute CD to his mentor the late, great Derek Bailey. It delivers a fantastic display of Kaiser’s brain-finger-string-amp process/result with a choice selection of collaborators including Charles K. Noyes, Henry Kuntz, Toshinori Kondo, Andrea Centazzo, Davey Williams, Mototeru Takagi, John Oswald, Derek himself and more. The whole thing runs with spontaneous spoken word memorials interspersed throughout by Kaiser. It’s a sweet and funny fireside chat of a concert, very attuned to Derek’s perpetual spirit. All profits from the CD sales go to Incus Records, Derek (and his partner, Karen Brookman)’s long running chronicle of the improvised music world. And all material is live and free. Natch.

Norwegian Kjetil Brandsdal, used to be an experimental guitarist as well, but he dropped that hat in the gutter. The split LP by two of his current bands, Noxagt and Ultralyd (Textile) features two very raucous sides of proletarian urk. The Noxagt material comes from early rehearsals (or radio shows or something) and consists of short slabbed chunks of goofy noise, including a cover of Toni Basil’s “Mickey.” Ultralyd’s stuff is more feedback-scrambled in its orientation, but still pleasant as getting very soft fur stuck in your eye. Same could be said of Noxagt’s eponymous third LP (Load), which is a brilliant, lunk-headed lurch through instrumental forests of progressive criminality.

Most brilliant, sickest art book to power down the drain in ages is The Art of S. Clay Wilson (Ten Speed Press). Wilson is the Nebraska-born artist who freed Robert Crumb to follow the siren call of his id, and this collection is a horribly thorough dive into his ouevre. From early sketches through comic pages, book covers and more recent color bloodfests, this book is stunner. Wilson’s characters—bikes, pirates, cowboys, beatniks, demons, et al.—wage sense-war on the masses with an obscene strength that is unmatched in documented history. Approach with extreme caution and all your holes open.

Crown Now produce exactly what To Live And Shave in L.A.’s croon king, Tom Smith, must have sounded like as a kid in the backwoods with his Boones Farm-addled pals. With pimple-powered early Suckdog energy, this duo of delirious nerdniks howl along with broken records and messed up tapes, using their shitty microphones’ on/off switches to great effect. Love it! Ain’t nothing like the future, baby. This is one of four debut releases on Jessica Rylan’s new cassette label, Friendship Bracelet. The others are Bone Rattle, two freaks who also perform as Dreamhouse (whose Shake cassette is bunghole sludge dynamism) (which equals: awesome!). Then there’s Cough It Up by the Halflings, another teen combo taking on power electronic goodness. If Jessica is gonna be the den mom of noise, then the kids are definitely alright.

UK shit-noise label Turgid Animal have been releasing all kindsa brit-slime mostly revolving around the Mutant Ape/Filthy Turd axis (which we touched on last column). A particularly interesting split cassette by M.O.A.C. and Coco & Fiend Friend Mononoke (ta043) nearly had us driving the Volvo off into Route 9’s guard rails. M.O.A.C. (Mystic Occult Aid Ceremony) is a Japanese woman now living in Boston who really delivers classic Japanoise aktion (lately overshadowed by the new bleat of the West). Not only is it exciting and refreshing to hear someone really re-investigate this sound-world once again, but she gives it an enticing contempo edge. If you’re an old fan of Vanilla cassette wildness, this momma is yours. Coco And Fiend Friend is two mates really digging chaos, spliced depravity and all the farting mantraz thereof. Extra cruddy. But what is here is ass buhlasting.

Another coupla new installments of the great Hello Trudi have arrived. First is Busyness for the Self, which seems more overtly smutty than some previous issues (although maybe it’s just our mood). The second is You Want to Hear a Simple Story of a Swimsuit Model, another un-linear grapple with words and drawings created in the post-Pettibonian universe, containing one of the best Crass references seen inside the art world in many a moon. New issue of The Chuckwagon is Midnight by Dave Newman. It’s one of the best in the series thus far, a funny, black verse novelette about what it’s like to mop floors in the company of drug-philospher. The latest Shuffleboil has a fine topless Cecil Taylor photo on the cover and Clark Coolidge’s ruminations on that 10-CD Taylor box Codanza put out. There’s plenty of other stuff, too. The standard, brilliant collage of poetry and prose about improvised music and jazz we’ve come to expect from editors, David Meltzer and Stve Dickinson. Ong Ong #3 arrived in a glassine enevlope packed with various random goodies, all of which were nice to examine. As was the mag’s actual contents, which featured interviews with the Grey Daturas, Slim Moon (now outdated, since he’s moving to NYC) a portfolio of show fliers, a CD with Ghost Family (among others) and plenty more.

Among all the sensational exploits of mind cremation at No Fun Festival 2006, the one that had all in attendance either laughing or crying or both, was the hyper-vicious goofbomb noise circus of Macronympha. Along with the group’s stalwarts, two sexually weirded females (one a frozen ice queen friend, the other a saucy asskicker) were loose among the stage melee of oil drums, drunken groping meat claws and an upended card table (which subsequently chopped an audience member’s dick off). Pretty fucking cool gig and one that still has noise bloggers discussing its merits and ramifications. We’re not here to defend or analyze Macronympha’s aesthetics of pain and pleasure. We really just wanna lean back and exclaim “holy shit” Continue reading