JACK ROSE discography by Byron Coley (from Arthur No. 33)

As published in Arthur No. 33 (Jan 2013) (sold out)



Above: Still from Jack Rose & Glenn Jones: The Things That We Used to Do film/dvd, courtesy Jesse Sheppard and Glenn Jones.

JACK ROSE DISCOGRAPHY

by Byron Coley (with thanks for help from Mike Gangloff & Glenn Jones)

Hung Far Low, Portland Oregon (Klang CDR, 2001)
Doctor Ragtime (Tequila Sunrise CDR, 2002)
Red Horse White Mule (Eclipse ECL-012 LP, 2002)
“Red Horse II” on Wooden Guitar (Locust Music 33 CD, 2003; 2LP, 2008)
Raag Manifestos (VHF #85 CD, 2003; Eclipse ECL-039 LP, 2004)
Opium Musick (Eclipse ECL-026 LP, 2003)
“White Mule” on Golden Apples of the Sun (Bastet BAST-0001, 2004)
Kensington Blues  (VHF #92 CD; Tequila Sunrise TS-12001 LP, 2005)
“White Mule III” on Imaginational Anthem (Tompkins Square TSQ0531 CD, 2005)
“Box of Pine” on This Side Up (UK Ptolemaic Terrascope POT-35 CD, 2005)
“Sun Dogs” & “Now That I’m a Man Full Grown” on By The Fruits You Shall Know The Roots (Time-Lag/Eclipse 3LP, 2005)
“Hey Fuck You Rag” on Two Million Tongues Festival (Bastet BAST-0006 CD, 2005)
“Variations on Fleur de Lis/Be The Name of the Lord” on Dream Magazine #5 comp (SWE Dream Magazine CD, 2005)
“Untitled (Parts I & II)” (Tequila Sunrise TS-7002 7”, 2006)
“Cross the North Fork II” on Imaginational Anthem Volume Two (Tompkins Square TSQ1424 CD, 2006)
“Amp” on Less Self Is More Self (A Benefit Compilation for Tarantula Hill) (Ecstatic Peace E#107 2CD, 2006)
Jack Rose (aRCHIVE 28 CD, 2006; Tequila Sunrise TS-12006 LP, 2007)
“How Green Was My Valley/Buckdancer’s Choice” (split with Silverster Anfang) (BEL Funeral Folk ff015 7”, 2007)
“Since I’ve Been a Man Full Grown” on The Great Koonaklaster Speaks: A John Fahey Celebration (Table of the Elements TOE-CD-91 CD, 2007)
“Revolt” on Mind the Gap Volume 68 (BEL Gonzo Circus GC084, 2007)
I Do Play Rock and Roll (Three Lobed TLR-049 CD/LP, 2008)
Dr. Ragtime & His Pals (Tequila Sunrise TS-12007R, 2008)
“Mr. Rose Visits Washington DC” on Meet the Philly Eilte (BEL K-raa-k 7”, 2009)
The Black Dirt Sessions (Three Lobed TLR-066 LP, 2009)
Luck in the Valley (Thrill Jockey 229 LP, 2010)
“Moon in the Gutter” on Rough Trade Shops – Psych Folk 10 (UK Rough Trade COOPR250 CD, 2010)
Unrock Series – 12.11.2009 (GER Unsound UNR-009 CDR, 2010)

As Dr. Ragtime:
“Buckdancer’s Choice/Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground” (Sacred Harp Library 7”, 2005)
“Alap/Flirting with the Undertaker” (Tequila Sunrise TSR-6, 10” 78, 2005)
(compiler) Dr. Ragtime Presents Nice and Nasty (Ecstatic Yod CDR, 2008)

Jack Rose & Jason Bill:
Via St. Louis (Drunken Fish dfr-36 CD, 1996)

Jack Rose & Glenn Jones:
“Linden Avenue Stomp” on The Wire Tapper 17 (UK Wire Magazine CD, 2007)
The Things We Used to Do DVD (Strange Attractors Audio House SAAH058 DVD, 2010)

Jack Rose & the Black Twig Pickers:
Jack Rose & The Black Twig Pickers (Klang Industries 008 LP; VHF #116 CD, 2009)
“Revolt/Soft Steel Prison” (UK Great Pop Supplement GPS28 7”, 2008)
“Shooting Creek/Rappanhannock River Rag” (UK Great Pop Supplement GPS49 7”, 2009)

Jack Rose with D. Charles Speer & Helix:
Ragged and Right (Thrill Jockey 12.42 mini-LP, 2010)

with Ugly Head:
Spoon Knife Fuck (Transparanoia 7” , 1994)
A Bowl of Fever (Transparanoia 7”, 1994)
“These Drugs Aren’t Working” & “Throttled Sleep” on Dixie Flatline (Radioactive Rat CD, 1994)
Silence Is the Mystery of the Future Age (Transparanoia CD, 1997)

with Pelt:
Brown Cyclopedia (Radioactve Rat 333 LP, 1995)
“Big Stick and Little Sweet Play ‘In the Pocket’” (possibly) on With Pure Hell Raying From Our Sacs (no label MC, 1995)
Burning / Filament / Rockets (Econogold Ego-002 CD, 1995)
Snake to Snake (Klang Industries LP, 1996)
Woove Issue Five split with Soma 77 (WUVT-FM 7”, 1996)
Max Meadows (VHF #28 CD, 1996)
Techeod (VHF #36 CD, 1997)
For Michael Hannahs (no label CDR, 1997; VHF #38 CDR, 1998)
Black Florida split with Harry Pussy (Klang Part 3 7”, 1998)
“Zinc Mine” on untitle comp (UK Ptolemaic Terrascope POT-24 7”, 1998)
“Tibetan Ass Hash” on Umlauted Roman Numeral Five (Klang Industries Fifth Anniversary) (Klang 2CDR, 1999)
Empty Bell Ringing in theSky (VHF #43 2LP, 1999)
Rob’s Choice (VHF #54 CD, 1999)
two untitled tracks on Pelt/Pengo/Andy Gilmore Live At The Vilage Gate Carbon CR33 CDR, 2000)
Keyhole (w/Keenan Lawler, Eric Clark) (Eclipse ECL-006 LP, 2000)
Ayahuasca (VHF #62 2CD, 2001)
Houston 2001 (Klang CDR, 2001)
Six of Cups (Klang CDR, 2001)
“The Signal Tower at Murraysville, Pennsylvania” on The Invisible Pyramid (Last Visible Dog 2CD, 2003)
Keyhole II (w/Keenan Lawler, Eric Clark) (Eclipse ECL-017 LP, 2003)
Pearls from the River (VHF #76 CD, 2003)
A Capsized Moment/Paris 3.5.04 (Klang CDR, 2004)
Untitled (VHF #90 CD, 2005)
Skullfuck/Bestio Tergum Degero (VHF #98 CD, 2006)
“Sunflower River Blues” on I Am the Resurrection: A Tribute to John Fahey (Vanguard 79789-2 CD, 2006)
Heraldic Beasts (Eclipse ECL-050 2LP, 2006)

with Pelt/Rake:
United Supreme Council/Oastem! Vibe Orchestra (Eclipse ECL-009 LP, 2001)

with Dredd Foole & the Din:
The Whys of Fire (Ecstatic Yod #49C/FYPC20 CD, 2003)

with Glenn Jones:
“Linden Avenue Stomp” (unique version) on This is the Wind That Blows It Out (Strange Attractors Audio House SAAH024 CD, 2004)

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.

SUN CITY GIRLS: GOD, HOW THEY SUCKED by Byron Coley (Arthur No. 26/Sept 2007)

Originally published in Arthur No. 26 (September 2007)

Sun City Girls: God, How They Sucked, 1981-2007
by Byron Coley

The Sun City Girls were one of the great bands of my lifetime. Now they’re gone and the world is both meaner for their passing and richer for their having been here. Their official end occurred on February 19, 2007. That was the day Charlie Gocher, the band’s drummer, succumbed to forces greater than his own—a concept almost unfathomable, but true nonetheless.

For 25 years, the Sun City Girls were a trio of exquisitely hermetic design. Charlie Gocher, Alan Bishop and Rick Bishop created a wildly bizarre universe in which almost anything seemed possible. It was always difficult with these guys to understand where truth ended and fiction began, but it didn’t seem to really matter. Like the LSD street-talkers of my youth, conversations with the band (in whole or in part) tended to obliterate many of the culturally-drawn distinctions that usually seem important. They were able to bend time and space to their own evil intent, which, luckily for all of us, was really not evil at all.

The Girls dropped many delightful and smelly bucketfuls of recordings over the years. Singles, videos, CDs, cassettes and LPs. These ranged from the virtually unlistenable—arch sets of covers played with enough irony to give you a soft-on for a year—to albums like Torch of the Mystics, which floated into the spaces between your atoms, instantly bonding with every available surface.

Never the touringest of bands, the Girls nonetheless remain most burned into my memory for their live shows. The earliest ones were mysto-shroud post-core jamborees of the most frenzied nature imaginable. Later ones blended shtick and strangeness and playing so brilliantly precise it was devastating. There was Charlie, assaulting his drums like a myth-gorilla trapped inside a VW bug. There was Alan, moving between jazzbo-centric bass pops and the corrosive performance art characters with which he amused himself. There was Rick, just kind of taking it all in and regurgitating splanges of guitar noise as delicate or vicious as you could imagine. Together they seemed unstoppable.

One of the last times I saw them was a two-night stand they did at the 2004 Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival. My friend Benoit had never seen them before, but he knew he was in for a treat. I explained we should be prepared to heckle the Girls with all the means at our disposal, since they thrived on intense audience interaction, no matter how negative. He was leery, but game. The first night we screamed our heads off, drawing incredible barbs from Alan’s Uncle Jim doppelganger and getting more than a few rises out of Rick when we began insulting him for being a rare book dealer. So successful was this approach, Benoit was invited onto the stage the next night to give Alan a tutorial in Quebecker cussing. It was an exquisite evening, although Charlie was clearly not feeling well before the show. He explained it as being some variation of a flu, combined with his “advanced age,” but I guess it was a little more complicated than that. Still, he played with a ferocious lop-sided intensity that belied any physical diminishment.

Live shows went back to being a rarity. They played but a single festival set in each of the last three years. There started to be sniping in some quarters regarding the band’s purported heisting of ethnic music traditions, but when I saw them the last time (at ATP in December, 2006), we had a good laugh about the idea of them as cultural imperialists. Their travels around the world had always been journeys of wide-eyed discovery. The souvenirs they bore home from these trips (whether internal or external) were things they were driven to share. Like maniacs. Which they were. To say they didn’t enrich our knowledge of different cultural traditions (particularly those of Southeast Asia), misses more than a few available boats. They were nothing if not the American underground’s cultural ambassadors to the world.

It hasn’t been long since Charlie died. Alan and Rick must still have a lot to figure out. Their varietal solo works will undoubtedly continue in all their glory, and one assumes there are oceans of unreleased material to be pumped into the cosmos. But I will miss knowing the Sun City Girls co-exist with me on this planet. They were a funny and generous group of individuals, committed to a lot of truly worthwhile things, not the least of which was a cruel and cutting humor, beautifully suited to the times in which we live.

But Charlie is no more. And the Sun City Girls are no more. And that’s just something we’ll have to live with.

So long, motherfuckers. You suck.

SCREAM AT THE SKY: Thurston Moore & Byron Coley talk with YOKO ONO (Arthur No. 26/Sept 2007)

SCREAM AT THE SKY
Thurston Moore & Byron Coley talk with YOKO ONO

Originally published in Arthur No. 26 (Sept. 02007)

Yoko Ono is a beauty. When we walk into the room for our interview she is stunning, vivacious, delightful and welcoming. We discover her handlers have deemed us worthy of only half an hour of access. Because our interests lie in focusing on specific, somewhat more arcane aspects of Yoko’s career, particularly those related to her access points into the avant garde of the 1950s and 60s, we are bummed about these time constraints. Yoko is an extremely significant figure in the flow of much that is radical and/or experimental in visual art and musical culture of the last half-century. Our century, the century where media, performance and multi-disciplinary expression was galvanized into wholly new alloy.

The avant garde and its attendant testing, prodding, trapping, releasing, liberating and wildly intriguing vocabulary is something that looms large in Yoko’s history. It was a driving force for her transformation as an artist, and is an exploratory philosophical stance she has embraced for well over 40 years. Her physical trajectory took her from Japan in the 1940s to America in the ’50s and ’60s. There was a momentary return to her homeland in the early ’60s, then back to America (specifically New York City). After that there’s her mid-’60s visit to London, where she meets John Lennon, and all that transpires henceforth—famous and infamous. Hers is a spectacular timeline through the counterculture of the late 20th century.

The celebrated flash notes of her life with Lennon have been obsessively documented and analyzed. Yoko’s own, autonomous history as an academic, musician, artist, filmmaker and a radical innovator in all of those fields has been perenially overshadowed in mainstream journals. It has only been within the last decade that serious consideration of Yoko’s work by above-ground culturistas has even been considered. But it remains a subject that most media-types approach with mincing trepidation and uncomfortable jokes.

When the fantastic Yes Yoko Ono exhibition (and its amazing catalogue, published by Harry N. Abrams) was realized at Japan Society in New York in 2000, art critic Michael Kimmelman reviewed it succinctly in the New York Times (October 27, 2000), detailing Yoko’s rich art lineage. He noted how Yoko established, alongside La Monte Young, the first real artist’s loft, where music and performance were united with the shock of art-as-action. This was where Yoko created works such as “Smoke Piece,” where the audience were asked to burn the art and the self-explanatory “Painting To Be Stepped On.”

Yoko’s loft is where the iconoclast George Maciunas—an amazing outsider force in his own right, who ran the AG Gallery uptown—first became entranced by Buddhist positivity with its smiling, gentle nature. This was an element he immediately grabbed and threw into the berserk counterculture soupcon he christened “Fluxus.” If there’s anything that prefigures punk rock, it’s Maciunas, Yoko and the Fluxus movement. And even more than punk, they’re the direct antecedents of No Wave, that hermetic period in New York City between 1977 and 1980, where actual rock music, regardless of sub-genre, was temporarily obliterated. Yoko spoke of how the Fluxus movement consisted mainly of a single small group of individuals, most of whom were somehow connected to the scene’s own creative process. This is basically the same script the No Wave scene followed in its day, in terms of being part of a small, consistent and almost-fully-participatory community. The biggest parallel is that both scenes, as marginalized as they were at their times, continue to be living underpinnings (or secret histories) of contemporary avant-garde activity.

Interestingly, Kimmelman blows his cover as one art critic who might fully grasp Yoko’s genius, by denouncing her musical activities. He proclaims her visual art, in retrospect, to be underappreciated. He posits her marriage to Lennon as a leap into celebrity, but one to which she absolutely brought an awareness of celebrity-as-performance. He even opines that her films are her greatest achievements (alongside her brilliant, pre-feminist performance masterwork, “Cut Piece”). But he negates these opinions by tossing out a dismisssive kneejerk comment about her music, one whose idiocy is not mitigated by its wide currency. “The music is unbearable,” he writes. “And let’s leave it at that.”

An art critic without the ability to assess musical art with the same aesthetic consciousness he applies to visual art is, to some degree, crippled. But Kimmelman’s myopia is not confined to the compartmentalized world of conventional art critics. There has been a general idea batted about that Yoko Ono’s art, particularly in its musical form, is not worth much or is some kind of cruel joke being played on the public. This idea is so foreign to our ears that it’s almost ungraspable.

Yoko’s music and her visuals have always been stunning, and not easily separable. Yoko Ono as musician, as composer, is inhabiting personae explicitly integral to her life and career as an artist. The ideas and sounds that run throughout her compositions are as filled with wonder and humor and ingenuity as her most engaging work in film, object art, et al. Indeed, her vocal concepts, inside the context of Beatles recordings—the highest profile pop music recordings in history—are astounding, not only for their organic thought-tongue individuality, but also for their ability to deliver genuinely avant-garde statements to a mainstream world.

The fact that this person is female, Japanese, an artist, and was married to John Lennon is something people are still trying to figure out. For many, it’s just a weird bit of proof that there’s a world out there (somewhere) far more fascinating than Main Street. But Yoko’s music is still regarded by the straight press and the bulk of its adherents as an anomaly, some sort of eccentric affectation. The truth is that Yoko studied and practiced traditional composition in the 1950s, while simultaneously exploring ideas of alternative notational theory. This places her right in the same class as such acknowledged transitional thinkers as John Cage, Henry Cowell and David Tudor. Yoko’s compositional work, perhaps especially the “instruction pieces,” and her sharp-edged performances, were profound by any measure. When you factor in her ethnicity and gender, it’s easy to believe her efforts were more functionally radical than those of any contemporaries. In the context of her partnership with John Lennon, we got to experience a premier avant garde artist’s attempt to unify her own process with a rock n’ roll dynamic. Which, alongside the art/music relationship of Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground and the influence these mutually beneficial connectives have had on the modern state of art/rock, is pretty goddamn great.

Anyway, the time constraints meant we were only able able to get a small taste of Yoko’s incredible history. But with Yoko a taste is way more than a mouthful.

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