April 14, 2009
TONGUE TOP TEN #2
Martin Kippenberger. Untitled from the series Dear Painter, Paint for Me (Ohne title aus der serie Lieber Maler, male mir), 1981.
1. There is currently a huge Martin Kippenberger retrospective show up at MOMA in New York City. It’s called “The Problem Perspective”, and it is an incredible tribute to this wild artist, who created a fairly unbelievable amount of stuff in a trajectory that lasted only 20 years. We first became aware of Kippenberger in the late ’70s or very early ’80s because of his musical work with the band the Grugas (with Christine Hahn and Eric Mitchell), and for his association with the performance space, SO 36. There’s not much evidence of that aspect of his work here, but the multi-floor museum exhibit (and the dandy ass catalogue accompanying it) is a massive mind-blow. Went with some kids and one of ‘em was most impressed by the endless array of sketches, collages and whatnot Martin did on the stationery paper of fancy hotels. Another almost lost it when she realized how mean and funny the sequence of paintings of Picasso’s last wife was. But there is something for everybody here. And the book is excellent. It reprints a long, legendary interview Kippenberger did with Jutta Koether, and includes some extremely useful essays, plus a huge selection of eye candy produced by a guy who was the most influential German artist of his generation.
2. Hampton, Virginia has been throwing down hard lately with its weirdo sick homegrown noise skuzz scene. The group Head Molt seems to be the chief instigators, particularly with the inclusion of wild woman Leah Peah. Leah’s solo cassette, peah pop & the baby lion show on Anti-Everything/AEN tapes is a peek into the furious sensibility she seemingly has raging through her consciousness. Lots of junk psychosis noise swill dementia. But it’s her split tape with freak loop weirdos Cheezface that really caught our attention. A highly contagious flow of sense bliss destruction.
3. A couple of jazz reissues just came out that are so savagely great it would be a goddamn shame to imagine there are homes without them. Both are on Eremite, both are LPs, and are packaged with amazing care via-a-vis sonics, wax quality & visual/heft appeal. The first is Sonny Murray‘s Big Chief, originally released on the French Pathe label, not to be confused with the sessions released under the same name by Shandar. Recorded in January ’69, Murray leads a wild international octet (supplemented in spots by the expatriate jazz poet, Hart LeRoy Bibbs) into insane, ragged bursts of gorgeous beauty. The material they tackle is a fine sample of Murray’s early compositions and the brakeless genius of the group (Francois Tusques, Ronnie Beer, Beb Guerin, Bernard Vitet , , Kenneth Terroade, Alan Silva and Becky Friend!) is the perfect compliment for the moment. Long a lost piece of the Murray discography, it is finally back the way it should be.
The same is true of Red, Black and Green by Solidarity Unit Inc., a rather obscure St. Louis combo led by Charles “Bobo” Shaw, which was essentially an expanded version of the legendary BAG (Black Artists’ Group). The band this evening is Richard Martin, Oliver Lake, Floyd Leflore, Joseph Bowie, Carl Richardson, Clovis Bordeaux, Danny Trice, Baikaids Ysaeen (aka Baikida Carroll) and Kada Kayan. Here, they present a concert, dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, recorded on the day he died, and filled with some of the craziest electric guitar ever, courtesy of the late Richard Martin. The sonics have the same raw galacto-fidelity associated with Arkestral recordings of the same period, and this is a great goddamn explosion. You bet!
From Demons’ “Life Destroyer” dvd
4. Steve Kenney has always been the wild card lost cog in the Michigan noise underground – the true wizard, the most insane of the insane. An original member of the legendarily fucked up Beast People along with Aaron Dilloway,and a current member of Demons with Wolf Eyes’ Nate Young and visualist Alivia Zivich, Kenney is just now beginning to bust out some releases of his own. His axe is the synth and with the proliferation of interest in synth investigations going on in the Midwest with Cleveland’s Emeralds et al and even out East a la Infinity Window and pals–it’s gotta be said: SK rules the fucking roost. The guy’s brain might as well be a modular synth smoked with toxic fuels it sounds that jazz. A great place to lose yrself in his sweet swarm is the cassette In the Sphere I am Everywhere on Nurse Etiquette. Majestic excellence.
5. Just watched some more of Mondo Macabro‘s typically great discoveries in from the international exploitation film front. Female Prisoner: Caged! is part of their Nikkatsu Erotic Cinema series and is pornier than some of the others we’ve scoped. The setting is pretty typical—WOMEN’S PRISON—but the dynamics of life inside the Japanese version has many weird little touches that separate it from the standard U.S. filmic depictions. Many more weird degradations than expected, oddball cinematography and some really interesting contextual info in the extra features.
Barry Prima is The Warrior: “Come on then…i’ll bite your kneecaps off!”
The Warrior is an ’81 Indonesian film starring martial arts guy, Barry Prima (supposedly the only Indonesian star who made a name internationally). The story itself is boilerplate—revolt against colonialist masters sometime in the last century or two—but the Indonesian hallmarks are all here. There’s a huge infatuation with black magic, heads get chopped off and fly around once they’re free, etc. Funniest part, in a way, is the make-up for the soldiers, which is reminiscent of the Vikings in a Turkish film Mondo released a few years back. Cool as hell.
Sleeve to Andy Futreal’s “Did You Find It?”
6. The Earjerk label, which has graced us with great dronage from the stalwart Drunjus collectif, has issued a tape on its Object Tapes by this dude Andy Futreal called Did You Find It?. Futreal had an earlier release on the Belgian label Slooow which was a slew of oud and tape machine improv skuggery. This jammerooni is even more oiled and and junk-toned and shows this cat to be a boss vibe sound skink.
7. Need a bit of an update on Brooklyn’s Talk Normal . Seems like their self-released CD EP, brayed about last time, is newly released on vinyl by the great new Portland label, Just for the Hell of It. No extra tracks, but what’s there is stunning. Also managed to wrangle up copies of a couple of CDRs they sell – Demos V. 2 and Prata Normalt. The demos thing has four songs with Sightings’ Richard Hoffman on bass in one spot. The other one’s live in October ’08, and chirps like a bee.
Above: Red Horse at the Butcher Shop in Brighton, Mass., spring 2007. Steve Pyne – Organ, Tapes Eli Keszler – Drums, Bells
8. Anyone who’s been fortunate enough to catch Eli Keszler and Steve Pyne’s Red Horse duo live can now bring it all home cuz these two east coast sound junk beauty futurians finally made an LP (Rel Records re1007). And it is awesome. With all the various recordings of the last decade exploring temporal interplay Red Horse, along with Western Massachusetts’ X.0.4, really achieve some deep and artful result without losing the ball to excess or mundanity.
9. Wow. Not much else to say about Clockcleaner‘s Ready 2 Fight one-sided LP (Fan Death). This defunct, chaotic Philly punk band cut one motherfucker of a record, while opening for a Negative Approach reunion show in May 2008. Basically, they took the core riff of NA’s “Ready 2 Fight” (which runs what? 50 seconds?) and stretched it out into a 15-minute prog-punk instrumental Sounds unbelievably psych & winning. Packed and sold as lovingly as any condom.
10. Scumbag Relations, which is primarily a death drone and noise label, has released Mugwort and Sage, a one-sided LP by the long running Pennsylvania rock n crud legends Human Adult Band (pictured above) and it is a murky glimpse into what this trio may be doing in front of other lost souls. Four bass plodding tunes that have as much heart as any no wave smacked true believers and really makes you wanna grip some frosty skuzz lose yr brain into the amp squall.
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