Sunday, January 25, 2009

Record Scores - The Ill-advised Tater-Tot Dinner Edition

Vivian Girls - Surf's Up 7" (Wild World)
I ordered this up right in that weird bubble between Christams & New Year's Eve. I was just killing time on the web and surfed (har!) my way over to the Vivian Girls' Myspace to check on some bit of information, probably for my top 10 of 2008 list. I ended up impulse buying the 7"/T-Shirt set. 3 short songs in their usual haunted sock-hop style. The 2 originals are fun. The Beach Boys cover is weak. The set is not a bad deal if you want a Vivian Girls T-Shirt, but hard to justify if you think the record is going to be rare gold.

Hampton Hawes Trio - Spanish Steps Lp (Black Lion)
1968 Straight bebop. Hawes swings mightily & loud while Jimmy Woode & Art Taylor keep the rhythms very punchy.

Andrew Hill - Lift Every Voice Lp (Blue Note)
1969 album that marries the compact power of the jazz quintet with the epicness of a vocal choir. Along with Hill, Woodie Shaw, Richard Davis, Carlos Garnett and Freddie Waits run with the emerging spiritual soul-jazz sound, and find inspiration like so many others in the newly achievable reaches of outer space.

Eric Dolphy - Last Date Lp (Limelight)
One of Dolphy's final recording session before his untimely death featured the musician recording live in Holland with the great Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink and Jacques Schols. Despite some rumblings about artistic differences surrounding the recording, the musicians are very generous with each other in terms of space and the record has a lot of depth as a result.

Alice Coltrane - Prema / Andromeda's Suffering 12" (Slow To Speak)
Sneaky repress with silkscreeened cover. Two of Alice's mellower tracks taken from "Transfiguration" and "Lord Of Lords".

Rise Up Howlin' Werewolf - The Indian Curse Will Bring You Back To Me 7" (Vertical House)
Fiending for some new discoveries in the realm of basement-level punk/hardcore, i bought some titles from No Idea! distribution. This was a nice pull. Rock n' Roll rescued from the retirement cruises with adolescent swagger.

Snack Truck - Spacial Findings 7" (Rorschach)
A band that i've been enjoying for around 5 years now, always presuming that they've long burned-out on their sugary exploits, Snack Truck turns up again, getting down with a lot tighter song writing and playing than before. Angular hardcore with techy guitars.

Camp X-Ray - S/T 7" (Twistworthy)
Texas punk label Twistworthy has a pretty small catalog, but they blessed me with a couple of my favorite EPs in the Fatal Flying Guillotines and The Trigger Quintet so i trusted the brand. This delves more into the early 90's post-youthcrew metallic crunch of bands like Drive Like Jehu, Burn, or Inside Out. A style i'm happy to see back.

County Line Road - The Birth Of Hank Malloy 7" (Fast Crowd)
Oops, this is terrible. Gravelly voiced alt-country protest-rock. Woody Guthrie by way of Bruce Springsteen & Bon Jovi.

Cro-Magnon - Mellow Out & Acoustic EP#1 12" (Jazzy Sport)
Cro-Magnon - Mellow Out & Acoustic EP#2 12" (Jazzy Sport)
Japanese trio play covers of Moodymann, Jackson 5, Roy Ayers, Blackbyrds on keyboard, drums and guitars. I mostly bought these for the Moodymann covers, which hold up quite well. Some of the other songs are a little weak in the sauce, but nothing embarassing.

Luke Vibert - EP One 12" (Sound Of Speed)
Luke Vibert backs off a little on the disco sounds of Kerrier District or Acid sounds of Yoseph that he's been pushing for the last decade and refinds the downtempo boom-bap of his Warp & Mo Wax work. The tracks feature a heavy use of vocoder, which helps them fit pretty squarely with the now and the dominance of the Auto-tuner in hip hop.

John Coltrane - The Africa Brass Sessions Vol. 2 Lp (Impulse!)
A prestine copy of the 1987 repress. Some of my favorite material from Coltrane with the classic quartet rounded by McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison & Elvin Jones and joined by legends like Eric Dolphy, Booker Little, Reggie Workman, Art Davis...

Pharoah Sanders - Thembi Lp (Impulse!)
Another prestine, remastered repress from 1987. Pharoah with Lonnie Liston Smith, Cecil McBee, Roy Haynes, James Jordan, & Michael White. These are records I would love to own originals of but i doubt I ever will, especially for the $5 each i snatched these for.

Factums - The Sistrum Lp+7" (Sacred Bones)
Due to funds, I was faced with the choice last year of picking up this or the Pink Noise Lp. I went with the Pink Noise album and was very happy with my choice but I was also happy when i came across this now out-of-print album again last week. Cyclic, lo-fi, psych jams.

Clutchy Hopkins - The Life Of Clutchy Hopkins Lp (Crate Digler)
I put off picking up this album of organic weed-hazed, downtempo instrumentals because it kept selling out of the shop faster than it could really get its hooks into me. I may or may not now have a stash of the last copies of the Lp to be pressed. I have a good feeling that it's going to stand the test of time pretty well.

Spider Bags - Hey Delinquents 7" (Dagger Man)
Fuzzed-out, slurred, blues punk, totally evocative of the sweaty house show that i'm sure it still rings out from. Putting these two tracks on, you can practically feel the slick arm hair and hot breath of the person crammed up next to you on those basement stairs with the peely latex paint.

Idle Times - Get Your Feet Off The Ground 7" (Woodsist)
Blown-out bedroom psych complete with heavy guitar solos. astounding in its ability to sound like very stripped-down 3-chord hooliganism and nerdy hyperactivity almost simultaneously.

Zombi / Maserati - Split Lp (Temporary Residence)
Pittsburgh ex-pats Zombi have their Goblin-esque formula for synth-heavy, drum pounding prog-metal instrumentals down to a science. For all I know they could be selling me the same song over and over again, but it sounds brilliant every time I put it on, so i don't care. Maserati do the instrumental math-rock thing and it's a good match

Eat Skull / Ganglians - Split 7" (Dulc-I-Tone)
I go back on forth on just how into Eat Skull I am. On the one hand, it's noisy rock music that can be fairly interchangeable, especially after 20+ years of collecting the stuff, but, on the other, there's never a bad time for some snotty, pop damage. This is actually some of the more distinct and catchy tracks i've heard from Eat Skull so a definite win on that side. The Ganglians, with their more precious indie pop style would have been a skip on their own.

Breakfast - Vertigo Lp (Six-Two-Five Thrash)
Even when i'd pretty much retired my ears for the punk rock around the new millenium, I still found room for this Japanese thrash outfit. A big part of that was their ability to switch it up entirely from song to song, sometimes sounding like the punishing power-violence and sometimes sounding like a Minutemen cover band; the latter being a bigger draw for me. I thought I was pretty good about staying up on their releases, but this 2002 album slipped past me until i found it in digging spot today, staring out with its Pettibon cover.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Top 16 Records Of 2008

16. Shepherds - Loco Hills Lp (Not Not Fun)

15. Zomes - S/T (Holy Mountain)

14. Q-Tip - The Renaissance 2xLp (Universal Motown)

13. Pink Noise - Dream Code Lp (Sacred Bones)

12. Crystal Stilts - Alight Of Night (Slumberland)

11. Moodymann "Det.Riot '67" LP (KDJ)

10. The Heavy Circles - S/T (Dynamite Child)

09. James Pants - Welcome 2xLp (Stones Throw)

08. J Rawls - Liquid Crystal Project 2 (Polar)

07. Vivian Girls - S/T Lp (Mauled By Tigers/In The Red)

06. Barn Owl - From Our Mouths A Perpetual Light Lp (Not Not Fun)

05. Flying Lotus - Los Angels 2xLp (Warp)

04. Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part 1: 4th World War 2xLp (Universal Motown)

03. She & Him - Volume One Lp (Merge)

02. Wavves - S/T Lp (Woodsist)

01. Menahan Street Band - Make The Road By Walking Lp (Daptone)