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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 11:46 am:   

t

Gentlemen, I have a question!

A couple of years ago I saw a band in concert called Chk Chk Chk, an American band (from California originally but based in North east of the States--I think) who play a kind of punk-funk thing with demented ovetones and (indeed) a sort of tex-mex influences with a section of the band playing brass instruments and stuff--and, additionally, a sort of techno vibe underlying the whole thing. Not an easy band to describe.

The thing is, it was one of the greatset live acts I've ever seen. They were sublime. I have their first, perhaps only, album, which I heard prior to seeing them in concert. Before the concert the album sounded nice but OK. After the concert, it sopunfds like one of the best things I've ever heard.

Thwe thing is, I can't find a damned thing about what this group are doing, whether they still exist, whether they even care anymore! Bizarre. I searched for a website. It seems they don't have one.

So, did I imagine this band, did I dream them, or do they really exist? Anyone else familiar with them? I'd very much appreciate any info about them if any one has any.

By the by, Robert, I'm sure I read on an earlier thread that you were listening to Cult of Luna and even going so far as to thinking that they were better than Isis. I'm totally with you there. At the moment, I'm rating Cult of Luna as my main thing. I think they combine the essence of metal (or post-metal or whatever) with stuff like Mogwai (or post rock or whatever) brilliantly. If you haven't got hold of their earlier albums, I recommend you do. They're as good, easily, if not better than Somewhere Along the Highway.

Christ, that was a long post. Must be the booze talking.
   By Lucius on Saturday, October 14, 2006 - 03:45 pm:  Edit

As far as I can tell. they have four albums listed on US amazon. Never heard them, though.
   By Alistair Rennie on Monday, October 16, 2006 - 03:40 am:  Edit

They're well worth checking out if you're in the mood for something upbeat. They're a great live act, though the album I've got doesn't really grip you fom the start. But after seeing them live, the album grew on me a lot. It's strange, though. I remember that when they first appeared on the scene they were being talked about a lot, but they seem to drift around in obscurity quite a bit, which is no bad thing.

I would strongly recommend going to see them in concert if they happen to be playing near you. It was one of the best things I'd seen in a long time.
   By Robert Devereux on Monday, October 16, 2006 - 05:28 am:  Edit

Alastair, I've heard that Salvation is better than Somewhere Along the Highway, but I haven't gotten around to buying it yet. It will probably be on my next CD order.
   By Lucius on Monday, October 16, 2006 - 06:25 am:  Edit

Will do, Alastair.
   By Mike McLatchey on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 10:26 am:  Edit

Just grabbed Alice Coltrane tix (with Ravi, Haden and Haynes) for the SF Jazz festival in early November. Any fans around here? And in a nice bit of luck, Myra Melford's band plays the same afternoon, so am hoping to attend that as well.
   By Lucius on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 11:06 am:  Edit

Cool!

Sounds like a great show. I'll be in France but doubt I;ll be having that much fun.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 03:36 pm:   

Hopefully I can get that second "installment" to ya by the time you get back. Really looking forward to Alice, I think she's only doing 3 gigs this year, she rarely comes out of her ashram. Stuff like Universal Consciousness, Journey to Satchidananda and the like are big favorites around here. Liked her new one quite a bit too, even if it's a bit more mannered. I saw Ravi with Tyner and Pharoah a few years ago and he's about up to speed these days. I'm kind of suprised I don't hear about his records much because they're very good. Sounds quite a bit like daddy at times.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 04:06 pm:   

yeah, I loved Journey and all the work she did with Sanders. Haven't heard Ravi's stuff.

Hey, anytime with that other stuff. Stilll listening to the first batch. Thanks.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 04:32 pm:   

Any highlights for you in that first batch?

Spent the afternoon listening to a really weird record by a US band called Stark Reality (the album is called Now, used to have a longer titles). They obviously come from the jazz side of things, but it's got heavy fuzz guitar and (sometimes fuzzed) vibes. Reminds me of a lot of the German jazz rock groups like Wolfgang Dauner/Et Cetera, Dave Pike Set, but even more freaked out, with a hint of Zappa with the humor. Great stuff.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 04:35 pm:   

Ravi's Mad 6 is a really good one, well worth checking out. One of those titles you might find in a cut out bin or cheap at a store, its appearance belies its quality. Playing From the Round Box lately, which is also excellent.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 04:50 pm:   

Highlights -- the Hermeto stuff, though I dug all of it.

There's an album called Now by Stark Reality on Amazon -- is that the one you mean?
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 05:24 pm:   

Yes, although I think the version I'm listening to comes from the vinyl version, which is the original. One of the guys on that Amazon page who reviewed it explains the difference between the two.

I hear you on the Hermeto stuff, he is indeed the Brujo. I think I might have another VCD from another performance, not quite that quality but I'll try to remember to send it along.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 05:52 pm:   

Cool. That would be great. I owe you books. ;)
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 06:56 pm:   

Chk Chk Chk

http://www.tgrec.com/bands/band.php?id=7


and it would be great to see Alice C...
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 04:14 am:   

Hey, thanks PM, that's just what I was after.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 07:25 am:   

Sweet :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 11:52 am:   

Please stop posting on the old thread -- you're killing my browser.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 01:26 pm:   

Oops. My mistake.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 01:27 pm:   

http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/Music/10/24/obit.west.ap/index.html

RIP. Never really dug the Runaways, but I definitely had crushes on them all.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 07:59 am:   

Very psyched to see that Mal Waldon's The Call has finally been reissued on CD, albeit an expensive Japanese import. Went and ordered it from dustygroove.com this morning.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 08:10 am:   

Mike, have you hear Twisted Into Form? I figure since Laser's Edge put it out, you might have it. I'm intrigued, but the clips I've heard all kind of sound the same. They sound like good technical metal, but I wonder if the songs have distinct sounds to them, or if they are interchangeable.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 08:22 am:   

You mean, Call, don't you? The Call, as Dustygroove has it, is a German prog group with Waldron on electric piano and Jimi Jackson on (among other things) mellotron.

Looking at the Mal Waldron selections currently unavailable I spotted an old album I really loved -- Waldron and Dolphy. That was a great session.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 08:38 am:   

Haven't heard it Robert, although I'm definitely intrigued now. It will probably depend on the vocal style, I tend to prefer growly types over the Queensryche/Dream Theater stylists. IIRC, I think Ken is releasing the next Canvas Solaris, which is a pretty good example of techy stuff I dig.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 08:46 am:   

Lucius, the one I ordered from Dusty Groove says "Call" but it has a track on it called "The Call" and has two side long tracks, which I believe is identical to the vinyl rip I already had. If there are two different records from 71, one with the album title "Call" and the other by the band "The Call," it would be news to me. I'm hoping, anyway, that what I bought matches what I think it is, otherwise I made a mistake, although given the description probably not a fatal one.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 08:50 am:   

I should probably mention that if you search at Dusty Groove for call mal waldron, you'll also bring up Embryo's Steig Aus which is a brilliant record and also has a version of "The Call" on it. I think you'd probably dig Embryo quite a bit Lucius.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 08:56 am:   

Twisted has the guy from the Spiral Architect demo singing. He's good, but more in the QR/DT style. I tend to be really picky with instrumental metal, so I haven't listened to much Canvas Solaris.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 08:56 am:   

Also, was the Dolphy/Waldron session the one with Ron Carter called Where? Sounds like a nice line up.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 08:59 am:   

I really liked the Spiral Architect album (in fact I think LE progmetal releases are generally of pretty high quality, a couple of them being exceptions to my rule) but never heard the demo, is it available?

Another crazy techy band I like is Behold... The Arctopus. They're so complicated, with so many riffs and changes that apparently they can't make more than an EP length at a time. A band to get whiplash from.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 09:28 am:   

The Spiral Architect demo was a cassette from '95 with two songs (Fountainhead and Purpose). I can give you MP3s of it. I'll e-mail you later today.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 09:39 am:   

Thanks, Robert, appreciate it. Look forward to your e-mail.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 10:16 am:   

No the Dolphy-Waldron was called the Quest, and had Carter on bowed cello.

Steig Aus Embryo was the album I was citing.
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jk
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 05:41 pm:   

Steig Aus by Embryo is a great album of kraut/jazz rock.
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jk
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 05:45 pm:   

Steig Aus has less world-music influences and less jazz rock than some of Embryo's other albums though, and has some great burning guitar by Roman Bunka. One of my favorites by them.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 07:24 pm:   

Another for the list, I guess. :-(
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Tuesday, November 07, 2006 - 09:05 am:   

Alice Coltrane was splendid. I blogged in more detail about it here if anyone's interested:

http://www.somnius.com/outermusicdiary/
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, November 07, 2006 - 09:31 am:   

Mike - I got Twisted into Form. It reminds me a lot of Spiral Architect. However, I found SA strangely catchy (strange because they purposely tried to avoid being catchy). I don't find the same with Twisted into Form. It's good, and maybe I'll like it more when I'm in a different mood.

Right now, my metal mood is being hit by Cult of Luna. I got Salvation. I don't think it's better than Somewhere Along the Highway, but it's on par with it. More sludgy metal mixed with post-rock.

Similar to them are Mouth of the Architect. Their new album adds more intricate guitar and some 70s King Crimson influence to the post-metal sound. The only problem is the songs drag a bit.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Tuesday, November 07, 2006 - 09:54 am:   

Robert, I know what you mean about SA being catchy, they definitely got the song part right and it's a shame they never made more albums. I'll probably check out TiF just due to the connection. Cult of Luna and Mouth of the Architect both sound pretty interesting, it's been a while since I checked out a lot of these bands.

Picked up a couple of metal things at Amoeba in SF this weekend, the newest Cryptopsy studio and the Metal Blade version of Behold...The Arctopus' Nano-Nucleonic (that also has their first EP). Amoeba is just so scary to walk into, I feel like my cash wants to hurl itself from my wallet at the counter. Every time I walk into one I forget everything I'm looking for.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, November 07, 2006 - 12:27 pm:   

Amoeba is a big money suck for me whenever I go to SF. I wish there was a place like it near me. Although even smaller stores make me forget what I'm looking for (unless I have a list with me).
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Tuesday, November 07, 2006 - 01:04 pm:   

http://www.bigozine2.com/archive/ARrarities06/ARmdfillmore.html

Lucius, this is the March 6th Miles Davis gig that reminded me of your writing on mp3, apparently it just got posted. I'll still be sending along the wav version eventually, but in case anyone else wants to check out Miles' electric band at a peak, it's here.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 06:07 am:   

Rock Star Supernova's album is apparently out now. I just saw a review of it at Pop Matters
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/music/reviews/8076/rock-star-supernova-rock-star-su pernova/

It sounds like the album we all expected from them.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 06:33 am:   

I read a review in New York that described the singer's (Leo? Leon?) voice as being like "Korn's __ Davis after a tracheotomy." :-)

Still hoping to hear from Dilana.
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Bill
Posted on Wednesday, December 06, 2006 - 08:35 am:   

To find band information you may want to try, if you don't know this already, www.allmusic.com. It is a great reference site.
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Bill
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 11:32 am:   

The grammy nominations were just announced. It got me thinking.

American Music Awards and the Grammy's and Rolling Stone Magazin and All american music "industry" stuff (except for maybe Spin) is pure _____(I am new to the board and thus won't engage in profanity so as not to offend until somebody calls me a _______idiot or agrees me that yes, american music "industry" is pure_______). Except that prince was nominated in a category and, let's be honest, the guy is good.

Just a thought.

BTW trail of dead's new album is pretty good and I love Mission of Burma

THoughts?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 11:51 am:   

Haven't heard trail of the dead's new one, like MOB, agree that all the awards stuff sucks. the American music industry is beyond shitty.

Lately I've been listening to a lot of jazz and weird ethnic stuff. Only rock album I've really liked recently is an Aussie band, Bluebottle Kiss, but then I haven't been listening to much rock, though I'm due to go on a binge.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 12:10 pm:   

The music industry is shit. Except when they nominate somebody I like, then they are showing a rare moment of wisdom. :-)

It seems the trend is always people ragging on awards except when somebody they like is nominated. I'll rag on them even when people I like win (Jethro Tull won a Grammy for best metal album...I like JT, but WTF?).

I never cared for Trail of Dead, and rock as a whole has been largely dull this year. I feel like everyone, from indie to major, is following the same trends. I'm hoping to get some Miles Davis stuff for Christmas, that will probably be more satisfying.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 12:17 pm:   

"The music industry is shit. Except when they nominate somebody I like, then they are showing a rare moment of wisdom. :-)"

I think it's more like an accident than wisdom.

Miles rarely lets one down.
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Bill
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 01:16 pm:   

I am into small "c" cool jazz: Bill Evans, Nina Simone, the piano jazz types who do not feel the need to blow out all over the keyboard. Chet baker is also nice, but one look at my ipod and I doubt I could narrow my tastes to one thing. I like spinning from My Bloody Valentine to Uncle Tupelo to Nick Drake then to KMFDM then to sinatra then ..... it just freaks out the mind and snaps it around to air out the cobwebs.

as to the industry, british Music Magazines are great. Mojo and Q I usually pickup.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 01:19 pm:   

Miles is one talented motherfucker...which is still an understatement.

Ornette Coleman's SOUND GRAMMAR, still has the lungs, the fingers, the mental acuity, the sweet tone...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 01:50 pm:   

Haven't heard Sound Grammar yet.

i've alsp been listening to a collecton of filipino psych bands a lot. Can't listen to anything with english lyrics whenn I'm writing.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 01:57 pm:   

What collection is that Lucius? The only filipino band in that area I can remember was Dakila, who were basically a Santana clone.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 02:04 pm:   

it's a collection i bought on Forced exposure, bands from the 60s and 70s, like the kinds of bands who used to play in Saigon during the war. I'll dig it up later and tell you the name of the album.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 02:07 pm:   

thanks, sounds like my kind of thing.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 02:44 pm:   

I erred. It was SIngaporean bands. Steam Kodok. In that vein, I also have Dengue Fever and Love, Peace and poetry, the former a band and the latter a compilation. By somewhere I have another compilation of SE asian pysch bands.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 02:59 pm:   

Not sure I've heard anything psych from Singapore, sounds pretty interesting. Never ceases to amaze me how much psych is out there from that era. Thanks for looking it up.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 03:03 pm:   

No problem. When I stumble across that other album, I'll post it.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 05:11 pm:   

Wisdom, luck...sarcasm never comes across properly online. I was trying to poke fun at the argument I've often seen that award voters are showing rare wisdom when somebody the commenter likes gets nominated/wins.

I haven't been very impressed with British music mags. I agree with Zappa: Rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read.

The only fun rock journalism is the completely underground fan 'zines that aren't afraid to insult bands (and even those aren't very useful). I've gotten fed up with reviews being dictated by advertisers, with the same bands saying the same things in all the magazines at the same time.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 05:48 pm:   

Gotcha!

I used to love Forced exposure when it was an underground mag.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 07:07 pm:   

Watched a bit of something called the big in '06 awards, which featured a lot of d-list celebs. Heard a band which sounded like a half-ass version of springsteen, who was a half-ass version of dylan. W ho, I wonder, will be the half-ass version of the half-ass version of springsteen. Will there still be people then?

They introduced Andrew Dice Clay in the audience.

And had old MTV dj's were presenters, along with Miami Vice co-stars.

And Flava flav.

And Ice-t and his blond bimbo.

Weird Al performed White and Nerdy.

Maybe I was having a flashback.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 07:16 pm:   

Brook Hogan also presented.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 07:30 pm:   

Dennis de Young of styx performed???
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PM
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 07:50 pm:   

Lucius, your tolerance for pain is extraordinary.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 07:52 pm:   

It's like watching a snake give birth.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 08:04 pm:   

...venomous bile.

I always liked that name.
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 08:58 pm:   

man, i can't even stomach those shows. i don't know how you're watching it.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 09:13 pm:   

I'm still working, so I'm not really watching, It just gives ne a place to put my tired brain from time to time...
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ben peek
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 02:49 am:   

cool.

on a music, i recently bought the three disk tom waits set, ORPHANS. it's very cool. i'm especially fond of the first disk, 'brawlers'.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 04:32 am:   

God, another disk to check out. Everything's gotta wait till i finish the novella. Thanks for telling me.

I still say that Smoke is more authentic than Waits--you oughta check it sometime. But Waits is cool.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 06:48 am:   

Lucius, since the Wallflowers were the half-ass version of Springsteen, the band you saw must have already been the half-ass version of the half-ass version of Springsteen.

I can see Flav, Ice and Hogan, but in what depraved, deviant parallel universe were Diceman and DeYoung "big in '06"?

When you consider that "pop culture" used to mean Smokey Robinson, the Beatles and Andy Warhol, the state to which it has sunk today is truly mind-blowing. Even the throwaways of yesteryear (Queen, Dolly Parton) are worshipped like culture gods by today's creative pygmies.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 07:01 am:   

Paris Hilton won an award. What's thay say? The award, appropriately enough, resembled funeral urns.
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ben peek
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 06:34 pm:   

hey lucius, who do you mean by smoke?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 06:54 pm:   

it's the name of a band. benjamen (no last name) was the singer and writer, a gay guy who kicked from AIDs, a street person in Atlanta, who put the band together, a real-life Tom Waits primitive band, and played before scant crowds, singing songs like "Luke Perry's Feet." I think he was pretty great, but a lot of people don't share than belief--then a lot of people never heard him. There's a cool DVD available called Benjamen Smoke.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 05:01 pm:   

Ben or anybody, what's that online cd store that deals all those alternative bands?
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PM
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 05:12 pm:   

cdbaby
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 05:32 pm:   

yeah, cdbaby? i was justy there, actually. they reckont hey'll have the smoke album back in stock sooner or later.

you know, i could just go to ebay or download it...
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 05:50 pm:   

That was where I found it. Right.

Yeah, you could do that.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 02:39 pm:   

Man, had the Complete In a Silent Way Sessions come up in the listening pile again, it seems like I played it when it came out and forgot about it. I love how Miles can always smack ya upside the head when you most need it. I also blogged a bit about it here for further blather: http://www.somnius.com/outermusicdiary/
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 03:11 pm:   

nice, mike.

And now I have your entire music blog to read...a curse on you!

:-)
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 03:38 pm:   

haha, at least you won't have to read through the archives when it was a yahoo group. :-) We moved to a blog from an e-mail list less than a year ago and are finally starting to catch up to where we were before the move.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 03:44 pm:   

I also highly recommend checking out the host site's news page:

http://www.somnius.com/amn/

They cover just about anything from an avant garde perspective, particularly jazz, rock and classical, including lots of things talked about 'round these parts.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 04:30 pm:   

Thanks, Mike. I will check it out.
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 04:48 am:   

Robert,

I got the new Isis album and think your summary spot on. The only thing is , I like it! I suppose it's because I'm more of a post-rocker than metalhead, so the swing suits me fine. However, it's not as instantly appealing as their former albums, so I understand your doubts. I've found that it's grown on me the more I've listened.

The funny thing for me is that their previous stuff sounds very unique, not really comparable to anything else except groups like Cult of Luna who're doing a similar thing. But this album has instances where it reminds me very much of stuff from the eighties (early Cure, Cocteau Twins, Durutti Column, all of which I like). There's even shades of Goth in there, like Dead Can Dance for instance. I'm not sure this''ll mean anything if I say it reminds me a lot of a pre-Goth band who emerged from the punk scene called UK Decay, but the drumming style and tempo of the songs is near identical.

This is perhaps the only thing about it I'd question, the partial evapouration of their uniqueness. And yet, because it re-invokes the kind of hypnotic riffs, tribal rhythms, echoing guitars and vocals of the bands mentioned above, it has a strong appeal on me. And it manages to do this without seeming retro.

But it's certainly a significant change in direction. It'll be interesting to see where they go from here.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 09:15 am:   

It may be something I'd like it if were released under a different name. I was expecting something out of it that it didn't deliver. Although since I didn't get what I wanted out of Isis, I listened to Cult of Luna and ended up finding something I liked even more.

I've never heard UK Decay. For the drumming, I was struck by the Tool influence (perhaps I was primed to look for it since they just got off a tour with Tool).

My latest purchase is so completely removed from the post-metal sound: Hazmat Modine. They play blues, with bit of jazz thrown in, and guest Tuvan throat singers on a few tracks.
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 10:07 am:   

The Isis album definitely defies expectations, no doubt about it. I think I might be with you as regards Cult of Luna. I've found myself prefering them to Isis recently.

UK Decay lived up to their name and folded before they ever made an impact outside the UK. They were never very big but were a big influence on emerging bands like Southern Death Cult (later the Cult), Sisters of Mercy, and so on.

Are you familiar with Durutti Column? They're still going strong actually, pretty extraoridanry stuff, largely instrumental indie that overspills into all sorts of territories. The main man and guitarist is a guy called Vini Reilly who is a brilliant musician, though he demonstrates this modestly within the context of songs which are more often soundscapes than songs.
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jk
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 10:19 am:   

My favorite Durutti Column album is Vini Reilly. Last album I got was Rebellion. It was ok, but not as good as the eighties stuff. Sex and Death from the 90's was a good one too.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 10:42 am:   

I'm not familiar with them. I just listened to a few songs (one was from their most recent album). I was reminded quite a bit of Dif Juz.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 10:50 am:   

I am a complete Durutti Column maniac. I was on the Durutti Column internet listserv until AOL locked into a weird loop with the listserv and sent one of my messages about 6,000 times over a weekend. (I resigned gracefully after that.)

I have just about everything Vini ever did. My personal favorites are "The Return Of..." and "LC." Very disappointed that Reilly has not toured more. Always regret he early 80s show I missed at tiny hole-in-the-wall Maverick's in Boston; always treasure the set I saw him put on in the late 80s at Boston's Paradise Theater.

A great musician, who will no doubt go down as one of the most underappreciated of the postpunk era.

Anyone see 24-HOUR PARTY PEOPLE? Vini is portrayed as "getting no respect" even back in the day as evidenced by this exchange between Tony Wilson and a punter at the old Factory club:

Punter: Listen to him. He's poor.

Wilson: He's provocative!

Punter: He's provocatively poor...

Great stuff all around.
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 11:22 am:   

I think the earlier to mid Durutti Column stuff is definitely the best. More recent albums seem to have more singing which is Ok, in a sort of drab and wandering way. I always feel they're much better doing instrumentals. The songs with singing tend to be more conventional indie, whereas the instrumentals go beyond indie, maybe even tending towards some kind of melodic modern jazz.

There's a great compilation they have of instrumental stuff that I'd highly recommend, if I could only remember the name. Will endeavour to find out. Any idea, Jk?
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 11:27 am:   

I somehow missed your post, Dave. Any idea what the album I'm referring to? I haven't given you much to go on, really, but I'm sure it's a collection.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 11:45 am:   

I'm not sure which comp you are referring to. There are three volumes of "sporadic" recordings and a "Best Of" which came out in 05, I believe.

Reilly is at his best when he is at his most minimal. The less voice and extraneous instrumentation the better. That's why I regret missing the Maverick's show. It was just him and a guitar...sigh...
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 11:46 am:   

If WHRB at Harvard ever does a Durutti "orgy" during its "orgy season," I'm going to rent a hotel room with a nice stereo for a week and just veg out.
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 01:30 pm:   

Found it! The name of the compilation is "Hommage a duras". It's very consistent in terms of the style of the songs, with layers of electric guitar over drum beats, a bit of piano here and there, an occasional violin or trumpet. Very haunting stuff., every song a masterpiece.

I agree, Dave, the more minimal Reilly is the better.

I forgot all about 24-Hour Party People. I never did see it. Hopefully one day.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 01:48 pm:   

24 hour Party People is very good.

My power's been off all day.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 02:19 pm:   

You've got to love the part of 24-HOUR PARTY PEOPLE where God appears to Tony Wilson and tries to get him to put out a Durutti Column "best of" because it's good music to "chill out" to.

Sad to think that future generations probably won't get that joke.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 02:22 pm:   

Well, I haven't listened to DC since the 80s, but I got the joke...so maybe a few will.
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jk
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 09:15 pm:   

There was a good Durutti Column compilation called Lips That Would Kiss Madeleine, that has released and unreleased material from Factory and Les Disques Du Crepuscule, and it's mostly instrumental. I agree his stuff is much better without vocals.
I thought the cameos in 24 Party People were interesting. Mark E. Smith waiting in line to get in the club, Howard Devoto cleaning the toilets, and the stuff with Vini Reilly was funny, when he was playing to a near-empty club.
For me Durutti Column is one of the only bands on Factory I can still listen to. Joy Division, New Order and the others are ok, but it's kind of juvenile. I think Vini Reilly's music is the kind of stuff that you can listen to as you age, instead of growing out of it.
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 02:16 am:   

It's maybe true, also, that the music of Durutti Column doesn't age in the same way as other stuff of that era. It's kind of timeless, whereas other stuff seems more embedded in the 80s indie scene.

Actually, I think the compilation I was thinking of might be Lips That Would Kiss Madeleine. I have a copy on tape that doesn't have the names of the songs or album on it, so that's why I'm stumped.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 10:02 am:   

Lucius, did you ever check out the Kaiser/Smith Yo Miles! releases? I just blogged about Upriver, it's one hell of a listen. Seems both tribute and something new, quite a feat to pull off.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 10:28 am:   

Nope, I haven't. I'll look it up and read your piece,
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 10:31 am:   

Fuck, it's got John Tchai on it, so I'm there.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 10:41 am:   

The line-ups on all those discs are amazing, Tom Coster does some great keys work on Upriver. It is cool to see Tchicai, he used to be (or still is) an instructor at Sacramento State here in town. I keep meaning to check out a gig, but there's always a conflict. I'll probably have better luck catching him in some line up at SF Jazz.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 11:32 am:   

I really dug his early work with the New York Art Quintet, and Sam Rivers, etc...
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 11:37 am:   

Which Sam albums is he on? I've been listening to Contours and the one before that recently (both Blue Notes).
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jk
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 09:32 pm:   

There's a self-titled Roswell Rudd cd in the Free America series that has John Tchicai on it, that's pretty good. Recorded live 1965 in the Netherlands.
I don't know about Tom Coster though. Some people at my old workplace used to listen to his stuff. If I'm thinking of the same Tom Coster. It was all session "cats" pumpin' out really stinky fusion.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 07:35 am:   

Never heard any of his solo material, but I do like his chops. My familiarity with him is mostly through Santana, I tend to avoid a lot of late 70s fusion.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 08:47 am:   

Mike, missed your question earlier.

I can't remember which album, but back in the late sixties i head Tchchai and Rivers on an album -- I searched for it on Amazon, but no luck -- I did. however, buy two more Sam River's Albums. :-)
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 10:04 am:   

Thanks Lucius. I did a little searching and came up with one called Violets Violets but it looks like a newer album. I did learn something though, Tchicai played sax on Dane psych group Burnin' Red Ivanhoe's M144 record. That's almost as weird as Don Cherry playing for Steve Hillage.

Anyway would be interested in hearing any Sam Rivers recommendations from anyone, would love to stretch out and hear some more.

Spun Hubbard's Hub-Tones last night, hell of a hard bopper.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 10:34 am:   

Most of River's early work is OP, and that's the stuff I'm most familiar with -- Contours is good, but I like his more minimalist stuff better. Trios and such.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 12:43 pm:   

No expert on Rivers, but I used to play Crystals during my late-nite freeform FM shows back in the day.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 06:46 am:   

Isis fams -- Is In the Absence of Truth a good example of Isis's work? It's apparently new. Among my recent order from Acquarius is this:

VARGHKOGHARGASMAL "Call Of The Raven" (The Funeral Agency)
cassette 4.50
There seems to be a whole 'nother world of black metal lurking
below the underground. An under-underground. A world that seems to
exist only on the seemingly antiquated medium of the cassette tape.
There seems to be a serious resurgence lately in people's interest in
tapes, as if cd-r's are now too mainstream... but we kinda dig it,
not only does releasing a tape require a bit more effort (only a bit)
but if it sucks, you can tape over it! And you can get a tape walkman
on Mission Street for $10!!
Out latest discovery comes courtesy of SF black metal tape
label the Funeral Agency, and is a mysterious band called
Varghkoghargasmal. Printed in big letters on the tape sleeve are the
words WOODEN METAL! Weird. But we were still unprepared for just how
completely wacked and weird this record is.
It's basically black metal with no distortion. Maybe Wooden
Metal means 'acoustic' metal. But the guitars here are electric,
although recorded through what sounds like a practice amp with no
distortion. And the drums, HOLY SHIT, don't even get us started. A
stumbling struggling drum beat that wavers away from the actual beat
more often than not. And it's recorded in some impossibly reverby way
that gives it a really haunting otherworldly sound. The first track
here is rapidly becoming one of our favorite 'black metal' tracks
ever. A very simple spare, un-distorted riff, almost like a slowed
down Dick Dale or Link Wray, with a strangely motorik drum beat, that
is just off enough to sound like some weird Kompakt style techno
beat. In fact, this could totally be some weird black metal surf rock
techno track. Eventually, some strange minor key melody joins the
fray, and a warbly fuzzed our keyboard, which only serve to make the
sound more confusional.
The rest of the record is just as great. And bizarre.
Stumbling reverbed clean guitar picking out blackened surf rock
riffs, weird keyboard drones. The fast songs are the strangest, with
the clean guitar blurring into swaths of damaged melody and the drums
a chaotic blasting rumbling murky throb way down in the mix.
Hard to explain the damaged magic of Varghkoghargasmal other
than to say you have NEVER heard anything like this. Fucking amazing!!!!
Wooden Metal!!!
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jk
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 10:50 am:   

Lucius, you should check out www.resonancefm.com every Friday at 1:30pm (Pacific time in U.S.) you can listen online to a show called Black Friday which is all Black Metal stuff, they play lots of obscure stuff like Carpathian Forest, Mord, Craft, etc.
And one of the presenters sounds like Elmer Fudd. Bwack Fwiday!
It's all pretty amusing.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 10:54 am:   

Thanks. JK. I'll do that.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 03:14 pm:   

"Isis fams -- Is In the Absence of Truth a good example of Isis's work? It's apparently new."

Yes and now. It's the Isis album I didn't like very much. It sounds like them, but it's also much more mellow. Previous albums by them hit like a punch to the gut. This doesn't, it's more intellectually interesting rather than emotional, at least that's how it feels to me.

Cult of Luna has a similar sound to Isis and delivers the punch in the gut more effectively, so if that's what you're looking for, try checking them out.


Laughing Stock is great.

Sadly, I got no Miles for Christmas. However, my stack of CDs to take to the used shop has grown, so I can trade them for Miles stuff. I did at least get one satisfying CD - Jeff Martin & the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, Live in Brisbane. Martin was responsible for some of my favorite albums in The Tea Party, but his solo debut was overblown, with big arrangements that hurt the songs. Live, he pares them back to guitar, tabla, and occasional sarod. He sounds so much better like this.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 03:44 pm:   

Thanks, Robert. Appreciate it.

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