Sunday, January 27, 2013


8. Full disclosure Jess and I have been intimate for an epic half-decade and I collaborated with Jessica on the score for the video on which these paintings are based. Jessica is not gonna play the Daughter of the Phenomenologist and I always felt like Jess's portraits (even the early ones) explained "perception" more than any University Press book on Hussrl ever could, anyway. These paintings are all based on a video called the Fuzz that features a handmade universe of Gods and worshipers and murdered slugs spawning Lovers all rendered in true-school Exploito/b-style. The movie stars two local luminaries whose bands I won't mention because music has nothing to do with this. The forms, composition and color in the works are stunning. Jessica has finally found a way to flex her serious painting CHOPS as well as show us the weird little world she ALONE has always inhabited. And faster than you can say "Tammer repelling down a rock face smoking a PJ Light" Jessica is gone and you'll wish you'd checked the technique while it was here. Later MTL.

7. Imagine renting your Dad's campgrounds to a bunch of yaboos for their Bonko-Volcano Noise Rally...and the first thing that happens is a shorter dude with an incredibly flowery vocabulary shows up and tunes the massive PA with some Power Supplied Ground Pounders. That’s our MADMANDEK. He also deftly negotiated volume levels with the management, fauxhemian demands for more raving, some dude accusing everyone of stealing his iPhone all the while keeping the talent happy, on time as well AND conveying any notable quotes and hilarity from the soundnest crew to the stage. Whether you're Timeshare Timmy or Lexical Moontan you were at ease knowing the Bee was in the zone. Meanwhile all the deer-ticks and West Nile skeeters all boogied off to Elsewhere, Pennsylvania, terrified by the BASS BOOM BOTTOM>><()><<

6. Josh is prone to show up at The Zone with a nugget-buster and so it went one night when I came home from a long day of slaying MC’s at the phone jockey game. Josh was sitting there all pert and told me about The Bauds “Telemorphosis”, warning me that it was “crushing”. He was not lying. Containing two short essays, one of which is ostensibly about social-networking albeit written before the term really existed, the book accurately describes Being in the Nothing Age. Even if you are unfamiliar with the difficult language of 20th Century continental thought this book conveys a sense at least of where the Bauds is aiming. Printed in a cute little small-press, limited edition, this one accompanied me on many morning visits to “Studio B”. Christ, if I wasn’t already plumbing the depths of a deep nihilism I sure as shit am now.  This is the Bauds on  “The banalization of existence” and all of our complicity in it. Each page will wreck your soul. Ugh. Luckily pro-hockey is back in effect and I’ve got the Mckeen’s 2012-13 Guide (which is the FORCED EXPOSURE or ACID ARCHIVES of hockey writing) to help distract me further as I plod through these stupidly dark times.  Nothing nugget busting  about goalies “who keep the paddle down in close,” wingers who have “dazzling top gears” and are “swooping skaters ” or centers that are a “lethal gamebreaker when  prowling like a cougar.”

5. Adidas Ameritapes Block Stoppers:
Be it a Van City Cyberpunk Rave or a heat-night’s deck shredding disco-style at the Casa the Adidas Ameritapes Block Stoppers have lived up to they name. Your rep hard-precedes you into the Zone Chamber when your kicks straight stop the block. Not hard in the Hen where NO-ONE ROCKS DOPE SWAG that's over age 16. Also: props to my own-damn-self for clunk-innovation on this Moskozone Mobile Disco Crate.

4. My own prescient self: Check this entry from my Best Of 2007 on…:
1.     Godspeed You Black Emperor - Yanqui UXO - Constellation
I ain't not heard the new Cousins of Reggae lp yet, despite badgering Hargreaves constantly. That said, Jon Shapiro and the 3rd Doctor (Jon Pertwee) showed up in the Tardis and invited me in. I was like, "Damn this shit is bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside." Next thing I know, Shapiro opens the door and we walk outside and boom, we're inside my living room. Jon gingerly waves his hand into the room Ghost-of-Chrismas-past-Alister-Simms-version style and suddenly I'm face to face with myself sitting on the couch, wearing a t-shirt that says "Fuck You, Time!" I got a kitty sitting upwards sphinx position on my lap and a huge fresh bag from Blam layed next to me, with a few wisps of smoke still a-rise from the bowl of my classic Unireverse Hobgoblin bong.  The final strains of Quartz are playing out on the tt, the needle auto-lifts off the side and a sudden peace, freshly flown up the Canal from the east, origins Atlantic, settles into St. Henri, the jamaican's cease their incesant bickering and turn off their ETERNAL bassline, stars all twanx above and the city skyline seemingly tips towards me from up St. Jacques. Into this intersticial silence I hear my own voice say to nobody, "Dude, Thats the best record of 2007." The 3rd Doctor and Shapiro both nod approvingly. Jon, with an extended arm, leads me back inside the Tardis and brings me back to now!

2007 = come retarded or stay home, dangler!!!

3. Panning/Langdon Pans. Got real into this killer time-waster game. Started getting encouraged by the crew. Just sit around late Cleveland summer heat-night and pan anything; modular synth scene to sitting ducks like Grimes, Black Flag, Grateful Dead boots ect. Hell, even started panning my own sacred cows, find myself sipping Bitburgers telling the lads how awful Coltrane's "Expressions" and "Solo" Monk are or how "top to bottom bad" the playing is on "Half Machine Lip Moves" or saying shit like "Buckley's vocal range doesn't make up for the fact that his lyrics are a Ploughman's Lunch-sized platter of cheese and Starsailor is Exhibit A". Being the Toot that I am thought I was the PANNER SUPREME, that no one spit bile on an entire scene like I could. Then I got back to the Queebs and heard Langdon pan vigorously, demolishing a whole scene/movement in 3 words or less. Impressed


2. The Van City Crew John "Brenz" Brennan, Sydney "NO JOKE" Koke, Trevor "Civic Engineer 'em" Rutley, Jake "The Shake" Hardy, Boss Birdwise, Pete "Two Beds" Moskos, Maggy "Crossedword" Archibald, Poib "Fingerflip" Fehr, Greg "Light Out" Moskos, Josh "Oh My Gosh" Stephenson, SIK NIK Hughes. It can rain 24/7/365 and you wont care with crew like that. 

1. San Diego Fireworks July 4th, 2012
Let me take you back to ’02 and like the dumb little fuck that I was , tearing it up in the Conc’s Communications Department (the faculty were all chill enough to tolerate my nuttiness), I wrote an epic final term paper explaining/exploring Stockhausen’s statements/interpretations of the 9/11 attacks. Much of this was likely informed by an American philosophy professor who was encouraging his class to see the attacks from “the enemies” perspective aka = as a successful military operation in an on-going martial campaign. You had to at least consider Stocky’s point. Either way you wish Block Rockin’ Stockhausen had lived long enough to see San Diego’s July 4, 2012 Fireworks Display so that he would at least have another contender for “the greatest work of art imaginable for the whole cosmos”. Anyhoops, here we have the year’s best jams, best performance AND best record (in as many senses of that word as you might be able to conjure from your ever-shrinking lexical cupboard). I mean if Dillo or Crump pressed this youtube clip onto a 7” I would buy multiples of the thing. Whether this art-event was a screw-up or a prank matters little. Best of the year, best of the decade, we don’t make good records anymore, none of us. But this, this is art, music, sexily lit, hanging there, mimetic, cathartic, gorgeous.

Friday, December 30, 2011


I'm not going to rant about the state of music these days. I'm not going to rant about the state of music media these days. I'm not going to rant about these days. I'm going to rave about the releases I liked that came out this year. It's not easy, any of it, but I'm gonna do it, because I want to.

I didn't know what a task I was taking on.

I tried to listen to everything that seemed interesting. God knows why... More often than not I was fooled by some spoiled--- Sorry. Let me just go so far as to say, there were more albums than ever in 2011 I couldn't subject my mind to for more than 11 seconds.

These are the 31 plus releases from 2011 I'll never get enough of. This list is in no order. Pleasant reading...!



A bit less impactful for its delay, well worth the wait, yadda yadda yadda. I suppose true pop brilliance rarely gets this good? Ambitious three-sided song cycle about the heart of America being turned into a hat shop, or something like that, straight from the vaults of the boys with the baggies. Incredible opus, flawlessly construed. Fourth side with alternate takes and mixes of the best songs, or you could get the stupidly huge box set with the dangling cut-outs on springs, plus hours of studio direction and isolated takes for corporate tit-sucker prices you'd have to be as bat-shit as Lord Brian to pay for, let alone experience. The biggest head-fuck is that this tapestry was lying around so utterly complete, and seemingly only needed to be trimmed and sewn together, like the mental baskets Brian Wilson has been weaving ever since Van Dyke Parks attempted to invert the daydream world corporate America eventually caved in on poor Wilson like the mirrors inside a kaleidoscope. The lunatic laughter in those EMI hallways---from Wilson, and then from the suits when they heard the news---must have been just harrowing... Good vibrations, indeed.



These culture-mocking UK noise and psych heads turned new-world imaginers tailspin the best of the hybrid beats jerking out of every urban jungle from here to Kalamazoo, sprinkle in spicy pastiches from electronic movements past and present, add their own lo-fi aesthetic, plus biting and subversive political commentary, humorous touches, and knack for sweet melodies, all into a fuzzy soup that's as ethereal and seductive as it is deeply imaginative, and strikingly emotional. But you already fucking knew all of that, didn't you, blog eyes? It's a bit easy to say, but this time around it's OK to believe the Hype. This time around, the negative reactions aren't justified, and it's part and parcel of the media-worshipping world we've become, and how people tend to believe everything they're sold over everything they're told. This gets my hands down pick as Record of the Year---straight up. A bit idealistic, but at least Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland are thinking about improving our social climate instead of just cluttering it with more bullshit.



The Skaters are one of my favourite music projects of the last ten years. Their smoke-bath of lo fi psychedelia and ritualistic prayer split sidelong into its two chiefs, Spencer Clark and James Ferraro, roughly three years ago. Ferraro has since been elevated to somewhat God-like status by the hipster blogster quotient, and for nothing short of what's usually pretty good reason (see below). If I had to choose a personal fave, though, like at gunpoint or something, I'd close my eyes and point at Spencer Clark's twisted rhythm experiments, which are undoubtedly inspiring his more selective cult following to new heights of spirituality, insight and foresight with this trance-inducing group hallucination of a synthesizer and tapes experience. Imagine Terry Riley circa Shri Camel, BBC Radiophonics lunacy and Teletubbies quibbering while you're on quaaludes and sizzurp. Truly bizarre third solo LP outing for Clark has me going really crazy over the book, story and concept as well. The dude is a sucker for Charles Berlitz's books, and that's right up my alley. I can confidently say Clark's 2010 sophomore solo album, Bamboo For Two by Monopoly Child Star Searchers, was my favourite album of that year. If you're still reading this and not searching out how to buy The Spectacle of Light Abductions, I'm a failure as a music writer. At least I could get by writing smut.


ON AIR by JIM FERRARO (Underwater Peoples 2xLP)

The virtual superstar and ex-Skater (see above) continues his epic run into post-everything mystique with these ever-indulgent quests to recycle new sounds amid the overloading junk-piles of commercial and so-called independent culture. Godspeed Ferraro, I admire his aesthetics and his tastes, and his sounds, if not always his tendencies to avoid arcs and reasons within his compositional voids. You've got to laugh at the state of things today, if you're going to cope with everything that's happened, happening and about to happen, and the ability to laugh at the world and ourselves is what gives humans a state of inner well being. James Ferraro makes me laugh at the world, and laugh at myself---and I like that. There are few things that go as good with lots of natural drugs as my complete row of James Ferraro records. It's positive music, in a time when most so-called positive music can cause unbearable waves of nausea within any listener who still has enough marbles left to roll a complete game.



Yeah, this dude's vocal stylings sound a whole lot like Alan Vega from Suicide, but the truth is Dirty Beaches is doing Alan Vega better than Alan Vega has done himself since Ric Ocasek pulled Saturn Strip out of Vega's vacuous space. Vega's not a musician, he needed Martin Rev to make it accelerate. This dude clearly is a musician. He knows how to spin a beat and loop a grimy sample so that it spins around in your head for days on end. This kid has got it, and this album delivers on the promise he's been giving us for the last three years. I think what it is that separates Dirty Beaches from a lot of the other wannabe weird whatever, is simply the emotion he channels. He has a voice, he has some things to say, and the way he sings them is really moving. Sometimes that's enough. "Horses" is the song that keeps running me over, again and again.



Brighton, UK stalwarts Hobo Sonn subtly re-contextualize electronic ambience and electro acoustic alchemy into post-glitch hypnotism sessions and fleeting skitters of sound transmissions from other planets. That's right, it's fucking unique. There's only so many ways to say it. Experimental music at its finest, shadowiest and most personal. A little warmer than alienating, which is always nice, too.



Recorded in 1969 but not released until this year, legendary outsider jazz beatnik Charlie Nothing here treats the ears to a meditative woulda-been sophomore stroll through his peaceful rural environment. Nature sounds, spirit flute and soul percussion laying humble prayer to the saviour that is life. What more could you want from any true life experience? Meanwhile, on a similarly out-jazz tip (at times), on the same outstanding American label (De Stijl), Wolf Eyes' Nate Young and John Olson dirge on strongly together as Stare Case climbs new creative heights for the two, dipping into what's nearly outsider folk, with dark basement jazz lights courtesy of Olson's horn, skin-crawling lyrics and bass coming out of Young, and atmospheric mayhem flowing like contaminated rivers.



A couple of top spinners from the increasingly prolific Medusa label, courtesy of major Toronto head Ayal Senior. NTW, NTF is the free-spirit jazz and psych duo of percussion masters and multi-instrumentalists Colin Fisher (currently touring with Caribou's live band) and Brandon Valdivia (also of Picastro), and this is their most alluring and provocative release to date. Deeply laid down to analog tape by the storied Doc Dunn, it's one full-length for the ages that hopefully won't be lost in translation or crowded out by the poor-boys turned big-money-mongers who are monopolizing independent music with their watered-down tastes, puffed up prides and dollar signs where eyes once revolved. True freedom sounds for the spiritually inclined. On a far different tip, but equally as free from played-out trappings, The Piss Superstition is the shit storm of six strings noise nom de plume for shred visionary Julian Bradley, of Vibracathedral Orchestra obscure-o fame-o. Red cassette, red recordings, red, red, red. Insane acid prints by Matt King and Jacob Horwood only add to the hair-frying adventure. Julian Bradley and Bill Nace are the two guys earning my kudos on the noise guitar front these days. Listen up.



Perplexing and engrossing post-modern experience from the sonic mastermind of The Shadow Ring, not to mention a growing body of engaging intellectual sound studies in the solo department. Herein across an American landscape and an LP record Sir Lambkin buckles his kids into the cruiser and lets his devout wife Adris Hoyos take the wheel while he expertly documents the proceedings, a mostly quiet drive with a couple of favourite modern electronic CDs playing on the car stereo, and some mysterious sounds drifting about. I'm not kidding you, this is what you're hearing, a family playing someone else's music, and it's phenomenal. A true sound genius at play, and loving it, in his very singular, up front and slightly intimidating way.



Best Copeland solo outing yet, hands down. Big Black Dice beats beating down your hard dick while noise-level squelches shit-kick your ass. A couple real tweekers for the bass bins that you'll drop at your next party or DJ gig to really impress your drunk-ass friends, plus a side-long cut-up run through Copeland's hard drive jungles, and always wicked collage art to boot. Just when you thought all these solo LPs and 7-inches were starting to get a bit emailed in, Waco Taco Combo rolls along and restores your faith in all things Copeland. Keep it coming.


TOMUUNTTUU by TOMUTONTTU (Beniffer Editions 12" one-sided picture LP)
ASTRAL SOCIAL CLUB / TOMUTONTTU (Tipped Bowler Plates split LP)

Tomutonttu is the solo project of Kemialliset Ystavat head Jan Anderzen and in 2011 the major Finnish psychedelic dude put out these 3 EP slabs of wax, upping his solo output considerably in comparison to recent years. In my opinion this material eclipses most of KY's maximal, digitally-obsessed two recent albums. Supremely puzzling electronic psychedelic headscapes sure to stimulate even the most overstimulated or jaded minds. Plus one of them is a split with Neil Campbell's outstanding world of psych fuckery project, Astral Social Club! Now there's a match made in heaven, man.



You can officially chock it up as a well-formed trilogy for the first three U.S. Girls joints. M. Remy's most unabashedly pop moments are right here in living colour, rising out of the shadowy regions of her previous albums and singles---snapshots like a Beyonce cover and the Ronettes loop which opens the album---but they don't contrast too highly with a lo-fi Bolero ballad like The Island Song, nor the noisy interludes and atmospheric stopgaps separating her most developed songs to date. Remy's voice is the kind that can move mountains of song, and they say there ain't no mountain high enough, so why shouldn't she shoot for the pop stars?



Prolific magician of mellow Lieven Moana (aka Dolphins Into the Future) swims forward this year with no less than these three new offerings, each as fulfilling as the next to let roll up past the floats, the dock, and water fowls, past your feet, up your dock chair, past your smile, into your open ears, through your mind, and into your soul, where it stirs about incredibly evocative pictures of barges, cliffs, and lakes as wide as small towns. The Eternal Landscapes LP (inspired by the visual art of Ada Van Hoorebeke) especially evokes atmospherics in favour of much musical intervention, whereas the Two Romantic Landscapes North American tour cassette is among the finest of Dolphins' synth-trance excursions.



First full-length wax-work solo outing for Brian Sullivan of Mouthus notoriety not only ditches his old Eskimo King moniker for United Waters but seems to creatively pick up where Mouthus' most studio-fried monument, Saw A Halo, left off. Hushed, articulate, exploring... A distilling solo work that eclipses any noise trappings or current trends in favour of simply something new and unique from a voice that's true.



Ed Yazijian offered the outside world the stellar basement freak-folk chalice Six Ways to Avoid the Evil Eye back in 2007 but has remained fairly off the map ever since, save for his ongoing collaborations with the highly respected Dredd Foole. Gansrud brings us up to date on what this deep spirit has been up to, and it's quite the feast for the well-lubricated third eye.



Sightings charge on as one of the past ten years' most important rock groups with this heavy slice of recordings, capturing their phenomenal and powerful live-room sound. Previous albums Through the Panama and City of Straw brought the band's raw aesthetic up to studio production standards, though not always to the benefit of the band's intense live chemistry, but Future Accidents takes it back to ground level, where you can feel the sounds this band throws about, stomping you in the chest and forcing you to move under their rhythms.


JOHN MILNER, YOU'RE SO BOSS (Pleasence Records 7")
EROTIC NIGHTMARE by THE SOUPCANS (Pleasence Records one-sided LP)

Just a healthy selection of all the goodies which came pouring out on the most encouraging label underground Toronto has ever witnessed, the vinyl salvation to local sounds both challenging and indie rock safe round these parts, Pleasence Records. I'm obviously sided with the challenging, and these recommendable feasts for the senses rip chords from a selection of the city's very finest groups these days. There's ferocious dog-off-the-leash noise-garage (The Soupcans), Melt-Banana-inspired spazz-punk kids (John Milner, You're So Boss), head scratching sound verite and humorous cut-up concrete (Fleshtone Aura), kaleidoscopic dance funk & post-punk (Man Made Hill & Young Truck) and, last but not least, the latest hot wax from Canada's most internationally adored lo-fi weird-punk navigators (The Pink Noise). Believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg... 2012 is looking just as Pleasence as 2011. And that's spelled "as in Donald", by the way...


LEAVE HOME by THE MEN (Sacred Bones LP)

The Men would fit in nicely beside pissed-off violent hardcore acts like Total Abuse, Vile Gash, Cult Ritual and Drunkdriver (the latter two of which have already broken up) if they weren't so stoked on the art-rock heirlooms from Wire, Sonic Youth and even the Beach Boys that they're really channeling underneath their hardcore volume pedals and ringing amps. The Men would be just the latest in a long line of bandwagon riff re-hashers, playing into the hands of the lonely rock critics, if they didn't have that sweet knack for making other people's songs sound so much like their own. You can tell there's a few dudes writing songs in this band, and I hope it's enough to give The Men some staying power where others fade so quickly, but when I hear they've got a split LP with Diet Cokeheads coming out, or rumours that there's a country and western influence on their next record, I gotta shake my head and wonder. Let's hope The Men prove me wrong, because "Think" and "Lotus" are two of my favourite songs from 2011.


YT // ST by YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN (Psychic Handshake LP)

Genre and gender defying noh-wave titans from the future, spreading their J-pop vibes and sinister cuteness across all the ends of your emotional spectrum. There's some big buzz surrounding this Psychic Handshake record (with no small thanks to hometown boy Stuart Berman's encouraging words for Pitchfork) and the bloggers and reviewers are catching on like wildfire, so it's good to know all Yamantaka's hard work in fighting the odds to make this recording and album possible is turning into a dream come true of positive returns. Go get to know this band, they could be making serious waves down your roads...



L.A. Vampires is an enigma wrapped in a puzzle and served with a TV dinner. This album should be a complete wreck. I should hate it, but I don't. I love it. It consists of the long tranced out lo-fi loops of Matrix Metals / Punks on Mars / Outer Limits Recordings mastermind Sam Meringue seemingly emailed over to Ms. L.A. for her to drink champagne and croon over. Seems like a recipe for disaster, or some strange home cooking, but this perplexing affair manages to out hipster the hipsters with its ultra repetitive beats and deadpan deliveries, waxing unpoetic about wasted nights and days from behind dark sunglasses. Schmaltz for the post-everything set? I know it sounds like I don't like this record, but I really, really do. When L.A. purrs Berr-lin Ba-by, I can see the city, and sometimes that kind of feeling and sincerity is enough to create a transcendent slice of modern enticement like this one right here. (I realized after the fact, that this is the one 2010 release that slipped onto this list... Keep on slipping, system, keep on slipping... I could erase this, but fuck it.)



(all Beniffer Editions cassettes)

I love an oddball tape from yesteryear, and these three backwoods retro parties from Beniffer Editions' winter line-up of cassettes takes my cake and throws it out on the gravel driveway, just for the fuck of it! Come on, let's go get wasted and spin these things... Bad Boy Butch Batson's effort is the sloppiest seconds ever, following the still highly rotating Spare Parts LP Beniffer bestowed upon the world not too long ago. Imagine if Jandek was an adventurous kid, with funk in his soul and getting crazy in mind. A bit on the hard to handle side at times, but it's certainly got its spark. Frak ups the ante on the techno, still mining their treasure trove of early 90s melody-high AFX Kraftwerking. Hey, if the machines can do it, so can you. Nothing beats a timeless techno jam, and Frak fucking know it. Last up is a true mystery by Denim Reptile, something found by someone sometime that sounds like James Ferraro jamming with Ariel Pink in lo-fidelity heaven. Could the rumours be true? Says it's from Owen Sound... You never know with Beniffer, but you always know it's gonna be a weird time.



I've almost had enough of these guys, but I had just enough left for their Mickie Most meets Royal Trux sound to go buy this four-sider of new material for Drag City. Just as I suspected, it's wearing thin fast, but not before they could crank out this one or two session collection of off-the-cuff infectious sneers and jeers at jagged ditties. Sadly not as anti-music adventurous as their U.S.EZ album for Siltbreeze, but that's a statement you could apply to a lot of bands. There's a certain lackadaisical charm to Sic Alps, but more often than not they're treading water when they could be motoring away. It's when they get their shit together, on those certain songs, that Sic Alps sound like the best thing since the slacker 90s, but I have a feeling these guys are gonna lose it before they really cruise it. Let's hope they prove me wrong, but their quick to follow duo of 7"s weren't worth the price of admission in my books, so I held off. There's something about fulfill and demand, and a lot of bands are quick to shoot their loads and flood their markets these days. Buyer beware should be written on anything with shrink wrap. Napa Asylum almost tipped the scales in disfavor, but the Alps won my fandom for a little longer, though they'd probably want to kick my ass after reading this, like any band worth their spunk. Sic Alps are worth their spunk, so let's hope they don't let it dry up.



I don't know what's happened to hip-hop, or what's happening to it, and I don't really care, because I'm content to spin my Gang Starr and Originoo Gunn Clappaz albums into dust while all the egos and money grabbers of today boast and toast themselves into history's oblivion. I find Odd Future about as interesting and inspiring as a urine stain. All of the lights be damned, it don't mean a natural thing if it ain't got that natural swing. Sounds like Shabazz Palaces are about as pissed off at the eroding state of hip-hop and culture as I am, and they've crafted as unique and challenging a hip-hop hallmark as you're likely to find in 2011, a year when most of who's strongest in pushing things forward in hip-hop took the year off to cash in some chips. Shabazz stepped through alive and fresh, after an extended hiatus from the limelight by group brainchild Mushroom, the wizard who was also behind Digable Planets, whose records still hold up marvelously. Expect challenging things to come.


CARDBOARD ORACLE by SIX HEADS (Wintage Records & Tapes LP)

Outsider noise from the sub basement set, courtesy of weathered and vital sonic sculptors Six Heads, a catch-all group of surrealist-minded musicians and composers condemned to Toronto's experimental ghetto. Find out their names, Google them--- they all have extensive discographies, and would appreciate your interest. I could do it for you, but you wouldn't learn anything. This is a real 4 am record for the post-noise heads. Local fave and a sure bet to be a worthy investment on the collector's market---nudge nudge, wink wink. Recently buzzed on The Wire blog for its tasty low budget cover art.



Contains some of my favourite songs from this year, namely "Lower Mind", "Baba Yaga" and "Good Bad Dreams". Reverb and delay drenched songwriting at its most articulate, off-kilter and inimitable. A new, unique voice, just when you thought those had all been silenced. Something like a weird fusion between Roky Erickson's acid-fried sense of purpose and the drifting morphine-soaked wondering of Slowdive, with rhythmic accents courtesy of early krautrock. Insert praise and admiration here. About half of their songs eclipse their other songs, but oh boy those good songs are good.


DOC DUNN (Inyrdisk CDr)
THE TRANSCENDENTAL RODEO plays and sings LE JARDIN MAGIQUE (Healing Power cassette)

Latest offerings from Doc Dunn and his Transcendental Rodeo troupe finds Toronto's best preserved psychedelic secret in full flourish, first with a solo electrified guitar sojourn (on my own Inyrdisk imprint--- oops! Guess I had to let just one slip onto this list...) and second to none, a full choir and ensemble document cassette for Healing Power, capturing the Rodeo in full gallantry, both in living room and public environment. A true troubadour of good vibes and deep jams, Dunn has raised the spirits of a lifetime's worth of alarming players and misfits, some of whom all gather when the moon reaches the right magnitude. Tell your neighbour.



Mystifying fourth solo vinyl offering from Fensburg, Germany's Mama Baer suggests more sounds than it allows through. 45 RPM might only be optional, but is recommended. It's certainly the speed of the recordings, which aim to allude and confound any conventions you might still not have shed. Despite its arresting exercises in tension and restraint, Asylum Lunaticum only hints at the powers Mama Baer previously unfurled on her obliterating pair of Shamanic Trance LPs from 2010. Her art brut approach to hammering out haunted folk shanties, fractured banshee ballads and dadaist rituals will have to wait until next year's 2xLP for Inyrdisk to further reveal what the Shamanic Trance LPs first exposed on wax beyond the tiniest of art editions... Asylum Lunaticum is a very engaging teaser for the sonic spectacles Mama Baer (and her beloved sound-poet, performance artist and anti-musician husband Kommissar Hjuler) have in store for the future.


THAMES VOL XIV (She Sells Records cassette)

Montreal noise-core duo Thames stepped out stronger than ever this year---their sixth so far---with this ass-kicking duo of releases, each as sonically befuddling as the next. Warped song-manship, noise aesthetics and futuristic thinking blobbed out this mental bubble of thought-provoking new sounds. More loving details in another blog entry I wrote, for Weird Canada. Where are all the independent labels in Canada? Sniffing around for the next big shiny tunes, I'm sure. John Olson's American Tapes did these guys a solid by offering them their first slab of wax, let's hope the stateside support sends some more ears up our way in 2012.


DELUDED by VILE GASH (Youth Attack 7")

I wouldn't recommend ordering from this label, because chances are you'll get ripped off for your money and never sent what you ordered, but if you can snag it at your local shop or online distro, some of what they're putting out is some of the best releases so-called violent hardcore has to offer. This 7" features the latest three studio-fried tracks from these promising Ohio nihilists, and despite clocking in at a hair under 3 minutes, it packs enough punch to clear away the competition in a single blow. Punk as fuck, and pissed as hell.



You know a group is at the top of their game when they spit out a double album and act like it was just business as usual. AIDS Wolf's new power trio lineup of Seripop + Alex Moskos has seen stages buckling under their pressure, and this hair-raising and unrelenting shred-rest of noise-rock aptitude marks the first annual report from these grimy lovvers. Suck it up and taste the sting, like when I had a bee in my Corona this summer.



Weathered indie art-rockers Oneida spent their last few albums creatively pushing the boundaries of their respective sounds and abilities to extremes that have tested the patience and endurance levels of their listeners, with varying results. On Absolute II, it's as though they've artfully broken through their image of psychedelically fried rock n' roll into new lands of experimental drone fields and organic machinations. It's not always as sincere, vibrant, interesting or engaging (or just flat out musical) as some of the contemporaries and friends they're treading near (Mouthus, Sightings and the Dead C, for starters), but for sonic explorers clearly voyaging strange new worlds far beyond their usual depths, this is great, adventurous stuff by any stretch of the imagination. A few ideas take a bit long to develop, and some of the sounds are a little too naked where they could have benefitted from some clothing, but I can safely say this is my favourite Oneida album since Secret Wars, if not Anthem of the Moon. But what do I know? It's all a matter of opinion and taste, and everyone's entitled to their own.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Email from my mom

Subject: Time to make some changes?

Dear George,

It's passed mid-night. Thanks for sharing this link with me. Honestly, I hope you are not getting into more of these destructive and depressing music as if life is so nice and perfect that you need to add more trouble to it. Most of the people not even have time to pump up themselves with positive thoughts because life is very hard and depressing already. Some teenagers might like to find these music as outlet for their frustrations. However, the more you hear the more you would be trapped in the depression with these destructive sounds and images. How about classical music? Let me forward a link ( at the end of this email) to you that shows the research on studying the reaction of "water molecules". Think about our body is more than 90% in water and the earth is covered with water, you would be amazed and amused by what sound and image can do to a person. Please try to be close to sound of HARMONY after 37 years. It might add something more pleasant in your life for the rest of your journey.

See the differences in classical music and heavy metal. Can you imaging the effects in your body on cell level?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Gary Stevens of HEAD MOLT and MUTWAWA has been DJing between bands at recent shows, playing obscure electronic, psychedelic, prog, punk, new wave, world, etc. sparking folks (myself included) to ask "who's this?" and "who's this?" So recently Gary posted his mixes on his RAT WARD blog for everyone to enjoy. Tomorrow night he debuts as DJ on WRIR 97.3 FM, Richmond Independent Radio, here in Richmond, VA, his shows are Wednesdays 11 PM to 1 AM. Here are his first five mixes, geek out!!!:
(w/ Fela Kuti, Amanaz, The Witch, Gerard Levecque & Claude Romat, Chrome, Leather Nun, Todd Rundgren, Chrisma, Damned, Alex Chilton, Monitor, Braen, Pink Fairies, Jean Jacques Perry, Doris, Gaslamp Killer, Mondjam El/ Yamasuki-Yama Yama, Mehrpouya, Silver Apples, Starlights, Visitors, Brainticket, Joel Vandroogenbroeck, White Noise, Ghedalia Tazartes, Black Devil, Venus Gang, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Wicked Witch, Sympathy Nervous, Le Syndicat Electronique, ADN' Ckrystall, and Psychic TV)
(Basile, Franz Auffray, Christine 23 Onna, Piero Umiliani, Janko Nilovic, Chico Magnetic Band, Elektriktus, Human Egg, The United States Of America, Jean-Michel Lorgere, Sam Spence, X Ray Pop, Wire, Waitresses, Sam Sklair & Gus Galbraith, Halli Galli Tanz Music, Ampzilla's Delight, Metropakt, Salvation, Moondog, Lou Reed, Trio, Oblivians, The Red Krayola, Jesus, Midas Touch, Snuky Tate, Cluster, Sammy Burdson Group, Todd Tamanend Clark, and Serge Gainsbourg)
(Debris, Amon Duul II, Monocles, Damin Eih, A.L.K. & Brother Clark, Mott The Hoople, Snakefinger, Human Egg, Jean-Jacques Burnel, Bruno Spoerri, High Tide, Gerhard Trede & His Electronic Instruments, Camille Sauvage, Quiet Sun, Swell Maps, Wicked Witch, Hermans Rockets, Raymond Scott, Chaino & His African Percussion, Simply Saucer, Savage Republic, Aguaturbia, Nick Ingman, Vampires Of Dartmoore, Yma Sumac, The Son Of Pocket Music, Serge Gainsbourg & Bridgette Bardot, Dara Puspita, Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra)
(Brian Eno, Jean-Jacques Burnel, Die Doraus & Die Marinas, Les Maledictus Sound, Null & Void, The Soft Machine, The Index, Mekanik Kommando, DJ Dog Dick, Conrad & Gregor Schnitzler, Night Shadow, Boo! Hiss! Pfftlb!, Rah Bras, John Bender, Ultimate Spinach, Mario Molino, The Move, Kim Fowley, The Troggs, Quiet Sun, Nostromo, Casino Music, The Naughtiest Girl Was A Monitor, Greg Vandike, Ariel Kalma, and Ghedalia Tazartes)
(Amon Duul II, Elektriktus, Solid Space, ADN' Les Catastrophe, Sympathy Nervous, Cromagnon, The Brainz, Assim Assado, Mary Moor, Mad Tea Party, Delta 5, Monks, SPK, Crash Course In Science, Deutsche Wertarbeit, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Executive Slacks, Rustic Hinge, Tool Shed, Violent Onsen Geisha, and Peter Jefferies)

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Alsos was the code name for the American special operations force led by a Lieutenant Colonel Boris T. Pash who struck deep into the Rhineland (The Zone) at the end of WWII in order to round up German Scientists and stashes of Belgian Uranium Ore. The ore was immediately shipped Stateside for use in the Manhattan Project, which was rushing towards completion of an Atomic Bomb. The Brains were scooped up in order to keep ‘em out of Soviet hands...and now the BBC has turned up weird sketches purported to be initial plans of a “Nazi Cosmic Bomb”, a notion historians have dismissed for decades. Guess Alsos missed it. I mean, it couldn’t have been that well hidden, right? A beast of an entirely different order but not necessarily unrelated and not of dissimilar magnitude or intensity is, what in-the-know-Jazzbos around here are calling The Toronto Cosmic Bomb, aka Vorvis/Hainey. Jack Vorvis is a drummer moving into years commonly referred to as “veteran” and Hainey, although not quite there yet but will be shortly, is best known as the sub-range in Disguises. (Vwwooh Vwooh!) Their first Inyrdisk release (Iyd19) was a grueling workout for both these deepmen, a gorgeously plodding affair which worked best on repeat and played thrice through. Their new zone, in lovely packaging, (iyd 34) is the same formula: Vorvis layin’ in the cut in a bizarrely sexual swing time and beat patterns in no-logic pulse. Hainey straight walks the dog with total abandon. A similarly zoned logic pervades these basslines. In fact its more like walking the cosmic bomb. To add a whole new tier of wigginess to this already bent concept this new one features Vanessa Rieger on modified speak n spell which just scrawls itself all over the duo’s choodly concept skin. I’ve never heard a CCMC record this weird and the fucking NOW Orchestra could learn a hell of a lot from this wholly instructive bitch. (

Addendum: If anyone has the double Music Gallery cassette with Vorvis/Snow/Dutton/Kubota I’d pay what I owe to Hydro Quebec for it, which is a lot...!