Tuesday, February 3, 2009

”OBSESSIVE // REPULSIVE” (part 1). <<>>

I find it ironic that: sitting on the floor of my bedroom, surrounded by three walls and a closet lined with artifacts from more than half of a life spent on absorbing outsider music / culture and the active stock of an on going label, that I have a hard time coming up with modern groups or artists that I am just in awe of, or continuously blown away by from an “audience” point of view, while discussing the lack of such entities with a friend. Of course, the conversation started with a past example of Pantera. Not on my end though, mine is kept secret for now, as it would probably be considered much worse by most readers of the corner of the internet.

I don’t want heroes, but I truly enjoy the experience of being a fan, it feels rare. It’s incredibly rewarding to be heavily involved with so many things that you love, but isn’t it also a blast to be completely removed once in awhile, having the opportunity to indulge in the “dorking-out” endeavor? It’s not so easy. You want your band to play with the new one you just heard about or saw. You want to tell them how much you love them, but then they find out who you are (or you can’t help but offer) and their next record comes out on your label 6 months later.

Attempted here, this time around, is the declaration of obsession with projects and their objects, that have (little to) nothing to do with me, at least for now, and also fit within the parameters of this space. (current or currently relevant at least). And: Probably keeping it short because, it’s late. and also: because lately I am late (a lot).

TYVEK = TVK, TYVJK, etc. (from Detroit). Sometimes there’s these bands that have a truly strange damaged sound, but can somehow pass as a completely digestible “rock” or “punk” band. Or maybe: Sometimes there’s these very easy to listen to “rock” or “punk” bands that have these parallel aspects that are incredibly crooked or skewed. Tyvek don’t play very loud, and at heart, it’s fairly upbeat and catchy garage style stuff, but it’s their approach makes them so appealing to me. The gear sounds faulty, perhaps not as in tune as it should be, the vocals have an urgent yet appropriately “bored” tone to them, and the broken tape machine fidelity honestly seals the deal.

So: when friends ask “What new bands have you been digging?” – they’ve been rolling off my tongue a lot, usually with like-minded weirdos saying “Oh my god I know!” (right Chloe?).

One might argue that this band is receiving more than enough attention already, or that they are just another off shoot of the new weird “fucked up” pop scene (Times New Viking, Eat Skull, and so on), but speaking as a member of the human species that spent a good deal of time infatuated with Crypt and Estrus style groups in the 90’s (see Teengenerate, The Rip-Offs, etc) as well as art damaged punk and overblown noise rock, Tyvek are haphazardly skirting between two areas that I adore, and I can’t wait to catch them live. Check them out and then pick up the “Summer Burns” double 7” on Whats Yr Rupure and “Sidewalk” 7” on M’Ladys before they are gone forever, but buy more than one copy, because you’re liable to run the grooves down to nothing in ecstatic repetition. Recommended for ANYONE.

HARRY PUSSY (later material, now accessibly existing as a CD entitled “You’ll Never Play This Town Again” on Load Records – Miami, FL from 92-97). Harry Pussy’s “genius” is the most depressing series of recordings ever. Usually a band cuts a few disgustingly perfect records and then fizzle out, but Harry Pussy arguably did the complete opposite. There are countless records their first 2/3s of existence that are more “noise” than anything else, or just absurd guitar jamming that seems to just be there to annoy. Maybe it was, or: maybe I am being an asshole. (I don’t mean to be, I like things about almost every single one of those early singles).

However, at some point, I finally stumbled across a live recording (which I later pinned down to be a live 10”), and it was a completely different band. Perhaps 10 year before their time, Harry Pussy had crafted a unique brand of noise-rock / no-wave: two thick guitars that played highly jazzy and fastly noodled riffs with loud tumbling / stumbling / flailing drumming from Adris, while her voice would go from high pitched and ear-piercingly shrieking to deep guttural growls in split second. I was in love, and over the next couple of years, I slowly acquired some various later records that blow my mind to this day: their split with Frosty is incredible, for example, and I burned the 10”, a tour LP and some of the last singles for friends over and over (with hopes of one day getting a hold of them and offering to release a CD of all of that material (everything that’s not on the “Ride a Dove” and “What Was Music?” CD’s, which ironically is EXACTLY what Load Records did last year, out of nowhere. (slightly before, I found some old referenced to Menlo Park possibly doing it)).

What depresses me about how incredible this specific era is, is that I hardly know anyone that likes it, mostly because everyone had more than likely developed their own opinions by then, or are too young to even know who they even are. All too often, their name comes up, and people seem disinterested, saying that (or asking if) they just sorta masturbated on their instruments and did noise shit all the time – so I have to burn that same series of releases, and 9 times out of 10 they are blown away. It’s really exciting that these songs are actually available for people to hear now. I myself haven’t picked up the CD yet. Having all of the records on it and a DIY version of the same exact disc has made it less than tempting, but I have this self-centered ideas that at least 75% of the sales have resulted from my constant praise of their work over the years, and will eventually grab when there’s no one else around to convince to do so instead.

There are countless small things to note, things that make me smile and happy every time I listen to or pull them out to share with someone. You know, things that some lame wikipedia thing doesn’t fully show the person that just Soulseeks’ their “record collection”. The “”Fuck You” tour LP doesn’t say Harry Pussy anywhere on it. I’ve seen some copies that at least have a stamp on the white center labels, but mine doesn’t even have that. There’s a single that is purposefully designed to look like a bad punk record, a split 7” between two fake bands: Radiation Nation and The Toxic Drunks (and the art is complete shit, bad (aka perfect) ink pen on white, copied – you can find this in $1 bins all over the country instead of as a “Harry Pussy” 7’ on Ebay, trust me. And I myself just finally / recently scored a copy of their posthumous double 12” “Let’s Build A Pussy” on Blackbean and Placenta, perhaps the most annoying record of all time: digitally tempo changed clips of Adris screaming, stretching a few seconds over entire sides of each LP. You would think I am kidding, how did someone legitimize doing that? Yeah, they all sold, but wow. And: The cover art for “Ride A Dove” is unbelievable. At their finest moments, Harry Pussy still hold their own. Loud, fucked up weird bands constantly come and go, but few can even compare.


JACKWACKER (“Things From Inside Your Body” LP (Black Velvet Fuckere) // Indiana early / mid 90’s) – One day, a few years ago, when he was working at the local record shop (Eastside Records, which hasn’t been more than a five minute bike ride away in the past 8 years), good friend Dirty Dan (see: George Moshington) gave me a call because I “needed’ to come in and buy this LP that came in with the Revolver order.

Me: “Jackwacker? Fucking terrible name”. He assured me it was right up my alley, completely disgusting guitar noise / rock. When I got there and saw the cover, I was even more skeptical. Actually, that’s not true, the first thing I thought was, again: “Ugh, Jackwacker? Fucking terrible name”. The art looked like a bad central NJ mosh / metal band (like a b/w version of something on Acme, Edison, Ferret, ect), and trust me, I was there, so I would know (besides, Endeavor has funny song titles and good lyrics, pfft).


I remember getting home and listening through the whole thing, honestly thinking it might have been a joke, in the sense that it was claiming to be lost recordings from the band’s existence in the early 90’s, and yet it was more devastating brutal and adventurous than 90% of what “weird” bands come up with today. A guitar and drums duo, with vocals here and there, Jackwacker played in this style that can only be poorly linked to (a combination of): Lightning Bolt, Sightings, Harry Pussy (see above!), Unwound and Today Is The Day. …I am listening to this right now, god it’s so good. I wonder how often I unknowingly rip this off? (shh shh shhhh). And the LP is not a universal wall of nonsense, there’s a great deal of catchy songwriting under the guise of severely damaged speakers and drums that are being demolished.

In the most appropriate manner, seeing as some nutso put this out, they have a myspace and some of their ancient live videos online! Check them out! http://www.myspace.com/jackwacker

I would be willing to be my life that it is very easy to get this record from the label still, therefore, you should. You figure if you are releasing an LP 13 years after a band breaks up, and few people had ever heard of them outside of the Midwest, that there’s bound to be an unhealthy supply of them sitting around,… but that’s the kind of insane and sick things you do when you are obsessed with all of this stuff (see: myself and friend Matt Colgrove, we’re doing an LP of a band’s 2001 demo, that played live under 10 times, no one has ever heard of, which we’ll be stuck with for years. Why do it? We want to. A better question: why not? (Those with reason need not answer).

That’s all for this time around. No set plan of attack thus far, maybe things like this sometimes and completely other things at others. Vague enough? Please feel free to get in touch for any reason what so ever, and thanks to Chloe for getting this thing together and rolling. I think it’s completely exciting, and there’s few people out there that I have as much faith in / admiration for, as I do her.

James Fella | Gilgongo Records PO Box 7455 Tempe, AZ 85281 USA


  1. thanks james , i'm gonna need to hunt down that jackwacker

  2. Dude, dig out "What Was Music?" again. You may be shocked to discover that almost all those same songs are on that record, they are just severely obscured by the recording "technique." Of course, it does seem they got plenty tighter by the time of that live 10", but check it out. Like the aural equivalent of staring at a candlestick and suddenly seeing 2 faces.

  3. I had similar feelings toward Harry Pussy on hearing them. First on a comp. where I was astounded as to the clouds of fuckery that ensued that this wasn't just 'jacking off' on the instruments. Subsequent sparsely attended live shows proved that they were indeed doing 'songs,' but songs like no other.

    Fucked up clouds of injection points and salty jalapeno enema sound.

    Their recording 'technique' seemed to obfuscate and in some cases be an additional instrument in their aesthetic.

    I videotaped a few of their shows and they are still the feather in my hat as they were king size performancfes of a kind of vaudeville violence that no one has really been able to touch. True pros.

    I got a copy to the guitar player after the band had dissolved and was quite amazed by his attitude that the sound was really simple 'just two chords' kind of attitude.

    . . .Someday I'll share.