Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ethan Master of the Hawaiian Ukulele

"Take It Out Of Our Deposit was put together so I would have something new to sell on this last tour... 1-5 is 4 track stuff, 6-10 is otherwise unreleased songs from a radio broadcast on KVRX from June 2008, and 11 was recorded for a compilation my friend Charlie does called the New Moon Vol. 2 Compilation. It was CD-Rs with no packaging and sold for donation or given away. Both were released as 'EMHU' but we toured as 'Spiked Punch' and that will be a moniker for future releases. Also we are becoming a reggae band, or at least we will be going through a protracted reggae phase. Fun fact, Mike, of track 3 fame is now in the band, and he's the guy actually teaching us all how to play reggae."


I saw Spiked Punch at Cakeshop recently and they were hilarious. There weren't many people at the show, but it matters little if the room is full as long as the right people are there.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Ethan Master of the Hawaiian Ukulele.

So Real (Pukekos)
1. The Part I Like
2. Eight Note Run
3. When I was Younger
4. Noise Band
5. The Rain Came Down
6. I Hope You Don’t Think That I’m Upset
7. Out of a Rut
8. Poker Game Song
9. If You’re Actin’ Like a Baby (How’re You Gonna be Her Man?)
10. So Nice
11. When You’re Feeling Lonesome
12. So Real
13. He Said, She Said
14. Emotional Guardian
15. Wore Out Your Welcome

Take It Out Of Our Deposit (Pukekos)
1. Sleep on Top a Rope
2. Christmas Eve
3. Keith Richards Mike In Oregon
4. Its a Funny Thing
5. Let Go By
6. *******
7. I Never Met a Navigator
8. Fortitude
9. Norma Jean
10. Trusty Whiskey's Caramel
11. Bones for Emily

Friday, September 25, 2009

Puttin' On The Ritz

From the original press release:

"After years of performing in and around New York City and releasing a smattering of EP’s and bootleg recordings, Puttin’ On the Ritz proudly presents their first album, Bangin’ Your Way Into the Future. Vocalist BJ Rubin and Percussionist Kevin Shea not only challenge musical convention with their approach to performance, but offer valuable commentary on the current state of music and culture.

Both BJ Rubin and Kevin Shea are well-known fixtures in the New York experimental rock scene performing and collaborating with a wide variety of musicians and bands since the mid-1990’s. After several years of acquaintance, Rubin and Shea formed POtR at a party in Brooklyn in 2004 where they began improvising new lyrics to standards. They were offered a gig at a later party and decided to perform standards (in their original form). More than 100 live shows later, POtR has toured in Europe and the U.S. performing in venues ranging from the Knitting Factory to waist-deep in the Atlantic Ocean.

Rather than presenting a defined artistic agenda, POtR invites, if not challenges, the listener to extract meaning from these performances. This music is more than ironic, nostalgic, bizarre, or comedic: it blurs the lines between good/bad and intentionality/actuality. This music questions not only performance practice and quality, but the place of music in culture and its role as a commodity.

The repertoire of Puttin' On the Ritz consists of many of the most often performed standards in the American Songbook: songs that have been recorded and performed so often that their meaning has been lost in a sea of repetition and function only as nostalgia-inducing commodity. With countless vocalists utilizing these relics to re-create the style of past performances, Rubin and Shea present a decidedly current, contemporary, personal and valid method of interpretation. The music they make is a commentary on the state of power and discourse in jazz and popular music, and presents a welcome addition to the debate surrounding the corporatization of jazz and the collapse of the traditional popular music industry.

Rubin and Shea are joined here by a familiar cast of characters: Peter Evans, Jon Irabagon, and Moppa Elliott, who are better known as the “Terrorist Be-Bop Uber-Jass” ensemble, Mostly Other People Do the Killing. On the present recording, these musicians assume roles as sidemen in support of Rubin’s vocals, and rise to the challenge of accompanying the erratic style of POtR. Rather than attempt to create a formulaic style of arrangement around Rubin, the band gives each song on this recording a unique treatment ranging from swing-style riffs, counterpoint, obligato, to call-and-response, and white noise.

Rather than confronting the conventions of the jazz/pop power structure from within (as MOPDtK does), BJ Rubin is an unabashed jazz-outsider. BJ Rubin presents the musicians with a rare opportunity: rather than confronting the jazz/pop power structure from the inside by skillfully deconstructing jazz standards, POtR is a form of outsider art, made with reckless abandon. Many jazz and pop musicians have been recording and performing deconstructed versions of standards for decades (Spike Jones, George Russell, John Zorn), but their status as members of the community under scrutiny hinders their ability to truly strip away the influence of training and conformity. Instead of placing these compositions in new contexts to express new and different musical affects, POtR is simply performing standards. BJ Rubin is not a vocalist rebelling, he is a vocalist reveling."

"Puttin' On the Ritz is only growing better with the passage of time.  Like fine wines and spirits, subtle nuances of dramatic proportion emerge with age, making this recording swell with historical importance and contemporary validity.

-Leonardo Featherweight"

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Puttin' On the Ritz.

Bangin' Your Way Into The Future (Hot Cup)
1. Gee, Officer Krupke
2. The Girl From Ipanema
3. Earth Angel
4. Let's Fall In Love
5. The Rainbow Connection
6. My Funny Valentine
7. Fly Me To The Moon
8. That's Amore
9. The Candy Man
10. If You Wanna Be Happy
11. POTR vs. BOP!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Charles Evans

"The baritone saxophone, the under-utilized and -appreciated anchor of many a big band reed section, has too few true champions in its corner.  To the short, but highly venerated list of virtuoso purveyors of the big horn we can now add the name: Charles Evans.  Between his post-bop quartet recordings featuring Peter Evans, Moppa Elliott, and Jan Roth, and his monumental multi-voiced compositions, Evans has emerged as not just an important baritone saxophonist, but an important composer operating at the nexus of jazz and so-called 'new music'.  His style, while deeply rooted in the jazz tradition has expanded to consume a vast array of additional influences including, but not limited to: dodecaphonic composition, aleatory, indeterminism, extended-technique, and the Dunnaway.  His ever expanding body of work is forcing the music world to reconsider the capabilities of both his instrument and composition itself."

-Leonardo Featherweight

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Charles Evans.

Ballads (Great Bend)
1. Alas Dances
2. Infant Eyes
3. Chelsea Bridge
4. Like Someone In Love
5. Body And Soul
6. I Remember Clifford
7. For Ta (I Really Wanted It To Work)

No Relation (Great Bend)
1. What
2. Love
3. How
4. High
5. Song
6. You
7. Is
9. Isfatek

The King Of All Instruments (Hot Cup)
1. On Tone Yet? Part I (Mover's Mood For Annie)
2. On Tone Yet? Part II
3. On Tone Yet? Part III
4. Junie Part I: The Father (For Clarence Evans)
5. Junie Part II: The Friend (For Clarence Evans)
6. It's The Right Toe, Bro (For David Liebman)
7. A Deya In The Life Of A Mulligan
8. Mother And Others (For Genevieve Evans, And Jim And Jenifer Besten)
9. What Would Of Ives (For Bill Zaccagni)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mostly Other People Do The Killing

"Over the course of their first three studio albums, Mostly Other People Do the Killing have shown a propensity for spirited improvisation and rollicking themes.  Their sometimes bellicose interactions belie an overwhelmingly jocular spirit, keeping the listener engaged and surprised at every turn.

Their first eponymous release displays a quartet in flux, torn between a standard post-bop approach and the more multifarious approach that has become a hallmark of their style.  The opening salvo, 'Elliott Mills,' and ebullient 'Jollytown' are clearly the origins of the current style, and contrast greatly with the brooding 'Between Panic and Desire' and mesmerizing 'Aspers'.

On Shamokin!!! they have arrived.  The compositions each represent one aspect of a greater whole and demonstrate a complete artistic vision.  Genre-hopping group interaction and constant soloist antagonism abound from pieces that cover the gamut of jazz history from boogaloo to ballad, bossa to blues.  The monumental recording of Dizzy Gillespie's 'Night in Tunisia' rounds out the album by showcasing Shea, Irabagon, and Evans in unaccompanied cadenza format.

One can almost feel the ideas of the first two albums expand to their mature state on This Is Our Moosic.  The variety of compositional forms and improvisational tangents has swollen like a gangrenous limb on the corpus of jazz.  The crowning jewel of this album, the Billy Joel composition 'Allentown', is given a polished and commercial treatment, not unlike the pop art of Warhol and Lichtenstein.  The jazz world waits with baited breath for the next album by Mostly Other People Do the Killing, sure to astound, surprise and nauseate."

- Leonardo Featherweight

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Mostly Other People Do The Killing.

Mostly Other People Do The Killing (Hot Cup)
1. Elliott Mills
2. Between Panic and Desire
3. Jollytown
4. Good Intent
5. King and Queen
6. Aspers
7. Moanin

Shamokin!!! (Hot Cup)
1. Handsome Eddy
2. The Hop Bottom Hop
3. Shamokin
4. Dunkelbergers
5. Factoryville
6. Lover
7. Andover
8. Evans City
9. Baden
10. A Night in Tunisia

This Is Our Moosic (Hot Cup)
1. Drainlick
2. Two Boot Jacks
3. Fagundus
4. The Bats in Belfry
5. East Orwell
6. My Delightful Muse
7. Biggertown
8. Effort, Patience, Diligence
9. Allentown

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


"Heres my blurb ... its from Gremlins 2! or if thats too whack ... My name's Gill. I recorded these songs in my room. I live in Melbourne. As well as Dirtbag I play in the bands Beaches and Spider Vomit. I have a dog called What a Mess who bites all my friends. All my friends are in rad bands. The weather in Melbourne is shit for most of the year.

Grandpa Fred: [interviewing Dirtbag Gremlin] Creature what is it that you want? 
Dirtbag Gremlin: Fred, what we want is, I think, what everyone wants, and what you and your viewers have: civilization. 
Grandpa Fred: Yes, but what sort of civilization are you speaking of?
Dirtbag Gremlin: The niceties, Fred. The fine points: diplomacy, compassion, standards, manners, tradition... that's what we're reaching toward. Oh, we may stumble along the way, but civilization, yes. The Geneva Convention, chamber music, Susan Sontag. Everything your society has worked so hard to accomplish over the centuries, that's what we aspire to; we want to be civilized.
[a Gremlin with a beanie cap acts goofy next to Brain]
Dirtbag Gremlin: You take a look at this fellow here.
[Dirtbag shoots the Gremlin in the head. The Gremlins in the bar laugh. Grandpa Fred and Kujitsu leave]

Dirtbag Gremlin: Now, was that civilized? No, clearly not. Fun, but in no sense civilized. Now, bear in mind, none of us has been in New York before. There are the Broadway shows - we'll have to find out how to get tickets. There's also a lot of street crime, but I believe we can watch that for free. We want the essentials. Dinettes. Complete bedroom groups. Convenient credit, even though we've been turned down in the past.

is that ok?"

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Dirtbag.

Reverse the Curse (Pukekos)
1. Graceless
2. No One's Getting My Soul
3. Who Do Voodoo
4. Hot Tropic

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Teengirl Fantasy

"We were driving all night on tour to New York at some point this past spring in a car that had an old box of cassettes that had been passed down from our friend Ted.  The stereo + windshield wipers didn't work, so we were just listening to tapes on a portable radio driving through the rain.... we found this one unmarked black cassette that had an incredible mix on it.  The listening experience was so euphoric that we later ended up sampling two of the songs on it to write 'Hollywood Hils' and 'Love Don't Live Here'. We didn't initially write these songs with the intention of one being an A-side or B-side, or of them sharing a unified theme, but after recording the demos we realized that this was going to be our heartbreak 12". Both tracks in their own ways are about tears on the dancefloor, about being happy and sad about the world at the same time while dancing in a group of people who most likely feel the same way as you.

The artwork for the single was made by our friends Camilla Padgitt-Coles and Hilary Zarabi-Azam (Hilary's voice also appears on 'Hollywood Hils', hence the name of the track). Together they hand made 100 covers, each one different and unique."

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Teengirl Fantasy.

Hollywood Hils EP (Pukekos)
1. Hollywood Hils
2. Love Don't Live Here
3. Hollywood Hils (Demo)
4. Love Don't Live Here (Demo)

Monday, September 7, 2009

BJ Rubin

I love cheese sandwiches so much that I decided to put one out on my record label. As there are some tasks you can't delegate, I made it myself. If you want to be a great artist you have to believe that you are a great artist; no matter how difficult the path, you have to walk it alone.

So I ate it.

Produced by BJ Rubin
Recorded 6/9/09 at Eerste Atjehstraat 156

Thanks to Niels and Danielle

Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2009

A Cheese Sandwich, etc. (Dick Move)
1. A Cheese Sandwich, etc.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Aye Aye Captain

This record was supposed to come out some years ago on Sympathy for the Record Industry, but was shelved initially due to some shenanigans involving The White Stripes (then permanently because the band broke up). I convinced my new friend Tara Tavi to allow me to take it off that shelf and release it now:

"The swirling, switchblade shanties of Aye Aye Captain (2000-2002) feature solo artist Dame Darcy  (Death By Doll, Black Strap Molasses Family) on vocals and banjo, Tara Tavi (Amps For Christ, Soddamn Inssein, Auto Da Fe) on vocals and Chinese hammered dulcimer, Bobby Sell (Caroliner Rainbow, Los Cincos, Syncopation) on drums, keyboard and horn, Anthony Berryman (Megafuckers, Soddamn Inssein, The Jews) on bass, and Jackson Baugh (Silver Daggers, Soddamn Inssein and Herr K) on guitar and keyboard.  Cover art is by Dame Darcy and interior art is by Tara Tavi. Injuries to be compensated. Any man who loses a limb in battle shall receive extra booty. All crew quarrels will be settled on shore. Any man who deserts ship in battle shall be put to death."

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Aye Aye Captain.

Ahoy Mermatey! (Pukekos)
1.  Diamond (voc- DD, backing voc- TT)
2.  John Reilly (low voc- DD, high voc- TT)
3.  Be There Treasure Aboard the Sunken Vessel?
4.  Greenland (voc- DD)
5.  Ocean
6.  Sawney Bean (voc- DD, backing- TT)
7.  Rock That Ship (voc- DD)
8. In the Galley (voc- TT)
9.  Glittering Blood (low voc- DD, high voc- TT)
10.  Fang (voc- DD)
11.  Rain- (voc- DD, backing –TT)
12.  Cruel Sister (voc- TT, backing- DD)
13.  Freak Yo Ship (voc- DD)