Thursday, February 28, 2013

Portsmouth Sinfonia

The Portsmouth Sinfonia usually claims a membership of about fifty -- the number fluctuates. Within the orchestra is represented the full range of musical competence -- some members playing difficult instruments for the first time, others, on the other hand, of concert standard. This tends to generate an extraordinary and unique musical situation where the inevitable errors must be considered as a crucial, if inadvertent, element of the music.

It is important to stress the main characteristic of the orchestra: that all members of the Sinfonia share the desire to play the pieces as accurately as possible. One supposes that the possibility of professional accuracy will forever elude us since there is a constant influx of new members and a continual desire to attempt more ambitious pieces from the realms of the popular classics.

My own involvment in the Sinfonia is two levels -- I am a non-musician in the sense of never having "studied music," yet at the same time, I notice that many of the more significant contributions to rock music, and to a lesser extent, avant-garde music have been made by enthusiastic amateurs and dabblers. Their strength is that they are able to approach the task of music without a too firm concept of what is and what is not musically possible. Coupled with this, and consequent to it, is a current fascination with the role of "the accident" in structured activities.

Legend has it that Beethoven, among other composers, enjoyed performances of his music by enthusiastic music makers who may well have possessed a similar range of abilities to those of the members of the Sinfonia.

Whether he would have enjoyed our rendering of his Fifth Symphony is, of course, something we will never know.

--Brian Eno, Sept. 1973.
   Sound Producer

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Portsmouth Sinfonia.

Portsmouth Sinfonia Plays The Popular Classics (Columbia)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


X, the punk band formed in 1977 by Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom, John Doe, and D.J. Bonebrake, came along just in time for those of us coming of age in the mid-'70s who were discovering that the conventional path through life wasn't an option. In Los Angeles at that point in time our numbers proved to be legion, and we found each other at L.A.'s seminal punk petri dish, The Masque. We weren't stupid, but we were unemployable; we were lonely, but we insisted on being left alone; we were broke, but had better things to do than chase money. We had what's commonly referred to as a bad attitude; we were hungry to taste it all, and we were willing to pay the price -- be it our health, our sanity, and in some cases, our lives. X was the house band for L.A.'s punk party that ran from 1977 through 1981, and they showed us a brighter truth, a braver way to live, the sacred beauty of the breakdown.

"The audience at the Masque was just like us, and there was no division between the bands who played there and the people who went to see them," recalls bassist, vocalist, and writer John Doe. "Many bands were writing songs about people who were part of the scene, and in a way the music was tailor-made for the people who were listening to it."

The community that coalesced at the Masque had begun to splinter by 1981 when X's second album, Wild Gift, was released, and X was beginning to change too. Their debut album, Los Angeles, had been a critical smash, John and Exene had gotten married, and their musical palette was broadening. One crucial thing remained unchanged, however; the lifestyle, and the friends and relations that had always been central to their songs, continued to rage on in high gear.

"Most of the newer songs on Wild Gift were about the life Exene and I were living as husband and wife in a small house off of Santa Monica Boulevard in the heart of the gay cruising district," recalls John Doe. "It was a pretty raunchy neighborhood, and were still scraping to get by, but we were so in love that we didn't care. There was a connection between us that was undeniable, and the love between us increased our creativity."

Adds Exene: "A lot of the songs on Wild Gift are obviously about relationship issues John and I were dealing with, but I don't remember there being any tension about those kinds of things. We married when we were in our early twenties, so we were still really young, and of course we felt attracted to other people. So, some of the songs carried feelings both of us were having but wouldn't act on because we were married."

The opening track, "The Once Over Twice," features lyrics by Exene, whose defiantly unconventional style was one of the band's greatest strengths. "Those are my lyrics, and basically it's a song about men," she explains. "Men didn't like me very much -- they were scared of me, as you can imagine, because men don't like powerful women. They like submissive, quiet, stupid women."

Next up is "We're Desperate," an early tune written in 1977 that didn't make it onto X's first album. "I wanted it to have a tempo that combined the Ramones and Captain Beefheart," says D.J. Bonebrake of the song's herky-jerky rhythm, which neatly showcases how tight the band was. John says the songs is about "poverty, crummy apartments, and burning the landlord," and the lyrics evoke that beautifully: "a motorola kitchen/Naugahyde & a tie-dye T-shirt/last night everything broke."

"Adult Books" was one of the first songs John and Exene wrote together, and one of their earliest attempts to trade in the jack-hammer bar chords of punk for something more complex. The rhythm of this ballad for the singles scene is sort of a reggae cha-cha, and John sings it soft and sweet, like a sadder but wiser lounge singer.

"Universal Corner" is about longing and taking the bus," says John. "I had a car when I wrote that song, but I took the bus intentionally to write it, although the bus doesn't show up in the song. It's about being away from home."

"I'm Coming Over" is the first song Exene ever wrote. "It's about feeling lonely, unloved, and unwanted -- even though I wasn't," she recalls. You can see her beginning to grasp the fundamentals of songwriting in this simple song, which lacks a bridge and is basically a rudimentary verse and chorus repeated a few times.

"It's Who You Know" is also an early song from 1977, and it's about wanting to be somebody," John continues. "I came up with the lyrics, which include a line inspired by Ben E. King's 'Spanish Harlem.'" This song features one of John's all-time great vocals -- check out how he handles the last repetition of the chorus.

"In This House That I Call Home" could be described as the theme song for the house off of Santa Monica Boulevard that John and Exene lived in during the late '70s and early '80s. "A hundred lives shoved inside/friends arrive to dump their mess," says the song of this crowded house, where a friend was always crashing on the couch, somebody always had a hangover, and nobody had any money. "This is my favorite song on the album," says Exene. "It's brilliant in that it's a perfect marriage of humor and the hard-core reality of life in that house."

Of "Some Other Time," Exene says, "That song was a real breakthrough for me in terms of singing. I've always liked the way I sing -- despite the fact that people were always telling me my harmonies were flat -- but with that song I began to feel more control as a singer." Exene is rumored to have written "Some Other Time" for Phil Alvin, the lead singer of the L.A. band The Blasters.

John Doe is said to have written the next song, "White Girl," for Lorna Doom of the Germs. "That's a song about temptation," says John of "White Girl," which is one of the best-loved songs of the X canon.

So, you were open with each other about crushes? "We kinda were," says Exene. "Not really," counters John. "If I wrote a song like 'White Girl,' there was an unspoken pact that this may happen, but I love you more. I think for both of us our primary commitment was to the music. Sometimes we wrote songs that made it sound as if we were having affiars, but that didn't mean we were."

Next is "Beyond And Back," a howling ode to lovers' quarrels built on a basic rockabilly riff and sung by Exene. "No more orange night gowns," she moans, as if that were the final kiss-off. Check out D.J.'s steady, indomitable drum part on this one; he's laying down that same locomotive rhythm you find in the great railroad songs, "Train Kept A Rollin'" and "Mystery Train."

"'Back 2 The Base' was inspired by the Ramones," says John, "and the lyrics are entirely based on things I heard a guy on a bus screaming as he was cracking up. He was holding a picture of Stevie Wonder above his head, as if to show everyone else on the bus how wrong rock 'n' roll had become, and he was screaming, 'Gotta get me back to the base, Elvis sucked on doggy dicks." They stopped the bus because the guy wouldn't get off, and the last thing he said as he was being loaded into the police car was 'I'm the king of rock 'n' roll. If you don't like it, you can lump it." I didn't write the song until a few weeks later when I was riding the bus to work at the Beverly Wilshire and was having comparably murderous thoughts."

"When Our Love Passed Out On The Couch" is an early song that remains a favorite of Exene's. "I just love that idea of love passing out on the couch, which is a line I wrote," she says of the song, which has an inexplicable quality of danger and intrigue. "The next song, 'Year 1," is a song I wrote because I was frustrated. I wanted a revolution and really expected one to happen, then I realized time was passing and people were losing it. There wasn't gonna be the revolution I'd been dreaming of."

"For me, 'Year 1' is about dropping all preconceptions about what should or shouldn't be and starting over, and I think that's what punk rock was trying to do," John adds. "The most important thing about it was that it encouraged people to take their destiny into their own hands."

This wonderful record is a testament to the great things that can be achieved when people do that. The four members of X started absolutely from scratch. They had no money, no connections, no encouragement from anybody, and created something beautiful out of nothing, simply because they had to. This is the wild gift they made.

-- Kristine McKenna

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, X.

Wild Gift (Slash)

Monday, February 25, 2013


the octant inventions featured on this recording include the a3 robotic percussion unit
the electrified string board, the random tone generator, the photo theremin
and the light-modulated synthesizer
all music written and performed by octant (eighth quandrant music)
octant is tassany zimmerman and metthew steinke
pierre crutchfield (vena-cava/ plays bass clarinet
on auto 1, igneous and this and what
recorded at octant electronic music studio by matthew steinke 12/98-3/99
mixed by octant and martin feveyear at jupiter seattle, wa 4/99
mastered by barry corliss at master sound works seattle, wa
films by matthew steinke w/ sound track by octant
cd-rom projector by joe walker
resin sphere art work by robert jordan
photos by krista steinke
art direction and design by mariko marrs and robert jordan

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Octant.

Shock-No-Par (Up)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Dana Carvey Show

Original Airdate: April 30, 1996 on ABC

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ivor Cutler

Ivor Cutler is perhaps one of the most original and unique talents to emerge on the British cultural scene in the latter part of the 20th century. A performer, poet, humorist and author, his work has transfixed successive generations during his near fifty year career. His admirers have included such luminaries as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, John Peel (for whose Radio One show Cutler had the accolade of recording over twenty sessions) and a succession of highly influential musicians such as Robert Wyatt.

Ivor Cutler was born in Glasgow on 15th January 1923. His parents were middle class reform Jews and the young Cutler was the victim of anti-Semitic teachers during his formative years. At the age of 15, Cutler renounced the Jewish faith and sought alternative spiritual enlightenment. He later recounted; "I began to visit various churches on Sundays as I wanted to see if I fancied any. I found one Unitarian church that I liked best; but when the Unitarian minister saw me, a new face, he ran up and wanted to engage me in conversation. I had to act as quickly as possible and left immediately."

At the age of 16, Cutler toyed with the idea of following in his brother's footsteps by joining the medical profession, but the outbreak of the Second World War, coupled with Cutler's revulsion at the idea of having to practice experiments on live animals if he entered medical school, curtailed any ambitions to be a doctor. The teenage Ivor started work with Rolls Royce making engines for Spitfires until 1941 when he joined the RAF to train as a navigator. The training lasted twelve months before Cutler was dismissed from the Royal Air Force, as he later put it, "dreaminess." He spent the remainder of the war as a Storeman and First Aid officer for an engineering company.

After the war, Ivor Cutler decided to become a teacher and also enrolled at Glasgow College of Art studying painting and sculpture. As a teacher, Ivor Cutler embraced new "progressive" teaching ideas, involving "alternative" methods of education to enlighten children, leading in 1951 to him teaching at A.S. Neil's "progressive" school "Summerhill" before moving on to teach for the Inner London Education Authority in 1954, which he was to continue to do until 1980. Children were a constant source of inspiration to Cutler, in whom he found a refreshing honestly and innocent logic. During his lessons, Cutler used art, music and humour to inspire his pupils. It was during this period that Ivor Cutler began to develop his talent for writing prose, poetry and songs.

With the aid of a tape recorder, he began to record stories, improvising them as he recorded. Poetry then followed, with Cutler taking his inspiration from jazz. "I would go to a jazz concert and just let the music come through me and write nonsense poems, so that one was listening to the noise of the words rather than the meaning," he later recounted. "I wouldn't allow my intellect to get in the way. After six years I found certain sounds more to my taste than others and I gradually began to use actual words. I didn't settle down to really composing until I was 34. I was a school teacher; I had a wife and a couple of kids. I wanted to be a painter and I thought I wouldn't be able to leave teaching because I needed the money. So I thought, 'I'll compose a song and somebody else can sing it and I'll just cash in on it and then I'll be able to leave teaching.' Pathetic, isn't it? For about three years I wrote songs and went around to Tin Pan Alley and gave about three songs to each person with a stamped addressed envelope. They'd send them back in a couple of weeks so they wouldn't hurt my feelings. Eventually, in 1957, I said the seven words that changed my life; 'Perhaps I ought to sing them myself.' One day I went to see a music publisher called Box & Cox and the boss man there was a fellow called Boxy. I was dressed up all peculiar, a big bag on my back with paintings in it and a dirty old duffel coat. I put on a deadpan voice and said, 'I understand you buy songs here.' He said, 'Yes,' carefully. I said, 'Would you like me to sing one of my songs for you?' He said, 'Yes.' It was five o'clock in the evening, he had a fire going, and he was relaxing. So he got one or two of his chums and pointed to a piano that was against the wall and he sat behind me. I said 'I've got different songs. It could be a funny one or it could be a serious one.' He said, 'Oh, play what you like.' So I sat down and played this funny one. I carried on to the end, turned around, and Box was lying on the floor, his face purple. I said, 'It's OK, you can laugh.' He said, "We get some funny people in here and they would be terribly hurt if we laughed, because they see themselves as being very serious.' So he took me on as started me in my music career."

Ivor Cutler's first professional engagement as a performer took place at "The Blue Angel" in Islington in 1957. Although he later described the performance as "an unmitigated failure," this did not deter him from trying to further his career as a performer and writer. In 1958 he auditioned his work for BBC Radio which led to him making an appearance on the programme "Monday Night at Home" on the BBC Home Service. His stories and songs (backed by his self-accompanied Harmonium playing) proved popular with listeners and Cutler made regular appearances on "Monday Night at Home" between 1958 and 1963. This popularity led to Cutler's first foray into the world of making records when he recorded the EP Ivor Cutler of Y'Hup for Fontana Records in 1959 (Y'Hup being Cutler's own fictionalized self-sufficient island). The seven songs he recorded were an early indication of the direction his work would take over the next ten years. Although embryonic, the Cutler sense of surreal humour was very much evident.

He continued to enjoy regular appearances on radio, where his stories sometimes caused controversy. He would recount how he was stopped in the street at this time by a man who yelled "I hate you! But I've always got to listen to what you're going to do next!"

Ivor Cutler's next record release came in 1961 when he signed to Decca Records to record the album Who Tore Your Trousers?, a fine collection of stories and songs that demonstrated just how far Cutler had taken his extraordinary talent over the eighteen months since his first vinyl release. Decca, and their "spoken word" A&R head Hugh Mendl, had an appreciation for the esoteric arts, and there Ivor Cutler found a sympathetic and receptive ear to his work. Wonderful pieces such as "Grass Seed," "Egg Meat," "A Warning to the Flies" and "Muscular Tree" (all of which appeared on Cutler's debut album), found a wider audience and led to more appearances on stage and on radio. A further series of recordings were made for Decca which appeared as the EP Get Away From the Wall at the end of 1961, another fine set of recordings which included the superb "Gruts for Tea" and "The Tureen." At this time Cutler's work found favour with the new rising generation of British satirists, including Peter Cook, at whose Establishment Club Cutler made appearances.

The sixties also saw Cutler's work go into print for the first time and saw three of his poems included in Faber's Book of Scottish Verse. He came to a much wider public in 1967 when he was persuaded by fan John Lennon to appear as "Buster Bloodvessel" in the Beatles film Magical Mystery Tour. Cutler had first become acquainted with The Beatles when Paul McCartney made contact with him following a radio broadcast where he had heard Cutler's harmonium playing. Fascinated with the sounds he heard, McCartney asked to meet the man responsible for such original work. Cutler later recounted; "McCartney heard a song that I sang, 'I'm Going in a Field,' He got in touch with me and invited me along for a meal and asked me about it. He said 'You know there's that chord in that song.' I said 'Oh yeah, it's a major second.' Anyway about six months later I got invited to be in Magical Mystery Tour and I discovered I was known by John Lennon too." The same year Cutler recorded the album Ludo for Parlophone Records, with Beatles producer George Martin and he found himself acquiring a younger audience.

His association with the emerging "underground" scene was enhanced further by Radio One DJ John Peel championing his work via a series of wonderful radio sessions for his programme, the first of which was recorded in 1969. Recording at least two sessions a year, Cutler became the darling of a new breed of musicians who invited him to appear on their albums. His first guest appearance was on Neil Ardley's album A Symphony of Amaranths released on Regal Zonophone in 1972. In 1974 he appeared on the album Rock Bottom by ex-Soft Machine drummer Robert Wyatt, which also led to his first encounter with Virgin Records for whom he to record a series of albums beginning with Dandruff in 1974. The ensuing years saw Ivor Cutler write and publish prose and poetry for both adults and children and to sporadically record and perform whenever he felt the muse.

Now 81 years old, Ivor Cutler lives in a small second-floor flat in Parliament Hill Fields in London. Despite his frail health he staged a performance at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall in February 2004 to great warmth and acclaim. A member of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society and the Noise Abatement Society, Cutler still admits to suffering from the neuroses that served as an inspiration to him over the past fifty years.

With this collection of Ivor Cutler's earliest commercial recordings, his first three vinyl offerings appear on CD for the first time. The stories, songs and prose featured herein reveal the beginnings of the talent and genius of Ivor Cutler, a Scottish treasure.

-- Mark Powell

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Ivor Cutler.

An Elpee And Two Epees (Decca)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Richard M. Nixon

Good evening.

This is the 37th time I have spoken to you from this office, where so many decisions have been made that shaped the history of this Nation. Each time I have done so to discuss with you some matter that I believe affected the national interest.

In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for the Nation. Throughout the long and difficult period of Watergate, I have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every possible effort to complete the term of office to which you elected me.

In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify continuing that effort. As long as there was such a base, I felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional process through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise would be unfaithful to the spirit of that deliberately difficult process and a dangerously destabilizing precedent for the future.

But with the disappearance of that base, I now believe that the constitutional purpose has been served, and there is no longer a need for the process to be prolonged.

I would have preferred to carry through to the finish whatever the personal agony it would have involved, and my family unanimously urged me to do so. But the interest of the Nation must always come before any personal considerations.

From the discussions I have had with Congressional and other leaders, I have concluded that because of the Watergate matter I might not have the support of the Congress that I would consider necessary to back the very difficult decisions and carry out the duties of this office in the way the interests of the Nation would require.

I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first. America needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress, particularly at this time with problems we face at home and abroad.

To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the time and attention of both the President and the Congress in a period when our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home.

Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford will be sworn in as President at that hour in this office.

As I recall the high hopes for America with which we began this second term, I feel a great sadness that I will not be here in this office working on your behalf to achieve those hopes in the next 21/2 years. But in turning over direction of the Government to Vice President Ford, I know, as I told the Nation when I nominated him for that office 10 months ago, that the leadership of America will be in good hands.

In passing this office to the Vice President, I also do so with the profound sense of the weight of responsibility that will fall on his shoulders tomorrow and, therefore, of the understanding, the patience, the cooperation he will need from all Americans.

As he assumes that responsibility, he will deserve the help and the support of all of us. As we look to the future, the first essential is to begin healing the wounds of this Nation, to put the bitterness and divisions of the recent past behind us, and to rediscover those shared ideals that lie at the heart of our strength and unity as a great and as a free people.

By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of that process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.

I regret deeply any injuries that may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision. I would say only that if some of my Judgments were wrong, and some were wrong, they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interest of the Nation.

To those who have stood with me during these past difficult months, to my family, my friends, to many others who joined in supporting my cause because they believed it was right, I will be eternally grateful for your support.

And to those who have not felt able to give me your support, let me say I leave with no bitterness toward those who have opposed me, because all of us, in the final analysis, have been concerned with the good of the country, however our judgments might differ.

So, let us all now join together in affirming that common commitment and in helping our new President succeed for the benefit of all Americans.

I shall leave this office with regret at not completing my term, but with gratitude for the privilege of serving as your President for the past 51/2 years. These years have been a momentous time in the history of our Nation and the world. They have been a time of achievement in which we can all be proud, achievements that represent the shared efforts of the Administration, the Congress, and the people.

But the challenges ahead are equally great, and they, too, will require the support and the efforts of the Congress and the people working in cooperation with the new Administration.

We have ended America's longest war, but in the work of securing a lasting peace in the world, the goals ahead are even more far-reaching and more difficult. We must complete a structure of peace so that it will be said of this generation, our generation of Americans, by the people of all nations, not only that we ended one war but that we prevented future wars.

We have unlocked the doors that for a quarter of a century stood between the United States and the People's Republic of China.

We must now ensure that the one quarter of the world's people who live in the People's Republic of China will be and remain not our enemies but our friends.

In the Middle East, 100 million people in the Arab countries, many of whom have considered us their enemy for nearly 20 years, now look on us as their friends. We must continue to build on that friendship so that peace can settle at last over the Middle East and so that the cradle of civilization will not become its grave.

Together with the Soviet Union we have made the crucial breakthroughs that have begun the process of limiting nuclear arms. But we must set as our goal not just limiting but reducing and finally destroying these terrible weapons so that they cannot destroy civilization and so that the threat of nuclear war will no longer hang over the world and the people.

We have opened the new relation with the Soviet Union. We must continue to develop and expand that new relationship so that the two strongest nations of the world will live together in cooperation rather than confrontation.

Around the world, in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, in the Middle East, there are millions of people who live in terrible poverty, even starvation. We must keep as our goal turning away from production for war and expanding production for peace so that people everywhere on this earth can at last look forward in their children's time, if not in our own time, to having the necessities for a decent life.

Here in America, we are fortunate that most of our people have not only the blessings of liberty but also the means to live full and good and, by the world's standards, even abundant lives. We must press on, however, toward a goal of not only more and better jobs but of full opportunity for every American and of what we are striving so hard right now to achieve, prosperity without inflation.

For more than a quarter of a century in public life I have shared in the turbulent history of this era. I have fought for what I believed in. I have tried to the best of my ability to discharge those duties and meet those responsibilities that were entrusted to me.

Sometimes I have succeeded and sometimes I have failed, but always I have taken heart from what Theodore Roosevelt once said about the man in the arena, "whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is not effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deed, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievements and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."

I pledge to you tonight that as long as I have a breath of life in my body, I shall continue in that spirit. I shall continue to work for the great causes to which I have been dedicated throughout my years as a Congressman, a Senator, a Vice President, and President, the cause of peace not just for America but among all nations, prosperity, justice, and opportunity for all of our people.

There is one cause above all to which I have been devoted and to which I shall always be devoted for as long as I live.

When I first took the oath of office as President 51/2 years ago, I made this sacred commitment, to "consecrate my office, my energies, and all the wisdom I can summon to the cause of peace among nations."

I have done my very best in all the days since to be true to that pledge. As a result of these efforts, I am confident that the world is a safer place today, not only for the people of America but for the people of all nations, and that all of our children have a better chance than before of living in peace rather than dying in war.

This, more than anything, is what I hoped to achieve when I sought the Presidency. This, more than anything, is what I hope will be my legacy to you, to our country, as I leave the Presidency.

To have served in this office is to have felt a very personal sense of kinship with each and every American. In leaving it, I do so with this prayer: May God's grace be with you in all the days ahead.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Richard M. Nixon.

The Nixon Tapes (Jerden)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Frankie Cosmos & The Emptiness

Frankie Cosmos is connected to your soul. Frankie Cosmos is the flower you should grow. Frankie Cosmos is the infinite cosmos infinite space. Frankie Cosmos’ campaign to turn me into a carrot. Frankie Cosmos is the pride soldiers show when they are returning home from battle victorious. Frankie is a wonderful companion.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Frankie Cosmos & The Emptiness.

Moss (Pukekos)

Monday, February 18, 2013


On Halloween 1993, I went to a place called the Czar Bar in Wicker Park in Chicago to see a show and I don't really know why I went there, I don't think I knew any of the bands on the bill. But this band Strawberry played and over the course of their first song I fell in love with them because they were the most insane band I had ever seen in my life. It was some sort of drum machine driven atonal glam rock band with a bunch of garbage, thrift store wearing motley crew of freaks. After one song my jaw was on the ground and I knew I had to be friends with these people and/or be in the band so after the show I quickly went up and declared my love for them and told them I would be their roadie or soundman or whatever they needed me to be and they accepted me instantly. Most of them were 5 to 10 years older than me, but they saw that I was an eager young man and that I wouldn't take no for an answer. So I started hanging out with these guys a lot and getting into their creative world which was very insular and full of an incredibly stunning array of in-jokes and references. And I started speaking their lingo. At a certain point in 1994 there was a schism in the band and the singer Scott left and I quickly inserted myself into the group on guitar and we gained a drummer and we did one gig as Strawberry without Scott, who was ostensbily the original lead singer. Scott showed up with his girlfriend and heckled us and tried to sort of ruin the show and we sort of played anyways. Strawberry was a band that had a propensity for getting banned from venues in Chicago. So we realized quickly that if we were going to play shows we needed to change our name because we couldn't really play anyplace. One more thing about Strawberry was that they were incredibly vulgar and insulting towards people in general, and they also had a penchant for twenty minute fully scripted rock operas that were just utterly mind blowing. Musically, they were an extremely cacophonous mess but they were really one of the most amazing bands that I'd ever seen. They were literally all about making something from nothing, which is an ethos that I've always had an extreme affinity for. So, by 1994 we had changed the name of the sort of new new rock version of Strawberry into Vanilla, and we'd made a false history about how we were a New York bar band from the 80s and we basically started trying to book venues that wouldn't book Strawberry as Vanilla, which we successfully did.

We started playing small clubs in Chicago pretty regularly once or twice a month and nobody really liked us. We were extremely irritating, extremely loud, extremely shrill, extremely cacophonous. We thought all our songs were like these really great tuneful classic rock songs, but once you added the extreme volume and distortion that we thought was somehow effective it just turned to a wall of shit. It was basically just so harsh, like no one wanted to listen to it. And we were dicks. Our whole concept was trying to be the most debauched rock idiots we could, and we were really trying to do that image-wise as well as sonically -- we were trying to push everything to the most stupid, extreme parody of male rock aggression. It wasn't slick, but I thought it was pretty funny. So, we used to do things like have costume contests against the other band members -- we would show up at the shows and try to outdo each other in terms of costumes. We basically had a huge wardrobe of garbage clothes that we would sort of rifle through and put these really insane outfits together. Our bass player was named Jesus Maria, our guitar player/singer was Cho-Yun Li, I was Johnny Holocaust and the drummer was Lawrence "Larry" Pomeroy. We also used to make huge full-size body shot posters of ourselves which we would go up in broad daylight on 20 foot ladders and paste in the middle of Wicker Park, right at the corner. We would literally spend an hour in front of cops, in front of everyone basically vandalizing buildings and putting up huge full body shot posters of each member of the band, right next to each other. And no one would come to these shows. We didn't care. We were all about the action and the documentation of doing it. Every show the band ever did was videotaped, although the videotapes have gone missing. I mean, we did more photoshoots than we did gigs I think. We would get dressed up and we ton of photoshoots. We probably did like 20 photoshoots.

One of the concepts behind Vanilla was that we were an unfortunate band of tools who were owned by a Japanese multinational called the Taigkyo Corporation, which was a division of the even larger Nipponese Americorp. We were signed by accident in the grunge explosion, and now we were being turned out by this corporation to be their American emissary pimp grunge/pop band. The idea was that we were extremely unhappy with this and were being basically used like tools so our unpleasantness had to do with the fact that we were being forced into rock slavery. So there was this whole conspiracy theory about the Taigkyo Corporation threatening to kill us all the time and we worked that into our shows and lyrics and our propaganda.

We did a few demos in '94. Then in early '95 we went in and recorded a studio album, which you're listening to right now. in '95 there was a single pressed with two of the songs from the album, but we didn't really sell or distribute the single or make cover art for it. There are a few makeshift covers for it in very low runs, but it was never really distributed or made public. I think there were might have been 300 or 500 copies pressed, and they were just not sold or distributed. You might have gotten one if you went to the show or your a friend of ours. Other than that, I don't know what happened to them or anything about it. We never released the album, we never really had any momentum because no one liked our band. By the end, people were sort of vaguely interested but we had a lot of internal fighting and we kind of petered out in '95 after switching bass players.

The people in the band stayed in touch, and I still consider Cho-Yun Li to be one of my best friends and a creative genius. When we were doing this in Chicago there was a big scene and there was a lot of free time, and it was a totally different milieu than now. Even though no one really liked our band and we didn't really release our record, it is still to me very pertinent because we were part of a social tapestry in Chicago in the mid 90s. People that don't even like us or can't remember anything about us have heard of that band if they're from Chicago -- they remember it. I think our function was just to be in the time, and not be so obsessed with career or a document or anything. We were just really crazy and we hung out a lot and we got really fucking crazy ideas and we actually did them. They weren't well received, but they were really well received by us -- we really thought we were geniuses, and we thought what we were doing was the most amazing shit of all time. I certainly don't have any regrets about it.

-- Weasel Walter, 1.8.2013

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Vanilla.

Vanilla LP (Taigkyo/Pukekos)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Szechuan Dynasty Dana Carvey Show

Original Airdate: April 23, 1996 on ABC

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Pepsi Stuff Dana Carvey Show

Original Airdate: April 9, 1996 on ABC

Friday, February 15, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Karlheinz Stockhausen

This one goes out to all the lovers in the house.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Tierkreis/Die 7 Lieder der Tage/Vision (Stockhausen)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Like Boticelli's Venus on the half shell, X arrived fully formed and perfect. I had the good fortune to be around during their earliest days as a gigging band, and I never saw them give a bad show. They were on fire from the very start -- and then they astonished us by getting better and better. Each new song was a fabulous unveiling, every show a blazing event.

What made them so sensational? For starters, there was a visual component. It's one of myriad cruelties of nature, but a rock 'n' roll band has to be thrilling to look at, and X was. Most bands are lucky to have one charismatic member, but X had four, and each of them brought something completely different to the mix.

Stage right was Billy Zoom. Blond, pale, and so cool he was almost glacial, Billy could make dramatic shifts in style or peel off a dazzling solo without batting an eye. He'd stand there boots rooted to the stage floor with a satisfied smile on his face, like a favored child showing off for doting relatives. If Billy was really enjoying himself, he might stick out his tongue, but that was pretty much the extent of his visual display onstage. And yet he was mesmerizing! Billy epitomized one of the crucial strengths of X, which was its spot-on musicianship; punk band of that era tended to be sloppy, but X was tight, and you never worried that one of them might take a wrong turn and derail the show. You knew you were putting yourself in the hands of total pros, that you could relax and take the ride.

Center stage was Exene. You've heard the phrase "I'm every woman?" Exene could say it and be telling the truth. Snaky-haired Medusa, Little Match Girl, baddest chick at school, homeless woman on the corner cursing to herself, vamp, wizened crone, wistful runaway -- Exene changed from one to the next in an instant. She had the narrow hips of a child, the full bosom of a femme fatale, and a fabulous fashion sense; scuffed up granny shoes, the exaggerated makeup of a silent film star, thrift store party dresses, bracelets, and tattoos -- she was a feast for the eye. Ultimately, though, Exene's beauty was rooted in her ability to be herself without a trace of apology or shame. Her wicked sense of humor, her need, her sorrow, her lust, her regret, her tenderness -- she got out there and flaunted it all, and that's what made her such a spectacular performer.

Stage left was John Doe. Everybody had a crush on John. Tall and lean, jet black hair, a sweet, open face and voluptuous mouth, he was classic dreamboat material. Equal parts Woody Guthrie and Elvis Presley, John was the glue who held the entire operation together.

Bringing up the rear was drummer D.J. Bonebrake. The audience couldn't really see D.J., but it was as if Billy, Exene, and John were riding bolts of lightning pounded out by Zeus at the drum kit. At the end of every show D.J. would come forward to take a bow, and it was always startling to see how young he was. He was a kid! Everybody in the band was young then, but D.J. seemed really young, and he had a boyish innocence that was at odds with the ferocious power of his playing.

They were gorgeous and glamorous, and this is how they came together.

Exene was born in 1956 into a working class Catholic family. She dropped out of high school and lost her mother to cancer when she was still a teenager. Exene's greatly loved older sister, the late Mirielle Cervenka, left home early, leaving Exene with the job of raising two younger siblings. "My sister was a writer, and one day she gave me an old ledger," Exene recalls. "I opened it up and said, 'Hey, there's nothing in this,' and she said, 'I know -- you're supposed to write in it.' And so I started writing."

In August of 1976 Exene moved to Los Angeles, because she knew she had to get out of Florida. She arrived in town with $80 in a paper bag and wound up living with five people in a one-room apartment in Ocean Park. A short time later she began working in Venice in the library at the literary arts center Beyond Baroque, where she was allowed to live upstairs.

John Doe arrived from Baltimore two months later, in October of 1976. John's parents were liberal minded librarians, and John came to L.A. when he was 23 to be a songwriter. "I was in cover bands in Baltimore, but when I discovered Patti Smith's first record I realized something big was going on. I could've moved to New York but the East Coast felt stagnant to me, so I came to L.A., where I didn't know anybody. I landed in Venice, which was crap then, and I met Exene a month after I got here. I was way into poetry then, so I started going to Beyond Baroque, and Exene worked there."

"It wasn't love at first sight," Exene remebers of their meeting. "I was sitting down in a class, and John sat next to me, because he and I were obviously kind of similar. We were asked to make a list of our ten favorite poets, and I thought, shit, because I didn't know what to write. I sat there staring, then I looked at John's list, and the only name I recognized was John Lennon."

"Then Exene pointed out to me that I'd written the same name twice," adds John, who had to court Exene for a few months before she began to respond to him. John was working at Brentano's bookstore in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel then, and in February of 1977 he ran an ad in a local paper that caught Billy Zoom's eye.

"John and I both ran ads the same week, and they were worded about the same; looking to play music that isn't bullshit, Billy recalls.

"I couldn't believe I'd met a musician who'd played with Gene Vincent and knew how to fix cars. He was so cool!" recalls John of Billy, whose father was a motorcycle-riding jazz musician who'd played with Django Reinhardt.

John stumbled across D.J. Bonebrake in January of 1978 at L.A.'s seminal punk cabaret, The Masque, where D.J. was playing a gig with The Eyes while very drunk. "I called Billy and said, 'There's a guy down here playing a huge snare drum, and he hits it really hard!" John recalls. "Billy said, 'Promise him anything, and we'll worry about it later."

So the four of them found each other and started playing.

"We were all learning so much from each other at the beginning," says John. "There was a great sense of discovery and change, and we were all rejecting the past, because we knew that's what we had to do."

Exene initially felt reluctant to sing, but John encouraged her. "She had poems that were obviously songs, plus she was cut from classic lead singer cloth. She was such a bad ass! I pretended to be, but Exene was the real thing. She had the ax to grind, the sadness of her mother's death, and the unusual wiring that made it possible for her to throw a drink in somebody's face and still be right. She totally delivered as a lead singer.

"I'd been in bands and done cover songs, so I'd learned how to do traditional harmony, but Exene had never been in bands and didn't have that traditional harmony in her head. So she just sang along until something sounded right, and we came up with a different sound," says John of the slightly discordant harmonies sung against the beat that's one of the signatures of their sound.

Throughout his childhood D.J. Bonebrake played in symphony orchestras, and he was headed for a career in classical music before punk intervened. An accomplished marimba player, he wasn't interested in the repertoire, however, and in 1974 he began gravitating toward simpler music. "I could apply most of what I'd learned playing with orchestras to X's music," he recalls. "The main thing I had to work on was learning to play less."

As the music was finding its voice, John and Exene were hammering out an approach to lyric writing that came to be the blood and guts of X's music. Usually structured around a narrative line, their songs were impressionistic patches of things they saw or heard in buses or bars, firsthand experience, memories, lamentations. Steeped in American roots music, John and Exene had an unerring eye for the telling detail and a gift for communicating complex stories in fractured glimpses. Stark and to the point, their songs cut to the chase the minute they began.

After two years of gigging and a single (Adult Books b/w We're Desperate) released by Dangerhouse Records in 1978, X went into the studio to record their debut album, Los Angeles, which was produced by Ray Manzarek. "The main thing we wanted to do with the first album was capture a live feel, because we knew we were a powerful live band," John recalls.

The opening track, "Your Phone's Off The Hook, But You're Not," is a good example of how John and Exene took their poetry where they found it. An abstracted postcard chronicling their first visit to Manhattan as a performing band in November of 1978, the song finds them hanging out an upstairs window at one point as they watch their van being towed away. "It doesn't say anything about that being a tow-away zone!" Exene hollered down to the tow truck driver, who hollered back, "All of New York is a tow-away zone!" The line wound up in the song, which John says was loosely inspired by Eddie Cochran.

John describes track two, "Johnny Hit And Run Pauline," as "an anti-rape song that has a completely different grounding beacause of the classic Chuck Berry riff Billy added to the opening."

"That's probbably one of our best songs," says Billy. "We don't have many songs with actual guitar solos in them, and that doesn't bother me -- overplaying is the downfall of most guitarists, and I have no problem restraining myself. Still, the songs with guitar solos do tend to be my favorites."

Next up is X's version of The Doors' "Soul Kitchen," which is the only cover song on the album. "The only way we could figure to make it our own was to play it really fast, so that's what we did," says John. Notice the way Exene yelps the third line of the first verse, "I wouldn't want to stay here all night." It's so cool the way she does that!

"Nausea" was vaguely inspired by a punk crash pad that came to be known as the Plunger Pit, which was located behind an adult book store on Santa Monica Boulevard. For a spell the house drink was gin and strawberry soda, an unholy concoction that caused earth-shattering hangovers, one of which Exene sings about here.

"Sugarlight" is a nihilistic rave-up that finds the band roaring along at full throttle. The song sounds like it's about drugs, but John says it's about the gay cruising scene, and his vocals on this one are absolutely incendiary.

On the title track, "Los Angeles," which was written in 1979, John says, "Not many people notice this, but the opening riff has the same note progression you hear on bell chimes. My favorite part of the song is the line, 'The days change at night/change in an instant,' because I've always been fascinated by the way things can turn from positive to negative in a split second."

"'Sex And Dying In High Society' was an early song, written in 1977, during a period when the Modern Lovers' first album never left my turntable," John continues. "The song was conceptually influenced by Lou Reed, musically influenced by The Ramones, and had to do with the fact that I was working a bookstore at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel where I was surrounded by rich people."

The title of the next track, "The Unheard Music," was taken from a poem by T.S. Eliot, and the lyrics are mostly John's. "Around the time we wrote that song, I was into this compilation of dissonant punk called No New York, and the song has a trace of that style. The line in the song 'a thousand kids bury their parents' refers to Exene and D.J., who lost both of his parents when he was 15. D.J. plays tom-toms on this song, and it gives it a tribal quality that I really like.

"'The World's A Mess; It's In My Kiss' are Exene's lyrics, and I wrote the music," John continues. "I remember rehearsing 'The World's A Mess' at The Masque in a rehearsal room we shared with The Go-Go's, and the first time we played it, I said to myself, This is a hit song. You don't have many of those moments, because most songs develop over a period of time, but occasionally you know the minute you write a song that it's good, and that was one of them."

You can, indeed, hear X taking off into the stratosphere on "The World's A Mess; It's In My Kiss," and like all of their songs, it sounds best at full volume. Don't forget to play this music loud.

-- Kristine McKenna

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, X.

Los Angeles (Slash)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Everly Brothers

Some 50 years after their recording debut, it seems that it's Everly time all over again. With the looming dates of their first concert tour in years and more Everly Brothers music in print than at any time since the early 1960s, the duo's heavenly harmonies have once again settled upon the public consciousness.

As remarkable a feat as this may seem, much of their legacy still rests upon the music they made for Archie Bleyer's Cadence label between 1957 and 1960. The reasons are obvious: for three years, Don and Phil were part of an unbeatable team. Bleyer provided the production and marketing acumen to launch their careers. Boudleaux and Felice Bryant composed the songs that perfectly suited their voices and Nashville pickers like Chet Atkins served up sympathetic and snappy musical arrangements in short order. Though the duo would reach similar artistic and commercial heights when they moved to the Warner Bros. label in 1960, their winning run of recordings would not be repeated.

Born into music, Don and Phil began performing as children in the mid-40s. Their father Ike Everly, and accomplished guitarist, hosted a variety of rural radio programs which eventually incorporated his whole family. Wife Margaret and sons Don (born February 1, 1937) and Phil (born January 9, 1939) all took their turns at the mic in varying combinations as they honed their harmony skills. However, by 1953 the family's format had reached its end. As recorded music overtook the need for live performers, Don and Phil became infatuate with introducing rock and rhythm and blues flavors to their standard folk and country repertoire.

The mid-50s found the family struggling to survive. Ike and Margaret worked odd jobs to support their sons' burgeoning musical career, while Don and Phil focused on songwriting and knocking on doors near Nashville. Their first recording deal with Columbia was a fleeting failure and it was not until the duo met up with Wesley Rose that they were truly on the path to success. Being one of the most powerful music magnates in Nashville (and the owner of the colossal Acuff Rose publishing company), Wesley Rose found the brothers a home with East Coast indie label Cadence Records. Rose further coupled Don and Phil with the husband and wife writing team of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, and the rest is, as they say, history.

The Everly Brothers' first Cadence release, 1957's Bye Bye Love, began a solid string of thirteen Top 40 hits for the label. But by 1964, the Everly and many of their label mates had departed from Cadence (and the charts). Resultantly, founder Archie Bleyer sold his musical assets to former signee, singer Andy Williams. Although Williams held back the Everly masters for six years, 1970 saw the first in a flood of nostalgic reissues of the duo's Cadence recordings (a trend which continues to this day). Nevertheless, these collections are simply a shuffling of the same forty songs the brothers cut for the label.

March 1985 saw the first compilation that deviated from this format, Rhino Records' 'All They Had To Do Was Dream.' Compiled entirely from outtakes and demos, this set lifted the lid on what still remained within the Cadence archive. Bear Family's 'Classic Everly Brothers' (BCD 15618) box set further collected these outtakes with a few added obscurities, giving enthusiasts and historians a more complete picture of what occurred during those times.

Now, some twenty years later, Everly fans are once again allowed back into the archive to hear a newly unearthed set of working versions and musical sketches from that magical era. A compelling study of the creative process behind the legendary Cadence masters, this set gives one a fresh perspective on these, the Everlys' most popular sides. You won't hear perfection at every turn. Yet, nearly every track exhibits a talented team on the verge of a musical breakthrough. So, pull up a chair and join us at RCA Victor Studios in Nashville, as we join the Everly Brothers in session.

--Andrew Sandoval
Hollywood, November 2005

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Everly Brothers.

Studio Outtakes (Bear Family)

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Police

By Kevin Shea

No one talks about interdependence, but only the luminosity of identity and the subordination of that which is unexplainable. What is this unconscious disenchantment for feeling connected to trees and rocks or the tragedy of this and its highly profitable consequences? As meandering hominids transgress cultural absolutes I hear a plethora of sea life collecting within the boob of interpretability. It's ideal to transgress the danger inherent within one's personal/cultural ideological systems. Sound is pretty innocent after all, and we all should give it a chance. While the conscious mind operates within the world of matter, the unconscious mind waits in the bedroom of an utterly lifeless and lonesome apartment for life to finally end. I believe the scrambled sounds of fate are our future, we need to heed them well and let them lead the way...we need to catch all the beauty they possess inside by resisting the temptation of individuated opinion. Epiphanies engendered after stylistic analyses perpetuate disparate value centers ripe with anomalies of forgotten interconnection. To greater and lesser degrees life's discourse only makes sense to those with the cerebral capacity to ascribe value to conspicuous objects. Were it not for our physiological make-up there would be a possibility for life devoid of formal sensory underpinnings and this would be a nirvana of empty Bruce Lee aphorisms and generalizations. Yet there are no great moments in history. The phrases “in retrospect” and “only time will tell” suggest that moments can not be understood without the gift of hindsight. Hindsight is problematic in that many times the greater the hindsight the greater the understanding. Devoid of the original translation we aren’t certain our translation is correct. Original translation required. Human beings live unconsciously according to assumption and this is why traumatic spectacles give us such victorious pleasure. It's the nearest we get to ridding our legos of their geometric über-hankerings. Humans wonder how it has all been made possible. The contemporary colonial seeks to find her explanation by wishing tragedy upon herself and her surroundings in order to understand apocalyptic chaos firsthand. Only then will she sadly realize that proximity of experience is no more real than the imagination itself. “I can’t believe it’s actually happening” as with, say, the hope that it is one’s own house that has burned down. The problem isn’t one of establishing value, but of extinguishing identity and classification at its source whereupon teleology diffuses. The question soon becomes what is “it,” what led to this disaster? The answer to this type of stupid moronic inquiry, though there is no answer, is closer to eons deep than the conventional notion of decades deep. For better or worse, life is a retreat of narcissistic revision, an equanimous process in the face of our inherent human amorality. Processes delude us into believing that we are doing something, and something is better than nothing we would like to believe. Indeed the signs are meaningless and withdrawn – though seemingly secret, actually empty. That said, whether revising oneself toward the grave or toward healthy states disembarking from latent self-loathing, each person turns out a different turn on the same general principle of mortal imprisonment. Which way does the text progress? It's hard for me to distinguish metaphor from perfect sign. There is a blurry hole where the truth should be and the man whose physical characteristics are irrelevant is so very lonesome. Without a distinct manifesto telling us exactly what we should do I see no problem making music in any way one chooses unless it's done without humility and without the process of questioning those seemingly irreproachable actions one takes for granted. Musical atrocities are inevitable. I'm less concerned about the actual sound of things and more concerned with the planned obsolescence evaporating our recording tools. Post-war people experience a complete disappearance of character because no one cares and there are no commitments. Spontaneous intuition is culpable from its very inception. Intuition coalesces as a reactionary cosmic dance precisely because of all that surrounds it and teaches it. Good music-making is not filtered through one's desires and obsessions but through a compassionate awareness that sound is its own damn free spirit who sometimes likes to be tickled on its belly during commingling. Sound is flexible and yet doesn't care to be hindered by the rampant vicissitudes of prudish holiday consumption. Deliberate transformations aren’t necessarily beneficial. Under that green skin of yours there is a robot skeleton that when lit on fire would probably explode like a nuclear bomb and then every fucking last one of us would die because of you. Are they basically a dance party band whose song forms have murdered their natural human tendencies to improvise on a day to day basis through life's many hardships and joys? Those starving to believe in “something” are the type of people that charismatic, despotic figures like Adolph Hitler gravitate towards and take advantage of because apparently the narrative is our big, dumb, fat, mustachioed gratuitous safety net. Or is that when we seem to show genuine interest in “something” it always proves to be a fleeting indulgence to pass time. Like most of their current fascist festival peers playing staged beats to bounce the corporate ass, are these instrumental parts and arrangements easy to pinpoint because they are watered down by rehearsals, or am I simply afraid to kiss them because they have syphilis? Can any amount of on-stage histrionics or loud volume or differential sound frequencies defeat the boredom of listening to an over-rehearsed band playing the same thing night after night? Perhaps you don't think it's a good idea to perpetuate an art of such theatrical sameness wherein subsequent upper and midrange frequencies rip through skulls. Perhaps you think their shows are like watching an hour-long television ad with their rehearsed lines and exploitive beats. Something that waits to be seen is how September 11th will affect our moral and psychological debility. Manhattan is a kinetic experience. Social insight haunts me. I agree with Sartre. It is a choice to believe in the importance of the human species or not. Once you feel that you have arrived in a place of authenticity you are merely suffering the same delusional principles that doctor your pragmatic consciousness -- typecast at last. Non-action is the type of action that science and technology promise the human race. Do we have no sense of devotion because it’s nothing better than any other draconian principle? Humor comes from a place of seeming emptiness, from a place of disbelief aside from a commitment to pragmatic morality and the hope not to take for granted how our choices effect other dumb ass torpid fools. The level of readability or sameness that one encounters upon deciphering a text depends partly on the narrative distinctions and merits of the text which may depend on the intention or skill of the writer. The reader must also have the skill to identify and decode the ironies and sarcasms where present, fyi. Do you come from a place of traditional spirituality where you hold your opinions as sacred over and above all else? Manifested ideas represent control. Music is a process, opinions are plastic, our foundation is a process through which we gain a broader awareness and compassion. I don't think other people are stupid boring disgusting ponces and so I don't want to take anyone who listens for granted. An ultimate goal is to create music out of kindness and to be kind by wedding disparate ideologies threaded with proficiency and questioning. We’re at Dennis Hopper’s art opening and all of us are drunk – we want you to come down -- reality based on iconoclasm. When I hear a band always play in the 4/4 time signature or a band who sounds extremely rehearsed and imbued with woeful lyrics, I think they think I am stupid, I think they are upholding traditions because they are either despotic, masochistic, or lost dorks on a jaunt to spiritual detention. Prosperity and peace, such as that which we experienced after the old war ended, leads to apathy, indifference, decadence, purposelessness and debauchery. Good music and good musicians explore sound in and of itself without feeling any responsibility to indicate melody, time, meaning, allusion, comfort, sadness, freedom, excitement etc. Sound itself has no boundaries. “Overzealous” is a criticism of passion. Knowledge can be harnessed and improved. Bands and musicians who approach music solely by seeing it only as a mating-matters-history applicable within a preset context of information-repump are boring. It’s bizarre, isn’t it asshole? Some would call this pessimism, but romanticism has its own level of pessimism or the prerequisite notion that experience has value as just being what it is. Music can mean and be whatever you want it to unless you are a ridiculously pathetic dipshit. We have a responsibility not to stringently uphold indoctrinated rules informing us how communication and meaning are to be realized, distributed, interpreted or expressed. There are nascently accepted cultural values assigned to specific time signatures, melodies, key centers, cadences, lyrics. Once we repeat chaos it becomes structured. It is a crime against humanity to negate the meaning that these values instill within others lest we nurture an indifference to other people, a narcissistic belief system played out in nationalism, fascism, conspicuous consumption. Do we really want and need to be remembered as human beings, as part of a species that places its own importance over that of the birds, bees, rocks, bunny rabbits and twigs? The application of diversity in sound is paramount to the appreciation of diversity amongst fellow beings and porpoises perhaps. Orchards blossom and lay dormant, yet our morals are inflexible – a matter of mere presumption. As always, our psychosomatic habits generate the impression that our adopted fears dominate our experience and therefore if we are inherently pragmatic creatures then art seems less a luxury and more a part of everyday life. But as soon as we step outside of our own context, whether spiritually, politically or culturally, artwork evades social improvement. Madness city sounds, crowds cheering, audience, pool hall, indoor pool, waves, crickets, people kissing. The planets swing around the sun.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Police.

Ghost In The Machine (A&M)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Diet Mug Root Beer Dana Carvey Show

Original Airdate: April 2, 1996 on ABC

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Mountain Dew Dana Carvey Show

Original Airdate: March 26, 1996 on ABC

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Talulah Gosh

Their eyes met across a crowded room. It was love at first sight. Each girl, after all, was wearing the UNIVERSAL TOKEN OF INDIE CITIZENSHIP:  a Pastels badge. A sign from God! They would form the coolest band in the universe. A 60s girl group with punk rock tunes... TALULAH GOSH. Elizabeth Price: an artist from Luton. Amelia Fletcher: an Oxford economist. Too lazy to search for all-girl musicians, they settled for: Mathew Fletcher: Amelia's fat younger brother, then just 15. Peter Momtchiloff: her specky, record-selling boyfriend. Rob Pursey: who left the band after the first three chaotic shows. Chris Scott: a man of leisure.

It was late 1985. The Jesus and Mary Chain had released Upside Down. Buba and the Shop Assistants had played their first shows outside Scotland, the Television Personalities had reformed for the seventeenth time, and across the country countless fanzine writers were crawling out from under stones. Talulah Gosh's debut show (supporting Razorcuts in Oxford in March 1986) was attended by many future INDIE LEGENDS (well if you count Everett True, Jon Huggy, Martin Subway and Matt Haynes from Sarah Records, anyway). Shortly afterwards, they made their first recording, "I Told You So," released as a flexi (split with the Razorcuts) on Matt's Sha-La-La label, and then did a session for BBC Radio 1's Janice Long Show.

Even before recording their first single, they'd had a full-page feature in the NME (QUOTE: You can't help people thinking "ooh... Talulah Gosh are dreamy." I do that when I see boys on stage, but it's not the same as thinking "oh, we would like to lick their bodies!" --Amelia), Then, after various dubious offers, they signed to the Edinburgh label 53rd & 3rd, at that time home to Beat Happening, the Vaselines, and the BMX Bandits, recording their first single (the first four tracks on this CD) over a weekend trip to Scotland in the summer of '86.

Fortunately, these recordings hardly capture the ramshackle live sound of a Talulah Gosh gig. The music papers called it SHAMBLING. Guitars broke, cymbals fell over, audiences had to wait uncomfortably as the band tried to repair their equipment before launching into the next song, which they would start too fast, stop, start again, before forgetting it had a middle eight and collapsing in an out-of-time-and-tune mess somewhere around the third chorus.

For some reason, Elizabeth hated all this. She didn't like being thought CHILDISH and INCOMPETENT, and she left the band in late 1986, though not before agreeing to record one last song, "My Boy Says," for a Shelter compilation LP. She was replaced in the new year by Eithne Farry, a punk girl from Battersea, and during the next 12 months the NEW-LOOK Talulah Gosh recorded most of the remainder of the tracks preserved here: the Double Live Gonzo 69 EP, the Where's the Cougar, Matey? EP, the Testcard Girl 7", and the radio session for John Peel. Also included here, for the first time, are the only two songs which Talulah Gosh failed to record before they split: "Pastels Badge" and "Rubber Ball" (both live).

Talulah Gosh announced their break-up in early 1988, citing - no duh! - musical differences. In an interview at the time, Amelia explained how Mathew wanted the band to sound like hard-core punkers the Stupids, Peter wanted to be like the Stooges, Chris wanted to go into avant-garde noise, and Eithne into hip-hop. Amelia herself favoured disco. With such unity of purpose, it is really no wonder that Talulah Gosh split up, playing their last show at the London School of Economics on the 5th of February 1988.

Their like shall not be seen again. All that remains of them now is their BACKWASH.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Talulah Gosh.

Backwash (K)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Here's another compilation. Most of the recordings on this album were done in trade for allowing me to include a song in this collection. This arrangement has allowed many bands to afford to record. If you would like to record at Yoyo, send me a tape and I'll let you know what I think. I may not like your music, or I may simply not have the time to work with you, in which case I will decline as politely as I can. On the other hand, something might work out. The quality of your demo is not an issue for me. It can be a shitty practice room tape from a blaster.

I would like to thank my friends Calvin, Lois, Aaron, Jeff, and Sara.

Pat Maley
Olympia, April 1993

Julep (Yoyo)