Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Super Go!!!!!"

2001 Boredoms
12" promo EP
(Warner Bros, 1996)

Boredoms are one of my favorite groups. Favorite to the point of crazy collecting. Today's piece is from a limited edition of 500, promo-only 12" EP that was offered via mail to purchasers of the original Japanese pressings of their Super Roots 5 and Super Roots 6 CDs. I don't read Japanese, and my copies of those releases did not contain the coupons needed to aquire a copy of this record, so I was reduced to searching the 'net and putting in saved searches on eBay and GEMM, to no avail.

Finally, after several years of searching, I hit paydirt! I found a Japanese record store on-line that had something I was wanting. I decided to ask if they had a handful of other items I was seeking and, holy crap, they had most of them! In addition to snagging this puppy, I got the first ゆらゆら帝国 CD, the second LP by 水玉消防団, 『満天に赤い花びら』, a couple of live flexi-discs by YBO2, and maybe something else I forgotted. We'll not discuss how much I spent, OK?

So, this 12" is comprised of reductions/remixes of the 64 minute piece "GO!!!!!" from Super Roots 5. Today's track takes up all of side one, while side two features "Super Future," "Super Now," and "Super Old." Enjoy!


  • ゆらゆら帝国 = Yura Yura Teikoku = Swinging Empire
  • 水玉消防団 = Mizutama-Shobohdan = Polka Dot Fire Brigade
  • 満天に赤い花びら = Sky Full of Red Petals

Friday, March 25, 2011

Square Root of Margaret
"The 3-D Breeze"

Square Root of Margaret
Levitation Days
(33⅓ Recordings, 2004)

What is it with Canada and weird band names? Broken Social Scene? Chilliwack? Voïvod? Max Webster? Do you know how many times I've had to move Max Webster albums from the W section to the Ms at stores where I don't even work? Yes, I'm just that anal retentive . . . and saintly.

How the heck do CDs by obscure-ish Canadian bands end up in bargain & free bins way down in the Deep South? I featured free bin discovery Raising the Fawn back in November of last year, and today it's bargain bin find Square Root of Margaret. I found their most recent, at the time, album, Teragram Photeur, a few years back and was immediately attracted by the weird band name and odd album title. I snapped it up and fell in love with their poppy psychedelic space rock. Naturally, I checked on-line and found they had several other releases out, and I snagged everything I could. Today's song is from their fourth release, a limited edition EP called Levitation Days. They re-recorded it a couple of releases later, for their next full-length album, Cloud Nine Revisited. Both versions are snazzy, but this one is a bit more muscular.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


7" single
(Million, 1968)

OK, I cheated on this one. I don't actually own this 1968 single. I do, however, have the Jacks' Legend 40th Anniversary Box set, and this song is one of the bonus tracks on the first disc, which is primarily filled by their amazing debut album, Vacant World. 「マリアンヌ」 ("Marianne") is one of their wilder songs, and the mix of what sounds like acoustic bass, jazz drumming, and searing electric guitar is like little else from the time period, to my ears. This recording is the version from the single of the same name; it was re-recorded for Vacant World.

I'd write more, but I'm already backdating this by a few hours and I have to leave for my volunteer job soon.

Image lifted from the Jacks page at GarageHangover.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hal Russell
NRG Ensemble
"Linda Jazz Princess"

Hal Russell NRG Ensemble
Hal Russell NRG Ensemble
(Nessa Records, 1981)

Today's piece is from the debut album by the NRG Ensemble. Sure, on the cover it says Hal Russell NRG Ensemble, but I always think of them simply as the NRG Ensemble. I guess part of that is due to the fact that they dropped the "Hal Russell" part of the name when Ken Vandermark took over as leader after Hal's death in 1992. Then again, all the albums were credited to the Hal Russell NRG Ensemble prior to that.


Wikipedia says the NRG Ensemble "could be broadly described as post-bop," and I'll agree, as I'm just terrible at discerning the various bops: be, hard, and post. It's all jazz to me. But it's not Greek, as they were from Chicago. They also could go pretty far into ferocious free abandon, when they felt like it. I like that, 'cause I like noisy stuff, man. I have no idea who Linda is, but Hal must've had a thing for her, as there's also a fine tune called "Linda's Rock Vamp," which first appeared either as a bonus track on the CD version of their third album (of nine), 1984's Conserving NRG, or their fifth album, 1992's The Finnish/Swiss Tour. I have no idea when the CD version of the former was released. So sue me. Or don't. Actually, no, please don't.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hans Werner Henze
"Un Amour de Swann"
12 Variations pour sextuor à corde et harpe autour de la petite phrase de la sonate de Vinteuil

Uh, oh! You either don't have the Flash plug-in installed, or you have it disabled.
Otherwise, there'd be a cute lil' streaming audio player on the left, rather than this message.

I first heard the music of Hans Werner Henze on our local PBS radio state late at night. I turned on the radio, and something really cool was playing. Cool enough that I stayed awake until it was done, so I could write down the composer's name. I started buying CDs of his music not long after, and he quickly became one of my two favorite composers; the other is Allan Pettersson.

Today's selection takes up side one of the LP pictured above. Side two is the 1975 piece Katharina Blum, in case you're interested. It's also quite good.

I flagged this West Germany, btw, as Henze was born in Germany in 1929, and this piece was written after WWII but prior to the Wiedervereinigung. Henze left Germany for Italy in 1953, however, and also lived in Cuba for a time, before becoming disillusioned with Castro (that took long?), so I could potentially flag it Italy. I suppose I could also tag it France, as the music is from a French film. But I won't. Sue me.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Faked Out (& Faked Back In)"

(self-released, 2005)

Dang it, this was supposed to get posted yesterday. I got everything done in advance but the writeup. I was gonna finish it up in the a.m., but then we had to call the furnace people to come look at ours and figure out why it keeps pulling a Sarah Palin. Anyhow, the day got messy after that, and I never got back to my blog. My deepest apologies.

So I saw these guys open for locals Untied States just over six years ago. I thought they were pretty great (as were the headliners, as always) and ended up buying one of their two CDs that night, though I don't recall if it was this one, or their debut EP, Just Like Having a Baby with No Name. Both are keepers. Sometime after I saw them, they were selling CDRs at shows with new songs, but I never managed to catch them again. Then they changed their name. Then they sorta faded away.


I think this may have been the Untied States show where the bass player ripped his finger open mid-set. My car was parked right in front of the club, so I ran out to it and got him a Band Aid. I'm such a mother hen, sometimes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Idio Savant
"Escape from the Trick Vans #6"

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Idio Savant were an improv quartet from Richmond, VA back in the 1970s. As far as I know, Shakers in a Tantrum Landscape was their only release. The members all went on to other bands, however, hence the before they were famous tag.


  • John Pippin Barnett - drums and percussion
  • Dan Finney - alto, tenor, baritone saxophones, duck-o-phone, fandango
  • Martin McCavitt - synthosizer, organ, piano, etc.
  • Paul Watson - trumpet, alto trumpet, flugelhorn, etc.

Pippin, Dan and Paul all went on to the Orthotonics, featured here in September of last year. They also all played with Half Japanese at one time or another (you can find them scattered throughout the albums Our Solar System and Sing No Evil). After the Orthos split, Pippin went on to be a member of both Curlew and Nimal. Danny joined former Orthotonic Rebby Sharp in the combo Rattlemouth, who've released a number of CDs.

Marty was, of course, the Marty half of The Tom and Marty Band, also featured here last September. Sometime later, he, Pippin and Paul started the group Famous Actors from Out of Town, whose lone release, an album-length cassette, will be featured here at some point.

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Distance Begins"

you know you want it
(Decius Productions, 2002)

For the record (HA!), picture discs bite. Sure, they can look pretty, but they are also usually possessed of disgusting levels of surface noise. I buy them only when the music therein is available in no other format, such as the live album, Live (recorded 1999, released 2002), by Aussie black metallers Nazxul. Today's song originally appeared on their first studio album, Totem, way back in 1996. The pic above is actually the b-side of the LP, but the a-side pic is just kinda boring, so I've allowed my megalomaniacal sense of control to go overboard and present the prettier picture. Yeah! Bite me.

Oh, yeah, it just came in a clear plastic sleeve; I had to go out and buy a cardboard sleeve for it before filing it in my collection, for its own protection.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Illusion

The Illusion
If It's So
(Steed Records, 1970)

I bought this one a few years back 'cause it looked like it had potential. The colorful duds and frizzed mops on the band members made me think of Todd Rundgren's band Nazz, so I gave it a risk. It turned out to sound more like early Blue Öyster Cult (more cowbell!) than Nazz, but that is not a problem. It turned out to be another keeper, too! A few of the songs are a bit pedestrian, but most of it's slammin' hard rock with prog tendencies. This was the middle release of three albums, but I've not heard the others yet, as I have yet to see any for sale around these parts.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mark Eric
"Night of the Lions"

January 24, 2011 was a banner day! Not only did I pick up the previously featured records by Geoffrey Landers and ArTOMaTik, I also decided to risk $3 on the album featuring today's song. As usual, it looked interesting and the price was right.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ax Genrich

Ax Genrich
Psychedelic Guitar
(ATM Records, 1994)

Ax Genrich was the ax slinger in the most vital era of the krautrock trio Guru Guru:

Admittedly, I've not heard a ton of what followed, but a good deal of what I've heard has been stinky. The relatively recent albums In the Guru Lounge and 30 Jahre Live (a triple CD set!) are enjoyable, however; I regret buying neither.

After leaving Guru Guru, Ax put together a lil' supergroup under the name Highdelberg and released one eponymous album in 1976. Honestly, it's pleasant but forgetable; I'm listening to it as I type this, and despite owning it for probably close to a decade, the songs don't really sound familiar.

I'm not sure what he did for the next couple of decades, but in 1994 his first proper solo album appeared, Psychedelic Guitar. Today's selection comes from it, in fact! It was followed in 1995 by Wave Cut. Both are pretty great, imo. A decade later, he did a couple of live jam albums with Mani Neumeier (also from Guru Guru) on drums and Dave Schmidt (no clue who he is) on bass. I need to hear them!