Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Back to our roots + the Lonesome death of Albert Hofmann

Alright, I'm back here again already for two reasons. One, I can't sleep, Two, to make sure the true meaning of this blog remains intact and lastly, to discuss the death of Albert Hofmann, the first man to synthesize lysergic acid(better known as LSD to you kiddies). Okay, that's three reasons, but I'm all fucked up on cough syrup right now, so like, whatever.

So if you notice our first post from a rather intoxicated journey into cyberspace back in late 2006, it noted that we're here to tell you when you're being totally artgay or when you're just been really awesome, so here's a list of who's artgay and who's not this week.


U.S. Girls
- I'm guessing this is some girl by herself making recordings in her closet with a rickety out of tune guitar(on purpose of course) and a delay pedal found in the trash. What's more artgay than that? Dreamy, ethereal, girl group music from hell. Actually, its sort of cool, treading the line between artgay and awesomeness. Do check- www.myspace.com/usgirlsss

Thomas Function- They killed it live at the House of Pleasure a couple of weeks ago(or Pet Cemetary) after a seemingly hellatious ten hour drive from New york city. They showed up looking pretty pissed and tired, but rocked out hard for the kids nevertheless. No artgay here.

Eat Skull- I like some of these songs, but they were kind of a buzzkill live. I'm willing to reevaluate my opinion giving the proper proof but 'till then, might be a little too high on the artgay scale. Sometimes I feel like i'm being tricked, you know?

Le Club des Chats- Man, I don't even know where to begin on this one. Can't decide if this is totally artgayed out or just plain retarded. Its definitely some freaky, fucked, French shit for true francophiles. Hey, that's me! Rating on the artgay scale = 10/o.

Slicing Grandpa- I don't even know what this is, but after seeing it on consecutive trips to the record store I've nominated it as artgay record of the year based on the cover art alone. Congrats!

The Yolks - These guys might actually be able to USE a little bit more artgay up in their piece after a pretty flat live set in Columbus a couple of weeks back. I dig the recordings, but its hard to get behind a band if they're lackluster live. Neither artgay nor awesome. Listen to the 7"s.

Death to Pigs - I guess they get compared to Saccharine Trust. Definitely can see it, maybe a little too much even. They hail from the land of Nancy, France, the same place a more artgay band called Monosourcil comes from. Think I like Monosourcil better, so this must mean I'm artgay.

Finally, I recommend for everyone to take a lot of acid this week in honor of the death of Albert Hofmann, the great Swiss chemist who gave us LSD! He died of a heart attack at the age of 102, so he wasn't able to be injected with it before he died like Timothy Leary was, but 102 is pretty damn old and this definitely proves that taking lots of acid makes you live longer. Hofmann discovered the drug while studying ergot, a fungus that occurs on rye that would cause massive poisonous outbreaks in the middle ages. If you really want to get nerdy about it, "Ignis Sacer", "mal des ardents", or "St. Anthony's Fire" are also names that refer to the disease which could be either gangrenous or convulsive. Apparently, Hofmann didn't approve of recreational use of the drug for pure entertainment purposes, so if any of you hippies out there plan on taking the drug without the intention of achieving some sort of spirtual oneness with nature, the acid-ghost of Albert Hofmann may come down and strike you with the worst trip of your life. Bummer, dude.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pride of Algoma, WI

Let us now praise Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones, purveyors of a unique brand of bleak Americana. A gang of unlikely rock heroes from the equally unlikely location of Algoma, WI (pop.: 4000 or less), a lakefront resort town home mostly to weekend cottage-dwellers, retirees, and not another single rock band that I can think of. They share not only a French-Canadian-Wisconsin heritage with Pink Reason, but similar chord progressions, songwriting styles, and a taste for cheap beer and dark lyrical subject matter. Kevin Pink Reason has told me before that when he and the Hue Blanc guys met, they were all shocked to find that despite having never heard one another's music before, the music they wrote and played sounded stunningly familiar to both parties.

Hue Blanc's second LP, Arriere Garde (which, incidentally, has one of my favorite record covers in recent history), released a few months back on SS Records, is both haunted- and elated-sounding. They revel, by way of garage-y organ and the trebley crash of multiple guitars, in the muck of failed relationships and failed dreams. It sounds depressing, and it is, but it doesn't drag you down; in fact, I find their music oddly uplifting. When they're not being pensive and dark they're being blunt and funny: Ted laughs audibly as he delivers the lines "For all my words/I'm just trying to fuck you." In Hue Blanc's perpetually autumnal world (one of their many artfully titled songs is, in fact, called "A Frolicked Walk Through Autumnal Bliss"), there's too much decay all around to worry about coming up with a smooth line. Better to just swill some more beer and find someone to keep the cold and loneliness at bay, even if just for tonight.

Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones will appear tomorrow night at Carabar here in Columbus along with Pink Reason, Grave Blankets, and Michael Zink's Nuggets Fancy (MZ currently being a Joyless One, as well). Come on down and get your soul dirty.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Blow out the Torch

Everyone in France, Tibet, and all you nations worldwide, keep blowing out the torch. Fuck the Olympics and oppression of the people of Tibet. Its not even safe to host the Olympics in China due to the overwhelming pollution problem in a country that has no admission standards. This risks potential health problems for Olympic competitors in Beijing. I'm all for creating dams that provide hydro electric power to cut down on the dastardly pollution problem, but when this creates the displacement of thousands of people who have lived on the land for years, it seems that a better solution needs to reached. Bringing politics into the Olympic games may seem sort of lame, but I guess its one way to get your voice out there. Perhaps these protestors are being paid off anyhow, so it might just be another instance of fraudulent passion for human rights. Still, blow out the torch.

Rekkids kiddies:

Inca Ore - White Nature vs. Wild Magic - Cool, vocal layered stuff from this Portland girl. No guitars, drums or anything lame like that. Atmospheric, druggy, trippy dippy hippie.

Meth Teeth - The 7" on Sweet Rot is a winner. Folky, reverb powered pop slop.

Yokohama Hooks - Turn on 7" - Punk Rock of the Rough Trade mold, but with some radical Poly Styrene esque shrieking. cooler than college.

Auto Glamour Sound Compilation - Shake it! records put this out awhile back. A fine capsule of the early 80's Cincinnati art-punk scene based around the long forgotten Hospital Records. Only band not from cincy is Teddy and the Frat Girls, but they're another story. Don't get me started on them, I could go on for days.

Talbot Tagora - Volcano Girls - I'm going to shut up about them right now.

Washington Phillips - What are they doing in heaven today? - Not usually a huge fan of the blues, but this 1920's gospel-blues singer had a unique voice accompanied by the dolceola, a zither like instrument with tiny piano keys. ends up sounding like a cross between a harp and piano and nothing like the Third Man. har har.


if you are reading this, you are a big dork and need to spend less time on the internet and more time fucking girls. I think Steve Albini said that. or was it Paul Butterfield?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sister Breed

Someone used the term "Crimson Wave" to describe the recent spate of releases by young women making a dark and gloomy racket in their bedrooms. It's supposed to be a joke, so don't go adding that tag to your Ebay listings or anything. There have been quite a few of these kinds of projects cropping up--you're probably aware of Zola Jesus, soon to have 7"s out on Sacred Bone and Die Stasi, and maybe U.S. Girls--and now here's another one, Circuit des Yeux, who is one Haley Fohr of Lafayette, IN. She sent me this CD-R in the mail a few weeks ago and I still owe her something in return (Haley it's coming ... here's a good review till then). I think she might only be in her late teens, but you'd never know it from these defiantly weird, distinctly female home recordings. From the stuff I heard on Myspace I thought it would mostly be a lot of otherworldly caterwauling, but the 10 tracks actually showcase a variety of styles, ranging from the creepy wailing and scraping violin on "Eyes" to the buoyant acoustic guitar and handclaps of "The Escorts" to the field-holler "Penance Blues." "We are the sister breed, it's our time" she sings on "Sister Breed," and I won't presume to know what she means by that, but it sounds like a call to arms for the young, female and weird everywhere. I only wish I was this cool in high school ...

I'm not sure if she's still offering these for trade, but you might be able to check with her at her Myspace. I hope someone wants to do a 7" for her or something sometime soon.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Dear Dave,

where are you to provide acerbic counterpoint to the ravingly positive review of Naked on the Vague below? You know I count on you to balance out my relentless optimism about the current state of music. Come on, don't leave us hanging!

Oh, and Dave was totally right about Talbot Tagora, I heard their self-released 7" at his place the other night and it rooooooools! Crazy kids. Order it here.