Thursday, January 4th, 2007
... 5:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
Last-minute decision to sub for
this time slot, which we've been having trouble filling. This also
let me give jazz some spins, as my regular Friday show was
pre-empted by the 60th Anniversary special.
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
The Rose of Avalanche -- "Goddess" -- Always There (Fire, 1986)
Very '80s stuff with an almost goth ring to it, but really more
straight pop. Lots of reverb, in any event. Random pull from the
vinyl collection to start the day.
Sparks -- "Dick Around" -- Hello Young Lovers (In the Red, 2006)
Possibly my favorite song of 2006. Also mentioned here.
* The Decembrists -- "O Valencia" -- The Crane Wife (Capitol, 2006)
The Kirby Grips -- "Restraining Order" -- The Cherry Stem Concertos (Sympathy for the Record Industry, 2001)
Fun. ("Can't come near me / Restraining order" sung in nyeah-nyeah
tones). From a cool local trio that I'm guessing is now defunct, but they
put out some pop gems while they were around.
* Squarepusher -- "Theme from Sprite" -- Hello Everything (Warp, 2006)
* Mojave 3 -- "Breaking the Ice" -- Puzzles Like You (4AD, 2006)
Power-pop stuff, nicely done. This one's a bit breezy amid the
loud, fuzzy strummed chords, with a bit of piano for extra prettiness.
* Feathers -- "Iron Mountain" -- Synchromy (Hometapes, 2006)
Kind of a loungy/jazzy instrumental, upbeat but chill.
Lots of keyboards and subtle electronic percussion.
Sing-Sing -- "Me and My Friend" -- The Joy of Sing-Sing (Manifesto, 2002)
At least one of the women from Lush, teamed up with at least
one more woman. I really enjoyed this one when it came out -- lush
(no pun intended) pop sounds with electronics for some extra bounce.
This is one of the slower, sentimental songs.
* ...Worms -- "Crows in My Mouth" -- ...Worms, a 7-inch (Marriage, 2006)
Weird, weird, weird. Chaotic falling-apart guitar and screamy
incoherent vocals; not that the lyrics themselves are coherent
anyway (they do say "Crows in my mouth"). I wouldn't call it punk.
It's more like garage avant-garde, or just an unholy mess.
Compelling, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn they made it all up
on the spot. A 7-inch with four tiny
songs, about 90 seconds each, that was played from a turntable in
order to make the CD recording.
You can hear the vinyl pops.
* (the sounds of) Kaleidoscope -- "Oh My Mind" -- (the sounds of) Kaleidoscope (Hackshop, 2006)
Back to the retro-sounding guitar pop.
* The Doormats -- "The Patriot" -- Pistola de Grappa (Sleestak, 2006)
Local band that I'd never heard of before. I really dug this.
Very '60-pop in spirit, but loaded with more aggression than that.
* Robyn Hitchcock and The Venus 3 -- "Museum of Sex" -- Ole! Tarantula (Yep Roc, 2006)
The "Venus 3," as everybody except me knew by this point, included
Peter Buck on guitar. This one adds some horns, too. Another pop gem,
as they say.
* La Voix du Cenacle and Sally Nyolo -- "Pek" -- Studio Cameroon (Riverboat/World Music Network, 2006)
A '90s retrospective of former Zap Mama member Nyolo, playing in a variety of bands and contexts. Very African/"world" sounding.
* The Ditty Bops -- "In the Meantime" -- Moon over the Freeway (Warner Bros., 2006)
Big in L.A., this female duo has drawn quite a following for their
old-time vaudville songs, tinged with some newer folk elements, sung in
tight harmony. Fun stuff.
* Giant Haystacks -- "Life Goes On" -- Blunt Instrument (Mistake, 2006)
Nice energetic rock, reminiscent of Gang of Four. Another local
Arto Lindsay -- "Pode Ficar" -- Prize (Righteous Babe, 1999)
You know the drill: Arto, lately, has been doing Portugese songs
with elements of that home-world rhythm that would spawn bossa nova, but
with modern electronics and general weirdness in the mix, subtly.
This song's got a nice shuffling beat and an easygoing demeanor.
-- 7:00 a.m. --
* Pauline Scanlon -- "In Shame Love in Shame" -- Hush (Compass, 2006)
Folky stuff in a traditional Celtic vein. Melancholy and
* Rykarda Parasol -- "En Route" -- Our Hearts First Meet (Three Ring, 2006)
She's been playing locally for some time, but I'd never heard her
stuff until now. Her stuff is about what I expected, maybe with a touch
more Americana sound: Lush orchestration over sad, dark songs.
The Tubes -- "Tubes World Tour" -- Young and Rich (A&M, 1976)
The Tubes were actually playing the following night in San Francisco.
It would be my first time seeing them live, and while most of the stage
theatrics are gone, Fee Waybill still changes costumes multiple times, and
the band still dishes it out with energy. They added a few less famous songs
to the top of the set, much to my pleasant surprise ("I Was a Punk Before You
Were a Punk"), and this one even got tossed in when Quay Lewd made his
obligatory appearance. Fun stuff. Amy X. Neuburg opened, all
the more reason to go to the show.
* "Weird Al" Yankovic -- "Virus Alert" -- Straight Outa Lakewood (Volcano, 2006)
Ironically, that show happened during our 60th Anniversary
Special, where every hour, DJs spun music from one year of KZSU's
existance. All the late-'70s/early-'80s stuff came around during the Tubes
show, so instead of spinning The Completion Backwards Principle, I went
and saw them perform six-tenths of it live. Fair trade-off, I'd say.
One of his non-parody songs, showing that Weird Al still has that
goofy rock streak in him. Most of the album is devoted to hip-hop, and
while tracks like "White and Nerdy" do that well, it feels almost like
cheating to do a hip-hop parody as opposed to a song parody. This track,
anyway, is blippy and fast, supposedly inspired by Sparks.
King Crimson -- "Thela Hun Ginjeet" -- Discipline (E.G., 1981)
One of my favorite albums of all time. I feel like I play it all
the time, but the Zookeeper database said I
hadn't spun it since 2004. Time flies.
* Scissors for Lefty -- "Ornamental" -- (untitled demo EP, 2006)
More local stuff, some nicely driving rock.
* Rudresh Mahanthappa -- "Further in Between" -- Codebook (Pi Recordings, 2006)
? Real Vocal String Quartet -- "Kitchen Girls" -- (Unreleased; taken from www.rvsq.com)
Gave these guys another spin to promote a benefit concert going on this
evening. Complete info here.
This sort of kicked off the jazz part of the show, as I wanted to give some
spins to things in rotation, and my regular show was pre-empted.
* Charles Gayle -- "Shout of Love" -- Shout! (Clean Feed, 2006)
-- 8:00 a.m. --
* Kris Davis -- "Once" -- The Slightest Shift (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2006)
Cool find by Fo, our
resident jazz expert. Twisty stuff with a definite avant-garde bite, but
definitely accessible enough for Monk fans. I'll have to give it a more
thorough listen soon.
* Francois Carrier, Dewey Redman, et.al. -- "Open Spaces" -- Open Spaces (Spool, 2006)
* Albrecht Maurer and Norbert Rodenkirchen -- "Behind" -- Hidden Fresco (Nemu, 2006)
Oddball combination of gothic fiddle and medieval flutes. Those are
their descriptions, not mine. Improv duets with an almost Asian feel in
both instruments. Nice.
* Cross-Border Trio -- "No More Net" -- New Directions (Circumvention, 2006)
* Vinny Golia Quartet -- "Monday at Eight, Just Black and White" -- Sfumato (Clean Feed, 2006)
* Henry Kuntz -- "Ten Names of Peace" [Part 3] -- Wayang Saxophony Shadow Saxophone (Humming Bird, 2006)
* Winand Harper Sextet -- "Tamisha" -- Make It Happen (Piadrum, 2006)
* Medeski Scofield Martin and Wood -- "Hanuman" -- Out Louder (Indirecto, 2006)
Something a notch closer to dance electronica, meant to be a
transition into An Epiphany of Sound. But
the train and buses were slowed by rain this morning, giving me an extra
half hour before J.C. was able to arrive.
-- 9:00 a.m. --
* Keefe Jackson's Fast Citizens -- "Course" -- Ready Everyday (Delmark, 2006)
* Phillip Greenlief and Joelle Leandre -- "1st Variation for Tenor Saxophone and Contrabass" --
That Overt Desire of Object (Evander, 2006)
* Kyle Bruckman's Wrack -- "Intents and Purposes" -- Intents and Purposes (482 Music, 2006)
Previously noted here. The
title track is a 14-minute expanse, starting out eerie
and slow, then gradually softening up. The kind of midtempo jam that
characterizes most of the album shows in up the hast third.
* Moe! Staiano
-- "Piece No. 7" [Part 1] -- An Inescapable Siren Within Earshot Distance Therein and Other Whereabouts (Amanita/Rastascan, 2006)
Moe!kestra is one of the highlights from the local music scene in the
past decade. Built of a varying crew of a dozen to 40 or more, depending on
the needs of a piece, it combines the Butch Morris "conduction" idea with John
Cage-style composing, consisting of written instructions rather than staff
notes, with improv bits. Moe! conducts the orchestra, running manically from
one section to another. The result is gloriously controlled chaos, a wall of
sound that lurches from one point to another in unison and in its own kind of
harmony. (See also here.)
Piece No. 7 is a bit anomalous in that it's built around an ensemble of nine
wine glasses. That's a quieter instrument, obviously, so the piece takes on a
quieter aesthetic, building up ominous drones leading into the ghostly serene
howl of glass rims being rubbed.
Piece No. 5, which comprises half this CD, has a more "traditional"
jazz/improv feel, with horns and guitars taking the fore. It's blasting and
noisy, with some rock beats and a goofy horn march.
* = Item in KZSU rotation
! = Pop anomaly
? = Item not in KZSU library
-- Go back to Memory Select playlists.
-- Bay Area free/improv music calendar: http://www.bayimproviser.com.