Sunday, November 11th, 2007
... 3:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
(Return to playlists.)
Taking advantage of the long weekend, I stayed up late and
took the graveyard shift for another all-styles mix.
was on from midnight to 3:00 with his "Transmission Overload" show,
which was a head-spinning collage of upbeat music: rock, punk, Latin jazz
-- wow. I'm impressed and humbled; no way could I do sustain that level
of energy with as many styles of music as he juggled.
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
Sparks -- "Dick Around" -- Hello Young Lovers (In the Red, 2006)
Kicking off with this one yet again.
Nice follow-up to Steven's show. More about the song
here, and more about the band
* Lyle Lovett and His Large Band -- "All Downhill" -- It's Not Big,
It's Large (Curb/UMG, 2007)
A decade ago -- no, more, actually -- a roommate and I caught
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band on Austin City Limits.
They opened with "Here I Am," and we were hooked for life.
The mix of country, R&B, jazz, and a sly sense of humor -- it's just
too much to resist, and if you're not already on the bandwagon
for Lyle, I don't know what to say.
* Bill Brovold and Larval -- "It Was a Puny Plan" -- Surviving Death/Alive Why? (Cuneiform, 2007)
A 2-CD set compiled with various bands over the years. Brovold's
Larval is somewhere between prog rock and psych jamming, put in a fun,
nearly jazz-fusiony atmosphere. Saxophones add some whimsical lines, as on this one,
and get some occasional free-jazz growling too. John Zorn's a fan!
The Monkees -- "Papa Gene's Blues" -- The Monkees (RCA, 1966)
From the original album, on glorious vinyl, the one released when
the Monkees were becoming a TV hit but the public didn't yet know that
they weren't writing their own songs. Never mind that the song credits
are clearly spelled out on the record here. This is one of the tracks
Mike Nesmith actually wrote, showing off the countryfied style that
he'd pursue post-Monkees.
* Bob Brozman Orchestra -- "Lumiere de la Mar" -- Lumiere (Riverboat/World Music Network, 2007)
Light, accessible "world" music from guitarist Brozman, overdubbing
himself on a variety of exotic stringed instruments. This one's got
a kind of gamelan feel (on plucked strings, of course); elsewhere he
goes for deep tangoes, Indian ragas, or Polynesian island serenity.
* Kevin Deal -- "Texas and Beer" -- Roll (Piedrero, 2007)
Straight, confident country: cowboy hats and barstools, a touch
of bravado, no self-pity -- not even on "Another Drinkin' Song," where
the narrator is all sad and, technically, self-pitying,
but the tempo keeps an upbeat singalong feel.
* The Pink Mountaintops -- "The Solo Sex" -- V/A: At the Crossroads (Three Ring, 2007)
Another track from the benefit CD previously mentioned
here. This one's the closing
track, a thin-voiced, sparse piece. More about At the Crossroads,
the organization, here.
Nasser Rastegar-Nejad -- "Afshari" [excerpt] -- Music of Iran: Santur Recital, Vol. 3 (Lyrichord, 1980?)
Traditional Iranian music, taken off an LP (I'm guessing at the date;
there's no info on there). Really fast virtuoso playing on the santur,
a stringed instrument that sounds more fleet of foot than the Japanese
koto or Chinese equivalents. Seriously, the playing gets hyper to
the point where you're wondering if you've accidentally left the turntable
on 45 or even 78. The name of this track comes from "the mood
characteristic of melancholia of the deeply distressed person," but it's
as upbeat and quick-footed as anything else on this album.
Puffy Amiyumi -- "Shut Your Mouth, Honey" -- Spike (Epic, 2001)
A bit of a tough sound from the Japanese pop duo. Relatively
speaking, anyway; it's still their bouncy guitar-pop sound.
Japanese lyrics, cute title.
* Manu Chao -- "The Bleeding Clown" -- La Radiolina (Nacional, 2007)
Hip world/rock coolness that works. Chao's stuff is commercial
and glossy, and yet it's a bit edgy to my ears, not to mention
creative and just damn cool. I've been a bit of a fan ever since
hearing that "Je Ne T'aime Plus" song (can't recall its exact
title, maybe that's even it).
* Godless Rising -- "Heathens Rage" -- Battle Lords (Moribund, 2007)
Can you tell this is a metal track? Aggressive stuff out of
Rhode Island, with the obligatory menacing black-and-white photos of
the band to prove it. The transition worked here, honest to god --
Chao's song, while upbeat in tempo, wasn't that lyrically cheery, and
this one, the album's opener, starts with a long tone of guitar
feedback that was just skinny enough to slip into the beats of the
Chao piece. Then it gets into thundering death metal, with the whole
9000-bpm pedal drums and all.
25 Ta Life -- "End the Hate" -- Keepin' It Real (We Bite, 1995)
Heavy stuff with a more rocking feel. Hardcore punk, maybe
verging on metal but with more of that punk-rock drive to it.
Kitten on the Keys -- "Geriatric Punk Rock Boyfriend" -- Salty Meat Girl (Rugburn, 2007)
Funny stuff from the unofficial KZSU sweetheart. No offense
intended to the 25 Ta Life guys, but it's about a punk rocker who's
going through pretty much every over-40 ailment you can think of.
Frank Pahl -- "Overture to Don Don" -- The Romantic Side of Schizophrenia (Fot, 1994)
Catchy but weird little instrumentals. Includes off-kilter
accordion, twangy western-style musics, all sots of stuff. Former
KZSU DJ Klee described some tracks as would-be soundtracks for
* Big George Brock -- "Bring the Blues Back Home" -- Live at Seventy-Five (Cat Head, 2007)
Big, raucous blues from a legendary player with a booming voice.
He opens this one declaring, "Bring the blues back home!" and it
nearly tears the speakers apart. Strong stuff.
* Mr. J. Medeiros -- "Change" -- Of Gods and Girls (Rawkus, 2007)
Hip-hop with an easygoing, resigned jazzy base. The following
track uses rattly Indian music; I'm going to have to check that
Squarepusher -- "Tetra-Sync" [excerpt] -- Ultavisitor (Warp, 2003)
You know the drill: Hyperkinetic dance beats underneath some
rich, organic electric-bass soloing. There's a melodic tinge to
Squarepusher's work, which led me to thinking... that new age
electronics stuff that Jean-Michel Jarre did? This is that stuff,
Jack Bruce -- "Wishing on a Word" -- SomethinEls (CMP, 1993)
A bit cheesy, and playing it was possibly a miscue. This is a CD destined for
"deep storage" -- the back room where we keep the stuff that's no longer
deemed necessary for the library. The album overall is a dated mix of
classic rock, in mellowing "I'm turning 50" mode, with some '80s
synth syrup and drum-machine cardboard thrown into the mix.
This track isn't so bad, though -- a pleasant,
slightly sentimental song.
* Veil Veil Vanish -- "Reproach" -- Into a New Mausoleum (self-released, 2007)
Local band, spirited rock with a bit of a goth feel. Guitars
and synths, forceful vocals. Probably lots of fun to see live.
The Moody Blues -- "In My World" -- Long Distance Voyager (Threshold, 1981)
Soft, folky stuff that I set up to be dismantled by the noise
track following. Unfair, I know. This album marked the Moodies'
comeback in 1981, with the top 10 hit "Gemini Dream," an
embarrasingly disco-ized synth track. I'd never heard that song
upon buying the album; what had caught my ear was "The Voice,"
which got the classic-rock-station airplay and remains, somewhat
guiltily, one of my favorite songs. Getting back to
"In My World" ... I did let it get through a couple of verses and
even the sappy middle section before starting up Metalux.
They got a fair hearing on-air.
* Metalux and John Weise -- "Exoteric 2" -- Exoteric (Load, 2007)
Metalux were noisy to begin with, with ugly chords and
oversaturated mics for a menacing, future-evil sound. On this
CD, they go all-out with noise -- lots of hissy, staticky stuff with
groany vocals on top. It's probably less disturbing if you're listening
to it at home, rather than inside a deserted radio station at 4:00 a.m.
Mark Applebaum -- "Inventory"/"Echolalia" [from "The Asylum"] -- Asylum (Innova, 2006)
Previously noted here.
Applebaum is a guest on Monday's Lunch Hour show (12:00 noon, hosted
by Byrd of Paradise), as a piece of his is premiering Tuesday at
CCRMA here at Stanford. It's a short quintet piece. The program will
include nine Stanford composers' composed "reactions" to the
piece. Interesting idea.
Compomicro-Dexall -- "Dexall" -- Compomicro-Dexall (self-released, 1998)
Very cool noise duo of electric bass and drums. Their stuff
isn't all improvised; it sometimes trickles into some prewritten
riffs and curls. Previously noted here.
Amy Denio -- "Salvatore" -- Tongues (Fot, 1993)
By the way, one of the guys in the duo is
An album of various languages, with Denio coming across in a
kind of world-music mode. This one's lightly Latin, obviously -- not
big brash Latin horns, but a light, pecking rhythm. There's another
track called "Czechered Pyjamas," so you can guess a bit of what
Jedi Mind Tricks -- "Kublai Khan" -- Kublai Khan [12" single] (Babygrande, 2003)
Tough-edged rap with political overtones. I'll admit I haven't
given this a close listen, lyrically, but I've been impressed with
Jedi Mind Tricks stuff before; this wasn't a random pull.
-- 5:00 a.m. --
* Novalis -- "Es Farbte Sich Die Wiese Grun" -- Novalis (SPV GmbH, 2004; orig. released 1975)
Krautrock, maybe with a light touch. This track has its
mellow moments, anyway, although it does get into a soaring prog
guitar solo midway through.
* Novalis -- "Es Farbte Sich Die Wiese Grun" [conclusion]
* Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores -- "Myra" -- The Blind Spot (Cuneiform, 2007)
Chamber pop. Light and precious, with instruments like violin,
bassoon, and glockenspiel. Folky Renaissance-tinged stuff.
The Mommyheads -- "Moisture" -- V/A: A Stab at the Residents (Vaccination, 1995)
How did I not notice this one before? A great assembly of mid-'90s
Eskimo, Idiot Flesh ... along with like-minded weirdos including
Primus, Cracker, Frank Pahl,
and Snakefinger. Also a lengthy answering-machine apology from
poor guy. Interpretations are all over the map: some disturbing and
eerie, others (like this one) poppy and pleasant.
Hmmm... -- "Trained Monkey" -- I Only Want Love (self-released, 2005?)
In fact, the
Mommyheads turned this one into a fun calypso ramble. It's a
relatively famous song, one of four (?) from the Commercial Album
that got videos -- we're talking pre-1980 videos! I saw them on
Videowest on KQED, back before MTV!
The vids are mainstays on YouTube now, go check it out.
From Herb Heinz and Marc Briggs, a Negativland-like pop album with
catchy melodies and avant-garde bouts of sampling, noise, and other
weirdness. Cool pop collages. Heinz and Briggs lately have been working
with an improv collective called dud, which I'm hoping to
catch sometime soon.
This particular track gets ultra-catchy, with Amy X. Neuburg singing
a la-la melody to close it out.
Roger Kleier -- "Put One in His Brain" -- Klangenbang (Rift, 1996)
Electric guitar in a smart-alecky classical mode. Some tracks
explore serious soundscapes, while others like this one go for
catchy rhythms and visceral, rock-like tones.
Barry Louis Polisar -- "Trouble ... What Trouble?" -- Juggling Babies and a Career (Rainbow Morning Music, 1988)
From a kids' album -- or more properly, an album about kids
that seems half-targeted at grown-ups. Simple, folky guitar-and-vocals
stuff. This track is about what
happens when the parents have a second baby and realize how much
trouble they've gotten themselves into.
* Bettye Lavette -- "I Guess We Shouldn't Talk About That Now" -- The Scene of the Crime (Anti, 2007)
From an otherwise cookin' blues album, the closing track, a slow
and regretful drawl. A late-night pause in the action.
Guided by Voices -- "I Am a Scientist" -- Human
Amusements at Hourly Rates (Matador, 2003; orig. released 1994)
The GbV anthem, of course. Could have pulled this off
Bee Thousand directly, but I figured I'd give the Greatest Hits CD
a spin at least once. The slow, slow Lavette song made for a very nice
setup to the proud, simple melody that opens this track. Hopefully
someone out there got chills hearing it.
Squeeze -- "Hop Skip and Jump" -- Cool for Cats (A&M, 1979)
A hot little Jules Shear number with an impressivly blazing
guitar solo. Man, these guys were good.
Eberhard Weber -- "Quiet Departures" -- Fluid Rustle (ECM, 1979)
A precursor to New Age music, Weber has had a lengthy and presumably
successful career on ECM -- enough that when I got curious about him, I could
grab a random item (this one) on used vinyl for cheap. Weber had guested on a
Gary Burton track (another ECM used vinyl find -- sorry ECM, I do buy the new
CDs too!) and he'd been called out on a Kate Bush album, IIRC -- so I gave it
Game Theory -- "24" -- Real Nighttime (Rational, 1985)
He specializes in side-long, floaty epics, with lots of pretty, hovering
melody and a rich higher-range bass sound (amplified acoustic bass, I think it
is). At once lyrically pleasing and contemplative, although not the kind of
stuff that necessarily floats my boat.
This album happens to be notable in that Weber includes two female singers,
Bonnie Herman and Norma Winstone, to add some charming worldless melody
to the picture. Most of his albums don't have vocals. He's also got
an American band as opposed to his usual European cohorts, and it's a
good one: Gary Burton on vibes and a very young looking
on guitar. That's the kind of company you get to keep when ECM
gets on your side.
Crunchy '80s pop that avoided many of the bad things about
'80s pop. Game Theory was a local band that some of my friends raved
about, back then -- wish I'd listened harder. KZSU owns the band's
entire output on vinyl, I think, but we've recently acquired a few of
the albums in CD format.
Dan Plonsey -- "C" -- Wise King Taken by the Foolish One (Unlimited Sedition, 2005)
* William Parker -- "Land Song" -- Corn Meal Dance (AUM Fidelity, 2007)
* = Item in KZSU rotation
? = Item not in KZSU library
-- Go back to Memory Select playlists.
-- Bay Area free/improv music calendar: http://www.bayimproviser.com.