Friday, March 6, 2015
USR #11: Kaleidoscope Death, Digital Dingoes, & Periscope Breath- "Memory Disposal Pearl Liquor Plus"
This just be Kaleidoscope Death's most schizophrenic release and maybe the most professional (though that thankfully still leaves PLENTY of room). Comprised of one person's 3 solo projects this cassette covers post-punk, electro (almost) pop, improv. noise, and whatever else.
This album was recorded in the transition of moving…side one recorded in Greensboro, NC and side two recorded in Baltimore, MD.
Cassettes are limited, so act fast!!!
Monday, February 9, 2015
Secret Message Machine is one of those unfortunate bands that somehow fell through the cracks of the massively overcrowded music world. Where most bands of the 2000's tend to narrow (a little too far) down to a specific genre, or feel the need to always go to extremes, SMM's approach hit me like a breath of fresh air cutting through all the bullshit spewing from countless venues and websites.
SMM is hard to pin a label on, it's poppy, but not too poppy…it's experimental, but these songs are solid and structured…the lyrics are brainy, but never pretentious…it can get melancholy, but never maudlin...it seems like everything is just right. Granted this didn't hit me the first time I heard this album, but with every following listen it unfurled into something I hadn't exactly expected. Pop is not a genre I'm generally drawn to, and this isn't really "pop," but this album (and the others from SMM…more on that later) stands aside, if not above, any other pop I've heard in a really long time and unlike almost all pop, this only seems to get better with age.
I could gush on much further, but I urge you to just listen and listen and listen and listen…..
Giants, Madmen, and Ghosts
Abandoned Children (an unreleased album of out-takes from Giants, Madmen, and Ghosts)
taken from "Hungry Villains EP"
all tracks 2008, by Michael Barrett
Michael now goes under the name BLIND MONK:
Thursday, December 11, 2014
There ya' go…a handy link to a massive free comp of experimental/punk-ish what-have-you featuring Kaleidoscope Death, Hun Bed, Ivan the Tolerable and TONS of others…have at it!
Monday, October 13, 2014
This is punk the way it should be, it doesn't conform to any specific or established sound or look, they just burn through these songs with a feverish intensity, healthy disdain for professionalism, and do it in their own damn way…you know, what punk was supposed to be about all along.
Unfortunately I don't understand a word of Dutch, but that has absolutely no affect on my enjoyment of their music…and extra credit to them for not pandering to English speakers.
This tape gets better and better with every listen and this US edition is limited to only 25 copies, so act fast!
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
This past weekend while visiting my parents, they presented me with the box of their old 45's that I hadn't been through in at least 15 years. A number of the old 45's and most of the previous USOR was taken from the stuff I took from that box way back then, so I was very happy to take another large pile of 45's off their hands.
A lot of these records (plus their old LP's and the release of the soundtrack to "Stand By Me," a cassette I completely wore out) are the reason I lost almost all interest in popular contemporary music by the age of 7. I made the switch to Oldies radio stations, and maybe a little Classic Rock for variety…anything but that dreadful 80's crap. The 2 known novelty tunes on this were my favorite records when I was even younger.
Don't get me wrong, there is some corny shit on this…but that is part of the appeal…a nice change of pace.
I do recommend playing this on SHUFFLE…minutely more like commercial-less radio…
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I've lived in the same area of North Carolina for almost 36 years, and very soon I'll finally be living somewhere else (Baltimore). There are many things about this town that I can't wait to get away from, and of course there are others I will miss…but Greensboro has changed so much in 17 years, and not for the best (at least as far as I am concerned).
Anyone from Greensboro who makes a name for themselves, music-wise, either moves away or tours a lot and lives here in obscurity (best example: Eugene Chadbourne), or lucks out when time catches up…like what happened with an old local favorite of mine (who completely deserve it), Ashrae Fax (their last recording, 2003's "Static Crash," is probably still available on vinyl from Mexican Summer for y'all fans of avant-electro-pop…they're recording a new album, too). Other old friends have found success in Red Fang. Plus Cat Power, Vetiver, and one of Teagan & Sara are from here …Emmylou Harris briefly lived here and it's rumored that Townes Van Zandt's, "Greensboro Woman" is named after her. Add Billy Crash Craddock and the drummer from Pentagram who died here and what do you have?..
...The blank, confusing, ever-changing mess of Greensboro.
As always, most bands just fall through the cracks and many people I know have never been to a True Brothers show. Granted these recordings are from the early 90's, and I wasn't familiar with them until the late 90's, but when they made the change to "outlaw" country (kinda like Toby Keith…even though they still sang some good songs here and there) a couple of years ago it just wasn't a change for the better.
In their day, when they dressed up in full embroidered/sequined/tassel laden country star get-up, while playing beautiful guitars in custom leather casings (and if there were even strings on them, they were never in anything resembling any kind of tuning...they were just props) singing a country music hit parade of yesteryear along with karaoke accompaniment. Full showmanship. When they played in dive bars and punk-houses between indie, punk, hardcore, etc. acts…they always got a great reaction from the beer swilling audience. Many people long to see stuff like this in the South, but when they're faced with it there's a very clear dividing line in the audience.
Anything that squashes indifference is automatically art.
Many of these songs are covers, but there are several True Brothers originals (#9, 12, 15, 17-21).
They're really nice guys, but they'll talk your ear off. Their house looks like a rustic country home, but it's in a very nice yet busy neighborhood divided between college kids and upper-middle class white liberals. Their holiday decorations, no matter what the holiday, are always worth a gander. Before their Fathers' passing, every Christmas he would sit in front of their garishly decorated shack dressed as Santa, ready to pose for pictures.
Those old (late 90's, early 00's) True Brothers shows were always so much fun and always provided a wonderful alternative to punk/indie/etc. which we could see anytime. It rare to see so many scenesters lighten up so much...
People tend to give the South a bad name, and rednecks are always given WAY too bad of a name. OK, some live up to the negative stereotypes but most of them have way more common sense and a far better sense of humor than almost everyone else you'll meet, especially cool/hip/scene people. Many will joke about what they, and others, think is their lack of intelligence…common sense is the most valuable intelligence, in my opinion. I'm not sure if I could ever live above the Mason/ Dixon Line.
Pop open a few beers and cast expectations aside…taking yourself seriously is rarely enjoyable for anyone. Country music is so down to Earth that pompous pedants won't be anywhere near it, therefore keeping things simple and enjoyable for everyone.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Periscope Breath's 5th tape in the past two years is now finished!
There were no records used to further fuck things up this time and the result is as "focused" as PB has been to date. "Last Ditch Exit Strategy" was just too damn long, so this one returns to the previous 30 minute running time.
PB continues with detuned guitar ramblings, squealing/buzzing synth, bass on one track, even some vocals and mic noise. I hope fans of the Dead C will find something to enjoy here (not that this sounds like them, but it could be said to be in a somewhat similar vein).
Limited to only 10 cassettes. Free downloads.
Friday, June 13, 2014
The label's next release continues on with the new digital release program, but seeing how Bandcamp now makes bands pay for free downloads, and the very obvious fact that money helps labels exist, all downloads in this series now cost a whopping $1.
"Little Pieces of Big Things," goes from banged out experimental indie, to nuanced instrumental, scuzzy detuned rumbling guitar, humor, criticism, and whatever else all in under a half hour. This was Erik's 3rd CD as Summer Camp Casanova and, as far as I know, his last album (??). Previous CDs had been done solo, but the addition of a full band (members of Blank_Blank, Secret Message Machine, and Casual/Curious) packed an added punch. The band started to get some local attention, and promptly fizzled out and a few months later Erik moved to California.
In addition I have added their live set from the "LPOBT" release show and an instrumental piece that Erik and I did back in 2006, just to have a back up why not.
More to come!!
Saturday, May 17, 2014
USR #7 is the first in what will hopefully be a series of free DIY digital reissues…for those odd groups that never made it far enough to even be able to fall through the cracks.
Poodlestick was a short lived experimental instrumental duo from Greensboro, NC. Members Michael and Erik met as neighbors in crumbling apartment buildings on Wilson St., and discovering they had similar tastes in music, started playing music together. Their first recordings were released under the name Blank_Blank, but more neighbors (Sarah and Dana) joined up to fill out the line-up, and a new band was born. Therefore, Michael and Erik continued their more experimental, yet musical recordings as Poodlestick, who played a handful of gigs and released their only CDr album in 2005.
Around this time they made the acquaintance of another Greensburling experimental then-instrumental odd-ball Chuck, whose first recordings as Kaleidoscope Death were in a similar vein, and for the next 4 years they continued to make noisy experimental music as Mystery Pill.
Then in 2008 Poodlestick all too briefly reunited, performing one infamous show and recording one 10 minute experimental piece.
Unfortunately, instrumental music seems doomed to extinction, so for those of you who like music in the back ground, more for mood, etc…this doozie's for you.
This Deluxe Edition contains the album REASONABLE PEOPLE, a live on College Radio performance (Summer, 2005), and the one reunion recording, UP IN THAT JUNK.
The solo projects of Poodlestick members were also included on UUHNGREH SCHPUGGENUH'S CONTEMPORARY MUSIC PRIMER….Secret Message Machine (Michael) and Summer Camp Casanova (Erik). Check back for more reissues from those 2 groups.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
USR #5: One of my favorite qualities in music is when it defies easy description or classification, and when you try to compare it to something, you draw a complete blank...which happened the first time I heard The Staton Embassy. That was many years ago and all I'd heard at that point was an EP she made about this shitty place where we both used to work. A little over a year ago she gave me some more and I knew immediately that I had to release this stuff, it's so good and so strange, yet still accessible, plus a good sense humor never hurts. It took a while to happen, but in that time she un-earthed close to 20 more minutes of material, more than worth the wait...
Through a smattering of styles and instrumentation, it all seems to have a traditional (not folk) feel, not to mention her wonderful approach to the voice as an instrument, often experimenting with vocal sounds, sometimes playful, and sometimes more serious...you can never tell what the next track will bring. Throw in a bizarre sense of humor with social satire among several other styles and I guess that if I HAD to compare this to another band, not that they sound the same, but just have the same kind feel or approach, it would have to be the Residents. Plus being home-recorded, sometimes lo-fi, all DIY, I've also gotta say it has a similar feel to many bands on the Messthetics comps., only done by one Southeastern US lady between 1999-2007. Things can get weird in the South...
Limited to 50 cassettes w/ download code:
and for anyone who was around NC at the beginning of the 2000's and was into post-punk...STATON played keyboards in Piedmont Charisma:
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Drunkenly made a mix of recent and not so recent stuff, no rhyme or reason...25 songs...the computer decides the sequence...
Thursday, September 19, 2013
USR #5 (Staton Embassy Cassette) is a bit delayed (but not for much longer!), so USR #6 bumps ahead!
The latest from Kaleidoscope Death is almost more like two E.P.s than one album.
KD tends to record drum tracks in bulk due to lack of drum set or rehearsal space, so side one ("RestOfTheDrumTracks") uses the remaining tracks after the Normal Time EP, split with Ivan the Tolerable, and various compilation exclusives. Go figure the longer and slower ones were saved for last, but this allowed KD to continue on the path of constant experimentation, while staying somewhat the same.
"DeadDrum" is drum-less by default, though a few tracks use percussion from an old keyboard.
30 minute cassette with download code, lyric sheet, and random stuffings
Limited to only 25 copies!
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Gotta easily be the best band to ever come from Chapel Hill, NC. As a native North Carolinian I've never understood why that town was supposed to be so cool...cool stuff comes there sometimes, at least.
Instead of bland pretentious indie-rock you get basic pounded out R&B with "risqué" lyrics and jokes, and recorded every album live, in varying stages of undress, for a more party-like atmosphere...a very nice touch. Plus they had their own label, Gross Records.
And yes, it's really dumb, but dumb is always way more fun than smart.
In the early '60's they got a taste of fame touring the southern US college circuit, mostly frat-houses and are said to be the inspiration for Otis Day and the Knights in Animal House.
Dumb raunchy party rock, yep!
(There are no song titles anywhere on the jacket or record, but some guesses are "Let Me Pet Your Pretty Pussy," "Milk the Cow," "The Bearded Clam," etc. )
and a song that's not on this LP:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Seems like most contemporary punk bands feel the need to always go further and further, more extreme than everything that came before, more or less becoming a ridiculous parody of itself.
Few groups can strip away all that bullshit, leaving the primitive anger seething under repeating parts with only a few notes a piece. This reduction, and knowing how to do it well, is all too rare a trait these days.
Le Chômage does exactly that. Hailing from one of the most vital punk/experimental/industrial/sinister what-have-you scenes that I've heard in a long time (Strasbourg, France) and containing members of many great bands from La Grande Triple Alliance Internationale de l'Est: Guitar: Nafi (The Dreams, Scorpion Violente, The Anals, AH Kraken, The Funk Police, etc.), Bass/Organ: Seb Normal (The Feeling of Love, Delacave, Prison Beat, The Normals, The Cheeraks, etc.), Drums: Nic Normal (The Normals, The Cheeraks, etc.), and Vocals/Organ: Baron Dimanche (???). If you're familiar with those bands you may have an idea what kind of great stuff is in store here...and unfortunately, if you look for The Normals online, you're most likely to find the American Christian "alternative rock" band of the same name...
Whether they're playing slower tempo (Hemoragie, Moche), restrained, grinding mid-tempo tracks, set to explode (Dorniek, Traitre, Legionelle), full punk fury (Knees, 1 Minute) or any combination therein, they all seem to burn with the same sinister energy, leaving the receptive listener feeling good about their bad thoughts. Pummeling rhythm section, clamoring guitar noise, barked, screamed, or sung vocals seem to encircle the listener like a hungry shark toying with its food...but somehow leaves you feeling like the hungry shark yourself.
This album is also a great example of raw, gritty, distorted recording done just right. Everything sounds rough (in a great way), yet still clear...a wonderfully common thread in many bands from Le Grande Triple Alliance.
In case you're curious, their name means "Unemployment." Fucking great.
Somehow, bands with these odd-sinister qualities played in such a direct way unfortunately go over a lot of people's heads, but punk was never done for the masses, anyways.
It's just great to know there are still people out there making music like this.
Link to listen/buy:
and live recordings by many great French bands, including Le Chômage:
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
So here it is...my first compilation on 66 minute cassette with 22 songs by 20 bands from 6 countries, plus a fancy pants download code.
Year of Birds
Secret Message Machine
Made for Chickens by Robots
The Staton Embassy
Summer Camp Casanova
External Pernicious Evils
Limited to 100 copies and going fast!!! If you miss out digital copies are unlimited!
gboronoise at yahoo dot com
Thursday, December 20, 2012
So yep, another tape of noisy guitar sounds best suited for background music (not the best music to listen to small samples, better to play the whole thing and focus on something else)...and I recently started a bandcamp for Periscope Breath, and rather than this band dominating the release roster for the label, P-Breath is breaking out with "pay what you want" AKA free downloads there and super limited editions of 10 cassettes per album ($6 including shipping in US, others write first).
If by small chance you're into this stuff, check the bandcamp every few months, there will very likely be another tape.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Uuhngreh Schpuggenuh is very happy to announce the split release, with Ack! Ack! Ack! Records, between Ivan the Tolerable (Middlesbrough, UK) and Kaleidoscope Death (Greensboro, NC, USA), limited to 50 copies from either label...comes with download code and everything.
Ivan the Tolerable is the relentlessly prolific (and somehow always REALLY fucking good) solo project of Oli Heffernan, from the equally prolific/great Year of Birds...and many Ivan songs end up on Y.O.B. records. This release is even more direct than previous Ivan releases, using traditional rock band instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums, vocals) than past releases with drum machines and keyboards (not that there's anything wrong with that!). Full throttle intelligent but not too brainy post-punk-garage blasts with hooks galore burning through 12 tracks in under 15 minutes. Anyone into amped up rock should be into this...
Kaleidoscope Death doubles the instrumentation of the past few efforts (few things are more baffling to KD than having to fill 8 tracks) and the songs get a little longer (7 in under 15 minutes), one almost gets up to 3 minutes! Again, lo-fi post-punk-garagish clang and meandering vocals are predominant.
Go figure these bands met on a Country Teasers fan page and are both enormous fans of the Fall and many many others in that vein. Trans-Atlantic music nerd super split!
TO ORDER YOUR OWN COPY:
USA: $7 including shipping- email gboronoise at yahoo dot com
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
For YEARS I've dreamed of finding an Esquivel record in a $1 bin, but I never expected it to be in such good shape. I even found very beat up, but playable, copies of Captain Beefheart's "Safe as Milk" and Electric Prunes "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" on later trips.
Anyway, this record is a little different than other Esquivel albums. Rather than all kinds of instrumentation zooming all over the place, this is a more "straight forward" ensemble recording, focusing more on Esquivel's unrivaled piano skills, and still with those wonderfully wacky arrangements...maybe more like this music would've sounded performed live. Few geniuses were ever this much fun.
It's weird to find world music records with boobs on the cover in the dollar bin, well the back cover's got a little mold, but moldy boobs could get at least $2-3, right?
Great high energy record, more dance parties should have music like this, then maybe I'd go to one.
Record is a bit scratchy, but no skips or anything. By looking at the cover you can probably imagine exactly what this record sounds like, whether you find that to be a good or bad thing doesn't matter. It's a good record and it only cost $1. The opening track title just about sums it up: "Temptacious."
Another cheesy dollar bin easy listening record (and plenty more to come). For the life of me, I can't remember where I know the title track from...geez. There are some great tracks on here, plenty of wacky stereo separation, and to my delight the really low clarinet (don't remember what that's called either) and other less than traditional instrumentation adds that little something extra that corny jazzy music needs to stand apart from the boring ol' pack.
Great background music for, go figure, cocktails, lounging, and/or getting into something or another...
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Pheromoans- "Does This Guy Stack Up?" *Plus* The Sticks- "I Don't Like It" *Plus* The Bomber Jackets-"Centurion Travel"
The Pheromoans- "Does This Guy Stack Up?"
This band is easily a favorite in contemporary music. Past efforts were rough and ramshackle DIY post-punk gems, in all their deadpan glory. The two mini-albums from 2011,"Bar-Rock" and "Darby, Joan, & Fosters," showed a path towards more, not necessarily polished, but clearer recordings and more pop leanings. This one goes another step further in that direction, and despite what many punk/garage fans may think, this is not a bad thing at all. Granted, "I'm Through with the Wedgie Cubist" (2009) is one of my favorite songs out there, and ideally I'd love more records like that, but I don't think I could continue to be interested by a band that continually played to fans' ideals.
The album starts out with a great one two punch, namely "The Final Sugar Rush" and "I'm a You-Know-What" (possibly the pop hit of the album) before venturing into more mysterious territory (odd ditties and pop hits in equal measure). "Power Watch" vaguely reminds me of "Chairs Missing" era Wire...maybe it's just the backing vocals. "Grab a Chair" plays like a cool guy slacker anthem, if slackers could bother with anthems.
Aside from art-punk leanings, there is a strong low-key garage influence too. Still plenty of wordy, smart, smart assed lyrics, that are better heard than read.
Basically, this music is hard to put into words (that's a very good thing, you know) and this record, and band for that matter, are for anyone with an adventurous taste is music and a sense of humor.
Even though this LP is more pop influenced, this is still not a record for the masses, just something wonderful for us weirdos.
The Sticks- "I Don't Like It"
I'm not entirely sure of the personnel, but this group does contain a Pheromoans member. The Sticks are even more stripped down and just as deadpan (maybe more?) than the Pheromoans. There are some similarities to their sounds, but now that I'm familiar with the Sticks, there's no mistaking them.
The first time I listened to this tape I was struck by how sparse it is...clean low-key guitar, bass, drums, and sometimes vocals all doing something completely off the beaten path. After the first listen, outside of a few tracks, I didn't really get it, but something made me keep flipping and re-flipping the tape all night. Then it made a hell of a lot of sense. I really recommend repeated listens to this band, really rewarding stuff here.
If the video below doesn't pique your interest, I really don't know what to say to you...
The Bomber Jackets- "Centurion Travel" 7"
In all honesty, electronic pop is not my favorite kind of music, granted a good song in any form is a good song regardless. My first introduction to this group (2/3 Pheromoans members, I think) was their split 7" with the Rebel. I think I'm a little partial to that one, though this one is not without its charm. I guess it is a little more electro-pop, so it just took a little getting used to for me, but considering the other contemporary electro-pop bands I have been subjected to, this one is a breath of fresh air in an array of synthetic shit.
Go figure that deadpan sense of humor is here, too...would be curious to hear their cassette releases...
As you can tell, this group of guys are really on the ball, hopefully they have more side projects I haven't heard of...a true hub of post-punk brilliance.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Up until a few months ago, I had more or less lost all hope of getting into new/younger bands (especially bands who called themselves Punk, who did not seem to have any idea what punk was about...but that's all subjective anyway), save a few of course. Then, through Oli at Ack! Ack! Ack! I started to hear more bands from the UK underground and hell if I wasn't hearing exactly what I'd been missing in contemporary music, especially the completely worthless "scene" in my hometown.
Two bands that immediately struck a chord with me were Yugoslavian Boys and Girl Sweat, and I was very excited to see that Onec Records putting out this LP, and it does not disappoint in any way, shape or form.
As for quick descriptions of the bands (sorry but comparisons are necessary...neither of the bands are knock-offs), Yugoslavian Boys remind me of a non-theatre school Screamers: no guitar, but distorted bass, bleeping synth, big fast fast beats, and manic hollering. When I sent a song to a friend, his first response was "I want to be in this band!" and he described them as "Devo on meth."
Girl Sweat reminds me of a swampier take on Dwarves "Horror Stories," sinister blues-ish garage punk through a wall of noise and presumably a drug/alcohol haze. Twisted garage stomp.
Most importantly both of these bands keep their approach to music fairly simple, rough, dirty, and volatile (all big compliments in my book). Both exude a sense of Rock n' Roll/Punk danger, not some hokey tough guy shit or posturing, but both provide a great soundtrack to go out and fuck shit up. Punk isn't supposed to be some grandiose gesture, it's low-brow art or anti-art and reductive in nature, but through that reduction bands can tap into a much more potent vein of creativity, which to me is far more endearing. It's also a very personal form of expression, basically just doing your own thing and not giving a fuck what other people think. Too many bands try too hard in many ways and want so badly to be thought of as amazing or some shit, but in doing so render themselves mediocre. These two bands stand apart (and above) by each taking a simple, direct approach and each putting their own spin on it, you know...what Punk Rock was supposed to be about in the first place, and the fact that it exists in 2012 outside of the Anarcho/crust/take everything so fucking seriously while all the bands all sound the same crowd is very comforting indeed, and like good punks, these bands don't want to make people comfortable and seem to have a damn good time doing so.
The record is limited to 100 copies, and unfortunately for you, may already be sold out...worth looking into ASAP, also comes with download code featuring 7 bonus tracks.