A subdivision of ACIDEMIC

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

PJ Harvey- "Memphis" (unreleased track)

 Another in my series of great songs by my favorite artists, songs not on any of their albums and unavailable on Spotify. This month - PJ Harvey's "Memphis" -available, as I remember, only on a rare Japanese pressing of Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, my second favorite Harvey album. An ode to the great Jeff Buckley, her "beautiful friend" who "died suddenly / at a wonderful age," it's haunting, rocking, pure great Harvey.

PJ - I love you, what's with the damned poetry book!? Stop hanging out with conceptual (yawn) artists and get back to the thing that makes life bearable for those in your sway -your goddamned wondrous music.

I've loved PJ Harvey ever since requesting "Water" on Princeton radio back in 1991-ish. I saw her live at Irving Plaza for the "To Bring You My Love" tour circa 1996. She only played songs from that album, more or less, and didn't play guitar, for some dumb reason, until the end. But whatever... she's a rock god AND a rock goddess. If she could look past all that hackneyed contemporary art nonsense her Brit pals fill her head with, oh what a beautiful fire she could make.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

70s British 'Cautionary' Children's Horror Programming made ours PALE

If you don't know SCARFOLK -- check it out. There's nothing I can add, because they have magick psionic tendrils that vibrate like spider web strands when anyone dares quote or discuss the town beyong cautious, brief, respectful praise. I will tell you that they're sooo British that their newly released book 'Discovering Scarfolk' isn't even available in the U.S., you have to go to Amazon UK and deal with all that currency exchange and overseas shipping.

BUT - we can see, at last a lot of the origins of the amazingly specific and haunting motifs at work, namely scary 70s British TV and Board of Education shorts aimed at children, both cautionary, imaginative and in general vibing off the local richness of Stonehenge, druids, human sacrifice, and psychedelics.

One show that apparently scared every kid who saw it is called CHILDREN OF THE STONES:

Also, check out 'The Hauntological Society" for summaries and capsules of old British shows, like A Come Andromeda.

And the magazine The Unexplained -- and to think of all the time I wasted reading Ranger Rick!! Would love to find these somewhere.

Lastly, a British Public Information film called The Finishing Line.

And to think what we missed by having only one public-funded TV channel and prudish corporate-driven censorship that forced everything into treacly mush!

Here's an interview with Scarfolk writer Richard Littler discussing these and other horrors you'll want to unearth, if you're daft.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Retrofuturist Synth Module Scores is Then: Sinoia Caves (BEYOND THE BLACK RIANBOW); Tom Raybould (THE MACHINE);

Dig these bizarro retro phat synth paranoid scores: Rayboulds is somewhere between Vangelis for BLADE RUNNER, John Carpenter for ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and Tangerine Dream for SORCERER, and the perfect wallpaper for a crisp fall afternoon wandering through a dying landscape, each rustling orange leaf in the street an ominous portent. And Sinoia Caves is for when your floating down the street at dawn, chased in slow motion by your own shadow looming 60 feet tall and with burning coal eyes but you are not afraid, in other words part György Ligeti from THE SHINING and part Claudio Simonetti from TENEBRE. And it's on Spotify, which you should have if you don't, human, because the future is now and nearly everything but the Beatles can be crawling all over you...

Thursday, August 14, 2014


1933 - W.C. Fields

Friday, July 18, 2014

I got red blood.... and I got / bloodredwine: The Great Lost Stones Song.

I once had a weird old Stones bootleg LP called 'Taxile in Main Street' and it had this song on it. The rest was just muddy jams from old concerts or alternate takes from Exile. I loved this song so much, it was worth the price. Why they never put it on a real album is one of those great mysteries. Actually - I might have got it off my punk friend's bootleg LP, but I can't remember the name. Oh well here it is:


Friday, June 27, 2014

Rare, Weird, Obscured... The Pink Floyd

Here's my favorite Floyd song and its original single wrapper. Damn them for never putting it on one of their records so it would be avail. on Spotify -- not even on one of their recent grand remaster deluxe versions of PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN and all that. But hey, youtube comes through again:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I sing thee Erika M. Anderson (EMA's The Future's Void)

An accessible punk St. Vincent crossed with Debbie Harry as played by Pris-era Darryl Hannah, ready to hit the Deckard like a sonic version of She-Hulk or break K-addicted hearts like Lana Del Rey, Erika M. Anderson (EMA) is one of my favorite artists ever since her Past Life Martyred Saints blew me away and helped me accept the inevitable dark death horizon (see "Strangers with Wet Hair") as my father lay dying and I had my cell phone off watching Tree of Life at BAM.

 I like many sorts of music but the kind I love best is what my friends call my 'sad chick music' - meaning it's sung by girls and contains melancholic catharsis, i.e. sad but not in some soulful Adele kind of way, but rather a mopey walking down the street at dawn feeling the chemical despair of a post-ecstasy rave come-down wrack your Sunday evening soul with reproach kind of way. I learned the way to get through this is by developing a kind of masochistic indulgence of the soul crushing sadness (and the actual blues haven't worked for me since the advent of CD and my sobriety - some music needs whiskey and analog to work its magic). So the princesses of the digital age are the ones who can capture the sense of loss as the whole idea of albums vanishes into the 'cloud.' That's why I love the mournful quality of EMA's sadder songs, which are contrasted-- on her major follow-up THE FUTURE'S VOID, which came out a few week's ago-- with some more shrill wailing howls of fuzzy static pain and sludgy beats, as on "Smoulder" - which comes on after the rapt gorgeous "3Jane" - with its sad refrain that we've all become just another big adver / tising cam / pain.

oil da sword and feed da horse
Standing at a colossal six foot and looking like some glamazon mix of my Aunt Ann, Kim Gordon, Courtney Love, and a blend of every character in Kathryn Bigelow's NEAR DARK, Erica handles lots of make-up and hair bleach like she's to the punk rock manor-born, and while some of her more shrill noise stuff doesn't grab me, the contrast it creates with her slower more glacial stuff makes it all worthwhile. While critics fawn over St. Vincent's recent release -- which, like EMA's, focuses on the pros and cons of the digital age - the slow unmooring from this crinkling earth reality -- it's EMA's stuff that is, somehow, for being a little more chaotic, darker and lighter at the same time, more human, sexier, toothier, the better of the two--not that we should compare them since they're both fetching young ladies and that's what we've been trained to do. They both rule, but EMA is cooler.  I've been inspired to collect my favorite of her works thus far on a mix. Why wouldn't she deserve a best of after only two albums, some EP singles, B-sides, and her past two-person Fargo ND band Gowns?

 I even made her a mix CD on Spotify to show my devotion! I know she's on there, but she hasn't answered my letter or subscribed. I listen to it anyway... aren't all mix tapes better when made for someone you adore in one way or another, even if you never even met them, they never hear them, and only you actually listen to them?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Laura Marling, the Victoria of Mitchells

I know that's very 'inside' as in my own mind - not even sure why Victoria but the Mitchell is Joni Mitchell, of which the great Laura Marling, singer-songwriter 20-something Brit of immense talent, is a direct descendant, not an imitator, but because her voice has that deep mellow wood feel where it can drop vast octaves down without seeming to try, and can stir the lion heart without losing a tossed-off conversational tone, all much harder to achieve than one would think; she gets a sweet conversational tone between herself and her guitar, and our lovesick souls. I listen to her a lot on the bus to work in the morning and together we mourn for all my exes, my sad sick soul, the lifetime prison sentence of an 8:30 AM wake-up. What an ungodly hour, but dreams carry through - what else can one do on a bus?

I fell in love long ago with what past dismayed girlfriends and abashed flatmates have called 'sad chick music' - it began with my mess of an emotional catharsis driving around Seattle listening to Joni Mitchell's Blue, which I got on cassette after being charmed by her "Harry" on a UW college station. An extraordinary thing happened - I began to cry - this being 1989, a time right before the dawn of PC thuggery and modern sensitive male nonsense - it felt forbidden, like my little secret.

What a release! I felt emboldened and spiritually awakened by a kind of pure floating love; like in the movie Her - I was in love with a disembodied voice, but it was purer, no sordid sex, only a kind of courtly Jungian grace. My unconscious feminine anima was using Joni Mitchell to speak directly to my conscious male self.

But Joni only has a few really great, sad albums, by the gorgeous but much poppier Court and Spark she's moving into jazz explorations, with Jaco Pastorious' fretless bass setting a show-offy slick mix of key changes and vocal acrobatics that were trippy and impressive, but also a little square.

So much sad female vocal music in the interim has either been to mopey, too electronic, too shoegaze echo-drenched, or ala Sarah McLachlan too overproduced and manipulative, or too jazzy too singer-songwriterly diva-esque--so packed with esoteric abrasions that only die-hard fans don't feel like they're listening to an overly confident girl pacing her bedroom on the phone with her grand piano and a doting father's financial protection. Or if they're more austere, it's still with this jazzy breathing technique and slick production.

But gifted youth Laura Marling is far different. I treasure her, and most of her songs. I've even assembled a perfect hour or so of my favourites to mope in a half-asleep revery to. And I present it here now via Spotify. And LM, thanks.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lucretia Martel's Insectoid Supermodel Short:

Argentina's greatest living film director (and that includes the brilliant Adrián Caetano (Bolivia - my 2003 popmatters review here) and Diego Lerman (Suddenly - my 2005 popmatters review here), Lucretia Martel has been quiet on the feature front since 2008's The Headless Woman (my 2011 review on Acidemic here). So many reviews! Ay! Ay!

But hey, when moseying around the web for signs of life from this lady who, like Paul Thomas Anderson and Michel Gondry actually had two films that made my ten best of the decade (00-09) list, I found this very weird, wordless short, made as--apparently--part of a fashion show hatchery. I'm not sure what I think of it, but the effects are no worse than those in Corman's '57 Wasp Woman, so.... well, 'enjoy' -- and Lucretia, if you're listening (escuchar, eh?), have your agent call Cate Blanchett or Nicole Kidman, and get them to back your next film in exchange for a meaty role for an aging glamorous acting warrior!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Rockin' Carino

Paula Carino sings in a creamy mid-belt that recalls Natalie Merchant and Chrissie Hynde and as far as cool rocking chops she's about the same midway point between Merchant's upstate decency and Hynde's maternal yet street savvy sexual yearning. In other words, kinda like her friend Renee Lobue from Elk City, whom I also adore, i.e. awesome. 

Check out some stuff here! What? You don't go to myspace anymore? You know it's still a good place for UTR bands and talents, so don't get coy, Gus.