A Tale of Barbarity, Sorrow, and Vengeance

 

HOTEL LUX tells a tale of barbarity, sorrow, and vengeance. It is an attempt to step into the British realist tradition of portraying the most vulgar and distorted aspects of the communities they (we) live in:

7″ single will be released on Big Score Records in June. Listen and preorder!

You can listen to more songs of them here. Anyway Hotel Lux was the abode of exiled or escaped foreigner communist cadres in Moscow between 1921-54. They lived in fear there because nobody knew who would be labeled as a terrorist, traitor, conspirator or heretic next day.

2018 máj 25. napi mottónk:

The Bad and The Ugly

A Page you like, Primitive Calculators, changed its name to Primitive Calculators, Shit music nobody likes.

On The Spot with Xeno

at the darkest hole of Budapest

 

– Hi! Are you Xeno or Oaklander?

– I’m Xeno.

– What are your favourite Hungarian music?

– Korda.

And after a short discussion with Oaklander she said:

Új Látásmód Fúzió, Alpár, Koyanisquatzi, Hungarian Dracula*, but last year we made a live radio show with our favorite Hungarian music for the London based radio station NTS. It contains Katalin Karády, Új Látásmód Fúzió, Csermanek Lakótelep, Alpár, Trabant and Pal I, Prince Esterhazy of Galántha, Palatine of the Kingdom of Hungary, who also was a composer and wrote numerous cantatas:

*Very strange. I did not hear the name of Koyanisquatzi in the past 15 years. It was a great ritual rock band in Szeged in the late 80s and early 90s. And for the first time I got news about the darkwave band Hungarian Dracula from same place and same period like Koyanisquatzi.

Anyway, XENO & OAKLANDER are a cold minimal synth pop duo from Brooklyn. They are on European tour now.

 

New Shades in the Black

I think Black Metal got to dead end. The bands want to be more and more radical but just become more and more ridiculous. But there is a fistful of bands like the Swiss Bölzer, the American Liturgy (which is denied by the black metal community) or the Norwegian URARV who are able to bring new shades in the black.

For example the music of URARV is scattered with psychedelic moments and folk tunes. Often it reminds me of the Japanese noise rock band Zeni Geva. The band is headed by Björn Aldrahn Dencker (Dødheimsgard, The Deathtrip, Thorns). He said: The ideas and visions for Urarv started actually back in 2003 during a stay that I had at the local mental institution where I live. (…) We want to tap into uncharted territories to see what lies hidden under the rocks and dead horses and beneath the cold vastness of uncertainty (…) We’re travelling to remote regions of metal music and mental space with this music. Although our message is one of emotional putrefaction, we want to help listeners find a way through the black hole.

And this is the Sannhet i.e. the Truth:

from the new mini album ARGENTUM. It was recorded same time when the debut LP AURUM last year.

 

A világ második legjobb rock’n’roll zenekara

 

Nahát! Az eredetileg a Quartban 2013-ban megjelent NATURAL CHILD interjú magyarul még nem volt olvasható az RNRen. Na de most már igen:

A NATURAL CHILD utóbbi idők legjobb rock’n’roll zenekara. 2009-ben Nashvilleben alakult egyszerű garázs rock trióként, amin már első, 1971 című nagylemezükkel túlléptek. Zenéjükben rock, blues és punk elemek keverednek. Az évek folyamán punkos lendületüket megőrizve egyre inkább a rockzene gyökerei felé fordultak, erőteljesebb lett a blues, keményebb a rock, s muzsikájukban a country is megjelent.

 

Interjú a NATURAL CHILD gitárosával

 

– Nashville a country zene fővárosa. Mennyire határozza ez meg a hétköznapokat?

Seth: Nashvilleben minden countryból van. Vagy az abból befolyt pénzből. Sok helyen, főleg a hivatalokban, a „Peace in the Valley” (nagyon híres country szám) a „kapcsolásig kérem szíves türelmét” dal. A country az életemet is meghatározta, ugyanis nagyfaterom kiváló country zenész volt. Red Foleyval meg Hank Williamsszel játszott együtt. Sok ismert ember megfordult a nála rendezett híres reggelig tartó zenés ivászatokon. Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, egyszer-kétszer Elvis is eljött. Erről apám tudna sokat mesélni. Egy ilyen buli reggelén szívtam először, lehettem vagy 9-10 éves. Anyám átszalasztott valamiért, még mindenki aludt, csak Willie Nelson (többszörös Grammy-díjas country legenda) üldögélt a kertben, és megkínált a cigarettájából. Kérdeztem, mi ez. Annyit mondott: isten ajándéka a szenvedő emberiségnek.

– Első, 2011-ben megjelent nagylemezetek címe 1971. Miért pont 1971?

– A rock’n’roll legjobb éve volt. Például akkor alakult az őspunk New York Dolls. Akkor jelent meg Hendrix és Janis Joplin utolsó stúdió albuma, meg a Doors utolsó lemeze Jim Morissonnal. Aztán volt Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin meg Rolling Stones lemez. Olyan híres számok köthetők ehhez az évhez, mint az Imagine John Lennontól, a Smoke on the Water a Deep Purpletől, a Stairway to Heaven a Led Zeppelintől, a Brown Sugar a Rolling Stonestól, vagy az L.A. Woman a Doorstól. Sorolhatnám napestig.

– A blues fokozatosan került előtérbe zenétekben. Tulajdonképpen milyen zenekarként, milyen céllal alakultatok meg 2009-ben?

– Azért alakultunk, mert már egyetlen igazi rock and roll banda sem létezett. A műfajt az elmúlás fenyegette, mi pedig elhatároztuk, hogy megmentjük. Szóval mi vagyunk az utolsó rock’n’roll együttes a világon.

– Én persze tudom, hogy ti vagytok a legjobb rock’n’roll zenekar a világon, de rapper szokás a nyilvánvaló kisebbrendűségi érzésből fakadó önfelmagasztalás.

– Hé! Mi vagyunk Keith Richards (a Rolling Stones gitárosa) lányának kedvenc zenekara! Járt is nálunk egyszer a csaj. Kiderült, hogy a basszusgitárosokat szereti. Neki mindegy, csak basszusgitáros legyen, és az se számít, ha csaj.

– Esetleg az apjával találkoztatok?

– Csak telefonon beszéltem vele. Pont akkor hívta a lányát, amikor Wesszel gyakoroltak, így én vettem fel. Akkor mondta, hogy mi vagyunk a világ második legjobb rock’n’roll zenekara.

Nagy meglepetésre egy pedál slide gitáros meg egy orgonista csatlakozásával nemrég öt tagúra bővült a csapat. Ti nem voltatok meglepődve?

– De, nagyon is. Nekem két hétbe telt, míg észrevettem, hogy öten vagyunk, de Wes még mindig nem tudja.

– Miért volt szükség plusz tagokra?

– Luke és Benny kábé egy éve csatlakoztak hozzánk. Hangzásunkat teszik teljesebbé, és lehetőséget adnak arra, hogy új irányokba is elkalandozzunk.

– Meglehetősen sokat változtatok 2009 óta, nem csak zeneileg, de külsőleg is. Mintha a megjelenésetek együtt változna a zenétekkel. És most egy-egy country szám is megjelent a repertoárban. Merre tart a Natural Child a zene és a divat terén?

– Zeneileg mindenféle műfaji keretek áthágása a cél. Divat szempontjából csak a három őstag tekintetében merek nyilatkozni. Én a kamionos country rocker stílust képviselem, a dobosunk Zach, a középnyugati benzinkutas divatot követi, Wes pedig egy cseh rajzfilmfigurára, egy Rumcájsz nevű torzonborz cseh erdei rablóra kattant rá.

– ??? Hogy került Rumcájsz Nashvillebe?

– Wes családja cseh származású. Nem szakadtak el a cseh kultúrától, tartják a kapcsolatot az óhazával. Wes persze főleg a cseh sörökkel, meg a rajzfilmekkel. Természetesen kiválóan beszél csehül.

– Eszem megáll.

– Van is egy cseh country szám, ami mindig előkerül nálunk házibulikon. Olyankor mindenki fetreng a röhögéstől. Főleg mikor egy bendzsó is előkerül és Wes is elődja.

– Huh. Hát én erre már csak annyit tudok mondani, hogy “Nudíte se? Kupte si medvídka mývala!”

– ???

Unatkozik? Vásároljon mosómedvét!

 

*

English version

 

 

Acid in the House

ONYX was the avant-garde electronic duo of American songwriter and instrumentalist Judd Stone, and British vocalist and fashion model Beveur in the early 80s.

The only instruments they used are drums /percussion and synthesizers – except for a primitive drum machine track that is used on “Planet X”. All of the instruments are played, and there is no syncing or sequencers used on any of the recordings. The bass tracks are keyboard bass. And what they recorded it is still fresh:

COMPLETE WORKS 1981-1983 will release in June on Osaka based Franco-Japanese label MIND RECORDS.

 

Yes! Wave

 

11 years ago in Atlanta, 4 girls have decided to start a band, walked in a pawnshop, bought the cheapest instruments and begun to learn play. So THE COATHANGERSearly recordings are not too defined works, but I like these nice no wave-like primitive garage rock songs. Naturally, they have developed their musical skill, but the music stayed simple, not too sophisticated but great garage rock and roll. There were more albums and some split 7″ singles (Audacity, Nü Sensae, Davila 666) but I think their best album LIVE is going to release on 1st of June on SUICIDE SQUEEZE RECORDS. Listen!

Oh, almost I forgot that one of the original 4 quit.

 

Parquet Courts Went To New Orelans

 

New Yorker PARQUET COURTS is a punk band. Hard to say anything else. OK, compared to Total Punk Records style punk bands they rather play pop music. Their influnces come from Velvet Underground, Ramones and Talking Heads, but I also hear The Fall and even Country Teasers in their music. I remember their first album was a big revelation for me. There the sound was more punk than on the next ones. Fortunately, unlike many others they don’t write the same record year by year. And now with the new album WIDE AWAKE we arrived to New Orelans:

KILLBONOCLUB # 14

COUNTRY HARDCORE JAZZ PUNK TECHNO PSYCHEDELIC TRASH BLUES NOISE ROCK AND ROLL INDUSTRIAL METAL GARAGE POP EXPERIMENTAL STUPID MUSIC & more

 

LAST RECORDS OF THE LEAST LABELS

EVERY MONTH LAST WEEKEND ONLINE
and LIVE at KERET KLUB in BUDAPEST

 

1. James Joyce once said that if all of Dublin was destroyed, they ought to be able to rebuild it brick by brick just from reading his novels. WILDER MAKER’s ZION is the first chapter in a musical novel that makes the same claim for Brooklyn, NY.

ZION is a kaleidoscopic snapshot of years hustling for a break in New York City: waking up at 5 am to pour coffee for the brownstone-owning elite, waiting for a drug dealer on a city bench outside a blurry house party, moving catastrophically from apartment to apartment in the garbage scented heat, glimpsing euphoria through the ritual of taking your place among the anonymous crowd at a music festival, having your heart shattered in front of an audience at a bar, drunkenly contemplating bodega window displays, circling ever closer to something that could either be perfection or the drain, depending on the day.

Written by guitarist/saxophonist/singer Gabriel Birnbaum and brought to life with longtime collaborators Katie Von Schleicher, Nick Jost (Baroness), Adam Brisbin (Sam Evian, Jolie Holland) and Sean Mullins.

Its influences run from classic 70’s Dylan to blown out free jazz saxophone, from Dr. John’s swampy psychedelia to Ethiopian sounds picked up from Birnbaum’s many years as a member of Debo Band, with hints of Coltrane’s classic quartet and nods to The Velvet Underground. The album ZION will be released in July on NORTHERN SPY RECORDS (US)

2. Everything what you never wanted to know about retail:

ARNDALES is a sardonic post-punk quartet,
a hidden gem at an English countryside warehouse.
Their long-awaited debut album “SHOPS” recently released.

The album “SHOPS” is coming soon on IN THE RED RECORDINGS.
And there is nothing shiny. Just old fashioned music like the old Fall
with a Negativland song which is replaced to mid-Bedfordshire.

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3. “This record really began when I got my first analog synthesizer and started making wild and odd noises with it. I sat on the couch with it on my lap and headphones on for two weeks and never found the end to the sounds it could make, and I still haven’t, half a year later” – said Polish-American drummer Tym Wojcik about his new album JITTER VISIONS. He recorded it with his band called CUP. It is released now on AAGOO RECORDS (US). For fans of Slaughterhouse era Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees and the Beatles.

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4. “As the rainbow enters the sky and shines through the rain, all the birds lift their heads, singing. This album lures us into being blindly joyful, shying away from the terrible troubles of this world.”

French band CHOCOLAT BILLY is not a simple thing. For example, they played their first show opening for American avant-garde jazz guitarist Eugene Chadbourne in 2002. And the new album DELICATE DELI is – with a little overdrawn – as if it would be a common effort of Deerhoof and Chemical Brothers. It releases on KYTHIBONG and POTAGERS NATURES RECORDS (F).

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5. The female half of Moon Duo Sanae Yamada has written a solo album under the name of VIVE LA VOID during tours and recordings. Coming soon on SACRED BONES RECORDS (US).

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6. Chicago-born sometimes Brazil-resident avant-garde jazz musician BEN LAMAR GAY’s debut album DOWNTOWN CASTLES CAN NEVER BLOCK THE SUN a compilation album. Songs were taken from 7 albums he made over the last 7 years but never made the effort to actually release. It is coming in early May on INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM RECORDS (US). Anyway, he is one of the most prolific collaborators in Chicago’s creative music community. For example, he was a core component of Makaya McCraven’s last album Highly Rare, and we praise it.

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7. Cold wave disco, krautrock, post-punk, synth-pop. These are what I can say about the music of Canadian duo FREAK HEAT WAVES. And well, there is a strange thing. They named Texan hip-hop pioneer Dj Screw as their main influence. You can check these things if you listen to their new album BEYOND XXXL. It is released on TELEPHONE EXPLOSION RECORDS (CAN). Cassette on French label ATELIER CISEAUX.

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8. Cadillac born New Orleans based American traditionalist LUKE WINSLOW-KING plays a mix of old, but maybe eternal American tunes with his band: ragtime, country, blues, gospel, dixie, bluegrass, jazz, rock and roll with minimal and occasionally brass band orchestration. His new album BLUE MESA will be released on 11 May on BLOODSHOT RECORDS (US)

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9. The Jack Cades was born in late 2017 when Mike (Lead Guitar, Vocals) and Elsa (Rhythm Guitar, Vocals) decided to record some of their songs at Mole’s (Drums) notorious State Records Studios in Folkestone, Kent. They invited John Gibbs (The Masonics, The Wildebeests) to record bass on some of their songs at the time, which resulted in a mini debut LP “Music for Children”, which will be released on 18th May on DIRTY WATER RECORD (UK). It is a mix of a shared passion for inspirational sounds such as 1960s garage bands, snotty punk from the 1970s and sun-kissed sweaty rhythm n’ blues.

By the way, Jack Cade was the leader of a popular revolt in England in 1450. After the early success, he declared himself Lord Mayor of London. In this position, he initiated a series of tribunals dedicated to seeking out and convicting those accused of corruption. After such a sham trial the Lord High Treasurer and his son were beheaded. But many of the rebels, including Cade, began to engage in looting and drunken behavior. Gradually Cade’s inability to control his followers alienated the initially sympathetic citizens of London, who eventually turned against the rebels. He was murdered and his body underwent a mock trial and was ritually beheaded. Then his body was dragged through the streets of London before being quartered.

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10. “Marvin would kick your ass for nothing. A true genius, Marvin was a pure original” said Iggy Pop about the extraordinary musician MARVIN PONTIAC. And if Iggy is so into him than I introduce that true genius to you. MARVIN PONTIAC was born in 1932, the son of an African father from Mali and a white Jewish mother from New Rochelle, New York. The father’s original last name was Toure but he changed it to Pontiac when the family moved to Detroit, believing it to be a conventional American name. (… ) Reportedly Marvin’s music was the only music that Jackson Pollack would ever listen to while he painted, this respect was not reciprocated. In 1970 Marvin believed that he was abducted by aliens. (…) When he was arrested for riding a bicycle naked down the side streets of Slidell, it provided a sad but clear view of Marvin’s coming years. In 1971 he moved back to Detroit where he drifted forever and permanently into insanity. He was killed by a bus accident in 1977.

His only album GREATEST HITS was released posthumously in 1999. And this unstable genius recorded his African rhythm and blues songs with such great musicians as Marc Ribot, John Medeski, Billy Martin, Eszter Bálint and many others. It is recently re-released on NORTHERN SPY RECORDS (US). If you want to know more about MARVIN PONTIAC you can read his strange story here.

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11. GOSH! is a minimal psych-pop duo. When I got their new album ODYSSEY I wanted to show it to everybody. Hey, listen to this! So simple, bittersweet and beautiful.

The band has started when Padraig left his psychedelic post-americana band Nude Sunrise and started dating with Claire. One of the first moments they spent together there were guitars. Claire picked the bass and they learned “Badlands” from The Jesus and Mary Chain. Anyway, she never played any instruments before and GOSH! is her
first band. And it is among my brand new favourites. The new album ODYSSEY was written after they got back to Chicago from a chaotic tour. It remembers an underpaid journey as arduous as the real Ulysses’s, full of tragic twists and chemical quicksands. “All while watching the new season of Twin Peaks. It was a dark time, but we channeled that darkness and complete sense of defeat into creativity and in turn have produced something incredibly positive” – said Claire.

The album ODYSSEY will be released in mid-May on NICEY MUSIC (US).

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12. “Shit needs to be shaken up. I’m always moved by unrest or agitation. That’s what moves me. We need to shake things up. We like to be shaken up.” It’s the ars poetica of PARLOR WALLS guitarist/frontwoman Alyse Lamb who founded the band with the drummer and simultaneously keyboards player Chris Mulligan.

Their debut album decades after the wall between rock and jazz began to fall took us further down the road towards. Now on the EP EXO – which introduces clarinetist/programmer/multi-instrumentalist Jason Shelton to the band’s lineup -, PARLOR WALLS erode at the divisions between no wave and new wave by balancing melody and what Lamb and Mulligan refer to as “anti-melody.” It helps that the songs bear the recording and mixing touch of Joseph Colmenero, who has served as RZA’s personal engineer over the last decade and has also worked with Philip Glass, Björn and others. EXO will be released soon on NORTHERN SPY RECORDS (US).

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13. Murky and mystical Scottish chamber pop trio MODERN STUDIES‘ new album WELCOME STRANGERS is a bricolage where classicism meets experimentalism. It will be released on 18 May on FIRE RECORDS (UK). During the recordings, contributors include sisters, wives, toddlers, freeform saxophonists and The Pumpkinseeds, an ensemble featuring violins, violas, cellos, trombones, and vocals, were brought together to play in a remote village.

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14. English duo VIRGINIA WING‘s conceptual pop borrows from The Flying Lizard’s Fourth Wall, Yellow Pop Magic Orchestra and Lizzy Mercier Descloux’s Press Colour. New album ECSTATIC ARROW on FIRE RECORDS (UK)

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15. LOCATE S 1 aka Christina Schneider has made the album HEALING CONTEST with Of Montreal’s musicians. It was produced, engineered and also contributed by Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes who released it on his own label SYBARITIC PEER (US). There are too many chords to be pop, too catchy to be anything else.

Vinyl LP and CD on NICEY MUSIC (US).

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16. Hungarian psychedelic prog rock band PROTOPLASMA released their new album – in digital format, but it also will be released on cassette soon.

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17. This year the legendary unknown raw and wild synth-punk band PRIMITIVE CALCULATORS turns into 40. They (we) celebrate it with their third album ON DRUGS. The band started in 1978, in the same place and same time than the Birthday Party. After a single, they relocated to London, in the same time than the Birthday Party, and promptly broke up in 1980. But there was a post-split-up single under the name of Zye Ye Ye in England in 1981. The first album was released in 1980. It’s a live recording of a gig supporting the Boys Next Door in 1979. The Boys Next Door was renamed to Birthday Party. The first studio album THE WORLD IS FUCKED was released in 2013. And now the third album ON DRUGS finally here on IT RECORDS (AUS). It is a little bit different than the others. Heartbreak and loss also appear beside nihilism and rage at the world. Even, there is a ballad, a dark, nasty, dire dirge.

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18. Norwegian producer Tore Gjedrem of Ost & Kjex channels his love of comix, bohemia and fascination with human vice, the unspoken, the Red Light districts, the alleys of the mind into his alter ego SEX JUDAS. “I wanted to create a world where any musical idea is possible, wound together by the world and word of Judas, the ultimate sinner, reborn as a child of Venus.”

The album GO DOWN JUDAS was made with contributions by his friends in the Oslo scene as hometown legend Dj Pål Strangefruit Nyhus, composer Ole-Henrik Moe, jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, Sidiki Camara from Mali playing that beautiful Ngoni, and multi-instrumentalist Ivar Snuten Winther. Music inspiration ranges from Africa to 80’s NYC, from Bohannon to Quasimoto, from Norwegian New Wave to Acid House. It touches anything from blues, funk, disco and post-punk to IDM, acid house and electronic explorer music. And it’s a fuckin’ funny album.It comes as a 2 x LP and digital release on OPTIMO MUSIC on May 25th.

Our columnist Franz Fekete has written about: Sex Judas brought David Holmes to my mind. There was a summertime open-air party in Budapest, and he was late because of police problems. Hours went after hours. When he finally arrived at dawn I was drunk and smoked so much that I was not able to speak normally. And after he started to play I was just shouting and wallowing on the grass. Same feeling.

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19. SHITTY PERSON is the solo-ish project of Seattle based Benjamin Thomas-Kennedy from Lesbian and Fungal Abyss. He said about: “I was really into Spacemen 3 and early Monster Magnet when I wrote this album. I was drawn to the desperation and self-hatred that those records express both musically and lyrically. I’ve always really loved drug music. I had also been studying Religious Trauma Syndrome and how leaving Fundamentalist Evangelical Christianity causes similar symptoms to posttraumatic stress disorder. I come from a long line of preachers and have a lot of resentment about how Christianity destroys children by teaching them to hate themselves.” Debut album JUDGEMENT on the Finnish label SVART.

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20. VITAL IDLES write primitive, whimsically brutal minimalist pop songs. They don’t just talk about disorder but often actively demonstrate it e.g. on there debut album LEFT HAND on UPSET THE RHYTHM RECORDS (UK).

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21. VERITAHROJA i.e. BLOODSTAINS is another compilation album of unknown and unheard punk rock from the Finnish 1970’s scene. The record opens up with RATTUS – “Täältä tullaan kuolema”. The band is one of the cornerstones of the Finnish 82-hardcore scene. Before settling down to the hardcore form the band made two seven inches with more experimental pieces – including a ska song! “Täältä tullaan kuolema” is a solid 77-punk rocker, which translates as “Here we come death”. Later on, the song was re-recorded with a speedier tempo and a more hardcore sound for the HARDCORE ’83 compilation of Propaganda Records.

MORE KILLBONOCLUB

KILLBONOCLUB on SPOTIFY

SUITABLE TO PLAY AT THE BEST RECORD SHOPS AND BARS!

NOT SUITABLE FOR BARBER SHOPS

 

 

NIHILISM OF SHILPA RAY

SHILPA RAY  new EP  NIHILISM  on 16 May

The song “Shoot This Dying Horse” is a rainy day waltz about how bad things can happen to anyone, at any time in the most random and meaningless ways. More specifically, it’s about getting dumped at a bar two days before Christmas. It was inspired by and written after binge-watching the Grateful Dead documentary series Long Strange Trip.

On the B-side, there is an Alice Cooper cover. The story behind this version is that she and her band listened to this one a lot on tour. When she paid closer attention to the lyrics, she realized if sung by a woman the song could be a feminist anthem.

“What have I got
That makes you want to love me
Now is it my body
Or someone I might be
Or somethin’ inside me”

The original one.

Digital and limited cassette editon on NORTHERN SPY RECORDS (US)

Oh My GOSH!

GOSH! is a minimal psych-pop duo. OK, there are many. But when I got their new album ODYSSEY I wanted to show it to everybody. Hey, listen to this! So simple, bittersweet and beautiful.

GOSH! started when Padraig left his psychedelic post-americana band Nude Sunrise and started dating with Claire. One of the first moments they spent together there were guitars. Claire picked the bass and they learned “Badlands” from The Jesus and Mary Chain. Anyway she never played any instruments before and GOSH! is her first band. And it is among my brand new favourites.

New album ODYSSEY was written after they got back to Chicago from a chaotic tour. It remembers an underpaid journey as arduous as the real Ulysses’s, full of tragic twists and chemical quicksands. “All while watching the new season of Twin Peaks. It was a dark time, but we channeled that darkness and complete sense of defeat into creativity and in turn have produced something incredibly positive” – said Claire.

I know it coming soon on NICEY MUSIC

Unfortunately at the moment I cannot show the song Lake Shore Drive to you, but you can listen to it in KILLBONOCLUB this Saturday.

 

An Unstable Genius

“Marvin would kick your ass for nothing. A true genius, Marvin was a pure original” said Iggy Pop about the extraordinary musician Marvin Pontiac. And if Iggy is so into him than I introduce that true genius to you.

 

THE STRANGE STORY OF MARVIN PONTIAC

 

He was born in 1932, the son of an African father from Mali and a white Jewish mother from New Rochelle, New York. The father’s original last name was Toure but he changed it to Pontiac when the family moved to Detroit, believing it to be a conventional American name.

Marvin’s father left the family when Marvin was two years old. When his mother was mental institutionalized in 1936, the father returned and took the young boy to Bamako, Mali where Marvin was raised until he was fifteen. The music that he heard there would influence him forever.

At fifteen Marvin moved by himself to Chicago where he became versed in playing blues harmonica. At the age of seventeen, Marvin was accused by the great Little Walter of copying his harmonica style. This accusation led to a fistfight outside of a small club on Maxwell Street. Losing a fight to the much smaller Little Walter was so humiliating to the young Marvin that he left Chicago and moved to Lubbock, Texas where he became a plumber’s assistant.

Not much is known about him for the next three years. There are unsubstantiated rumors that Marvin may have been involved in a bank robbery in 1950. In 1952, he had a minor hit for Acorn Records with the then controversial song “I’m a Doggy.”

Oddly enough, unbeknownst to Marvin and his label, he simultaneously had an enormous bootleg success in Nigeria with the beautiful song Pancakes.

His disdain and mistrust of the music business is well documented and he soon fell out with Acorn’s owner, Norman Hector. Although approached by other labels, Marvin refused to record for anyone unless the owner of the label came to his home in Slidell, Louisiana and mowed his lawn.

Reportedly Marvin’s music was the only music that Jackson Pollack would ever listen to while he painted, this respect was not reciprocated. In 1970 Marvin believed that he was abducted by aliens. He felt his mother had had a similar unsettling experience, which had led to her breakdown. He stopped playing music and dedicated all of his time and energy to amicably contacting these creatures who had previously probed his body so brutally.

Furthermore Marvin held the tribal belief that having a photograph taken of yourself could steal your soul, thus these candid shots are the only ones known to exist.

When he was arrested for riding a bicycle naked down the side streets of Slidell, it provided a sad but clear view of Marvin’s coming years. In 1971 he moved back to Detroit where he drifted forever and permanently into insanity.

He was killed by a bus accidentally in 1977.

His only album “GREATEST HITS” was released posthumously in 1999. And this unstable genius recorded his African rhythm and blues songs with such great musicians as Marc Ribot, John Medeski, Billy Martin, Eszter Bálint and many others.

GREATEST HITS first time on vinyl on NORTHERN SPY RECORDS

LISTEN TO IT ON SPOTIFY!

By the way. You can find some inconsistencies in this story. For example Eszter Bálint was 11 years old when Marvin Pontiac died, so it seems impossible that she could work with him. Well, the truth is that the character of Marvin Pontiac was invented by John Lurie because “for a long time, I was threatening to do a vocal record. But the idea of me putting out a record where I sang seemed ostentatious or pretentious. Like the music of Telly Savalas . . . I don’t sing very well, I was shy about it. As a character, it made it easier.”

Not long ago Lurie found some materials of Marvin Pontiac which were recorded when he was in a mental hospital. Those were released as The Asylum Tapes in 2017.

 


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