Sunday, October 26, 2008

Across Endless Grassy Plains High Up In the Desert Mountains.
I can't stop listening to this new USAISAMONSTER record. It's called Space Programs and is predictably about American Indians, utopian futures, Nordic explorers and other stuff of that nature. Unpredictably, this record is their most cohesive yet. I'm a fan of this band and have been for the past 6 years. "Cohesive" might not be the word I'm looking for, they've never wanted for cohesion, but this thing has a nonlinear, damn near Malian sort of flow to it that is totally mesmerizing and classic. It's got synthesizer, beautiful vocal harmonies, and their patented octavey, hammering and triumphantly weaving deal. It also has a song called Cocaine Wedding.

They are on tour now, and the record is available from their label, Load.

Other things on the recent playlist: Miss Lana Rebel, Japanther, Harvey Milk, Gauze, Filth Matress, Group Inerane, Bridgebuilder.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Japanther's Tut Tut, Now Shake Ya Butt Blue Vinyl 12"
Yelp, friend, we have a few very limited copies of the new Japanther LP on opaque blue vinyl. The lads will have some copies along with them on their tour but the only way you'll get one of thes is if you're among the first 60 or so mailorder fiends who place an order. Kevin Bouton-Scott designed the cover artwork for Tut Tut, and the record features Penny from Crass doing awesome, serpentine poetry.

The record's available in the catalog section of the Wantage website.

Japanther's always been a band of contrasts. They exist halfway in the world of performance art, and halfway in that of DIY punk. They get called to compose and perform soundtracks to puppet rock operas and then do a tour comprising largely house shows. They curate huge video/dance/music shows for major New York museums, and then release their music only via DIY/independent labels.

Keeping that tradition of contrast alive the lads have teamed up with (Crass co-founder) Penny Rimbaud and released a record of punk songs and poetry. On the surface, that may sound like an odd combination, but this thing is truly a wild romp 'round Africa, the Bronx, San Pedro and Brooklyn, complete with faeries, bicycles and a few cans of spray paint. Japanther's infectious, free spirited trash hasn't let up a teeny bit, it's just gotten more focused and rad somehow. Rimbaud's churning, clever, degenerate cadence is an oddly fitting balance for Japanther's two-minute blasts.

These songs are consistent with the level of songwriting on their last "Skuffed Up My Huffy" LP. "Tut Tut, Now Shake Ya Butt" was recorded in late 2007, as the (band-curated and organized) Dino Deth Dans performance ran for three (sold out) nights at New York's PS122. On a special note, this record features a sleeper cover of Portland's New Bad Things' The Dirge! Holy Smokes.

RIYL: Screamers, Ramones, Beach Boys, garage sales, Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure