It occurred to me, perhaps a bit too late, that I did not include any information on the selections in
Jukebox Heart 011: Oh Pity Us Who Still Believe In The Revolution. So, I’m including it now.
This podcast was indeed a simultaneous statement and indictment of my own personal politics. I generally keep my politics to myself, engaging in discussion only with people who have some meaning and relevance in my life. I don’t believe in proselytizing to put an agenda forth on anyone. Rather, I choose to live my life as an example of my politics and let people interpret as they are able. In any case, that all having been said, here’s some info about the music you heard in JBH011.
Coco Steel and Lovebomb – Harlem
(em:t 0094 – em:t records cd 1994)
Though Coco, Steel & Lovebomb grew out of the techno community, the group blends elements of garage, soul and disco with only an ambient-techno blueprint. After Coco (aka Chris Mellor) began DJing at the Brighton club Zap, his acid-house sets grew popular in the wake of the late-80s house explosion. With partner Steel (aka Lene [Stokes]), and Craig Woodrow (aka Lovebomb), he formed Coco, Steel & Lovebomb After taking three years to record debut album It!, they released it in 1994. An ambient outing, New World, followed in 1997, and that is my favorite work of theirs. This track is representative of their more ambient work. But their “Set Me Free” trackis probably their most recognizable, if you are a club goon… The label, em:t, is a wildly collectible imprint, with copies of their first-gen releases bringing in hundreds of dollars. They went bankrupt in 1998 and everything suddenly went out of print. The were one of the first to use the legendary Designer’s Republic firm for their branding. The second generation “em:t records”, which is discussed in the website, has already been launched and folded after a handful of releases. For more information about like minded music, try this mailing list.
Locust – Morning Light/Just Like You
(Morning Light – Apollo CD 1997)
Locust (not to be confused with US band “The Locust”) is one of the many projects of London musician and one of my personal heroes, Mark van Hoen.Visit his website and listen to some of the clips from the many albums shown there and you will begin to understand why. He has also produced some familiar bands like Mojave 3, Sing Sing, Scala (oh, yes!), Velma and Edison Woods. Vocals on this were performed by the wonderful Craig Bethel, whose recent album, A Day Full Of You, A Night Tired Of Me, is out now and prioduced by Mark…
Not Drowning, Waving – John Wayne Visits Port Augusta
– Once LIke This
(Another Pond – Rampant LP 1984)
Not Drowning, Waving, were a musical group formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1983 (though they first performed as a group in 1984) by David Bridie and John Phillips. Their music combined elements of rock, ambient music and world music; their lyrics dealt with characteristically Australian topic: word-pictures of landscapes and people, the seasons, and some political issues (such as Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor). Their name is derived from Stevie Smith’s poem “Not Waving but Drowning”. In the 1980s, Not Drowning, Waving visited Papua New Guinea playing several concerts and meeting George Telek with whom they would record the Tabaran album. Not Drowning, Waving were the support band for Peter Gabriel on his first and only tour of Australia in 1994. The group disbanded in 1994 but Bridie and Mountfort continued to perform with their successful offshoot venture My Friend The Chocolate Cake which they had formed in 1989. November 4 2001 saw a short reunion of Not Drowning, Waving at the Corner Hotel in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond for the launch for the book ‘Blunt: A Biased History of Australian Rock’. On February 28 2003, they reunited again for The Morning Star Concert For West Papua at the Melbourne Concert Hall. The reunion was rekindled in earnest for several months starting in March 2005 when the band, together with George Telek, performed twice at the 2005 WOMADelaide festival. Several other performances followed – at the 10th Fest’Napuan in Port Vila, Vanuatu; the Corner Hotel in Richmond, Australia; and the Northcote Social Club, Northcote, Australia. The band’s final show with the full lineup (as listed above) took place at Festival Melbourne2006 in the Alexandra Gardens, a free concert for Melbourne’s Commonwealth Games celebrations on March 25 2006.
Six Twilights – Tonight I’m Letting You Drive
(Six Twilights – Own Records CD 2007)
Six Twilights is a music and video project by Aaron Gerber of the Portland based band A Weather.
The music is a collection of carefully recorded bits of hushed, delicate male and female vocals, warm acoustic guitars and melancholy piano all rearranged in non-repetative patterns which sometimes resemble songs in the traditional sense and sometimes veer more towards ambient electronic atmospheres. The accompaning DVD is a visual conterpoint to the music: tiny moments of nostalgic, essentialized forms swaying and bending to the warm rushes of sound. I bought this because it looked intertesting and I trust my instincts. What a prize…
Liquorice – Drive Around
(Listening Cap – 4AD LP 1995)
Liquorice was a kind of indy superstar band featuring Dan Littleton of Ida, Trey Many of His Name is Alive and Jen Twomey of Grenadine, Tsunami and, well, Jennifer Twomey. Produced and Recorded by Warren Defever. This wonderful album got inexplicably rotten reviews, but I get the feeling they were written by those who could not possess Ms. Twomey. That’s the only kind of subtext that would explain some of the drivel I’ve read about this.
And Liquorice moving to 4AD for this was a coup, given Warren D.’s connections there via his own band, and the Trey Many link as well. This whole album is filled with a wry sense of humor as well as a surrender to romance – a fabulous combination.
Low – I Remember
(Immune – Tugboat 7-inch 1999)
This is the rare non-LP alernate version, sung by her rather than him…
Force.Fed – no title
(Various Artists – Infiltrate 6 – Rice and Beans LP 2004)
First, I left the title out of the original bl0g entry: Microthoughts For System Format.
I don’t know much about this project, except that it is shrouded in mystery and one of the projects of Skymall. Rice and Beans, the imprint, has an interesting history. It is a Beta Bodega Coalition label, and operated from 2000 to 2005. Originally, Rice And Beans was a short lived t-shirt line started in early 1996 by La Mano Fria and Lord SP, ended in 1997. Brought back again in 2000 to serve as a record label for BBC. Rice And Beans also had its special series, Rise And Defeat. After completing mission, label was deactivated in 2005, returning in 2006 to original duties, to carry a social and political message through La Mano Fria t-shirt designs. Today, Rice And Beans is the official clothing line of Beta Bodega Coalition, based and manufactured in BBC chapter RL66 headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
The Fleetwoods – Care So Much
(45 – Liberty Records 1959)
A totally groovy 45 with some funky background stuff. First, this is the flipside of the 45 shown in the original blog entry. “Come Softly To Me” was first pressed by Dolton (aka Dolphin) records, a Seatlle based imprint. While the Fleetwoods first record, “Come Softly To Me” was such a big hit, it was the first record put out by the imprint. Dolton was so overwhelmed by the demand for the record that it had to be picked up by Liberty for distro. Despite this, the label is probably best known for The Ventures. The Fleetwoods were way ahead of their time. Their arrangement owes more to the background beat culture (bongoes and acoustic guitar only) than to any of the commercial pop music of the time. The flip, “Care So Much” is featured here, and juxtaposed wth a current song with similar arrangement sensibility. And given the repressed tenor of the times, pictures of the group featuring group members Gretchen and Barbara hanging off each of the arms of Gary, dressed in a sailor’s uniform, sent rumors flying. The fact that the title of the hit song featured the word “Come” had people whispering and giggling around jukeboxes nationwide. In a recent interview, Gretchen and Barbara both expressed their horror, when, at the tender age of 20 years, revealed that they didn’t understand all of the controversy and that they had no idea of “that meaning” of the word. Uh-huh. Yes, it’s pretty hilarious…
The Boats – I’m Talking Facts, Not Shit
(Tomorrow Time – Moteer CD 2006)
The Boats features Craig Tattersall, one of the members of Hood, The Remote Viewer and The Famous Boyfriend — all staple bands in the Jukebox Heart world. Unfortunately, all of their releases appear to be out of print and dreadfully collectible – you really gotta jump on these when they come out. I managed to pull this one out of a clearance bin for a couple of bucks. The label itself is run by the folks in The Remote Viewer and carries on with all the charm you’d expect…
Helios – A Rising Wind
(Ayres – Type Records LP 2007)
It hasn’t been long since Keith Kenniff’s gorgeous collection of gauzy, cinematic sound-poems, Eingya slipped into the consciousness. In a short space of time, the Boston-based multi-instrumentalist has become awash with acclaim and been invited to perform numerous live dates around Europe, something which gave life and inspiration to this latest collection of work. Those who managed to catch him on the most recent tour will already be aware that Keith has just taken up his most breathtaking instrument yet — his voice, and Ayres is his first exploration of this new-found talent. Eingya, his previous effort, managed with the simplest of means to show just how crushing Keith’s songwriting was, but here he pieces together five gorgeous “songs” and one inspired cover with devastating results. Combining his many musical loves, Keith manages somehow to bring in the warring elements of indie-pop, experimental electronics, folk and world music, resulting in a sound which is distinctly his own; these might be songs in the traditional sense, but there’s little traditional about the way they have been produced. Decaying synthesizer sounds trip up over carefully strummed guitars and expertly carved percussion — take opening track “A Rising Wind,” which is maybe the most effortless display of Keith’s talents; this is a slow burning epic, beginning with the simplest of sound-palettes and growing into a jubilant dream-pop masterpiece. Elsewhere, standout track “The Obeisant Vine” blends the hazy nostalgic electronics of Brian Eno with the songwriting heart of The Innocence Mission, leaving you gasping for more. By the time the mini-album ends with a cover of “In Heaven,” that song from David Lynch’s seminal Eraserhead, you realize you have spent half an hour in Helios’ world, and it’s a world you’ll want to escape to again and again.
The Last Poets – True Blues
(Jazzoetry – Douglas LP 1975)
Originally released in 1975, the Last Poets (who took their name from a poem by South African poet Willie Kgositsile) used the term ‘Jazzoetry’ to describe their own syncopated style of politicized, jazz-laced spoken word, unwittingly laying the groundwork for the entire hip hop genre. The group used their hard-hitting proto-rap verses to teach solidarity and condemn America’s inherent racism, a position that earned them FBI surveillance.
Brooklyn Funk Essentials – The Revolution Was Postponed Because of Rain
(Cool and Steady and Easy – Dorado CD 1994)
Brooklyn Funk Essentials were a musical group who mixed jazz, funk, and hip hop collective featuring musicians and poets from different cultures. The band was conceived in 1993 by producer Arthur Baker and bassist and musical director Lati Kronlund. In the mid-1990s the group became a staple of the New York City club scene.
Their debut album Cool and Steady and Easy (1994) scored an underground hit with the rendition of Pharoah Sanders’ “The Creator Has a Master Plan”. The following album, In The Buzz Bag (1998), included Turkish folk music rhythms and instruments, recorded in consortium with the Turkish clarinettist Hüsnü ?enlendirici.
Golden Palominos – The Ambitions Are
(Dead Inside – Restless CD, 1996)
The Golden Palominos were an American musical group headed by drummer and composer Anton Fier, first formed in 1981 either after or during his tenure with The Feelies, I’m not quite sure of that. Apart from Fier, the Palominos membership was wildly elastic. While the Palominos records usually featured a core set of musicians and emotional feel though the bulk of an album, various guest appearances would result in some stylistic changes from track to track. This particular GP release is particularly disturbing in its images of violence, deception and brutality coupled with the claustrophobic illbient-era slow, pounding beats. Nicole Blackman has the perfect voice for the delivery of this imagery and her sense of rhythm is impeccable, even if the mix is a little heavy.
Ted Milton/Andreas Gerth/Paddy Steer – Oh Pity Us
(Oh Pity Us – Hausmusik LP 2000)
Ted Milton (Blurt), Andreas Gerth (Ogonjok, Tied & Tickled Trio) and Paddy Steer (ex-Biting Tingues) all come together for this brilliant EP. Ted Milton is founding member of Blurt, and has a susbtantial body of music in his own name as well.
Letters Letters – Dealer Dealer
(Letters Letters – Type Records 2007)
This is the debut album from Montreal/Chicago trio Letters Letters, a band made up of veteran electronic music producer Mitchell Akiyama, singer Jenna Robertson and producer/singer Tony Boggs. Mitchell Akiyama has been an active part of the music scene for some time now as a solo artist, label boss and collaborator with various other musicians, most notably with Boggs (as Désormais) and Robertson (as Avia Gardener), but this is the first time the three musicians have put their heads together and created something which absolutely defies their earlier work. Turning electronic music and post-rock on its head, Letters Letters instead decided to look to the early ’80s. With broken synthesizers, fizzled-out drum machines and the usual arsenal of guitars and overdriven amplifiers, they managed to figure out a perfect pop formula. Taking the usual hooks and choruses and feeding them through a mire of grimy effects, they ended up with something flickering and desperately neon-colored. Music for day-glo wrist bands and basement parties, this is a fresh take on the DIY lo-fi scene, and even if the whole fanzine culture has broken down, making way for blogs and webzines, it doesn’t mean we have to lose touch with the grittier side of life. Touching on themes as diverse as sex, drugs and the all-important unicorn scene in Blade Runner, there shouldn’t be any reason not to usher Letters Letters into your life immediately.
Dog Faced Hermans – Keep Your Laws Off My Body
(These Deep Buds – Alternative Tentacles CD 1994)
Formed in Scotland in the mid-’80s, Dog Faced Hermans began as a close cousin to the jittery, semi-atonal Ron Johnson Records sound, with a few curious fillips: vocalist Marion Coutts, a striking onstage figure with trumpet and distinctive gestures, sang curious intellectual-poetic lyrics (“Enzymes do the protein march/Hm baa hm baa hm baa hm baa,” began their first EP), and the band — Colin on bass, Wilf playing a drum kit augmented with metal scraps and Andy (later of the Ex as well) getting all kinds of strange noises out of his guitar — were liable to break into an old folk song. The disc collecting their first two EPs and a single finds them not quite in their groove, though it’s got a couple of DFH classics: the gleeful “Mary Houdini” and covers of “John Henry” and the WWII Italian partisan song “Bella Ciao.” By the turn of the decade, they’d relocated to Amsterdam and released a superb single, the never-on-album “Time Bomb” (no relation to the EP). Their close association with the Ex resulted in a joint tour of Europe, a split cassette and “Stonestamper’s Song,” a tremendous collaborative single recorded under the name Ex Faced Hermans.
März – Blaue Faden
(Wir Sind Hier – Karaoke Kalk LP 2004)
A relatively obscure – and fantastic – project by the famed and prolific German producer and musician Ekkehard Ehlers.