Agony Shorthand

Monday, December 13, 2004
STRANGE NOTES, 12/13/04.....Hola, amigos. Been a long time since I rapped at ya. A few things on my mind....After all the excitement I spilled over those first two FIERY FURNACES discs, they were bound to take it down a notch with a mediocre release, and that's just what the latest 45/CD-EP "Single Again / Evergreen" is. Relentlessly mediocre MERSH, I might add -- lovely melodies and singing, sure, but nothing that 110 other indie rock bands can't pull off with aplomb, not the bizarre blood-rush of creativity and harmonic garage pop of their two full-lengths. I'll still stick around in the front row with my big #1 foam finger, cheering them on for the next one....Another disc I'm a little piqued about is that DR. ALIMANTADO "BEST DRESSED CHICKEN IN TOWN" thing. Years of others' hype preceded my ultimate purchase of it; then I heard the great "I Killed The Barber" with the loopy "Ali Baba" sample and insanely deep dub, and I took the plunge. The CD's not bad by any means, but it's woefully uneven from track to track -- at times wacked-out & bent beyond belief, other times smooth lovers' reggae/soul that you can hear in any California dorm room if you listen closely enough.

One thing I'm totally enjoying is the CD of "GIRLS IN THE GARAGE, VOL. 2", which has more sunshine 60s punk and under-produced, ham-handed AM radio wannabes than you can likely handle in a single sitting. Some crap, of course, but even better than the first CD collection, with the inclusion this time of some 60s ye-ye classics as well....Got a CD in the mail from the good folks at GULCHER by a lost 1982 Indiana college rock band called RED GLANCE ("Swirls Away"). At times it's got a terrific prototypical nervous Midwest underground pop vibe, like THE EMBARRASSMENT, MORTAL MICRONOTZ or non-Midwesterners EXPANDO BRAIN from a few years later, but I'd be lying if I told you I can easily digest those horribly out-of-tune vocals. They really do rain hard on an otherwise solid parade of above-average lite psychedelia....Finally, let it be said that I listened to your feedback on MILES DAVIS' "On The Corner", and thanks to a CD-R made by Good American DP, I'm now part of your ranks, the "On The Corner" partisans. That first side, the continuous track with 5 different titles, is just a monster afro-funk skronker, with a set of complex polyrhythms that, while not in the least impenetrable, is certainly not made for your dancin' shoes. I think that's why it was compared to "Ege Bamyasi" -- I sure see the connection, even if those krazy krauts and mean Miles never got wind of each other's latest adventuresome happenings. That's all for now, keep your feet on the ground etc.!!