Get With It With Debbie Hurry
“Hurry up, hurry up and wait. I stay away all week and still I wait. I got the blues. Please come see, What your lovin’ means to me” – “Sunday Girl”
I'm back: the trakMARX Bunker wastebin was flooded with letters of appreciation for my thoughts on last month’s bundles, so Encoule has decided to let me live. Just for another issue, though. It's not really a full pardon, more like a stay of execution!
Just remember: "Happiness is not the number of blessings, but only our attitude towards them" - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Also remember: "Happines, unbroken, is a bore; it should have it's ups and downs" - Moliere
. . . and so, without further adieu, je review pour vous!
Beirut – “Gulag Orkestar” (4AD)
Zach Condon - aka Beirut - is a twenty year old solo artist who recorded this, his debut EP, in his bedroom....and it's a stunning achievement.
This Albuquerque born and now Brooklyn based boy has travelled extensively around Europe, picking up musical influences along the way and stitching them together to make an evocative, brightly coloured, patchwork quilt of musical delight.
Day of the Dead, Mexican trumpets lead in the opening, title track. Sumptuous accordions, violins and mandolins...to name but a few.....take you by the hand and lead you in a dance across eastern Europe into the heart of the Balkans - If you love a bit of drama- and I do- then you'll be instantly mesmerised - and I was.
This collection of little gems, speak to me of Life on the road. Warm yourself by the campfire and listen to heart rending tales of lives lived and loves lost thrown from the back of gypsy wagon.
Zach has a beautiful, crystal clear voice that here and there puts me in mind of David Burn or even Jeff Buckley, but at the end of the day is far too gorgeous and unique to bear comparison.
Each track moved me. Literally got me out of my seat and made me clap my hands and stamp my feet. - It spoke to my gypsy soul- and I didn't even know I had one!!
Definitely and without reservation, my album of the month.
Steve Hooker – “Stagger Lee is Back - All killer No Filler” (NV records)
On the sleeve - Black leather pants, black shirt, quiffed up hair, two gunshot holes and Wild West type set....I guess I was fairly sure what I was going to get before I unwrapped this little number and I wasn't disappointed.
Hang on a sec while I tether my ride, kick back my spurs, spark up a cheroot and tip back my Stetson......ah...that's better....now set 'em up Joe.....there's gonna be some knee lifting tonight!
"No hired hands can ever match the wild bunch that ride together for kicks!"
The wild bunch? Steve, Terry and Eddie - Guitar, Bass and Drums.....after all that's really all you need to make some fair old foot stomping, thigh slapping, dirty sounding rock 'n' roll!
With a record sheet that includes 70's punk bands, the Vibrators and The Heat, 80's rhythm 'n' bluesers, The Shakers, Boz and the Bozmen, Cadillac, Captain Drugbuster and Wilko Johnson. There's a fistful of musical experience here and a saddlebag of accomplishment to boot.
Slide guitars, steady, pounding drums, rolling bases. 'Black Train, White City', 'Swamp Trick' and 'Candyman' to name but a few of tunes that will lasso, rope, tie and brand you forever Stagger Lee!
Hot Club De Paris – “Drop It Till It Pops” (Moshi Moshi Records)
Matthew, Alasdair and Paul are Hot Club De Paris and were formed...er judging from the accents somewhere up north, back in 2004....and thank god I say....I love 'em!
Heavily driven, frenetic drums team up with funky furious bass and track after track is chock full of youthful exuberance and boyish, energetic charm.
They claim to be influenced by Minuteman, Black Flag and CapN'Jazz and write songs about 'everyday stuff'....aww...bless 'em.
Kooky, chucklesome lyrics, clever catchy hooks and closely harmonised, tuneful vocals - I dare you not to have a warm, fuzzy-felted, friendly feeling for this well formed and distinctly rounded three- piece.
Honestly musical and disarmingly unpretentious...'Snitches get Stitches' and 'Hello, I wrote this song for you called "Welcome to the Jungle"' were among my favourites.
Apparently they own a white van too...and frequently travel up and down the country shedding their musical light on the far flung reaches of the UK...yet again I say thank god...we should cherish and we should give thanks
Garden of Earthly Delights – “A Lovely Bit of Roach” (Mix Tape)
Now this is strange fish - a live mix, one hour and five minute of continuous trackage, which unlike the brand name suggests, seems to be from another planet entirely (erm, it’s from Milton Keynes – Ed).
Free form psychedelic sounds, strings, drums, repeating themes and airs which resolve, swirl, change direction and keep your ears in a state of flux. A trippy, acidic noise-scape, that is not for the musically faint of heart, or for those who enjoy a good old fashioned sing along.
Guitars, bleeps, bizarre robot voices, detuned synths, maddening squeaks and lunar howls. It's like the score for a "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" style nightmare.
If you like to get freaked while you drop a micro-dot or if you are simply looking for something to perform your satanic rituals to, then this is definitely your baby.
I have to admit that I could only manage forty seven minutes before the urge to open an artery and slowly bleed to death became too great to bear.
Dennis Bagwell – “Paid in Full” (Battery Face)
Apparently, what I have here in my 'Demonic Possession', is a copy of the second spoken word CD from Orange County punk poet Dennis Bagwell!
Well I guess that clears that up! Because I was wondering.
This is serious stuff. Stern, biting and at times clever and insightful, but also at times repetitive in its themes and arguments. Maybe with good reason.
Recorded through a close, popping, fuzzy microphone, like interference on a detuned radio, 'Paid in Full' is sparse, jarring and so full of personal and national truths that it is at once commendable and difficult....but that, I think, may be the point.
You are not supposed to feel at ease while listening to this collection of ideas and opinions.
Politics, War, Religion, The flag, The Constitution, Racism and deep sense of disillusion are the motivating forces behind these poems which raise important questions about just what it means to be an American in this day and age.
I offer kudos and respect....
PO BOX 7522 BURBANK CA 91510
Dennis Most and the Instigators – “I'm Not Dead Yet” (Private Press)
Singer, songwriter, producer, arranger and performer! Phew, Dennis does it all and he's been doing it all for a long, long time and you know what? Yes, you guessed it. He's not dead yet!!
The Instigators have been around in varying forms since 1979. So credit where credit’s due. Nearly thirty years of mashed up punk, new wave, psychedelic-hard rock is no mean feat.
Having said all that, I was hard pushed to find much that really appealed to me on this 10-track demo - except a couple of covers that included The Stooges "Down on the Streets" - and my personal favourite - "Angela" - by the Pagans.
Kaniget – “Kaniget” (Private Press)
"Long ago and far away in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, Dark Angels, there appeared a vision of.....Kaniget"
Well, all I can say is, thank god it was a long time ago....and far, far away...actually the further the better!
I hate to be damming....but I hate even more to be insincere...so here it is...this really is a ten track trial for the ears.
Every song sounded the same. The same chords...the same key...the same arrangement of tinny sounding instruments and the same pitiful, dreary, out of tune vocals.
The PR promised me "Sharp wit, sarcasm and dry humour"....Oh dear! "Heavy, head-banging, foot stomping, yet fun" was also on the menu.
Yes I did bang my head - on my desk.....begging it to stop!
Kaniget any worse?....I don't think so!
Anton Barbeau – “Drug Free” (Pink Hedgehog)
There's something that I find strangely appealing about Anton Barbeau.
Drug Free sounds like it was recorded in the mid-seventies by a bunch of tripped-out, glammed-up, platform heeled hippies. Is this the dawning of the Age of Aquarius? Is the Moon in Uranus? No this is Anton Barbeau and they is faaaaaaar out!
I'd actually listened to seven of the thirteen tracks before I opened the case and took a look at the sleeve notes, only to find a pic of the band lolling about near some ancient standing stones. Class!
The vocals are tight and pleasantly strangled as if coming to your ear through a tin can and a bit of string.
It's quirky, infinitely musical, full of interest and hugely enjoyable. Fiddles, Hammonds, 12 strings and minor keys make for some easy listening while you're sucking on your bong!
This might just be your scene man. Boomshanka!
Debbie Hurry – tMx 27 – 11/06
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