“Fiddling while DC burns” edition. A salve and tonic for tough friggin’ times. New stuff from GEE TEE, FEATURE and BEATNIKS, and a host of older material from the last five decades of sub-underground rocknroll, including CAN, LA DRUGS, THE KIWI ANIMAL(pictured), HALF JAPANESE, THIGH MASTER, TRÜMMERFRAUEN and BUTTER UTTER (!)
FEATURE – Schedules Align TRÜMMERFRAUEN – Gelbkreuz GEE TEE – Rev Arena FIREWORKS – She’s a Tornado ANGST – Neil Armstrong THE LONG BLONDES – Darts LA DRUGS – High School THIGH MASTER – Head of the Witch DISCO ZOMBIES – Mary Millington TACTICS – Watch My Hands RUBY PINS – My Friends Are Insane THE KIWI ANIMAL – Assassin BEATNIKS – Dreamless A-FRAMES – Test Tube Baby THE MIAMI DOLPHINS – Blender FEEDTIME – Motorbike Girl SCORPIO TUBE – Yellow Listen HALF JAPANESE – Girl Athletes BUTTER UTTER – Soho CAN – Oh Yeah
This irregular spin-off podcast from Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio is the place to cram your ears with 1 hour of deep, heavy, face-melting DUB from 1970s Jamaica. We pay close attention this time, on HEMORRHAGE IN DUB #4, to recent reissues on Pressure Sounds, Jamaican Recordings and Dub Store Records, and after doing the math, it’s come to our conclusion that King Tubby had a hand in over half of the tracks you’ll be listening to this time.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. Get a full handle on some of the most intense 70s dub of all time by pressing play, or by downloading this one now.
JOHNNY CLARKE & THE AGGROVATORS – A Ruffer Version TAPPA ZUKIE – Population Dub LINVAL THOMPSON – Africa Love Dub REVOLUTIONARIES – Cell Block Dub OSSIE ALL-STARS – Leggo Dub ERROL BROWN – Orthodox Dub IMPACT ALL-STARS – Maro JOHNNY CLARKE/KING TUBBY – Skanking With Pablo AUGUSTUS PABLO – 1 Ruthland Close THE AGGROVATORS/KING TUBBY – Channel Get Knockout SKIN FLESH & BONES – Dub to the Vein MORWELL UNLIMITED & KING TUBBY – John Bull GG ALL-STARS – Let Me Dub AFRICAN HEAD CHARGE – Crocodile Hand Luggage YABBY YOU & THE PROPHETS – Life Money Version
It’s the first Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio of 2017, and we’re hoping you’re gonna think it’s a whopper. Just over one hour, as always, this time with new stuff from RAYS (pictured; photo by Melissa Leitman), EXILES FROM CLOWNTOWN, GEE TEE, BALEINE 3000 and GROWTH, along with newer reissue material from SMALL WORLD EXPERIENCE, METAL URBAIN and DRIVER U.F.O.
There’s also some vault action from everyone from WIRE to GUIDED BY VOICES to THE GORIES. In order to get a handle on it, you’re going to need to press play.
GEE TEE – Thugs in Cars RAYS – Drop Dead TWILIGHTERS – Nothing Can Bring Me Down BALEINE 3000 – Fried Oyster THE MIAMI DOLPHINS – Carcrash NOTS – Dust Red THE GORIES – Drowning DRIVER U.F.O. – Cuisinart THE CLITS – Zoo Song WIRE – Outdoor Miner GUIDED BY VOICES – Break Even METAL URBAIN – Paris Maquis PATSY – Nazis Are So Plain THE LAST SONS OF KRYPTON – Atom Bomb GIBSON BROS – My Young Life SMALL WORLD EXPERIENCE – Get Lost CRASH NORMAL – Moon Food BONA DISH – 8am GROWTH – Ice Age EXILES FROM CLOWNTOWN – Oh Well
(Originally posted on my Agony Shorthand blog, June 2006)
COUNTRY TEASERS : “THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK” CD……
Every couple years or so our old friends the COUNTRY TEASERS seem to come around with a new one chock full of jaunty skiffles, nasally rants and weirdo keyboard-based dirges, and every couple years the payoff amounts to about a solid B-, give or take a grade.
Oh, I’ve sort of said otherwise in the past, but the march of time & the wisdom of age has helped me to understand why I’m seeing the glass as half empty this time. To read the hyperbole spilled out on these guys every release, you’d think that these discs were something you’d wanna put on time & again, day in and day out all year, because these guys are such a wildly inventive gas. I don’t know about that; I can honestly say that for all my respect for this act, dragging their discs out of storage for repeat play doesn’t happen a whole hell of a lot. Allow me to explain.
First, let’s establish what’s good about this CD and about the Teasers in general. I’ve always liked the total ramshackle construction of their songs & the fuck-all way lead nihilist Ben Wallers slurs out his words. Everything about the band appears to be so inborn & with nary a thought to what folks think that they’re capable of some real naval-gazing bedroom genius at times. Every record has a couple of doozies. When they’re hitting on all six cylinders, a better FALL-inspired Northern European post-punk aggro country band can’t be found. You’ll find that band on this record’s “Points of View” and closing “Please Ban Music/Gegen Alles”, and it’s a real treat.
My concerns lie on two fronts. Ever since a friend gave me a tape of this at-the-time-unrecorded band around 1992 or so, I’ve quickly tired of Wallers’ insistence on punctuating every record with his giggle-giggle-I’m-so-bad “transgressive words” – “Jew”, “coon”, “Hitler”, “blacks”, “queer” etc. Once you get a politically incorrect
titter out of the listener – and believe me, I will always love a smartly-delivered right hook to the word police – what’s left? It appears that entire songs continue to be built around slipping said words into the lyrics, and that’s about as boring as bean curd.
But that’s not as big a deal as the aforementioned staying power of the music. You folks that talk about the Teasers like they’re consistently awesome and are such brave radical musical iconoclasts, are you seriously cranking this up and playing it for your pals? Because a large chunk of it’s dull dull dull, meandering with no direction forward, backward nor home – just made-up-on-the-point garbage (or highly calculated to sound that way, I don’t know).
I read three reviews of this thing already just this past couple weeks that posit that it’s the
goddamn musical second coming. Midheaven Mailorder, flacking for this thing on their web site, ask the very easily answerable question, “Is there another current group operating at such a high level musically or lyrically?”. Wow, probably not, right? The evidence is overwhelming! Seriously, did you guys even listen to this thing?
I repeat myself – The Country Teasers are a solid B- band all the way around, and this thing comes off the shelves for reevaluation again in 2008 at the earliest.
Dynamite Hemorrhage #3 is an 84-page music fanzine devoted to sub-underground music from the last five decades. Like the previous ones, this is an 8.5″x11″ MAGAZINE with a color cover and B&W insides. I put it out in May 2016, and I’ve still got copies for sale now for $5.99/each.
– The definitive story of THE VELVET UNDERGROUND APPRECIATION
SOCIETY, as told through an interview with VUAS founder Phil Milstein.
Find out what it was like to lead the secret society of Velvets fiends
in the 1970s and how Milstein managed VUAS with the fans and with the
Velvet Underground members themselves.
– An epic, Homeric oral history of wiry & jagged 1980s San Francisco pop band WORLD OF POOH, as told by band members Barbara Manning, Brandan Kearney and Jay Paget themselves, as well as choice anecdotes from those who witnessed their rise, reign and collapse
– In-depth interviews with four of the finest acts making rock and
roll music in the year 2016: WHITE FENCE (Tim Presley); Portland, OR’s
LITHICS; Oakland’s RAYS and Auckland’s THE COOLIES
– An interview with phenomenal lost folk singer SIBYLLE BAIER, whose
early 1970s recordings from Germany appeared a decade ago and stunned
the world. We found her & gave her the Dynamite Hemorrhage
once-over, and then went and interviewed & celebrated five of her
ghostly folk “heirs” (MAXINE FUNKE, JULIE BYRNE, ALLYSEN CALLERY, JOANNE
ROBERTSON and MYRIAM GENDRON) as well as part of the piece
– “BELOW THE FLYING NUN”, Gregor Kessler’s piece on some of the wildest and most obscure New Zealand 45s of the 1980s
– An interview with SARA FANCY, aka “Sara” from early 80s UK DIY acts
Sara Goes Pop and Amos & Sara. You’ll learn about her journey from
the squats of Europe to the bodybuilding competitions of the 90s to the
tranquil equine therapy practice she leads today. A fascinating glimpse
and first look back she’s given on her time spent making music with Jim
Welton (aka L Voag, Amos etc.)
– The first-ever posthumous interview with early 80s all-female
Belgian punk band UNIT 4, who surfaced on the “FM-BX Society Tape” in
1981 with four amazing songs of shimmering Kleenex/Delta 5/Au Pairs-ish
– David Perron’s “FREE FORM FREAKOUT” column of outside and experimental tape & LP releases from the last year
– Jay Hinman and Erika Elizabeth also wrote 82 record reviews devoted
to the nether regions of sub-underground rocknroll and elsewhere
Not a best-of 2016 show, but a compendium of almost entirely 2016 material from the likes of CAR, THE MIAMI DOLPHINS (pictured), NEUTRAL, GROUPER, LES POSTERS, PURPUR SPYTT, THE STACHES, URANIUM CLUB, AMATEUR HOUR and many other leading lights from the sub-underground. I found a way to harness the Now Sound of late 2016 in one 62-minute episode in hopes that you’ll be finding your new favorite band or artist during that hour.
THE MIAMI DOLPHINS – Quail Birth CAR – Pretty Seriously Mad URANIUM CLUB – That Clown’s Got a Gun LES POSTERS – European Eyes MARS – 3E (live 1978) BLANK SQUARE – I Was High NEUTRAL – Gaze CARLA DAL FORNO – Fast Moving Cars GROUPER – Headache DADAMAH – Nicotine LEDA – Clear PURPUR SPYTT – Limp DOCTOR NOD – I’m The Creator THE STACHES – Fury AQUARIAN BLOOD – I’m Lit NOPES – Screens AMATEUR HOUR – Down
I get the same sort of scratchy, lo-fi, intensely enveloping sense of distortion & spacelessness that we heard in Dadamah twenty-plus years ago from them. One track will include ethereal vocals much like Liz Fraser’s from Cocteau Twins; the next might be a formless instrumental that sounds like as if someone’s flipped on a 1940s-era generator & just let it hum in the background.
Someone needed to get to the bottom of the Amateur Hour conundrum, so I nominated myself and set to work. Interview conducted via email in December 2016.
Amateur Hour: Dan Johansson, Hugo Randulv, Julia Bjernelind
Dynamite Hemorrhage: The Amateur Hour album is a beautiful mix of murky, experimentally-tinged pop and a darker, more strange sort of electric folk that could probably be called “psych” for lack of a better term. When the three of you sat down to make music, how did you verbalize what you wanted to sound like?
Hugo: The way i see it, we want to make simple and beautiful pop music. But we
have never rehearsed or written any songs together, so all the music on
the album is either improvised or recorded on its own and then placed
together with other sounds to make it fit into the idea or thing that we
were going for. We rarely talk about how things should sound before we
meet. It’s all pretty much decided the very moment we start recording.
Dynamite Hemorrhage: Tracks like “Get Fucked” aren’t really music per se,
but that might be my favorite piece on the album. What were you going
for with that one, and how would you describe how it was made?
Julia: Hugo and Dan had made an instrumental piece they showed me, and they said I
could do anything i wanted with it. It was really dreamy and soothing, still very melancholic and sad. I wrote the lyrics and we just recorded it. That’s how we do with most songs. We try not to think about or talk too much about what we’re doing. I think the lyrics are about alcohol abuse in this one.
Dynamite Hemorrhage: There’s a “Garlands”-era Cocteau Twins feel to some of the tracks, such as “Paradise Lost”, with a lot of swirling synth & multi-tracked, sugary vocals. Is that band an intentional influence – and if not them, whom?
Hugo: Cocteau Twins is definitely a band that have had a big influence on me, at least. I think that kind of dreamy-sounding pop music from some of the bands on 4AD and artists like Julee Cruise and Virginia Astley has had an impact on our sound. Otherwise i guess we draw inspiration from all over the place. From early industrial music and noise to some indiepop music, like the bands on Sarah records.
Dynamite Hemorrhage: Julianna Barwick is another (significantly less smudgy/DIY) artist whose music slots in well next to yours (at least I think so), but I suspect you’re going for something a little less ear-friendly on most tracks. Would you agree with the comparison, and if not, who else currently making music would you prefer to align your approach with?
Hugo: I had never heard of Julianna Barwick before, i probably should have though, it sounds great! I totally get the comparison, but i think the thing we do is a little bit more focused on the improvisation and make up stuff as you go kind of work method. Our songs are not so much compositions as it is like a sonic collage made up of stuff we have recorded on different occasions, and then afterwards put into a context.
I wish I could namedrop a bunch of currently working artists that we feel have something in common with. but i honestly can’t think of one. One the other hand, I am not really too up to date with what’s out there…
Dynamite Hemorrhage: I get the sense from various things that are dribbling out & from fanzines like FÖRDÄMNINGthat there continues to be a pretty deep Swedish musical underground of DIY noisemakers, off-centered rock bands and artists of many strange colors. How true is that for you, living there, and are you content with what’s right there in Gothenburg?
Hugo: I feel that there is a pretty strong, although extremely small, scene in Gothenburg at the moment. But it’s hard to get an outsider’s perspective of it since I know most of the people very well, and play with a handful of the projects that could be tied to this scene. But it continues to inspire and a handful of really, really good releases tend to come out every year so I’m really glad about it.
Dynamite Hemorrhage: How much better or worse is it for you to be making music in Gothenburg as opposed to Stockholm?
Hugo: I don’t know actually, i have been living in Gothenburg for my entire
life and don’t know too much about the scene in over there. But
Gothenburg has always had a very healthy music scene. But the eyes are
mostly set on Stockholm so a lot of the stuff in Gothenburg remains
fairly underground, which is a both good and a bad thing.
Dynamite Hemorrhage: Where has Amateur Hour played live so far, and what goes into a live Amateur Hour performance? Your first gig, which is on YouTube,
looks like you did everything from flip on some tapes and sing to play
together in a pretty “standard” guitar/guitar/drums lineup.
Julia: The one on YouTube is actually the only gig we’ve done so far. It was at Folk in Gothenburg; we were the opening act for Neil Hagerty. Since we’re not like a regular rock band that rehearses two times a week, we didn’t really have a repertoire, so we decided in what order we’d play the songs and how some of them could be played live. It was pretty hard with some of them, like Sprängd, that was improvised while we all were really drunk.
We tried not to make it too much like a singer/songwriter gig and not too noisy and wild. Somewhere in between, I guess.
Dynamite Hemorrhage: Online I’ve found that “Amateur Hour contains members from Enhet För Fri Musik, Makthaverskan and Westkust”. What can you tell me about those bands – and where does Amateur Hour fall in your lists of musical priorities?
Julia: Hugo has been playing in Makthaverskan since he was 16 I think, and me and
Hugo met during 2010 when we started playing in Westkust. We had always
been talking about making more experimental music together since we’re
both big fans to a lot of post-punk bands like Birthday Party etc, but
nothing really happened. Then Hugo and Dan got to know each other when
Hugo went to Sewer Election (Dan’s band) gigs and started talking. They
formed Enhet För FrI Musik and then they asked me if I wanted to do some
vocals on a new project. And Amateur Hour was created.
Hugo: Yeah, and since both Mathaverskan and Westkust are more traditional “rehearse
and write songs together” kinds of bands, both me and Julia really
enjoyed the freedom of writing songs the way we do in Amateur Hour.
Enhet för fri musik, which consists of me, Dan, Gustaf Dicksson, Sofie
Herner and Matthias Andersson, have a bit of the same working method as
Amateur Hour, but even more chaotic i think.
Dynamite Hemorrhage: You’ve got an album in an edition of 100, a “dub plate” single in an edition of 20, and a tape in an edition of 60. Is that really all you envisioned selling or giving away?
Hugo: Both the LP album and the cassette tape was released on labels closely connected to the band. I run the Forever United label with some friends, and me and Dan are
involved in the the Förlag För Fri Musik label with the rest of Enhet
för fri musik. The 7″ was released on Folk records. I guess we did such a
limited number of records just because it’s cheaper and more convenient
to not have a bunch of records that no one wants lying around your
place. i think there is also a beautiful thing in something that is not
available just through a click with your computer or whatever. It’s done
in a few copies, and that’s that!
Dynamite Hemorrhage: What else do the three of you do to get by and live life? Work, families etc.
Hugo: No one of us get any money at all from the various musical projects we are
involved in, so we have to get by with day jobs or studies…
Dynamite Hemorrhage: It’s only been half a year since your first gig and just a little over that since you started releasing material. Where do you intend to take this project in 2017?
Hugo: We have been doing some recordings recently and hope to be finished with our second album in 2017.