LSDV, Psycho Soldiers

Smokey Bear’s Cave, August 31

I’ve never quite understood it, and duo partner Joe Mygan is to humble to say more than it’s a lot of fun, but LSDV (Language Sex Drugs Violence), with Pat Chaney, spits sound out on the same tape as video, onscreen into the Smokey Bear’s Cave basement wall. The two man levers at a desk like fighter pilots, and tonight’s show had a military theme, with camouflaged foot soldiers sharing space with adult film actresses. Indeed, there’s your sex and violence! Here are some notes:

Battlefield blitz the psycho soldiers slide in camouflage through the jungle the sound says here I am the sound stays and does its thing tire track x’s like gatorade logos ice storm making your stomach turn like the wheel on a Porsche through sovereign fields confusion of tv looks like a woman getting her pussy licked I’ve seen that before probably this afternoon people waving hands purple shadows grand organ warps 


Swansong For Lou Cohen

Grizzler Big Band
Open Sound, Somerville, August 24
Swansong for Lou Cohen

Coleman cupping his fist at his theremin he puts magic into Cohen smiling down harmonious free improv done right to his strict standards there is a rocking of tones like seagulls among boats at the salty pier at summer’s end the second Lou sweetly plying fiddle it is so peaceful makes death a dream Shoe tempering the violence of primal passions with puffs in the flute and the violin creaks like someone walking up the stairs as so often one feels in Lou’s music the haunted corners of an old manse tickling and rattling hums and buzzes electronics as organic as granola it is a cumulus cloud blustering and rolling apart in afternoon sky Forbes and his grand trumpet like the final sun and it’s brassy as jazz now theremin blundering wild Dave beating the hell out of a bari a complex structure of inter-communication whoops and cheers and raspberries at the burlesque but sedate as a girl on quaaludes now a military bent like taps or reveille as the sun rolls over the hill caught like gold string in the trees with their last summer growth

Loveless (My Bloody Valentine)

I was 27 when My Bloody Valentine put out their masterpiece, Loveless, in 1991; close to the age my father was when The Byrds came out with Mr Tambourine Man, in 1965. The two are defining templates of their ages, showing me how out of touch I was with the time, as my father was with his.


When I played The Byrds’ album for my dad a few years ago in a car ride up to Maine, he liked the music; he only said he wish they’d tone down the guitars – they were too jangly… Well, for me for so long, My Bloody Valentine, on account of the guitars, sounded like My Muddy Valentine. For each of us, though, we saw a portal into a new world, one of a potential intimacy we missed.


When I hear Loveless, at the same time, I always feel as if each successive song had already played: I hear one, and I’m not sure, say, if it’s “Soon”, “Loomer”, “Touched”, or “To Here Knows When”. There’s a mysterious, sensual, pounding drama in each, like you are crossing wet stones of a river, and you don’t know which one is closest to the other shore, or whether, maybe, the last one doesn’t reach close enough to the shore, and you will fall in, splashing head wet in the waves.


As I here the record each time, each time with more depth, it brings me farther into that time of my late twenties, stretching into my early thirties, testing my emotional thresholds, splashes of cold that turn into glorious comfort. The songs build like themes and variations, the scherzos, largos, minutes, and moderatos of symphonies, the spinning wheels of kaleidoscopes.


Where Mr Tambourine Man showed the way of a procrustean post-war culture to a world of unity and love and action, Loveless takes the victim of the disaffected eighties, and plunges him or her on a theme park rotorvator, with swirling murals on the circular walls, as the bottom falls out and she defies gravity, through centrifugal force.


My father introduced me to the rotorvator at Paragon Park in Nantasket, in 1969, when I was five. It was great, more scientific revelation to me than kids’ fun, knew knowledge given to me by my father, who was less comfortable than I was, and got dizzy.


Each time Loveless ends, with “Soon”, with the slingshot drums and rhythm guitar behind the drop dead spacey up and down tones of the lead, like an alternating current, it is overwhelming, more so each time. It keeps taking you back to the spot of the crime, where my heart was ripped out, and now it’s back and pumped full with more blood, sex, sugar, magic, a beautiful toxic beat to take into the chain of nights of the future.

Tsons of Tsunami



JP Drive-In, August 11
Satan’s City
This is crazy surf stuff with a driving beat at the drive-in the wire gets wound around the ice picks crack the ice in the cowboy country up north where the sun shines on the speckled surf moray eels and sharks are the guitar on swinging fire
It’s Christmas in satan’s city Rory mad on drums in skivvies with the buff chest banging the skins Arion a bubbling bass he’s the ace
This one’s bent like ten cents on a train track with fuck up beats in the summer heat and it gets louder and stronger like seven percent ale and you drink seven for seven days and you’re in heaven
This one’s lounge metal you can hear the bartender shaking martinis by the potted plants in the tinted window bays it’s an open shut logic you catch your fingers in when it slams down like the chord slams down on guitar at the end of the run before it boils like tea at four the trio at neat loose ends colliding like bumper cars when you were a kid in 1969 at Paragon Park too young to be let in you didn’t measure up to the line on the wall and you wanted it so bad


Yoko Miwa Trio

yoko ryles

Ryles, August 11
hope for joy

She plays a swing song makes it new with a sexy lilt chords placed on the piano like scented napkins on mahogany she’s so good you can almost sing it Will Slater on bass is a muffled brick through a jewelry store window Yoko with a touch of Silver or a Horace ode then it’s Bud Powell after a pedicure and a facial Scott hard on drums dropping a few bombs on the country grass as Yoko floods the fields like an ivory river

Glittering intro a modern number as modern as infinity slow and long as gospel on Sunday something you almost know and it slips off the tongue like sorbet a deep black cherry grand like an orchid blooming Lester Young in pork pie on the wall behind her and she’s as beautiful as Billie Holiday quieting for a bass snatch then trills with grace notes a trace of the blues in the bittersweet wash she climbs like ivy on college bricks massaging the back of the board muscles limber again with a peppy pickup getting resplendent with a hope for joy

John Connolly Speaks at Deep Thoughts JP

As a candidate concerned with education,  John Connolly takes an interest in the city’s music students, and the world they inhabit as part of Boston’s music scene. Yesterday, at record store Deep Thoughts JP in Jamaica Plain, he demonstrated his sympathy for them, and knowledge in this area.

Connolly didn’t waste a single word when he introduced himself to the sparse though attentive crowd in the store yesterday afternoon. He presented his three-pronged approach to improving the local economy cogently, with a concern for jobs, neighborhoods and education and how each relates to the other symbiotically.

He approached the house scene point blank. First off, he recognizes how crucial it is to create a friendly environment for young musicians to play, so they will stay here and help create a healthy local artistic culture. “I don’t want Boston to be New York City North”, he promised.

Proposing the idea of creating an arts council with participants drawn from the community itself, he demonstrated his sincere interest in the kind of people he would be dealing with in his careful listening, addressing questioners concerns in detail, without straying from topic.

Connolly wants to know the musicians, and to know about what they know. He understands the forces that drove the music underground. He wants to make the music more of a part of the community, creating a healthy environment and economy through an arts program that is sensitive to mutual needs.

Raw Meet 11, Smokey Bears Place, August 3

Mark Johnson makes things happen before you can even give him credit for them. Already he’s done 11 Raw Meet festivals, at Smokey Bears Place, and I haven’t had a chance to write about this guy and reward him for giving me the idea of being my own boss and starting the blog to begin with. It’s six hours of sets that last from ten to fifteen minutes and including a warp speed spectrum of artists and bands, thrown together like particles in a collider. Now it’s become a hot nightspot, and Johnson is taking it down to Providence, for Raw Meet 12, before hitting Philly with it after that. Here are some notes.


Mark Johnson

Mark’s set dark and funky blasts hair tosses bass blooming like cactus roses static like nuclear time on shortwave radio the weird gets weirder wraps a wire around my neck bumps into my back to the gear it’s a panel of red and yellow lights and black knobs with a coda weird and wiry like an old metal fan whirring in my two-year-old bedroom in 1966 with the bullets ricocheting through my window with a hiphop heavy metal stomp getting spacy like UFOs or a drummer at Symphony tympani rabid racket going wild like a rabbit in the briars
Pancho Kidd
The misanthrope has no one everybody needs someone and it breaks my heart like it always does not just anyone dangerous and dark might set that spark shine that light it’s all right tough and rough edges and romantic happier when in love with someone who never likes to have any kind of plan always when in love in a catch 22 always when in love with the needle and the setting sun when it breaks her heart
Turtle Cat Symphony
And I feel the heather of Scotland on the electric strings of guitar
It’s a sound puzzle trying to figure who’s playing what instrument then it’s Steve, like a morning glory on contra alto clarinetImage
Steve Norton from Duck That