Dinners (Jimmy Hughes) – Orange Skies – Smokey Bear’s Cave, November 24



What did you have for dinner Campbell’s chili odds and ends of spacey sounds flashing colored lights light English disco best crosshatched with echoing sound bounces which grow intense light sunshine through a shade in the garden
I just want to listen but I write but it’s once I stop writing I enjoy it it makes me want to write about the same old orange skies flashing with red beams 

Jaap Blonk (with BOLT) – You Hear Sound – School of Museum of Fine Arts, November 23



He’s a mild gentleman sharply dressed introduces himself with a series of classic sound poems his whispers peaking through the texts like mice at a grand European ball the third by Russian futurist Klebhnikov has its grand sonorities and balloon buzzes large melancholy implications help me bell ringer I’m tired as the lion gargles with salt water start ringing the bells of the spirits bell and rope are here fat eating zombie that’s the great tolling of the spirit’s bell

It’s like square jazz by a white guy very proper and poised off the wall and out to lunch he stomps like he’s sneezing a body sneeze a poem by Kurt Schwitters counts his numbers like a kid Ur Sonata in Primal Sounds  now he opines like university lecturer searching the class with eyes way over their heads the heavy tenor rising with bold enthusiasm pausing getting gruff eccentric as noble elements ionized and drinking the air which he discovers in its grandeur like a mad scientist at the local fair he’s in his own world now chasing the planets in orbit in his brain and he’s racing like an engine in a Bengal tiger’s belly speaking a broken language this can’t be serious yet it’s solemn as Supreme Court defendant telling his side of the story with the fury of a child’s tall tale
Now it’s the gamelans of Java so glorious lovely and peaceful quite erotic indeed as his whispers creak and rock like a ship on Indian Ocean on a moonlit night he spurts and spits lyrical cries practically crooning like Bing Crosby inhabiting the intensity of his song as the gongs ting like grandfather clocks and he’s grandfather reading Beatrix Potter to his child before bed it’s very calm happy and peaceful now chimes from a church on Sunday morning as the morning glories bloom on the picket fence the song in seed and dripping in the grass like water from a faucet holy fool of beaten bronze Dutch as van Ruysdael
More Dutch is the cheek synthesizer face between two microphones like Boston Whaler propellers or jet engines echoing this way and that or a father blowing on a baby’s belly waxing symphonic and sonorous as fingernails on a chalkboard
With BOLT (Junko Fujiwara – b, Jorrit Dijkstra -s, Eric Rosenthal – d, Eric Hofbauer – g)

Junko swanky on electric cello dressed in basic black a string attack fizzing and popping and bubbling Dijkstra dreamy electric sax Hofbauer tremulous treble Eric with stick in his mouth like a dog playing fetch it’s raining wild bleeps and blips from Blonk’s handheld device and he dishes his disciplined gargles as the music rises Junko dancing to her own drum a world apart from the ensemble Rosenthal tippling a cymbal on a skin mode of mirth and calm excitement Jorrit waxing jazzy on alto sax happy as Charlie Parker at the Camarillo smoking a Cameroon or a Tiparillo and Jaap Blonk growls sucking in smoky air Junko very low now on the strings she veritably sings a pause and a rasp on sax waves of faint light flash on a slow horizon it’s a traffic jam spread on white toast melange of melee Christlike chaos evening aerodynamics as the rubies shine in the chamber in the tower I’m a jazz musician in the crazy crucial court spilling my seed on the sacred ground as the sounds abound it’s a tectonic Ferris wheel eel grass elegance whipped up like a lemon soufflé
Now it’s a grand Salvation Army marching band over the cracked tar roads tripping and stumbling to knees under buzzing bees alive for the nectar a hive of holiness in a rolling meadow afire with purple flame there’s a unity to the band that fits in your hand


Zebu – Yakety-Yak – JP Drive In, November 23



It’s hard to get pictures of drummers especially when they’re singing you just get a blur as the sticks bounce off the heads in a mess of blitzed out punk arrhythmia madness of a bar band with bassist lost in a liquor cloud on a bar stool it’s kooky almost avant-garde the drummer in the crowds rattling the poles serenading the girls guitar a patchwork of broken glass surreal guitar drum dialogue it stops and starts gets folky and heavy as metal driving and racing down the alleys of the center of town a blur of circling strings and Mack truck bings on the cymbals treat me like a fool he sings crooning and screeching out of sync as the kitchen sink as the faucet drips at odd moments a rockabilly rats nest the raptors rifle through


Fat Creeps – Popsicle Syrup Sound – Video Underground, November 15


Gracie Ellen

Fat Creeps is sweet girls who knew they’ve got a wild sound as good as Advaeta from the Hudson that was a bizarre thought I thought they ended it was their first song now the bass thumps the guitar clicks like a sixties song it’s my new favorite group so sweet and savage what I like in girls though they’d slap me if I said so

There’s an intelligence stream of light going through their music a little sinister edgy and searing there’s counterpoint between the bass and guitar surreal dialogues

It’s intense they all love the darling women sharp as hatchets in winter wood echoing celestial harmonies so beautiful

The singers twist together like snakes on a tropical tree in the sun of Eden it makes me swoon like a southern wind sultry sexy swinging she has nice hair kind of auburn I think in a braid behind her neck

A Michelangelo statue of David melted to Popsicle syrup sound

The women switch strings now it’s the dark brunette on guitar she’s jumpy and funky with a millstone sound a coquette vocal tinge dirty chipped paint guitar


Mariam Saleh

Fume Hood – Mescalin Dropped in Creme Soda – Video Underground, November 15



The mellow mood pervades my perverse mind Nick the singer with mandolin strumming sweet and standing thin it’s a big band with two singers and a big guitar sound as the exit light shines red behind above the door the swooning harmonies falling in my lap
This next one jangly and jumpy like The Lemonheads chaotic swirl of noise the centerpiece like the tray of ice the shrimp sit in at a banquet yet groove rises thick as tomato paste
Next a drowsy trip of a country song Nick popping up like a mushroom gets intense with searing treble action sharp points of lip sound it’s an airplane on the radar
Now the strange normal echoes of matched plaid starbursts zipping through night skies la la la he trills spilling a beer of fizzy hiss
Slow and low for the slow jam sloe jam queer logic from the autumn beach leaches that teach the song within reach
Waking up at the mall all the pennies gone from pocket spent on trinkets and junkets in a big shopping bag as a pillow the girl’s blond hair lies over like a spreading fan
This one’s a ballad a mallard duck with green neck shining like emerald as the dark strings sweep the light and shadowy air gracefully and slightly sinister there’s a gurgling of keys from Jeff at the board a gaggle of googles the slow green weeds swaying at the bottom of the sea floor big fish sucking plankton looming eyes agog and agape in the strange place very psychedelic like mescaline dropped in a creme soda 

Circuit Des Yeux (Haley Fohr, Chicago) – Smokey’s Bar, November 4



She sounds like PJ Harvey veers from country Scottish psych to acid blasts very pretty she and her music with a touch of threat lugubrious tremolo in her voice almost Diamanda Galas sits cross legs like a shy girl torso stock still as she windmills the strings with her hand licks of hair in her face now swings to the left once in a while the steady searing guitar tone contrasts with the qualities of her voice

This one like Joan Baez or even Joan Armatrading a cross between the two even Odetta as when she does Guthrie’s Pastures of Plenty in my dreams I want it all for free she sings it makes sense to me and the music has logic to it while staying fluid and spontaneous

Eat the rich her t shirt says yellow with black letters even her tuning sounds good as it segues imperceptibly to song fourth and sixth intervals strummed hard and slow haunting mysterious atmospheric an eerie glow in the hall of an old English house in the winter at night sporadic breathy hoarse love calls she has humor and wild banshee furor the guitar sounds electric at times or like a great grandfather clock chiming oh yeah it’s a twelve string guitar gets mean sometimes she standing up and bending into the microphone swaying like a bitter sweeper woman

Verbal Paintball with Andy Brown – Ancient Filth, Big Pig (NYC) -JP Drive-In, November 2



Ancient Filth

These guys just plain rock with a jangly sound a hot punk beat about fifty guitars though there are only two the singer has Chinese characters on his shirt they mean I imagine demons swirl in hell like whirling dervishes and the beat shifts quick three chords juggled like fireballs the shirtless drummer rolling along like a heavy handcart just a wild party down here the crowd is stock still


Big Pig (NYC)

Sound like a wall of brick built by Churchill in the war the singer like Churchill loud and boisterous blurting wah wah echoing guitar warped distortion astringent acids wild wails beer barrels rolled down the road in the pig district this band has a minimalist math rock feel with a roast pork punk rind