THE FLASH notes on the Boston scene Gordon

THE FLASH notes on the Boston scene

Gordon Marshall

volume 2

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Keith Fullerton Whitman

Goethe Center, June 20

propellers in the sunset

Keith with the Whitman beard ablaze in the Susquehanna sunset the blurred blasts of the succulent synthesizer whirred psycho swirling heavy rock busted stone sapphire veins in the mountains chill buzz a blade in the neck bleeding sound of chewy charcoal brilliant treble hum and buzzing echoes the kit a mess of wires in something female and it’s calm and tense at once as the boom bass advances brigadiers in the backfield as grenades come raining down and I listen marimba tones on horizon thumb piano it’s Java in the village

Sgt Pepper drumbeat shimmering cymbals heavy thuds harmonic strafe of fire from tank in the Vietnam jungle racing in pace to helicopter speed propellers in the sunset and the buzz shakes the room like a frappe machine spilling out sword tips in space the bottom falls out of the rotovator at Playland in Rye, New York quiet as the kit shuts down and the beat rocks on spinning into silence but the debacle continues and the drumbeat pulses into spaceout funk jimmying the psychic door African Zen reggae nothing but the beat and the creaking of hinges it gets uneasy like a wet sweater but the weave’s pulled off and I’m naked in the sun

Donna & Davindar

Jacques Undeground, June 21

silence of sweet dreams

This is crazy stuff the wowing and the blowing of electronics through the amp wary bari blasting icy like dry ice after a wedding reception at Les Jardins de Tuileries the two fused like man and bride the bride a beast an ox plowing the fields strangely peaceful like sunset over wheat and the bari barely audible for the blast

Strafe of sound light squeegee on a windshield Albert Ayler’s ghost madder than the Mad Hatter harmonic haze of overblow a flood of roiling water through sewer pipes into the street abating into the silence of sweet dreams

Cathy Cathodic

Jacques Underground, June 21

goddess in rose clouds

Faster than a speeding RZA on a speed train she strides before the black curtain green dress reggae trumpet sultry lilt in voice long auburn tresses in the way of her face she dips and swivels still with gestures of her fingers pointing out the points of the rap and the rhythm switches like the switch in her hips brash and sulky the belts of the blues as she twists in high heel shoes almost quiet with a Betty Boop squeak riffing on one note getting soft and sweet tilting her neck and the trance pulse of the tone with dramatic drums and ear piercing scream

Don Cherry style peeps on horn with a funky stride and she’s taking a ride on a horse through Elysian fields sexy as Lady Godiva a goddess in rose clouds pastured with punctuation of trumpet and she’s trilling like Gwen Stefano she’s just a girl shouting out sister on the picket line get your share shaking so softly her waist and the free jazz trumpet

The Gondoliers (New Hampshire)

Jacques Underground, June 21

bunch of bumblebees

The lights bright flash on and it’s a Japanese acid riff with punk punch John with dark glasses and yellow cape Devo and Van Halen meet in a dark alley Brendan’s a burly farmer on the drums rolling the sticks like he’s rolling a plow through the vegetables of early summer

Guitarist slapping guitar punching keys on the synth and the drumbeat’s a slingshot thud the synth rings in the damp air loud as a bunch of bumblebees John shouts now on a soapbox

This one has a roll to it like a boat on the waves seamen chanting a shanty busting moves under signal stars the silver drum kit brilliant and shining in the stage lights nasty as an iodized cut the ringing guitar

Play a song about prison tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak the head-bang stomp through the bars of cell block A and the rhythm simmers to low boil buzz but the rugged stomp reigns like a king in Renaissance France

The Queen Is Dead drums searing song of synth sampled guitar John striding offstage onto floor Brendan hammering nails into toms a wild carpenter

Electroshock number electrodes on zombies out of Clockwork Orange

THE FLASH notes on the Boston scene Gordon

THE FLASH notes on the Boston scene

Gordon Marshall

volume 1

*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

Arvid Noe

Discovery Zone, June 15

liquid metal

Punk but it’s got a classic acid feel drums like a rolling train like Lightning Bolt after smoking some good dope haze of cloud smoke U2 style guitar shimmers like Boz Boorer in Morrissey’s Billy Budd trance pulse

Ethan Parcell

Weirdo Records, June 17

five songs about power lines

1

Cowboy on the corral with his cowboy music he is the lineman for the county and he’s bopping on the drums as the eerie mood music plays two against three on the littlest cymbal in the world very peaceful makes me feel like dreaming of the prairie where the prairie dogs roll with the tumbleweed on the road chill pulse bloops on Casio foot pounding mallet on Samsonite suitcase

2

I saw a pet pig in The Fens a small animal let off leash circling his owner and looking up for approval segueing to alto clarinet overblows deep tones to sea sounds or barrels rolling in an alley hard to tell I’d say barrels in a steel warehouse industrial sounds electronic beep clarinet honk mellow Eric Dolphy liquid and sweet like Steve Norton smooth pattern intervals and ripe plum sounds against the sea national anthem tones and fire alarm buzz harmonics getting deeper and sweeter again

3

Old radio shack style cassette player nice piano music in the background pulls out brushes to brush butter on the chicken nice electronic floogling synthetic violin-like sound work on the kit with the cozy crazy gift shop music and the psychy foghorn out of sync with the brushwork choppy and childlike getting defter and surprising with syncopation a la Monk shimmering electric guitar vibes and the push me pull you of the traps like Rhys Chatham or the privet on Cape Cod

Tsons of Tsunami

Discovery Zone, June 18

sour tsunami

Wipeout the guitar a sour tsunami, squiching flashing wowing bending catching a wave a groove chicka-chicka chopsticks western obbligato ringing buzz changing jangle stop catching nails on the architectural facade

Ethan banging drums like Indian tom toms surf punk rockabilly in high gear

Slow surf Hawaiian luau loa round neck naked dark honey breasts dancing in straw skirts and the bashing guitar at the bash round the fire at the beach and the bluesy beat on drums lazy bass nasty screech and cool groove shimmering echo church chords diabolical

Skipping stones across the river the beat goes on the hop skip and jump the round robin in circles beating against the feeder and the windowpane

Surf’s back, bitch, and it’s happening with a beat bounding around the ground and the guitar is all over the place up and down hanging ten Dick Dale over hill Dale Evans on horse in the valley shooting her gun

Simon’s superstar bow and rawhide riff goes down to cowboy town slow single low notes plucked Arion on bass turns to the wall like he’s leading the cows home at sundown and Simon is the setting sun ablaze on the horizon

Crazy frenetic acid The Beach Boys never did this it’s Thai stick tie one on the beaming notes interspersed with their shadows turning to shining chords

Tiger Hatchery (Chicago)

Discovery Zone, June 18

extra sensory perception

Cool trio of drums sax guitar flutter on tenor and honk heavy dull thuds on drums guitar sketching traceries abstract pastels casual but tense they do their own thing saxist zens out in space guitar harmonics roiling tension tranquilized like an animal with a needle struts and pecks on sax miming drum pecks strangely serene makes me think of girls and slow hum with rattle of drum lots of tense stuff on drums using sticks as mutes bending the sound of the heads scritchy scratching on sax nice harmonic blend of three instruments tails like a blazing comet with sax

This issue is dedicated to Mark Johnson, who gave me the idea