Monday, April 30, 2007
Released in 1984, DRI's Violent Pacification was a style that had never been heard before- songs that ended before you'd realized they'd begun; machine gun fire in your brain which felt pounded on by lightning-fast drum beats; muffled sound quality that didn't matter because the barrage felt almost too intense to withstand for those who were on the outside of the hardcore scene. It was absolutley brilliant to anyone who actually listened to this kind of music at the time of its inception.
The sound of the previous album, originally pressed as a 7-inch and then re-released as a 12-inch, was found on this newer disc but had a tighter sound to it, with more obvious focus on the engineering quality of the recording.
This was at a time when the band had decided to leave the safety net of Houston, Texas and brave the unknown in California. Living in their van and eating in soup kitchens was how they got by while touring the US to support their record release.
They ended up connecting with the Rock Against Reagan tour, a tour of hardcore bands proselytizing against the Reagan administration and managed by the Yippies. This led the band to record a track for (you guessed it!) the famed P.E.A.C.E. compilation released by R Radical Records.
Bear in mind that this was prior to signing with a metal record label- Death Metal Records- and so the crowds that were attracted to their shows were quite different than the type you would see now. Although, DRI is hailed as the quintessential band that fused metal with hardcore music and helped instill a political bent within that particular crowd that hadn't been present before, one still has to analyze its true impact. The unfortunate down side to this is that social movements can be easily watered down once they are transformed into a viable commodity that can be reinterpreted and sold back to the masses.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Artie Shaw was the greatest jazz clarinetist that ever lived.
However, his life as a musician was always clouded by his desire to be a serious writer and this led him to leave his career as a musician behind- twice! The stifling expectations of his fan base seemed constrictive to his musical growth and he found the routine of playing the same songs over and over again with very little variation rather droll.
Later in his musical career, he began experimenting with strings and woodwinds and released an album titled Modern Music For Clarinet. There wasn't much response to this album. Since he didn't seem to be able to make a living off of the kind of music that he was interested in at that time, he left the city and moved to the woods, where he took a job chopping wood and spent his free time writing.
In his 90's, he authorized a 5-CD box set entitled Self Portrait and it encapsulated all the songs that he thought were the very best recordings in his repertoire. It's highly recommended!
This EP is a sample of some recordings that took place between 1938-1941. Released in 1958 using the new microgroove technique that was available for the first time, RCA Victor took on the task of remastering old 78 RPM recordings and making them available on 7-inch record.
For more information about Artie Shaw, his writings, and his catalogue of sheet music, refer to his official website.
Friday, April 27, 2007
This is a re-issue of the original self-titled EP that Neon Christ released in 1984. People mistakenly refer to it as the Parental Suppression EP and the re-issue put out by Revoltation has adopted that as its title.
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, the band made its debut playing with Scream and DDT on New Years Eve of 1983. They later toured with DRI and played in New Jersey with Adrenalin OD. Their experience with these bands not only led to an LP engineered by the same guy who recorded Foghat but also assured their inclusion on the famed P.E.A.C.E. compilation that is touted on just about every other page of this music blog.
Apparently, they have also done a reunion tour and played alongside the likes of Alice In Chains. Check out their website for interesting photos and quite a few .mp3 files that you can download for free! You can even send them an e-mail if you want...
The Epileptics were the precursor to Flux of Pink Indians, who were the precursor to Flux.
The original release of this 7-inch was put out on the Stortbeat record label. All was well in the world until the label decided to re-issue the record without paying the band any royalties. In addition to this set of legal problems, another headache was quick to come in the form of a complaint against the band by the British Epilepsy Association, who were asking that the band change their name. The name was changed to EPI-X but then briskly changed to Flux of Pink Indians.
Flux of Pink Indians recorded a 7-inch record under the Crass record label and met with quick popularity in the anarcho-punk scene. They decided to start their own record label- Spiderleg Records- and the first thing they released was a re-pressing of this Epileptics record.
When Flux of Pink Indians started moving in a more industrial direction, they changed their name to Flux and then put out dance music under a new label entitled One Little Indian Records. The label is now known for releasing industrial music by AR Kane and the music of The Sugarcubes and Bjork.
Caught in the uncomfortable awareness that he is being asked to particpate in a cultural activity that he is unfamiliar with, President Bush draws on the only black historical reference he has access to within the narrow confines of his mind.
And now for your viewing pleasure, link to a fearless world leader in action, cutting the proverbial rug as only a white man can...
Thursday, April 26, 2007
SST Records. Chuck Dukowski sans Black Flag.
This was Wurm's first 7-inch released in 1982; around the same time, Unicorn Records was preventing Black Flag from releasing any records due to some legal contractual dispute. It's not surprising that Chuck decided to do some stuff of his own, particularly since Wurm was playing at the Church regularly with Black Flag's previous incarnation, Panic, before punk rock started spewing itself across Hermosa Beach.
Chuck decided to drop out of the band at the time that My War was being recorded and Greg Ginn ended up playing bass in the studio instead, using the pseudonym Dale Nixon. Chuck was still involved with the band at this time but only as a manager and occasionally doing guest back up vocals on the Slip It In album.
Released in 1981 on Reality Attack Records, The Black Death EP was popular with both punks and skins. The Sinyx got the idea for their name from an ancient Greek movement of anti-societal rebels who were referred to as 'the cynics.' The most prominent trait of this particular school of thought was the blatant flouting of social niceties and polite behavior.
The Sinyx received notice after sending a 7-song demo cassette recording to Crass Records for inclusion on the Bullshit Detector compilation. One of the songs (Mark Of The Beast) was included on the album. The song is absolutely manic for a British band in 1980. The track can be found at Eet U Smakelijk. (If any of you actually owns the cassette demo recording, please drop a comment!)
The band toured with other anarcho-types such as The Epileptics/Flux of Pink Indians, The Icons, The Eratics, Kronstadt Uprising, Rudimentary Peni, and The Mob. Most of these bands had connections to the Crass record label at one point or another. Information found online about this band is generally statistical, so there's not much more to share about them than that. (Use the Comment link if you know more!)
This record is out of print and very difficult to find. Now you can listen to it!
Coccinelle made her debut into show business in 1953 as a trangendered showgirl at the Chez Madame Arthur; later she became a permanent fixture at Le Carrousel de Paris and performed with other well-known performers. In 1958, she traveled to Casablanca to undergo vaginoplasty.
When she returned to Paris, she immediately became a media sensation and rubbed elbows with the likes of Josephine Baker and Marlene Dietrich. Her brush with fame resulted in a few film roles in the 1960s: Los Viciosos and Dias De Viejo Color.
Liner notes included below:
Once again, another rough translation:
Born in Paris as Jacques Dufresnoy in 1933 between la Porte Saint-Martin and la Porte Saint-Denis, just like Mistinguett.
Jacques chose studies in the field of communications, like so many others did at that time. At one point, Jacques had learned that the ladybug used in metaphor as an expression of femininity and this seemed to resonate within.
In 1947, Jacques worked as a telephone operator for the l'Automobile Club de France.
Jacques reflected on this quietly until the day the event occurred.
Days later, Jacques decided that the ladybug was to be the chosen familiar- the representation of the chosen transformation that was to occur. It was at this point that the ladybug made its entrance into Jacques' life and revealed itself to the world.
He went to work for the world renowned hairdresser, Antonio, in 1948. Jacques, the young lad, worked as a coiffeur there for two years.
Spending as much time as Jacques did with the older men who worked in the place, brought him into contact with the idea "young people can not have fun as we once had." This proved to be false. The French traditionally regard this idea with disfavor. In 1950, Jacques had the idea of becoming an entertainer: to be the Queen of Queens.
This was quite a revelation for the young man. There was an irresistable calling, as if Destiny was tapping him on the shoulder; he disguised himself as a young woman one day and it felt very natural to do so.
That evening, Jacques went down to the Carrousel and sang "A Small Satin End" and met with such success that he received immediate stardom.
Then, he chose to see Mrs Arthur, who was a prominent transvestite performer de la Butte Mont-Martre.
Thus Ladybug was born! Her name made Paris turn its head and the rest of the world was forced to listen. The stranger was welcome with open, adoring arms. She was an expert in cultivating a talent that generated the warmest reception.
Ladybug had the uncanny ability to appeal to the international elite and this made her the most popular transvestite performer in the world, springing into the limelight with a mighty force.
At this time, Ladybug is the propeller on the high-speed motor engine of the Carrousel. Few patrons of this establishment suspect that under the chest of this dazzling singer beats the heart of the meek telephone operator with the A.C.F.
Many spectators would be surprised if they learned that this was a permanent employee of Antonio's. If they knew the truth of who she was, they would most likely not be so enarmored of her.
Ladybug is currently at a turning point in her career. She has decided after 23 long years of hesitation, to carry out the dictates of nature and will transform to her true form. She will become the new "It Girl."
Modern-day medicine will help steer her into the direction that the Carrousel helped spin her in so many days past. Doctor Claoue provides the necessary treatments in an attempt to cull the definitive transformation while awaiting the operation that will make Jacques into a fabulous, real-life Miss Ladybug.
Ladybug leads a quiet and tranquil life, dedicated to her work and meaningful friendships. When not performing, her hobby is designing dresses and outfits.
Soon, she will put away the life of a mere transvestite and embrace the elegance that is only known by woman. Jacques will have lost his "sex" but a new life will have been borne.
Ladybug will have died. Long live Mademoiselle Coccinelle!
That's probably as good a translation as you're gonna get at this stage... If anyone can do better... please... by all means... provide a translation in the comments!
Here she is....... COCCINELLE!
This recording has never gotten much hype; perhaps due to the stress that occurred between the players at the time of its inception. Supposedly, Mingus left in the middle of the session as a result of his frustration. Despite his past work with Ellington and his reverance for the man, it was probably still difficult to exist in the shadow of this great jazz musician/composer. The tension that existed can be felt and imagined by listening to his performance on the opening title track Money Jungle.
Duke Ellington entered the studio for this recording nine days prior to his well-received collaboration with John Coltrane. It was also at this time that he recorded an album with Coleman Hawkins, so he was primed and ready to roll with whatever musical punches his comrades had to throw at him. This short album contains some of Ellington's punchiest piano playing caught on tape and fans of any of these musicians will marvel at the result of this brief partnership.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Fuck everything you think you know about punk or hardcore music. The Bullshit Detector compilations released on the Crass record label consistently challenged all the mythos of punk as a musical genre. In fact, their credo was that punk wasn't a genre of music but more of an outlet for political ideas, social views, etc. The music was secondary to the idea that was being conveyed; it was merely a conduit. As a result, the music that was being passed as "punk" on their label wasn't necessarily constrained to the usual format that most punk bands were expected to follow, once the music started to become popular in Britain.
People have said demeaning things about these albums due to some of the poor recording quality on a few of the tracks. Going back and listening to these albums 20 years later is like a cornucopia of sound. Punk was once a spark of creativity and rebellion that those who were not a part of it at the time might not understand. The Bullshit Detector comps capture that sense quite brilliantly; the spirit of change has never been quite brighter.
This is the third album that was released under the working title. The first two albums put out in the series can be found at Planting the Seeds of Revolution. The series was intended to be a type of zine on vinyl so that people could get a sense of what was happening around them in the musical fold. There was no profit made from the release of the album, other than to pay for the expense of releasing it and to use any additional funds to release even more albums by other bands.
Here are the liner notes.
In loving memory of Philip Ray Iselt.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Late in life, Duke Ellington began to musically conspire with those of equal stature in the jazz world. This album on Impulse Records is an example of the success of those brief recording partnerships that he engendered within the music community.
Duke Ellington was always at the forefront of musical change. It was once suggested by music critics that the reason his music seemed to defy category was because he was "too modern."
He had a great number of admirers and was allowed to perform in some of the most isolated of nations during the days of the iron curtain and the cold war when most Westerners weren't welcome. Even great musicians such as Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus site him as a direct influence on their work.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Killroy was a California band that was heavily influenced by the British Oi! scene and you could hear it in their sound. Although, most Oi! bands have a tendency to sound alike, these guys were always fun to listen to (despite the silly football chants that are indicative of the genre).
Believe In The Ruins was their second release; it came out right before their nationwide tour of the States back in 1984.
They currently have a website devoted to the band and it appears that they have re-formed. However, because the page is posted on Myspace, there will be no link to it. Kamikaze Conniptions can't do EVERYTHING for you, donchaknow?
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Yet another group that became known worldwide as a result of the P.E.A.C.E. compilation back in the 1980s. There's a fanzine that was released in Italy last year that captures the story of this band that had an impact (no pun intended) on Italian hardcore during that time period.
A rough and most likely inaccurate translation:
A fanzine on this historical hardcore-punk band. A series of encounters with the two self-confident brothers who started this group. Includes interviews with and writings by all of the band members. The history, discography, anecdotes, the generational clash, the hair, the language! Marching bravely into new musical territory in a time when there was no support for doing so, they persevered despite their many hardships...
This record was released in 1992.
Check out their website.
Fela Kuti's music was a blend of African chant and jazz (Afrobeat) with lyrics sung in pidgin English so that they could be understood across the many borders within the African continent.
He lived in Nigeria, a nation of much corruption, and endured many attacks by the police state. One of which resulted in the death of his mother after she was thrown from a window. The establishment of his commune Kalakuta Nation, after visiting the United States and being inspired by the black revolutionary movement there, had rankled somwhat and the Nigerian government decided they wanted to teach him a lesson. Each time he was attacked, he struck back through his music with even more vigor than before.
Fela ran for president of Nigeria and announced that when he won, he would deputize everyone in the entire nation so that police wouldn't be able to harass them any longer, for they would be a part of the police force as well. Needless to say, he wasn't allowed to run in the electoral race.
His live shows were quite the spectacle, with 30 members on stage consisting of both musicians and dancers. His music was revered even by those who despised his political views and attacks on those in power.
He recorded over 50 albums in his lifetime and once a song was recorded, he never publicly performed it again, much to the chagrin of the record labels who released his work.
He put his life and his freedom on the line time and time again and never allowed his principles to be forsaken, even up to his death in 1997 from AIDS.
To learn more about his music and his life, a good book to read is Fela: From West Africa to West Broadway edited by Trevor Schoonmaker.
Listen to Black-President.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
James Booker was a most prolific ragtime and blues pianist. Any recording of him is going to be quite compelling, no matter what the quality of the recording.
At the age of six, he was being classically trained as a musician and by the age of twelve was already recording records. His career as a musician was on-again, off-again due to a horrific drug and alcohol problem. There were accounts of him performing compositions of Chopin to a complicated Latin American rhythm in front of a crowd; the next night, he drunkenly mumbled obscenities and urinated on the audience from the stage. He eventually died as a result of his addiction, sitting in a wheel chair at the emergency room while waiting to be seen. An autopsy revealed the cause of death as a failed liver.
New Orleans Piano Wizard: Live!
Rounder Records put out some live recordings that are worth listening to (this album being one of them). Their website doesn't seem to be functioning currently but recordings on this label can be found in most record stores.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Finally, the second half of Hindemith's Kammermusiken is posted under the original posting for Kammermusik in a Box back in March. Just go here and it should bring it right up for your listening pleasure.
Below are the liner notes that came with the 3-LP box set released in 1968 on Telefunken. Enjoy!
Die 7 Kammermusiken (English)
Die 7 Kammermusiken (German)
Thursday, April 19, 2007
...at least the first track is! Scenes In The City isn't exactly poetry but the narration is brilliantly draped alongside the music in a way that neither the music nor the words have the same effect alone as when coupled with one another.
Bethlehem Music released this album in 1957. The album has been re-issued as part of a box set by Bethlehem, including Jazz Experiments Of Charles Mingus and East Coasting.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
So, apparently Blogger has done some kind of work on the web albums that are assigned to each blog on their server and there are reports that the images on some of the blogs are not displaying correctly. This blog appears to be amongst those affected. The issue has been reported and hopefully, the correction will arrive soon.
The links in the articles appear to be unaffected, so please partake...! Kamikaze Conniptions will be up and running again soon!!
An intriguing documentary filmed during the time that apartheid was still in full swing. A great deal of this footage was filmed clandestinely, which makes for a remarkable investigation into music that was for the most part censored, suppressed, or just plain ignored.
Performances and interviews with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the Mahotella Queens, and Jonny Clegg make up a part of the film and the soundtrack includes studio and live recordings from other musicians as well. The bonus is that the soundtrack has extra songs not included in the movie!
This record is out of print. Get it now!
Marrabenta was rough, yet energetic, urban dance-music that arose during the 1950s. It was a fusion of merengue, calypso, and a fast rhythm called majika. This musical style became synonymous with the political struggle for independence in Mozambique and was almost completely wiped out during the civil war of the 1980s. The name "Marrabenta" came from the fact that the music was once played on "self constructed guitars from fuel canisters and fishing wire, often struck so hard the strings snapped." Thus the name "Marrabenta" (from the Ronga word "arrabenta") which means "breaking."
Wazimbo, the male vocalist for this band, is considered to be one of the great voices of Mozambique and is currently enjoying a successful solo career. Wazimbo was once a part of the national radio station in Mozambique and this didn't hurt. His experience with Grupo Radio Mocambique helped prepare him for a role in the music industry as it manifested in that region.
The last track on the album Nwahulwana was captured on tape completely by accident. It wasn't until the mixing was done in London that it was discovered and the song ended up being a big hit for the band. Though this track is darker than the rest, Orchestra Marrabenta Star De Mocambique is an African dance band at its best. The Orchestra was one of the most exciting bands in the 1980s and 1990s.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Omo Ode De (The Hunter's Son Has Come), released in 1975 by Emperor Pick Peters on African Songs Ltd, was the first in a barrage of jùjú (a style of Nigerian popular music derived from traditional Yoruba percussion) records bearing similar titles. Soon to follow was Admiral Dele Abiodun's Omo Ode Da (Where Is The Hunter's Son?) and then King Sunny Ade's classic E Kilo F'Omode (Warn The Hunter's Son). The creative jousting with the varied titles resulted in a law suit that was initiated by Emperor Pick Peters' record label.
Years later, King Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey sat down and discussed this matter after it was all said and done. Their incorporation of other musical styles such as funk, reggae and Afrobeat had helped establish a new genre of music known as Yo-Pop. What was the conclusion they drew on this healthy form of competition between musicians?
King Sunny Ade: "Who benefited from all this: me, you, the record companies or the fans?... The record companies had hundred percent benefit. If we (the musicians) had been given our dues, we would have benefited, but we were not."
To buy the higher quality CD release of the album with additional tracks added as a bonus, see Dusty Groove America's website.
To learn more about jùjú, seek out the book Juju: A Social History and Ethnography of an African Popular Music by Christopher Alan Waterman.
There's also a decent Nigerian music blog out there called Naija Jams.
The most incredible series of African music ever released! Six volumes of this series were printed between the years of 1986 and 1995. Although, the later versions don't match the intensity of the first volume, there is still much musical language to convey throughout this entire series.
Tracks to note are the songs by the legendary Makgona Tsohle Band and the guitar-organ motor behind Amaswazi Emvelo.
If anyone has volumes 3-6 and are interested in selling them (especially if on vinyl), please leave a comment.