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Prem's Faves for 1997
{no particular order}
KUSF San Francisco, 90.3 FM
Band/Artist Release Record Label Prem's Spew
{various} The Bahamas|Islands of Song Smithsonian Folkways an exuberant mixture of raw but well-recorded acappella, folk, gospel, and other odd influences from this island nation; unlike some of the releases on the Smithsonian Folkways label, this offering does not sound in the least academic--it keeps your foot tapping as you explore the music
Bill Ding Trust In God, But Tie Up Your Camel Hefty a belligerant mixture of post-rock, electronic noise/music, beat sequences, and all-around unfriendliness
R.L. Burnside Acoustic Stories M.C. spookily succinct acoustic Mississippi Delta blues recorded in 1988; if you don't have much experience in listening to the blues, this should be your diving board
Cosmic Invention Help Your Satori Mind The Now Sound elaborate psychedelic rock that, in the hands of lesser-talented musicians, would decompose into a vacuous abomination; yet with Masaki Batoh (of Ghost) at the helm the music maintains its mysterious edge
The Double U & Glands of External Secretion The Double U & Glands of External Secretion VHF The Double U performs its captivating murky minimalistic rockishness on disc one of this 2-disc set, then on disc two Glands of External Secretion remixes the former's tracks into a jolting nightmare that lingers in the back of your mind
Johnny Dowd Wrong Side of Memphis Checkered Past psychotically bizarre country/folk/blues mixed with unaccommodating sounds and conflicting backgrounds; creepiness from the heartland
Drums and Tuba Box Fetish T.E.C. Tones imagine old Cleveland rock with a tuba instead of saxophones and with a lot more bounce--you'll find this and more, with bits of insanity here and there
Zusaan Kali Fasteau Sensual Hearing Flying Note dark excursions into realms and cultures not typically accessible to jazz; Fasteau has studied music in many different countries and manages to bring what she has learned together with both substance and flair
Ghost Lama Rabi Rabi Drag City strange mixture of psychedelic rock with Japanese cultural influences; on this album, however, Ghost also experiments with other cultures (Indian, Native American, Old West, etc.) and twists your perception of what can or should be allowed in the synthesis of ideas [1996 release]
Irving Klaw Trio Utek Pahtoo Mogoi Road Cone harsh concoction of rock and jazz with other influences, mainly Hispanic and Indian; defies easy categorization in just about every sense
The Krinkles One Stop Shopping Cannibal this SF group (note: there is another band by the same name in Chicago with entirely different music) offers up a bouncy zany collage of influences in the context of rock; deliciously addled [1996 release]
{various} Live at WREK WREK strange to harsh live performances from Atlanta's WREK underground radio station; included here are William Carlos Williams, Voice Crack, and Sun Ra, among others
Lync Remembering the Fireballs [Part 8] K dark unrefined indie rock spanning the career of this band, with most material from the early 90s
The Memphis Goons Teenage BBQ Shangri-La these lo-fi 1971 recordings combine hick folk with elements of garage rock in a decidedly mischievous atmosphere; crudely delicious [1996 release]
The Need The Need Chainsaw quirky-jerky punkish noisy rock that incorporates all kinds of creepiness into its assault yet manages to bounce like a pink superball off a black cement floor
Old Time Relijun Songbook Vol. I Pine Cone Alley rabid, noisy and altogether wretched rock/jazz hybrid that leaves a permanent psychological scar
Pachora Pachora Knitting Factory Works darkish jazz with heavy Turkish influence; quiet and eerie
Pineal Ventana Breathe As You Might Altered twisted, driving, percussive detached rock combined with belligerent sax turmoil; tramples the uninitiated
Polvo Shapes Touch 'n' Go listening to this album takes you on a bizarre adventure on a rough sea of seemingly divergent musical influences that mysteriously converge under the spell of the muse of Rock
Red Red Meat There's a Star Above the Manger Tonight Sub Pop unlike any RRM release you've ever heard; country-flavored rock experimentalism that tears through genre stereotypes, creating a very distinct sound
{various} Vedic Presents Rhythmic Intelligence Sub Rosa eerie mixture of Indian music with beat electronica; these mixes (from Vedic, Asian Dub Foundation, and others) lean steeply toward the traditional and offer a stepping stone into further exploration of classical Indian music
Run On Scoot Sonic Bubblegum Run On takes a break from its strict bare-bones rock on this CD EP and rolls out very deconstructed and strange pieces utilizing peculiar settings and odd instruments (such as the marimba)
Matthew Shipp "String" Trio By the Law of Music Hat Hut stark piano/violin/contrabass trio with sometimes commanding, sometimes mesmerizing jazz offerings
Kazutoki Umezu First Deserter Knitting Factory Works dips into the pool of avant jazz, among other things, at a pace that leaves you struggling to keep up
Yo La Tengo I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One Matador deceptively pleasant pop rock with eerie undertones and numbing vocals; hypnotizing
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