Sunday, August 31, 2014

Outsider cinema, vol. 1 - 'Double Down'

It's been brought to my attention that some of you may be interested in this film...I uploaded it to share with a couple of interested parties on the RateYourMusic website, but the fact that people are asking about it means it's pretty damn hard to find...

I'm hoping that director Neil Breen doesn't sue the shit out of me, or get my Mediafire account taken down, but we will see. I don't necessarily feel bad about posting it, as Mr. Breen sort of condemns his films to obscurity each time he makes a new one. I even contacted him a while back about his second feature, 'I Am Here....Now' and he told me he wasn't making anymore copies. This one (his first film) is even harder to come by.

So, basically, this is 'outsider' cinema...made by a fairly successful real estate agent (the realty king of Las Vegas) who uses his earnings to make b-movies that he writes, directs, and stars in (and even does some of the music for, I think.) Which, if you know anything about film, means there is a LOT of room for things to go wrong...lots of situations where nobody else gives input or says 'maybe you shouldn't put that in your movie.' Fans of Tommy Wiseau's 'The Room' and 'Troll 2' would definitely be into his stuff. I'd wager that Breen creates even WEIRDER films...

Whereas Mr. Breen's two more recent movies are kinda sci-fi action, his first is mainly an action/thriller (I guess?!) with a LITTLE bit of fantasy thrown in for good measure.

Oh yeah, before I go any further, just in case Neil stumbles across this post...I have NOTHING negative to say about this movie. I will probably watch it over and over. Yes, it's basically a how-to on making a movie completely wrong, but that doesn't matter. It's pure entertainment, and it's also demented as hell.

The 'plot' concerns a genius computer hacker (who seems to not really know anything about computer) who is trying to save the world with his skillz, after years of working for anybody who will pay. It's unclear what he really does, but he spends a lot of time waking up halfway in his car in the desert (seriously, this happens about 10 times, and it's all different shots, so I'm not really sure if it's supposed to be a flashback or what) and dicking around with a whole bunch of laptops that never seem to be on. Most of the film is actually just that...the hacker (played by Breen) driving around Las Vegas with a car full of laptops.

Everything is held together by a voiceover explaining the story, that disappears halfway through for seemingly no reason...then reappears towards the end. Oh yeah, and somewhere along the way, the main character realizes he has the ability to cure cancer with his mind(!)

EVERYTHING you could want to go wrong most certainly does, from head-shaking music cues, to bizarre dialog, to the distinctly skewed worldview the film creates. And it's all completely awesome.

GET IT. Now, before the feds come for me...

and HERE

Also, if YOU somehow have a copy of 'I Am Here....Now' me out?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Rare proto-punk megapost

While doing my proto-punk, punk and post-punk radio show, I often came across some fairly rare releases (not PHYSICAL, but y'know). Some of these took weeks of searching to dig up. Now, I'm dropping a bunch of 'em on you. This post is for the proto-punk stuff, obviously, which would be from the early 60's to the mid-70's.

Heavy Goods Vehicle - 'Keeper of the Sands'

Loud, super-stoned and super-slowed blues rock, in the tradition of Black Sabbath and Pentagram. Maybe a little bluesier than either of those bands, but just as noisy. This album totally sounds like garbage, probably demo recordings of some kind, but it's pretty great because it sounds like they're breaking the tape deck with their volume. Includes a completely incomprehensible cover of 'Wild Thing' that somehow manages to be sloppier than the original. Maybe more proto-doom-metal than proto-punk, but it's got the spirit.

NOTE: The only proper tracklist for this I could find was COMPLETELY different from what I have, so I'm just listing the tracks alphabetically.

1. 1976
2. Capitalist Blues
3. Feed Back (1976)
4. Heavy Goods Vehicle
5. Heavy Music
6. I'm a Man
7. July Morning
8. Keeper of the Sands (Intro)
9. Lucifer
10. Race with the Devil
11. Time to Cry
12. Wild Thing


Pi Corp - 'Lost in the Cosmic Void'

Early artifact from the same Ohio scene that produced Rocket From The Tombs, Vertical Slit, Pere Ubu and the electric eels. It's fairly dissimilar from those releases, being more like early Pink Floyd I guess. But, the experimentation and gleefully noisy interludes definitely get it an inclusion in the proto-punk 'genre.' Plus, I think a few members went on to be in 'real' punk bands, so yeah. It sounds like a live recording, and honestly it isn't too great, but it's historical. My favorite tracks are 'Together,' which kinda sounds like a simplified Black Sabbath jam with weird echoed-out yelling over it, and 'Shiiit,' which is a psych-rock jam filtered through basement recording.

1. Introid
2. The Dirge
3. Drumola
4. Together
5. Devil Weed
6. Just Another Song
7. LSD 1
8. Space War
9. Shiiit
10. Telarama Boogie
11. Organ Over Easy


Doug Snyder and Bob Thompson - 'Daily Dance'

This one's pretty amazing. Supposedly, these guys went home after an early Iggy and the Stooges show and started writing these noisy, semi-structured jams. They were also from Ohio, although a more rural part. The 'songs' contain no vocals, just super blown-out heavy guitar and equally distorted, frenzied drumming. It actually has a feel not unlike the band Sleep, but obviously less structured. The two guys also regrouped in the late 90's to cut another LP, but I've never heard it. This one was independently released in '73, in a 500-copy run.

1. Daily Dance
2. Living with the Crocodiles
3. Time Overlaps Itself
4. Soul and Universe
5. Hit and Run
6. Truth is a Pathless Land
7. Teenage Emergency


Gudibrallan - 'II'

Swedish bang that DEFINITELY sounds a little closer to the punk era, and this goes way back to '71. Although usually listed as prog-rock, don't think it's gonna be a bunch of flutes and weird time signatures. It's actually more like the early Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart style of prog-rock, where it's just fucked up sounding. I guess there are elements of Swedish folk music here, but I don't know that stuff well enough to pick it out. There is definitely some wild saxophone and lots of yelling though. Somehow, this is the band's second album, too.

1. T-Doja
2. Sosse
3. Terjes Klagan
4. Sprutan
5. Sommar Uti Hagen
6. John Boy
7. Berusa Er
8. Hispan
9. Visa Om Jungfrun


Saturday, August 23, 2014

This Heat - 'Live at Krefeld'

More hard-to-find shit for ya. I was pretty surprised to find that this release (from 1980) isn't up anywhere else at the moment. People are finally starting to discover this band, so I figured that an actually good-quality live recording of them would be more popular, but I guess not.

First of all, I'm not the type of person who really gives a shit about live recordings usually. I don't listen to them, unless there's not an alternative (like the Wire 'Document and Eyewitness' recordings.) I'd rather hear studio creations, and if I give a shit enough to hear the songs performed live, I will go to a show (which doesn't happen too often.)

This release isn't really any different for me...I'd probably listen to 'Deceit' over this any day, BUT on the flip side, it's really cool to hear how accurately these guys could recreate those recordings in a live setting. It couldn't have been easy, considering all the crazy shit going on. And, I don't think it was a large band, either...just three or four guys?

If you're big into these dudes, you will probably like this...there's a track called 'Unreleased Title,' and I can't really tell if it's an unreleased track or not, because it's been so long since I've put their studio albums on. But, it probably is? Because, this recording seems to have a pretty good representation of their short career, which tracks from both studio full lengths, and 'Health and Efficiency' from the EP of the same name.

Probably only essential for completists, but y'know...

This Heat - 'Live at Krefeld'

1. Paper Hats
2. The Fall of Saigon/Testcard
3. S.P.Q.R.
4. Makeshift Swahili
5. Unreleased Title
6. Music Like Escaping Gas
7. A New Kind of Water
8. Twilight Furniture
9. Health and Efficiency


Rustic Hinge - 'Replicas'

Going back into the vaults today...Tried looking this album up, and only found it on one page (possibly Russian?) and the link seemed to be dead. So, once again, it turns up here so it doesn't get lost in time.

This is a remnant of my proto-punk, punk and post-punk radio program. I probably downloaded it because it's Captain Beefheart-influenced instrumental avant-garde shit, which is a surefire way to piss off radio listeners. Looking back now, the group apparently had members of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and High Tide, both bands I used to be a pretty big fan of, so I don't know why I never found that out before. But oh well.

Basically, that brief description is all I have to say about the release...if you (like me) enjoy some of Captain Beefheart's music, but are fairly annoyed by his vocals, this is something you might dig. The music is fairly similar, and there aren't any review credits Arthur Brown with vocals somewhere, but I couldn't find it. 

So, it's very complex, jazz-based math-rock type stuff (before there was such a thing) played with a basic guitar/drums/bass lineup. Some of it actually reminds me of a less-heavy Gore for some reason, and the later tracks veer into Sun City Girls world-music-on-western-instruments territory (which is pretty cool.)

Despite the image all this may conjure up, it's not an unpleasant listen by any means, and some of it (not the concrete noise stuff) could be good background music. Anyhow. Check it out, if ya want. Also, apparently, the whole first side is parts of a movement? Dunno.

Rustic Hinge - 'Replicas'

1. T on the Lawn for 3
    a. Excitation Wavelength
    b. Litmus Transformation
    c. Opus Pocus
    d. Crystallized Petard
    e. Kinesis
    f. But That Was Then That Was But
    g. ---
2. Last Time
3. High Tide Play Rustic Hinge
4. Rumanian Folk Dance No. 1
5. Macedonia
6. Radio Kabul
7. Rumanian Folk Dance No. 2
8. Mastadon

Friday, August 22, 2014

Little Stevie McCabe - 'Sweat it Out'

Been a bit. So, here's some more music from the darkest depths of my collection...

I really don't know too much about this one, other than it's fairly bizarre. The download I snagged was from the long-gone (but awesome) Decrepit Tapes blog, and that link is no longer functioning. It apparently comes from 1986. This guy (Little Stevie) has some connection to the lo-fi scene in New Zealand (groups like The Dead C and The 3Ds) and played/plays(??) in a group called Axemen, which is described as 'Half Japanese attempting to play Chrome.'

I haven't heard them, so I can't comment on that, but this album kinda reminds me of Renaldo and the Loaf maybe mixed with a little Half Japanese. Or Ween? I don't know. It's very weird, but not in a 'let's be weird' way...this guy just seems genuinely strange. Some of the songs are pretty catchy, and have an 'old-timey' vibe to maybe he listened to a lot of old swing, jazz and blues while writing this stuff? It also comes off as maybe the home recordings of a teenager, which might be why he adopted the name 'Little Stevie McCabe' for the release (he just goes by Steve McCabe in Axemen.)

Whatever the case, it's some very strange stuff, and it's clearly ALL him...there are no drums for the most part, just out of tune guitars and shaky vocals. I can see similarities between this and some of the weirder New Zealand stuff, like the Tall Dwarfs, but this goes way way way into outsider music territory.

There are a whole shit-ton of songs, too, and most of them are too short to get sick of. Give it a listen if you want to hear something playfully demented.

Little Stevie McCabe - 'Sweat it Out'

1. Love Feel
2. A Seeker Peeped Into Space
3. Sweat it Out
4. The Place
5. Sea Spray Gets in Your Eyes
6. More
7. Ulterior Locomotive
8. Sparing Partner
9. Take the E-Train
10. Sounds Like...A Drunken Party
11. Your Little Chevrolet
12. Chip On My Shoulder
13. Spring Song
14. Aunty-Anti
15. Clues to a Dream
16. Dirt in the Blood
17. Crazy
18. Life Doesn't Go On
19. We Love Louis
20. Terminal of Love
21. The Call of the Forbidden Sea
22. Noise Must Go On
23. That's Why You're a Human Being
24. Welcome to the Province of Nausea
25. The Way I Walk