Thursday, March 31, 2011

RIP Zoogz Rift, Goddammit!

The first time I tripped acid (ca. '89), I was at a friend's house and somebody put "The Island of Living Puke" on the turntable. It warped my brain forever. I've since stumbled across random recordings of his over the years, and it always manages to take me back to that place of serious twistedness.
Zoogz was a professional wrestler, painter, ranter, and extremely eclectic musician along the lines of Frank Zappa & Capt. Beefheart. He was also a voluminous mouthpiece for the weird and disenfranchised, and made me feel like there might actually be a community for freaks like myself.
He died peacefully on Tuesday, March 22 of complications due to diabetes, which he'd been fighting for over a decade.
Damn. I'm actually kinda sad about this. I don't think I want to write much more.
Wikipedia entry here
Short writeup here
Megapost of music here
I'll be doing a tribute to The Liquid Moamo on this Sunday's Overnight Freeform on KUNM 89.9FM, from 1-5am Monday morning. Tune in or listen to it in the 2-week archive.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Outdoor Movie Night this Thursday!

Thur. Mar. 31- Low budget, High concept Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Flicks:
The hippest ipod in town is splitting! One last chance to give Dylan hell before he moves to Portlandia and gets mauled by Critical Massholes.
Appropriately enough, we’ll be watching the 1979 made-for-PBS version of The Lathe of Heaven, a novel by lifelong PDX resident & brilliant scifi/fantasy author Ursula K. LeGuin. Made on a no-shoes budget, this film became the most requested & highly awarded show PBS ever created, and never mind the 2002 A&E remake. It’s heady stuff, about the nightmare of one man’s dreams literally becoming reality.
We’ll finish the night with eternal classic Space is the Place, the only scifi B-movie/blaxploitation/music documentary/spiritual manifesto that I know of. Myth-scientists Sun Ra & his Intergalactic Solar Arkestra are the subject of this wild ride, and it’s got crazy jive, political intrigue, plenty of skin and out-of-this-world jazz like nothing else. Sun Ra didn’t approve of the “pimps n hos” sub-story and had about 20 mins. cut from the original (which is also worth watching for reference- check UNM’s Fine Arts Library for the Mystic Fire VHS salvaged from Alphaville), but we’ve got the director’s cut here.

@ The Cornell compound, BBQ grill available, firewood also welcome.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ear to the Underground vol. 1

This is the original "Caterwaul Sessions" compilation put together in 2005, of excerpts from performances by local bands that played live on KUNM's "Music to Soothe the Savage Beast" show, for which I'm an alternating host. (Vol. 2 now availble at !!)
Included in this post are scans of the artwork & other inserts, including all the clever things I wrote about each band and the sessions they came from. Oh well. I forgot to include them in the .zip file so you'll just have to look at them here. These were painstakingly handmade and placed into several hundred scavenged jewel cases over the course of about 5 years, which is how long it took to get rid of 1000 discs. Classic beginner's mistake: getting a thousand because the price per disc is so much cheaper, then realizing there's a very limited market for them.

other notes to be added as I remember stuff.


Lucrate Milk

Some good info on these Frog freaks at WFMU's Beware of the Blog

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dutch Treats: The 'Suck It' Sessions

What to say about John 'Uncle Sloppy' Freeman and the 'Suck It Sessions'...
In Denton, TX circa '96 or '7, there were few greater rock n roll forces than the ubiquitous John Freeman. The roster of bands that he has fronted is immense. We could begin with the art rock supergroup Dooms UK, which was spearheaded with accordion wizard Corn Mo (, who fronts .357 Lover and is a whole other story. The genres of his bands spanned faux-German new wave in Telethön to shock-based motopunk in the group Meat Helmets. The first incarnation of the former found Freeman in a white lab coat presenting songs such as 'There is a Man Made Virus Loose in Sector 9' played on various lo-fi casios. All songs lovingly done in full character, complete with German articulation. Uncle Sloppy also fronted the Meat Helmets, which was a nutzo artpunk outfit where all members (including both bass guitars) delivered mock bone-crushing anthems such as 'Everyone is Going to Die' and 'I Jack Off on You', decked out in motorcycle crash helmets adorned with ground beef.
Which brings us to the Dutch Treats. On any given night of the week in the late 90s you might find John doing some variation of this solo project in any number of the dank Denton venues at the time. He was fucking relentless! He was a one man rock n roll army 'just following orders' from the arena rock show going on in his head. He's the only performer I ever recall to use impromtu vomiting as a riff onstage during a guitar solo. Luckily it was on the short-lived outdoor stage at the Argo, but he came right back to the mike to finish 'The Tree Will Grow, Where the Giant Blew His Load', to receive a standing ovation from all ten of us sitting on the lawn at the time. Anyway, he's still around so I'm going to stop talking about him like he's dead or something. He's a man of many talents - his comics are fucking hilarious and I implore you to browse the list of 1,500 or so bands that he has names for, but has yet to start. Visit
The 'Suck It Sessions' features some of John's most fundamental song subjects and seeming obsessions - among these, we find drugs, Little People in their many forms and fashions, hermaphrodite porn and various prurient sex practices, 80's sitcom child (and otherwise short statured) actors, and something else important that I know I'm forgetting. This album also features several entirely gutted and reworked covers by George Michael, Bette Midler, Prince and even Juice Newton. Freeman loves his 80's culture, but I assure you these transmutations are just as powerful, endearing and insulting now as they were back then. Being a musician of prolific output, I believe this album (transferred from a lo-fi cassette) was recorded only in a day, but I could be wrong about that. His music enjoys quivering and sometimes squealing, high pitched, vocal stylings, an open E guitar tuning and really wrong headed humor. For comparison he's the degenerate lo-fi little brother of Geza-X.

Dutch Treats - sounds disgusting, but is completely delicious.
Bon Apetit!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Public Elected Official

public elected official - "an inscrutable gesture"

I found this CD in the Mystery Media Free(k) Box* a few years ago, and it is still a favorite local find of mine. I looked up p.e.o. on myspace and commented to that effect, and about having played it on the radio a few times. I got an appropriately inscrutable response (“Thank you kindly”), which added to the intrigue. The cover, above, is a color photocopy folded into the CD case.

The sounds are very electronic. It's often hypnotic, occasionally harsh &/or squelchy noise, and packed to the gills at
79:25 TRT. It's likely a one-person endeavor, but any speculation is pointless as the project has an aesthetic that nearly erases affect- there's almost nothing to go on by way of voice, gender, opinion, or even personality. It's a bit cold in that respect, but I like it. The imagery to be found on p.e.o.'s page confirms that vibe:

I recently asked The Official about posting the music on RF Nihilon, and got this response:

There is no copyright on any p.e.o. stuff. It is for anyone who wants it. Use & or abuse as you see fit & many thanks for your respectful inquiries. Good day to you.

And a good day to you!


* The Free(k) Media Box is a recycled newspaper dispenser in the alley between the 200-blocks of Cornell & Stanford Ave. SE in the UNM area of Albuquerque, chained up to a powerline pole.
This means that the alley containing the Freek Box is PARALLEL to Cornell & Stanford, and can be accessed from Silver or Lead.
Inside, one may find (or leave) a wealth of oddball media- books, zines, outdated computer media, stickers, propaganda, all manner of audio/video formats, flyers for upcoming events or material for your next collage.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Radio Ragazza!

From the 1983 feminist sci-fi Born in Flames, theme song by The (pre-cease & desist letter) Red Crayola, with Lora Logic on vox. Kicks your ass!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

the name...?


from "The Black Sea"

You've learnt no lessons
all that time so cheaply spent
there's no youth culture
only masks they let you rent

Travels, travels in Nihilon
we've seen, no Jesus come and gone

Fashion, their vampire
drapes itself across your back
as you fall from style
it waits rebirth on its rack

Building your whimsy
hypnotising you to need
dance goes full circle
one step ahead of your greed

You've learnt no lessons
all those years to get it right
flashes of promise
burn out faster than strobe light


This here's an old piece of writing, originally intended for publication in Clip Tart #6, which was eventually released in a more limited form as a split zine with ABQ Lost #2. I ended up putting this in You can't comprehend THE FUN!, a zine celebrating the 2010 Southwest by No Fest in ABQ, mostly for filler but also to establish the music-geek vibe in a serious way. 
I may someday finish hyperlinking all the bands & albums listed here, but it's gonna take a while.
Plenty to argue with in this article, no doubt. Have fun!

Sound is one of the most important things in my life. The sonic environment where I live often feels as palpable as its physical structure. Not that there’s anything particularly unique about it. I have mostly oblivious neighbors. There’s the usual foot & car traffic for a collegetown area, with occasional loud music and partiers. There’s a constant background of emergency & police sirens, seemingly scheduled to start at 6 a.m. every morning. Weekly fireworks and bellowing of announcers from the nearby stadium are the norm. Trash & recycling pickup is always jarring, as is the occasional car alarm and bass hooptie. Then there’s the regular buzzing of news, hospital & police helicopters. Jets scream overhead, and ominous, never-explained sounds emanate from the Air Force base. One encounters TV noise or shitty music in nearly every public space, from the bar to the post office to the emergency dental clinic to the grocery store & fastfood joints. At work there’s constant machine noise, interspersed with grandstanding conversation and annoying "ringtones." In summer, the neighborhood ice cream truck trawls by several times a day, bleating out the same 30 second jingle over & over. And at night, the silence is so complete it’s eerie. I’m very on guard around my apartment building, with one ear out for disturbing noises from fights, theft or cops. It makes me somewhat jumpy, and I often have trouble getting to and staying asleep.
I’ve always been sensitive to ambient sound, and several friends have noted how easily aggravated I am by sirens, barking dogs and the like. Something about the "brute stupidity" of the source really gets to me- aggressive, unalterable repetition for the sake of repetition. I find I need to program my own sounds almost constantly. Not so much to drown out all else, but to feel like “my space” is truly mine- that I can choose my environment to some degree. I know many others who feel the same way.
There was an older guy that used to live in the apartment above where I work. I understood that he was a Veteran of some sort, had PTSD issues & a history of addiction and alcoholism that he'd been struggling with a long time. He’d been clean & sober for a decade or so. He was serious, soft-spoken, and made a point of helping out the permanent homeless characters in the neighborhood however he could. He did yoga daily out on his porch balcony, and often burned lots of sage in his apt. He also got really anxious about punk shows I hosted at the meeting hall across the street, and would complain a lot about disruption and drinking in the parking lot. Frustrating as that was, I felt like I could understand where he was coming from, and tried to interact respectfully with him.
His worst trait though, was BLASTING the most generic "60's music" from his stereo EVERY SINGLE DAY. He had a really limited repetoire too; almost comically so- I think he actually had the KTel "Freedom Rock" compilation, a few Beatles & Dylan & Joni Mitchell albums, and not much else. I went through endless cycles of amusement, annoyance, sarcastic commentary, stupefaction, violent fantasies and back again as he continued to broadcast this hit parade of nostalgic schmaltz throughout the neighborhood. It was obviously an important ritual, possibly even necessary for keeping him on an even keel. I think it was his way of maintaining equilibrium in the face of personal demons and external attacks. But goddamn, there are certain "classics" I'll never be able to hear again without feeling intense disgust, thanks to him. It reminds me of the almost murderous rage I get when I hear most Christmas music. One person’s comfort music is definitely another's psychic assault, and environmental factors often play a big part in the difference. However, the urge to use sound and repetition to protect one’s psychic integrity is universal. Sometimes this urge surfaces unconsciously. I sent my artist friend Jason a draft of this essay, and he wrote back:
"Yesterday, I needed to go to Walmart to get our supplies (for upcoming relatives in town--Ursula has a ballet recital (!!!)). The second I turned into the parking lot, the Dead Kennedys’ ‘Let's Lynch the Landlord’ popped into my head and would not let go for the entire time I was there. Now, Walmart is never a fun place to have to go, but at a certain economic bracket in Las Cruces it seems almost inevitable. My brain took over."
Music is one of the best & simplest tools I know of to undermine negative environments. It’s highly personalized, has a repetitious nature that can break up imposed patterns, and is more readily available than most other media. I’ve found what works best for me are usually recordings that I've listened to for many years, and pretty much know by heart. Stuff that doesn't let my mind wander to topics of pain and self-hatred, but keeps me centered on how great this music is and how great I feel hearing it. Currently, a lot of what I listen to on a daily basis is pretty “far out” - free jazz, noise, electroacoustic stuff. It opens my mind up to new worlds of feeling and understanding. But when I need to bring it all back home, I usually stick with what’s always worked. Instead of a Top Ten list, here’s “The Odd Recommendation” of recordings I use to keep myself even.