Sunday, February 28, 2010

Be...the 23rd Rocker!

I’m sendin’ this one out to Mr. Brainpang, as he is somewhat of an authority on mad genius where musicality is concerned.
Just when I think I’ve plumed the very depths of self-styled outsider music, the bedrock beneath me gives way and I find myself in the company of yet another schizophrenic with a guitar, only this time he’s plugged in and he’s co-opted Roky Erikson’s mullet.

That last comparison, in particular, is fairly accurate for if I had to explain D.C’s Butch Willis and the Rocks, it would be that through some as-yet unknown providence, not one, but two Roky Erikson’s just happened to develop organically and wholly independent of one another on opposite sides of the continent; the prior, having become the poster child for psychedelia; the latter, being perhaps most famous for practically burning down a local cable access show with a faulty smoke machine (See: Below)

Makes me wonder if Henry Rollins will get around to replacing ole’ Butchee’s teeth as well.

Seriously though, the two sound identical, actively deal w/ the same neurological impairments and are generally singing about nothing that resembles reality as I understand it.

What makes this revelation even stranger is that the enclosed tracks were discovered on a sleeveless LP in a Redbank NJ thrift shop, far from its native DC and wholly out of place amongst myriad copies of the Firestone Christmas album and Psalms for Children. How did it get there? What kind of financial hardships would prompt someone to jettison this jewel of dementia for pennies on the dollar when it cultural value is immeasurable? Either way I am willing to take the blessing as it comes, though the journey says much more than the ultimate destination. Even the albums title ‘Of’ evokes mystery; walking a fine line between brilliant existentialism and the kind of head scratching that continually moves us record misanthropes forward…albeit by shorts steps.

I will now give you a moment to mentally prepare yourself…


Short Steps - Butch Willis (& the Rocks)

Be the 23rd Rocker - Butch Willis (& the Rocks)

I Want'a Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star - Butch Willis (& the Rocks)

Currently Watching...

HAXAN (1922)

"Danish filmmaker Benjamin Christensen's obsession with bizarre lighting effects reached its apotheosis with his 1922 masterpiece Häxan. Beginning in a deceptively sedate fashion with a series of woodcuts and engravings (a technique later adopted by RKO producer Val Lewton), the film then shifts into gear with a progression of dramatic vignettes, illustrating the awesome power of witchcraft in the Middle Ages. So powerful are some of these images that even some modern viewers will avert their eyes from the screen. Though obviously a work of pure imagination, the film occasionally takes on the dimensions of a documentary, a byproduct of the extensive research done by Christensen before embarking on the project (incidentally, the director himself can be seen in the film in a dual role as Satan and the Doctor). Häxan marked a parting of the ways for Christensen and the Danish film industry; thereafter, he confined his activities to the German cinema, before answering Hollywood's call in 1928. A separate version of this film exists, with a shorter running time, retitled Witchcraft Through the Ages and released in 1968. It features narration by the legendary Beat writer William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch) and a score by Jean-Luc Ponty."

RedBoy XXX

Your (Fourth) Chance to Do the Hump!

Reposted by popular request...and then subsequently reposted again, initially because Divshare's ass sucks canal water, but subsequently because of my own incompetence. Regardless, I bring you...

Igor's Lament - Tony & the Monstrosities

Igor's Party - Tony and His Monstrosities

Monday, February 22, 2010

Round and Around and Around and Around and Around And Around and...

There is a man who twists alone.... Though others might box step or (Gasp) swing languidly to the syncopated style of the Madison, this enigmatic individual twists with reckless abandon, twirling a path through a cold and incalculable stellisphere; the providence of brilliant maniacs and insane fools. There is a man who twists alone...for solitude is the Damoclesean (???) sword that forever hangs above the gyrating head of this humble folk hero. His is the thankless role of the fool, the hopeless, yet necessary fulcrum against which all truth and cosmic mystery shall be brought to bear. There is a man who twists alone...Yea, though we should know him by word or deed, he is forever an enigma, a microcosm of centrifugal force tearing a hole through the very fabric of existence. He shall be here long after we have passed into dust, for he is the lone twister.

Hosanna unto him.

Lone Twister - The Lone Twister

Special thanks to Greg for entrusting this gospel to mine hands.

P.S. Is it just me or do the vocals have this weird Mercedes McCambridge/ William ' Friedkin's Exorcist vibe goin' on

P.P.S. Around and Around and Around and Around and Around And Around and...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Promethean Hubris, or...Fire In A Bottle

Oh, boy…

I know I said regular posting would commence shortly -- what w/ the new stereo acquisition and all-- but allow me to give you the brief rundown of the whore that is lady luck and her unfailing ability to kick me in the teeth.

Finally got the Wharfedales dialed in a little over a week ago, and I was in the process of cueing up sonic garbage for this repository of knowledge when -- and I shit you not—my laptop blew the fuck up and took my Fisher w/ it. The long and the short of it: A short (Pun) in the laptop power supply caused a surge to the Fisher, which would have generally not been a problem HAD THE FUCKING FUSE BEEN SOLDERED CORRECTLY by the joker I originally scored this from (He swore he had his tech go over it w/ a fine tooth comb, natch). The resulting arc fried the laptop and blew the output transformer without even tripping the fuse! Don’t’ fret though. After two weeks TLC w/ MY tech (i.e. the guy I go too when the shit get’s too real for me), we’re back in business, and w/ the addition of a new old-stock Soundcraftsmen PE2217 and a venerable laptop (Thanks, Sissy!) we now have twice the rock (w/ half the fat and ten times the grease).

Yeah, it might sound like a huge hassle where-as solid state is a bit more dependable, but what can I say: I’m ole’ fashioned, and besides, you can’t make rock w/o fire, and you can’t make fire w/o the venerable vacuum tube.

Thanks to Dennis @ Central Jersey Repair for bringing me back from the brink of boredom.

Now, on wit da show!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gold Standard For A Tin Ear

Having replaced my stereo receiver, of course all of the little imperfections inherent to my audio set-up have come fumbling at my head.

First up is a torn cone in one of my Sony speakers which galvanized me to get my ass on craigslist and see if any local color were offering something of note that perhaps would not result in my getting raped and killed at an area truck stop. One phone call and an unmarked panel-truck later and I was on my way home w/ a pair of 1960’s Wharfedale W60s (note: even the most firm price is negotiable, and no, I did not blow the guy). I tell ya, these speakers are sweet as hell, especially in the mids. They tend to get a bad wrap for their apparent lack of low end, but since I haven’t been listening to any Gabber Techno lately (or ever), it ain't no thang that a good sub-woofy won’t cure (to tell the truth they don’t even really need it). These walnut bastards are pretty smart lookin’ too. Hell, they even came with the original wood floor stands! IKEA would blush down to their bones at the lines of these space-age marvels.

As for the turntable situation, I usually slop 45’s around on a twin pair of coffin laden Stanton’s in the interests of throwing the odd shindig, but I have been on the lookout for a solid performer for more critical listening. At first glance, a BSR would hardly be considered a fitting candidate, especially their low end consol models, but I came across a BSR 710 at a local trading post (see: den of iniquity) and managed to point out enough flaws to talk the guy down to a more wallet friendly agreement. I realize and automatic platter-stacker might seem like a strange audiophile choice, but after replacing the needle housing for a modern equivalent and adding a more complimentary lube to the drive-train (yes, this monster uses a drive train not unlike the average car; and yes, I said “lube”) and this machine runs as quiet as the grave, and with a solid wood base, is as heavy as the requisite tombstone.

Next up is and dedicated EQ and a tube pre-amp. Anybody sellin’?

Note: Dig the periodical the BSR ad is from.