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TREY GUNN/Modulator: So, Gunn's duo sidekick approaches him about putting music to a long run of otherworldly drum improv. Gunn's initial thought? Do I really need this shit without someone writing a check in front? Who can blame him? Then the recession kicked the economy in the pants and creative types needed an outlet just to keep their chops in tact. While the rest of us would have been staying in bed until noon, Gunn screwed his prog hat on tight and cocked it for experimentalville. Any real prog head will go where Gunn lets them follow and the head journey here is quite a wily one. Not for anyone looking for some simple trance music, this is space rock for tight economic times. Progsters, start your ipods.

TAEKO/Voice: Did I miss the memo? When did all these hot Asian chicks decide they wanted to be American jazz divas forsaking classical violin? Our gain. Another in a series of Japanese ladies that follow the Japanese tradition of taking our stuff, finding a way to make it faster and better and then selling it back to us. Unlike others of her ilk that have had recent releases, Taeko stakes her own funky turf following in the footsteps of the art divas that have come before, but keeping things under the aegis of her own stamp. A solid new sound that opens your ears if you like it funky and left leaning.

JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION/Controversial Negro: With Pitchfork behind the re-examination of this deconstructed blues rock crew, it's time to really unearth the proceedings. This set barely existed n the first place and now it exists like it never did before. Basically, originally a Japan only promo item, it came and went very quickly. Now, it's an expanded version of the original Phoenix show with some extra tracks and a whole other set recorded at the same venue years earlier. More a tribute to "Metal Machine Music" than anything Pitchfork is reaching for, this is as untamed as it gets, and the funny thing is that kids with raging hormones and no particular place to go will be relating to this for generations, particularly if it stays semi-underground. Hey, every era needs it's Alex Chilton, right? Totally insane headbang that's sure to leave you insane in the membrane, for many reasons.

JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION/Now I Got Worry: Recorded in authentic blues centers with authentic blues cats that were older than dirt, the unstoppable Spencer took the reins and led the proceedings in the direction he wanted. Like Muddy Waters illegitimate kid messing with things he should leave alone, Spencer takes the ‘blues' to Mars, and leaves them there. As wild as when it came out in 1996, this out of print classic of youthful rebellion is expanded as far as an 80 minute disc will let it be with forgotten b sides, ads and the kitchen sink. As American as day old thrift store apple pie, this is off center music for off center America. You won't be confusing his blues with Dave Spector's any time soon. Strap in for a wild ride.

COPERNICUS/Nothing Exists: Moving from poet to rock star in 1984 as shown on this reissue, Copernicus roamed the same downtown streets as Jim Carroll but was the anti-Carroll taking a Doors-type minimalism, mixing it into trance and giving out lines that land somewhere between Steven Wright and Poe (as in Edgar Allen). If this doesn't feed your hipster jones, probably nothing will.

EGYPT NOIR/various: Do you want to know about the dead guys on here and the history they bring with them or do you want to know if this is a good bellydance record to smoke dope with? When the floods came to Egypt and forced the Nubians into Cairo, they adjusted, found niches in back alleys and let their culture flourish once again. An overview of old stuff side by side with new stuff, it's got a lot of genre blending which could make it easily at home in a neo Bollywood soundtrack. Wild stuff for the young world beater looking to keep his hipster edge in tact.

SOUNDS OF RHYTHM/Sing a Street Corner Symphony Under the Blue Light: These cats from Tupac's hood look like they could have been around in the first wave of doo wop way back when. They sound like it too. There is now a vocal music hall of fame and crews like this keep it from being a dusty memorial as they have it down so right and tight that this set might not be mainstream but it is more than just a dandy diversion. With a lot of familiar tracks given the doo wop/a capella treatment, there's no reason to sail into this think you are traveling uncharted waters. An urban throw back to an easier time and place, this is a load of audio fun that goes down really well. Check it out.

KISSING PARTY/The Hate Album: What if the Cardigan's weren't on a major label and didn't break out of a major soundtrack right out of the box? Would they make sunshine pop in need of lithium? Some kids breathing thin air in Denver seem to do a fine job of answering that question. Like the Cardigans produced by the Ramones, these 2 minute pop flawed gems are completely nuttier than what you think you are hearing at first pass. Wild stuff for those that ain't down with the Cole Porter view of rhyming love.

Volume 33/Number 187
May 7, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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