Friday, November 16, 2007

Meet Kodac of Tibet, Fan of Whiskey

Readers, allow me to introduce to you an old friend of mine, Mr. Greg Ziants. Formerly (little) neon wilderness, Greg has for the last two years been recording under the name Kodac, for the ears of few besides himself. Holed-up in various home studios - lately he's patrolled soon to be famous "self-esteem studio" on Tibet St. in Columbus - Kodac's mastered his own brand of lo-fi psychedelic drone-folk. And it's time people started paying attention...if only he'd play out, or release something.
The four tracks up on his space only tell half the story. The acoustic strum, slide and pick of "Fire and Sun" is the perfect example of his "pagan pop" side, usually accompanied by a simple, repeated rhythm. "City Eye With Sean Paul" is more of his "guided by drone" suit, layers of subtle noise topped with not-so-subtle crash and melody. Elsewhere, all that's needed is tape hiss and metal to get his point across. Sometimes the tracks are meticulously pieced together, other times they're recorded to a single mic. From kraut experiments to anglo-spirituals, it is all shrouded in a bit of mystery.
He's handed me homemade cassettes and CDR's, played me forty-minute drones from a hand-held recorder, and all of it is superb. But Greg has been reluctant to put it together into a package suitable for release. You see, Kodac is a perfectionist in his own frayed and fuzzy way. If I could, I'd throw up the money to get his planned debut, The Tibet Tapes, pressed onto wax. Maybe all that's needed is a slightly larger audience and a little encouragement. Go and listen, and bug him for a personal sample if you see him out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guide to GG Allin, Parts I and II

This is the kind of stuff the internet was made for. Terminal Boredom has finally posted the second half to Jason Litchfield's Guide to GG Allin. Litchfield, an obvious GG collector scum extraordinaire, has posted just about everything you need to know about Allin's releases from 1977 up until the beginning of the reissue process (and his soaring international infamy) in 1987. He's included detailed cover artwork scans and release info all tied together chronologically with fascinating GG history. Awesome job, Jason.

Part I
Part II

No values? Sounds familiar. Let's hope that Christopher Lasch, set to release his debut single next year, pays close attention to Mr. Allin's career arc. After all, GG's brother Merle was in the Cheater Slicks for a brief stint. I predict an Unholy 2 defecation on stage by Spring '08.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rip It Off One-Sheet

This is getting me pretty excited. Best one-sheet ever?

Friday, November 9, 2007

My 7"s of the Year: Eat Skull and Nothing People

In another year of great outsider, punk, shit-fi 7" singles a couple of bands have made it easy for me to pick the best. If you haven't heard (of) Eat Skull by now you should be putting the Portland group on your radar immediately. Fronted by Rob Enbom - part-time Hospital, half 0f Hole Class with Beth of TNV, former resident of the Lambsbread Deleware compound...let's not forget Negative World - the band kick up a reefer-induced swirl of guitars and cheap organ, toms and symbols, referencing just about any cool obscuro scene from '79 to '89, whether it be in New Zealand or Los Angeles or London. How's that for vague?
"Seeing Things" brings a smile from ear-to-ear in sing-along style without becoming too cute or twee, a first-class pop song that will rattle around in your head for months, on-par with any of the best early Clean tracks. That's about as high a compliment as I can give. "Things I Did When I Dyed My Hair" is about as stretched out as a fuzz-pop band can get, a chorus-less rant that loses control down the hill only to run into Sister Ray, knocking her across the street. Bloody, but really entertaining.
In a matter of about six months Eat Skull have managed to release the years best single, tour the west coast (twice?) and play host to most of Portland's best bills. Can't wait for the upcoming full-length on Siltbreeze and extended tour, both expected in the near-future I would hope. Unfortunately this one was out of print almost instantly, so you'll have to ask your nerdiest friend to tape it or go to their page for some tunes. They've also got a cassette floating out there.

Northern California's Nothing People approach the 7" EP in a more traditional way, with a strong, original A-side and a cover on the flip. Last year's stellar Problems EP reminded me of Sister-era Sonic Youth playing Chrome covers and while In the City isn't entirely different it does bring to mind a more muscular glitter sound, like a band raised on hard liquor rather than heroin.
Both tracks recall an era when (mostly west-coast) zit-faced garage-dwellers liked glam (Roxy, Sweet, Bolan) and punk (the British variety) and psych (Roky and his ilk) and didn't get beat-up for it. A time that I sure as hell didn't live through and one that probably didn't exist at all, but in my dreams it did and it was when somebody kicked up the stardust for bands like the Twinkeyz and Zolar X and Swell Maps, and today propels bands like Nothing People and Catatonic Youth. Their version of "Really Good Time" brings a more sinister angle to mid-period Roxy and will hopefully shed some light on how great Ferry's songs were on those albums. This one is available, directly from SS would be the best way to get it.