Listed: Wolf Eyes + The Clientele
The Ann Arbor supergroup Wolf Eyes first started to congeal in 1998 when Nathan Young began to play god, fusing together homemade electronic instruments the likes of which the world had never heard. Fellow Couch fan Aaron Dilloway and American Tapes headmaster John Olson stepped in to help and Wolf Eyes was born. The group creates a terrifyingly opaque blend of Swans and Throbbing Gristle; foreign and foreboding, theres no easy way in or out of this noise. Wolf Eyes essence is perhaps best encapsulated by a song title from Dread: Half Animal, Half Insane.
Wolf Eyes are playing the Movement Festival (Formerly the Detroit Electronic Music festival) at the end of May and have a few 7"s in the works. A split LP with Panicsville is due soon, as are two upcoming collaboration LP's one with Smegma and another with Black Dice. And of course a slew of cassettes and CDr's in between.
The group plans to record a new full-length LP in July and tour the East coast in late August with Emil Beaulieau (Americas greatest living noise artist) of RRRecords. For more Wolf Eyes info and limited edition sounds, visit the Hanson Records / American Tapes group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HN_AM/. Dilloways label Hanson Records just released a new Kevin Drumm LP Land Of Lurches and a CD reissue of an old Hanson compilation LP, Labyrinths and Jokes. Upcoming Hanson releases include Smegma, The Beast People, and Humectant Interuption. Aaron took part in this week's Listed:
1. Pink Floyd All live recordings post Syd Barrett/Pre-Darkside (Oil Well / Highland / Night Tripper, etc.) My favorite band of all time. Ya, the Barrett shit is good, but is also pretty fucking lollipop. Killer guitarist, but also kind of a fairy with the Floyd. I'd much rather jam his solo LP's than Piper. Don't get me wrong, Piper is killer...and I like fairy shit, just dig barbarian shit more. Now...
2. Butthole Surfers Brown Reason To Live (Alternative Tenticles) I heard this at hockey practice in the fourth grade. One of the kids on the team had a punker sister and he brought this in. He said it was punk rock. I remember thinking the name was super funny. What I heard was insane, I thought it was so hilarious and just crazy. Two years later I had this punker chick make me a tape of the Sex Pistols. I was super excited to hear punk rock again, but it sounded like regular rock and roll to me. I still liked it, but it wasn't as crazy as I'd expected. Not as crazy as THIS!
3. Couch S/T 7" (Bulb) Man, when this fucking record came out, it completely changed everything for me. At the time I was in 11th grade I think, I was buying records by the Surfers, Alice Donut, all the Am Rep shit....just trying to find the most fucked up shit I could find. Getting dissapointed much of the time... example: Surgery. One day we were skating around town all day, killer session, got chased by the cops and everything, we all had to split up. Later in the day, my buds and I met up again and went to go see the Laughing Hyenas play in a basement in Ann Arbor. The basement was packed. This dude in glasses and a 70's shirt (Magas) pushed by me w/ one of those red keyboard guitar things. I thought to myself "What a fuckin' freak!, we gotta check these guys out!" It was fucking scary as shit...I had absolutly no idea what to think of this band. I was right in front and Pete was jumpin up and down with his bass and his long frizzy hair, and screaming with his fucked up teeth. I kept thinkin' he was gonna bite me. And they were like...older dudes too, which was kinda creepy. The music made absolutly no sense, but sometimes it kinda sounded together, but really not at all. Just a freaky, creepy mess. A few weeks later I was at Schoolkids Records and up on the wall was a 7" by this band I had seen, COUCH. I could not even believe that this band could have a record out. I was floored when I got home...I even recognised one of the songs. The next week, I went back and asked the dude what else there was like Couch. He convinced me to buy a record called Rearend Hernia Puppetshow by a band called Caroliner Rainbow Hernia Milkqueen....OH SHIT!
4. Caroliner Rainbow Hernia Milkqueen Rearend Hernia Puppetshow (Bullshit) I really thought it could not get more fucked up. I was wrong...I don't know even to this day that it could get more fucked up than Caroliner. this was the first record that just COMPLETELY confused me. I had absolutly no idea what speed to play it at. The last song on each side just stopped cuz it was cut further than my tone arm would go. I wouldn't even been able to figure out the name of the band if the dude at the store hadn't told me. It was in a box and had a buncha garbage in it too. One piece of garbage was a moldy magazine ripped open to an advertisment for Horse Wormer. And the lyrics were so scary and fucked up it made Alice Donut's lyrics read like one of them boring ass Hemingway books....like that shitty one they made ya read in school...Old Man and the Sea...that book SUCKED!
5. Black Flag Damaged (SST/Unicorn) This is the most spazzed out fucking hardcore record my ears have ever heard. I really wish they would have kept this two guitar thing goin'. Everything about this record is fucking killer....the music, the lyrics, the cover, and it's even produced killer! What happened with them later records? Still killer songs, but recorded so unpowerfully it's a bummer. Process Of Weeding Out was pretty cool and the Live 84 cassette was pretty fucking perfect. Man...the fuckin' later shit shoulda ALL sounded like the live version of "Scream" from the Rat Music for Rat People comp. That is some fucking psycho-heavy later Black Flag!
6. Venom Welcome To Hell (Neat/Base) I used to sit and listen to this record, look at the cover, and think how this record is like the WORST POSSIBLE thing for a teenegers parents to find in their room. Totally giant fucking pentagram on the cover, back covers got a buncha ugly, scary lookin dudes, one holding a fucking hatchet! A buncha heavy songs about Satan, a song about how "Angel Dust" takes you higher than anything known....this quote: "We're possessed by all that is evil, The death of you God we demand, We spit at the virgin you worship, And sit at Lord Satan's left hand." There are some good spelling errors as well, "A very special thanx to Weith Nichol." I believe the are referring to the producer "Keith Nichol", but maybe it's his brother "Weith". Also this great warning: "If this is scratched. Wapedd or defaced in Any wat please throw It away and buy a new one!" Not only are these dudes freaked out PCP fueled satanists, the spell is about as good as my! This record is a beautiful fucking mess.
7. Darkthrone Transylvanian Hunger (Peaceville) Very close to being the most fucked up metal record ever...right under Pure Fucking Armeghedon and Abruptum's "Evil" 7". This is a Wolf Eyes favorite for late night driving on tour. Killer for the driver, Killer for the dude smokin cigarettes in the passenger seat, and killer for the dude chillin' in the backseat, or in my case "THE HOLE". Amazing record, fully resurged back the preteen metalhead I once was. Easily as scary as the cover of Mob Rules or the Yes video with the snakes in it. Totally crude, totally dark, pretty fucking ugly. I dated a goth girl once. I was in 10th grade, she was a senior. That was pretty fuckin' cool.
Combining the introspectively dreamy, stripped-down pop of 80s and 90s predecessors Galaxie 500 and Felt with the heartbreaking sincerity of seminal 60s bands Love and the Soft Machine, The Clientele has built a following in recent years through a dedication to touring, a run of sold-out 7-inches, and the recent U.S. re-release of A Fading Summer (EP) on Merge Records. Their most recent work, The Lost Weekend EP, reflects a continued infatuation with the 60s analog sound, a relationship that makes their music a standout in todays hi-fi music community. Look for the British band to tour the U.S. this summer/fall.
1. Beautiful Daze "The City Jungle" "See paper tigers floating out at night / and you see wingless birds taking to flight." This is a nightmarish garage punk song: it seems to be all about urban dread. Due to a misprint on the first Acid Dreams compilation artwork, the song was originally credited to 'the Remaining Few', which I think would have been the perfect name for this band, you do have the sense of a last stand being made before something eats them alive. This is now included as a bonus track on the CD of Pebbles vol. 2.
2. Razorcuts "Brighter Now" (from Storyteller, Creation) I still remember that this record was dismissed by Q Magazine in 1988 as 'pathetic whimsy' The fact that the strings are obviously fake only adds to the sense of summery weirdness, along with the off-key vocals. To me, this is the greatest of the let's-meet-up-in-town-in-the-sunlight-and-fall-in-love genre of songs that Creation Records specialised in at the time. Other notables are Felt's "Christopher Street" and Biff Bang Pow's "Wouldn't You?" For anyone who's interested, it's a mysterious genre that also stretches back to Keith West's 1967 classic "On a Saturday" and forward to St. Etienne etc. etc. Razorcuts have just had an authoritative compilation released on Matinee records.
3. Tony Conrad "May" (Table of the Elements) This is long, sustained violin bowing on the same note. Hearing the note change (after about 20 minutes) is almost transcendent. I listened to it lying on my bed when the note shifted, I felt like I was lifted into the air.
4. West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band "As the World Rises and Falls" (from A Child's Guide to Good and Evil, Reprise) This sends shivers down my spine.
5. The Strands "Something Like You" (from Michael Head and the Strands, Megaphone) Michael Head's most beautiful melody and a baroque string arrangement. When I first heard this I had to sit down suddenly.
6. John Coltrane, Rashied Ali, Pharaoh Sanders, Alice Coltrane and Jimmy Garrison The Olatunji Concert (Impulse) Pharaoh Sanders' sax sounds a bit like a rampaging elephant, twinned with the incredible lo-fi barrage of Rashied Ali's drums. Alice Coltrane and Jimmy Garrison provide limpid breaks from the intensity and John Coltrane stitches it all back together.
7. Ram Narayan Rζg Shankara (Nimbus) Ram Narayan plays the Sarangi, which is a bowed instrument with a very unusual, haunting sound, a bit like a cross between a viola and a sitar. Rζg Shankara contains two 40 minute long ragas, one that is traditionally listened to in the early morning, one late at night. The idea of the Raga, as I understand it, is to improvise a melody within the limitations of certain scales there are specific notes you have to avoid when you play up the neck of the instrument, and different ones on the way down. There are two other musicians on the CD, one who plays a long, beautiful drone underneath the Sarangi, and a tabla player.
8. The Monkees "Ticket on a Ferry Ride" (from Changes, Rhino) By this time Pete and Mike had left, and the Monkees were pretty much finished. Mickey's swansong is this bittersweet elegy that reminds me of the simplicity of their early singles, except it seems more knowing, more defeated. The songs Mickey sang were almost always sad and this one just aches.
9. The United States of America "Love Song for the Dead Che" (from United States of America, Edsel/Columbia) A restrained and very beautiful song from 1968 about grief. It begins with keyboard / electronic phrases that sound like gramophones or half-heard symphonies from wireless radios coming from somewhere far away; the momentum builds into a haze of sound, and a lovely, bossa-nova influenced melody. It's kinda lo-fi but in a unique way; I don't know anything else that sounds like this.
By Dusted Magazine