Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Michigan noisemonger Mammal and Deerhoof co-founder Rob Fisk.
Listed: Mammal + Rob Fisk
Gary Beauvais brings the noise from Detroit, MI. During the day, he mans Animal Disguise Recordings, the label that brought you Sic Alps and Eloe Omoe. At night, he dons masks as Mammal, a forlorn shadow of doubt, doom and double-XL anguish. On past records, Beauvais unleashed plodding power electronics for no-funyons, but his new album Lonesome Drifter is a relative revelation. Sure, it's still heavy, but you couldn't really get away with calling it noise. For one, Beauvais actually sings in spots, really sings. and two, the dude can play guitar. Mammal's always been good at shocking his audience, but these blues take a lot longer to wear off. Lonesome Drifter comes out Oct. 16 on Animal Disguise. Here's where you can find Beauvais during the coming weeks.
Oct. 26 - Icehouse (Lexington, KY)
Oct. 27 - The Flowershop (Chicago, IL)
Oct. 28 - Red Room (Kalamazoo, MI)
Oct. 29 - The Bohemian National Home (Detroit, MI)
Nov. 11 - Scrummage University (Detroit, MI)
1. Black Flag - In My Head (SST)
A lot of people may knock the audio/mix style, but I think it's perfect - echoed out and haunting with the most insane and best Greg Ginn guitar playing of all their records. I've read multiple stories about this one, that it was originally supposed to be a Black Flag Instrumental album, or that it was going to be a Greg Ginn solo album. Either way, nothing else will ever sound like this or capture the feeling you get when the opening chords of the title song start up. Makes my mouth water for what could have come next had the prime lineup of Ginn/Kira/Stevenson not disbanded.
2. Meat Puppets - Up on the Sun (SST)
My favorite opening line ("A long time ago / I turned to myself / and said you / you are my daughter") kicks off the third Meat Puppets album. Curt Kirkwood's stoned, drawled-out vocal style lazily drifts throughout the entire album as the band creates the perfect psychedelic desert soundtrack. Check out the CD reissue on Rhino for some killer slowed-down demo versions of "Up on the Sun," and "Maiden's Milk." Then, take some Vicodin and fall asleep in the sun.
3. Edgar Broughton Band - Edgar Broughton Band (Repertoire)
Their third and best album. Less wild with better focus on musicianship, all flowing cohesively to create an awesome, unique rock album from these overlooked UK weirdos. It's all a satisfying mix of acoustic rock/psychedelia including a medieval sounding folk song and even country rock, Broughton even sets aside his prominent Beefheart-esque growling on many songs for a more subdued natural singing style. Get the reissue CD from Harvest/EMI, as it contains the great "Hotel Room" single as bonus tracks.
4. Lee Hazlewood - Poet, Fool or Bum (Capitol)
Such a great album... So many of Hazlewood's songs give me that 'hair standing on end,' gut wrenching feeling, and with that feeling going strong, you can't go wrong with this one. "The Performer" is a song that reminds me of how I feel after I play live in Detroit. ("Can't you tell by my clothes / I never made it / Can you hear that my songs just won't sing / Can you see in my eyes that I hate it / wasting 20 long years on a dream.")
5. Lou Reed - Berlin (RCA)
I work a late shift as a driver, and this tape has often helped me move through the night. It has become a part of me, and by 4 A.M. I feel like I've lived through it all. I need to get some new tapes...
6. Saint Vitus - Saint Vitus (SST)
Dave Chandler's guitar tone could fucking awaken the dead. Think Sabotage era Black Sabbath mixed with a touch of Nervous Breakdown era Black Flag and you may have a slight idea of how this sounds. Scott Reagers' voice adds a haunting atmosphere of dread, and although bashed by some people, he is the best and most original voice the band had. Here's hoping the current "doom" revival will help resurrect these early Vitus records from obscurity and eBay absurdity (this may not be possible though, because I heard a rumor that Dave Chandler had all the masters and they were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina).
7. T. Rex - T. Rex (Castle)
Every song a winner. I first heard this stuff in 2002 while on the road with Neon Hunk and was blown away. We were driving at night through Massachusetts and there were stars everywhere in the sky...everyone was totally quiet, and it added something mystical and unnatural to the already unique sound.
8. Rodriguez - Cold Fact (RCA/Victor)
I recently saw Rodriguez play outside of a Detroit coffee shop to about 40 people and it was a real treat to be able to hear some of these songs live, yet absurd that there were only 40 people there to see him. A lost legend, he only recorded two albums in the late '60s/early '70s of acoustic folk rock. Cold Fact is his first album, and is a real forgotten classic that should have been as big as Dylan or Donovan, but like many artists, got lost in the shuffle of time and oversaturation of over-hyped crap. As Rodriguez himself says: "Rich folks have the same jokes / And they park in basic places."
9. Ash Ra Tempel - Schwingungen (OHR)
The best 'krautrock' album I've ever heard, this is an epic and psychedelic ride with great guitar and wild effects that keeps on revealing more after repeated listens. Heavy, cosmic shit that I can never get enough of.
10. Paternoster - Paternoster (Ohrwaschl)
My friend Aaron turned me on to this stuff a few years back when this got reissued, and I'm glad he did, because this is one of the heaviest and saddest albums of all time. Thick organ prog from Austria whose singer sounds as if he's about to break down and commit suicide during every song. It's actually pretty fucking amazing. With lyrics like "compete with waves and try to win" and "go to work, I won't be there," you can't go wrong. Unfortunately, I think they only recorded this one self-titled album, and it's only seven songs, but what a great album...I could listen to it every day and never get sick of it.
Rob Fisk may be tired of hearing this, but 13 years ago, the guitarist started Deerhoof. He didn't stick around for the fame (he left in 1999, the internet started in 2000), but he did give the band a running start. Fisk wasn't done, though. He started up a new band called 7 Year Rabbit Cycle. It needed a label -- all respectable bands need labels -- so they invented one: Free Porcupine Society. That little project eventually outgrew the band and released records from My Cat is an Alien, Grouper, Current 93, Deerhoof and Fisk's pairing with Ben Chasny, Badgerlore (which eventually consumed Tom Carter, Pete Swanson, Glen Donaldson and Grouper as well). Somewhere in there, Fisk moved from San Francisco to Tennessee to Alaska. It was that last spot that undoubtedly inspired his latest character, Common Eider, King Eider. This is a Common Eider, a gorgeous breed of sea duck. His new album is called How to Build a Cabin and it's out now on Yik Yak.
1. Arvo Pärt - Any and all!
Estonian modern composer with an amazing beard and crazy eyes. His themes, lines and note clusters are emotionally brutal and hopeful at the same time…like when things can't get any worse, but you don't give up. Simple structures. Fratres!
2. Anne Briggs - The Time Has Come (CBS, Water)
Simple elegant songwriting. “Sandman's Song,” “Ride Ride” – I believe every word she utters.
3. People singing in church off-key
One of my favorite sounds is the sound of a large group of people singing in church. There are different levels of singing – the really "good" singers who are belting it out, and the "bad" singers who can only sing one or two notes, like my dad. Combined, it sounds really honest and pretty. The sound of folks just goin' for it…fills me with hope.
4. The Moody Blues - To Our Children's Children's Children (Threshold)
A great conceptual album in intergenerational equity, working towards a sustainable future. I love the song "Watching and Waiting,” and have listened to it probably 20 times in a row in one sitting.
5. Six Organs of Admittance - Compathia (Holy Mountain)
This has been in my regular rotation for years, and was recently the soundtrack of a very long road trip. Simple and distilled down themes. I love Ben’s fingerpicking on nylon strings. Very humble sounding.
6. Tim Hecker - Harmony in Ultraviolet (Kranky)
Saw him play this in Chicago right before it came out. I was in the sweet spot in the room, and it really affected me. I love the tension between the white noise sheets and the melodic lines.
7. Pearls Before Swine - Constructive Melancholy: 30 Years of Pearls Before Swine (Birdman)
The best of PBS. I love his voice. I love his nursery-rhyme-for-adults songwriting. " And if you don't love / The one that you're with / Why don't you just / Wait for the one that you love? / And she'll love you, too” (from “Love/Sex”).
8. The sound of 200 sandhill cranes flying overhead heading south for the winter
Their calls sound like stuttered frantic trumpets and are deafening on the ground. I think of how some cultures consider cranes the mediators between heaven and earth.
9. A Silver Mt. Zion - The "Pretty Little Lightning Paw" E.P. (Constellation)
I cry every time I hear this record. I was given a copy as a gift, gave it to someone, and have purchased about eight copies so far. I always give it to someone to listen to, and forget who it was , so i buy another one. One of my favorite recordings of all time. (Note: The band released this EP as Thee Silver Mountain Reveries)
10. The sound of my sweetheart's voice quietly singing songs in my ear late at night, trying not to wake up the roommates
Barely audible and so intimate and gentle. This is my favorite thing.
By Dusted Magazine