Mr. Jimijam's Music Reviews
ALBUMS, EPS, CASSETTES, DEMOS, 7" SINGLES, 12" SINGLES, CDS, MP3S
WDC PERIOD, ROX MAGAZINE, RHYTHMS MAGAZINE, DELUDED, ONLINE
The following writings are assorted album reviews in various formats that I wrote for various publications throughout the years. Some are good and some...in retrospective I was downright cruel but in most cases I was still right on the mark but I could have expressed it different.
ARC OF ONE - "ARC OF ONE" (Truth Records) - (1989)
I have been hearing some interesting things about this band, even got some flyers with cool artwork. They had a great one about playing the "4 By 5 Club". So I listened to their recent eight-song debut CD and it wasn't what I expected. If one is going to spend some big bucks on a CD release at least make sure you equalize the master mix for a full and rich sound. The sound mix on this CD was way too tinny and it had a very flat bass sound. Singer Jeanne Dushel had an annoying voice that distracted one from the very competent playing. Guitarist Andrew Stainer seems to be the driving force behind this band, being that he was credited with most of the words and music. The lyrics were arty-farty and bordered on pretentiousness; some good ideas were brought up but weren't quite executed to fully provoke the listener. It was recorded at the Main Frame Studio in Baltimore, Maryland, and was produced by John Palumbo of CRACK THE SKY fame. I guess this accounts for the stagnant and dated art-rock sound, it reminded me a lot of GENTLE GIANT and late-period KING CRIMSON. Mitch Crosswait played some nice keyboards fills and the drummer Chris G had a pleasant subtle groove. But I would re-mix this CD and pump up the bass in the mix. The song "What's Wrong With This Picture" was the best track. I would like to check out their live show to see how they perform their songs; live shows have been known to change my mind about some bands.
Published in ROX Magazine Vol.2 No.8 February 1990 - Pinhead & Grump
On June 27, 2007, I received the following e-mail from former ARC OF ONE singer Jeanne-Marie Dushell after she read the above review of the band's album that was on one of my websites. Well, I do not mind providing anyone catharsis, no matter how off-base their issues are with what I wrote, but I found this letter very insightful about the life of a working musician. The thing that cracks me up though, is that her letter is three times longer than the review that I wrote for ROX Magazine, and after all the bitching and moaning, she basically agrees with what I wrote, even though she had read so much into to what I wrote, especially my comment on John Palumbo's production. The funny thing is, I was told to write a negative review by my editor because one of the band's members kept annoying her for a write-up, and she did not think I was critical enough in my opinion of their music. I wish her well, and hopes she stays on the karaoke stage and having the time of her life.
What a hoot for me to find out my name is on a site reviewing that moldy old project! Alas, it went the way of so many music projects and died a natural death. You know what...I take that back. The truth is, in hindsight, I euthanized it. It wasn't intentional; it happened a few months after I threw in the towel. The irony of your perception versus the reality of what transpired is worthy of note even at this late date. Very astute of you to pick up on the lyrical quality, or lack thereof. I used to call it "Upper Middle Class Sheltered Boy Word Salad". For the better part of 2 years, the lyrics and the melody lines were off-limits and out of my control, in addition to being out of my range. They were greatly improved in the studio in an effort to make the bank marketable to a recording industry finally recognizing an emerging market in female-fronted group. There's gold in them there hills, so to speak. Whatever mud you cared to sling about John, he was signed to a major label, had contacts, an ear to the tracks and thought we might be able to further each others ambitions. I'm sure you know by now, it is all about strategic alliances. Besides our rhythm section cut their teeth on some early CRACK THE SKY and thought he was a giant. And he far exceeded all our expectations as a producer. You were 180 degrees out of phase regarding his contribution. It is too bad you did not see the live show. We opened for THE GODFATHERS and Vernon Reid's LIVING COLOUR at U of MD and actually didn't suck. Some of my co-workers were kind enough to film & videotape it and there were enough useable bits for me to cut together a decent demo. That's when in discovered I also had a more lucrative talent as an editor. I ushered those shy, geeky guys out of the basement and taught them how to relax and enjoy the spotlight. I always had fun on stage. And what a kick in the head it was after covering songs for so many years to stand up and put across music nobody's ever heard before and, even with those silly lyrics, actually sell it! Have you ever had that feeling? I can remember exactly when I got it the very first time. Invincible. And the best part is, it's never left me since. My new best friend. I was good enough to get an honorable mention for best front person in MD Musician after only a few gigs. I'd won awards and street performed at Harborplace and other lesser venues for years doing covers and was looking for the challenge of an original project. Arc Of One, a name chosen only for the demo, was my 4th try and the 1st one to get out of the basement for more than 1 gig. Now, if you thought John was responsible for a stagnant and dated art-rock sound, the truth is that he was responsible for what made the songs actually listenable from start to finish by anyone other than band members, friends and family. If you'd ever laid ears on the original tracks he was given to polish, you'd know what most of the rest of us knew. He was a magician! And that driving force, as you put it, actually drove the project into the wall. The rise and fall played out like a Shakespearean tragedy. There wasn't any one driving force. Each one of us picked up where the others limitations fell. It came naturally and most of the time we had fun. Without exception, it was an exception group of extraordinarily talented individuals. But in the crucial hour, one of us became possessed by the green-eyed monster. Of course in hindsight, it was beneath the surface all along. But you know, you gotta stick around, if you want to find out what "really" happens at the end of the movie! At the time, I thought it could have gone either way. When it comes to human nature, I'm a short-term pessimist and a long-term optimist, try to appeal to the best in people and occasionally I'm not disappointed. This was not one of those times. Still, I've not regretted a single moment. Thanks for being there for me MrJimijamUSA@aol.com, who I've never heard of, who panned my performance and oversimplified a complex project in a magazine, written, oh so long ago, in a rag I don't recall, which I never read. Until now, and this is luxuriously cathartic! I'm happy to have happened across your review this week. What few reviews I'd read about the band or this demo, astonishingly praised my contribution. Yours is the first negative one I've read. Doesn't mean there weren't others out there, it's just that I moved on very quickly and didn't have much time to look back. It also helps to re-enforce my exodus decision based on the advice that John gave me after we'd spent a week in the studio doing all we could to bring out the vocals. That I had a great voice but that this demo didn't represent me well. I'm no mental giant, but if that demo had been received as ab-fab, I probably would have heard about it by now. Turns out all three of us were right! Thank God for Hip-Hop and Rap. Lyrics have come back with a vengeance, haven't they? I just love it. I picture a whole room full of my old band mates just eating bees. Me, I've burned through several whole careers since that project and get my vocal ya-yas out occasionally popping up at a karaoke bar. Don't laugh. Except for the cover aspect, it's everything I ever wanted in a back-up band. Music is a lot like great sex and, with that analogy, to a singer, karaoke is like having a hooker, only it's free. The hardest play is picking a song. I have tons of fun and get that same special attention, without enduring oppressive volumes or soothing and disarming infantile egos. I can find one almost anytime I'm in the mood, and most importantly, I don't have to waste precious time from so many other things, just to get up and help people feel something once in a while. Sorry to use you like this, MrJimijamUSA@aol.com. But after all you did use me, most unflatteringly I should add, for your own purposes as well. Only I'm not publishing mine. At least for now. That was just one itty, bitty, happy little chapter in my life and I just might want to write a book someday. Don't worry. I'll change your name.
Best Wishes & Happy Holidays! Regards, Jeanne-Marie Dushell
THE EURYTHMICS - "The Movie" (RCA Movies) - (1988)
I, for the most part, do not enjoy concert films; they usually do not recreate the "live concert experience". This film is a great exception; it caught the essence and spirit of The Eurythmics in a truly captivating performance in Sydney, Australia, on February 14, 1987. It opened with a fantasy sequence in which religious and mystic symbols were interplayed with images of Annie Lennox and Dave E. Stewart and their "Revenge" tour band in an effort to re-create an aura of mystery about themselves. Snakes and phallic images and the fantasy sequence were then interspersed throughout the performance as if the band were trying to surrealize and de-humanize themselves from the rest of the world. The band was scorching hot, and in most instances, the live versions of their songs in the film were better than the album versions - "Sex Crime" - "Thorn In My Side" - "When Tomorrow Comes" - "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These)" - "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves" - "Would I Lie To You" - This is a great film to kick back to and drink some wine with some friends and groove.
Published in WDC Period #15
THE FROGS - "The Frogs" (Homestead Records) - (1989)
Yo Frogs - I saw yer collection of songs at Melody Records in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC; I was intrigued by the artwork on the cover. So I bought it, because I support gay artists, I figured it would be some kind of folk-rockish type music, being that is on the Homestead Records label. I gave it a listen, and damn was I ever disappointed. The song titles were really groovy, but the songs were half-assed attempts at singing, songwriting, musicianship, studio production, and having meaning. Who did you blow at Homestead Records to get this dreck released? A few of the songs had possibility (i.e. "I've Got Drugs", "These Are The Finest Queen Boys", "Men (Come On Men)", and "Been A Month (Since I Had A Man)". The rest were utterly inane attempts at music and lyrics; the pointless vulgarity with "Hot Cock Annie", the poor and shabby production on most of side one of the cassette, the negative stereotypes re-enforcement in "Rosy Jack World", "Homos", and "Baby Greaser George", and a resentful bitter attack on lesbians with "Dykes We Are". Who are you two? What is your point? Are you two hung up, strung out, and pissed off, tacky queens or two stupid-ass breeder scumbags perpetrating a sick homophobic joke? Word up!!!! Bitches!!!
Published in WDC Period #16
FUGAZI - "Repeater" (Dischord Records) - (1990)
In some circles in DC, Fugazi is the only band that matters. Fugazi consists of: Brendan Canty on drums, Guy Picciotto on vocals, Joe Lally on bass, and Ian MacKaye on guitar and vocals. All of the members come from various DC hardcore bands such as Minor Threat, Rites Of Spring, and Embrace. All of their releases have been on Dischord Records, which is the home of most of DC's politi-rock bands. "Repeater" continues in that tradition with hard-hitting lyrics backed by tribal-like drumming, spacey Pink Floyd-ish bass lines, and odd, off-kilter, spastic guitar licks that screech and sputter all over the place. The lyrics espouse being true to oneself and not having one's soul sucked away by the beast of crass commercialism - "Because what a difference a little difference would make." This album was not as enticing as I was expecting, but it is worth getting. The production is tight and crisp, and was produced by Ted Nicely of Slickee Boys and Tommy Keene fame, and it was recorded at Don Zientara's Inner Ear Studio. The Killer Kuts are: "Brendan's #1 Merchandise", "Sieve-Fisted Find", and particularly "Shut The Door". Go check out their first EP if you want to hear Fugazi at their finest.
Published in ROX Magazine Vol.2 No.12 June 1990 - Pinhead & Grump
GOLDEN SOUND AXIS - "Eight-Song Demo" (Golden Records) - (1990)
There is music and then there is MUSIC. This eight-song demo is a prime example of what musicians can create if they just take time and care. From the opening clatter of "Axis" to the swirling ending of "King Of Kings", the music flows like a dream. Lush flowery keyboards, subliminal and sinewy guitar lines, soothing enveloping bass gently loping along as voices, words, fragments, and phrases fly at you, carrying, poking, caressing, and waking you up. The song "99 Degrees" sent chills up and down my spine as it drilled into my brain..."Shake me and stir me, cook me up and serve me"...Golden Sound Axis are funkier than Prince has been in a long time. It's funk, rock, and jazz, it's exotic, industrial, and kind of Ministry meets Hendrix. Beautifully textured, deep, haunting, and brilliantly produced, Golden Sound Axis is the result of composer Golden, producer Najadi Aurico, and engineer Billie-Marie Golden. It was recorded at the Palacades Studio, and it is one of the best-sounding demos that I have heard in a long time. The songs "Liquid Eyes" and "Seatbelts And Condoms" come alive on my stereo, their music is catchy with groovy hooks and quite thought-provoking. They should become the "Next Big Thing" out of Baltimore, and they should be playing out real soon. I am looking forward to this.
Published in ROX Magazine Vol.2 No.9 March 1990 - Pinhead & Grump
GUNS'N'ROSES - "Appetite For Destruction" (Geffen Records) - (1988)
As soon as the first bar of music screamed out of the speakers and into my ears, I knew I found my summer boombox blastin' gangsta noiz guaranteed to offend all in my path - WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE. Savage, brutal lyrics about street life set to throbbing, pulsing, grungy, funky, rock-hard guitar-driven rock and roll that is great for going on a walk or riding the metro. GUNS'N'ROSES are the supposed bad boys of the L.A. rock scene, and lots of hype about drug arrests and sexual deviancy precede them, but I guess they do not kiss ass in the music industry. They are going to be branded as AEROSMITH clones, but they are nothing like them. Their style is a whack combination of metal thrash and hard rock with a bit of a funky bottom. W. Axl Rose has a great chameleon voice which sets the tone of the story in each of the twelve songs on the album. Slash and Izzy Stradlin play their guitars with intense interplay that cuts and slices, crunches and grinds notes as they fly out and scorch my eardrums as bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler keep the big bottom chugging along like a possessed freight train. This is a great album to ease one's frustrations with at full volume, so go strut and blast, "Welcome to the jungle, I want to see you bleed."
Published in WDC Period, Vol. II, #13 - July 1988
GWAR - "Scumdogs Of The Universe" (Metal Blade Records) - (1990)
Hailing from the frozen depths of Antarctica, GWAR features - Balsac The Jaws of Death, Beefcake the Almighty, Flattus Maximus, Oderous Urungus, and Jismak the Gusher - guitar, bass, guitar, vocals, and drums respectively - and they have begun their assault on earth with music as their weapon to purge it of the human parasites plaguing the planet. Actually they are five crazy guys from Richmond, Virginia, and they are pulling off the greatest scam in rock and roll excess since the early days of KISS. This is the one album that may give Tipper Gore a heart attack. The music is hard, loud, and crunchy, and with lyrics that you never thought existed..."Putrid pus-pools vomit bubonic plague, the glands of the gorge reek of, how to describe such vileness on a page, the world maggot waits for the end of an age." The lyric sheet even includes notes from an imaginary censor pointing out the obscene phrases and why GWAR should be banned and destroyed. The production on this album is absolutely fantastic and sounds great. Al Jourgensen of Ministry was the recording engineer so I am not surprised. As for the music, imagine if Motorhead was fronted by Freddie Krueger and Jason Voorhies. There is a big fat rhythm section that swallows your head whole as guitars saw into your skull and the out-of-this-world lyrics lay a scary mind trip on you that will give you nightmares. You will just sit there and wonder, "Who are these people and how did they get that way?" The Killer Kuts are: "Maggots", "Love Surgery", "Sexecutioner", and the hilarious "Slaughterama", which has my favorite joke of the month in it - How do you hide your money from a hippie? Put it underneath a bar of soap! So listen up maggots, buy this album, play it very loud, scare your neighbors, and get kicked out of your apartment. You will love it, trust me.
Published in ROX Magazine Vol.2 No.12 August 1990 - Pinhead & Grump
HR - "Its About Luv" (Olive Tree Records) - (1985)
Fire burn Babylon! HR comes out screaming! Guitars blazing! A year after "Rock For Light", the Bad Brains' classic truth through punk album, former singer Joseph I, alias HR, comes forward with a new band and album on Olive Tree Records. The all-star line-up features his brother Earl Hudson, ex-Bad Brains, on drums, Judah II, formerly of NYC's The Mob, on bass, David Jordan, guitarist extraordinaire, and DC's own David Byers, hot guitarist of go-go/funk sensation Outrage. Also featured is Doc Night on saxophone and Kenny Dread on keyboards, both also from Outrage, plus Howard Gad of Ziontrain and Kush also play saxophone on this album. It is time to start a revolution! The album opens with a slow apocalyptic blues intro, and its haunting jungle-like sound sets the mood for the rest of the songs. Suddenly with furious speed the guitars attack, the rhythm section pounds, crying out for peace, love, and unity, HR commands your attention! He wants a change and he wants it now, and he wants it for you, everybody, and me. The velocity and fury of the Bad Brains is intact but with this album Joseph I shows maturity and a refinement of his message and sound. The overall sound is a more polished merging of his musical and spiritual influences. This new maturity is reflected in the Spanish-tinged guitar styling in "It'll Be Alright" to the gentle muted reggae of "Happy Birthday My Son". The album bears witness to the struggle of Rastafari in modern day Babylon. The lyrics are more expressive and emotional than his earlier writings; they show the pain Joseph I feels in his trials and tribulations that he goes through in his daily life. But he also offers hope and redemption, his music is the key to unlocking the doors of freedom. Open your eyes! Open your ears! Open your soul! Check it!
Published in WDC Period #12
LAST CRACK - "Three-Song EP" (Roadrunner Records) - (1988)
This is one of those tapes that makes you think that the five same guys play in the same fifty metal bands, and the record companies are hoping that one of them will be successful and make them lots of money - Metallica drums, Anthrax guitars, Black Sabbath bass, and Ronnie James Dio vocals. When will they learn that this formula rarely works? GAG!!!
Published in WDC Period #12
LOST HORIZON - "Demo" (Self-Released) - (1989)
Writing an album review of something new and unfamiliar can sometimes be quite an arduous task for a music critic. You give the tape a listen and try to accentuate the positive things but your ears go "No! No! No! Don't torture me!" Unfortunately, this is one of those tapes, I gave it several listens but it still makes me cringe. It is the misguided efforts of two young guys from Annapolis, Maryland, but you can tell that they put a lot of time and effort into playing producing the five songs on this well-packaged demo cassette. Polished, layered, and very solid as far as production values go but it lacks soul and substance. It suffers from mushy and trifling lyrics that convey no emotional depth and a lack of catchy riffs that beg repeated listening. Any of the five tracks on this tape would fit nicely on any Journey, REO Speedwagon, or Richard Marx album; they are not exactly cutting edge. The songs themselves are structured well initially, but they really don't seem to know how to end them properly. The little girls of Middle America will eat this pabulum up if it gets the exposure, but if you are like me and want to rock, you will have to look elsewhere.
Published in ROX Magazine Vol.2 No.7 January 1990 - Pinhead & Grump
MIDNIGHT OIL - "Blue Sky Mining" (Columbia Records) - (1990)
There is an old saying that says something along the lines that "Art" should be a hammer and not a mirror. MIDNIGHT OIL gives reality to that statement. Music and politics often do not mix well together, but Peter Garrett and company pull it off. Last year's "Diesel And Dust" album brought critical acclaim and mass popularity to the band, this album should take them over the top. In the recent fifth anniversary of SPIN, there is a quote that says, "If Midnight Oil were from New Jersey, they would be bigger than U2." The band's current release, "Blue Sky Mining", continues down the path laid by "Diesel And Dust". Rob Hirst's drumming makes the album sound sparse, gentle, and almost eerie as his rhythms meanders and lopes along as Bone Hillman's bass playing washes and caresses one's ears. Martin Rotsey's guitar licks are tasty and melodic and occasionally stretch out to be atmospheric. Jim Moginie adds guitar and keyboard fills in all the right places. Peter Garrett beckons, beseeches, informs, and provokes one with his lyrics that are more than just words. His unique vocal style is played down in the mix so that it does not grates one's nerve as it did on some of their previous albums. Sometimes the album reminds me of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" during some of the vocals and the use of soaring crescendos. The outstanding songs are "Blue Sky Mining", "Forgotten Years" (even though it is vaguely reminiscent of last year's single "Beds Are Burning"), and "King Of The Mountain". It is one of the best albums of the past five years, so go get it now.
Published in ROX Magazine Vol.2 No.10 April 1990 - Pinhead & Grump
1000 HOMO DJS - "Apathy" b/w "Better Ways" 12"single (WaxTrax!) - (1989)
WaxTrax! Records out of Chicago have become the label for industrial disease music noise and this is their latest entry in the MINISTRY sound-a-like contest. It turns out that this is one of Ministry's leader Alain Jourgensen's many, many side projects. "Apathy" is a mechanical stomp laced with saxophone squonk that rants about what is wrong with the human race - YOU! "Better Ways" is a repetitive dirge with a fuzz guitar interlude with the same social commentary as found in "Apathy". Music for the terminally bored.
Published in WDC Period #18 - Spring 1989
THE PET SHOP BOYS - "Behavior" (Parlophone/EMI Records) - (1990)
It seems that everyone has that one group that you love intensely and none of your friends cannot believe you like, well, for me; it is The Pet Shop Boys. I have some pals who say, "Dude, you like Metallica, Thud, Murder Ink, and WaxTrax! Shit, how can you like The Pet Shop fucking Boys, dude...!!!"
Well, it goes like this...I listen to music like it is the soundtrack to some epic movie that I am living. The beat flows with my mood, and The Pet Shop Boys make me happy when I am chilling to go to sleep or when I am strolling with the Walkman on my way to work. Their beat counterbalances the hum of the Xerox machines at my menial job at Kinko's in Georgetown. I think of their music as an art piece rather than a band kicking out the jams.
Each song is like the aural equivalent of a feeling or emotion that I have felt, with their new album "Behavior", they have perfected this. I totally grooved on eight out of the ten songs on this album, which is their fourth release excluding a remix album. The Pet Shop Boys have based their image on being vague and seemingly bored, but on this album they show incredible depth. Neil Tennant is a former writer for several British music magazines and Chris Lowe seems like he is just there for his looks. One is not quite sure on who does what or if they do anything at all. I have read several interviews with studio musicians and sound engineers who complained that The Pet Shop Boys were the laziest and worst people to work with while in the recording studio and they were always surprised when they ended up with some really good music. Somehow that just seems to be the appropriate way for The Pet Shop Boys to function. "Behavior" is a very different album from their previous three recordings. There is guitar courtesy of J.J. Belle and Johnny Marr on several of the songs. "Just feedback, actually," says Neil Tennant when asked about it by Q Magazine. Harold Faltermeyer of "Beverly Hills Cop" soundtrack fame produced the album, which I find to be a weirdly proper choice for the band. Now to the music: the album opens with "Being Boring", a very appropriate opener, since nobody seems to do it better. It is a medium-paced dance song about how people are not as boring as you think, but you must seek excitement. There is a vague allusion to the AIDS crisis with the couplet, "...in the nineteen-seventies there were those we were kissing, and now in the nineteen-nineties some of those are missing..." The next two songs, "This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave" and "To Face The Truth", are the weakest tracks on this otherwise superb collection, and I hate to say this but most of the time I skip them because they are a bit to melodramatic and morose for me. The fourth track "How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously?" is my favorite song of this collection, it is a biting satire directed towards the leading stars in the entertainment industry and how they "sometimes" engage in hypocritical behavior and end up in unethical situations. Some of Neil's most fabulous lyrics are in this song. The next track "Only The Wind" gives me the complete shivers, a haunting song about broken love affairs and the ensuing emotional turmoil. Anyone who has ever fallen in love will understand this song. The next song "My October Symphony" is about the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, Neil was a history major when he was in college and he loved writing about dramatic moments of the past. Johnny Marr plays a wonderful guitar lick on this track that just kind of wraps itself around your ears. Next up, "So Hard" is a dance beat jam that seems to be a song about being homosexual and coping with living in a heterosexual world. "Nervously" tells a tale that continues in the veiled homosexual realm about dealing with desire and first love and commitment and the beauty of it all with sensuous disco beats. "The End Of The World" "Jealousy"
Published in Rhythms #2 - 1990
PRINCE - "The Black Album" (Bootleg) - (1989)
Prince went 2 the studio 2 record the nu Prince album - he sent it 2 the boys at Warner Brothers 2 b p'n'd - they started pressing - then suddenly PRINCE freaked - STOP THE ALBUM, I DON'T WANT IT RELEASED, I WILL RECORD A NEW ONE, I DIDN'T MAKE THAT ALBUM, IT'S TOO NEGATIVE, CAMILLE WAS IN CONTROL, CAMILLE DID IT! - Well, PRINCE, Ain't that a bitch - I gots me a copy from a friend and the shit is def. PRINCE must have had a bad dream or something - the cat named CAMILLE, he has this girl CINDY C and the beat was stark, the bass was high, the melody low and he treat her bad, made her wear wigs and commit weird sex acts, so she done got herself some stuff on the side, this guy BOB, who managed rock stars, one day CAMILLE be in his crib and he sees his woman flashing the fierce ice on her finger and wearing fine fur, CAMILLE starts illin', finds out about BOB GEORGE, who manages PRINCE, that slick back motherfucker with the high-pitch voice, CAMILLE rages, the beat throbbing faster as he pulls his gun and he pulls the trigger, he's on the run, the cops track him, the beat collapses DEAD ON IT, and the HARDEST FUNK pumps out like purple voodoo magic, titillating the mental and physical pleasure zones, butt-shaking SUPERFUNKYCALIFRAGISEXY - the beat is ROCK HARD IN A FUNKY PLACE, Dr. Fink's waves of keyboard washes, electronic buzzes - get up and dance - PRINCE dissin' back on the sucka MCs - callin' him fag - gonna kick their asses - he's the hardest slammer - then the beat stops - 2 NIGS UNITED FOR WEST COMPTON head uptown and move it in MADHOUSE style - psychedelic jazz - BUDDY RICH chopa chopa - no room for words - then the funk again doing LE GRIND all the way live and totally nasty - hate 2 c an erection go 2 waste - and then he turns around and slaps you - you wanna fuck? (2 bad, maybe later) - do what? U want me 2 swivel in your loveseat! - I wanna dance and besides you are only supposed to do that WHEN 2 R IN LOVE (the only track to make "lovesexy" that replaced this album) - and God is the ultimate sex - so get a copy somehow, it blows his subsequent replacement album "lovesexy" away - YO PRINCE, if you r out there, I wanna see you release THE BLACK ALBUM or U ain't as hard as U say! - 3.2.89
Published in WDC Period #15
REVENGE - "One True Passion" (Capitol Records) - (1990)
This album is currently my favorite mood-altering piece of music. It is the side project of Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook. He got together with two of his musician buddies from Manchester, England, Dave Hicks on guitars and keyboards, and Chris Jones on keyboards, and they recorded the eight songs on this album in three weeks. The music is very textured, as it swirls and throbs its way through your ears. It is very atypical of what is currently coming out of the Manchester music scene lately, Revenge is more head music than dance until you drop music. It combines the fluffy new wave disco influences of New Order with the brooding gloomy bass heavy influences of Joy Division to form upbeat, neo-depression music that is direct and in-your-face. No subtleties here or pandering to the audience like the past two New Order albums. The lyrics explore the relationships between man and woman, man and God, and dealing with stupid people. The Killer Kuts Are; "Kiss The Chrome", "Surf Nazi", and "Fag Hag", and it is great for late night listening.
Published in WDC Period #16 - Fall 1988
SCOOTERTRASH - "Screwed, Rude, and Tattooed" (Self-Released) - (1990)
SCOOTERTRASH are a relatively new band around the Washington, DC area, but they are making a name for themselves rather quickly. The band consists of vocalist Mike "Suicide" Murray, guitarist Brain Robertson, drummer Tommy Buttinelli of PARASITE and UNION STRIKE, and bassist Scrooge. Their nine-song demo cassette seems to have been recorded live with good sound levels on each musician. THE BAD BRAINS seem to be the main influence on the music, but SCOOTERTRASH have their own angle. Tasty guitar licks, staggered and choppy bass lines that keep the beat chugging along, spatial drumming that frames each song with a concise and sharp structure, and although Mike's voice sounds a lot like Ozzy Osbourne, it fits the music well. They mesh reggae, punk, thrash, and metal into an unique potpourri with lyrics that express concern for life, peace, and the ills of the world, but with an undertone that they are always ready to party. The Killer Kuts are: "Politics Of Life", "Commercial Greed", "Crazy Little Something", and "Bullshit Situations". Each song is distinctly different and begs for repeated listenings.
Published in ROX Magazine Vol.2 No.11 May 1990 - Pinhead & Grump
SHUDDER TO THINK - "Curses, Spells, Voodoo, Mooses" (Sammich Records) - (1989)
I dig this record! Kinetic, fast, and frenzied, the kind of record one plays when one is in a hurry to get something done. Great crisp, clean, and clear production with throbbing and pumping bass, driving and pounding drumming, clipped ringing guitar playing, the music flows like the rush hour traffic. Craig Wedren's voice is very reminiscent of Ozzy Osbourne's voice on his first two solo records. The lyrics are rather obtuse and fragmented, but the intensity in which they are sung brings them together. Love and be loved or die. The best bit of lyrics is in the song "Let It Ring" - "This talk about revolution, I admit it's one solution, but there's no action cast, we're just going nowhere fast." Their version of John Lennon's "Imagine" is a bit staid, and it seems like such an odd choice of a song for this band to cover. The cool cuts are "Fresco", "Let It Ring", and "Take The Child". Get this album, it is easy to find because it has this really groovy red, black, and green artwork on the cover.
Published in WDC Period #18 - Spring 1989
WARRIOR SOUL - "Last Decade, Dead Century" (Geffen Records) - (1990)
Every so often an album comes along that totally blows my mind and becomes the soundtrack of my life for a few months. Jane's Addiction's "Nothing Shocking" and The Cult's "Sonic Temple" have done this for me in the past, but Warrior Soul takes the cake and rocks me to the very core of my being. Warrior Soul is: Kory Clarke on lyrics and vocals, Pete McClanahan on bass, Paul Ferguson on drums, and John Ricco on guitars. An apt description for them would be melodic hard rock but nowhere near being generic or boring. The rhythm section pulses and throbs and creeps along until it engulfs you as the guitar soars and growls and then drills into your ears without wrecking your nerves. None of the musicians are particularly exceptional but together they get the job done rocking out. The lyrics and Kory's voice is what makes this album a "must have" in any collection. He has a warm and textured voice that grabs your attention as his very socially aware lyrics explode in your face - "I live in TV land, I'm an electronic image, beaming out to you. I see the ruins, I know we're losin'. We love love our weapons. Blown into heaven..." This album will not bore you, so run and go it now! The Killer Kuts are the anthemic "The Losers", guitar cruncher "Downtown", the lyrically searing Pink Floyd-ish "Superpower Dreamland", and the hypnotic closing song "In Conclusion". This is rock and roll for the "Last Decade" in a "Dead Century".
Published in ROX Magazine Vol.3 No.1 July 1990 - Pinhead & Grump
ZNO WHITE - "Act Of God" (Roadracer Records) - (1988)
It would take an act of God to stop me from listening to this musical explosion, but an act of Congress might try. This album is a sonic declaration of war on our hypocritical society, the songs roll over you like a tidal wave of focused anger and righteous defiance. Sharp and pointed lyrics condemn and attack without pandering to hypocrisy. Militarism, fascism, racism, and the rise of the Beast are the targets of their sonic melodies, which are underscored by dark sarcasm. This album is very reminiscent in its overall effect and delivery to that of Metallica's awesome "Kill'Em All". Each of the songs on this album are very intricately put together, riffs and beats and hooks flash throughout the manic thunderous boom of Scott Schafer's precision drumming. For, as the media calls it, speed metal; their songs sometimes have the funkiest swing and groove to them with little off-beat pitter patters of drums and bass notes that are splattered on the songs. Other than the fact that they have the same kind of line-up, three black dudes and a female lead singer, Zno White often remind me of local band Press Mob with their similar musical stylings and outlooks. Press Mob's William Banks and Zno White's Alex Olvera have the same kind of pump action, full-throttle, all the way live bass attack, booming and zooming you inside out. The best thing about this album is the way Ian Tofaya's guitar and Nicole Lee's voice interact with each other, weaving and intertwining in a scintillating, hypnotic shimmer of notes and words. The Killer Kuts are: "Last Breath", "Bigotry Disease", and "Thunderdome", so get off your tired asses and buy this album from your local record store.
Published in WDC Period #15 - June 1988
THE BEST ALBUMS OF 1985
Well mates, I fancy myself to be a bit of a music critic being that I play music myself. I feel that should be a pre-requisite for critiquing music, and I am sure you will agree with me. In the past couple of months some really great music has been released, so I am going to give you, the dear reader, an overview on some of these releases plus a few overlooked 1985 releases that deserve recognition.
AEROSMITH - "Done With Mirrors" (Geffen Records)
The hard rock kings of the seventies return with a cranking new album with the original line-up and the band members are supposedly off drugs now. I love the sound of driven twin-guitars assaulting my ears. The album cover graphics are completely backwards, so hence the title. Get the cassette, which features the bonus track "Darkness", which is their best song since "Sweet Emotion" back in 1976.
THE BANGLES - "Different Light" (CBS Records)
Billed as The Fab Four of the eighties, these women can really rock. This album is the perfect cruising album, their wonderful harmonies and jangling riffs are a pastiche of pop life in the eighties. Prince, who says they are his favorite band, produced the hit song "Manic Monday".
BRONSKI BEAT - "Hit That Perfect Beat" 12" Single (MCA Records)
Back with a new song and a new singer, and with the departure of Jimmy Somerville and his gorgeous falsetto, the band takes a new direction with more focus on human politics instead of social politics (i.e. gay rights). The gay undertones are still there, but it is a great dance tune about being what YOU want to be no matter who you are.
THE CULT - "Love" (Sire Records)
My personal fave of this year, guitars are back in style and this band lets them rip. Formerly known as The Southern Death Cult, they were a post-punk outfit from London, and then they change their name and outlook and eighties-fied the sixties sound and came up with a collection of neo-psychedelic songs espousing LOVE, God, and freedom, and it features the massive underground club hit "She Sells Sanctuary".
FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS - "Fine Young Cannibals" (I.R.S. Records)
Andy Cox and David Steele, the former English Beat rhythm section, step into the limelight with a fantastic debut with singer Roland Gift. His voice is soulful and eerily haunting as he sings about being a young man trying to make it in life as the band lays down the sparse and delicate groove. They do a great cover of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds".
JESUS AND MARY CHAIN - "Psychocandy" (Warner Brothers Records)
Billed as the Sex Pistols of the eighties, this band gives a frightening view of life under the nuclear shadow of death. At first listening their music sounds like it is all feedback and noise but underneath this, there are some beautiful melodies, particularly on "Just Like Honey".
METALLICA - "Master Of Puppets" (Elektra Records)
The speed metal kings' first major label release into the mainstream and it is a masterpiece. This album reflects what oppression can do to people by pushing some to the edge of insanity. Full of great lyrics and killer riffs - FASTER - FASTER - FASTER!!!
THE PSYCHOTICS - "Mass Insanity Destroying Civilization" (Olive Tree Records)
A great local band that deserves greater recognition and this EP was recently voted one of the "Top Ten EPs of 1985" by readers of the Village Voice in the Jop & Pazz Guide and critic Robert Christgau raved about it in his weekly column "Consumers Guide". It is wonderful jazzy funk-rock that is a fusion of everything and great for dancing the night away, a product of some very talented local musicians.
CHARLIE SEXTON - "Charlie Sexton" (MCA Records)
Charlie Sexton is a seventeen-year old musical prodigy who shows wisdom beyond his years on his debut recording. He played all of the instruments and wrote all of the lyrics. The music is guitar-based with a blues tinge, he sings of girls, show-offs, loneliness, and frustration with his beautiful plaintive voice. This is an impressive debut that was produced by Keith Forsey of Billy Idol fame and it features the smash hit "Beat's So Lonely".
Published in WDC Period #12
DROPPIN' THE BOMB - November 1988
Time Magazine has announced that "Rap" music has crossed over into the mainstream with the release of RUN-DMC's new album "Tougher Than Leather". Well they are sure some super stupid suckas! That album was one of the summer's weakest releases, the raps are kind of pointless to me, and it had a "MONKEES" cover on it! Here's the rundown on the latest top of pops, state of the art hip-hop, rap, and go-go for you to find your groove.
KURTIS BLOW - "Back By Popular Demand" (Mercury Records)
The KING in my book, his album releases have been scant lately, but this one is still serious KURTIS BLOW. The def jams are - "Still On The Scene" - "Only The Strong Survive" - "Get On Up". His voice has a wonderful swagger to it and with socially significant lyrics over dense percolating syncopation. The beat is serious "old school" New York-stylee, hard-driving hip-hop/go-go that is guaranteed to get you popping and locking. I have total respect for this man because he credited all of the samples he used on this great album.
BOOGIE DOWN PRODUCTIONS - "By All Means Necessary" (Jive/RCA Records)
Scott La Rock and KRS-One took it to the top with their debut release "Criminally Minded" and then sadly Scott La Rock was brutally gunned to death earlier this year. KRS-One has come back with the serious vengeance, using his anger to teach and not to kill. The music is layers of funky grooves that are splashed with samples of the seventies' finest funk and booming bass lines with lyrics that teach and not preach. KRS-One busts on the police, crack dealers, youths with guns, and egotistical rappers. The def jams are - "My Philosophy" - "Ya Slippin'" (uses the killa Deep Purple "Smoke On The Water" sample) - "Illegal Business". This is the one album to buy, if you only buy one rap record this year.
ERIC B. AND RAKIM - "Follow The Leader" (Uni Records)
They also began the summer of 1988 with a 12"single dancefloor smash hit, "Paid In Full" (The Coldcut Remix), which was actually the b-side to "Move The Crowd", the follow-up single to "Eric B. For President". The song's eerie female vocal in Arabic mixed with a hypnotic collage of beats has become a huge international crossover hit. They proclaim to be devout followers of Allah, and they say their lyrics urge the youth to seek knowledge and to be faithful to God. Rakim's deadpan delivery has become part of their signature. The def jams are - "Follow The Leader" - "Microphone Fiend" - "Musical Massacre". However and despite what they say, the only thing missing on this album is lyrical substance, they spent too much time boasting about imaginary accomplishments and dissing other rappers, instead of saying anything of importance.
GRANDMASTER FLASH - "On The Strength" (Elektra Records)
Billed as a reunion album featuring all of the original members from back in the day, they have cold ruled the scene since the beginning in the late seventies. This is their best album in many years. The total def jams are - "Gold" (one of the year's best rap songs) - "In Full Effect" - "The Beat Is Dope" - "In The Old Days Of Hip-Hop". This is driving rock-hard hip-hop powered by Grandmaster Flash's one of a kind scratching and sampling and the Furious Five crew's serious lyrics with a positive message. Melle Mel is the deffest rapper of them all and I am glad to hear him back on the mic with his original crew pumping up the mix.
ICE-T - "Power" (Jive/RCA Records)
My personal favorite rapper, his delivery and audacious lyrics are the most serious and he ain't fronting on a fraud. He kick started the spring with his brilliant social commentary "Colours", which was on the movie soundtrack to "Colours", the Dennis Hopper-produced film about life on the streets with the gangs of Los Angeles. This former gang member busts with the serious lyrics about how that crime and drugs do not pay, rhyme does. Side two of this cassette is pure poetry on the level of The Last Poets. The def jams are - "I'm Your Pusher" - "Girls Let's Get Butt Naked And Fuck" - "High Rollers" and "Radio Suckers". Get this album now, sucka, because you will not hear this on the radio.
JAZZY JEFF & THE FRESH PRINCE - "He's the DJ, I'm The Rapper" (Jive Records)
The first double rap album and also the most popular of the year, achieving great crossover appeal with a worldwide audience. The album is full of that total fresh Philadelphia groove that has got all the kids dancing these days. The def jams are - "Brand New Funk" - "Parents Really Don't Understand" (the most inventive and funny rap video of the year) - "Nightmare On My Street" (why do rappers always seem to love Freddie Krueger). A tour this past summer with RUN-DMC and Public Enemy helped to boost them into the Top Ten and the minds and ears of the youth all across America.
KID FLASH "Kid Flash" (CBS/Tabu Records)
The most overlooked rap record of the year, and I was turned on to him via a write-up that a friend showed me from a Playgirl. It is a hard and easy beat at the same time, and the lyrics are a bit preachy towards the youth with a "stay in school" and "don't do drugs" slant. The def jams are - "Fire" - "Children Of The World" - "Papa Don't Preach" (the best use of a Madonna sample ever). I guess pop-rap has arrived.
KOOL MOE DEE - "Kool Moe Dee" (Jive/RCA Records)
To some people, Kool Moe Dee has replaced Kurtis Blow as the king of the rappers. His style is in the traditional "Old School" hip-hop groove, a driving beat with heavy bass and hardcore gangsta lyrics. But at a few recent DC go-go shows, E.U. performed totally funked-up versions of his songs that made Kool Moe Dee sound so lame. The def jams are - "How You Like Me Now" - "Wild, Wild West" - "Rock You". He has just released a new 12"single of "Let's Go" which has a rather brutal dis on LL COOL J.
MANTRONIX - "In Full Effect" (Capitol Records)
Mantronix are considered to be the "black sheep" of the New York City hip-hop scene. Their groove is more mellifluous than most rap music; subtle and smooth beats that sway slow and sensuously. The lyrics are almost murmured as they blend almost innocuously into the beat. They have developed a following among the skate youth. The def jams are - "Simple Simon" - "Love Letter" - "Sing A Song" - "Gangster Boogie". So get up and do your dance.
PUBLIC ENEMY - "It Will Take A Nation Of Millions" (CBS/Def Jam Records)
The most controversial rap album of the summer of 1988, beginning with the inclusion of "Bring The Noise" on the "Less Than Zero" movie soundtrack and then a sell-out tour of England, resulting in several highly publicized and inflammatory interviews in the U.K. music press, Public Enemy took it to the top via the streets. Several recent articles about Public Enemy and their hypocrisy have lowered my opinion about them, several friends have even urged for a boycott, but I will let you decide. The def jams are - "Don't Believe The Hype" - "Louder Than A Bomb" - "Night Of The Living Basehead" (the deffest social commentary of the year). For further insight, check out the Public Enemy article by John Leland in the October of 1988 issue of Spin Magazine.
RUN-DMC - "Tougher Than Leather" (CBS/Def Jam Records)
The lamest rap release of the year, it has sharp and crisp production but no soul or substance. A lot of hype is pushed on them about violence and fighting at rap shows and how the music encourages it. They are credited for starting the crossover of rap to mainstream. They have just released their first movie, "Tougher Than Leather", which is a pretty bogus film that tries to satirize the violence and racism of the New York City hip-hop scene, but they end up perping what they were dissing in the first place. There are no def jams on this album.
SALT'N'PEPA - "A Salt With A Deadly Pepa" (Next Plateau Records)
The 12"single of "Push It" kick-started the summer of rap-crossover, and Washington, DC's own E.U. (Experience Unlimited) scored when Spike Lee put them in his film "School Daze" performing their hit "Da Butt", which led to Salt'n'Pepa and E.U. getting together and busting out with "Shake Your Thing", my favorite jam off the record. The def jams are - "I Like It Like That" - "Let's Get Paid" - "Gotcha" (they outdo The Beastie Boys and RUN-DMC in one song; it has a killa guitar riff). They make hip-hop/rap music to get you dancing and having fun. So shake your thang all night long.
SCHOOLY D - "Smoke Some Kill" (RCA/Jive Records)
Schooly D is the illest of all the rappers out there, hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, he bum rushes your stereo with the seriously whack lyrics about life on the street at the bottom of society. Minimal beat underscoring hardcore rhymes about crimes, guns, drugs, and killings make this album sound like the evening news. Guaranteed to scare your honky asses! The def jams are - "Smoke Some Kill" - "Mr. Big Dick" - "No More Rock And Roll" (he disses Prince and Bon Jovi and rants on about rock music and how he hates it, but yet he uses a Led Zeppelin sample in the rap). Schooly D will be on tour with Fishbone this fall.
So there you have it, a brief rundown of the best rap/hip-hop releases over the past couple of months of 1988. I regrettably left out a bunch of releases but I will catch you up on them in a later column, particularly those of female rappers. So - go get fresh!
Published in WDC Period #16
MR. JIMIJAM'S WAX FAX - Winter 1989
Well, so you are looking for some fresh jams to rock your house and wreck your neighbors' nerves or tune out the world or just give your ears something to do. Here is my view of the revue of the new, so that you will know what there is to listen to these days. These new slabs of vinyl are rated by the following terms:
**** MUSIC TO CLIMAX TO
*** HOUSECLEANING SOUNDTRACK
** DOO DOO FOR FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLDS
* CENSORSHIP JUSTIFICATION
ALICE DONUT - "Bucketfulls Of Sickness And Horror In An Otherwise Meaningless Life" (Alternative Tentacles Records)
I love this album, a photograph for the ear, and the soundtrack to the decline of western civilization. It is heavy, pounding, throbbing, urban, decadent, disillusioned, painful, angry music. This album reeks of the Lower East Side in Manhattan, the songs smell like Bleecker Street and its inhabitants, the cars, crack, dreads, bums, junkies, the Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol, pretzels, pizza slices, the dead smell of the East River, the endless noise, and most of all, the hope. The Killer Kuts are: "Sky Of Bones", "Lydia's Black Lung", "Consumer Decency", and "Incinerator Heart". (****)
BORGHESIA - "She's Not Alone" 12"single (Play It Again, Sam/WaxTrax! Records)
Disco never died, it went to hell and escaped to Chicago's WaxTrax! Records and met the Marquis De Sade. Frightening, synthetic, emotionless dribble. They ruined a perfectly good Sonic Youth song and made it sound like a bad New Order song. (*)
CLICK CLICK - "Yakutska" 12"single (Play It Again, Sam/WaxTrax! Records)
More of the same mutant disco dreck as Borghesia and Clock DVA, so do that Beelzebub Boogie!!! Who composes this horrible dreck pretending to be music? (**)
CLOCK DVA - "The Art" 12"single (WaxTrax! Records)
Why do some people think since they can manipulate a computer, they can put records out? This is completely insidious B-Grade horror movie music with stupid spoken word about sex and death. A complete waste of energy and yours and my time. (*)
THE CULT - "Sonic Temple" (Sire Records)
Gloriously loud, powerful, and howling like a hurricane in heat. The kind of album one plays in the morning to jolt one wide-awake. Somehow The Cult has become an American band without the benefit of a green card. A modern portrait of the new urban cowboy drifting aimlessly across the teenage wasteland. Producer Bob Rock has given them a much fuller sound and it is not as derivative as the Rick Rubin produced "Electric" album. The Killer Kuts are: "American Horse", "Sun King", and "New York City Blues". (***)
THE DISPOSSESSED - "Sister Mary" (Dagger Records)
Hailing from Hartford, Connecticut, this quartet drones out gothic depresso-music a la The Sisters Of Mercy or Christian Death. It is well-crafted and has intelligent lyrics but it is a bit derivative in some parts. However, the controlled and tempered guitar playing and the pleasant drumming that is not to overbearing and grooves with the subliminal bass lines makes for repeat listening of their music. The album builds up slowly in darkness and angst, and then it explodes with a cover of The Doors' "Waiting For The Sun". The singer's Eldritch (S.O.M.) head trip is the only bad point to this otherwise decent record. The Killer Kuts are: "Fall Back In Time", "Half Life", and "Kingdom, Kingdom". (***)
EVERYBODY'S FAMOUS Compilation Album (Baby Faze Records)
One of my favorite compilation releases of 1989, it features five bands from California: YOUTH IN ASIA, DREAMS DIE HARD, HARM FARM, BROKEN TOYS, and THRENODY. It is mostly dense and melodic rock with deep lyrics and all five bands are very original and different. YOUTH IN ASIA and THRENODY are the best bands on this compilation. (****)
THE EX - "Aural Guerrillas" (Homestead Records)
You never know what to expect from an album on Homestead Records, so with this Dutch band, I just do not know what to think. This package comes with a great cover, lots of information about effecting political change, huge political posters of beliefs that I sometimes even share, fantastic lyrics dealing with falsified statistics, de-sensitization towards violence, and the snakes in the music biz, trendiness, war, racism, destruction of the planet, and hate, and then you listen to the record. It is like Ministry's Alain Jourgensen and Gang Of Four met in a meat grinder and you made noise meatloaf and you choke on it when you try to eat it. Is there something politically incorrect about a song having a melody? (**)
FRONTLINE ASSEMBLY - "No Limits" b/w "Damaged Goods" (Remix) 12"single (WaxTrax! Records)
Is this really music? Klick klack rhythms, thumpa thumpa bass, doomy, gloomy, scary lyrics, violent undertones, wear black clothes, do drugs, dance at the disco in hell. URGH!!! (*)
DEE DEE KING - "Standing In The Spotlight" (Sire Records)
The Ramones bassist does a solo record to prove he has grown up or something and wants to fulfill his dream of combining rap and rock in his own unique style. The album is not that bad except that he sounds like Scooby-Doo rapping. The lyrics concern sobriety, love, and his secret dream of being a surfing wrestler who speaks German, and lost women. Blondie's Debbie Harry sings some background vocals on a few of the tracks and Chris Stein plays guitar on one song. The production is nice and clean, but it is a bit on the monotonous side. All the songs have that repetitive beat-box percussion that is popular these days as slo-mo Ramones riffs play in the background. The Killer Kuts are: "2 Much 2 Drink", "Poor Little Rich Girl", "The Crusher", and my favorite track "I Want What I Want When I Want It". (**)
LARD - "The Power Of Lard" (Alternative Tentacles Records)
So the Jesus of punk, Jello Biafra of The Dead Kennedys, and the pope of industrial music-noiz, Alain Jourgensen the man from Ministry, got together and decided to collaborate on a record to express their mutual angst and anger over the state of the world. You would think these two talents could write a great piece of music between them, but after one listen I wanted to scream so what! It is pointless derivations of their better material, just crafty little catchphrases set to pseudo kids'n'black industrial dance beat. The lead cut "Lard" was like a bad B-52's song, and the song "Hellfudge" was a complete rip-off of The Dead Kennedys' "Police Truck", and "Time To Melt" was pernicious ear agony, it was kind of like Black Sabbath at 78RPM. Hey guys let go of your dicks and do something more constructive if you really want to change the world. (*)
THE LEAVING TRAINS - "Transportational D. Vices" (SST Records)
A case of do not believe the hype - I heard raves on this band - but judging by this album, they just sound like another typical eighties post-punk LA rock band - driving drumming, jingly jangly guitar, thumping murmurs of bass lines, and Lou Reed-inflected vocals rolled into short bursts of manic throb - sort of T.S.O.L. meet The Replacements after doing acid - their live shows are supposed to be intense though - the Killer Kuts are "Dude The Cat", "Payday", "Bad Mood", and "Everybody Loves A Clown". (*)
MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO - "Storm The Studio" (WaxTrax! Records)
Well at least on this disco music from hell record, there is some semblance to a song. I could dance to this at some dark club with a freak and a couple of brews, but I would not buy it. (**)
MOTHER LOVE BONE - "Shine" (Stardog Records)
Critical faves, this group from Seattle, Washington, features former members of Green River and after listening to this album, I rather listen to my old Aerosmith records. It is hard enough for a band to put out a record, so why put one out with the same songs on both sides and have it sound like K-Tel Records presents Hard Rock of The Seventies. Go buy old Green River albums or better yet get some Skinyard records. (**)
POWERMAD - "Absolute Power" (Reprise Records)
This is one of the best killer melodic thrash bands, and they are being greatly overlooked by the metal-buying public, so go out and buy, steal, or tape this album by any means necessary. It rules! And best of all, it does not remind you of Metallica or Anthrax. What a record, full of powerful and booming production, clear and intelligible lyrics, and bass lines that is so funky that you almost cannot comprehend that they are playing thrash. The Killer Kuts are "Powermad", "Terminator", and the title track "Absolute Power". (****)
PUBLIC IMAGE LTD. - "9" (Virgin Records)
One never knows what to expect from Mr. Lydon, and this album was a surprise. It is clever, well-crafted pop music with some very insightful lyrics, but the snotty and sneering edge is gone. They decided to dump control-freak producer Bill Laswell, because according to Johnny, he was trying to turn them into U2, and so he hired Stephen Hague of Pet Shop Boys fame. The album is nice, in fact it is too nice, and therefore it has no bite and sarcastic fury that Johnny Lydon is famously known for. The Killer Kuts are "USLS-1", "Disappointed", and "Warrior". (***)
RAINING VIOLETS - "Ocean Of Dreams" (Certain Records)
A great album of dark, brooding, angst-ridden, adult rock music for drinking beer alone to in the dark so nobody can see your scowl. The lyrics are reflective of the urban lifestyle of work and working and never seeming to get anywhere. Singer Ivy Markaity has a fluid full voice that expresses that she has lived the words that she sings on this record. The music is driving and it reminds me of a lot of groups but hard to pinpoint exactly. The best track is "Suburban Refuge", which is the theme song of a lot of people that I know. Check it out. (****)
THE REVOLTING COCKS - "Stainless Steel Providers" (WaxTrax! Records)
The man from Ministry, Alain Jourgensen, has released yet another twelve inch slab of music that can kill cockroaches - a disco beat, industrial buzz, jazzy piano, mumbled lyrics about nothing - is it a song - can you dance to it - who buys these records - I wish I had the money that he wastes on recording, pressing, distributing, and promoting this stuff, so I could release some real music to the public. (**)
ROXX GANG - "Things You've Never Done Before" (Virgin Records)
I guess Virgin Records someone for steady rent so they signed a metal band because they are usually cash cows. So they found some shit for brains pretty boys that could stand to be together in the same room long enough to record an album; the singer sounds like Ozzy Osbourne, the guitarists play like Slash and Eddie Van Halen, the drummer pounds like Cozy Powell, and lastly a faceless bassist. Dress them up in some nice and kinky leather outfits, and voila...just add electricity and instant soft-metal band that will make all the girls scream. They play songs that you will swear you heard somewhere before, the label makes a couple of million for a couple of years, the band burns out and they all go into rehab and learn how to play golf like Alice Cooper and it is back to their day jobs until it is time to do a reunion on some package tour in ten years. And then it is time for the label to find and sign their next consumable metal band and start the process all over again. At least this band is honest about it. (**)
SOUL ASYLUM - "Clam Dip And Other Delights" (Twin Tone Records)
I like this album for the most part, and I would call it music for rainy afternoons. The lyrics are very pointed and incisive which is their strong point and they are about being and staying "true to yourself". It was recorded at Prince's recording studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The album cover art is a take-off on Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass Band's classic "Whipped Cream And Other Delights" album from the sixties. They have that typical post-punk Midwest sound and they are very reminiscent of early The Replacements, mid-career Husker Du, and Bob Dylan with The Band. The best tracks are "Just Plain Evil", "Artificial Heart", and my favorite one, "Take It To The Root", which I could not decide if they were singing about oral sex or not. (***)
STONE BY STONE with CHRIS D. - "I Pass For Human" (SST Records)
One of the leading gods of the Los Angeles post-punk scene has finally put out some new music, Chris D. who is the mastermind behind legendary bands, The Flesheaters and The Divine Horsemen. His marriage and his band fell apart at the same time and so he went into hiding and now he is back with some rumbly-grumbly rock and roll that is reminiscent of mid-sixties Rolling Stones. Although this is not a great album like some of his previous works, it is way better than most of the crap coming out of LA these days. The Killer Kuts are "I Pass For Human", "Sick Motherfucker", and "Pale Fire". (***)
THEE HYPNOTICS - "Justice And Freedom" (Beggars Banquet Records)
Caught in a time warp with some dirtball trippy dippy hippies, this three-song EP from the U.K. plows out of your speakers with a space bass throb as guitar riffs phase shift into feedback hell and the drums march the melody back and forth in a MC5/Iggy Pop And The Stooges-style psychedelic mud pie of noise, as gruff vocals mumble and gargle radically hyped-up epithets of peaceful revolution and extolling everybody to dance and shake to the beat demanding "Justice And Freedom". They are one of those bands that you must see perform live to truly appreciate their beauty. Oh wow! Like dig it man! (****)
TOXIK - "Think This" (Roadrunner Records)
This is one of those albums that no matter where you drop the needle on it, all the songs sound exactly the same. It is really scary and perplexing because it makes one think that the same five guys play in the same fifty metal bands, and they grind on hoping that one of them becomes successful and gets the kids excited and they buy tons of their album. Well, they are not going to have to worry about that with this record. (*)
THE VILE CHERUBS - "Post-Humorous Relief" (Dischord Records)
Swirling and twirling, driving and pounding, total white boy urban angst about being fed up with all the bullshit that our society foists upon us. There is nice production on this album, except for the vocals which should have been pumped up in the mix, because they seemed to be lost in the maelstrom of the screaming guitar riffs. This is the kind of record that I put on after coming home from a shitty day at work and my nerves are tweaked, so I crank this album up on the stereo and melt into the carpet. (****)
XENTRIX - "Shattered Existence" (Roadrunner Records)
I know that these musicians work very hard at what they do, but it is still does not explain why they play such lame and derivative heavy metal doodling. Why has not anyone told them that there is more to thrash than being a clone of Anthrax? However, they have some really great lyrics; the words in their best song "Heaven Cent" are awesome. (**)
Published in WDC Period
DELUDED MAGAZINE #2 - Summer 1996
TWENTY-ONE NEW ALBUMS THAT NO COLLECTION IS COMPLETE WITHOUT
ALICE IN CHAINS - "Alice In Chains #5" (Columbia Records)
Post-junkie metallic head music for the intellectually warped.
ANGELA BOFILL - "Love In Slow Motion" (Shenachie/Cashet Records)
The last of the real divas makes the finest, silkiest, sexiest return to form and the top.
GEORGE CLINTON & THE P-FUNK ALL-STARS - "T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M." (Sony)
The purest, most uncut funk that the master has released in years, buy or die!
THE DOOM GENERATION Movie Soundtrack (American Records)
The perfect musical Prozac for a day at the beach.
DOWNLOAD - "Furnace" (Nettwerk Records)
Cevin Key is god; he has built a better Skinny Puppy, so what else is there to say!
DOWNLOAD - "Sidewinder" (Nettwerk Records)
A collection of fantastic remixes that will make the devil dance.
FRONTLINE ASSEMBLY - "Plasticity" (Metropolis Records)
A relentless musical assault by our favorite boys from Vancouver, Canada.
THE INSANE POSSE - "Riddle Box" (Battery Records)
Disturb your neighborhood with dis mad rush to da earholes, the jugalos are here!
MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO - "Subliminal Sandwich" (Nothing Records)
Complete genius aural sculpture and Jack Dangers did it all by himself.
METALLICA - "Load" (Elektra Records)
The past, present, and future of all that is heavy.
MONICA - "Miss Thang" (Rowdy Records)
A diva in the makin' cuz she flows.
MURDER INK - "Cold" (F.R.E.A.K. Records)
DC's best kept secret, great songs, loads of hooks, and a tattoo-ed diva named Joyce.
BILL NELSON - "After The Satellite Sings" (Gyroscope Records)
Guitar riffs and sampled beats that will vibrate your sphincter.
ORBITAL - "In Sides" (F.F.R.R. Records)
A glorious mix of all that is gloriously beautiful in electronica.
THE PET SHOP BOYS - "The Before EP" (Parlophone Records)
What can we say about them, simply the best, and there is even some guitar way up in the mix.
SCHEER - "Infliction" (4 A.D. Records)
All that is ugly in music, this is noise made as beautiful as a funeral.
SKINNY PUPPY - "Brap" (Nettwerk Records)
The best of their b-sides in one place, this is music for the audio-challenged.
PATTI SMITH - "Gone Again" (Arista Records)
Do we have to give any reason; she gives us life and hope through her words.
SYNATHESIA - "Desideratum" (Cleopatra Records)
The perfect record for perfecting your cocksucking technique to.
TORCH SONG - "Towards The Unknown Region" (Discovery Channel Records)
The perfect fuck-all-night-long record, orgasms never sounded better.
TRIBE 8 - "Snarkism" (Alternative Tentacles Records)
What would the world be without these riot hags and lesbian punk rock?
Published in Deluded Magazine #2 - Summer 1996
DELUDED MAGAZINE #3 - Autumn 1996
MUSIC YOU SHOULD HAVE IN YOUR COLLECTION
AEROSMITH - "Aerosmith" (Columbia Records) (1973)
The perfect hard rock album for kick-starting a shitty day and making it better.
TORI AMOS - "Little Earthquakes" (Atlantic Records) (1992)
A classical trained voice mixed with a honky-tonk kick and electronic beats that makes you think.
FUNKADELIC - "America Eats Its Young" (Westbound Records) (1972)
The epitome of funk-rock-blues with a compelling story to tell the whole world.
GARBAGE - "Garbage" (Almo Records) (1995)
The best album of 1995 - guts + wit + virtuosity = beautiful music and Shirley Manson rules!
MARVIN GAYE - "What's Going On" (Motown Records) (1971)
An American genius at his finest and he did it all by himself and changed music forever.
THE GRATEFUL DEAD - "Mars Hotel" (Warner Brothers Records) (1974)
Perfect for a "hit the bong" morning with a cappuccino - wear and bare your soul.
JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE - "Smash Hits" (Reprise Records) (1968)
What can we say about the man who put the "rock" in rock'n'roll that this album does not.
HOLE - "Live Through This" (Geffen Records) (1994)
The best "been there, done that" album to transcend anger and rage, even if it is Courtney Love.
LED ZEPPELIN - "Physical Graffiti" (Swan Song/Atlantic Records) (1975)
The greatest "cave your head in" rock and roll album ever made by any band ever.
MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT - "Confessions Of A Knife" (WaxTrax! Records) (1990)
Devilishly demented fanatic tunes with macabre undertones hidden in its swirling beats.
NINE INCH NAILS - "Pretty Hate Machine" (TVT Records) (1988)
If you need to purge your mind of thought, this is the album to do it with at full volume.
PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION - "1999" (Warner Brothers Records) (1982)
The greatest sex album ever, I repeat, ever!!!
SEVERED HEADS - "Rotund For Success" (Nettwerk Records) (1989)
Our favorite duo from Down Under, and they are about due for a tour, please, oh please!
TEARS FOR FEARS - "The Hurting" (Mercury Records) (1983)
For when you want to get in touch with who you are and where you came from.
THIS MORTAL COIL - "Blood" (4 A.D. Records) (1981)
Perfect for those dreamy candle-scented love in a bath tub evenings with the one you love.
VARIOUS - THE SECRET LIFE OF TRANCE VOL.1 (Rising High Records) (1994)
This compilation takes the edge off those "too much, too soon" nights when you need to chill.
Published in Deluded Magazine #3 - Autumn 1996
DELUDED MAGAZINE #4 - Summer 1998
LISTEN TO THIS
ACID RESISTANCE 2 - "Compilation" (Smile Records)
Mixed by Smile label founder DJ DB, this is real dance music for rocking the dance floor.
ARMAND VAN HELDEN - "Greatest Hits" (Strictly Rhythm Records)
The new dance floor king, so go away Junior Vasquez, these songs have been shaking my ass for months, especially "Witch Doctor" and "Hard Head", this album is all that and more.
CJ BOLLAND - "The Analogue Theatre" (F.F.R.R. Records)
Dance to the trance all night long, this is electronica at its very best.
DJ CAM - "Mad Blunted Funk" (Shadow Records)
If you are a pothead - this is bong music supremo - melt away bitches.
DROP 6.1 - "Compilation" (Material Records)
A magnificent collection of world drum'n'bass that will get your groove on.
FAITHLESS - "Reverence/Irreverence" (Cheeky Records)
As one of the bands helping neo-electronica music conquer the record charts, they set the standard for what it should sound like. Groove on, insomniacs.
HEX - "Digital Love" (Ninja Tunes Records)
For when you need your mind in a mad whirl, this album will do the trick.
HYPERCUBE - "Earobics" (Hypnotic Records)
The best housecleaning album of the summer and beyond.
LENNY KRAVITZ - "5" (Virgin Records)
This is the former Romeo Blu's best record to date; I just want to fly away...
MAD ON DRUM'N'BASS VOL.1 - "Compilation" (Life On Mars Records)
The perfect Saturday night selection of the mackest and whackest drum'n'bass tunes featuring DJ Slam, Bliss'n'Tumble, and the awesome A-Sides.
MADONNA - "Ray Of Light" (Maverick Records)
The girl has finally produced a masterpiece of exquisite pop. It gave us the chills on our first listen, especially the gorgeously beautiful song "Swim".
THE PARLIAMENTS - "I Wanna Testify" (Soul Goldmine Records)
The birth of the P-Funk thang, and this collection covers the singles released from 1966 - 1968, and our guitar god Eddie Hazel began his rise and Funkadelic was born.
REEF - "Glow" (Epic Records)
The baddest, rockingest new band from England with the most balls-out crunch and funk sonic groove that makes you want to dance and fuck.
RONI SIZE REPRAZENT - "Newforms" (Mercury Records)
The definitive drum'n'bass album from the man who invented it, Roni Size, and the dance floor packing track "Brown Paper Bag" sets the standard for this genre.
SMART BEATS Vol.1 "Compilation" (X-Sight Records)
The mad crazy jungle that gets yer feet moving and the crowd jumping.
SUPERFUNK "Compilation" (A&M Records)
It is so amazing to find such a great neo-electronica compilation on a major label.
SUPPORT LESBIENS - "So What?" (Epic Records)
The best rock band in the Czech Republic and this album will blow your mind even if you can understand a thing that they are singing, guitars only speak in one language.
TWISTED SECRETS - "Compilation" (Twisted Records)
If a song is on this label, then it is good, and it will pack the dance floor.
Published in Deluded Magazine #4 - Summer 1998
DELUDED MAGAZINE #6 - Winter 2002
BASEMENT JAXX - "Rooty" (XL/Astralwerks Records)
Their second effort outshines "Remedy" in its musical diversity and with its stronger songs. The first single "Romeo" is the dance floor jump-starter of the season, so get your asses shaking to the beat and go buy this album.
DJ JOHN DIGWEED PRESENTS BEDROCK "Compilation" (Ultra Records)
This fantastic compilation was mixed by John Digweed, who is one of our favorite dance DJs ever, and if you ever been on the dance floor at superclub Twilo in NYC, you will know actually what I mean. Our favorite track is "Judy" by C12 featuring Jole and it is the one that takes us to the dance floor G-spot.
DRUMS AND TUBA - "Flatheads And Spoonies" (My Pal God Records)
This is the best oddball rock album that I have come across in the past ten years. A swirl of peculiar melodies and rhythms that are out of this world, and their touring with Ani DiFranco this fall kept them from breaking up just as they had given up the band.
ELECTRONIC - "Twisted Tenderness" (Koch Records)
Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr are gods; this band gets better with every release.
GARBAGE - "Beautiful" (Almo/Interscope Records)
Their third release is their best one yet, it is sensual, multi-layered sonic sculptures that invade your ears as the ever delicious Shirley Manson's bad girl voice entices and corrodes your mind with her exquisitely dangerous lyrics about life, love, and pain.
THE GO-GOS - "God Bless The Go-Gos" (Beyond Records)
The girls still got it with their reunion record, "La La Land" is the almost perfect pop song, they played a great show at the 9:30 Club back in July and it rocked my world.
GROOVE ARMADA - "Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub)" (Jive/Electro Records)
This is the perfect stoner album for early in the morning chilling after a long night of clubbing and you are waiting for the tweak to turn off so you can go to sleep.
ETTA JAMES - "Matriarch Of The Blues" (Private Records)
The Queen of The Blues has put out an album of only cover songs and in most of them; she outdoes the originals and her version of The Rolling Stones' "Miss You" is simply divine.
LTJ BUKEM - "Journey Inward" (Kinetic Records)
This is the ultimate drum'n'bass album from one of the people who helped invent it along with Roni Size. "Undress Your Mind" is the track for getting yer freak on. Drum'n'bass never sounded better than it does on this fantastic album. I love it!
NEW ORDER - "Crystal" (CD remix single) (Reprise Records)
New Order is back, our favorite band from the eighties does it again with their new single, and the Digweed & Muir remix is absolutely stellar, so get on the dance floor and let the music take you there. We wonder what the song is about though; everything seems to be drug-related these days when it comes to dance music and the people who love it.
NEW ORDER - "Get Ready" (Reprise Records)
An instant classic album by one of our favorite groups, and we cannot get it out of our CD player, and we cannot wait for them to tour this spring, it has been a long time.
THE PET SHOP BOYS - "Actually + Further Listening 1987-1988" and "Introspective + Further Listening 1988-1989" (EMI/Parlophone Records)
This is gay pop music at its absolute finest, re-mastered and complete with all the extra tracks.
RAREWERKS - "Compilation" (Astralwerks Records)
A compilation of rare tracks from some of the best of today's electronic bands, it is perfect for listening to while you are driving or riding on the metro. The tracks from Air and The Chemical Brothers are absolutely fantastic.
SLAYER - "God Hates Us All" (American Records)
When you really need to disturb somebody, put this album on and turn the volume to ten and let it rip. The banned cover art is sin-sational and the lyrics really tell the truth about the real world.
SUBMARINE - "Sunbeam" (CD remix single) (Reprise Records)
This is our theme song of the year down here at Deluded World. We cannot get this song out of our heads. All eight remixes on this remix CD are incredibly and stand on their own, especially the Eric Kupper remixes. The lyrics "Jesus wants me to be his sunbeam" is what we preach here at Deluded Magazine.
ULTRA NATE - "Stranger Than Fiction" (Strictly Rhythm Records)
Miss Girl has put out the album of her career, and it is full of superbly crafted songs that expound on the politics of love and life and it was produced by Nona Hendryx.
YAZ - "The Best Of Yaz" (Mute/Reprise Records)
Alison Moyet's voice and Vince Clarke's melodies was a match made in pop heaven, "Ode To Boy" is still one of my all-time favorite songs. Too bad they hate each other for some secret reason and will never release a reunion album or go on tour.
PETE YORN - "musicforthemorningafter" (Columbia Records)
Normally we hate this kind of hip guy with a guitar singer/songwriter kind of music, but this guy is the exception to the rule. "Life On A Chain" is the story of our life here at Deluded.
Published in Deluded Magazine #6 - Winter 2002
DELUDED MAGAZINE #7 - Autumn 2002
BLONDIE - "Parallel Lines" (Deluxe Re-Issue) (Chrysalis Records) (2002)
This is one of our favorite albums ever and it has been digitally re-mastered and re-packaged with four bonus tracks and it sounds even more glorious than ever. Power pop new wave in its finest hour, producer Mike Chapman is a genius. The disco-fied version of the "Heart Of Glass" bonus track is a hoot. Debbie Harry Forever!
DELERIUM - "Odyssey (The Remix Collection)" (Nettwerk Records) (2002)
This is a superior collection of songs by one of my favorite bands, members Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber used to be part of Frontline Assembly. DJ Tiesto's remix of "In Search Of The Sunrise" is pure brilliance, and Sarah McLaughlin's voice was the perfect choice for this song. The other stand-out track is "Innocente" (Deep Dish Gladiator Mix) and it features the ethereal voice of Leigh Nash. Go buy it now!
DIFFERENT GEAR - "A Little Bit Paranoid" 12"single (white label) (2002)
My favorite dance track of the month, it has this delicious booty-shaking beat and the singer coos this great line, "I'm feeling good about feeling bad about feeling good!"
FIRST CLASS - "Clap Top On Me" 12"single (white label) (2002)
My favorite fuck track of the month, and it just makes you want to get all freaky and nasty..."I had one foot on the microwave and one foot on the dresser, and girls, I commenced to screaming!"
GEORGE MICHAEL - "Freek!" (Max Reich mix) 12"single (CBS Records) (2002)
I had one of my best orgasms ever to this song; it sure made me sweat as my friend...
ROBERT PLANT - "Dreamland" (Universal Records) (2002)
The greatest rock voice ever, LED ZEPPELIN still rule! This collection contains mostly covers, "Darkness, Darkness" by Jesse Colin Young and Bob Dylan's "One More Cup Of Coffee" are the stand-out tracks, but his version of "Hey Joe" is just out of this world, Robert and his band totally re-constructed the song and made it even more haunting than the Jimi Hendrix version. I do hope he tours this autumn.
ROAD TRIP - "MixMag Summer 2002" compilation (MixMag Records) (2002)
This collection contains the very best electronica singles of the summer, fourteen pumping songs that want to make you hit the floor full force. The killer tracks like The Plump DJs' "Big Groovy Fuckers" and Freq Nasty's "One More Time" make the tedious hours pass by more quickly as we slave to the muses down here at Deluded Central.
DJ SHARON WHITE - "Sanctuary" compilation (SW Records) (2002)
An exquisite blend of trance and progressive house music that wraps itself around your ears and body like your favorite lover, DJ Sharon White sure knows how to drop a fantastic mix. Warm's "It's In The Music" made me want to go meltdown on the dance floor. Catch Sharon spinning every Sunday at The Warehouse in Northeast Washington. Until next time music lovers.
Published in Deluded Magazine #7 - Autumn 2002
DELUDED MAGAZINE #9 - Winter 2003
The Deluded Greatest Music Guide
AC/DC - "Powerage" (Atlantic Records) (1978)
They are the greatest hard rock/metal band ever to take the stage. This album features Angus Young's finest fretwork and Bon Scott at his vocal and lyrical peak. My fave track is "Down Payment Blues" and my fave lyric is "Gimme a bullet to bite on, something to chew, and I'll make-believe it's you."
ETTA JAMES - "Come A Little Closer" (MCA Records) (1974)
The greatest diva of all time, blues, soul, funk, or rock, it does not matter what she is singing. The classic 1974 album of psychedelic soul was recorded while she was in rehab lockdown for her chronic cocaine addiction - beauty through pain at its finest. My fave track is "Out On The Streets Again" and she does a brilliant cover of "Sookie, Sookie".
LEVEL 01 METRO RECORDINGS Compilation (Metro Records) (2003)
DJ Matrix has mixed our favorite drum'n'bass compilation that just gets us jumpin' and bumpin' like frogs in a frying pan. The mix flow is fabulous and without any of that twitchy "turntablist" crap or any annoying beat-mixing because music is supposed to ebb and flow like the tides for maximum dancing pleasure.
THELONIUS MONK - "Genius Of Modern Music Volume 1" (Riverside Records) (1998)
The greatest piano player ever, hands down, he is like Chopin with soul, this utterly devastating album was recorded in the autumn of 1947 with the legendary Art Blakely on drums. Monk is the reason I took up playing the piano. My fave tracks are "In Walked Bud", "Well, You Needn't", and "Nice Work If You Can Get It".
MUSIK MAGAZINE Presents HOOLIGAN HOUSE Compilation (Musik Records) (2003)
This compilation was mixed by The Audio Bullies; this is the hippest house music sub-genre right now. It is kind of a cross between jungle and garage and it will make you want to go nuclear on the dance floor. My fave tracks are "Sound Of Violence" by Cassius, "Good Enough" by Gaspard, and "Blacklight" by DJ Touche, so hit the floor bitches.
NEW ORDER - "Get Ready" (Qwest/Reprise Records) (2001)
This is the greatest comeback album by a British band, a delicious return to form by one of our all-time favorite bands and best of all, it does not sound like they are trying to recycle their glory days. My fave track is "Vicious Streak" and fave lyric is "Here comes love, it's like honey, you can't buy it with money..."
SOFT CELL - "Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret" (Sire Records) (1981)
The greatest sleaze-tronic album ever made by two queens with a drum machine, this album was the soundtrack to our coming out, and it is fantastic for sex, too. Marc Almond and David Ball are gods in my book. My fave track is "Sex Dwarf" and fave lyric is "Isn't it nice, sugar and spice, luring dollies to a life of vice, sex dwarf..."
SPEED Volume 1: UNDERGROUND Compilation (Twisted Records) (2002)
This is the compilation for you when you need to dance and feel some love, and it will make you sweat like you are going to church on the dance floor. My fave tracks are "Saturday" by Urban Spirits with Michelle Douglass and "Party People" by Shades Of Rhythm.
PAUL VAN DYK - "Out There And Back" (Mute Records) (1999)
The most relaxing album to listen to while riding on the metro, it helps tune out the wretched as his creamy smooth progressive trance beats soothe the beast within. Kraftwerk meets Tangerine Dream with a heart full of soul is the perfect description because his music just makes me melt. My fave tracks are "Pikes", "Face To Face", and "Tell Me Why".
ROB ZOMBIE - "Sinister Urge" (Geffen Records) (2002)
The greatest tongue-in-cheek "Satan worshipping" album ever made, it is dark and driving with impeccable sound and guaranteed to scare the hell out of people you hate. Fave track is "Iron Head" and fave lyric is "Make sure the carpet is red, so you can't see the blood on the floor..."
Published in Deluded Magazine #9 - Winter 2003
DELUDED MAGAZINE #10 - Spring 2003
The Deluded Music Guide
AC/DC - "Powerage" and "Highway To Hell" Re-issues (Atlantic Records) (2003)
Both these albums were recently digitally re-mastered and re-issued with extra tracks and what joy for metal-heads everywhere in the world. The two all-time greatest bad boy rock albums and Bon Scott's gnarl and Angus Young's riffs never sounded better.
FISCHERSPOONER - "Fischerspooner" (Sire Records) (2003)
The song "Emerge" is the lead track by this group of kitsch eighties' revivalists, it is quirky bleeping disco techno music that is just way over the top in flamboyance and camp appeal. Singer Casey Spooner used to be R.E.M. vocalist Michael Stipe's boyfriend, and he said Michael could fuck the chrome off the bumper of a car.
LE TIGRE - "Deceptacon" (DFA Remix) (Lady Boy Records) (1999)
This is one of my favorite disco punk tracks right now; their L7 meets disco sound really turns my crank. This song just makes you bounce to the beat until you are dripping with sweat.
MUSIK Magazine Presents DISCO PUNK Compilation (Musik Records) (2003)
This compilation is the bomb, and it features the hottest new music trend on the scene now, Disco Punk, and I love it. It is like CBGB's meets Rave and it is the funnest trend in years.
PLAYGROUP - "Make It Happen" 12"single (white label) (2003)
The song "Make It Happen" is currently one of the hottest tracks on European dance floors and my stereo, it makes me just get up and wiggle and pretend to be high on Ecstasy. They also have a way cool remix of "Monoculture" that they did for the gods of queer rock - Soft Cell - it is really funky and cool.
SOFT CELL - "Cruelty Without Beauty" (Cooking Vinyl Records) (2002)
This is my most played album right now; it barely leaves my CD player because I have loved this band since 1980's "Mutant Moments" 7"EP. This is absolutely the greatest queer rock album ever and the best comeback album by a band from the eighties. It is full of fantastic songs - "Darker Times" - "Monoculture" - "Le Grand Guigol" - "Desperate" - "Sensation Nation" - "Caligula Syndrome" - and the exquisite closing track "On An Up". All these songs are lyrically the best and most incisive of Marc Almond's career and the beats are up-to-date without sounding forced and trite. David Ball sure knows how to find the right haunting melody and beats for Marc Almond like no other.
ULTRA NATE - "Brass In Pocket" 12"single (white label) (2002)
"Brass In Pocket" is one of my favorite songs by The Pretenders and the queen of Baltimore house music has recently released a white label cover version of the song that is utterly sensational. She is a true diva! Love her!
Published in Deluded Magazine #10 - Spring 2003
DELUDED MAGAZINE #11 - Autumn 2004
The Deluded Music Guide
These are some albums that everyone should have in their music collection - so go buy them - support your local record store - or download them legally on your computer if you are some sort of techno-geek who likes your music compressed and tinny sounding.
BLONDIE - "The Curse Of Blondie" (Chrysalis Records) (2003)
Once again Debbie Harry and her band have released a great "post-comeback" album and it rocks my socks off. The first single "Good Boys" is their latest instant classic song plus it has a really cool video that reminds me of director Tod Browning's ground-breaking film "Freaks". They also have just released a live performance that they did for A&E's "Live By Request" on CD and DVD. Debbie Harry is one of the best female vocalists of all time and she should be listened to and adored on a daily basis.
J.C. CHASEZ - "Schizophrenic" (Jive/Zomba Records) (2004)
The N'SYNC member we most wanted to fuck has released his first solo album and the single from it, "All Day Long I Dream Of Sex" is the gay bar song of the summer, and it is constantly getting stuck in my head. The video is hot, hot, hot - it features J.C. living out some of his most prurient porno sex fantasies with lots of kinky costumes and gyrating girlies and one killer guitar riff that really should be in a better song.
THE DARKNESS - "Permission To Land" (Atlantic Records) (2003)
The latest pseudo-metal saviors from England kick it out with their faux-Queen bombast as their demented singer Justin Hawkins wails a la Freddie Mercury and the two guitarists grind away as he sings "Love Is Only A Feeling". This is our current favorite album to jumpstart the morning.
FRANZ FERDINAND - "Franz Ferdinand" (Domino Records) (2004)
Hailed as "The Next Big Thing", these lads from Glasgow, Scotland, play a very retro-eighties sound that reminds me of early The Cure but with their own dirty little twist. They dress like dandies and really know how to put on a great show. This is great music for having sweaty sex in the dark with a stranger while humming "The Dark Of The Matinee".
GUSTER - "Guster On Ice - In Portland" (Warner Brothers Records) (2004)
Our favorite college-rock band that hail from New England and they have just released a CD/DVD called "Guster On Ice - Live In Portland" and it totally rocks especially on my two favorite songs of theirs, "Amsterdam" and "Ramona". The drummer Brian Rosenworcel plays all of the percussion with his bare hands. Amazing!!! Great music for chilling out to while baked.
NINA HAGEN - "Big Band Explosion" (SPV Recordings) (2003)
Our punk goddess has released her eleventh studio album and it is a superb collection of big band standards and it is one of her best recordings of her career and I love all of her albums. Who would have thought, but Nina sings with such heart and soul that she could probably make a Raffi song sound good. We hope to see her perform on tour this fall, so keep praying to Jesus.
THE PLUMP DJS - "Eargasm" (Finger Lickin' Records) (2003)
This is currently our latest favorite electronic dance music act from England, it is full of sassy house beats, a dab of electro-clash guitar, a fierce wailing rent-a-diva, and a few choice samples and you got an album that will get you shaking and sweating.
Published in Deluded Magazine #11 - Autumn 2004
DELUDED MAGAZINE #12 - Winter 2005
The Deluded Music Guide
THE SCISSOR SISTERS - "We Are And So Are You" (Universal Video) (2004)
The kings (and queens) of 2004 have released their first DVD release and it totally rocks and really conveys who they are. It features a live concert filmed at the Brighton Dome in the UK where they were they top-selling act of 2004, a band documentary, a short film made by some fans, and all of their videos, a package well-worth the money because they love their fans. Get it now and turn it up loud on your stereo and "Take Your Mama Out"!
MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT - "The Kult Kollection" (RykoVideo) (2004)
They are Deluded Magazine's all-time favorite sexy dirty electronica goth-punk band, and they have finally released a DVD called "The Kult Kollection" and it contains all of their videos and live concert performance clips and it is sin-sational. It has "Kooler Than Jesus", "Sex On Wheelz", "Blue Buddha", and nineteen other tracks, so go buy or steal it today.
LED ZEPPELIN - "Led Zeppelin II" (Atlantic/Swan Song Records) (1969)
The all-time greatest rock and roll band and one of the best albums ever to have to delicious sex to; Robert Plant's shimmering vocals, Jimmy Page's howling guitar, John Paul Jones' rumbling bass, and John Bonham's pounding thunder...WANNA WHOLE LOTTA LOVE!
HEART - "The Best Of Heart" (Columbia Records) (1994)
They are one of the greatest bands to come out of the seventies with their souls intact, because Ann and Nancy Wilson simply rule. This collection is my favorite one to put on the stereo when I need my spirits lifted. "Magic Man", "Heartless", "Dog And Butterfly", "Crazy On You", "Bebe Le Strange", these songs just rocks and brightens our day down here at Deluded Central.
GREEN DAY - "American Idiot" (Reprise Records) (2005)
Finally a post-1985 punk band has released an album worthy of being mentioned alongside the great history-changing punk rock albums by The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, The Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Black Market Baby, and Government Issue. The only album to tell it like it is this year and probably this decade - "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" is where America and the American Dream seem to be living these days.
MARILYN MANSON - "Lest We Forget: The Best Of" (Interscope Records) (2004)
His version of "Personal Jesus" is the best Depeche Mode cover ever and it has a wonderfully disturbing video to go with it, you would think Marilyn Manson wrote the song himself. You can find it on his greatest "hits" collection and his other masterpieces.
LORETTA LYNN - "Van Lear Rose" (Interscope Records) (2004)
The queen of country music has recorded one of the best comeback albums ever with the help of Jack White from The White Stripes. Who would have thunk it? Normally his music hurts my ears. The song "Miss Being Mrs." is so achingly beautiful and heartfelt, it just like country music should be, and not like that Reba/Shania/Brad/Kenny crap that they call country music on CMT.
TINA TURNER - "All The Best" (Parlophone/EMI Records) (2004)
The rock goddess herself has finally collected her best songs plus three brand-new ones into a three CD 50-song set, and damn, does it rock. Every song you expect and more from the sixties to now, and the new are actually enjoyable.
THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS - "Push The Button" (Astralwerks Records (200
The British gods of electronica have released their masterpiece and it will put your ears into musical nirvana with its glorious mix of genres and beats. The hit single "Galvanize" featuring Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest will have you hitting the dance floor in a mad frenzy.
PAT TRAVERS BAND - "Crash And Burn" (Polydor Records) (1980)
A lost classic from the age of the guitar gods, Pat Travers was one of my guitar heroes from the seventies and he rocked my ears with lightening speed dexterity on his axe - "Crash And Burn", "Snortin' Whiskey", and his excellent killer version of Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign". It is time for a deluxe edition re-issue with extra tracks and a DVD, get to it Pat.
Published in Deluded Magazine #12 - Winter 2005
DELUDED MAGAZINE #15 - Summer 2006
The Deluded Music Guide
THE EDITORS - "The Back Room" (Kitchenware Records) (2005)
Our favorite wannabe eighties band in the vein of Joy Division and The Cure, but they have their own unique way of presenting it with their delightful music. It is a great album for lying around in the dark as their haunting melodies save you from your melancholy. "Fingers In The Factories" and "Fall" are the best tracks on this fantastic album.
ETTA JAMES - "Let's Roll" (Private Music) (2003)
The Queen of The Blues never lets up with this great album of stellar rocking blues. Her band led by her two sons throw down with incredible finesse and soul as usual on tracks like "Wayward Saints Of Memphis" and "A Change Is Going To Do Me Good", and the best track on the collection, "Leap Of Faith".
THE PET SHOP BOYS - "Fundamental" (Parlophone Records) (2006)
This album is a comeback of sorts, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe return to their early-eighties roots with this record by returning to the minimalistic electronica that started their career. The song "The Sodom And Gomorrah Show" is one of their best in years.
PRINCE - "3121" (Universal Records) (2006)
Well, all I can say is that this album is better than his last two releases, and the song "Black Sweat" rocks my socks, but I still rather see him play live, because that is where he rules like no other, even if he is a Jehovah's Witness.
THE PRODIGY - "Their Law: The Singles 1990-2005" (XL Records) (2006)
When it comes to rock and roll electronica, there is no other band that who does it better, from "Breathe" to "Smack My Bitch Up" to "Voodoo People" and to my personal favorite, "Poison", this collection has it all and more.
PETER RAUHOFER - "I Love New York" (Star 69 Records) (2006)
The king of gay disco prove why he is king with this two-disc set of Manhattan-style dance floor rump-shakers guaranteed to make you sweat. Buy it and get your groove on.
THE ROBOCOP KRAUSE - "They Think They Are" (Epitaph Records) (2006)
Our favorite indie rock band from Sweden knows how to turn a phrase on this lovely record, quirky beats, funky riffs, and trippy-sounding vocals that make you snicker, especially on the song "Concerned, Your Secular Friends".
SHE WANTS REVENGE - "She Wants Revenge" (Flawless Records) (2006)
Our favorite new band of the year and they played wickedly urbane electronic rock that will get your on the dance floor. They are what Depeche Mode wants to be. The song "These Things" is the story of my life these days and it has been our summer anthem.
ROB ZOMBIE - "Educated Horses" (Geffen Records) (2006)
Our metal god delivers a surprising album of mellowed out guitar mayhem with intelligent songs about blood, loss, and horror. I cannot wait to go see him in concert this fall with Ozzy Osbourne. The tracks "Foxy Foxy" and "Lords Of Salem" are the stand-out tracks.
Published in Deluded Magazine #15 - Summer 2006
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