Friday, December 28, 2012

Wide Streets - "Laughing In The Jungle" - Damn Fresh!

There is something about Wide Streets that sounds so damn fresh. It takes me back to that creatively ripe period when art rock and progressive punk converged in the mid to late 70's. This was the time of The Talking Heads, Suburban Lawns, The Buzzcocks, XTC, Gang of Four and Television (just to name a few).

 "Laughing in the Jungle" is their latest album containing 8 bi-polar tracks that can feel on one hand like free form improvisation and on the other hand like super tight and highly crafted compositions. Transit of Venus jams and shifts all over the place consisting of a lot of dramatic breaks as Jet Elfman's melody can feel more like a tirade. The guitar rhythm break is so very cool. My Own Grave vacillates between a rather sweet vocal melody that mirrors the guitar line and more powerful guitar breaks. The chorus really lifts off nicely and ultimately drops into a crunchy syncopated drum and guitar jag. Jet Elfman's vocals on this one (and some others) made me think of a very young David Byrne. The Catskills literally makes you want to run down the street and find others to join you. It is both edgy in it's construction and emotionally sweet in it's melodies. Stingray Ballet that has some really trippy guitar work that moves the song into so many color of sound and emotion. Kudos to the jammy bass work on this track as well. Strange Pilgrims and Little Soldier (great song) has this early British Mod thing going on and the spartan whimsy of Children's Crusade feels glammy like early Bowie.

There is so much to love on "Laughing in the Jungle"- this is one of my favorite discoveries this year (2012)-

Robb Donker

Wide Streets Bandcamp
Wide Streets Facebook

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bloody Death Skull - Reimagine "Pyscho"

When I first listened to Jack Kittel's recording of Psycho it gave me the creeps! The subject matter is so damn dark. There is something about it being presented in the country genre that makes it even more disturbing. Bloody Death Skull's version rides a sidewalk chalk line between Americana roots music and a kind of musical infantilism. Sung in tandem with Gerard Olson, Daiana Feuer's vocal performance with all it's wide eyed naivety and whimsy feels tender and almost makes you forget the evil set deep in the bones of the serial killer lyrics. As fun as the video is, I would of loved to see it go really dark. Any budding video directors listening? In any event, please do check out all of Bloody Death Skull's "tin pan Dali" recordings.
Robb Donker

Courtesy of Bloody Death Skull:

The song "You Think I'm Psycho Don't You, Mama?" is based on a true story. Blind Texan country singer Leon Payne wrote the song he called "Psycho" after reading about a local murderer by the name of Charles Whitman. In 1966 Whitman strangled his mother to death, stabbed his wife, then took his Marine corps sniper rifle to the top of the University of Texas Library tower and killed sixteen random people before the police gunned Whitman down. Turns out that Whitman had a deadly brain tumor he didn't know about. In the weeks prior to his murder spree, he experienced frequent headaches and nausea, but he had no idea what was really going on, and the tumor supposedly drove him crazy killer. On the day he purchased his rifle, Whitman also bought a can of Spam.

"Psycho" has been recorded by Elvis Costello, Jack Kittel, George Jones, and Eddie Noack. A version of it by Teddy Thompson appears in the movie, Psycho. Get Bloody Death Skull's version at

Video by Daiana Feuer and Chris Hajek.

Upcoming shows in Los Angeles:
October 26 at Echo Country Outpost 
with Jo Cool (Amanda Jo Williams), Emily Lacy, Sloppy Jo (Donna from Tommy Santee Klaws)
October 30 at Los Globos 
with Fancy Space People, Babes, Cabeza De Vaca Arcestra, DJ Sun Araw
Nov 8 at Echoplex
for L.A. Folk Fest Murder Ballads tribute show

More Bloody Death Skull:
"Wreck My Body":
"Princess Martinique":

Listen to many songs:
Bloody Death Skull: "We write and record simultaneously, usually."

Check out Bloody Death Skull's "Our First Tape," recorded on a haunted tape recorder:

Full lyrics to Leon Payne’s masterpiece (courtesy of those wonderful folks at PopKrazy )–

Can Mary fry some fish, Mama
I’m as hungry as can be
Oh lord, how I wish, Mama
You could stop the baby cryin’ ’cause my head is killing me
I saw my ex again last night, Mama
She was at the dance at Miller’s store
She was with that Jackie White, Mama
I killed them both, and they’re buried under Jacob’s sycamore
You think I’m psycho, don’t you, Mama
I didn’t mean to break your cup
You think I’m psycho, don’t you, Mama
You better let ‘em lock me up
Oh, don’t hand me Johnny’s pup, Mama
As I might squeeze him too tight
I’m havin’ crazy dreams again, Mama
So let me tell you ’bout last night
I woke up in Johnny’s room, Mama
Standing right there by his bed
With my hands around his throat, Mama
Wishing both of us were dead
You think I’m psycho don’t you, Mama
I just killed Johnny’s pup
You think I’m psycho don’t you, Mama
You’d better let ‘em lock me up
Oh, you recall that little girl, Mama
I believe her name was Betty Clark
Oh, don’t tell me that she’s dead, Mama
‘Cause I just saw her in the park
We were sitting on a bench, Mama
Thinking of a game to play
Seems I was holding a wrench, Mama
Then my mind just walked away
You think I’m psycho don’t you, Mama
I didn’t mean to break your cup
You think I’m psycho don’t you, Mama
Mama why don’t you get up?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Flying Lotus - Tiny Tortures Video - Some Trippy Ass Shit

 If you like surreal trippy ass videos set to surreal trippy ass sounds then the video for Tiny Tortures by Flying Lotus (electronic composer Steven Ellison) off of his latest album "Until The Quiet Comes"- NICE to see Elijah Wood as well.