Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pretty Girls - The Kids are All Fucked

Pretty Girls The Kids are All Fucked Ep (Moo-La-La, 1999)

Color me prejudice, call me an egomaniac: This record is not only from Sacramento but I put it out...and it is great! Some folks will say that it is a fantastic record despite its geographical origins and my involvement; others - mainly me and my mom, though I don't think moms has rocked to the Pretty Girls - would say that it was a good thing I was involved because no one else was gonna corral the feral cats that were the Pretty Girls. Okay, maybe someone else would have or maybe the band would have done it themselves. And if I am to get a few slaps on the back, let them be few because my role in this one was limited to the nuts & bolts of putting out a record, something any monkey can do. The songs (save one), playing, and recording were all done by what was even then a Who's Who of Sacramento punk rock. First off, the figurehead and creative spout of the band was guitarist Tristan T., last of the Yah Mos, Los Huevos, & the Boulevard Park Trio. Tris was joined by another former Yah Mo, singer Mike T and Mike's former bandmate in Crash & Britney, guitarist Hoi. And then the rhythm section which ranks as Sacramento's 90s best, fresh from Los Huevos, Jason P. & Woodhouse. Take Woodhouse and his 4 track to record them, a whole mess of drugs & booze to fuel them, and a unhealthy dose of band fights (both in the band and against other groups - Take That! Loose Lips!), and you get one dirty stew of ungh! Live these guys were unstoppable, at least for a time, and this record merely hints at the damage they could do (though there is another recording that got snuffed by the band, two songs that I would very much someday love to release, that are so exciting that they'll make you bald!). This line up of the Pretty Girls was full of too much chaos for it to hold together for too long. I think it lasted about a year before Woodhouse bailed. Mike followed. With a new front man, the band's sound shifted. They released a CD. The band split for good. Woodhouse & Jason were to get together again (in different roles) in the FM Knives. Tristan & Jason later formed Lyme Regis. And so it goes.

You get three songs out of four. Two are originals. One is a swell cover of the Shadows of Knight's My Fire Department Needs a Fireman.

This record was released in a pressing of just 300 right at the height of the vinyl glut. It took about 3 years to sell out the pressing. I sell all but a couple off. - Scott S.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ye Ascoyne d' Ascoynes - Just the Biggest Thing

Ye Ascoyne d' Ascoynes Just the Biggest Thing EP (Hangman, 1992)

Just when ya think you know everything about the Billy Childish diaspora, you realize you don't know nuthin'. That's what I felt when I discovered this hidden gem back in the mid 90s, calmly lurking in the used bin for $2. I feared it would be another of Billy's anonymous side projects dominated by one-string mandolin, a lemon rind in both cheeks and plenty of Olde Angle-Land-isms, but instead it's actually a Bruce Brand (Milkshakes) moonlighter with mucho vim to spare. Verily, both sides register as essential as any pukka Childish/Headcoats product from the same era, additionally evidencing the sort of world-weariness one associates with prime-era Subway Sect (OK, perhaps if they had been obsessed more with the Who than the Velvets).

It's a one-off folks, sadly. And for the record, not all Childish side projects are wearisome, just track down that Jack Ketch LP if you can. Yowsa. -Ryan W.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

VooDoo Boots - Bulb Japan Rock Series #1

VooDoo Boots Bulb Japan Rock Series #1 7" (Bulb, 1998)

The Massachusetts label Bulb gave the 90s a lot of great records. Bridging the world between garage punk and art damage, they released records by The Bunny Brains, Quintron, The Monarchs, Demolition Doll Rods, Wolf Eyes, and the King Brothers. I believe it was the Brothers King that briefly turned their attention toward scouring Japan for the more obscure of the garage punk world. I am guessing that is that momentary focus that brought about this VooDoo Boots single, the first and only record in their Japan Rock Series. Taken from a two track recording, this single shows that behind Teengerate, The Registrators, and the 5-6-7-8's there were plenty of one off's, side projects, and never beens making good music. That shouldn't be surprising to you 90s punk fans, Nipponophiles, and loyal Static Party readers. And it is here you get the obligatory complaint that the damn Japanese are too fucking stingy with their music. I am ever so thankful that labels like Estrus, Planet Pimp, Rip Off, SFTRI, Bulb, and Crypt were able to sneak into the brief window that the Japanese left open in the mid-90s. Without that openning, plenty of bands would have gone unlistened to in the West. But Damn Them Japanese for shutting the door. We are lucky that Mr Wells has gone through the effort to get Japan only pressings of bands that still remain obscure. He got the records that you've seen posted here with lots of effort, expense and a bunch of persistence. But he's only waded ankle deep. There are tons of records we over here in the US never have seen and even more bands that we have never heard of. This VooDoo Boots record is a case in point. When this was recorded, I don't think anyone thought of releasing it. The band split, the singer going on to Gasoline. Bulb somehow got the recording, probably through the King Brothers, dug it and pressed it. I've never found out the song titles, as the label is blank and they aren't listed on the sleeve. Maybe Bulb didn't know either. But the record is a good one, especially song number two. And you know that this is just a fragment of an underground past that we probably will never hear. Arghhhhh!! --Scott S

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