Al Deaderick is a temporarily unemployed former musician with thousands of records
DREXCIYA “Journey Of The Deep Sea Dweller” (Clone)
One or two of these came out this year, with two more to come in the forthcoming year. Drexciya was the original mysterious black atlantean detroit techno outfit, and these are lovingly remastered anthologies of their ocean-vaporizing singles from the 1990s. So so future even now!
BUGS & RATS “Get That Fucking Light Out Of My Face” (Self Released) and LIVE at Elks Lodge, MA November 3rd 2012
I feel like all these lists have to include the Quincy Punks. Their show at Homegrown was the cap of that stellar event for me, not least because it started with a sneered dispatch towards the Dreebs who were playing way too long for a band with a violinist. Not much I can say about Bugs & Rats that someone else didn’t do better but I gotta say the name with respect.
THE JIMMY CASTOR BUNCH “It’s Just Begun” (RCA)
We lost Jimmy in January of this year, and I combed through his catalog for several weeks paying tribute to this underrated multi-instrumentalist mad man. From his street corner roots with The Teenagers to the funk and disco eras, you could count on whatever he recorded to come from far left field. Though usually more comfortable singing about movie monsters than politics, his breakout album from 1972 will always be a classic to me, with topics ranging from Vietnam, drug abuse, satan, and cave men. The music veered wildly from sweet soul to heavy metal to salsa to back breaking funk which must have been uncomfortably wild at the time but now fits in perfect step with our postmodern breakbeat world. RIP, E-Man.
NICK HENNIES “Objects” (Eyeless Records) and LIVE at Wombat Zone, MA April 7th 2012
Austin Texas’s hard drinkin’ Wandelweiser percussionist came out to Morgan’s old house in Somerville and some fool gave him a vibraphone to play and he tore that kitchen up! He might be better known as the drummer for Austin’s avant folk band Weird Weeds, but I prefer his solo work, influenced by John Cage and Alvin Lucier. Compositions become less about the notes played as about the waves that burst from the instrument and rattle around the room.
JOHN BENDER “Memories Of Mindless Mechanical Monologues: 1976-1985” (Vinyl-On-Demand)
Another mysterious electronic act that couldn’t be further from Drexciyan waters. This comp illustrates a reclusive man’s journey via private press releases in tiny quantities ranging from VU flavored minimal rock songs to blisteringly bleak new wave freak outs.
LAMPS “Under The Water Under The Ground” (In The Red) and LIVE at the Hemlock, SF July 14th 2012.
Their third album for In the Red, and the first one not called LAMPS, is much appreciated after a few years of sporadic releases. I have been a fan of their super stripped aggressive garage punk for years so I was hecka jazzed to see them live with Karen from SRL. That they later put out a killer LP of all the new songs was just icing to that cake.
LORAX & PICKLES (cats)
My lovely daughters, they continue to inspire and astound me every day.
ANITA O’DAY “High Times, Hard Times” (Limelight Editions) and “Eight Classic Albums” (Real Gone Jazz)
The first is her biography and the second is a comp of her classic albums on Verve from her years as an inimitable bop singer and tragic heroin addict. I got hooked on Anita after seeing her performance in “Jazz On A Summer’s Day” from 1959. Her voice, her phrasing, her arrangements, they bathe my heart in sweet sweet wine.
SCTV “Network 90, volumes 1-4” and “The Best Of The Early Years” (Shout Factory)
Sketch comedy genius from cold and remote Edmonton, Alberta in the early 80s. I cannot overstate how joyous it is to watch these shows hit all the right buttons in ways that would be imitated for decades. Someone told me that Andrea Martin is in town doing Pippin at the ART, and I love her so damn much I might have to go see a musical.
SENSATE FOCUS “5”, ’10”, “3.3333333333” (Sensate Focus/Editions Mego)
I am enjoying the hell out of these singles by UK exp/house artist Mark Fell. It was great when he came to Middlesex and I got drunk and bounced and twitched around like a damn fool. The concept is to use samples from classic early 80s house music and place them in points on a grid using the pencil tool, which is the mascot of the label and the series. A heady brew!