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May 1999 Reviews

RATING SYSTEM | Alice Cooper and David Bowie | The Apples In Stereo | Birdy | Boris the Sprinkler | Ray Carmen | Couples | Joel Forrester & The Illustrious Others | The Gentle Waves | Gladhands | The Go-Betweens | Goodnight Star | High School Violence | Joy Electric | KMFDM | The Lassie Foundation | Mad Trucker Gone Mad | MJB | Nightmares From Rotterdam | No One Cares About You | People Like Us | Poolside | Pussy Meow | Speak 714R | Tina

*Additional Items Received*


ALICE COOPER AND DAVID BOWIE - We're Still Trying To Have a Glitter Party (CD, Buttlite, Rock/pop)
Alice Cooper and David Bowie pranced their prissy white asses at an entire generation in the seventies...promoting glamour and violence, all the while masquerading as pretentious modern artists. Now the two have teamed up for a panty party. Two middle-aged used-to-be-rock-stars pumped up in pretty panties and parading around a randy stage yelling about eye shadow and men wearing dresses. David vomits on Alice's chest, and then Alice does the bobo on top of David's other head. Then they both chalk up the alley, bouncing poopoo over the dopey ratholio. What do the songs sound like? The sound is something like a cross between Magic Johnson and The Archies. These two guys give it up for each other...and in doing so, they examine just why it is that nothing is so vital to anything or anyone... (Rating: 2)

THE APPLES IN STEREO - Her Wallpaper Reverie (CD, spinART, Pop)
With the increasing popularity of The Apples In Stereo comes the mounting debate over whether Robert Schneider is a phony or the real thing. After giving Her Wallpaper Reverie a spin, our verdict is that Mr. Schneider is still one of the outstanding pop songwriters of this decade. Whereas Tone Soul Evolution (the band's last full-length) was a straight shot of pure pop, this CD is a peculiar mix of microdot pop psychedelia. Which is better? You decide. Personally I think the band's music sounds even better with some of the moodier, strange stuff going on in the mix... There will be another full-length coming early 2000. We can't WAIT. (Rating: 6)

BIRDY - Supernominal Paraphernalia (CD, Cropduster, Pop)
Uplifting feelgood guitar pop. Birdy is spearheaded by Stephanie Seymour, formerly of the Aquanettas, who put out an LP on Nettwerk/IRS in the early nineties. This, the debut disc for Birdy, was produced by Gene naturally the sound is nice, crisp, and clean. The vocals...and particularly the vocals...sound stellar. The music is your basic jangley guitar rock...with nice lead guitar lines intertwined in and out of the mix. This is very radio friendly stuff...although it doesn't sound like commercial slop at all. Nine tunes including "High as the Sun," "You Used to Shine" (my fave), and "I See Faces." Good stuff. (Rating: 4)

BORIS THE SPRINKLER - Suck (CD, Go-Kart, Rock)
"Boris the Sprinkler"? Where do all these crazy kids come up with these crazy band names? Never the mind...Boris the band is a keeper...playing out-of-control loud rock with total conviction and a nutty sense of humor. Seems to us that if you're a really loud harsh band the place to be these days is on the Go-Kart label...they seem to have the market cornered, at least in some manner or fashion. But back to The Sprinkler... This band plays buzzsaw guitar rock that sounds very much like The Dickies and The Ramones, yet the music is infused with a definite nineties type energy. Our faves here are "My Radio Is Telling Me To Kill (The Guys On My Radio)" and "Your Stupid Pants." Great raw fun YEAH! (Rating: 4)


RAY CARMEN - Correct Me If I'm Wrong (CD, Pop! Productions, Cassette)
Ohio's Ray Carmen is one of the last great survivors of the age of the independently produced cassette. On Correct Me If I'm Wrong, Mr. Carmen pays tribute to some of his favorite songwriters...including John Stewart, MJB, The Beatles, The Residents (that one was a surprise), and more. The result? Some surprisingly sincere takes on some familiar standards. My personal favorite cover on this tape is Carmen's version of MJB's "Still In Love With You." The only thing better than Mr. Carmen doing cover tunes is when he does his own material (three are included this time around). This tape is only available by mail for $4...or for trade. Contact Ray at P.O. Box 152, Green, OH 44232, E-mail him at or check out the web site at This guy's GREAT. Hopefully Ray will start treating his fans to independent CDs soon... (Rating: 5)

COUPLES (Repugnant weak kind of awful sort of things)
Yuuuuuuuukkkkkkk... If there's one thing that's sickening as shit, it's couples. All those weak retards holding onto one another...seeking positive strokes because they can't think or live on their own...forming retarded little pig units so that they don't have to snort around on their own. What is a couple defined? The dictionary defines a couple as "two pathetic retards who show affection for one another because they are shitty and stupid." Meanwhile, the encyclopedia defines couples as "worthless, ugly, stupid, annoying, trite, dumb, very retarded, and I hate them and I wish that they all were dead." If you know two people who care a great deal for one another, you should stop being friends with them. Couples are the scum of the earth. The only good thing about couples is that when one of them get to see the other one cry and suffer because they can't live without their dearly departed partner... (Rating: 2)


JOEL FORRESTER & THE ILLUSTRIOUS OTHERS - Pre-Microscopic Music Circa 1980 (CD, Koch International, Jazz)
Part of a series of re-releases honoring the talents of pianist Joel Forrester, this disc surges with cool jazz energy. Though it was recorded in 1980, these tunes sound as crisp and clean as if they were recorded yesterday. The piano is loose and snazzy...and the overall feel shifts from tune to tune...creating a variety of tones and moods along the way. In addition to Mr. Forrester's talented finger tappings, we are also treated to guest artists Tony Salazar, Phillip Johnston, Lucky Ennett, and others. Excellent recording quality combined with top notch tunes. (Rating: 5)

THE GENTLE WAVES - The Green Fields of Foreverland... (British import CD, Jeepster Recordings, Soft pop)
The Gentle Waves is the latest project spearheaded by Belle & Sebastian cellist/vocalist Isobel Campbell. It's a keeper. Ms. Campbell's soft breathy vocals and dreamy pop tunes go down soft and easy...greasing the lungs and digesting the brain. It's like soft summer breezes draining through your stereo...the arrangements are sparse and simple...yet just right. So many folks attempt to record this sort of soft, dreamy pop...and fail miserably. This project is a total success, in large part because of what isn't there. There are no midi overblown string sections with thirty backing samples... Isobel has the good sense to let her songs speak for themselves. She plays most of the instruments, but also has pals helping out on different tracks. Almost twelve songs...including "Hangman In the Shadow," "Emanuell, Skating On Thin Ice" (this one's really neat), and "To Salt A Scar." Very, VERY cool... (Rating: 5)

GLADHANDS (Live performance, April 10, 1999)
Having played the holy hell out of this band's latest disc (Wow & Flutter) that is currently still awaiting release due to problems with the record company, I was treated to a royal honor...seeing Gladhands play in a tiny hole-in-the-wall club. The band's sixties and seventies-influenced tunes are reminiscent of a great many bands past and present. This band easily stands out from the crowd for the simple fact that they write compelling and mesmerizing tunes. Doug, Jeff, and Patrick make up a pop band that'll have critics jumping off cliffs to try and outdo each other in offering praise. The melodies are superb...the arrangements perfect...and the overall sound is so intensely cool that it's hard to put into words. There were moments during this concert when I was floating high above the clouds...far off in some other universe... That's how good this band is when they hit their highs. I find it amazing that these fellows can pull off their recorded sound with just three players. One word of caution. This band's tunes take a few plays to sink in, so don't expect to be blown away immediately. But after five or ten listens, you'll probably find yourself going totally apeshit. This little concert (which drew very few people because of the delayed release of the new CD) was easily one of the BEST shows I have ever anyone...EVER. Gladhands are one of the top pop bands of this decade. That's for CERTAIN. WOW. (Rating: 6)

THE GO-BETWEENS - Bellavista Terrace: Best of the Go-Betweens (CD, Beggars Banquet, Pop)
Long, long ago someone gave me a copy of one of this band's albums and I remember thinking "What great come no one seems to know about this band?" Well many years later...and over nine years since the band broke up...I'm still asking myself the same question. For whatever reasons (bad marketing, bad management, bad booking agents, bad pastry shells) The Go-Betweens never made much of a dent in the music market...although they were at the top of a great many critics' "best of" lists. This collection of tunes offers a nice slice of the band's free flowing pop music. Hopefully more folks' ears will open up as a result of this release. Fourteen tunes including "Head Full of Steam," "Bye Bye Pride," and "Streets of Your Town." (Rating: 5)

GOODNIGHT STAR - Goodnight Star (CD, Plastiqmusiz/Tooth & Nail)
Carrying their Depeche Mode torch proudly upon their sleeve, Goodnight Star play soft synth pop that sounds smooth and very, very dreamy. These calm danceable tunes sound very much like synth pop from the eighties...but with some very nineties production tricks. The band consists of George Kalakis, Jesse Carrigan, and Rusty Arnold. Nice introspective compositions like "Creator," "Insecure," "Everyday," and "Trailer Park Love Song" make this disc an entertaining listen... (Not Rated)

HIGH SCHOOL VIOLENCE (Automatic kind of reaction kind of thing)
And Jesus said, "I want you to teach your fellow classmates a lesson that they will never forget." And then Jesus said, "The blood is not real, it is just an illusion...just like in all those video games that you enjoy playing so very much." And then Jesus went up upon the mountain and stood before God, and God looked down upon his son and was glad. And then Jesus and God both picked up the phone and called in another goddamn threat. And then God said "This is good." (Rating: 2)

JOY ELECTRIC - Christian Songs (CD, BEC Recordings, Pop)
Joy Electric has always been a Christian band...but up until now that aspect of the band's music was somewhat subliminal (at least in most songs). This time around, Ronnie Martin makes no bones about his music being aimed at Christians. The music is exceptional as always, but it is unfortunate that the lyrics are probably going to alienate an entire league of listeners who would probably love the tunes...simply because aren't religious. Whether or not the lyrics play a part in my reaction to this disc, this is still not my favorite Joy Electric CD. The songs aren't quite as defined...and the lyrics do detract from the music at times. Even so, Mr. Martin's music is still miles ahead of most popsters out there. Synthesized bubblegum numbers like "The Voice of the Young" and "Synthesized I Want You Synthesized" still ring through loud and clear. Hopefully the lyrics will be lighter next time around. Until then, I can still get off on this music... (Rating: 5)

KMFDM - Adios (CD, TVT, Techno/pop/dance)
BUMMER. Over the past several years, KMFDM influenced countless bands and musical artists. When I think of techno/dance music in the eighties and nineties, they really seemed to have their fingers right on the target. This, their last disc, is a fitting farewell as it offers more of what folks came to expect from this band. The fierce, thick beats and bizarre shifting keyboards combine with those somewhat scarey vocals to create music that is almost impossible to not move to. Guest artists on Adios include Ogre, Bill Rieflin, and Nina Hagen. Although I hate to see 'em go, I'm sure these folks must be really ready for a break...after nearly TWENTY YEARS (sheeesh!). Bye bye, KMFDM. Bye bye... (Not Rated)

THE LASSIE FOUNDATION - Pacifico (Independent CD, Pop)
For those who are into falsetto guitar pop, this may just be your dream band. This band's vocals are in fact SO high that it's somewhat incredible that this is really a man singing. The band plays standard pop music with some interesting guitar sounds and ideas...but it's those ultra-high frequency vocals that are surely the band's trademark. While I'll admit that it's very hard to understand the words...who wants to? When the music sounds this good...and the pop is this creamy dreamy...who needs to understand the words? The best part is...the more you listen to this stuff the better it gets. The band is only slightly weird...with several tunes that remind me of mid-eighties alterna-pop. There are so few bands these days who have a definite, easily identifiable sound. Once you've heard The Lassie Foundation, you will certainly recognize their music the next time you hear it.'s those eerie, peculiar vocals that make the difference. Eleven bompy little numbers, including "Dive Bomber," "She's the Coming Sun-She's Long Gone" (WOW!!!), and "You Are Infinity." Excellent pop band that DOES NOT sound like all the rest! (Rating: 5)

MAD TRUCKER GONE MAD - Mad Trucker Gone Mad (CD EP, Crustacean, Rock/pop)
Entertaining merging of styles. Madison's Mad Trucker Gone Mad play a combination of rock, pop, rockabilly, and country on this here little EP. The band plays steady and direct...and they've basically come up with five winners. All five tunes rock, but our particular fave is "One Night" which has a really catchy chorus line. Nice production. Fun band. (Rating: 4)

MJB - Buffalo Geegaw (CD, Semper Lofi Recordings, Pop)
I've been looking forward to this little treat for quite some time available for the first time on CD! Yup, one of the best home tapers of this decade has released his first CD release...and it's KILLER. I had become so accustomed to the hiss of Michael J. Bowman's cassette releases that the clarity of his new tunes was a little foreign sounding at first. But after a tune or two it became obvious that this format is obviously better for this man's music. Michael's peculiar pop with those strangely sincere vocals sounds like no one else...and this is evidenced by such stellar tunes as "Candy Tongue," "Thee Exceptional Childe," and "The Rocktober of Unlimited Youthquakes." It doesn't get much more sincere or real than this. Keep your eyes and ears open...cuz there'll be several more CDs coming soon of Mr. Bowman's earlier material. YES. Contact MJB at 11 Orchard St., Cold Spring, NY 10516 or check out the web site at (Rating: 6)

NIGHTMARES FROM ROTTERDAM - The U.S. Edition (CD, Moonshine, Various artists compilation)
This is the first in a series of discs being issue by Moonshine Music to unleash hardcore/gabber house music in the U.S. So...what is "hardcore/gabber house" you ask?'s actually just hard-edged techno. This is for the kids who like going to clubs but hate the "soft/synth" dance music kind of thing. The beats are fast...the synthesizers abstract and abrasive. I get the feeling this sort of music is made first and foremost for folks into drugs and bars. This hefty little compilation features no less than eighteen (!) frantic compositions by folks like Bad Terror, Inferno Bros., The Headbanger, and Men of Steel. Can you take it? If so, then... (Not Rated)

NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU (Obvious sort of realization kind of thing)
No one cares about you. Your parents don't care about you. Your friends don't really care about you. Your pet...while it acts like it likes you...would actually get along just fine if you weren't around. Your aunts and uncles don't really care whether you live or die. Jesus doesn't even find you remotely interesting, and he would prefer that you stop praying to him. He doesn't want to hear what you have to say. Even Abraham Lincoln thinks your place on the earth is wasted space. No one cares about you. And no one will ever care about you. Your life isn't worth living. Everything you do is a complete waste of time. (No Rating)

PEOPLE LIKE US - Believe It (CD, Koch International, Jazz)
Smooth sexy jazz played just the way we like it. This disc is part of a series of re-releases provided to us by the fine folks at Koch International as a tribute to composer/pianist Joel Forrester. Believe It was recorded in 1997...and it is the last recording this group of musicians made before drummer Denis Charles passed away (in 1998). The seven compositions on this disc are centered around piano...but also feature the undeniable talents of Claire Daly (baritone saxophone) and Dave Hofstra (bass). These folks were obviously on the same wavelength when they recorded this one. It's light, airy, and tight. GREAT stuff! (Rating: 4)

POOLSIDE - Indyglow (CD, Bong Load Custom Records, Pop)
Peculiar pop from Portland's Poolside. The band's minimalistic music is fueled by fuzzy guitars and moog...but it's the bouncy rhythms and simple melodies that are most appealing here. In a way, this band reminds me of a more subdued Lazy (a great band that was criminally overlooked in the nineties). The songs are direct...the vocals straddling in that perfect grey area in the mix. Cool lyrics to boot. This is fresh sounding music by folks who sound like they aren't yet jaded and sarcastic about music. Now THAT'S a change! Our faves here are "El Parade," "Lester," and "News Witch." (Rating: 5)

PUSSY MEOW (Remco kind of overpriced cat toy thing but I still want one goddamn it to hell kind of thing)
Toys have gotten so goddamn collectable that it's gotten ridiculous. Case in point is the fabulous Pussy obscure little vinyl cat made by Remco in the sixties. Pussy Meow turns her head and meows when you push her button. Sure she's neat...but people are paying exhorbitant sums of money for the goddamn cat now. Even more obnoxious are the sums of money people will pay for an Ideal Gaylord dog. In a way collecting things is neat and interesting...but in another way it's trite, obnoxious, and annoying. Whatever the case, I still want Pussy Meow...but I just don't want to have to PAY for her... (Not Rated)

SPEAK 714 - The Scum Also Risees (CD EP, Revelation, Hardcore)
Frantic screaming sweating flailing hardcore played hard hardcore harder than hard hardcore for pure hardcore fans of hard hardcore the way hardcore ought to be played hard that is very hard hardcore needs to be played loud and fast this hardcore band plays hard to the core hard hardcore so that all the fans must jump all over one another hard hardcore hardcore slamming slam hard hardcore mosh mosh moshing all the way over the hard hardcore young people lost screaming running killing because they need hard hardcore to believe their hard inches hardcore inches black and thick hard inchcore inch inch inchcore benchmore clenchmore trenchmore hard hard hardcore. Thank you, now! Crackie likes this one! (Rating: 4)

TINA (Puffy dynamic three-dimensional female kind of thing)
Ahhhh...just look at how lovely Tina looks today. Her hair is shiny and manageable. Her eyelashes are fluffy and cool...and her lipstick is royal and fleshy. And just watch those playful breasts as they pump up and down the patio. Tina loves the attention she receives, and she receives plenty. In the evenings, Tina enjoys injecting different powders into her precious veins. Ahhh...those veins...those lovely, lovely veins...and all those peculiar substances flowing into those lovely veins. Tina is a happy girl because she gives her body what it needs. A perfect example for us all...Tina. (Not Rated)


Hasil Adkins - Drinkin' My Life Away (CD, Shake It)
Atari Teenage Riot - 60 Second Wipeout (CD, Digital Hardcore Music)
AthFest 99 (CD, Ghostmeat)
The Banjo Spiders
-"You and My Pride" b/w "Come and Get Me" (7" vinyl single, Spinning)
Bend - Trying to Find Function (CD, Dead City Recordings)
Bomb - Lovesucker (CD, Wingnut)
Gabe Cahill - Space Junk (CD, Ant Hill Recording)
Crust-O-Matic (CD, Crustacean)
Claire Daly - Swing Low (CD, Koch Jazz)
DJ Micro - Micro-Tech Mix Version 2.0 (CD, Moonshine)
DJ Omar Santana - Battle for Planet of the Breaks (CD, Moonshine)
Dynamo Hum - Fallopian (CD, Media Kitchen)
The Embarrassing Wrecks/The Frownies
(Split 7" vinyl single, fastmusic)
EQ (Magazine, April 1999)
Exotic (Magazine, March 1999)
Fifteen - Lucky (CD, Sub City)
Forces of Nature - Music From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (CD, Dreamworks)
Happy and Hardcore - Chapter Three (CD, Moonshine)
Hate Dept. - Technical Difficulties (CD, Restless)
Here - Brooklyn Park (CD, Invisible)
Miles Hunt - Hairy on the Inside (CD, Gig)
Idle Hands
- Music From the Motion Picture (CD, Time Bomb Recordings)
Indigo Swing - Red Light! (CD, Time Bomb Recordings)
Noah John - Tadpoles (CD, Speakeasy)
(Magazine, May 1999)
Vanessa Lower - Her House of Sin (Independent CD)
Lower East Side Stitches - Staja98L.E.S. (CD, Ng)
Madison - Madison (Independent CD)
Robert Mainwaring - Robert Mainwaring (CD, Later and Tal Recordings)
Rainger Maria - Look Now Look Again (CD, Polyvinyl Record Co.)
OLO - The Olorizedcoloralbum (CD, AudioInformationPhenomena)
PC69 - Electrified (CD, Digital Dimension)
Rabby Feeber - "Welcome Magnet," "Shotput Manhole" b/w "One Tank Underground" (7" vinyl single, Resurrected)
The Receivers - Words and Terms (CD, Wingnut)
Ruffhouse Records - Greatest Hits (CD, Ruffhouse)
Solar Twins - Solar Twins (CD, Maverick)
Southern Records - Spring Summer 1999 Compilation (CD, Southern)
Subterra - The Speed of Pain (CD, American Horse)
10,000 Maniacs - The Earth Pressed Flat (CD, Bar/None)
Twist and Shout (Zine, #12)
Vertical Horizon - Everything You Want (CD, RCA)
Whistler (CD, Wiiija)
Whitehorse - Revelation 19:11 (CD, Direct Line Studios)
Witchman vs. Jammin Unit - Inferno (CD, Invisible)

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