Sun City Girls

Dickin' around for a living
*special introductory paragraph!
*Sun City Girls
*Live...For Chilly 7"
*Grotto Of Miracles
*Midnight Cowboys From Ipanema
*Hatchet Rain
*Famous Asthma
*Cloaven Theatre #1
*Horse Cock Phepner
*And So The Dead Tongue Sang 7"
*Tibetan Jazz 666
*You're Never Alone With A Cigarette 7"
*Torch Of The Mystics
*Three Fake Female Orgasms double-7"
*You're Never Alone With A Cigarette (Singles Volume 1)
*Dawn Of The Devi
*Napoleon And Josephine 7"
*Let's Just Lounge 7"
*Eye Mohini 7"
*Live From Planet Boomerang
*Bright Surroundings Dark Beginnings
*Valentines From Matahari
*Live From C.O.N. Artists
*Pelican 92
*Borungku Si Derita 7"
*Kaliflower
*Napoleon & Josephine (Singles Volume 2)
*Juggernaut
*Piasa...Devourer Of Men
*Jacks Creek
*Dante's Disneyland Inferno
*330,003 Crossdressers From Beyond Rig Veda
*Live From The Land Of The Rising
*Box Of Chameleons
*Dulce
*Carnival Folklore Resurrection 1: Cameo Demons And Their Manifestations
*Carnival Folklore Resurrection 2: The Dreamy Draw
*Carnival Folklore Resurrection 3: Superculto
*Carnival Folklore Resurrection 4: A Bullet Through The Last Temple
*Carnival Folklore Resurrection 5: Severed Finger With A Wedding Ring
*Carnival Folklore Resurrection 6: Sumatran Electric Chair
*Carnival Folklore Resurrection 7: Libyan Dream
*Carnival Folklore Resurrection 8: The Handsome Stranger
*Carnival Folklore Resurrection 9/10: High Asia Lo-Pacific
*God Is My Solar System/Superpower
*Live At The Sit & Spin
*Wah
*Flute And Mask
*Uncle Jim's True Confessions Of Homeland Security 7"
*Bleach Has Feelings, Too!/To Cover Up Your Right To Live
*Carnival Folklore Resurrection 11/12: Radio
*Fresh Kill Of A Cape Hunting Dog/Def In Italy
*Carnival Folklore Resurrection 13: 98.6 Is Death
*Folk Songs of the Rich and Evil/Exotica on $5 a Day
*Uncle Jim's Superstars of Greenwich Meantime
*Carnival Folklore Resurrection 14: Static From The Outside Set
*Live Room
*Djinn Funnel
*Montreal Pop
*Piano Bar
*For Drummers Only
*Beginnings Dark EP
*Fruit of the Womb/Polite Deception
*Funeral Mariachi

Sun City Girls are three Arizonan MEN who are into world musics of all kind, field recordings, aggression, disturbing humor, obscurity, confusion, profanity and improvisational noise jazz played on rock instruments. That last one is the downfall of their catalog. Like Frank Zappa and Psychic TV, for some reason they feel that every single note that they've ever played deserves to be released - which makes for some incredibly annoying lo-fi live recordings of the band just dicking around on stage. And this sucks the wang of the editor of Kerrang because their good stuff is REALLY good: funny, oddball, unique, well-performed and intelligent. I've had my fill of discussing the band in general. Let us together, you and I, move on to the actual albums that I own by them.

To be honest, I don't even know who the editor of Kerrang is. Does this mean that I don't pass AP Kerrang?


Sun City Girls - Placebo 1984
Rating = 8

Most people know Sun City as a racist African land that was boycotted in the '80s by such multi-talented artists as Pat Benatar and "Little Stevie" Yankovic. But little-known to most people (or "sheeple" as I call them because they have such a conformist herd mentality)

Ooo! Or "sleeple" because they won't open their eyes to what's REALLY goin' on. Oh hang on! "Creeple" is what they are! 'Cause they're such CREEPS!

So most people (or "heaple" - because they're filled with GARBAGE!) (no wait -- "bleeple" because they're always trying to censor everything you say!)

Oh man! I didn't even think of "weeple" -- that's because they're always crying like little conformist babies!

Dude, Boyd is totally gonna get a boner when I tell him all these derogatory rhymes with "people" that I'm coming up with. He'll fancy me a regular Nietzschean Superman! But my point is two-fold. First -- Sun City is a retirement community in Arizona (the mortal enemies of my in-laws' retirement community, as a matter of fact!), and there really WAS at one point a group of old woman singers calling themselves the Sun City Girls. This brings me to the second point of my two-fold point: you know those things you make by folding up a piece of paper and writing crap on all the folds, where you hold them in your hands and flip them back and forth and have people pick one of the four choices, then you spell out their choice by flipping the thing back and forth and finally you open it to reveal something like "You're gay!" or "You're ugly!"? One time the child version of me created one and my Dad asked to see it. I showed it to him and unfortunately the answer it came up with for this fine man was "You're a four-eyed freak!" This angered him mightily, as he was nothing if not an eyeglass-wearer. This self-same expression of disgust and viciousness felt by my beloved father is exactly what your regular "Joe" is bound to feel upon buying a 1984 LP by a band called the Sun City Girls, putting it on the turntable hoping for some Andrews Sisters-style octogenarian harmonies, and running headfirst into a flaming pile of audio dog foulage.

You'll hear many, many expressions of artistic ennui on the debut Sun City Girls LP, but if you're looking for a simple description with which to pigeonhole it, try ("Crazy Talking" + "Eastern Influences") x "Noise Avant Jazz" = This Album. Not only does this equation kind of make sense, but it helped me score a 1470 on the SAT. The song titles are confusing and evocative ("Caravan Of Scars," "The Burning Nerve Ending Magic Trick," "Your Bible Set Off My Smoke Alarm," "Vomiting Diamonds"), the musical equipment is generally composed of stinging guitars, electric bass and loud crisp manic drumming, and the vocalists are not... well, they're not normal. The very first vocalist is the inimitable "Uncle Jim," a sleazy accent-heavy Vegas creep who begins his narration with the vehement warning, "You fellas smoke pot? Your Cousin Jim smokes pot. He sits around the house, smokes a little pot, drinks a little beer, plays a little music. But he smokes the good stuff, fellas. Not that stuff laced with LSD, 'cause it'll drive YOU OUTTA YOUR MIND!!!!" Any other lyrics and proclamations you may find on the LP aren't a whole lot saner.

As for the music, they've always brought a crazy Mideastern influence of braininess to their trashy smashy garage sound, but they've also always had a tiring penchant for just blasting out made-up improv noise. I can't even count on one hand the number of tracks on here that start off with either a groovy bass/drum jib or a wild psychedelic Indian melody and then deteriorate into nothing but smash-bash scragglefloop, unless I pull out my special "Hand With Eight Fingers." Dark arpeggiations, scrapy rhythmic noise, ugly horns, somber bass progressions, stomping high-speed cowpunk, tight odd jazz skrankling, funny mouth noises, cocktail jazz - it's all here, it's all buried under mountains of impossible-to-penetrate dark humor (as their entire career would be) and so much of it is expertly performed (example: the hypnotic acoustic guitar/toy piano duet "My Painted Tomb") that it's impossible to deny that the guys are both musically talented and smart as shit, which has always made me feel like a moron for not "GETTING" the avant-noise side of their personality. Is it possible that there IS nothing to get in those moments? That they're just there to give the band an excuse to get some aggression out? They certainly SEEM like violent, angry men on their records. And as nice as middle eastern keys and swing jazz are, they're not exactly "hardcore punk." But high-speed blasts of irritating noise ARE. So maybe there's something there. Or not. I don't pretend to understand these men, and they're probably pretty happy with that.

DAMN YOU SUN CITY MEN AND YOUR SECRETIVE LIFESTYLE!

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Live...For Chilly 7" - Bootleg 1994
Rating = 3

This stinks. If the SCG's goal was really to raise money for the starving nation of Chilly, they FUKKKED UP because (a) it's a terrible record and (b) it's a bootleg. Somebody with a tape recorder captured two stench-ridden concert passages from 1984 ("Purple Turtle - Xmas 1984" and "Albuquerque - June 19, 1984"), and a mere decade later prepared them for illegal commercial distribution. The results were disappointing but not surprising because by 1994 we'd all grown used to the Sun City Girls urinating in the Middle East and releasing it as 'free jazz.'

Side A begins with a nice groovy melodic bluesy riff but quickly degenerates into noisy tuneless clatter set to a "We Will Rock You" beat. The drums are louder than the guitars, the muffled sound wavers in and out, and at the end somebody bows something. How could they have performed such a lousy song in the wake of Bruce Springsteen's Born In The USA LP changing all the rules of rock and roll?

Side B starts with what appears to be piercing amplifier feedback and yowling, until upon closer inspection the 'feedback' reveals itself to be a deliberately-created noise emanating from some sort of blowy instrument. Then a sax comes in and a band member yells a story while slapping fish-like at his guitar strings. The story involves a spat with his father, who concludes "You boys are living like gypsies!" It's weird to think that such a horrible song could have appeared in the world mere months after Prince's Purple Rain raised the genre of funk-pop to breathtaking heights of artistic expression.

Blame improvisation, drugs, free expression - blame whoever you want for this record putting the "RECORD" back in "REeking CORDuroy pants," but let us never forget what George Orwell said about 1984: "It's like a human face stomping on a boot for days."

NOTE TO EBAYERS: Don't try to sell Maladolescenza on ebay. They apparently don't subscribe to the old adage that two 12-year-olds performing softcore sex is the same thing as a Bruce Willis movie.

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Grotto Of Miracles - Placebo 1986
Rating = 8

This LP is about half-SHLPIT down the 3/4 between killer pre-written real-life surf/ethnic/jazz (NOT "ethnicy jazz" to parade your snazz) and made-up noise. The songs are the reason that the Sun City Girls should be a beloved fixture in every country in America -- Ventures twang guitar mixed with dark conspiracy evil bass surrounded by a jazz-playing superstar basking in a tent in Morocco playing a Turkish march and chanting insanely as a guy beats drums of undetermined origin in the backdrop The non-songs are the reason that they are such an untrustworthy bunch of misanthropic jerkoffs, you want to beat the shit out of them every time they send you an Instant Message. They aren't playing straight "rock," but there are much greater rock elements on this one than you'll find on most of their others. The guitar playing notes, bass lines that been wrotes, spoken anecdotes, improvisation quotes, drummer steering boats, groupies sowing oats, eating grass like goats - what a bunch of scrotes! (I'm not taking votes)

Their funny song titles will make you laugh so! "In a Lesbian Meadow"? HEE HEE!!!!! And

Well all the rest are pretty normal. But ETHNICALLY normal like a guy who lives in a desert would name his songs. "Kal El Lazi Kad Ham," "Radio Morocco," "Damcar," "Ask Heem (202 456 7369)," etc.

So do you think Bush knew that the terrorist attacks were going to happen? I'm getting really suspicious about things these days. I'm starting to believe that certain shadowy figures in the government ignored threats because they knew an Arab-initiated terrorist attack would give the U.S. the national and international support we needed to wipe out all our Middle Eastern enemies and bring the oil back where it belongs (remember Bush comes from a big oil family, has really dirty ties to Enron and his father was a Freemason). I'm just not buying it anymore. Come on -- they found an Arabic flight manual in a car in the airport parking lot? That's just stupid. And did you see how happy Ari Fleischer looked the day after? He could hardly contain his glee while answering questions in a press conference (he actually did bust out in huge grins a couple of times -- and make a few jokes). Politicians are scumbags. Maybe they "know what's best for us," but they're completely corrupt. The whole thing was just TOO perfect.

Who's with me? Everybody say "I"!

No no, not "ih" - it's pronounced "eye."

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Midnight Cowboys From Ipanema - Amarillo 1986
Rating = 5

You'd be whistling Dixie if you tried to suggest that this was a worthwhile release worth its taste in salt. This is a comedy joke release featuring two things: (A) Lo-fi cover tunes of campy schlock tunes like "Me And Mrs. Jones" and "Love Train," performed very well but purposely sung in a screaming, off-key, childish manner and (B) Even Loer-fi snippets of conversation that all speed up at the end to unhumorous effect. I hate to bash and smash an album that was compiled by my "good friend" Gregg Turkington, but I am doing just that. If he thinks that just because we're "pals," I'm not going to give my honest opinion about a bunch of songs that are played great but sung and recorded so friggingly annoyingly that my stomach cringes and my eyeball does a little somersault, he's got another think coming.

Please dear god, don't anybody tell Gregg Turkington about this review.

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
The second time I saw this band was the Rainbow show in Seattle, May 2001. The first set of that night was documented in all its glory on CFR 5. After the second set they did "Mrs. Jones" for their encore and I was pretty impressed. Then I heard this and it all made sense. One of their more willfully difficult releases, which is saying something. Still, I've read at least one review in favor of it. A five seems good. This is actually a reissue of one of the many cassette releases from the 80's.

kingpongwow@hotmail.com (Toxxi)
First off, question. (feel free to put this in your site, in fact no! DO! I insist. It'll make it look all the funnier and LORD KNOWS YOUR SCG PAGE NEEDS IT! No offence or anything nor any constructive criticism intended! It's just not one of my faves - you seems to hit your balls more on the bands you don't like {assuming you like the girls! I mean jesus you wouldn't go to the trouble of listening to ALL OF THESE FUCKING SCG ALBUMS if you didn't! And reviewing them! Where the long since dead and gone Charles Gocher must've pissed you off into tears, at least he can roll in his grave with laughter at you reviewing each and every bum release they put out!} i.e. Pearl Jam and Weezer! That shit was hilarious! I mean, I should hope you don't like PJ, I mean, what, come on Prindle, I know you were my age in the 90's and all? But look at me! I'm not hearing any of that "The Arcade Fire" or whatever bull! And I think you know just how alike you and I are. Also, did you actually read this? or are you just ANOTHER dickhead who's going to mindless copy and paste my shit to the proverbial recycle bin AKA your WEBSITE! Actually no, I shouldn't say that, I know how much you love these comments as I see them all the time posted in bulletin form on myspac! Very good, so I'll know it's not all going to waste! Well it probably is cos yanno...the SCG page sucks...again! Sorry! Do that Pantera page you promised! YEAH! NOW YOU KNOW WHO I AM! I'm cutting back on the modesty cos this is relevant to your interests. Your shitty SCG page getting some more hits. When they google "Toxxi" your page will come up. And if only you knew how much that and "Zobe17" are googled! I'm doing you a favour here! And these people are gonna come, read some passť reviews with some FUCKING KILLER comments and then assume the rest of the site is like this! LITTLE DO THEY KNOW! It isn't! IT PICKS UP! And you review obscure bands nobody knows! Like Helios Creed and Bad Brains and they'll think "Well Soulseek's broke, may as well give amazon a spin and COMMIT MY PENNY TO THE MIDDLE MAN. Besides, republican-guilt is far greater than the guilt of not actually seeing the band play live. I would go on about the industry and just how little I know - nor care about it! I mean let's get honest here, you can't possibly own all these SCG releases or you'd be DEAD, I know the kind of people who hunt these albums and YOU'RE NOT ONE OF THEM - anyway enough talking, I'm going to go read your bad Brains page later cos I didn't realise you had one and heard hal;f an album and got so pissed off that it went from decent hardcore to get-on-my-titties reggae in the time it probably takes you to give Pink a second chance! Yes, I'm being ironic with that one and showing my loyalty as a reader, I know you'd never give her one cos you're a sly ol' COW like that - ha! See? I did it again! Cos I know you like the Cows! See, you may have read that bit where I go "YOU'RE NOT ONE OF THEM!" and thought "Bullshit internet tough guy! YOu don't know me for jack!" but see Prindle, I know you better than you know yourself, I know the last time you ordered a bigmac and didn't complain about the quality, I know where you g-spot is, I'm also in posession of all of Henry the dog's brothers and sisters, I'm yet to obtain his three parents. Yes! There were three! Did you know? The mother died through childbirth and so a second bitch came in and weened the others. Again! I catch you out as I know you review the band Ween! Anyway, I want you live in fear and be wary when you next order a dominoes pizza, as I will always be watching/collecting your dogs blood line.)

How many of these e-mails do you get a day? I imagine it must be quite a few as you certainly seem popular. Or at least your artists are. Anyway! I just wanted to say;

In all honesty, I can't tell the difference between this version of Fly by Night and the original by Rush!

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Hatchet Rain - Cloaven Cassettes 1987
Rating = 2

This is a great great cassette by a great great band. However, it will likely never be reissued on LP because its great great songs have been plunged near and far for such great great releases as the great great Let's Just Lounge/Immortal Gods single, the great great Valentines From Matahari LP ("Caravan of Scars," "Black Tent" and "Levitating Orchards"), the great great God Is My Solar System/Superpower double-LP ("Komodo") and the great great Bleach Has Feelings, Too!/To Cover Up Your Right to Live double-LP ("TNTNT"). Plus you can find alternate versions of four other songs spread across the great great Live From The Land Of The Rising Sun City Girls LP ("Emuqidanse"), the great great Sun City Girls LP ("Trippin' On Krupa" and "Hitman Boy") and Alan Bishop's great great solo debut, Alvarius B ("El Mirage"). So really the only rarities to be found here are the great great "Gun Cum," the great great "Circus Hassam" and the great great "Don't...." This is one of the worst cassettes I've ever heard in my life.

Once again, the exhaustingly prolific and maddeningly inconsistent Sun City Girls have churned out an hour's worth of staggeringly bad improvisational noise, played on instruments they could just as easily have used to perform catchy rock songs. Then again, even if the music was good, you wouldn't be able to tell because it sounds like it was recorded on a wire hanger!

Aside from "Don't...," an avant-garde tape experiment that comes across as a really lazy "Revolution #9," this tape consists of 1983-era buttfucking around. The instruments smash and stop, herky-jerk and flicky-dick, but never approach actual music. The high point ("TNTNT") is only good because of a recording glitch (see my Bleach Has Feelings, Too!/To Cover Up Your Right to Live review below), and the low points are non-stop. I can't begin to understand why anybody in the world -- including the band members -- would want to listen to this shit. Sun City Girls are such an amazing and idiosyncratic band that it drives me nuts when they release these tapes of tuneless, made-up-on-the-spot garbage. Can you imagine if Coldplay tried to put out something like this?

It'd be a marked improvement, of course. But this is the Sun City Girls we're talking about! And they're too good for this toilet bowl music!

Now here's a bunch of songs I think Danzig should write. Next time you go over there, bend way way down so he can stand up on his tippy-toes and take these from your hand:

"Hellfire Arch-Demon God-Man of Angel Bitch-Fiend Hound-Child (Sandy)"
"666 (My Area Code)"
"She-Wolf Blitzer"
"Mother (I'd Like To Fuck)"
"The SatanBeast Who Only Made Four Good Albums"
"Oo! (Dirty Black Summer, Pt. II)"
"Stop Making Fun Of Me For Buying Kitty Litter"
"Lord of the Left Hand (Wackin' Off)"
"Sadistikal Deth Hel Crucifiction Sabaoth Apokalips Abandonement (Fuck You, SpellCheck!)"
"Nether-Animal DevilSnake of Skull Death (Beat Me Up On The Internet)"

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Famous Asthma- Cloaven Cassettes 1987
Rating = 2

Sun City Girls? More like Sun City HURLS if they're gonna keep releasing nauseating old fish like this! This is clearly just a recording of a 'jam session,' which for SCG means 'an hour's worth of meandering lo-fi rock trio improvisation'. Some of the passages rock really loud and hard, but the only times an actual TUNE shows up are when the bassist accidentally plays one part a few times in a row, probably due to drug intake. Sun City Girls? More like SCUM City Girls if they're gonna keep releasing oozing sores of pus like this!

With its thick swooping bass chords, "A Fast Stitch Towards Oblivion" could pass for 'improvisational psych-rock,' and the hard rocking "Cad Walleder" (also available on Dawn of the Devi) might've been a goody had they not immediately abandoned the killer riff for string-rubbing ambiance, but the rest of the songs are atrociously tuneless. It's as if the band members were all in different soundproof rooms; whenever anything threatens to click and turn into a listenable piece of music, it immediately disappears into an ether of fucking each other up the ass.

Those who like feeling smart will enjoy some of the song titles though. Check these out and see if you get it:

"Turned At The Bake"
"Tone of Bark"
"Shown of Dark"

There! Don't you feel like a regular Thombert Edistein?

Now here's a bunch of songs I want The Ramones to record. Please pass them along when you get the chance:

"I Wanna Be Live"
"Sherry Is A Four Seasons Song"
"Germany Nazi From Deutschland (At The Hop)"
"Oops! (Chinese Rock, Pt. II)"
"I Don't Wanna Spell 'Want To' As Two Separate Words"
"Don't Go Baby Bye Bye Baby Come Back Baby (I Lost The Infant)"
"Hi, I'm CJ Ramone And Here Are Three Drummers"
"Chemotherapy"

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Cloaven Theatre #1 - Cloaven Cassettes 1987
Rating = 5

Hey knock off the racket, I'm trying to write a review here.

Thanks. Don't get me wrong; I love tennis as much as the next guy. But it's a pain in the button to have the fucker glued to my knuckles like that.

On October 1st, 1986, a gentle young disc jockey at Arizona State University's KASR radio station invited the Sun City Girls to perform live over his airwaves. The result -- a collection of improvised clanging, pounding, shaking, clattering and keyboarding in support of paranoid UFO conspiracy gobbledygook -- can be found on this cassette tape. It's definitely bizarre, and fans of the band's psychotic speech-based material should definitely hunt down a copy, but its improvisational nature results in a bit too much randomness, which -- in the absence of actual music -- wears a bit thin over the course of nearly an hour.

Conceptual highlights include:

One. "Introduction" - A man discovers a military installation filled with extra-terrestrial beings. Noticing their uninvited visitor, one military officer says to another, "Make him look like a nut."

Two. "I Protect You From Me" - The narrator speaks very quickly with a strange vocal intonation that bears no relation to his words. Unsurprisingly, it soon fades off into nonsense.

Three. "I Deal A Stick" - A merry hick speak-sings his catchy acoustic hit: "Don't ask me who 'they' are; I deal a stick!"

Four. "Professor" - A man with an awful fake British accent talks in circles before finally getting around to expressing his disgust for mankind: "Fuck you all the way to bed!... If you only knew how good death is going to be.... I want you fools off my turf of Earth!"

Six/Seven. "Left Side/Ritual" - What begins as an earnest philosophical discussion ("Are you only using half your brain?") soon degenerates into paranoid screaming: "IT'S A TRAP FOR YOU! YOU NEED YOUR STRENGTH NOW! DON'T INVEST IN MAD, FOOLISH THINGS!"

Nine. "Beelzebub Visits West Virginia" - A new legend is born.

Eleven. "Jonestown" - "LET'S HITCH-HIKE TO JONESTOWN!!!! YEEEEEAAAAAHHHHHHH!"

Thirteen. "Spaceman" - A spaceman talks smack among sci-fi synths, metal scraping, and an intermittent annoying high-pitched whine. The nature of the whine finally becomes clear near the end of the track, when the spaceman suddenly declares, "Don't bring along a harmonica or anything like it -- we hate that noise!"

Fourteen. "The Men In Black" - Now it's the spaceman's turn to be paranoid. "The Men In Black are comin'! Have you heard about 'em? We gotta get out of here!"

Musical highlights include:

Hang on, I'm thinking.

In summating conclusion, Cloaven Theatre #1 hosts some breathtaking examples of the Sun City Girls' maniacal word-based work, but it's also full of tedious noise and annoying screaming that could've used a bit of pruning by a licensed pruner. But hey - it was performed live! How can you prune a live performance? The answer is that you can't. Sure, you can eat a prune during a live performance, but that's a different definition of the word "prune." Get the shit out of your dictionary.

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Horse Cock Phepner - Placebo 1987
Rating = 9

"Who sucks off the Pope behind closed doors?/And spits the cum into your open sores?"

"Mr. T ran jizz in her hair while Nancy had a press conference/Ted Koppel had a hard-on/Nancy sucked off Sam Donaldson instead."

"We got vibrators up the ass/You can come and make a pass/Slap the monkey while you wait/Come on in and suck the bait."

"My prick is 55 centimeters without the knob. The knob is 25 centimeters. Altogether, it's 75 centimeters. It's a very nice....uhh...prick."

"Mr. Cocksucker! Fuckface! Cuntface!"

"I watched as he pulled that old drippin' thing outta Mama with a shit-eating grin on his face/She smiled and said 'Thank you, Pa!' and all I could feel was disgrace."

"Mark Prindle ROOLZ!"

Nearly every one of these quotes can be found strewn throughout the Horse Cock Phepner LP by the Nun's Titty Plurals. Pointlessly obscene observations masquerading as dark humor? Perchance and perwilligers. But times have changed: Lewis Grizzard is dead and I don't feel so good myself! In Ottawa, they call music like this "You stupid Americans," but here in America, it's called simply "Very vocal-oriented." As well-rounded and worldilish musical as the SCG's can be, this album is less high-speed eastern-influenced mystique than Fugs-level rhythm-heavy folk/anarchy/noise/screaming/simplicity goodtime ridiculousness. Yes, those in search of melodic intricacies are likely to be disappointed, but anyone in search of a grotesque, goofy, fun, weird, creepy good time that NEVER lets up should apply for a job at the store called this album.

But you wanna hear something really bizarre? In addition to the obvious Fugs influence (evidenced in the re-written Fugs cover "CIA Man"), I swear to God (e.g. "Up your ass, God!") that the other major influence for this project seems to be Napoleon XIV of "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaaaa!" fame! Call me an asshole, but the jauntily, schizophrenically rhythmic high-speed vocals that drive such tracks as "Saint Bernard's Observation Booth," "I Protect You From Me" and the slightly more warbly "Aristocrats of Impertinence" totally sound like "I'm Happy To Live In A Split-Level Head" and other secondary wonders of Mr. Fourteen.

Don't fear that they've turned into a dumbed-down, cussed-up King Missile (Dog Fly Religion) though; it's still a very diverse record. Where else would you find Spanish mariachi, tribal sophomoric rants, cocktail jazz, cowpunk, minor-key psych-rock, eerie chanted horror movie music and a Russian man bragging about his tri-colored penis?

I'll tell you where: Nearly every other Sun City Girls record!

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And So The Dead Tongue Sang 7" - Pulp 1987
Rating = 6

Did you see David Letterman's BEARD last night!? Sheesh! I mean, talk about.... a.... beard.

I'm sorry. My writers are on strike, so I'm having to do this monologue off the cuff here.

Okay, let's go to a commercial.

PEPSI! HEY, IT'S PEPSI!

Okay we're back. My first guest tonight is some guy talking a dump.

Hay. I'm taking a dump. A TOXIC WASTE dump, that is!!! And I'm TAKING it to court on charges of fouling up our fragile ecosystem!

Okay, my second guest is Robin Williams.

Hope you enjoyed the show!

On the other hand, if you're here for the record review, this was the Sun City Girls' first 7-inch single, composed of two parts long tiresome free jazz and three parts short strange things. Let's talk free jazz first. "Halcyon Days Of Symmetry" is two minutes of clattery guitar noise and smashing drums with maybe two moments of accidental symmetry. "Fine Blue Bells" is three and a half minutes of speedy noodly anti-melodic racket with louder bass and guitar; they come together for a dead stop every once in a while and there's this quiet part in the middle but otherwise ehhhh. If you were to take every moment of pointless shitty improvisational 'jazz' out of the Sun City Girls' discography, put it all in a blimp and set it on fire over San Francisco, their catalog would only be about a quarter of its current size but they'd be the greatest band of all time.

Wait, what am I saying - "over San Francisco"!? What about the hippy dream, man?

The other three tracks still aren't incredibly musical, but they're at least interesting in that idiosyncratically insane Sun City Girls way. "A Wake" is a speedy monologue about conspiracy, free will and Y2K recited atop a drumbeat; "The Beaver Scream" is a bunch of hilarious nonsensical shouting over a 'blubbla-blubbla-blubbla-buh' rhythm; and "May Your Children Be Carnies" begins with a swingin' drumbeat, crappy bass chords and nice jazzy guitar strumming before shifting menacingly into a rigid march beat with dark bass overtones. The entire single is 9 minutes long and can be found on a small round piece of vinyl, or "record."

I give it a 6 and to hell with records that are any good! (*holds up right finger of middle hand*)

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Tibetan Jazz 666 - Cloaven Cassettes 1988
Rating = 1

Hi, everybody in the town! This here's your old buddy Steve "Dog Doo Lips" Reynolds. Now every sometimes in a whirl, one of my ladiezzz will up and ask me, "Say there, Steve 'Dog Doo Lips' Reynolds. Just exactly why do they call you 'Dog Doo Lips' any old ways?" Well, it's simple. Every morning when I get out of the cot, I put dog doo on my lips! And believe you me you me, there ain't a woman alive who doesn't swoon at the delight of Steve "Dog Doo Lips" Reynolds' dog doo lips planting sensuous brown kisses all over her hot pulsating pecs. And by 'pecs,' I of course mean 'peckers.' For some reason, most of the women I date have penises growing out of their chest area. But I guess that's par for the course when you're Steve "Dog Doo Lips" Reynolds!

But the reason I'm here today is to discuss the Sun City Girls' Tibetan Jazz 666 cassette tape. Featuring seven tracks recorded on three different dates (1/16/87, 3/9/88 and 3/27/88), this tape appears to feature not a single pre-planned note. In fact, it's probably stretching it to say it features any notes at all. Tuneless, boring and awful, TiBADan Razz SHITSHITSHITS is an endless yellow stream of improvisational slapdashery consisting of: bongo beatin'; bell shakin'; mood dronin'; bass doodlyin'; guitar twiddlin', doodlin', twoodlin' and soloin'; and drum poundin', steamin', clumpin' and clatterin'. And it STINKS my god in Hell! I may be Steve "Dog Doo Lips" Reynolds, but that doesn't mean I want dog doo in my EARS! Ha ha! Can you imagine? That'd be silly!

"A Thrones Stow" is the closest thing to a 'highlight' that the tape offers, a groovy improv cocktail jazzer that still doesn't really have a melody in the traditional sense. "(sic) six sicks" threatens to be an excellent noise piece with its introductory 'falling down the steps' full-band effect, but then just turns into more shit improv shit crap. The rest is SCG at their most pointless. Imagine Hollywood's legendary "Bad News Bears" turning their hands to music. That ragtag team of big-hearted moppets would soon be churning out horsefucking noises just like these, mark my words.

In fact, mark my turds! My DOG DOO turds, that is! Because I'm Steve "Dog Doo Lips" Reynolds! (*coats lips in dog doo*)

Wait a minute, what am I doing? This is a TERRIBLE idea! (*vomits all over a breast with four penises growing out of it*)

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You're Never Alone With A Cigarette 7" - Majora 1990
Rating = 8

Two songs! Looky here, two songs! (One, Two!) Both instrumental and eastern, sucka my dongs! (One, Two!) One great pulsating rock! (One, Two!) One sucka my pulsating cock! (One, Two!) Eerie wailing echoey noise! (One, Two!) Out of tune violin squealing and bongo, boys! (One, Two!) Kinda like improv jazz performed in the middle east! (One, Two!) Cool pulse bass, even in song I like the least! (One, Two!) Another example of SCG's talent extraordinary! (One, Two!) Don't get fucked up the ass by famous transvestite Halle Barry! (One, Etc!)

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Torch Of The Mystics - Majora 1990
Rating = 8

This is generally considered to be their most musically accomplished and easily enjoyable release. Knowing this, it's amazing how completely UNAmerican they manage to sound on this release. The entire CD sounds like it was made in the Middle East or in India, out in the middle of the desert in a tent with stripes on it by three guys wearing fezes. It's a terribly interesting way to approach songwriting, and results in some stupendous tunes that merge an Eastern sound with Western scales, topping everything off with neato pan flutes, whistling, deeply reverbed Hindu-style chanting (if the Hindu chant, understand - this has yet to be determined) and lyrics that may or may not be in an actual language - perhaps multilinguist George Starostin would be able to tell you that. Maybe you should go over to his fucking site if mine is boring you so much, cocksucker piece of pile of shit cunt.

The guitar player in this band is awfully talented for an unknown player. He smacks the dab out of an acoustic, transforming it into a Mexican western gringo tamale and then back into a sitar-sounding drone samosa, jags a slide guitar anthem in 7/4 time, plays heavenly Zeppelin-style beauty - all this and MORE!

Well, not really more. But a couple of the songs are bombastic in their Arabic movie grandeur. A true expression of the artistic freedoms allowed us here in the U.S. We can play any kind of music we like - why, the Sun City Girls sound more Afghanistani on here than they would EVER be allowed to sound under the Taliban (which means "students," I'm told). I don't like countries based on religion. We need to get rid of the Taliban and install a democratic puppet government. Or if not democratic, then at least Whig.

GET IT????? AFGHAN WHIGS???? HA HA AHAHH!!!! AAHHHAHAHAH!!!! YOU THOUGHT I WAS SERIOUSLY TALKING POLITICS FOR A SECOND!!!! HHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!! FUCK YIOU!!!!!!!!

Notice that I surreptiously inserted an "I" into the expression "Fuck You" - This should be studied by music loser ass dorkasses just like John Lennon's classic "Don't you know that you can count me out - in" and Pavement's semi-classic "Nature kids - I/They don't have no function" lyrics of self-doubt and contradiction. Because things like this are important and should be discussed at length. As should the question of whether or not Metallica sold out.

Look, I'm serious. Osama Bin Laden told me that there's gonna be more trouble if Metallica doesn't go back to playing thrash like Master Of Puppets which, in his opinion, is the greatest metal album of all time. He also told me that Pakistan is a bunch of sellout fags that should change their name to Alternatistan.

Reader Comments

drazy@gatecity.com
This is why I keep coming back to this website...I'm probably (scratch that...definitely) the only person in Keokuk, Iowa that owns this album. If you're into geography, W.C. Fields, or The Simpsons, you know all about this small Iowa town. If you fancy yourself a fan of "alternative" music, you know nothing about this album. And that's a shame. This band is about as faceless as the Residents and about ten times more proficient on their instruments (The Rez enlisted Snakefinger to do the majority of their guitarwork). I know nothing about the band other than a friend in Seattle (I know you've heard about that town) supposedly ran into a member of the S.C.G. a couple of years ago and stated the band acted and looked like "gypsies." Even if his observation is way off the mark, it does provide a good category for their brand of music. The album jumps around from country to country and it does so without leaving you feeling jetlagged. Call it Gypsy music, un-American, Middle-Eastern, whatever...I call it one of the best albums of 1990 and I'd give it at least a "10" if this were my website. Goddamn you, Mark Prindle...I've got this site bookmarked now.

alice.phillips@yale.edu
Keokuk is also mentioned in that rousing "Music Man" number elucidating several of the numerous reasons that we provincial city punks claiming to hail from Gary, Indiana ought to give Iowa a try.

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
So I really should add comments to all of these. But I'll start here. I recently realized that the SCG hold the distinction of being the band I have seen more than once separated by the longest time span - 1984 to 2001. SEVENTEEN FUCKING YEARS! What a band. Mark and I disagree somewhat (but not completely) on the improv issue, but I'm totally willing to give Dante's the 10 even though it was apparently reviled by a lot of SCG fans. However, I really feel like this record then deserves another listen and a solid 9. Beautiful, out there, and scary. "Flower" and "Space Prophet Dogon" kick my ass every time, and the whole LP is quite catchy and memorable in all its jaw-dropping weirdness. Their best effort in this vein, altho "High Asia" rocks also. I saw the Thinking Fellers cover the lead track on this LP and it was quite somethin'. Still widely available, so what are ya waiting for?

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Three Fake Female Orgasms double-7" - Majora 1991.
Rating = 5

If memory serves me a tennis ball (FORE! Heh heh heh... a little tennis humor for you "equestrians" out there), an acquaintance named Chris Crowson who shall remain nameless once told me that this double-7-inch (like I have in my pants) is made up of outtakes from Torch Of The Mystics. If this is true, let me stress my heartfelt thankfulness that they were TAKEn OUT of that great album. Because this is mostly just a bunch of fucking off racket garbage shit. When it SNAGS, it SNAGS your clothes, man, like a burr, but that only happens perhaps thrice on the whole seven-song experience. The other four are loud ad-libbed full-electric-band rave-ups that never turn into songs. "The Reflection Of A Young Boy Eating From A Can Of Dog Food On A Shiny Red X-mas Ball" is an EXCELLENT title and piece of imagery, but the tune backing it is just 8 minutes of flapping away at flutes and bongos and crap. Likewise with "Sun Damaged, My Ass!" Titles get no more vibrant, but the "song" is 30 seconds of fff flike nothing. The only ones that seem pre-written (and very GOODLY so, I might add) are the Arabic instrumental "Souvenirs From Jangare," the noisy but funny "It's Ours" and, best of all, the skrewed-to-mangled children's song that closes the record, "The Rhinemaidens Palatial Mountain Retreat." These three tunes should have made the cut -- they would have fit in wonderfully on Torch Of The Mystics. But the other ones should have stayed on the cutting room floor -- or maybe have appeared on a release entitled (Larry) Stortch Of The Pisstakes.

In conclusion, I hope you can figure out why I only gave it a 5. I have no problem with fake female orgasms in the real world - Lord knows without 'em I'd have no self-esteem at all! - but on record they just sound halfassed.

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
OK, there's one other great tune on here. "Plasters Cupids Falling From The Ceiling" (another great title) whips up a helluva harmonious racket that sounds like the intro to a song being taken by the hair and stretched out for six-plus minutes. Not quite improv, but poised on the edge, it does actually have repeated melodies and themes. Hey, if the Stooges can do a drawn-out ending for "LA Blues", then I'll take these guys trying an intro any day. My vote is a seven.

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You're Never Alone With A Cigarette (Singles Volume 1) - Abduction 2008
Rating = 8

This CD compilation features three songs from the Three Fake Female Orgasms single, two from the You're Never Alone With A Cigarette single (one of which is an extended version) and one from the Bruce Lee, Heroin And The Punk Scene v/a compilation, as well as three previously unreleased Torch Of The Mystics outtakes. Herein is showcased the musical side of the band; vocals only appear on one track, and they're not even in English. More importantly, these (mostly) electric guitar-driven flights of Arabic/Asian/Foreigner whimsy have actual riffs in addition to the expected improv sections. And even at this early juncture (June 1988), Sir Richard Bishop was already a phenomenal guitar playin' man!

What's that?

Oh, hang on. Somebody else wants to use this computer.

HI I'M PILES A SHIT JIM! SO FUCK YOU, YA FUCKEN PIECE A SHIT!

NO WAIT, I HAVE A BETTER IDEA!

FU CKY OU, YAFU CKENPI ECEAS HIT!

AT ANY RATE, I'M PILES A SHIT JIM. YOU'D HAVE TO ASK MY PARENTS ABOUT THAT. BUT MY COMPUTER IS BROKE AND I CAN'T WRITE SMALLY LETTERS.

Okay, my computer has been fixed. Here are just a few words to describe the sensation your body will encounter upon happening near this compact disc as released:

"Wiggly"
"Eastern-tinged"
"Bubbly-flubbily thump-a-thump hoofbeat"
"Twiddly luppadupp"
"Hi I'm Piles A Shit Jim"
"Eerie"
"Super-tight, almost disconcertingly so"
"Kabuki"
"A fish!"
"Like a weaker, mellower Ventures song"
"Descending, descending, descending"
"ANNOYING!"
"Arabic and slithery, like a snake trainer thing"

I'm sick of dreaming that I'm in high school and people hate me. Somebody schedule a meeting with my Dream Weaver and convince him to let me make it through the night.

Incidentally, I'm not really Piles A Shit Jim. I've been fooling you for dates.

Here are some wise words of wisdom I've learned over the years. Learn them importantly:

1. High school isn't real life. Little kids are pricks. So if they're pricks to you, don't convince yourself that life is pointless. High school is bullshit that ends in 4 short years, then real life begins. Or college.

2. Nobody ever dies. So feel free to take everybody for granted. After all, they'll definitely be there tomorrow.

3. It's amazing how many people in the world love shitty music. Have you heard this remake of "I'll Stop The World And Melt With You"? Unbelievable.

4. The only thing that matters is what celebrities are doing.

5. My washing machine won't shut its ass up and I'm sleepy.

6. Little boys are awful. All they do is play video games and be stupid. Don't have them.

7. If things are going great for you, don't assume they always will. Because I asked around, and they won't.

8. I have a headache.

9. What is up with anal sex people? Poop is fucken gross. Are you gay? My guess is you're gay.

10. I'm not knocking gay people, but come on - poop is gross. It's brown, in addition.

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Dawn Of The Devi - Majora 1991
Rating = 6

This band plays types of world music that I'm not qualified to recognize. It may be that every solitary-butt song they record is an ingenious look at a rare Amazonian disco country/western extra-vagina. but these are instrumental electric distorted noisy songs that don't aid anyone, especially World Music victims of genocide. So fuck the Sunc Itygi R.L.S. becuase musically they claim that every place is better than America -- that's their true "message" -- but if you actually spend any TIME in any of those rare world music places, you discover that the fuckhad dictator is having everybody killed with machetes, and the people are too religious (whatever fuck they believe in) to fight back. World Music people are either (A) arrogant dullards like Peter Gabriel and Paul "Short Stuff" Simon or (b) closing their eyes to the injustice that surrounds them. The Sun City Girls are too fucked in the head to fall into the boring category, so let's approach them with important questions like, "Why are you playing ethnic music when if you actually lived in that part of the world, you would be murdered as soon as looked at?" I don't actually know that to be the case; I'm relying on propaganda from the Republican Party, but since when have they lied? After all, it was the Democrats who hated black people. I know because I read it in a book called My Teacher's a Liar and Always Masturbates With George Bush's Hand In Front Of The Class. Let's return to

THE POINT (by Harry Nilsson)

These are electric distorted noisy insturmentals, performed by Sun City Girls, a trio comprised of bassist Alan Bishop, his brother Rick Bishop on guitar and a drummer named Charles Gocher. All three members are bizarre and standoffish, living in their own little world where music "critics" and "Fans" can't affect them. I do not blame them one iota, but I don't think people should be wasting money on their worst releases, thus I'm trying to provide a service -- a NON-PAID service, you understand. The best track on here is "A Target Silhouette Punished Blameless," a 10-minute made-up-on-the-spot collection of jittery nervous noise that keeps erupting into noise anger like electrical currents running through a sick brain. The second bsst track is "The Court Magicians Of Agartha," which is a bunch of good modal jamming with a steady bass - exploratory hallucinogenic bright guitaring. The remaining three tracks are less impressive though, as this band tends to drone on and on just FUCKING with you. The worst culprit is "The Kissy Sting" which starts with -- forget it. Improv on rock instruments. The SCG's do some things I personally don't need -- mostly IMPROV. I prefer their pre-written and vocal material. But I don't take hallucinogenics or understand jazz, so don't take my word for it. Instead, take the word of world-famous nude celebrity Elizabeth McGovern. Hay Elizabeth - will you write something about this album? Sure I will, Mark! Here I go.

Hi! I'm Elizabeth McGovern. You may know me from such films as A Handmaid's Tale, Ordinary People, Smelly Pussy Fuck Sluts or Once Upon A Time In America. Unfortunately now I'm old and gross, and you'd have to be blind and gay to want to see my wrinkled slouchy pathetic figure. But more importantly, this album doesn't arouse the juices in my crotch. In fact, I HATE IT. Back to you, Asshole.

Oh man, I've developed Multiple-Personality Disorder, and one of my personalities is a foul-mouthed version of Elizabeth McGovern, whom I've never even heard of. Luckily, my psychiatrist is having all of my personalities kill each other off at a motel on a rainy night in my head. EXCEPT THE LITTLE KID!!!! YOU FORGOT THE LITTLE KID!!!!

Signed,
The Worst Movie Of All Time

Reader Comments

ninja2ne_rawkur@hotmail.com
Yoiu runned Identity for me, you fcum sucker !

3dsunglasses@gmail.com
ok so dawn of the devi isnt the best cd ever, however tracks 1 and two fucking floor the shit out of me and the rest still interests me

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Napoleon And Josephine 7" - Scratch 1992.
Rating = 7

Now see this is what I'm talking about when I call this band "weird." Not that this is the most brilliant or musical record of all time, but it is at least oddly interesting. This is actually just a 12-minute-long 7" single, but it has a title so off my dick. (No no! Not you, Claudell Washington!) Let me describe it for you: There's some staticy noise, perhaps a guy banging on some cymbals and a guitar twanging away at nothing far off in the background. Then begins a conversation between a store owner and a crazy man with a ridiculously stereotyped Asian accent who apparently constantly stands outside the store scaring customers away. The crazy guy then begins an aimless narrative about the secret cities of Napoleon and Josephine at the North and South Poles, which quickly degenerates into schizophrenic meanderings about conspiracy theories and "things they don't tell you." The store owner is more concerned about the fact that his business is failing, so finally he tells the Asian what he really thinks of him and storms back into his store. Then a neat organ line comes in for a couple of minutes and the record ends.

Oh hell, I'm sorry - I was thinking of the new Janet Jackson single; Napoleon and Josephine is a kickass rap metal song that combines the brutal assault of Linkin Park with the thought- provoking lyricism of Korn.

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
Another one that people pretty much hated, for obvious reasons. Even so, this manages to be a worthwhile little corner of their universe, in the same orbit as "Gurnam" from the Jacks' Creek LP and maybe some of "Horse Cock Phepner". Like the Firesign Theater on really, really evil drugs and a headful of conspiracy theory. Seven might be high for some folks but not me.

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Let's Just Lounge 7" - Majora 1992
Rating = 5

Two Songs Plumbing! Ohhhhhhhhh. It's for you.

This is the closest that the Sun City Girls have ever come to playing generic indie rock. This is not lounge music - it's bass/guitar interplay indie rock Superchunk style, but recorded really shittily in such a way that you can't hear the drums at all. You need drums in indie rock; otherwise it's "lo-fi." Or "fo-li." Or "hi-lo." Or "K-Mart." Or "no-go." Don't buy this single, for crying out loud. It's a damn practice tape of just indie-rock stupidity. Two songs. One is a guy guitar soloing over a simplistic up-and-down bass line; the other is a bass and electric guitar counterpointing each other in an obvious way. Don't make the same mistake that so many others have made!

The songs are fairly catchy though, to be honest. If they were on an album, that would be different. As it is, they're poorly recorded practice tapes of indie rock instrumentals that don't go anywhere. Isn't it infuriating? Don't you hate yourself for liking this band? You SHOULD. I do. Because they don't give a shit if you waste your money on some total piece of crap. Why? Why do they do that?

Nobody has ever ventured to answer this question for me. NOBODY.

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Eye Mohini 7" - Majora 1992
Rating = 8

Great stuff! Wow! I dug that acoustic song with that really neat Turkish vocal! And check that out! Wow! What a great Marrakeshian rock dance song! Damn atitty! That's one of the greatest tunes I've ever heard them do! If the REST of this record is as incredible as the first four minutes, we're in for a WILD ride!!!!

Oh. It's over?

Well, THAT was hardly worth the nothing at all I paid for it!

While we're on the subject, you GOTTA go out and buy the MSR Madness CDs The Makers Of Smooth Music, The Human Breakdown Of Absurdity and I'm Just The Other Woman. I have no plans to review them because they're compilations of different "artists" but my Good God are they hilarious. They're made up of "song-poems" from the 60s and 70s ("Send us your lyrics and $100 and we'll set them to music!"). You gotta hear this stuff -- moronic, sexist, racist, and performed so BIZARRELY. Just wait til you hear this minister-sounding guy cry out for mercy, "WHEN A WHITE GIRL MARRIES A NEGRO....." Do it! Buy them now! They're fantastic!!!! I'm not joking!!!!

Reader Comments

procha@optonline.net (Pete Rocha)
I know you like Ween a lot, but it so very much burns my ass that there are nine thousand comments on that page of people foaming at the mouth on how "different" and "original" and "outsider" they are while a band that makes Ween seem as boring and predictable as John Ashcroft's social life, THIS BAND OF SUN CITY GIRLS RIGHT HERE, has no damn comments!!! 9,000 to 0! ARGH! Love your site and your writing Mark, but sorry, that whole Ween thing seems like a bunch of Dungeons & Dragons kids who just smoked pot for the second time. Let's just talk lyrical imagery and cleverness, for example. "God Ween Satan" and "Chocolate and Cheese" versus "You're Never Alone With A Cigarette" or "330,003 Cross Dressers From Beyond Rig Veda". I mean, Jesus! That's a savage beating. Sorry, I'm being a crank. Certainly better people listen to Ween than Linkin Park, but if the "weirdest" record someone owns is Ween, they should please try not to make any grand pronouncements on how they're the "weirdest", "wildest", "most outlandish" band in the universe. The Sun City Girls fuckin' FRY them.

But then again, you're right. They dick around way too much sometimes.

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
Glad to oblige with further comments. Mark doesn't note (although it is implied) that the B-side is a track from the Grotto Of Miracles LP ("Kal El Lazi Kad Ham"). It's kinda long, so the total here is more like 10 minutes. Given Grotto's total non-availability, this is a nice thing, although the track isn't the strongest, and the four minutes of side one are indeed a high point for the band. An eight sounds good.

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Live From Planet Boomerang - Majora 1992
Rating = 5

Okay I just had an important meeting with Glenn Frey, and he informed me that somebody's gonna hurt someone before the night is through. Unfortunately, he went on to declare that this night -- metaphorically or literally, I've yet to wholly fathom -- is gonna last forever. "Last all," concluded Mr. Frey ominously, "Last all summer long." I seized upon this statement, chortily retorting, "Summer? You know what comes out in the summer -- the Sun! And the City! And also Girls!" It didn't take long for Frey to catch the duplicity of my suggestion, and before you know it, we were in the same boat together -- he and I, me and Frey. Together. But little did I know that my nightmare had just begun.

First of all, as Glenn Frey would be the first to point out, this double-album is 96 minutes long. Granted, that's one minute for every teardrop that ? and the Mysterians brought to our attention that long warm weekend in '65, but I don't judge albums by tears, no more than I judge used book quality by tears. And maybe that ultimately separates me bodily and emotionally from those around me, but you know what? I'm in an office by myself right now, so there's a lot of other things that separate me from those around me as well - for example, I'm not as black as that stapler over there, nor do I have a bunch of little holes in me like this computer speaker. Unlike that magazine, I don't have the words "FINANCIAL ADVISOR" printed upon my cover, and - at least last time I checked - I'm not 5'11 with light brown hair like that mirror. I'm a human being, and my skin is RIPE!

Getting back to the subject, Glenn Frey gives this album 5 stars out of 10. He points out that it's a bunch of live recordings -- some with rock instruments, others with piano, weird wild wooly world percussion, xylophone, horns and/or saxophone. However, as is all too often the case with King Crimson, they spend too much improvising rather than fucking getting it together and stop showing off. Some of the improvisations have clear moods and bases for discovery (the Indian/Moroccan/Foreigner "Camel Mucus" sounds quite detectivey, for example, and who but fools could deny the rambling modal Krautrock bass-and-backbeat of the 26-minute "Where Eyes Fly Low"?), but you'd have to be a much more OUT music fan than me to sit through the random avant sputterings of rackety made-up tracks like "Tobacco Non-Plus Ultra," "You Could Be Making History And We're Already Forgetting You" and the side-long headache "Just Say No To Why." The finest moments to music fans who like things pre-planned so that anything can't happen would be an excellent live run-through of "Space Prophet Dogon," a hilarious noisy horn loop called "Music Of The Great Southwest," a truly 'CATCHY' guitar melody with the even 'CATCHIER' title "Amazon One" (Get it? "Catchy"? "Amazon One"?) and the hep groovy piano groove "Tap Tap Graveyard" (at least until it devolves into the recording of a pile of shit for the last six minutes). Also, it's almost all instrumental. Fuckin' Bill Bruford!

Here's an interesting story. I was switching subway trains one fine morning just weeks ago when what did I hear on the platform but a Moroccan-looking musical group performing the hit Sun City Girls recording "The Shining Path"! I was so shocked (especially since I'd always thought "The Shining Path" was an SCG original) that I couldn't help but hum along to its dark, wily moods and movements. Immediately afterward, they performed Dante's Disneyland Inferno in its entirety and gave Margaret Thatcher a hand job on her penis.

So you see, everything turned out fine with me and Glenn Frey. He continued churning out hit after hit after hit after hit well into the second decade of the 21st century, and I of course went on to star in the television series Benson: White Version. Things are looking up and they've never been better!!!

(*knocks wood*)

(*wood unexpectedly topples backwards, slashing across face and torturously removing both eyes*)

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Bright Surroundings Dark Beginnings - Majora 1993
Rating = 7

Now THIS is more like me! What have we here? It is 3 lengthy extravaganza songs with uproarious titles along the lines of "The Venerable Song (The Meaning Of Which Is No Longer Known)," "Omani Red Light," "The Multiple Hallucinations Of An Assassin" and hundreds and thousands of other things. The songs are of slightly higher fidelity than that last atrocious pile of dog crap coating the roof of my mouth and the mood is dark, foreboding and evil, as if the entire CD was recorded by a group of sacrificial cultists making their way through a twisting, pitch black labyrinth deep beneath the Middle Eastern earth. You'll find more most likely meaningless chanting, neat Plink Foydish drums and wicked, simple little bass lines (I'm thinking specifically of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" with its tickity-tick cymbals and eerie atmosphere).

Since there are only three tracks, please allow one to go into detail about them: "Assassin" has a slow build into an AWESOME orchestral viola mood trance thing - the sort of thing you'd hear from a Godspeed You Black Emperor -, "Omani" features really nice noodly lead guitar work and some strange blowy exotic instrument sounding thingy and "Venerable"... Well, "Venerable" brings the grade down to a 7. The bass line is perfectly nice but it drags on and on for more than 20 minutes with NOTHING interesting added to it. It reminds me of trying to sit through Metal Machine Music - the tedium, the struggle to stay awake, the surrender to sleep's sweet slumber, the naked cheerleaders, the nocturnal emission, the laughter, the waking up to realize I'm in a room full of people.

The humiliation.

The pulling down my panties and taking a leak all over everybody.

Reader Comments

Colin T.
another great one. i, for one, enjoy the band's noodling. it is atmospheric and intense, and you can tell that they know what they're doing - and they're liking it. put this record on and lay down on a couch and trip out for a while. you can smell the incense and the spices and the desert wind as they come through the speakers.

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
I fucking LOVE the Venerable Song! It reminds me of the Ramayana Monkey Chant from Bali. Hell yeah! Who cares if it's long? The drums are recorded so well! POUND! POUNDPOUND! POUND! CHACHACHAwaaaahhh (repeat bass line here). These rock kids and their attention spans... a nine! A nine! Reissued by Majora and widely available right now, a good place to start. God, I wish they would reissue "Live From Planet Boomerang" also, so I could hear it without spending $65.00 on eBay.

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Valentines From Matahari - Majora 1993
Rating = 5

Well, whooooop-de-doo (exasperatedly) - it's a bunch of lo-fi recordings of the Sun City Girls making crap up as they go (twirls first finger around in a circle mockingly). Sometimes a sort of pattern (or "melody") will creep up out of the aimless noise - sometimes not. Four of the eleven songs could almost be called "actual songs" and GOOD ones! (the spyish Eastern-tinged "On The Sign," the skrankly loud guitar rock of "Caravan of Scars," the wonderfully rhythmic lead guitar excursion "Caveat Emptor" and especially the Ventures-like "Sev Acher," which clearly IS a pre-written song) - the other seven, no way in Hell. Essentially the rest of the CD sounds like three young guys who've never played together before getting together to "jam." It doesn't sound like any of the players are listening to each other even the slightest bit, you can't hear the drums half the time, the bassist isn't doing ANYTHING and the guitarist, even if he DOES hit on a delightful riff, quickly gives it up just to make a bunch of boring noise. And pretty much the only vocals are seemingly meaningless chanting. This is the kind of crap that the Sun City Girls do too much of - maybe I'm the fool for not being into poorly recorded chaos, but if that's the case, then I'm the sexiest fool in Dickville.

I don't really live in Dickville.

Oh hell, I didn't think you'd actually check the Dickville phone directory. Okay, I live in Dickville.

But I'm saving up to move.

Oh hell, I didn't think you'd actually check my savings account.

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
My least favorite of the Majora releases as well... nothing seems to stick here. I'd still give it a seven for sheer aggressive uniqueness.

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Live at C.O.N. Artists - Poon Village 1993
Rating = 3

Well well. Isn't it appropriate that the Sun "Ripping You Off With Thrown-Together-On-The-Spot Horseshit For The Past 25 Years" City "Here's Another Double-Album Of Us Just Fucking Around; Thank You For The $45" Girls played a 1992 set at a club called C.O.N. Artists?!? Then isn't it even MORE appropriate that they played a bunch of noisy worthless crayola and put it out on an album that you'll never find anywhere for less than a hundred billion dollars? Yes, the Sun City Girls may be 'artists,' but this is a 'C.O.N.,' pure and simple! And by 'C.O.N.' I of course mean Chronicle of Narnia, which explains Puddleglum the Marsh-wiggle's guest appearance on viola.

The great thing about music is that, unlike such other entertainment options as movies or waterboarding, one can experience it while simultaneously enjoying a second activity (example: driving a car, reading a book, having a sex). As such, I was able to listen to this entire CD twice without wanting to blow my brains out for wasting a full 70 minutes of life. If the Sun City Girls were from Idaho, I'd call this album a Tater T.O.T., with 'T.O.T.' standing for 'Ton Of Tunelessness.' Okay, enough with the hilarious acronyms.

This flat muddy bootleg-quality recording finds the Sun City Girls dedicating an entire half-hour of its 35-minute set to directionless improvisation. Every once in a while they find a nice groove, but then immediately (and inscrutably) abandon it for more dull noisemaking. It's possible that this was a visually interesting set; maybe they were wearing neat costumes. But on a poorly-recorded LP, it just seems brutally unnecessary.

Here, let's pretend I'm Ralph Gleason writing liner notes for the album:

"This music is bad and it hits me like an electric eel. . . Electric music is the music of this culture and in breaking wind (not breaking ground) with previously assumed forms a terrible kind of music is emerging. The whole discography is like that. The half-assed forms are inadequate. Not the half-assed verities but the half-assed structures. It's not more beautiful. In fact, it's much LESS beautiful. A new ugly."

Now let's pretend I'm Jackie Gleason: "To the moon, this album!" Now let's pretend I'm Paul Gleason: "Don't mess with the bull, young man; you'll get the horns (and this album sucks)." Now let's pretend I'm not exhausted, lonely and depressed. :7(

"Black Tent" starts with a catchy 4-note bass line, wiggly-twiddly guitaring and dubba-dubba drums, then devolves into a murky mess all buried under guitar racket. "Instruments Of Torture" starts with a riff of three descending high bass notes, and you can guess how long that lasts. "Nephthys" is a lovely moody bass piece with soft drumming and guest viola by Brian Hageman (The Thinking Fellers Union Local 282) until it begins interpolating colossal amounts of dicking around. Finally, "Nites Of Malta" is THANK GOD an actual song, built around three mystical Eastern notes and filled with dark intrigue, nervous tension and foreign (or fake) lyrics. THIS is why they were a great band - NOT because of the improv shit! Fucking improv SHIT! What is this - Jazzville, USM?

You might expect me to clarify that by 'USM' I of course mean 'The United States of Mammarica,' followed by a reference to 'The land of the free and the jugs of the hooter,' but I'm not in the hilarious acronym business anymore. So no dice, U.N.C.L.E. Scuba.

I'm glad Charles Gocher isn't around to read this review. He deserves better than this closed-minded drivel.

Oh hell, did I say "drivel"? I of course meant "dribble." I should have caught that error.

Oh hell, did I say "should have"? I of course meant "should of."

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Pelican 92 - Abduction 1993
Rating = 6

Some time ago, an abrasive fellow on a message board started 'going off' about how The Beatles are no longer relevant and today's youth should listen to modern music that's more relevant to them, and that got me to thinking, which was kind of exciting and novel. Do you view music as 'current events'? I view it as 'timeless art' myself, and predict that you do as well. If such were not the case, you'd throw away and replace all your CDs every six months! The only way I can see the term 'relevance' applying to music is in the case of artists who specifically sing about current goings-on. For example, the Dead Kennedys' anti-Reagan songs are probably less relevant today than they were when originally released. But most bands sing about pretty common, universal experiences and emotions - falling in love, feeling misunderstood, etc.

Furthermore, most people listen to music for the musical aspect of it; otherwise they'd listen to men reciting poetry. Can music - that is, a collection of sounds - ever be considered "irrelevant"? Production styles can become dated and fad-based subgenres may come and go (hair metal for example doesn't seem particularly topical anymore), but the core tenets of melody, hooks and riffs are always going to remain. Is The Mars Volta more relevant to my everyday experience than, say, The Turtles, simply because they exist during my life? And if so, does this imply that my life is pretentious, boring, and way too long with an annoying vocalist? Similarly, is Paul McCartney's 2007 Memory Almost Full CD more relevant to young people than The Beatles' popular 1966 Revolver LP, even though the latter is considered one of the greatest albums ever recorded and the former is literally just a cup of coffee with some songs in it? Come on people, relevance schmelevance. And that's why none of the bands reviewed on my site were formed after 1936.

I apparently forgot to bring my Pelican 92 notes with me to work today, so I'm going to have to write this review from memory.

Pelican 92 is any of several very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak belonging to the bird family Pelecanidae. Along with the darters, cormorants, wait a minute THIS ISN'T RIGH

Pelican 92 is a selection of recordings from the Sun City Girls' 1992 tour with the Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 -- the very tour on which I saw them!!!! Thankfully, the disc compilator picked mostly actual songs from their various performances rather than the numbing thwickity stupor that (possibly) made up most of their shows. Middle Eastern scorchers, Bollywood ditties, Eddy Detroit covers - you'll find them all here. Indeed, popular tracks from Sun City Girls, Grotto Of Miracles, Horse Cock Phepner and Torch Of The Mystics are all revisited for musty audiences in dingy clubs. The only weakness of the disc is that some of the tracks were clearly intended as live performance pieces, and don't work at all in bootleg-quality audio form. The worst offender is "House Of The Charging Dog," which by all accounts was a hilarious stage piece wherein a 'half-man/half-dog' would run out into the audience any time it heard somebody speak, knocking over chairs, tables and people in the process. On this disc, it's simply one guy talking about a dog and another guy growling, as if he were a dog. That's not comedy. You want comedy, Dane Cook is the man you're after. That guy is HILARIOUS. Have you heard his joke about the guy who pulls up into his driveway to turn around? You have now.

There is much, much more to say about this release, but it's all on a piece of paper in my apartment. Nevertheless, take it from me: this is one of the pretty goodest albums I've heard all year.

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Borungku Si Derita 7" - Majora 1993.
Rating = 8

At least it's longer than 4 minutes! This single features three tracks whose titles features words that I betcha are made up and whose elements seem to recall acoustic Spanish mariachi music with India-style vocals. An odd mix? I wouldn't know, not knowing much about world music (aside from gamelan! Rock and roll, Jesus Lizard-style gamelan!). Maybe these are just covers of three popular folk songs that they sing in Spanish Bombay. As it were, the guitarists play fast and eager and you picture them with sombreros and big ol' mustaches. But then the vocals start up and it's like you're listening to some guy named Sanjay! Come on now! Come on now! We got no wheels to race!

Come on now! Come on now! Police are everyplace!

Actually that's true. It's St. Patricks Day celebration beer night Saturday and there's lots of coppers out on the street. And by "coppers," I mean huge Irish thugs with big copper pipes ready to bash normal people the fuck over the head with them, the alcoholic potato famine pricks.

I'M LOOKIN' AT YOU, BONO!!!!

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
The title track on here nearly brought me to tears when I finally heard it. I missed this one the first time around and it took me ten years to find a copy. There's also a DOUBLE 7" version of this release with three more tracks that I've never heard, feel free to email me for trades. The best of their Majora singles, a nine for sure.

playlunch@optusnet.com.au
Hi Mark

Indeed, the Sun City Girls can do with more discussion. I actually got into them via the backdoor (insert sodomy joke here) because I started with listening to the compilations one of those Bishop brothers releases on the Sublime Frequencies label. I love everything Iíve heard on those. They include field recordings, songs recorded from the radio in exotic places and more proper releases focussing on a particular artist and itís stuff from all around the world. They provide quite a bit of background to the SCG. Borungku si derita is a song from Sumatra that you can find in its original form on sf001 Folk and pop sounds of sumatra vol. 1. Itís by the Marios Group and I like it better than the SCG version due to the great vocals. I have gotten into the SCG in the meantime and I love them now. Thereís way too much stuff to ever come to grips with but thatís part of the fun. At the moment I still prefer their instrumental stuff but I like the stories too. Their stupid vocals present a challenge I have not yet negotiated but who knows, maybe in a few more listens.

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Kaliflower - Abduction 1993.
Rating = 7

Ahhh the SCGs are BACK with another good album. STUDIO album mostly (praise Jah) and it even sounds like they're trying! It's all loosey and such, but very diverse in its presentation and delivery. For just one minor example, "X+Y=Fuck You" is a cool polyrhythmic thing with neat indescribable (because I forgot what they sounded like) noises and one of the Sun City Mens rapping about what is probably nonsense until it ends with the wickedass line "You know there will never be a critic who will ever be qualified to critique this." He's right that I can't critique his words. I can't tell what point, if any, he's trying to make with his stream-of-consciousnessish ranting and raving. But I love the sounds and drums!

For just another very teensy example of the album's diversity and interestingness, "Dead Chick In The River" is a great rock (ROCK!?!?) instrumental with the bassist pounding away at chords and bending quivery notes while the guest lead guitarist Jesse wails away on a surf/spy tangent - probably the most NORMAL Sun City Girls song ever! Nextofly one terribly microsporic analysis of infinite smallness would be "And So The Dead Tongue Sang," which is full of tribal drumming and a catchy call-and-response nonsense chant and weird blowy instruments, probably ocarinas or funnily-shaped clay flutes or somesuch. Look, they do what they want and they seem somewhat enchanted by world music. But they don't do it Peter Gabriel serious boring style. They do it fucked up on heroin and LSD style. VIOLENTLY upturning your cushy little rorck and rorll world with drones, chants and pounding, all seething with misanthropic sly humor and anger.

But that's just one example. I mean, I could go on and talk about "Archaeoptryx In The Slammer," which features more odd instruments and the Surawong Pop Minstrels doing nilly nally things which one would assume are somehow related to Bangkok music. But Rather Than Giving Examples, Let Me Explain Why The Album Only Gets A Seven.

The main problem is track SIX, entitled "The Venerable Uncle Tompa." My problem is that it's essentially a 16-minute drone. It breaks into the old "Venerable Song" for a few minutes, but it's mostly a drag that just kicks your ears in the testicles for a quarter-hour, Testicle Ear. Also, the set closer "I Knew A Jew Named Frankenstein" is kind of a half-assed, though funny, generic rock song with a goofy "scary" voice like that guy used to do on SCTV. Joe Flaherty. He looks Jewish. He dressed like Dracula though, not Frankenstein. Did Eugene Levy ever play Frankenstein? Eugene Levy is a genius. Remember the guy he played in Vacation? "You mean you didn't want the..uh....metallic pea?" Heh heh. Good stuff. "I mean, the Family Truckster is a hell of a car, beats the hell out of the sportswagon but HEY! We wanna make you happy!" I love Eugene Levy. I wish he would get more roles in Hollywood. His part in American Pie was good too, and the wimpy guy he played in Best Of Show and the unfunny dentist in Waiting For Guffman. This is primo stuff! Wasn't he also in Splash?

Oh hell, did I say "Eugene Levy"? I of course meant "You - Chase, Chevy."

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
Yeah, "Tompa" was a letdown at the time. Historically, it makes a nice alternate version to the "Venerable Song", but this record is still incredibly worthwhile because the rest of it is so so good. All the other songs mentioned above are superb, especially "I Knew A Jew Named Frankenstein" and "X+Y=FUCK YOU". Unfortunately, this is another collector's item. I'd still have to give it an eight or nine.

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Napoleon & Josephine (Singles Volume 2) - Abduction 2009
Rating = 7

This CD compilation features the entire Napoleon & Josephine single, two songs from Three Fake Female Orgasms (one of which has been extended from a mere 8 minutes to a lip-smelling 22!) and one each from And So The Dead Tongue Sang, Horse Cock Phepner and Uncle Jim's True Confessions of Homeland Security, as well as tracks from five different various artist compilations (Step, Step, Stepping On Satan's Foot; They Came, They Played, They Blocked The Driveway; Sidereal Rest; Ticked; and Flat) and two previously unreleased tracks of little interest (a third "Voice Of America" rant and a longer intro to "Napoleon & Josephine"). Though the music ranges from acoustic rock, Nashville waltz and jazz guitar to random piano plinking, improvisational bongo beating and avant-garde metal clanging, the emphasis is on weird vocals and disturbing lyrics.

Here, I'll prove it to you.

The Rhinemaiden's Palatial Mountain Retreat: "I know, let's go bury our dog up to its neck in sand so that that spacecraft up there will hear it barking and maybe it'll come down and save us from having to show our parents our report cards!"

Prick of the World: "The Washington Monument's the prick of the world. You get so high. Who cares? Fuck you!"

Sleazy Nashville: "Yeah! Yeah, make it cry! You don't like it? Don't!"

Eyeball in a Quart Jar of Snot: "I watched as he pulled that old dripping thing out of Mama with a shit-eating grin on his face. She smiled and said, "Thank you, Pa," and all I could feel was disgrace. Then he used his finger -- you know, the one that he lost over at the sheet metal factory a couple years ago -- and started poking it around. Then she made some noise like she was about to sneeze, but Grandpa put his dripping thing over by her face."

The Weatherman: "Can I, can I get you something to eat?" "Yeah, shut up."

Voice of America #3: "What about Reagan? Mr. Criminal? Mr. Cocksucker! Fuckface! Cuntface!"

Insignificanto: "We've got your corpses cooking on a Death Valley floor, and they ain't fucking with me no more, guys. 'Cause I was smashing skull red rover red rover, and dripping blood all over my four-leaf clover."

A Wake: "On the day December 31st in the year 1999 at 11:59 PM and 59 seconds World Standard Time, there will be a moment incomparable to any other moment ever experienced in what we call history or reality. The entire collective mind of planet Earth will be focused upon one second. To continue under the assumption that as human beings we can control our thoughts and actions, the moment of collective focus on entering the year 2000 represents the possibility of mass genocide against individualistic freedom if that moment is used as a new hypnotic gate exposing our individual crystal atoms to a neutralizing or terminal intrusion. On a parallel interpretation under the assumption that as machines we cannot control our thoughts and actions, the moment of collective focus on entering the year 2000 represents the possibility of a mass awakening from computerized sleep if that moment is spent either overloading all circuits or erasing and reversing all programming. And given the fact that all clandestine subversive revolutionary acts are no longer attainable due to external and/or internal surveillance, all methods of drastic change will have to occur in complete openness without a single trace of fear, hesitance, doubt, indecision!"

Kaspar Hauser: That's certainly not English.

The Bearded Hermes: "I know everything that goes on in this town from the joyful to the tragic/Some people around here seem to think that I practice Black Magic."

Encyclopedia Vomitanica: "Iím nauseous. I donít want the world to see what I had for breakfast. No one wants to see human flesh floating in stomach fluids on the sidewalk." Napoleon & Josephine: "But you think Napoleon is this French man that came and marched across and met his end in Waterloo and then went to Ireland, you know, and... and died of the opium overdose or whatever they want to give you as information. But no, Napoleon is a place! It's a city in the North Pole that nobody knows about. You can't even see it from the top, man. You, you have to know how to get in."

Reflection of a Young Boy Eating From a Can of Dog Food on a Shiny Red X-Mas Ball: "Welcome to the record industry, my friends! Stick with me; I'll fuck you over good."

I believe I've proven my point. I think you can all continue moving on now, because my point has so adequately been proven that there is no way for me to more adequately prove it. Here then are some new Christmas Carol titles I just came up with. Please feel free to use these when drafting timeless new Carols for future generations:

"Nambla Claus And His (Ahem) 'Elves'"
"Christmas Is A Good Time To Shit Out The Window"
"Chimney Filled With Charred Birds"
"Frosty The Wendy's Chocolate Dessert"
"O Crystal Town of Methlehem"
"Have Yourself A Merry Little Person (Or 'Dwarf')"
"Stocking Full Of AIDS"
"Hey, It's Not My Fault Your Vagina Walked Under The Mistletoe"

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Juggernaut - Abduction 1994
Rating = 4

This is supposedly the alleged soundtrack to a motion picture named Juggernaut, but I've checked the All-Movie Guide hundreds of times in rapid successible and the only Juggernauts that show up were filmed in 1936 and 1974 and seem to have no input from Charles Gocher at all. So unless it's a private art film or a hilarious XXX comedy about an overwhelming, advancing force of women with huge juggs that crush or seem to crush everything in their path, I'm going to call BULLS HIT on the "soundtrack" nonsense and declare this another arty made-up album of crap that gets old really quickly.

Though it starts promisingly with a couple of exploratory dionysian (?) rock jams, this "Dark Star"-style hippie lysergic mind expansion pretty quickly gives way to simple organ/keyboard mood pieces, out-of-tune stringed thingamastrummers and clangy rhythmic clankity-clunking. It all sounds like it would be perfectly good background music for a movie or heated love affair, but it's a drag to sit and try to listen to, mostly because all of the tracks (which are pretty clearly improvisational) drag on for far too long. Collectors of paraphernalia will enjoy the fucklights out of the Pink Floyd "Echoes" reference at the end of "Expendable City" though. I did -- and I'm not even a collector of paraphernalia! At best, I'm a collector of ephemera, curios, Beanie Babies and echoalia.

Here's my wife imitating this album: "Tappity Tappity Tap Tap Tap! Tappity Tappity Tap Tap Tap!" And she's RIGHT! Too much tappin', not enough crappin', that's my motto! Yes, this album needs more feces.

Reader Comments

dhorne@uoguelph.ca (Doug Home)
Oops ... I've got the video of Juggernaut ... definitely exists. Unreleased, but it exists.

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Piasa...Devourer Of Men - Abduction 1994
Rating = 6

More like "Percussion...Devourer Of Anything Interesting" if you ask the piece of paper I just wrote that hilarious play-on-words on! I wrote it down because it was so funny, I didn't want to forget it!!!

This is another supposed movie soundtrack -- interestingly, in just twenty-five minutes, Domino's is going to be here with a "Pizza...Devoured By Me." But let's get to the point. All of these songs are fairly short, so you're not likely to get AS bored as you got while listening to Juggernaust, you there reading this who owns one but not the other. A few of the parts remind me of Pink Floyd's More, and they use all kinds of neato unrecognizable foreigner instruments to create another rousing lot of Sick World Music, but too many of the songs are just rhythm rhythm rhythm. Melody plays second banana to the drumming noises. Oh sure, they locate lots of interesting tones, reverbs, noises and stringed instrument pluckings, and the more interesting songs conjure up a startling variety of discombobulating environments ("Thunderbird" with its reverbed banjo, "Hatching (Folklore Of The Nest)" with its sparkly-sparkles and weird blowy noises, "At The Base Of The Mountain Of Noise" with its weird chanting behind a low eerie bass drone, "The Flying Leather Jackets Of Parajito" with its crazy instruments blasting morbidly out of tune and time together, "Perhaps One Woman In The Dark" with its gong and shaky noises, "Dolores" with its dancey beat, corny Casio keyboard tones and bass chords, "A Lovely Demon Danced Upon" with its insane chanting and percussion ending in a spine-shuddering climactic scream) -- but essentially you're listening to 20 non-songs here. If you've never been into music for the "music" of it, you'll be "All About" this collection of oral audities. Otherwise, much like a long-forgotten Cheap Trick song, you're "Up The Creek!"

Why do they do what they do? The Middle Eastern drum beating, the nonsensical chanting, the clanking and clinking? Do they fancy themselves from a foreign land? Are they "acid users"? Or do they just despise and want to alienate all the college radio hipsters who got into them because of only slightly challenging independent music on Torch Of The Mystics? Or perhaps they're into music as a "spontaneous creation" of the three of them together, and don't mind sitting through 5 minutes of mediocrity if it leads to 30 seconds of genius. At very least, the Sun City Girls are brilliant. Even if they choose not to showcase that fact all the time, they're incredibly smart, bizarre men.

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Jacks Creek - Abduction 1995
Rating = 9

After so many miles and years of celebrating the music and culture of faraway ethnic lands, The Sun City Girls set their sights on the U.S.A. in a BIG way on Jack's Creek. A big, rednecky, insane and hilarious way, that is! Apparently some sort of concept album focusing on the three stupidest, drunkenest residents of Southern Appalachia, Jacks Creek as a piece of music is built NOT from country-western (Thank the Lord's GOD), but from dark piano hooks, harmonicas, out-of-tune acoustic stringed instruments (banjos, acoustic guitars and who knows what else) and lots of fake Southern accents spouting hobo nonsense that's often so witty you can hear the band members trying to stifle their laughter (the best example is probably "Useless Stillborn," which finds the goofballs nostalgically discussing their friend Tal's jukebox "with those two Sidney Poitier songs on it" before somehow weaving the conversation over to the Marshall Tucker Band, a crude Brigham Young joke, a meal that tasted like liver guts and shit but tasted good after a glass of grapefruit juice.... and a completely pointless guest appearance by "Mabel"). Even the most urban tracks in the world -- say, the dark jazz meanderings of "Pork Floozle" -- are buried beneath Hee Haw style guffawment. Who the hell starts up a dark jazz tune by shouting, "Hey Clem! How's Pappy?"??? And am I a goof here (just to free-associate from track to track) or is "Fact The Business" a Doors parody? That sure SOUNDS like they're making fun of Jim Morrison when they keep shouting, "YEEEAAAAAAYYYYYY-AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!" I might totally be just extrapolating my own intentions into their brains, however.

What I want to stress again is that, aside from a couple of brief moments, this is NOT country-western music. It's split between dark, twisted piano melodies, one completely fucked-up organ hook, a few old-timey-style banjo numbers with harmonicas, an incredibly disturbing "conspiracy theory" narrative by an insane man and what I guess are two fellow patients? (Or doctors? Or are all three of them just hobos?) and a surprisingly inspired recording called "Jazz Of The Civil War" which in all truthfulness DOES sound exactly like a Confederate army outfit marching band playing the closest thing to free jazz that they could envision in the 1860s.

I honestly only know maybe three people who like the Sun City Girls so I don't really know which are their more popular records and which are hated, but I'm TOLD that a lot of people considered Horse Cock Phepner to be too much of a novelty record. Now, I LOVE that album, but I CAN understand that point of view because it's mostly a vocal and lyrical thing that makes it work for me; musically, it's a little scant. Jacks Creek on the other hand -- although it DOES inspire just as much uneasy laughter as Horse Cock -- features MUCH more memorable music. I might in fact violently disagree with somebody who tried to write this one off as a mere novelty record. It's a superlative effort by one of the most gifted and least consistent bands in the Universe.

While we're on the topic of America, I find it depressing to state that I no longer have any faith that any U.S. government will EVER be at all honest or moral. I realize I'm one of the last people in the world to figure this out, but apparently our executive branch has been made up of lying, corrupt, powermad monsters for most of the history of the presidency. I learned this from a really good book called Lies My Teacher Told Me. BUY IT TODAY! But apparently, the entire purpose of our government is to ensure that the U.S. is a trajillion times richer than any other country and that those 5% of U.S. citizens who wield complete power over the rest of us CONTINUE to wield complete power over the rest of us. It is nine months until the next election, and George W. Bush is OBSESSED with making sure that he is re-elected. Why? Doesn't he have a job to do? Why is it that, 3/4s of the way through his job, it's okay for him to stop giving a shit and devote all his time and OUR money to trashing Kerry and claiming that he's made the U.S. safer after completely FAILING to protect us from the worst terrorist attack in the history of the nation? He is a man who is far, far, FAR more concerned with the power of himself and his business interests than he is in serving the country in any way. I suppose every president has been the same -- Kennedy was a racist piece of shit, for example, but you don't hear much about that, do you? No, of course you don't. Because that corrupt, lying asshole was our "Golden Boy." And Carter gave his unspoken blessing to about a trajillion genocidal world leaders. Most politicians are very, very bad people. The absolute bottom of the moral sewer, right alongside the decision makers at multinational corporations. How these people look themselves in the mirror every morning is no secret to me -- it's because they're sociopaths. If you don't give two shits about whether another person feels pain, why would you care if you're the one who causes it? And another thing that somebody pointed out to me once -- people always like to talk about all the freedom we have here in the U.S. But that's putting the cart before the horse. Before there were governments, people were born with EVERY freedom. To do ANYTHING they wanted. All that governments do is TAKE THOSE RIGHTS AWAY, and divvy out whatever piddly little rights they WANT you to have. So yes, we have more rights in the U.S. than people have in a lot of places, but that's only because governments are filled with self-satisfied fucking assholes who think they know what's best for you and me. How about this? Have a big lawbook full of laws that protect the weak from the strong. But stop adding in BULLSHIT laws -- like why the fuck are marijuana and prostitutes illegal? I don't use either, but who exactly do those "vices" supposedly HURT?! And why are we STILL relying so much on foreign oil? It's all economic -- it's all multinationals wanting to maintain their standing. In fact, according to this book, most wars and/or CIA operations in other countries are the result of a multinational corporation complaining to the president about how their business in an important world region is at risk because of some dictator's anti-U.S. sentiment or intentions of controlling his OWN resources or what-have-you. See, the thing is -- I don't have any answers at all, because I don't know enough about these issues to come up with answers. But then I'm not running for office and making uninformed decisions in MY BEST INTEREST with no regard for the rest of the people in the world, which is exactly what a good 90% of the Bush administration is doing right now. They're all wealthy former heads of corporations -- the U.S. is NOT SUPPOSED to be run like a corporation! A government whose actions are controlled by corporations is a FASCIST government. That's one of the definitions of fascism. That's what we have. I guess I'm gonna vote for Kerry just because I hate Bush's people so much, but I bet you five dollars he's not gonna be any better. He USED to have morals (he used to be an anti-war demonstrator!!!!), but now he's a politician so.... Well, we'll see, I guess (hopefully).

I do apologize for being so "slow on the uptake" in realizing that the very nature of government is one of realpolitik and self-preservation (as opposed to giving a shit whether or not you're doing anything good for anybody at all), but where was I supposed to hear the truth from? School? The news? HA! In fact, HEE!

No no no -- HO!

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* Dante's Disneyland Inferno - Abduction 1996. *
Rating = 10

There are two things that I cannot tell you at this time: (1) exactly how much I love this album (because it constantly pleases the heck out of me) and (2) what this love says about me (because the album is creepy, pretentious, nonsensical, violent and incredibly long).

But there's one thing I CAN tell you: how to bake a petunia. First you pull the petunia out of the ground. Secondly you place the petunia into a baking pan, generally with aluminum foil on it because you don't want your petunia sticking to the pan. Then you cover it with Crisco and and place in the oven at 450 degrees for 35 minutes. When it looks crisp and brown, salt it lightly and serve. I guarantee that your party will be the talk of the town!

This is a double-CD - almost 2 hours and 20 minutes worth of the Sun City Girls piling on layer after layer of thematic murder, sacrifice, hellfire, backstabbing, suicide and horror horror horror - but. in a FUNNY way! Or at least in such an insane, confusing way that it's really hard to differentiate between the nonsense portions and the stories that actually make sense. It's a very lyric- and dialogue-focused record, with the music taking a slight back seat for a change. Said music shifts and shimmies between all manner of groovy cocktail jazz, adlib piano noodlings, country/western rough and tumble, sing-songy children's melodies (one even sung by a child!), beatnik bongo-driven percussion, scary noises, spaz rock, waltzes, walking bass, spooky haunted house organ and many other things designed to keep you on guard.

As I said, the songs revel in sickness - just for a few examples: "Bitter Cold Countryside" is a traditional-sounding folk ballad about countryfolk that murder and tear their victims limb from limb, "Ruby On The Ferris Wheel" is a slight variation on "Nick Nack Paddy Wack" sung by a traveling carnival that is just as likely to EAT its guests as entertain them and "Fourteen" is a dialogue between a creepy old man and a little boy (fourteen? Sounds more like SIX to me!) in which the old man hands the boy a gun and tells him he can take anything he wants from the local store. The piece itself is pretty funny (the "little boy" plays it for humor), but the ending is as frighteningly-performed as anything else on the record.

Let me stress here - you most likely will not be "scared" by this record, per se. There's too much humor in it for that. But it's very, VERY dark humor. Try to listen to the discs alone late at night. If you're lucky, the perversity of the twisted music and lurid subject matter will deliver dark, sick images to your everyday businessman psyche.

And there's gonna be a HEARTACHE TONIGHT!!!!!!

Say - Did I mention that The Eagles are the worst band in the history of the world?

Please note: Billy Joel does not count as a "band."

Reader Comments

Colin T.
funny, philosophical, endlessly inspirational. and with a wicked smile. this is absolutely one of my favorite albums. and i would like to raise a question: if charles gocher jr. does what he says he will on the song "charles gocher sr," do you think the sound produced will be harmonious or discordant?

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
As I mentioned above, lots of SCG fans absolutely hated this record. I have no idea why, it is easily one of their best simply because even the filler is so fucked up and weird and excellent sounding (which is due in large part to their "fourth member", engineer Scott Colburn, who is all over this record and counts it as one of his faves). An even more demonic and less topical revisitation of many of the motifs used on the all time classic Horse Cock Phepner LP (another ten candidate). Still available (for another few months maybe here in late 2003) as a limited-to-700 triple LP reissue on the Locust label.

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330,003 Crossdressers From Beyond Rig Veda - Abduction 1996.
Rating = 6

Talented? Assholes! Well-versed? Dick arounders! Worldly and bizarre? Boring and childish! CD 1 of this 2-CD set? CD TWO of this 2-cd set!

That's where life begins. With the mature understanding that when the Sun City Girls sit down and write songs, they churn out geographically confused oddities played with the greatest of dexterity, passion and anger. But when they DON'T sit down and write songs, they PRESS "RECORD" ANYWAY!!!!! Why THE FUCK would anybody want to listen to ANY BAND (even the Electric Light Orchestra) just fucking around, not playing music? It is SO aggravating! But let me continue. Hold your questions until the end, members of the press. Especially Adam from the New York Times - that guy's a major league asshole. Which reminds me -- is it just me or is George W. Bush extremely corrupt and kind of an arrogant prick?

Disc one has a whole bunch of fully-developed weirdo anthems of varied origin and styling (ex: "Civet's Tango" features an untuned acoustic guitar, banging and a guy squealing in an old Appalachian lady voice, "CCC" features an odd moaning melody and spooky acoustic guitar/piano combo, "Apna Desh" sounds like an Indian-born garage rock band playing in Mexico, "Rookoobay" sounds like a straight-up hair-down Spanish ballad and "Cruel And Thin" is so minor-chordy and regular, it could've been a Peter & Gordon song! -- aside from the possibly-made-up-language lyrics). But disc 2 doesn't, see! Disc 2 is a bunch of dickering! Some of it's creepy and eerie and sickening dickering, but not the 35-minute Shit-A-Thon called "Ghost Ghat Tresspass/Sussmeier"! Nope! That's simply 35 minutes of violin, electric guitar and drums pouring an industrial-sized barrel full of liquid poop off of a warehouse dock into your ear!

Speaking of liquid poop, I met Hillary Clinton today, for like one second. She looks much older in person than she does on TV. Kinda like Monica Lewinsky, who looks much fatter with your dick up her ass than she looks when I'm hiding my eyes and vomiting all over myself.

As for the Sun City Girls, as always I support their kooky vision (""Sikya Boyah" is ONE repeated piano chord, a guy wailing incomprehensively and some dude bangin' bongo thingies) and their brilliant song stylings ("Theme From 'Sangkala'," man it's just a GOOD song! So is "Insect Dilemma!" Just paranoid, off..... great!), but want to throw a drink in their collective face for subjecting me to the pointless, endless tappity-flappy drivel of disc two (aside from the last few numbers, which are okay, though still obviously UNwritten).

Not to be crude or anything, but my arm itches.

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
I'd like to immediately step up here and go to bat for "Ghost Ghat Trespass", an absolutely fucking stunning 16-minute raga-type piece featuring secret weapon Eyvind Kang on virtuoso violin, this is one of my favorite SCG instrumental pieces. I don't know if "Sussmeier" is included as the same track on the CD (it's not on my LP reissue, they each get one side) but that one is indeed pretty much an endurance test. I'd lobby for an eight. And the first disc features some absolute classics as well - "Rookoobay" is totally spine-chilling and memorable. Too bad this just turned into another piece of collector-scum fodder now that the Locust reissue is gone.

Jeff Hoelscher
It's not right. This is one of my favorite records in the world. The thing is, you need the song order as featured on the LP version. So if you've got the CDs, find the song order on the LP, and burn new CDs. (note: Alan Bishop also prefers this song order.) CD 2 has no vocals. You need vocals throughout. CD 1 begins with I don't know what. Civets Tango? The LP begins with Apna Desh. A much better beginning! The guitar, the drums, the singing. Memorize it, then look up the original Bollywood version on youtube. Egads! You'll feel like Noah and all the women in the world are living on a boat with you and they're all related to you. But you repopulate the earth with them anyway. For some reason, SCG can do an exact cover of a song which features horns, a female singer, and Hindi, even though all they have are guitar, bass, drums, male vocals, and no apparent knowledge of Hindi (or any of the other languages they sing in). Find the $75 vinyl version of this on ebay or whatever and buy it! An easy 10. But then, I don't really like Dante's Disneyland Inferno, so what do I know?

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Live From The Land Of The Rising - Japan Overseas 1997.
Rating = 2

Remember when I was a kid and my Dad told me to say "Sun Shine City" over and over as fast as I could? And then we both laughed uproarious at how I ended up saying "Sun Sine Shitty"? I think that's why this band is called the Sun City Girls. SHUN THESE SHITTY GIRLS!!!!

I hope slopes, slants, nips and japs like this shit, because me and Japanese people sure don't. Unlike many record reviewers, I take notes during the listening experience so that I can share my thoughts with the readers afterwards. So, if I may, let me just share with you a few of my notes from the most recent Live From The Land Of The Rising CD playing in my home:

Crime Scene Clean: "Bongo, dumb mouth noises, shaky noisemaker, bell at end"

Emuqidanse: "Electric guitar racket, bass, drums - made-up crap"

Night Of Spilled Brains: "Guitar dicking, bass, drums"

Atomic Jackal: "Starts as good bass line song, then turns into noise crap"

IMOK Anti Gravity: "Rock instruments dicking around - awful"

AWOL Flyers: "Awful"

Maggot-Dripping Mouth: "Awful"

An End Ground Down: "Hideous"

Overall Conclusion: "Hideous made-up crap."

This "music" is so unmusical, it comes really close to making Metal Machine Music sound like a 60-minute-long CATCHY irritating noise. It's just on-the-spot splanking around not-really-playing-stuff garbage. The entire CD features exactly one honestly really good song (and maybe three others that have their moments): This one good song is entitled "Apothecary Deluxe." It is a foreboding 3-note piano trill mixed with an odd bass picking noise, steady drum beat and scary chant/yelling. And that's fine! You can tell it's made up on the spot but it actually CONNECTS. It actually HAS SUBSTANCE. The rest of the CD essentially sounds like three guys who can't play their instruments sitting in three different buildings while a CIA satellite records everything they play, combines them onto one tape and releases it for profit.

And by "profit," I of course mean "loss." Surely these guys must have actual jobs?! Or are they "poseurs"? "Chickenshit Conformists" like their parents? Just a bunch of spoiled little trust fund babies like I wish I was?

I'm so disappointed. I thought they were infallible until this came out. I thought they were the greatest, most consistent band of all time until I heard this CD. This changed everything - my world was shaken to its core. How could I ever trust anybody again, especially law enforcement officials and the Bible?

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
Better than a two (I think that grade was just out of frustration at this point), but definitely not more than a five or so. Lots of instrumental improv. One of the less compelling releases.

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Box Of Chameleons - Abduction 1996.
Rating = 7

You'd better have a pocket full of quarters and an icebox full of patience if you expect to enjoy THIS shenanigan. This is a TRIPLE-CD compiling previously unreleased live material from the years 1970 through 1996. "1970?" you ask? How could this be, you wonder inside? They're prank phone calls made by the band members when they were kids. They're not very FUNNY, but they're certainly rude! As for the other 125 tracks, there's a whole lot of improv avant-garde jazz, featuring not only the rock instruments but a surprising amount of brass too - apparently these guys play REAL instruments in addition to all their weird middle eastern shitruments. Elsewhere, you'll find maybe "ten" actual songs with lyrics and singing and such.

Why did I put "ten" in quotation marks? I don't like this one bit. This just reeks of anthrax.

Did I mention that I actually LIKE a lot of Anthrax's stuff? That Joey Belladonna guy was just atrocious though. Unless you LIKE shit on your dick, of course!

Aside from the avant garde jazz, there's some eastern drone, chanting, lots of loud pounding percussion, a tiny bit of rock, a few disturbing as HELL spoken word pieces (including one where the narrator tries to contain his laughter while telling a story about infecting a little girl with yellow fever to a bunch of people who can't stop cracking up about it - the punchline: "There's one cure for yellow fever - and it's DEATH!"), a punk song (?!?!?!?), some talking through horns, some lush drones, some channel surfing, some nice piano - basically, it's a bunch of shit that they made up on the spot. Sometimes they really come together with amazing moments of synchronization so perfect and gamelanny you want to touch your tooter in front of the computer. Other times, they just make a repulsive racket. In short, don't expect anything at all and you won't be discombobulated. There are lots of pieces of crap on here, but every piece of crap is really really short, so by the time you get sick of it, seven or eight other short pieces of crap will have already passed you by.

Mmmm, all this talk about pieces of crap is making me hungry.

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
Pretty uneven, but that's kind of the point here. Tons of 80's-style sprawling glory archive material. I listened to this and wrote little comments on all the songs in an attempt to sort out the more unusual moments. Lots of the tunes ended up with "gtr/bs/drms" written next to them, and their trademark instrumental blowups do dominate the disc. The weirder bits are well worth sorting through, though, and the whole thing functions as kind of an SCG primer or dictionary. Worth getting, and still around for pretty cheap on eBay.

mradamcooley@hotmail.com
Over the past 6 months, I've illegally and legally acquired almost everything the Sun City Girls has ever done through soulseek and various blogs. I can safely say that this 128-track (!) collection is their best work. It has every element you'd ever want in this band and very few of the elements you don't want. If I had to reccomend one other album though, it'd either be 330,000 Crossdressers (which is just a bit too long overall but it has their best songs on it) and Horse Cock Phepner. Both "10" candidates. Mark, are you familiar with their side projects at all? The Alvarius B stuff is great, but the Sir Richard Bishop stuff just brings a tear to my eye. Just beautiful. I mean, I love John Fahey and stuff, so if he isn't your thing you may not get into this stuff... but yeah.. oddly, the Sun City girls side projects seem to actually be very, very musical at all times... Also, Mark, if you go the main SCG site, go to the links section, they have a link to these reviews and they call you "grumpy". Haha. Also, FINALLY, I'm covering "Blue Mamba" with my band soon for a split release. Whoo-hee.

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Dulce - Abduction 1998.
Rating = 7

Apparently some sort of movie soundtrack I guess, or at least it sounds like one. The production is HI-FI for a change and the instrumental pieces fluctuate, ebb and flow like a tide of weird noises, with little bits of piano shells smacking you in the leg and swarms of killer dronefish humming into your mind. The work is filled with trepidation and worry as a suspense film might be - some bits are mostly fragments of noise crashing against one another - or separated between wide open spaces of time - but - slices of spaghetti western guitar, somber classical piano and clarinet jazz also weave in and out of the framework as airplane glue to hold the splintering framework together. Interestingly, I know a big black dog named Dolce.

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
Third in the soundtrack series after the Juggernaut and Piasa LPs of some years earlier, some people have alleged to me that these movies don't actually exist. Regardless, I really dig the records, this one in particular. More excellence from Eyvind Kang on violin and a varied atmosphere. At LEAST an eight, this is one of their high points, still available (maybe, barely), and well worth tracking down.

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Carnival Folklore Resurrection 1: Cameo Demons And Their Manifestations - Abduction 2000.
Rating = 2

A lo-fi recording of a 1997 Sun City Girls concert. I've seen the band live before and they cut quite a scene for themselves. Insanity rages through their eyes and violent body movements. So even when they're playing made-up garbage and not trying at all, it's still a great show. But I wouldn't want to go if I was blind. This is awful. It's just a bunch of percussion and dumb mouth voices, with tiny moments of boring piano and blowy instrument toodle-di-doodles. Aside from the neatly-rhythmed "Legendary Fingerprint Recognition," I can't believe they released this shit like a pair of loose sphincters onto the shoulders of their adoring fans. I paid MONEY for this can of Vienna Shit Sausages! Couldn't they have at least been honest and entitled it "Brunswick Shit Stew"? Talk about Shit Spam! I feel like I'm pouring a whole bowl of Shit Manwich Meat into my ear and squishing it around while drinking a glass of Nestle Shit Quik. Perhaps later I'll enjoy a nice SteakShitUmm and Breyer's Shit Cream. And then I'll get up early to eat some Microwave Shitcakes, A Sausage & Shit Biscuit and a bowl of Waffle- Shit-O's Cereal. Interestingly, I know a small white dog named Carnival Folklore Resurrection I: Cameo Demons And Their Manifestations.

Which reminds me of a hilarious story - this morning my fiance woman whore heard some guy at the dog run shouting "Come on, Nigger!" and "Let's go, Dick!" at his dog over and over again. Finally, her ears opened enough for her to realize that it was actually a man with a slight speech impediment whose dog was named "Digger." I'm not making this up! If I'd made it up, it would have included the word "Poop"!

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Carnival Folklore Resurrection 2: The Dreamy Draw - Abduction 2000.
Rating = 4

METAL FANS, ENTER HERE!!!! On this one, the world's most assholish band (no, not 'N Sync - I'm speaking personality-wise, not radius-of-forcefully-widened-anus-wise; your literalism is creating communicative challenges) gives you piano, brush drums, and tapping on some sort of metal implements -- I'm not sure if it's some kind of foreign instrument or just a bunch of different pieces of metal. Or both! There's also the occasional saxophone bleat or harmonica blow. They start off with an actual piano melody that's really beautiful, peaceful and carrying-of-the-warmth-of-eternal-life, but by track three, they're just banging on drums and pieces of metal for the next 40 minutes. It's a complete ripoff, but the first two songs are really great.

And METAL FANS - THEY SOUND JUST LIKE THE SCORPIONS!!!!

Or, more specifically, their speaking voices sound just like the Scorpions. Not exactly, of course. But if you were to put both bands in a room to have a conversation, you'd be able to tell by the sounds their throats made that they were all of the species homo sapien.

FAGS!!!!

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Carnival Resurrection Series 3: Superculto - Majora 2000.
Rating = 4

HEY JACK WHAT'S ALL THE SPICEY JAZZ CATS WHOA WHOA WHOA!

And I can SAY shit like that, Mac, so don't gimme no flack, Kack where the drugs, bugs and sugs got my joint to the point with MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

And you wanna know WHY I can talk like that? Making no sense? Wasting space with capital letters and exclamation points??!!!!!!

Because, JACK, I'm a GONZO JOURNALIST. I Do ThInGs My OwN wAy!!?????????!!!!!!!!!!!

So dig my muthafuckin rapPAPAPAPAP as I down some more bennies with a nitric acid chaser and tell you about what's worth THE PRICE OF ADMISSION for this CD. These Sun City Girls baby they was drivin' down the street baby and I'm TYPIN THIS IN THE BACKSEAT OF A '57 CHEVY ON AN OLD TYPEWRITER WITH NAKED CHICKS COVERED IN COCAINE ALL AROUND ME AND I'M FLYIN' BY THE BACKSEAT OF ELVIS' MOTORBIKE THROUGH THE FIRE OF EXISTENCE, ON FOUR PENCE OF LSD, MESCALINE ON MY EYEBALL AND PARANOIA AT THE (wheel) WHEEL.

Cuz I'm a GONZO journalist, bab-uh!!!! BAB-UH!!!! Look, now I'm gonna draw a picture of my penis -

G======================================================)

That's how things fly down here in Margaritaville flying with four sheets to not just the wind, but the rain, the earth and most of all the FIRE of ROCK N ROLL -- Jim Morrison's corpse riding shotgun as I set a flower on the floorboard and put the PETAL to the METAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Sunc Ityg Irls - and I can call them that because i'm a GGGGGgggggGGGGONZO JOURNEY MEMBER!!!!! MY NAME IS GREGG ROLIE AND I HAVE THIS GREAT HANDLEBAR MUSTACHE!

Nobody writes like I do. I'm the ashtray to society's fourth doobie roach. I'm the last of the white Spearchuckers. The final Christian KIKE. The holiest Godfucking pussy-pounding JUICEBIRD in FUCKS, OKLAHOMA --- and you wanna know WHY?

BECAUSE I'M A GONZO JOURNALIST! GON is the point! GON is the creativity! GON is anything even close to interesting writing! GoNgOnGoNgOnGoNgOnzo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And best of all -- you can enjoy writing just like this in EVERY FANZINE IN AMERICA!!!!!

But enough of my sharp biting satire. This CD is yet another waste of time. Just a bunch of awful noise - drums, bass, electric guitars, maracas - just made-up-on-the-spot CRAP. Some nice repeated guitar noodles in "Elvis On A Shoestring," a bit of nice banjo interplay in "Camp Sulawesi," great drumpile of rhythms in "Echo By Association," but even these three semi-GOOD songs drag on for far, FAR too long. Which leaves maybe three honestly fully enjoyable tracks -- "Ruins Of An Old Casino" you might actually call a twitchy psychotic little neck-pushing guitar blast, "Now Playing" is a HILARIOUS blast of pointless noise (and short!) and "DJEMA EL FNA, USA" sounds like a band of floppy dimwitted 5-year-olds banging haphazardly on drums while guffawing and shouting "HEY! HEY! HEY!" over and over again. But they can get away with this stuff and you wanna know why?

Because they're UNDERGROUND MUSICIANS!!!!! THEY'RE RIDING ON JERRY LEE LEWIS' BONG ALL THE WAY THROUGH PCP COUNTY, POPULATION: VEIN. FOUR GREASED UP WHORES PILE OUT OF A NEON CESSPOLE DIVE OF A DRUNKWHOLE AND SAY, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAh fluppitydorp."

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Carnival Folklore Resurrection 4: A Bullet Through The Last Temple - Abduction 2000.
Rating = 4

So dig this, Jack: I'm a kid, right. Just a little kid. Recording this and that off of the FM radio. Your "Train In Vain" by The Clash (which I thought, at the time, was the Bay City Rollers!!!). Your "Ages Of You" by R.E.M. (at the time, they played it a LOT - like it was a hit!). Your "Emotion In Motion" by Ric Ocasek, famous Bad Religion album producer. Your "Take Me Home Tonight," the beginning of a massive string of hits for Eddie Money that continues to this very day. When what should happen one day but I happened across a "college" radio station, where they play weird stuff. And this crazy collage thing was playing - I hit the "record" button and let the craziness fly by -- so many noises, cuts, loops, odd voices, weird snippets of old-style singing. I was always extremely curious to find out who had recorded the song, but unfortunately the only part I remembered for years and years was a black woman saying, "Oh my god! It's sugar!" And you can't exactly go on the Internet, type in "Oh my god! It's sugar!" and expect your solution to come out waltzing out at you like so many matildas. Especially in 1983 or whenever the hell this was. So imagine, if you can, how I must have felt when, at age 28, I was handed this CD by the Sun City Girls, placed it in my stereo deck, turned up the volume and heard a bunch of free jazz.

The disc has some moments of beauty, but not as many of those as there are moments of crap. They're playing piano, horns and drums - sax, brush drums, you know jazziness type stuff. But, as usual, they haven't actually written any music. So they're just Ornette Colemaning for 40 minutes, with, as I said, a few accidental moments of clarity, clickingness and beauty. EXCEPTING (and this takes us back to the aural collage I mentioned in the first paragraph) two great great great songs that work and should be on here -- an acoustic, billygoats gruff-vocaled half-tune entitled "In The Bosom Of Uncle" and a fantastic Butthole Surfers-style song called "Old Nancy Wardrobe In The Dance Closet" that whips along on a great driving fast beat, insistent piano note and two bleating horns.

So if you have any idea what that aural collage might have been, let me know.

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Carnival Folklore Resurrection 5: Severed Finger With A Wedding Ring - Abduction 2000.
Rating = 4

FANTASTIC comeback! This is ONCE as good as that last one I reviewed! Recorded March 18, 2000 at the Rainbow in Seattle, this disc finds the Girls in a rock instrument mood, jamming on a guitar, bass and drums in classic power trio mode in the finest tradition of Rush. Cream and the Rolling Stones once you realize that Ron Wood doesn't contribute much. A few of these are actual full-breed songs - the jazzy lurch "I Wanna Go To The Moon," the wicked cool but overlengthy "Chameleon 2000" and vaguely "Helen Waite" - but too much of it is just more ad libbed dickery. To the point where I can't even imagine the BAND enjoying themselves, unless their entire goal as a live band is just to play crappy non-music all night. Maybe the intelligentsia at the show pretended to like it, I don't know. The best part on the album certainly isn't the songs - it's this one really short part where the band talks to the audience and you can tell that they're really funny and most likely completely misanthropic. And that's just the GOOD news! The bad news is that there are several other titles in this "Carnival Folklore" series.

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Carnival Folklore Resurrection 6: Sumatran Electric Chair - Abduction 2000.
Rating = 7

I wrote an incredible review of this album earlier this evening, but looking through my sent file just now, I realized that I accidentally erased the majority of it before emailing it to the Webmaster. So now I have to write the stupid thing again. Which is probably good, because if memory serves, the original review involved me typing up all my written notes with my eyes closed, realizing I had had my hands on the wrong place on the keyboard, then retyping them and finally just flopping my fingers up and down on the keys over and over with no rhyme or reason.

This CD is very atmospheric, with each track flowing into the next and tons of recorded ambient sound effects that make you feel like you're right there on location in the middle east with the Sun City Girls -- chicks laughing, beachy sound effects, seal noises, the clister-cluster of an outdoor marketplace, disgusting locust-like noises, crickets, birds, what sounds like an Indian airport, all kinds of stuff. Interesting as this travelogue-on-disc might be, the songs are even better. There's some folk, a bit of groovy bachelor pad jazz, some organ drone, lots of percussssssion goodnplenties as always, exotic horns, and even a wicked smoove Krautrock style number!

This is a good place to get a gist of the entire world of the Sun City Girls' instrumentation, marred only by a few more-than-lengthy NONsongs like the unlistenable nine-minute "Gardens Green With Broken Chests." They really do come up with some great song titles though, don't they? My favorite title on here is "Nyne De Gris Sang," an exotic novelty song whose title when sung sounds suspiciously like "Nine Degrees Song." So FINALLY! Proof that not all of the Carnival Folklore Resurrection CDs have to necessarily suck balls out loud in the middle of the State of the Union Address.

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Carnival Folklore Resurrection #7: Libyan Dream - Majora 2001.
Rating = 6

I like this band's drummer. I know I haven't dwelt on him much, but he has a really crisp, tight playing style that sounds extra-good. As for this here CD, it's mostly composed of half-written rock instrumentals. Not a whole lot in the way of vocals aside from some goofy "yee-haw"s in the atrocious "Instantaneous Decisions" (which, honestly, sounds like how the band composes their work most of the time) and some fakey joke darkness in "Opium Den" (which, honestly, sounds like where I pick up my 12-year-old Asian prostitutes most of the time). The others include lots of decent guitar leads and solos, a bit of surf-spy -- very much in the GUITAR PLAYING vein, but nearly as unmusical as you might expect. And why? Well why come is that the guitarist in this band is actually a really talented player -- you just can't tell because he chooses to fuck around so often. He doesn't do that quite as much on here, sticking instead to normal keys like you might hear in normal songs by normal songwriter/guitarists like Neil Young, Angus Young, Youth Brigade, Sonic Youth, Youth Of Today, Crucial Youth and Dick Cheney.

Hit singles include the FULLY COMPOSED easterny "The Vinegar Stroke," the marching solo "Carl The Barber," great riffituder "Sangkala Suite" and the 15-minute-long moody rock excursion title track. They also do a fun energetic cover of the Ramones' "Journey To The Center Of The Mind," the original version of which can be found on Acid Eaters along with such other great original Ramones compositions as "Substitute," "The Shape Of Things To Come" and "Hey Hey We're The Monkees."

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Carnival Folklore Resurrection 8: The Handsome Stranger - Abduction 2001.
Rating = 8

The best CFR yet! The SCG really did AOK on AOL with this CFR CDR! (at least it's a CDR in the APT of MDP!). This is like a shortened minor rendition/reprise of Dante's Disneyville Education Hour, with insane, violent vocals, brutal, murderous lyrics and homocidal backwater piano/sax "rumpapump" instrumentation (like Nick Cave's "The Carny" gone even sicker in the Appalachias). John F. Dead Kennedy makes several appearances in the lyrics, as does John Wilkes Booth. There's also a nice song about killing a girl and bleaching her skull. These people aren't your friends! These people are NO man's friends! Beware at your own pentecost!

The music is always interesting, and the lyrics and vocals will probably drive your loved ones a long, long way out of your house. I like 'em when they're nutso beginnago! And, though this isn't anywhere near as musically diversified as Disney's Danteland Adventure, it has all the charm and wit of that family in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II starring Dennis Hopper.

Speaking of Dennis Hopper, rumor has it that Boyd Rice beat the shit out of Lisa Suckdog back in the day. Is that true? That's what I read in The History Of Boyd Rice, Emotional Retard by Mark Prindle.

Hee hee. "Boyd Rice and Lisa Suckdog." What am I, living in 1992?

YES. TIME HAS STOPPED FOR ME AND I WILL BE A COLLEGE FRESHMAN INTO THOSE WICKED FERAL HOUSE BOOKS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

And when I die, I hope Karen Greenlee gives me a handy.

See, that's the thing - I really do LOVE all those Feral House books. So it would disappoint me to find out that Adam Parfrey's beliefs are as hateful and juvenile as Boyd Rice's. But they probably are, sad to say. Why else would he play in a band with him? The thing is -- none of these people, by definition, are EVIL. As far as I know, they haven't killed anybody (although if it's true that Boyd beat up Lisa Suckdog, well that wasn't very nice). But their beliefs are so....STUPID. Short-sighted and stupid. How can you believe in fascism and side with the oppressor when, under actual fascism, you will almost undoubtedly be the one on the lowest rung? Not to paraphrase Mr. Jello Binarkers (1981), but do you really think a stupidass industrial noise guy and an "edgy" book publisher "with an edge!" are really going to be among the elite when a bunch of nutjob Christians turn the U.S. into a fascist police state? (and they WILL be Christians - by sheer numbers, not to mention persistence and strength of belief, they automatically have it sealed). Sorry, emotionally stunted pricks -- exchange penpal notes with Charles Manson and read Peter Sotos' Pure all you want (Peter Sotos - THERE'S a piece of human shit, by all indications), but

I don't really know how to end that sentence. Who are today's assholes, btw? I haven't exactly been keeping up on things. Hence my complaining about individuals that nobody in the world has given a shit about in the past decade.

Do people hate Jack Kemp? I could totally go off on that guy, once I did some research.

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
Definitely another good one, with its own individual vibe. JFK conspiracy run wild. Did you hear they cracked that case? You can read about it on Salon.com. It was this old Sicilian mob guy who felt like the Kennedys had double crossed him.

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Carnival Folklore Resurrection 9/10: High Asia Lo-Pacific - Abduction 2001.
Rating = 7

Hey everyone! Allow me to introduce myself; My name is Frank Jickle and I'll be taking over the Mark Prindle Record Review Guide effective immediately. Apparently Mark has had some kind of emotional breakdown (probably because of all that hard rock he listens to!) and I have been brought in on a temp-to-perm basis as a replacement music critic. But don't you worry - Frank Jickle won't steer you wrong!

I was hoping that my first assignment would be one of my favorites like Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughan, but apparently Mark had a few "alternative" CDs he wanted me to take a listen to first. And I gotta tell you - talk about "out there!" If you thought Dave Matthews was weird, just wait until you hear these guys! I went into this double-CD expecting some tasty blues licks and soulful female vocals - what I got was a far cry! The psychedelic vase pictured on the cover is worth the price of admission, but the music itself is some of the most eccentric and quirky experimental neo-psychedelic folk-rock ever recorded. Picture a cross between early Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead at their wildest and you kind of get the picture. It's almost as if the band isn't even trying to hit big -- the music grooves along on some pretty hot modal jazz-inflected vamps, but with bizarre wordless vocals topping the piano, bass, violin, guitar accompaniment. Mr. Prindle tells me that this is actually one of the most coherent Sun City Girls releases, but I find this extremely hard to believe considering that most of the songs don't even have choruses or middle-eights, let alone the kind of guitar pyrotechnics that you may be used to. Is this a novelty act? My guess is that it must be, since they appear to be from Arizona, yet sound like those Monks that were so popular a few years back!

Are these even guitars? They sound like stringed instruments, but not any that I've ever heard from Ibanez or Fender! My best guess is that they are run through a new effects processor to give them a rustic Old World feel, not unlike the early work of Jethro Tull -- I recently read that Tom Scholz was putting the finishing touches on the next installment of his killer Rockman pedal series, so I wouldn't be surprised if that is what the SCGs are fooling around with on this release. But I haven't even gotten to the part that's going to blow your mind. In some strange musical underground, maybe disc one does count as music - there ARE at least clear melodies present (though they never reach the sophistication of today's finest bands, like Live and U2). But disc two doesn't even go that far! The entire disc is comprised of something that the band has termed a "field recording," meaning that it was recorded out in the fields of Asia over a nine-year period. This disc is completely full of sound effects -- crickets, dogs fighting, Asian children shouting "Whatsup whatsup whatsup?" in hilarious imitation of their favorite American rap artists, strange underdeveloped native "music," cockfights -- boy, and you thought Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) held a monopoly on sound effects! Think again!

Although it's rare that I am given the chance to hear such a rich and varied release as this, demonstrating remarkable stylistic growth and musical diversity, constantly experimenting with different sounds, textures and genres, occasionally the band can be maddeningly inconsistent because of this eclecticism. But their experiments frequently succeed; no other contemporary artist can blend so many diverse styles into a cohesive whole, except possibly Prince, a Minneapolis African-American urban artist with such hits under his belt as "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Get Crazy." The band is unquestionably gifted. They successfully recreate the sound and feeling of countless groups from the past, revive the swirling, guitar-heavy sounds of late '60s psychedelia and infuse it with George Harrison's Indian mysticism and spirituality, but are also definitely the smoothest and most pop-oriented of their rebellious crowd. There are plenty of more heralded singer-songwriters, but few have produuced more good work or have done so for longer than the Sun City Girls. Although they were initially grouped in with the legions of pop/metal bands that dominated the American heavy metal scene of the '80s, the Sun City Girls were one of the most distinctive bands of that era, constructing a progressive form of heavy metal that drew equally from the guitar pyrotechnics of post-Van Halen metal and '70s art-rock, most notably Pink Floyd and Queen. They may or may not be "the kings of rock 'n' roll," but of all the major rock and roll acts of the '00s, they are certainly the most flamboyant, merging the fire of gospel with New Orleans R&B, pounding the piano and wailing with gleeful abandon, brandishing a six-inch pompadour and mascara that are downright outlandish for their time - and more than a little threatening.

In conclusion, this is an extremely weak album - some might say terrible. But you can sense the irony, so it's unquestionably one of the best releases of the year. I give it a 7. - Frank Jickle

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
Oh dear lord. All of you out there who haven't really liked a record since "Torch" should get this immediately. Spellbindingly weird world music indeed. The last two tracks feel like a bit of a letdown, but the rest amazes. And the field recordings on the 2nd CD give you an idea of where these guys get their variety.

james.greg@bigpond.com
Jesus Christ, you're a scathing prick. Up there with your finest reviews. 9/10 for the review. 0/10 (sorry Madonna) for the fact that I don't seem to be able to get hold of this album for less than $5000. I agree with you about SCG: dickin' around drives me crazy bored stupid. Dante's Disneyland Inferno is the greatest 'thing' ever (hard to call it just an "album"; it's like a horrible movie as well).

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God Is My Solar System/Superpower - Eclipse 2003.
Rating = 4

SKIP this double-album reissue of tracks from the Sun City Girls' first two cassette tapes (they used to sell cassette tapes back before they had record deals and things), originally released in 1983. The God LP has some nice hippyish world music guitar/organ drones and a fantastic low-rent "Celebration of the Lizard"-style noise-poem mixed in with the inexcusably mindless dicking around to no purpose or interesting collision of noises. But the SuperPower LP doesn't even have THAT. Sure, it's bookended by a couple of nice short mood pieces ("Glass Globe" is melancholy and reflective, "Demon On The Beach" is as creepy as a serial killer -- and just as deadly!), but a good, oh, five billion percent of the album is filled with made-up-on-the-spot free jazz SHIT that the band did before they were even called the Sun City Girls. You can't even call it historically interesting since they're STILL recording the same sort of throwaway clashing clattering crap garbage SHIT two decades later.

I just don't GET it. Do they really honestly truthfully deeply emotionally LIKE this crap? Do the Bishop brothers sit around and vibe out to all the hours of absolute audio GARBAGE that they've driven fool consumers like me to purchase over the years (and subsequently sell on ebay because it all sucks so fucking bad)? Does Charles Gocher dance around with a happy smile while listening to his bandmates not play any actual music at ALL for up to 45 minutes at a stretch? It's just frustrating to know that there's this GREAT band out there that absolutely refuses to be great more than 40% of the time. Why do they do it? To be obscure? To rip people off? To appear confrontational? Or do they honestly hear something in their improvisational flick-dickity that my untrained Western ears just can't fathom? Do you, the reader? Do you get something out of the tragic wastes of space that they subject us to on nearly every release? PRICKS PRICKS PRICKS. Mark my words - I will never again purchase a Sun City Girls LP.

Just CDs. So I can record the best couple songs from each and sell the pieces of shit on ebay where they belong.

Dude, I know this guy who knows the band and even HE doesn't understand why they put out semen-drenched piles of vomit like this. If you were to exercise for five hours and then rub this album all over your genitalia, you'd only be improving the music on it.

Reader Comments

Colin T.
i think these records are great. i don't know what mark's talking about; they will put you in an atmosphere that is creepy and uncertain and enjoyable. just because the band isn't necessarily playing "songs" is irrelevant - it's the feeling they put across to you.

the "free" music of the first record is balanced out by the tune "this is my name," a truly beautful and melancholy piece. the second record's got a number about a demon on a beach - it's fucked.

someone who reacts as vehemently against this album as mark does should reconsider their conception of music. why is he listening to this band in the first place? the artwork alone is nearly worth the price of admission. also, this is limited edition, so if anyone buys the one mark's selling, get it while you can.

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Live At The Sit & Spin - Abduction 2008
Rating = 4

When the Sun City Girls scored a prestigious gig in Seattle, WA on May 17, 2002 during the peak of the Nirvana Grunge years, they knew they had to pull out all the stops to impress the record company scouts in the audience. Following Alan Bishop's business philosophy "Don't Bore Us, Get To The Chorus," they hit the stage with a can't-miss set list of slick rockers and power ballads co-written by heavy hitters like Desmond Child, Mark Hudson and Glen Ballard. Everything was in place for the most important performance of their lives -- the one that would break them through to the mainstream and launch the long-term major label career they'd been dreaming of since forming the band two decades earlier.

Unfortunately the janitor had just mopped the stage, so when the Sun City Girls ran out in their 6-inch platform heels, they slipped, slid across the stage and fell face-first into the orchestra pit. By the time they were pulled out twenty minutes later, it was clear that all three members had suffered severe brain injuries. Nevertheless, their manager Larry Rudolph insisted that the concert was far too important to be cancelled, and forced them back onto the stage bleeding from the scalp. Then, to the abject horror of every grunge fan and record company executive in the packed theater, they began beating on rocks, sticks and pieces of metal while chanting complete gibberish. The dream was over.

When the smoke cleared 45 minutes later, industry wags were agog with the news: Sun City Girls were no longer the next Nirvana. Helmet was, and immediately got signed to a 50 jillion dollar contract.

Ha ha! But now back to the real world! They played two songs from 330,003 Crossdressers Riding Around In A Vega, one each from Flute And Mask, Kaliflower, Grotto Of Miracles and Horse Cock Phepner, a Bollywood cover, a Golden Earring cover, and two new improvisational pieces (one of which is named after the Indonesian phrase for "I Don't Understand"). More descriptively, they spent the first 22 minutes banging on crap and chanting like cavepeople, then finally picked up guitars and whipped out some Indian, Middle Eastern and Thai-flavored melodies before returning to America with some country-western, classic rock and bullshit noise.

The recording is muffy and lo-fi, with the instruments drowning out the vocals almost the entire time. In fact, pretty much the only words I can decipher on the entire disc are "You don't like this version of Al-Queda up here? What's wrong with you people? You still think bin Laden did it? Ha ha ha!" Then again, most of the lyrics are in Foreigner Language, and one thing I sure as hell ain't is a multiculture.

In my opinion, this outing could've used more actual SONGS like Thai garage rocker "Soi Cowboy" and cover tunes "Duniya Mein Logon Ko" and "Radar Love." But since when have Arizona's Sun City Girls listened to any of my suggestions? Remember that time I told them to fire both guitarists and change their name to "Loverboy 2"? That was a hundred dollar idea there.

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Wah - Abduction 2003
Rating = 4

Is that "Wah" for the guitar pedal used throughout this CD or for the sobbing noise I made when I realized I'd spent FOURTEEN GODDAMNED DOLLARS ON A BUNCH OF MADE-UP SHIT!??!?!?

Okay, but let's be specific. This CD is a recording of the Sun City Girls improvising dark psych-rock on wah-wah guitar, bass (although at times it sounds like a second guitar, so I'm not positive on that one) and -- after the first three songs -- drums. It basically sounds like the best guitar player in your high school jamming in his basement while two stoned friends try unsuccessfully to develop songs around his limber-fingered explorations. For make lots of mistakes but not this one: Rick Bishop is a "hella" guitar player. And I'm sure Allan Bishop and Charles Gocher are very talented musicians as well, but not in this context. Here, they just sound lost - as if they're not even in the same hippie acid combo as Rick "Jerry Berry" Bishop. This type of music CAN work -- Pink Floyd did it a lot in their early days for example -- but here, it very rarely comes together to create a unified anything at all.

Still, if you want to build a little outline of the CD, it might go a little something like this:

"Two Swords Superior Gold": The two guitarists clearly wrote this hop-skipping rhythm track before hitting the "record" button. This is the intro -- 1 1/2 minutes of a near-hook that leads right into....

"The Color Of Holy Water": This is where they try to expand the first track into a jam, but fail to connect with each other. They just sound lost, with the drummer seemingly having no clue where to begin. This drags on for an uncomfortable, amateurish three and a half minutes until.....

"Frozen Signatures": A-ha! The guitarist has found something! A motif! A dark, creepy, Doors-esque evil psych format! It takes the other guys two and a half minutes to realize what has happened. Then into:

"Baked Asterisks": THIS is when the jam really gets going. In come the drums and the Dionysian Los Angeles Nights waft overhead as cactuses roar in the distance. Unfortunately, you can barely hear the bass, and as far as I can tell, he never quite finds a part he likes. Still -- this is proof that the jam really COULD go somewhere if only.....

"Distorted Views": 35 minutes of improv. Rick finds some cool jazzy chord combinations every once in a while and Charles keeps the beat like only a drummer can (?), but the bassist STILL sounds like he's listening to a completely different band. That or simply failing to contribute anything of worth to this one. He finally comes up with some good bits about 14 minutes into it, but by then I've already turned off the CD and run over it with the vacuum cleaner. Wah? More like Wah The Hell Were You Thinking When You Released This Piece Of Crap?????

Maybe that second part could be in parentheses.

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
I love the description of the high school dudes in the basement. Pretty scathing. I have not been able to remember a single thing about the tracks on this CD, as opposed to its excellent parallel disc, Flute & Mask. Forced Exposure printed a description about how the guy's hippie friend liked the record, then went out and bought "Jack's Creek", and thought it was a different band.

Dude, you gotta get off the Aspartame, especially with all that other stuff in your system. Trust me. I know recovered addicts.

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Flute And Mask - Abduction 2003
Rating = 6

It's just like Billy Corgan said; the world is indeed a vampire. Thankfully, we have the garlic and crucifix of the Sun City Girls to protect us from the blood-sucking world whose reflection doesn't show in the mirror. Gamelan fans will be overly excited by this release because it features not one but possibly TWO great gamelan songs! The chiming! The interplay! The repetition! Now THAT'S gamelan! GAME, LAN, MATCH! How about a GAME, LAN users? Read it backwards and it's Nalemag! Almost as if you've published a new magazine for illiterate construction workers!

This is yet another delightful batch of violent, fucked-up world music by those lovable backstreet boys, the Sun City Girls. The songs are very dark and foreign-sounding (complete with nonsensical "foreign"-sounding wailing and chanting), with the amazing "Lord Brown Of Due South" standing out as probably the most intriguing one: it features an echoed bowed string instrument, clitter-clattery chimes, tinkly-tankly pianos and a beautiful drone all buried lightly beneath the Middle Eastern equivalent of a blastbeat. Intriguing indeed! Is it an actual form of music, or just something they made up on their own? That's the question. That's the most important question in the universe right now. Even more important than "If manure helps the plants grow, why am I still so poorly hung after all these years of ass-fucking?"

In a completely unexpected and tragic twist of fate, Chuck, Al and Rick ruin the CD by book-ending the four enchanting and intriguing songs with two endless loads of percussion and stupid yelling. THIRTY-TWO MINUTES OF BORING PERCUSSION, UGLY FLUTE NOISES AND STUPID WEIRDO CUSSING!!! Now nobody but I knows how hilarious I laugh at the song title "Where's My Fuckin' Jesus?" and indeed the final five minutes of "Dukan Olympic Theatre" are played to the beat of Michael Jackson's hit single "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," but thirty-two minutes worth??? Yeah, more like TURDY-SPEW minutes worth, if. If indeed.

Say! Who here likes that song "If" by Pink Floyd? It's on Atom Heart Mother. I like it! What's really cool about it is that it's written by Roger Waters but -- get this -- it's just a bunch of self-pity. I KNOW!!!! I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT EITHER!!!!

If you like Native American chanting, you'll like the long songs. I like parts of them, I'll admit. But I'd certainly prefer that they devote all that time to more amazing gamelans and harrowing drones like "Balcony Sampoerna" and "Lord White Of The North." One more thing I really have to dwell on here. Once you've spent some time with the Sun City Girls -- not their bullshit, but anything I give a 6 or higher to on this page -- it's SO hard to go back to any other band. Because none of them sound as interesting as the Sun City Girls! It's so hard to figure out what it is they're trying to do, because their knowledge of music is far more advanced than most peoples' and their sense of humor is so much darker and more disturbing than most peopless's''s. When you take those two aspects and add to them a misanthropic streak and chops from Talentedland, you've got a band that makes you want to buy more and more and more and more.

But then they put out all these albums that totally fucking SUCK!!! Because they're ASSHOLES!!!! Thank God for Mark Prindle's web site - without it, I would have had no idea which Sun City Girls albums to buy!

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Uncle Jim's True Confessions Of Homeland Security 7" - Empirical 2003
Rating = 8

Dave Blood committed suicide yesterday. He was the Dead Milkmen's bass player. I was aware that his final state of affairs was not one that would have made me happy, but I had no idea that he was depressed to such an intense degree. He told me that his mother recently passed away and it affected him deeply. He told me that his father was a complete prick. He told me that he was single at age 47, having had to break up with his last girlfriend when leaving Serbia. He told me he was living with an old girlfriend and her family, and acting as a nanny for her baby, whom he loved. He told me he couldn't play the bass guitar at all anymore because of his painful tendonitis. I really enjoyed talking to him, and was looking forward to hanging out with him in NYC. I even still have a couple of voicemail messages from him on my phone - messages that he left ten days before writing a suicide note and giving up.

This is a new experience for me, so I'm of course going through all the usual emotions -- mainly blaming myself for not realizing how depressed he was. He was clearly reaching out to me in search of a friend. He kept calling me and emailing me. Then all of a sudden, a week ago, it stopped. I was going to call or email him two days ago to let him know I bought the new Dead Milkmen DVD. I swear I was. I fully intended to. But I've been very busy and I just kept forgetting and never got around to it. Would that have been enough to keep him from killing himself? Did it push him over the edge when I abruptly ended our last phone conversation with "I'd better get off the phone." Did he know he was going to kill himself at that point? Is that why he ended the call not with "Bye," but with "Take care of yourself, Mark"? I should have called him. Should should should didn't. I didn't, and he killed himself. But see, he never told me he was depressed. I was actually astonished at how at peace he seemed considering the nowhere state his life was in. He was so looking forward to returning to Serbia and spending the rest of his life there. Why didn't he go? What happened? Did his plans fall through? Did his father do something to push him over the edge? I don't get it. When I was younger, I wondered if I could have been able to save Kurt Cobain had I been his "buddy." A dumb thing to wonder, sure, but hey. Now I know I couldn't have. Because I'm too insensitive and stupid to recognize the obvious signs of suicidal depression. It's not my fault Dave is dead, but I should have been smarter. Had he told me he was going to kill himself, I would have given him a million reasons not to.

By the way, his real last name was "Schulthise."

Uncle Jim is a character portrayed by Alan Bishop, purportedly based on a real live uncle of his. On earlier releases, he was a fast-talking jiveass wheeler-dealer pot smoking weirdo, but with age comes beauty and he now sounds like a tired old drunk who has seen too much (and committed too many moral crimes) to view anybody else in the world with anything but complete disdain. He knows you can't compete with him on any level, and he can't stand to look at you. He speaks of the devil and hacking up Asians with a machete. He spits out rhymes as clever and unique as those of any rap artist, and he does so over cool smoky club jazz -- brush drums, jazzy guitar noodling, cocktail lounge piano and trumpet. As far as I can tell, neither track has anything at all to do with homeland security.

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Bleach Has Feelings, Too!/To Cover Up Your Right To Live - Eclipse 2004
Rating = 6

HA HA HA! Oh, I'm sorry. I was just laughing in print about that hilarious old joke that ends with the guy singing, "Pardon me, Roy! Is that the cat that chewed your new shoes?" That was good stuff. With the word "Bleach" in the title of this album, let me recommend to you a funny prank call CD called Just Farr A Laugh. On first listen, it comes across as not-so-funny teenagers trying to be the Jerky Boys, but on subsequent listens, most of it suddenly reveals itself to be unbelievably funny, particularly a series of calls from a loud tiny fat black man named "Bleachy." Look for it in your cheapy bin tomorrow!

I think my OCD is acting up again. First, when my wife left town for a work trip to California, I accidentally started worrying that I'm getting boring and she'll lose interest in me. It was really riding on my head for a few days there. Then Dave Blood became the first dead Milkman and I've been so emotionally tied up with that, I can't concentrate on anything else. And he's been dead for almost THREE DAYS!!! I mean, hello!? It's like MOVE ON, please. Not only that, but I'm constantly getting this horrible fake song in my head that goes, "Turds! How I love ya, how I love ya - Turds! It's plain to see that Turds! How I love ya, how I love ya - Turds! You are for me and then I am for you 'cuz you're Turds!" And the thing is -- I don't even LIKE Turds. Serious question here -- do you think aspartame could be interfering with the effects of my medication? At the moment, I appear to be taking Gabitril and Effexor, I think. Unless it's Neurontin. It might be Neurontin, actually. It's not Luvox or Prozac - I stopped those a while back. Stopped Buspar too, because it didn't do anything. I'm not on Wellbutrin anymore either. Christ. Looking at this list, it's no wonder I feel drunk 75% of my life! My brain is coated in synthetic goo. But seriously, about the aspartame -- I drink a lot of Diet Coke and I hear that aspartame (Oh I'm sorry - YOU know it as "Nutrasweet") is basically poison that collects in the body and fucks your brain to Hell. Do you think that's what's happening to me? Or am I just a normal 18-year-old going through my natural hormonal changes? That would actually be pretty cool because I'm 30.

This double-album is #2 in the series that brought us God Is My Solar System/Superpower: same record company, same artwork design, same concept (old tapes repackaged on LP). The difference is that these two LPs are actually pretty darned entertaining (though stupid). The Bleach LP, though not as popular as Nevermind The Bollocks by the Sex Pistols, is a collection of audio collages, lo-fi rock drone blasts, prank phone calls to a religious radio program and a hilariously buffoonish on-air radio appearance by the band as young men. The collages are pieced together and piled up very nicely, even when you can tell they put no effort into it at all ("Personal Blow Job," for example, is just a Throbbing Gristle-style synth drone with electronic drums laid atop a pathetic old "aural sex" record that begins with the romantic come-on, "This is Wendy, and as soon as I swallow this mouthful of cum...."). The prank calls are as failure-riffic and overlong as those found on Albert Brooks' Comedy Minus One LP, but I get the feeling that that's the point. I can't imagine the guys actually thinking to themselves, "Boy, this call where we ask the minister how many homosexuals are in Revelations, and then don't make any jokes about it at all -- that's ASS funny!" I'd give the Bleach album on its own a good solid 7 out of 10.

Album B, You Gotta Fight To Cover Up Your Right To Party, would be better off entittied Midnight Cowboys From Ipanema 2: The Sequence in reference to that winner in my childhood Sunday School class who kept talking about how much he wanted to see Airplane II: The Sequence. I also know a guy in Atlanta who insists that The Fall have an album called Hex Education Hour, but I've never liked to spoil illusions or cause fistfights, so his misconception has to this day been left uncorrected. I'm going to feel extremely guilty if he appears on Jeopardy! one day and receives the clue, "This Fall album features the lines, 'Where are the obligatory niggers? Hey there, fuckface!'" As for this particular album of cover tunes, it's just as lo-fi as Midnight Cowboys, though in a more muffled manner (not tinny, just bassy and muffled). And thank the lord for the nighttime -- there's none of that stupid "tape recorder speeding up" Horse Manure smelling up the Broadway of your turntable. Covers include Led Zeppelin's "Rock And Roll" (which you might know as "It's Been A Long Time/Been A Long Time/Been A Long Lonely Lonely Lonely Lonely Lonely Time," as that was its original title), the Velvet Underground's "Waiting For My Man" (you know what? Hearing this song played by one of my favorite, most respected bands leads me to realize once and for all, friend or foe, young or old, I absolutely LOATHE the Velvet Underground. THIS SONG SUCKS!!!), Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" (with indecipherable but clearly WRONG and profane lyrics), the Doors' "Spanish Caravan," Duke Ellington's spanish "Caravan," Albert Hammond's "It Never Rains In Southern California," that old traditional tradder "Green Eyes," a couple of tracks that I believe are by the Temptations and the O'Jays ("Psychedelic Shack" and "Back Stabbers"? I've never heard the originals, but these covers are HORRIBLE). There are a few other covers that I can't place - I think one might be by the Sun City Girls' old band "Paris 1942" (judging by the name of the track, which is "Paris 1942"), one may or may not be the theme to Wild World Of Animals, one might be a bad hair metal song and the final track (although it's actually only number six out of 13) is so funny that I don't care if I never find out who originally did the track. What happens, see, is that they're playing into a tape recorder with a strong compressor or limiter (an annoying recording effect that cuts out any sounds that are louder than a certain volume or frequency or some fancy engineering SHIT), and the singer is just SCREAMING and SCREAMING, and it keeps setting off the compressor so the entire blast of noise just keeps disappearing for several seconds at a time. Then it will finally fade back again and he'll scream again and set it off again. It sounds like it was done by accident, and man alive must they have laughed when playing the tape back. I wasn't even there and I'm laughing right now! The compressor keeps sucking the entire song away! Still, though we laugh at times like these, a number of these covers are just a bunch of twiddling noisy half-assed garbage. I give this disc a 6. A 6 so strong that it grabs onto the leg of the first album's 7 and throws it across the room into a lit cigar, which then falls off the table into the curtains, which go up in flames immediately because they're made of oxygen, and the entire apartment building burns to the ground, leaving nothing standing but a 6. You see, the 6 had the forethought to wrap itself in a thick layer of asbestos before entering the building. The moral of this story is -- always wrap yourself in asbestos before you leave the house!

And swallow some too -- you never know when your insides are gonna start burning from all that chili, you farting asshole!

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Carnival Folklore Resurrection 11/12: Radio - Abduction 2004
Rating = 7

Not feeling very good at the moment. A friend of mine is yelling at me, my wife is out of town for a few extra days, it's my fault Dave Blood killed himself and I'm wasting too much time on a message board. Nothing big and bad and terrible -- just minor bummers here and there. Bummers for ME, I mean. Obviously, the Dave thing is much more of a bummer in the grand scope of things. But I'm just a little bummed about things. I don't like A friend of mine yelling at me. He thinks I'm an idiot, which I am, but I don't need him reminding me so. It's 1:14 AM and I have to get up at 7:15 in the morning to walk Henry The Dog (he likes to go around the neighborhood smelling urine) before work. I still have to write a review though - can't go a day without writing a review. That would be the start of a bad, bad habit. I fell out of the habit of recording a song everyday, and now I'll never finish my hot new CDR. So look where that got America's music fans.

So let's just do this. Get this over with. Radio is available in a limited pressing of 400 copies, and only on the Abduction web site. I bought it and it's good stuff. Two discs worth of material prepared by the band for airing on Brian Turner's WFMU program. I may have met Brian Turner at some point in my life. If he worked at the Duke station in college. Otherwise, I don't have any idea who he is. The discs are made up of field recordings, songs, jokes, audio collages, other world artists' songs, lots of found material, fake radio IDs and 25 minutes of Uncle Jim reciting a capella beat poetry. It features two hilarious 9/11 jokes that just blow my mind ("United Airlines Theme 2001" is so astonishing, I've been playing it for everybody I know -- which is basically my wife and dog), along with some music and answering machine messages and - it's just a grab bag of all kinds of things. The track "Masonic Funeral" is particularly touching, as it does in fact appear to be an audiotape of an actual masonic funeral, complete with people crying pretty severely. Some of it is other peoples' music with the SCGs making scraping noises and things on top. Some of the songs are SCG original performances, like the melodically pretty Hawaiian "Nibiru," which really wears out its welcome at 13 repetitive minutes. SCGs doing a loud, overdistorted run-through of the "Batman Theme." I'm interested in "Franco De Gaulle" because it appears to be a French song being played on a muffled radio in one speaker while an SCGer plays and sings along with it in the other speaker. If that's what it is, it's really quite neat. If not, fuck you. If you're into the Girls bringing you all kinds of things the way I am, you should visit Abduction's web site quickly because these aren't going to last very long.

Sorry I'm on a bummer right now and neither making you laugh uproariously nor reviewing the CD very well. It's good. Some of the collages and field recordings seem a bit extraneous and lengthy, but the "Palmer" station ID is so offensive you'll shit, and "The Ghengis-Necro-Nama-Khan Pt. 2" features more intelligent rhymes than an entire rap album by an entire rap artist.

I have no desire to die. I'm not even depressed per se. I'm just bummed. Nobody likes A friend of mine to think they're a stupid asshole, nor does anybody want to be responsible for neglecting a nice troubled man in a time of need. Plus, people don't want to have to wait any more days for their wife to get home when she's already been gone for eight days. Peoples' little doggy is so sad about this. But people aren't depressed. Peoples' life is really good. Don't get all pissed at people if they write a shitty review every once in a while. People are getting email from other people saying, "Hey! You were quoted on CNN!" because people (B) don't realize that people (a) feels very strongly that he could have helped the subject of the CNN article hold on a little longer and find a bit more happiness if only people (a) hadn't been so selfish and blind. And people lay in bed crying last night, angry at peoples' failure to save an intelligent, kind human being from the sorrow that was his undoing. People are re-reading all of his emails and seeing signs that people should have noticed before. Before his mother's death: "Is there a theme to my life? I NEED to know about too many things and I am afraid that I am going to fade away (we rock and roll guys don't die we just burn out or fade away according to Uncle Neil) before I find out all the interesting things that there are to know about." During his mother's last days: "Some family stuff is ..bad right now, but otherwise in my life things are all right..... Sorry I haven't been in touch, but I have been attending to some very serious family matters. I'll let you know what's "shakin'" when it is over." After her death: "It has been a while since I wrote to you, but... well, My Mom passed away and I have been distracted and out of sorts." But look what he wrote to people on March 1, just 9 days prior: "I seem to have gotten a lot of fan mail this week. Quite a few of the emails are from bass players asking about tabs for my bass parts. It is nice to know people are THAT interested in our music." That doesn't sound negative, does it? People really blew it; people could tell he was lonely and needed companionship. But nobody I know (oh sorry - I've stopped talking about people and am now talking about myself) has ever killed themselves, except my high school guidance counselor, but she murdered her retarded teenage son first, so that's different. Why won't anybody tell me the truth? Did he have a drug problem? Was he unable to cope in society? What did his note say? For that matter, how did he do it? It has been suggested to me that this wasn't his first attempt (though that has not been confirmed), but why? What the hell happened to him when he got back from Serbia? Did he just completely fall apart? Buy the $11 Philadelphia In Love DVD and watch him in the videos for "Peter Bazooka" (he's the 'senator' that's being tailed by the singer) and "Methodist Coloring Book" (balancing his bass in his hand!) and see if you can understand why I feel so horrible for letting this bright, funny man drown in his depression. It's not about me; I realize that. I'm not a fool. But I just wish I could have done something to help.

Sorry, Sun City Girls, for the shitty review. Keep up the good work, and quit putting out just total shit. Thanks!

Reader Comments

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
After I first moved to Eugene, Oregon in August 1990, a good friend of mine from back in college-town Indiana killed himself in November. We were roommates in a rental house. He was older, smarter, queer, had an immense and tasteful record collection (Flipper, garage, pysch, etc...), an extensive knowledge of political movements, and was a self-employed typesetter. He published the zine "Tussin Up" and was one of those undercurrent mover and shaker types. After he died (threw himself off 14 floors) I had a series of dreams about him that were initially uncomfortable. Then, finally, I had a dream involving him where we were at ease enough to talk in dream land... I said what I needed to say about how upset I was, and his spirit left me... Gabriel Garcia Marquez theorizes that no one truly is dead until every single living person who knew them has also died... in this sense we live on as spirits and influences and memes, even without children... I think Mark has done a good job at summarizing the reasons against suicide in the Dave Blood interview preface, and I would only add that in the movie "Wings Of Desire", it is proposed the death is the price we pay for the glorious joy of sensation, of touch, taste, smells, sights, sounds. Sounds like a good deal to me. Sensation itself makes life worth living...

Oh yeah... this double CD is a particularly excellent example of the Sun City Girls providing a variety of sensations. Well worth tracking down.

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Fresh Kill Of A Cape Hunting Dog/Def In Italy - Eclipse 2004
Rating = 7

I am a guy with a fishing ideal. Tarp. End of discussion.

Kraft cheese? Yeah, more like '

When The Shaft Sarfer Grifters

Hey Shithead! Yeah, I'm talking to YOU, the lead singer from DOA! The last time iA

My current obsession is exploitation films. I keep reading hundreds and thousands of books about them, keep shopping for them with decent luck (thanks Something Weird video, if you, the entire company, is reading this review right now!) and trying to find good old adult classics (a tough game, since so few of them are worth watching -- man, Cafe Flesh is though. That is one FUCKED UP adult film. If you can only reach your crisis when thoroughly depressed, look no father!

I bought a Guinea Pig video today for $5! And lots of this and that! Emanuelle? Hell, Africa Blood and Guts!

My wife and I keep hearing this drunk moron shouting "TO THE WINDOW! TO THE WALL!" Finally my wife looked it up on the Intronet and discovered that it's a song by East Side Johnny and the East Side Boyz or some other bunch of assholes, and the next line is "To the sweat dripping from my balls!" Who needs that in society? That kind of lyric causes rape!

This is another re-release of two old Sun City Girl cassette tapes, and God Bless Eclipse records for doing this. Let me discuss each disc briefly and with content.

The first ablum was recorded between 1983 and 1985 and features as follows: some samples, reverb and tribal drums, wailing, like a boring ritual, noise racket, a fast-paced screaming rock dance macabre "free rock" song into noise, an SCG evangelizing his need poppies, water noises, TV stations, a really amazing song in which a bass and drum play in tune with a bell in a very smart manner ("Dolores"), a hilarious macabre story about murdering people, burning coffins, carving circles on the faces of corpses, an endless creepy echoed distorted guitar clickery of darkness like early Pink Floyd, moaning, chanting, and a catchy jugggernaut of guitar and bass. Some of this shit - particularly the POINTLESS gonowhereisms of the Floydian clicking - drags on far far far far far too far far far too far far far, so I give album one a score of 5 out of 10. If you add that up, FUCK OFF! Seriously though, the bell song, the macabre story ("Diet-Blue Morbid Attraction Soda") and the poppies bit are hilarious and smart -- ---- c----------- classic Sun City Girls. But you can't just make shit up on stage and expect it to be good. Jazz people have done that for centuries and that's why there has never been a good jazz song since time began. Look at me! I'm a jazz song! "Toodley doodley toodle doodle doo BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP" (*shits all over audience through tuba*)

Album B is another classic in a career of failures. It's mostly cover tunes. Santana's "Black Magic Woman" and "Shango," Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit In The Sky" (one of the very, VERY few Christian rock songs that are anygood at all), Ennio Morricone's "The Song The Ramones Played Before Going Onstage - This Was Before They All Died," Climax's "Precious And Few," The Grateful Dead's "Dark Star" and a couple others from who knows where. But they're good! And there are some hilarious moments where the audience screams at them. See, they were touring with JFA, a surfer punk band. But Sun City Girls don't play surf punk. So JFA's fans HATED them! And shouted things like "You suck!" and "Get a real job!" SCG responded by shouting "Shut the fuck up!" It's good stuff. There's this one part you'll laugh at - or would except that I'm about to ruin the joke - where the whole audience is chanting, "YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK!" and one of the Girls says, "Okay, now THIS half of the room!" We all laughed and some of us were buried alive. There's also a great part where you just hear a guy snoring for a minute or so. I've played this album three times in the last three days, and all three times my wife and I have looked at Henry the Dog during this moment, thinking that it's HIM doing the snoring. But it's NOT! Stop blaming Henry The Dog for the Sun City Girls' snoring guy!!!! STOP IT!!! SOTOP IT!!!! STOP IT!!!!! STOP IT!!!!! STOP IT!!!! Disc two gets a high 8 and a big hairy ball.

In finale, eat a dick!

But in a loving, mature manner, because I love you, the reader. You are my only forfeiture of redundancy. Also, I write not for me but for you. Do you like what I write? I love you. We all do. Me and all five people who are here. Steve, James, Fuckleberry, Lunchass and Durk.

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Carnival Folklore Resurrection 13: 98.6 Is Death - Abduction 2004
Rating = 4

I'm going to make a statement here, and although I have a feeling it's near-universal, I'm not going to pretend to speak for everybody (ex. "Everyone's bisexual; it's just that most people don't want to admit it!" Umm... no, YOU'RE bisexual. Don't try to speak for me. Asshole.). No matter how often I say to myself, "Okay, from now on if anybody ever says anything rude to me, I'm just going to laugh and shake my head" or "...I'm going to roll my eyes and pretend I feel they're beneath me" or "...I'm going to respond by being very friendly back and trying to defuse their anger," the only thing that truly determines my reaction to a given situation is whatever else is going on in my head at that precise moment. I'm not a Buddhist; I don't train myself to remain calm. If I'm in a pissy mood and somebody goes out of their way to make it pissier, I'm a-gonna do what I'm a-gonna do. As yesterday's events proved, this is unfortunate.

Not that it was a terribly exciting incident, mind you. It was very minor in the grand scheme of one's world, but I was surprised by the vehemence of my anger. It was a rainy day, I'd been dealing with idiots on ebay all goddamned week (more on this in a minute - or "moron this" in a minute), the NYC traffic horns were driving me nuts as usual (my latest idea: design cars so that the horns sound as loud INSIDE the car as they do outside -- that'll make the fuckers think twice before honking every five seconds!), and the line at Staples was wrapped all the way around the store. So I said, "Time to go!" and returned to the elevator station, where an elevator went BING! and opened up so I walked in. Here's where things took a turn for the unpleasant:

Fat Anal Old Stupid Cunt Hispanic Woman Asshole Riding The (Z)elevator: "Oh, you're just gonna step right in front of me?"

Mark Prindle, Gentle Soul: "Huh?"

FAO SCHWARTZ: "I've been standing here for five minutes and you're gonna walk right up and step in front of me?"

(As an aside, I've never in my life 'stood in line' for an elevator. An elevator is one of those situations where a crowd of people gets off it, then a crowd of people gets on it. There are no seats on an elevator, so who fucking cares who gets in first? But I digress)

MP, GS: "There's not room in here for four people?"

FAO SCHWARTZ: "You didn't even stand in line! It wasn't your turn!"

MP, GS: "But there's clearly room for all of us. I just got in and held the door open."

FAO SCHWARTZ: "The door didn't need to be held open!"

(Okay, here's where something unexpected snapped in my brain.)

MP, GS: "Fuck you!"

FAO SCHWARTZ: (begins to speak)

MP, GS: "SHUT UP!"

FAO SCHWARTZ: (begins to speak)

MP, GS: "God, I fucking HATE people like you!"

FAO SCHWARTZ: (begins to speak)

MP, GS: "You're a FUCKING IDIOT!"

FAO SCHWARTZ: (begins to speak)

MP, GS: "Just have a heart attack and DIE!"

FAO SCHWARTZ: "I hope I live longer than you!"

MP, GS: "Well, you won't if you worry about shit like waiting in line for an elevator!"

(*elevator doors open*)

MP, GS: "Look! I'm stepping in front of you AGAIN!"

FIN

Okay, so let's discuss. First of all, I absolutely agree with you that I badly overreacted and behaved very childishly. She was rude first, but I was rudeR. But what made me react like that? I don't usually react like that. I suspect that there were four key reasons: (a) the ebay-and-car-horn-related irritation I mentioned above, (b) my post-9/11 low tolerance for people who complain about things that don't matter, (c) the woman's resemblance to the naggy, annoying mother of a friend of mine, and (d) my firm belief that people shouldn't be allowed to speak rudely to strangers without getting it back ten-fold.

Secondly, I'm sadly aware of the irony/hypocrisy of this situation. I have low tolerance for people who complain about things that don't matter, yet here I am screaming my soul out at a woman for a slight bit of rudeness that DOESN'T MATTER. I was on edge because of ebay idiots and car horns - two more things that DON'T MATTER. Many people have real problems that matter - poverty, loneliness, illness, loss. Why on Earth am I getting so angry about borderline retarded ebay bidders?

But while we're on the topic of borderline retarded ebay bidders, let me vent some more spleen, just to have it vent for you, the fans of the Sun City Girls.

Okay, I don't know if we have any international bidders out there in the reading audience tonight, but if so please read this closely: "IF AN AUCTION DOES NOT HAVE A 'PAYPAL' LOGO IN IT, OR 'PAYPAL' LISTED AS A PAYMENT OPTION, OR THE WORD 'PAYPAL' ANYWHERE ON THE ENTIRE GODDAMNED PAGE..... CHANCES ARE REALLY FUCKING GOOD THAT THE SELLER DOESN'T TAKE PAYPAL!"

Let me explain, for those of you too young to enjoy the fruits of eBay. PayPal is an online payment service. People like me who buy and sell a lot of stuff on ebay can pay each other for auctions with delightful electronic money, and it's free. In fact, if you're a fellow American, you can also pay me via bank transfer, and that too is free! However, if you neither live in America nor sell items on ebay (thus saving up delightful electronic money payments in your PayPal account), your only option for PayPal is to pay via credit or debit card. Here's where the problem comes in -- to accept credit or debit card payments through PayPal, a seller has to sign up for PayPal's "Premier" plan, wherein PayPal gouges a cut out of every single payment you receive -- even the PayPal account and bank transfer ones that were previously free! As such, I do NOT have a "Premier" account and I do NOT offer PayPal as a payment option in my auctions. However, when the auction ends, I alert the high bidder that if he has PayPal funds in his account or can pay me via bank transfer, then by golly he can go right ahead! It's like a special bonus surprise for the winner, see? Yes, we all do.

Except international bidders, who -- for some reason I've yet to comprehend -- don't see ANY of this. Probably three times a week, I have to 'decline' a credit card payment from some fucking prick shithead international bidder who somehow missed the part of my 'payment instructions' email that read "Congratulations! Please note that I CANNOT accept credit or debit card payments through PayPal." Then they inevitably get all uppity and complain, "But it's the only way I can pay!" (not true) and "If I'd known you didn't take PayPal, I wouldn't have bid!" (did you see the word 'PayPal' in my auction somewhere? I'm fairly certain you didn't. Because IT WASN'T FUCKING THERE!!!!). Then I have to complain to eBay, and eBay has to get on their case and eventually, like six weeks later, I get some U.S. currency in the mail from the pricks.

Usually, anyway. I've no clue what I'm going to receive from this unbelievably dim Polish fellow I had to deal with yesterday. Okay, so halfway through the auction, he emails me, "How much is shipping to Poland?" I reply, "$5.25, but please note that I cannot accept credit or debit card payments through PayPal. This is a problem for some international bidders." So the next day I see that he has bid, and I naturally figure, "Oh good, we're all set." So the auction ends a few days later with Mr. Poland as high bidder and winner, and I send him a payment instructions email that again explains, "Congratulations! Please note that I CANNOT accept credit or debit card payments through PayPal." By the next morning, he'd sent me a credit card payment through PayPal.

After banging my head against a wall for about five minutes, I declined the payment and sent him a THIRD note explaining, "As I stated in both of my previous emails to you, I CANNOT accept credit or debit card payments through PayPal. I have declined your payment; please send US funds, check, money order to da da dada......" Within two hours, he had sent me another credit card payment through PayPal.

By this point, I had to assume that there was either a severe language barrier going on or the guy simply didn't understand how PayPal works. Both of these theories were shot to Hell when I opened the 'credit card payment' email and read his added message: "CAN I PAY YOU WITH CREDIT CARD THROUGH PAYPAL? YOU GET MY MONEY VERY FAST!!!"

I'm not saying this guy is representative of the entire Polish race, but he's certainly not making any jokes go away by acting like someone replaced his brain with a ping-pong ball.

Here's another example of classic ebay genius. I recently sold a big huge Medical School Admissions Requirements 95-96 book to some Canadian fellow for the low, low price of only $3.99. Three weeks later, I hadn't heard word one from the guy, so I had eBay send him a gentle 'Payment Reminder.' The next day, I received this pleasant, insightful response from the winning bidder: "Hello. I actually already bought another book so I don't need this one. Sorry for the confusion."

"Sorry about the confusion"? You mean the way I confusedly assumed that if a guy bid on my auction, he would actually PAY for it? So of course I angrily replied (as we all might), "Then why did you bid on it, dumbass? This is a BINDING CONTRACT." Then I gave him negative feedback and felt 100 times better. Prick.

But here's something to lighten the mood of cloudiness that I've brought upon the entire Internet with my unceasing anger at the population's foibles: yesterday I was in a little independent classical LP/CD store near my work that also sells rock CDs, and or some reason (and I didn't do this, because I was afraid they wouldn't realize I was kidding), I got the urge to walk up to the clerk and ask, "You got any copies of the new Zimmerman?"

If it was an older clerk, he would of course roll his eyes and say "You mean Bob Dylan?" If younger, he/she might have responded, "Who?" at which point I would have chuckled superiorly and said, "Oh I'm sorry - YOU'D probably know him as 'Bob Dylan.'

If either replied that they did in fact have copies, I would respond, "So... that'd be under 'Z' for 'Zimmerman'?"

Upon being corrected and told that it was in fact under "D" for "Dylan," the name he has gone by for the past 46 years, I would have chuckled superiorly and replied, "Sorry - I didn't realize I was in Tower Records!"

So you see, I can be hilarious sometimes too instead of just a complete asshole with a bad temper, short fuse and beer belly.

Unfortunately, this Sun City Girls CD isn't very good. It's a recording of a radio show that our beloved Boys In Blue broadcast over 91.9 WFPK in Louisville, Kentucky one fine day in April '94. Comprised of 37 tiny snippets, the CD claims to include "studio outtakes from the Juggernaut and Piasa...Devourer of Men LP recording sessions from the early 1990s, live SCG cuts, Alvarius Bacharach, whacked ideas on how to make money in a bad economy, cryptic audio theatre message rants including Uncle Jim and other characters, an Indian banjo raga by Sir RB from a hotel in Bangalore, mexicana radio collage, indescribable subversive weirdness and its all capped-off with a cover of Morricone's 'Man w/ a Harmonica'!" And yes, that sounds exciting and diverse but please note that it actually sounds like a bunch of dull radio noise collages, meaningless abstract monologues, and terrible SCG jam sessions. But then one man's trash is another man's treasure. This is also why I dump all my garbage and medical waste into the East River -- it's all hidden treasure for the right person!

Some of the snippets are brilliant though, so let me concentrate on those for a moment. When the Girls actually put effort into their work instead of relying on improvisation, the results can be alternately hilarious and/or stunning. Examples:

- Uncle Jim: "Wanna see if you got dandruff? Then shake your head over Johnny Cash."

- Intense, ass-kicking cover of "Dark Eyes"

- Gamelan music reworked Ventures-style

- An explanation of how to spot a cannibal (hint: the smell)

- A very Middle Easterny jam entitled "Very Middle East"

- Aforementioned Indian banjo raga

- Aforementioned cover of Morricone's "Man w/ a Harmonica"

- A radio quiz show featuring unanswerable questions

- An investment pitch for a company whose entire business plan revolves around sending bills to random corporations, just to see if they'll pay them

- A limerick abandoned right before the punchline because the reciter heard gunshots

- A quarter-assed song parody entitled "Anvils Keep Fallin' On My Head"

- A few seconds of AC/DC performing "For Those About To Rock, We Salute You"

But the rest? Pfft. Lots of Uncle Jim rambling about nothing, the band talking over other peoples' records, bland dialogue recorded off of talk radio, and way, WAY too much "guy channel surfing the radio dial" collages. One sad note about my weak brain though: when I realized that the radio station was 91.9 and not 98.6, I was confused about the album title.

So yes, if you've got a halfway decent brain for sale, let me know.

Especially if it has a lot of tit memories stored in it.

Reader Comments

fulltimehuman@earthlink.net
Yo, (that's NYC speak)

What happened? Did your Xanax scrip run out?

In a perfect world, (like you seem to expect albums to be,and people in general, except yourself) there would be no Mark Prindle. No worries, and fuck... just grab your uzi and shoot the fuckers at Ebay... THRU THE COMPUTER. Then, no one would put links to your shithole backasswards( in content and opinion) website.

Did Skyscraper and Vice turn down your submissions or are you just bitter because you can baaarely suck your own dick and were hoping to deep throat yourself? Just wondering, and hoping.( for both)

Not that I actually care, but you let yourself so open to ridicule, I felt like tugging on your strings. So, every time someone does what Mark doesn't like the puppet master drops from the sky and you go into the Team America routine. Yes those are strings tied to your head.

Great reeeview Garrry.

P.S.
Well, its fun to vent. Is it not?

Colin T.
please note, i didn't read the first half of this.

i disagree with the review. i like this album. it's nice to listen to at work, all the way through.

shinobibass@gmail.com
Naw. I give it 8/10 at least. We apparently listen to these girls under a different "mindset"

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Folk Songs of the Rich and Evil/Exotica on $5 a Day - Eclipse 2005
Rating = 5

You know, I'm normally an ordinary guy, but I've got a bone to pick with Elton John. Quite simply, sad songs don't say anything.

Furthermore, "Rocket Man"? More like "SUCK MY COCKet Man"!!!

But enough of this race baiting. Let's get down to brass turks and tack talky. This double-album compiles (most of) two old SCG cassettes recorded in 1985. The first, Folk Songs Of The (and so forth), is another eccentric collection of weirdo humor and spoken insanity, hampered only by the notable lack of actual *music*. Still, it's classic SCG dementia and worth a 7/10 on its own. Unfortunately, the Exotica On $5 A Day disc is a directionless pile of tribal beating, clanging, chanting, wailing and fiddlefucking around. It gets a 1/10 and an angry shake of my fist.

Then somehow you put the 7/10 and 1/10 together and get a 5/10. I'm not sure how exactly that happened; seems to me it should've gotten a 4. But hey! What do I know about biology?

High-water marks on Folk Songs include:

- "How Happy I Am" - This fast "Caravan"-styled number reaches it crescendo with the heartfelt refrain, "THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE WAS GODDAMNED NOTHING COMPARED TO THIS!"

- "Song Song Fuck You" - This one sounds like The Frogs! Beginning with the sleazy come-on, "We're gonna send you the collection plate around. Make sure and put your credit cards with the most numbers on them inside the baskets. We'll consider those tax deductions. Ahh, who needs plastic anyway? GIve it to us. We'll just melt it down after we're down with them" before venturing into lyrics like "Song sung blue - everybody blows hiim" and "I got a boy for a toy; he's got a head full of lice," this could easily have fit on one of those Frogs "Made-Up Songs" cassettes we all grew up with back in the old days, when things were better and I had a full head of hair.

- "The Cards" - After 40 seconds of trying to get a 'The Cards' skit going (i.e. "Don't show 'em all the cards. No cards for 'em! Why don't you get your OWN cards, big man!?"), the narrator finally gives up: "That's about it. Goddamn it, that's it."

- "Captain Cook" - More jazzy "Caravan" meanderings, this time accompanied by folk dance perversions ("Swing your partner round and round/Stick a knife in, cut her down!"; "Swing your partner round and round/Bury her, bury her, bury her in the ground!"; "Get out the way, Old Dan Tucker/You're a goddamned motherfucker!") and insane rants ("Alright, play a little guitar that supports mass murder, alright!"; "You goddamned idiots! Whether it's disco, country, swing, it doesn't matter - you're all a bunch of idiots!"; "I'M CAPTAIN COOK AND I'M GONNA EAT YOUR ASS!").

- "Gold and Silver" - What begins as a sorrowful tale of Gold Rush-era poverty and death suddenly turns into something quite different: "In the Middle East, there's a little haven for the white race. My race. We're the best! The white race is gonna take over the world!"

- "Show of Hands" - "I want a show of hands of how many people know about the word 'rheumatism'!"; "I want a show of hands of how many people know that your brains are made of styrofoam!"

- "Family Portrait Album" - "As the sun begins to set, your head slowly turns to passionately kiss the lips of your loving wife.... But suddenly, your wife is a wooden totem pole!"

And sure, most of these bizarre word salads are set to improvisational jib-jab, but I absolutely love the "dark humour" side of the Sun City Girls and hope that you do as well. At any rate, it sure beats hell out of the "bunch of worthless horseshit" side of the band, as showcased on Exotica For 45 Boring Awful Minutes, an entire album of tribal beats, flutes, muffled percussion, metal clanking, noisy old-timey organs, harmonicas, acoustic thrapps, maracas, nonsense chanting and toy piano banging. I'll give them this: it sounds like they're actually performing in a cave. But iall they're creating is a bunch of lo-fi ear pollution! Only one of the ten improvs ("Ride, Nomad...BURN!") seems to be a result of the band members actually listening and responding to each other. The rest just sounds like a bunch of little kids throwing tools around the garage. These people should be spanked and sent to their rooms, not given access to a record pressing plant!

Seriously, if the Sun City Girls weren't such a great band, I'd swear they were the worst band in the world.

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Uncle Jim's Superstars of Greenwich Meantime - Abduction 2005
Rating = 7

The majority of the Earth's population enjoys Led Zeppelin's "Achilles' Last Stand" but regrets that the band chose to devote so little of its running time to the harrowing, chiming guitar riff that opens and closes the track. As such, we can all thank God's Dick that the Sun City Girls exist because they've taken our greatest wish and made it as manifest as a destiny. That's right; they took the record and they LOOPED it! They LOOPED it! Looped it and added an original drumbeat for emphasis! The opportunity to hear this killer evil-ass riff churnin' and burnin' for up to 2 minutes at a time should alone be enough to warrant purchase of the disc, but as fate would have it, there's even more here to enjoy. And dislike.

To paraphrase www.markprindle.com, "Uncle Jim is a character portrayed by Alan Bishop, purportedly based on a real live uncle of his. On (some tracks), he (i)s a (laidback near-nonsensical beat poet), but (on others he) sounds like a(n angry ranting asshole) who (is too bitter and unloved) to view anybody else in the world with anything but complete disdain. He (believes) you can't compete with him on any level, and he can't stand to look at you. He speaks of (how much he hates you) and (things that don't make any sense). He spits out (breasts) as (naked) as those of any (social worker), and he does so over (looped music samples) and cool smoky club jazz -- brush drums, jazzy guitar noodling, (no) cocktail lounge piano, and trumpet. As far as I can tell, (no) track has anything at all to do with (Greenwich Meantime). (Mark Prindle rules.)

This release also finds the SCG joined by their friends Mark Gergis (experimental collage artist Poris, also available on Abduction Records!), Specs One (rapper, also available on Abduction Records!), Liz Allbee (trumpeter from Crash Worship) and Andrew McGinnis (some guy). Dylan Nyoukis took the back cover photo.

Track listing, running time, brief description and lyrical quote:

"Liberties" (4:13) Gentle suave acoustic guitar and drums into "Achilles' Last Stand" loop into Native American patting/hooting into "Achilles' Last Stand" loop. "I thought everything through as I made it up; I made everything true as I THOUGHT it up! Fuck you, pen scrawler -- I turned a dead poem into a novel, and then I did it again 50 more times."

"Foggy Lake Of Swill" (4:00) Groovy acoustic jazz goodtimes and drums. "Stick it honey, gimme money. Yeah, power to the steeple!"

"Graduation Day" (4:04) A series of bouncy samples that sound like TV show themes - completely inappropriate for the angry, vicious diatribe he throws against everybody in the world. "People suck Hollywood cock for a living - and they AIN'T livin'! All that used driftwood stacked high in the suburbs, hearts barely breathing, waiting for a funeral pyre. You can sense the death from the neck up, bodies trying to fuck each other back to life."

"Flashback" (1:59) Cute female 'hoo!'s, heartbeat and acoustic guitar note picking. "I know who killed Kennedy, fellas. It was Lady Bird Johnson. She's the only one who had the guts to do it."

"After Hours" (3:35) Vibes, groovy brush drums, slow depressing acoustic jazz, and Uncle Jim sounding sloshed out of his bean. "Drinking some o'thishh - At Jaime's Exploding Bar Mitzvah the other night, I was drinkin' some o' this Har - Harvey's Brissha Cream. But ya know, it's just a puppet show in the middle of a mirage. That's right! So I just figure I'll pause and swindle; in your fire I shall kindle. Don't - don't get ready to bend over for the Grim Reaper, unless you're ready to bend over for the Weekly Reader."

"Superstars of Greenwich Meantime" (16:07) Awesome sampled waltz beat (with stand-up bass and finger snaps) accompanied by a series of excellent trumpet solos. Uncle James jumps topsy-turvy from angry rants to slap-bap-bee-bop beat poems like a fish with a tree in it. Too long though. "And fuck all your friends and your music and your dumbass phony nigger street mime. I know 'real niggas'. 'Real niggas' don't work for BANKERS." Ha! I love that attack on 'tough' gangsta rapper recording artists! BURNED YOU, Gangsta Rapper recording artists!

I can't figure out whether to give this one a 6 or 7, so I'll give it 6.51 and round up. Too much of his verbal semen is just so much homophonic nonsense, and the music - as cool as it is at all times - can get a bit repetitive and tedious, particularly in the rarely-changing 16-minute title track.

But hey - what do you want from the Sun City Girls? A good album?!

Reader Comments

skumka@hotmail.com
Best CD of all time. The replay value was nearly endless! Get some intelligence and a better sense of humour Prindle... Then listen again And Again, and again... or just keep giving good reviews to Everclear albums.

Uncle JIm has become more important than Jesus now. Fuckface!

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Carnival Folklore Resurrection 14: Static From The Outside Set - Abduction 2006
Rating = 6

Say, here's something you don't see every day. I didn't see it at all actually, but my wife did. Last night at about 12:30, Brenda The Wife took Henry The Dog on his evening walk to Central Park -- a bit later than usual for a weeknight. As she walked along the path and Mr. Henry enjoyed some tasty grass, who should come running towards them but.... a naked man! Indeed, a naked man carrying two bags over his shoulders was jogging down the path as plain as day. Just as Brenda was planning to execute some of her Award(TM)-winning Tae Kwon Do moves, the man noticed her and quickly crouched down to hide in the bushes. Brenda quickly corralled Henry and began walking in the other direction. When she was about 40 feet away, she looked back over her shoulder and saw.... THE NAKED MAN MASTURBATING ONTO THE JOGGING PATH!!!! Then she turned into a grain of salt and now I'm looking for a new wife, so if anybody has a sister with a v

My bad - she actually phoned the police, but they didn't seem terribly concerned. Don't they realize what a huge lawsuit the City would face if some jogger slips on the man's sperm and falls straight down so the sperm goes into her vagina and impregnates her and the baby is born with bits of gravel embedded all over its body? See, nobody thinks of these things but me here at the PR Firm For Jogging Tracks. Also -- Jogging Tracks: Good for your figure, GREAT for your health!

Static! Static! Static! We're on a video rage! I love the Misfits featuring Glenn Danzig, but this CD is another SCG radio show, in this case Radio Lancashire's On The Wire. Although definitely more listenable and musical than the 98.6 Is Death program, it still contains far too many amelodic plinking jams and dull "channel surfing" interludes. But why be negative? Especially since we're all going to die some day. Let's all be positive!

HIV-positive, that is!!! Come here and fuck my heroin needle.

The Sun City Girls on Static From The Outside Set bring you an unpredictable glammer-glitz globule consisting of such ear-entering items as:

1. Genre-spanning cover tunes
-- A. Beach Boys ballad "Your Summer Dream"
-- B. Lambert, Hendricks & Ross jumpin' jazz "Gimme That Wine"
-- C. traditional gigolo lament "Gently Johnny"

2. Twisted rants and spoken word thingies
-- A. Straight-faced introduction and conclusion by someone claiming to be late Mexican comedian/producer/writer/singer "Cantinflas" (Mario Moreno Reyes), but sounding suspiciously like a member of alternative rock band Sun City Girls
-- B. An off-color advertisement for "Naga Sake," available at a liquor store near you.
-- C. A fascinating (though incredibly patronizing) argument for the existence of corporate-sanctioned human sacrifice
-- D. The hilarious (though incredibly patronizing) eight-minute "Lester's Dictionary" piece, wherein a complete jerk offers his paranoid definitions of such words as "objectivity," "Vatican," and "Dexan" ("A dead Texan!"). A really fantastic piece this is, filled with the kind of subtle commentary that nobody else ever seems to make (particularly the argument that the word "strife" was given a definition solely because poets needed something to rhyme with "life")

3. Compelling original music
-- A. Moody Indian-sounding "Blanket's Mirage," though I'm hesitant to give it too much credit until I find out for sure that it's not just somebody else's record with SCG 'oooh'-ing over it
-- B. Hilarious 11-second cacaphonous noise-blast entitled "Headaches Forever"
-- C. Brief tight excellent math-rock wreck "Iced-Off Broccoli"
-- D. Fantastic, weird instrumental-interplay-driven world music piece "Bacchanalia"
-- E. Impressively speedy display of electric guitar chops "Django-ized"

And yes, many of the other tracks are more moods or noise than actual "songs" or "interesting things," but with 29 diverse tracks to choose from, what kind of "guy who says a glass with a bunch of water in it is HALF-EMPTY" would moan and groan about absolute worthless shit like "Radio Neocon #1-#4" being fucking terrible wastes of time built for monsters? In today's World Trade Center world, isn't it enough that at least HALF of this material is worth hearing? What do you want from esoteric experimental artists? Eggs? Would you like them more if they gave you a carton of eggs? Because I can assure you -- that's not going to happen! I asked Billy Joel for eggs once and it took me half an hour to get my arm out of his vagina.

Speaking of which, did you hear about this mother panda who rolled over in her sleep and smothered her baby panda? That's so sad. However, it at least gave the Reuters reporter an opportunity to print this sentence: "The pandas watched a mating video before breeding."

Fuckin' MTV generation pandas can't do ANYTHING on their own! What, are they too busy riding on their Razor scooters?And talking on their Razr phones?? And shaving with their razors???

And reading their Razor magazine (www.razormagazine.com)????

And listening to their AC/DC's The Razor's Edge?????

And watching their Canadian heavyweight boxer Razor Ruddock??????

And discussing the modern applications of their Occam's Razor principle???????

So remember -- It's not a real panda... unless it's a RAZOR panda!

Best,
Neil Cohen
Managing Supervisor, Panda Demographic
PR Firm For The Word "Razor"

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Live Room - Three Lobed 2006
Rating = 7

Holy shinola! Did you see today's latest headlines? "Weird Al" Jankovic has upset Dr. Dementieva to reach the U.S. Open Semifinals!

Say, have you people ever eaten food? I was eating some food this morning when it suddenly occurred to me, "Say... Whenever I put some of this stuff in my mouth, I experience a taste (or flavor) and soon afterwards I don't feel hungry anymore." I haven't quite worked out the physiology, but if you're interested in viewing my white paper on the topic, please visit http://www.hugeblackdicks.com/whitewomen/torn-anus/~whitepaperonfood.htm

So I was walking down the street today, head held high, tapping myself on the bridge of my nose with my penis when I realized, "Hey, let's review a Sun City Girls album." It all seemed like a great idea to everybody so we did.

Here's a joke a dog could tell: "Take my wife....'s fleas!!!" It would have to be a married dog though; otherwise it wouldn't make any sense and nobody would laugh. They'd just be angry at the dog for lying to them.

Unless the dog was telling jokes in its sleep, I guess. In that case it would behoove them to follow the old adage "Let sleeping dogs fib"!

Recorded live on February 26th, 1994 over the radio in Seattle, Live Room features the Sun City Girls on piano, drums, insane talking and conspiracy theory. It begins as simply silly, creepy and meaningless, but as the hour progresses, the words of Charles Gocher, Uncle Jim and their rotten little friends suddenly start making sense. A little TOO MUCH sense, you might say. Especially if you're content to sleepwalk through life accepting every little lie that the government spoonfeeds you about UFOs and the AIDS virus. Well, there's one man who isn't content to let sleeping dogs rest, and that man is the Sun City Girl(s).

As one of many asides, I guess I'm finally going to go for my Tae Kwon Do black belt in May 2007. I have to really get in shape for the son of a gun's bitch though. Here's how I'm going to have to alter my lifestyle to compete at my peak performance:

NOW:
- Go to 3 TKD classes per week (including one hour-and-a-half cardio class and one sparring class)
- Don't even think about the shit the rest of the week
- Get drunk off my ass as often as possible

WHEN I BEGIN TRAINING:
- Go to 4 classes per week
- Practice all of my forms and kicking combinations at least once a week
- Do 100 push-ups and 100 ab exercises on the 3 days a week I don't attend class
- Do stretching exercises every single day, working to get my "splits."
- Get drunk off my fucking ballsac as often as possible

As for Live Room, it contains what might be the most intriguing collection of conspiracy theory discussion ever compiled by our suspicious friends in the SCG. Apparently the government introduced AIDS into the population so that 75% of the population would die out. This was the plan that they made with the extra-terrestrials, you see. The planet Earth is in fact just a big farm, and its people one big genetic experiment. Evolution? HA! The AIDS agent was funded by Congress in 1969 and developed by the Navy in 1972 as a biological virus that could not be cured. It was later introduced to gays through the hepatitis vaccine. Oh, there's plenty more though! You X-Files fans, take heed! You Benson fans too! (You Just The Ten Of Us fans, TAKE A HINT)

When not discussing UFOs and HIVs, the girls tinkle and bash around on piano and drums while ranting out great threatening rhymes like "The corn in your defecation/Is just forensic evidence in a murder investigation!" As a whole, the thing is none-too-musical but if you've always enjoyed the "nervous rants and crazed laughter" side of the band, Live Room is a "Hey! Why not own this?"

One strange bit though -- at one point, a band member tells a joke whose punchline refers to "...the original drummer in Big Black." Just to confirm -- Big Black never actually had a drummer, did they? Or was that comment intended to heighten the absurdity? Let's sit together under the cold Norse sky and ruminate on this matter.

Also, did you hear that Pluto's not a planet any more? Apparently it was just a speck of dirt that's been on their giant telescope lens since 1930. Now that it's been scrubbed clean, we only have 8 planets: Mars, Uranus, Penus, Saturd, Neptpoon, Biggjuggs, Blojob and Ifuckedyourmom.

(Heh heh, now little kids will learn all the names wrong. BURN!!! It's a classic PRINDLE BURN!!!! ZING!!! PRINDLE ZING!!! ZING BURN!!!! PRINDLE ZING BURN ZING BURN PRINDLE ZING!!!!!)

You won't believe this, but I have very few friends.

Reader Comments

Colin T.
my cat talks in his sleep. his name is george. is this album good or not?

Joshua Novak
Regarding Colin's question about SCG's Live Room. This album is incredible! Mind-bending spoken word followed by an amazing cresendo finale.

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Djinn Funnel - Nashazphone 2006
Rating = 5

And it got me to thinking, "What if... the Sun City Girls operated a Funnel Cake franchise at your local Six Flags amusement park?" I think it would go something like this....

PERSON A: "Could I have one with just powdered sugar, please?"

SUN CITY GIRL/FUNNEL CAKE FRANCHISE EMPLOYEE: "No, but you can have about 40 minutes of 'electric rock psych blues' that we improvised between 1999 and 2001."

PERSON A: "Why would I want that? I want a funnel cake. A tasty, sugary, fried funnel cake."

SUN CITY GIRL/FUNNEL CAKE FRANCHISE EMPLOYEE: "How about I give you 'Nites Of Malta' instead? With its 2-note bass pulse, steady 4/4 beat, repetitive guitarwork and droney nasally vox, it sounds like a lot like Krautrock pioneers Can and is easily the best song on here."

PERSON B: "Hay, hurry it up! There are other people here who want funnel cakes too! I can't believe you, up there taking so long!"

PERSON A: "It's not my fault! He won't serve me a funnel cake!"

PERSON B: "He WON'T?! THAT LOUSY SON OF A COCK (*jams member of Sun City Girls through funnel into hot oil; eats*)"

Ha ha! Yes, it's fun to imagine things so let's do it some more. Now stay with me here -- WHAT IF.... The Sun City Girls were a trio of pornography video directors? I think it would go something like this....

PORNOGRAPHY STAR WOMAN: "Hay, should I take four guys up my ass and three in my bush and eight in my mouth and two in each ear and one in my belly button and 45 in each hand and six in my nose and three between my feet and seventeen between my tits and 71 in each heroin injection hole in my arm?"

SUN CITY GIRL/PORNOGRAPHY VIDEO DIRECTOR: "No, how about instead of doing that, you play an electric guitar along with two other people on bass and drums, and just jam -- so that whatever comes out sounds exactly like what any other amateur band with the slightest hint of creativity would come up with during one of their regular practice jams. Then we'll put it on a CD and see if obsessives buy it because it says 'Sun City Girls' on it."

PORNOGRAPHY STAR WOMAN: "What are you talking about? I can't play the guitar. I am incapable of doing anything besides allowing men to perform degrading sexual acts with my body. I am an actress."

SUN CITY GIRL/PORNOGRAPHY VIDEO DIRECTOR: "That's okay. 'Dukun Degeneration' sounds like a trio of deaf, drunk incompetents playing improvisational jazz for three and a half minutes, but we still put that on our new album."

PORNOGRAPHY STAR MAN: "Hey, what's taking so long? Hurry it up before I lose this erection!"

PORNOGRAPHY STAR WOMAN: "It's not my fault! They're not providing my character with any motivation! You'd might as well lose your erection at this point."

PORNOGRAPHY STAR MAN: "My erection!? No no, I said 'before I lose this ELECTION.' I'm Arnold Schwarzenneger, California governor and pornography star." (*flexes muscle, decapitating one of the Sun City Girls/Pornography Video Directors*)

Yes, the hilarious skits come fast and heavy when you're watching Saturday Night Live, but it got me to thinking, "What if... the Sun City Girls exercised even a semblance of quality control?" I think it would go something like this....

RECORD COMPANY GUY: "Hay, I've got this tape of crap you guys did. Can I release 500 copies of it so it goes out of print within 10 minutes and everybody else has to buy it on ebay for sixty jillion dollars?"

SUN CITY GIRL/QUALITY CONTROL PROFESSIONAL: "Are you out of your mind!? Sure, there's a nice dark undercurrent to this material, but come on -- I mean, 'Grand Trunk' is 12 1/2 minutes long and doesn't have a single change!"

RECORD COMPANY GUY: "Yes, but your fans don't mind. They're not very picky about these things."

SUN CITY GIRL/QUALITY CONTROL PROFESSIONAL: "If that's going to be your attitude, I recommend you go work for Eddie Money or some other 'artist' who doesn't care whether or not the listener receives a high-quality product for the money he has lain down. Jesus, have you even listened to 'Dark Nectar'? It's got like 2 minutes of cool psych licks, then the track drags on for another six while we try to find our frets through the peyote smoke!"

RECORD COMPANY GUY: "Wait, hold on. Aren't you the guys that released Wah a few years back? And don't even try to tell me that Live From The Land Of The Rising Sun City Girls is supposed to pass for 'high-quality' entertainment. Heck, Cameo Demons And Their Manifestations is so bad, I literally shoved it up my ass so my stomach acids would dissolve the CD and prevent it from stinking up my trash can!"

PRIEST: "Hay, what's taking so long? You're supposed to be in here reading to orphans."

SUN CITY GIRL/QUALITY CONTROL PROFESSIONAL: "It's not my fault - this shady businessman is trying to get me to hoodwink my trusting fans into wasting their money on a CD of substandard material!"

PRIEST: "He IS!? THAT LOUSY SON OF A PIECE OF SH (*demolishes record company guy's skull with clawhammer; ejaculates onto exposed brain*)

Yes, we've all had a great time laughing and sharing today, but remember: if you use your imagination, you are A LIAR. All writers of fiction are GOING TO HELL for the sin of LYING.

Add your thoughts?

Montreal Pop - Bootleg 2006
Rating = 6

I love the Fucking Cars so much. "She's a lot like you! The dangerous type!" Jesus Christ, what a great goddamned band they were. Isn't it weird that Ric Ocasek receives sole credit for so much of their material? Do you think he wrote all the guitar lines and keyboard lines too? Strange. At any rate, they were a great, GREAT, GREAT band. Their last album kinda stunk, but until then, MAN what a great band. Please buy some Cars albums if you haven't already. "She's so beautiful now -- she doesn't wear her SHOES!"

Well, I've been watching an absolutely abominable movie called Tarzun And The Valley Of Lust and making love to this wife person who lives in my apartment, and now it's time to wax poetic about Monterey Pop By Sunshine Shitty Girls. This is the guys's's live performance at the Montreal Suoni Per Popolo Festival in June 2004, released as a bootleg but approved by the band because they like it a lot. It's a solid indication of what you might expect from a SCG concert -- a combination of conspiracy theory rants, SCG originals, funny cover tunes and free jazz horsenonsensicalness. I saw the Sun City Girls live in the early '90s and I really must tell you: that free jazz crap works wonders in concert because the three band members perform it so intensely and strangely and frighteningly. But reduced to mere noise on a compact disc, it's pure shit garbage unlistenable crap vagina.

They perform one song each from Dante's Disneyland Inferno, Sun City Girls, Touch Of The Mystics and Horse Cock Phepner -- "I GOT A LOT ON MY HEAD! MOST OF IT'S YOU! I GOT A LOT ON MY HEAD! I CAN'T FORGET ABOUT YOU!' I FUCKING LOVE THE FUCKING CARS!!! FUCK THE SUN CITY ARTISTIC SHIT GIRLS - THE CARS WROTE SO MANY GREAT GODDAMNED GREAT GREAT GODDAMNED GREAT GODDAMNED GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT SONGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, they perform a Bloodstone cover, which is really fucken lame considering they could have performed a BloodROCK cover instead. What, is "Kool-Aid Kids" too difficult? Can't wrap your brains around "Fantastic Piece Of Architecture"? Too jealous of REM for covering "D.O.A."? At any rate, it's

One too many times
I fell over you
Once in a shadow
I finally grew
And once in a night
I dreamt you were there
I cancelled my flight
From going nowhere

IT'S ALL I CAN DO
TO KEEP WAITING FOR YOU
IT'S ALL I CAN DO
IT'S ALL I CAN DO!!!

Why didn't every band just break up once the Cars had it nailed down? The Sun City Girls are onstage jerking each others' bean "Look at me Look at me I'm playing music" but the fucking Cars had already recorded every song that ever needed to be recorded. And sure, some of their songs sucked the dick ("Don't Tell Me No," "You Can't Hold On Too Long," half of their last album), but their best songs are so beautiful and wonderful and what the hell is WRONG with you if you're listening to anything but it!?!?!??!?!?!

The SCG must have been dressed like Arabs at this show, because at one point a concert member calls one of them a "half-nigger." The Sun City Girl responds by saying, "He just called me a half-nigger. I'm a sand nigger! It ain't over 'til the skinny Arab lights the fuse!" Then somebody in the crowd yells, "Go fuck yourself!" and he responds, "Thank you very much! I will fuck myself for you!" Everybody laughs and this is a great band. Some of the singing is falsetto though, and that's a blow. Also, at one point the guy plays "Revielle" on the guitar, which is awesome. Look, I'm not saying that every single Cars song ever ruled. I'm just saying that the majority of their songs are so FUCKING GREAT, I still get really, really excited when I hear them even though I have done so five million times. They were my favorite band when I was 11 years old. Let's go through this since it rules. Before 11, my fave was Beatles. Then at 11, Cars. 12, Moody Blues. 13, Led Zeppelin. Then all hell broke loose at 14, with Pink Floyd, Yes, Aerosmith and AC/DC all blowing my absolute mind away. 15 was the Ramones. 16 Dead Kennedys and DRI. 17 I guess I was getting into early grunge - the first Nirvana and a lot of Amrep stuff. After that, who gives a shit? The point is that now I'm 33 and my favorite band is

Some guy tonight sent me a reader comment on my page for "The Firm" saying 'your arrogant' and 'Let me guess - you're a Motley Crue fan.' That's great because everybody knows that (a) it's arrogant to write stupid jokes on the Internet and (b) if you don't like the pathetic post-Led Zeppelin project 'The Firm,' that's because you're a fan of '80s hair metal. Wait a minute! I gave Mean Business a fucking EIGHT!!!! I'm the only person in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE to pretend that that album is any better than a piece of shit on the head of a corpse! What is WRONG with this retard!? You people respond to him; I'm too busy listening to the title track of Panorama.

The Cars have some terrible songs, but come on - COME ON! Most are demos and b-sides. Have you heard "Moving In Stereo"?! Christ! That's one of the greatest songs I've ever heard in my life!!!!

Goodnight children, goodnight. "I JUST WANNA BE - I JUST WANNA BE - I JUST WANNA BE - IN YOUR PANORAMA! PANORAMA! PANORAMA! FUCK ALL Y'ALL BOOYAA MUTHAFUCKA COCKSUCKA!"

Jesus, when did Ric Ocasek develop such a filthy mouth?

Montreal Pop is pretty good, but it's only better than one Cars album -- Door To Door. So if you're ever planning to buy a Sun City Girls album, change your mind and buy a Cars album that isn't Door To Door.

"Touch And Go" is a complete piece of human piss shit though.

Add your thoughts?

Piano Bar - Ri Be Xibalba 2006
Rating = 6

Nige Partot Stroka on Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:52 am: "Mark Prindle I do not like, however. I used to, sometimes. But he's really a very silly man whose unfunny, forced humour is only kept alive by his fratboyish coterie of fans and acolytes."

angshu on Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:57 pm: "I used to hate him a few years ago. Then I grew to liking him. Then I burnt out on the schtick, because basically that's all it is, and a pretty shallow, predictable one at that."

Will Barnett, Oct. 12, 2007 7:47 PM: "...his music blows. Imagine 70 minutes of 30 to 90 second songs, all with very simplistic melodies, infantile potty-mouthed lyrics, WEEN atmosphere, and a drum machine. Over the course of one of his albums I generally dig about 2 of his songs. I've actually listened all the way through his 3 of his albums. They fail to appeal to ANY of my aesthetics while irritating me quite a bit. Crap."

Don't people realize how hard it is to be the most sensitive record reviewer in history when they continuously tear me down and break me apart all over creation? Remember how I referred to Tori Amos as a 'scintillating chanteuse of creative zeal"? And when I called Madonna's American Life "a potent elixir for the 'me generation'"? People don't realize this, but I love everybody. And this heartfelt universal empathy I feel deep inside is scraped to its bitter bloodied core when vicious demons of hate spread words of vileness and rage intended to destroy my innocence. Nige Partot Stroka, why hast thou forsaken me? Et tu, Angshu? Never go against the family, Will Barnett.

Now that I've established that I have as many 'feelings' as the next fag, let's talk about Piano Bar. This collection of previously unreleased studio recordings may not be the most musical release on the planet, but it's super-big on the Comedy/Nonsense thing, which is one of my favorite aspects of the SCG sound. Yes, there are a few lovely and/or dramatic piano pieces, but otherwise get ready for tuneless stringed instrument scrapings, drunken bachelor pad nonsense, accordion exoticism, wiggly electronic noises, sick banjo waltzes, percussive racket and lots of ridiculous, nonsensical vocal hilarity - some sung, others exchanged as conversational pieces.

Where else, I say WHERE ELSE ON EARTH are you going to find lyrics like these?

"Was she 7 or 11? Or 15 or 19? Or perhaps 27? Didn't matter! They waited, all hoping to touch her. Any man there would fuck her in any situation. Got a spit-top sensation. But she looked like their children writhing on top of pillows. Ringmaster Miami bought her a nice pair of jammies - wanted to take her to the tiger cages and split her like a pumpkin!"

"When you're tryin' to park ya fuckin' car, boy, you don't know what you're doin', ya fuckin' parallel-minded motherfucker! Learn how to fuckin' take it all into the cubicle there that the space you're supposed to keep your fuckin' soul inside there, little boy! I'll break your goddamned top of your mop fuck up there and you stick it on a handle and start showing it all around town, ya little minute...."

Man A: "I hear the lemon tree is pretty."
Man B: "Yeah."
Man A: "Its fruit is very sweet."
Man B: "They got a lot of 'em on Crete. Hey, if people are from Crete, what are they called? 'Cretins'?
Man A: "Yeah."
Man B: "I thought so."
Man A: "I'm from Crete, but back when it was a French possession."
Man B: "Oh, who owns it now? Yugoslavia?"
Man A: "Yeah."

"You know, after you'd been swerving around just about knocking over blind people on the corner at 80 miles an hour, it's things like this that just burn my anal nerve. And I'm tired of it. So let's just drop it. Let's just take a long deep breath. (pause) And I don't know how to explain it, but they poured her out of a bottle of maple syrup, and they named her 'Jemimah.'"

"When I put that washing detergent on her face and I spread it thinly/I was running the Oakland A's with my good buddy Charlie Finley"

"Those bastards - they can't tell the difference between good music and jazz music! You know, it's - they listen to one thing and they think it's it's it's - it's kinda all fucked-up sounding; it's good! I can appreciate that since, you know, somebody from over there loves Air Supply. Air Supply sucks, right? But no, not to them! No, it's different and exciting."

"I'd like to ask anybody who's gimp or limp or can't walk, come on up here! So I can have some easy sex and you can't fight back."

Some of the dialogue is a bit too obscure to be entertaining, and (as always) there are more than a few pieces whose inclusion seems somewhat unnecessary (the noisy wiggly "Who Needs A Theremin?" and harmonica-blast-filled "No Fuckin Witnesses" are particularly irritating), but if you're into the Sun City Girls for their bizarre sense of humor, this is a must-add addition to your must-collect collection.

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For Drummers Only - Ri Be Xibalba 2006
Rating = 3

I was enjoying a delightful round of Connect Four the other day when the god damnedest thought hit me. I says to myself I says, "Hey Mark, wouldn't it be GREAT -- no, no, stay with me here -- if the Sun City Girls were to release a CD featuring almost nothing but DRUMMING???"

I of course responded "Hell no" and haven't spoken to myself since.

Charles Gocher was a talented and inventive drummer. This much is clear from both the speedy rollin' he blasts out in opening track "Dion's Panic Transformation" and the honestly melodic motif he plays in the middle of the ridiculously overlong "Lionel Seven Interiors." However, there is a very good reason why this CD is entitled For Drummers Only: because all three band members played drums on it but they counted wrong and misspelled "Four."

So stoned that you want to hear 16 minutes of white guys playing a tribal beat? "Night In Makassar" is your man! So overdosed on heroin and dying on the bathroom floor that you can't get up and turn off 11 minutes of 'thumpa thumpa thumpa' and awful saxophone bleating? The title track has your name all over it!

On the other hand, "Roulette Peace Pipes" is an eerie gamelan concoction of chime pipes, metallic percussion and doorbelly tones. I challenge the world to convince me that THIS song is "for drummers only"!!!!!

Oh, it is?

Well, I apologize for listening to it then. I'm very, very sorry.

Now here's a bunch of song titles I'd like Foreigner to use. Please pass them along at your earliest convenience:

"Livin' For The Sun Shine, Lovin' On The Nite Line"
"Fire Is Burning With My Desire For You"
"My Pulse Is Racing Tonight With Your Body On Tap At The Bar Of Love"
"Sweaty"
"Guy Who Loves To Rock 'N Roll Tonight (Of Love)"
"My Baby (And Love) Baby"
"Feelin' Hot, Got A Fever Of Love Tonight"
"I Have AIDS"
"I'm Lou Gramm -- Stay In School!"
"Hot Blooded II: Menstruation in the Sunshine"
"Let's Draw A Penis On The Etch-A-Sketch"
"I Can't Believe People In This Band Used To Be In King Crimson And Spooky Tooth -- We're Fucking TERRIBLE!"
"The Battle Hymn Of The Re: Pubic"

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Beginnings Dark EP - Enterruption 2007
Rating = 3

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Reader Comments

Colin T.
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sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
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Fruit of the Womb/Polite Deception - Eclipse 2009
Rating = 2

Oh God, I can't even begin.

Seriously, take two of your friends, go into a room containing an electric guitar, bass and drum kit, and just start bashing away -- and there is no way that the results will sound worse than this double-album of directionless dicking-around dogshit. There are two actual songs here. TWO! One is a great piece of tight vicious rock called "Damcar" and the other a very cool Bollywood-style tune entitled "Sev Archer." But you can already hear those songs on Grotto of Miracles and Valentines From Matahari respectively! So why buy this? Why subject yourself to the pain and ear torture? Don't do it! I'm Mark Prindle, Sun City Girls Fan Extraordinaire, and I'm begging you not to do it!

This album jacket filled with human excrement may hold minor interest for longtime fans due to its inclusion of sloppy alternate versions of four Sun City Girls tracks ("Trippin' On Krupa," "Rappin' Head," ""Jokers on a Waltz" and "Hitman Boy") as well as a rudimentary early version of Torch of the Mystics' "Blue Mamba." But the only other track that could possibly provide any enjoyment is "Son of Talisman," one of the very rare occasions in which the guitarist plays something approaching musicality. The rest is painfully bad. Lo-fi recording, ugly guitar tone, tuneless performances -- what is this, a Billy Joel album? Heh heh heh. That didn't make any sense.

The Great Philosophers tell us that the one true way to enlightenment is reading what I wrote in my notebook while listening to this album for review, so open your mind and become one with the following comments:

"Envy Leaves Home" - Improv rock. (i.e. Tuneless dicking around)

"Searcher" - Sounds like Polvo tuning up!

"When Will It End?" - Yeah, more like "When Will It END?" if you ask - oh.

"Nights In Tetuan" - Swingin' jazzy beat with utter shit played on top of it. So awful! AWFUL!!!

"Viola Mosque" - Just crap! BAG OF VIOLA SHIT!

"When The Jews Roll Out Of Your Eyes" - Trumpet, slidey bass, shaky percussion MORE IMPROV AVANT SHIT!!! Twickitin' tappitin' blip blip bloop bass chords, drums that sound like a galloping horse, bass rubbing and thubbing UTTER GARBAGE! FOR HALF A FUCKING HOUR!!! flutes, toy piano, some trolley bell ringing, more trumpet shit FUCK YOU!!!!

I can only assume that the Sun City Girls record every single thing that they perform, and release every single thing they record. Because there is otherwise no excuse for such a worthless and unlistenable jar of owl urine to be priced and sold at market. If I thought that this material was culled from a larger pool and specifically packaged for commerce due to its high artistic quality, I'd have no choice but to murder God.

Now here's a bunch of song titles I think AC/DC should use. Do me a favor and pass them along to Phil Rudd at your earliest convenience:

"Rock And Roll Car"
"Rock And Roll Is Why I Like To Rock And Roll"
"Donut Holes"
"Tuff 'N' Stiff"
"Rock And Roll Tea Cozy"
"Her Pussycat Ate My Hot Dog, Causing My Hot Dog To Squirt Out Some Mustard"
"The Number '69' Is Hilarious"
"Rock And Roll Girl Likes To Rock And Roll With My Rock And Roll"
"Juggs Of Milk"
"Hot, Wet, Sticky, Pink, Hairy, Gaping And Malodorous"
"Rock And Roll Euphemism"

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Funeral Mariachi - Abduction 2010
Rating = 9

I saw Swans live last night! No, not just some white birds dicking around like assholes, but Michael Gira's band "Swans"! Here were the albums represented and hits performed:

Cop - "Your Property"
Young God EP - "I Crawled"
Children of God - "Beautiful Child," "Sex God Sex"
My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky - "No Words/No Thoughts," "Jim," "My Birth," "Inside Madeline," "Eden Prison," "Little Mouth"

Aside from the tedious one-chord "Your Property," the concert kicked my arse from here to yon! Intro-stingly, these 6-8 men (some songs featured two trombones; others did not) reworked the arrangements of even the newest material on display. "No Words/No Thoughts" started the set with ten minutes of amplifier feedback, followed by ten minutes of feedback and hammer dulcimer (or whatever the hell Thor was hitting. You know Thor. From Shearwater! Good old Thor.) before the band finally came on and started the song proper. "Eden Prison" was played in a quieter, brooding style lacking the galumphing chaingang bantiggery of the album version. And the entire pre-acapella portion of "Little Mouth" was replaced with tuneless aggressive noise! The band sounded great, the mix was terrific and Gira's voice was spectacular -- although he did cause us all to sweat literal bullets by having the club turn off the AC after the third song because it was "messing up (his) voice." Other than that request, not much stage patter occurred, the enjoyable exception being the following:

Crowd member: "'I Am The Sun!' 'I Am The Sun' is a good song!"
Gira: "Then why don't you play it? If it's so fucking good?"

The reason I mention this here is because I find it fitting that I attended a concert of the first great album I heard in 2010 the night before I'd planned to review the second great album I've heard in 2010. Besides, where the heck else was I going to mention it -- the Swans page? Yeah, dream on with your common sense.

I like to joke and kick people in the ribs with laughter, but death just isn't funny. Sun City Girls drummer Charles Gocher, Jr. passed away on February 19, 2007 after a long battle with cancer. This final Sun City Girls album is "Dedicated to you know who and the souls who know." Although no recording dates are listed, it's instantly obvious that drums play a very minor role in this music. I've no inside information on the matter, but it's no stretch to imagine that Gocher's illness led to his diminished role. This assumption is supported by the fact that Funeral Mariachi is by far the most sorrowful record that the Girls have ever released. Following a funny stereo-separation surf-novelty hit and two pieces of typically great SCG Eastern exotica, the music suddenly takes a turn for the calm, haunting and elegiac.

Funeral Mariachi is a beautiful tribute to a bizarre creative genius. The songwriting is stellar, showcasing the band's diversity with tuneful ventures into not only Arabic and Indian music, but acid folk, piano balladry, Western twang, '60s psychedelia, lounge, surf-spy, and ambient mood music. The mix is also outstanding, with each song slowly adding instrumental elements until your ears are overflowing with gorgeous acoustic and electric guitars, organ, mellotron, mandolin, piano, gongs, pitch pipe (?) and mesmerizing wordless vocal drones. Furthermore, every song was pre-written, the only apparent improvisation involving trumpet and twang guitar atop the title track's gentle bass motif.

Anyone who's considered giving the Sun City Girls a listen but has been scared off by the thought of insane ranting and improvisational noise is strongly encouraged to pick up a copy of Funeral Mariachi. Moments of lightheartedness are few, limited to the hilarious goofery of album-opener 'Ben's Radio" and some ridiculously sharp piano strikes in the otherwise groovy bachelor pad "El Solo." However, the way the players are able to maintain a mood of such sober respect and loss while touching upon so many different musical styles is impressive, and each individual song is as striking as the package is as a whole.

Reader Comments

Jeff Hoelscher
I bought 3 copies of this record when it came out. Some things are too exciting to pretend I'm only 1 person. I've finally found someone to give a copy to. (proper grammar: to whom to give a copy. Awkward.) I have 1 left. Whom do I love well enough to deserve such a gift? Not many in this world.

Daveid P
Funeral Mariachi is my favourite album ever. It's the shit, I play it to friends and then choose whether to stay friends with them based on their reactions, no one wants friends with no taste.

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If you have more money than God, feel free to buy some Sun City Girls CDs HERE!

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