By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
|Photo by Michael Mcclure|
Every year, especially toward the end of the year, they come to me. I listen to them, and know that they are good. They sit on my shelf and look at me. They bust into my dreams just when Mike Piazza is about to explain the meaning of life, or Fairuza Balk wants to show me her stamp collection. They demand to know why I haven’t written about them.
Okay, I give up.
|Listen to :
Supershine, Supershine (Metal Blade).The team of Trouble guitarist Bruce Franklin and King’s X singer-bassist Doug Pinnick doesn’t so much rock harder than King’s X, it’s more like Supershine rocks dumber, which is no drawback. Pinnick’s moan on the Grand Funk churner “Shinin’ On” plumbs regions of soul Mark Farner never even drove past, and the original “One Night” is the hookiest scrap of metal to get stuck in my chest in years.
Nashville Pussy, High As Hell (TVT). Two white-trash chicks, two boneheaded rednecks, and two tons of the crudest rock in the South or anywhere else. In the same rasp he surely uses to yell the neighbor’s brat away from his trailer, Blaine Cartwright admits, “She’s got the drugs/And she’s got me,” relates how he caught his wife with a “Smile on her face, a dick in each hand, guilt runnin’ down her chin” and details what he then had to do about it.
Lizzy Borden, Deal With the Devil (Metal Blade). Some of the more melodramatic Satan worshippers around, these L.A. metal die-hards even use a sitar on one track. Did the world really need covers of Blue Oyster Cult’s “(This Ain’t) The Summer of Love” and Alice Cooper’s “Generation Landslide”? No. But when, with Iron Maiden-style vocal harmonies ringing high, Lizzy Borden cakewalks through the cheery chorus of “There Will Be Blood Tonight,” you just want to wave your top hat and yell, “Yowzuh!”
Entombed, Uprising (Sanctuary). Those who want truly hurtful riffs, out-of-control solos and sloshing, old-fashioned, non-double-kicked drums poured into their laps like boiling oil -and who doesn’t?- should head for Sweden, where Entombed keep their coffins. If these ghouls had a singer who liked to sing, they might elevate from dangerous to monstrous. Still, after over a decade of heavy transport, they’re way stronger than Slayer.
Cradle of Filth, Midian (Koch). Dani Filth and his drinking buddies make the most confusing mess in metal. Churchy keyboards, heavenly choruses, furious guitar riffs, drums so fast they sound like cards shuffling, each element burying the others in turn- and what the hell is Filth screeching about? Song titles: “Lord Abortion,” “Satanic Mantra,” “Torture Soul Asylum” . . . oh, that. Nervous fun for nervous people.
Samhain, Box Set (Evilive). Acolytes have been beseeching Glenn Danzig for years to reissue the albums by his pre-Danzig unit Samhain; now that it’s here, I hope they can afford it. They’ll want the box not so much for the five CDs of doomy, howling music that, though remastered and bonus-tracked, unavoidably still sound like demos; the grabbier prizes are the booklet, the comic book, the video and a most twisted metal pin, all crafted with the usual Danzigian care and flair. Buyers and gifters know one thing: Owning this artifact really says something about an individual.JAZZ Paul Wertico Trio, Don’t Be Scared Anymore (Premonition). Fusion music, resurrected and transfigured in glory. Chicago drummer Wertico, long the anchor of Pat Metheny’s band, teams with hometown buds John Moulder (guitar) and Eric Hochberg (bass, guitar, trumpet) for jungly or textured or trippy or just electrifying statements of purpose and passion, creating a world with each track. This record simply stands out.
Ritual Trio, Africa N’da Blues (Delmark). Kahil El’Zabar (drums), Ari Brown (piano, sax) and Malachi Favors (bass) precipitate Chicago’s avant tradition into graspable nuggets of rhythm and melody; the addition of Pharoah Sanders’ all-permeating sax is, of course, supremely natural. Batten the hatches when Pharoah launches into “Miles’ Mode”: The man is blowing.
Anthony Braxton, For Alto (Delmark). The year was 1969, and with Coltrane deceased, Chicago was seizing leadership of jazz’s advance forces. Then 24, Anthony Braxton had the yarbles to mark his territory with just an alto sax, ranging through melodies, blues, harmonic challenges and multiphonic noises over the span of a double LP. Listeners had to admit that the result, with song titles acknowledging the influence of Cecil Taylor, Leroy Jenkins and John Cage, was rigorously conceived and coherent Â¾ unlike much of the “energy” jazz then current. Long out of print, For Alto is now reissued on a single CD, and you might be surprised.
Thelonious Monk, The Complete Prestige Recordings. Stuck between Monk’s longer stints with Blue Note and Riverside, and situated in a period right after his New York cabaret card was withdrawn when he was busted for possessing Bud Powell’s dope, his 1952 to 1954 dates for Prestige often get treated as secondary. Really, though, he was riding a sustained creative crest: Investigate the perfect solo in “Nutty,” a definitive “Trinkle, Tinkle” yanked from a bad piano, and inspired partnerships with Sonny Rollins, Frank Foster and Art Blakey. This three-CD box also packs four 1944 tracks with Coleman Hawkins and a famously bizarre 1954 encounter with Miles Davis featuring two Monk attempts to superimpose a halved time signature on “The Man I Love.” (Takes one and two are misidentified in the booklet notes.)
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