Futurecop or If I Could Live in John Hughes....

...Nu Shooz for a day, playing Mega Man (that might actually postscript this music), hanging out with Parker Lewis (that might postscript it too). ahem. Regardless, I spent a large chunk of my youth lusting to be in the same Saturday School as Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. I often fantasized as an 10-yr.-old that Troy High School would be like that fictional Illinois high school as I threw shows in the dark during "Idiotic" with Justin Smith, and the bros, in the Wrestling room (padded from floor to ceiling). We would raid the poor saps who left their lockers unlocked on a Sunday afternoon while the dads played basketball in the best gym in the city.

Futurecop (best myspace ever) is probably one popular guy in England who can conjure these memories for anyone who gets goosebumps during particular scenes in the Karate Kid or even Superfuzz. He pays homage not to the Huey Lewis' and Wang Chungs' of the era, but the techy geeks who scored the films like Transformers: The Movie and Critters and War Games. The background music, the oddball ephemera playing on a boombox or a Wallman or a 3-inch color TV in the kitchen. My wife knows the rap from Revenge of the Nerds: II. I know too much about Jan Hammer and theme-song wizards like Max Tepper Sr.

At first I thought this was most definitely Gil Mantera without the party dream, as I'd like to attribute this whole blantant revival of our first digital pop playground to that duo. This isn't so much 8-bit, chiptune, but full-fledged fleshing out of 80's plasticity and gaudiness, toned for Spring Break and buffed for Prom.

I would post a track, but he's asked to hold off till the official release of his first EP. Till then, I urge a trip to the myspaces.


Jay Number Five Conquers Indie Rock

I've not been listening to number four all that much since it arrived. It's potent, novelty stuff, but ultimately the misstep of the series. Not only does Bradford Cox celebrity presence (though he gives a fine interpretation) kill the flow -- Jay doing an inferior songwriter's dopey psych just doesn't fit him yet.

Number five then, is the redeemer. As a whole it the finest since the first, and the a-side "Trapped Here" is his first watershed moment as a solo artist. In a recent interview (found on the Matablog) he claims it took him ten years to conquer punk, and it will only take him a few months to conquer indie rock. In contrast, an inside source reports Jay's been releasing lesser material as the singles get smaller. "Trapped Here" begs to differ, as it's the most realized song Mr. Lindsey has written. If he conquers indie rock he can potentially do it in three minutes. The song is catchy and sharp as all the recent Reatard hits (has surpassed former favorite "An Ugly Death") but wrapped and creased in a disorienting haze of cave-pop, reverb and endless bliss, shambollic on every beat. The blistering end comes like a Beijing grand finale of distorted fireworks, building up a metropolis in a few short measures (there's a new Mogwai album coming out?).

That's not even touching the b-side, in which Jay returns to stripped punk. "Hiding Hole" a bit more 50's herky-jerky bop and "DOA" self-explanatory swift-boat of snot, cleaned up remeniscience of the first band to bear his name. Let's say now that Number Six just might explode in one's hands. In that same interview, the band says more than once, conquering metal is next.


Moons! : Epics are Afoot

The summer of '08. It's been nothing but stasis. It's the perfect word, I'm sorry. Stasis. No diminish, no gain. Just a comfortable home to call my own. The only time I've crossed state lines from April to now was spent with a mysterion. Stuck in Louisville at the Terrastock with the Dark Side of the Mural (Dustin White), a bottle of Bulleit, my brother, and dude from the future. Nice that L'ville supported such a combination of off-ness (worth a visit).

We were certainly obliged to hear the latest from the Moon and Badtimes, then and now shortened to Moons! (good reduction). White is basically Moons! Who knows how many others played here, 1-2 maybe, so you've got to imagine multiple versions of the lanky, skywalker, playing drums, guitar, basslines, and keys, to fully ingest this limited release EP (mines 11 of 50). There's a new touring band every week.....(???)...

You could compare it to the act of boiling water. Mundane analogy, sure. But I'm thinking of it as heat energy, cosmic awareness. Moons! and the man (I'm referring to Mr. White) can't be pressured, if you stare into the aqua nothing will happen, if you're expecting a full-length tomorrow don't bother. You must step away from the pot and just let thangs happen as they will. Naturally. Eventually you'll get what you want. Maybe that's why this review took so long. Things this grand take time.

White swims liberally in Topographic Oceans on this first recorded introduction. Though I know the guy is always down for a discussion on direct-to-vein psychedelic immersion (we go on for hours about indulgent kraut), he's more likely to let his flavors stew for minutes before getting under the skin. White is somewhat fanatical, meticulous, and introverted (to his studio lair) -- then again, "Carousel to Rebirth" gets the tape going on overdrive right from the first note with a thick haze of reverb and smoke before entering those Wakeman arpeggios he's so fond of. Anyone with the slightest interest in the Yes keyboardist's fluid excursions will find plenty to chew on here. The synths are pristine and cosmic, exploring space from a Columbus' backyard yearning to travel if only to get closer to closest dwarf star.

Moons! is of the mind-set that everything has it's place, every little melodic strain of mellotron must be put back where it belongs, there is a constant order and White is simply orbiting it all, sucking it up with magnetic force. "Pyramids are Forever" is that universal perfection -- Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra -- for now belying the ultimate heaviness that is sure to (soon?) follow in the fourth part of some nine-part suite for the "album" already mapped out in his infinite wisdom. Still, let's not call this an EP, it's epic in its four songs, it's epic in just this song. If you see the guy on the street you might want to coax him back into the lab -- there's a classic afoot.

Moons! - "Pyramids are Forever"


Glass Tiger vs. Cutting Crew

Big fan of what I like to call new-shiny post-pop, the slick, sophisitcate marshmallow fluff of band's like ABC and Simple Minds -- it was once a golden era but trugged on to pollute the 80's with one-hits and follow-up singles that only clogged the airwave's arteries. I'm a sucker for it, and I blame it all on experiences in adolescence atop a yellow bicycle or chasing tail at the Troy Pool. Nothing could top Janet's "The Pleasure Principle" in 90 degree August bake with a red Flavor-Ice. Children of the 80's were raised on Top 40 (Z93). Why else would Huey Lewis still be considered hip enough to be (ironically) square?

Anyways -- here's what's fascinated me the most -- those follow-up singles that have had zero lasting impact, but upon re-visiting them -- glints form in the eye's, tears might actually well-up, but for the most part, rememberance connects to some part of the past (and that moment is re-lived in the mind, like it or not). These were released to the wilds of pop radio, but failed to chart past a week or two. Let's not get too heavy, cause the subjects here were ladybug hucksters, purely not-worthy, both formed in Canada (but still possessing that one hit that keeps them around the history books). I suppose this challenge is more or less judging the shelf-life of 80's one-hits with their marginal second singles. Can you even tell these two apart?

Episode One: Cutting Crew vs. Glass Tiger

Cutting Crew - "Been in Love Before"


Glass Tiger - "Someday"



So Yeah, the Show of the Summer was Last Night

Yes, it wasn't exactly last night, but it was last night, last week and unfortunately/fortunately (remember that book?) Psychedelic Horseshit played around 10:30. Fortunately I've been following them around like the Dead this summer, gobbling up each different configuration on a tinny, digital recorder. So far (save the Wright in Detroit that I missed) this night, with the mono-nomed "Michael" from New Zealand on bass, things were simplified and rich. For those new songs, a kowtow bassline is inherent, if only to provide a backbone to whatever Matt Horseshit has up his sleeve. Beach Boys and Billy Idol. Bobby Dylan and Suicide -- even when it's overload, saturated, and repugnant, the song oozes out. And goodness that ooze get's easier to chug each time.

The out-of-towners were equally triumphant granted it was a Monday night in Columbus, OH. Even if Crystal Stilts get slagged for their forced disconnect and aloof posturing, I thought their purpose in life was to bring it freezer-cold and correct. Which, though a bit tiresome at first, built into a blissful experience. Cymbal-less and non-emotive, the Stilts maintained a constant chill that lent the songs their steely melodies.

Maybe that was a in-the-van on-the-road pre-conceived contrast to the Vivian Girls rambunctious set. Despite any venue lending them the benefit of infinite reverb, the walls of Boo-Boo were enough to echo the echo. The trio seemed genuinely psyched to have kids taunting them, circling the front of the stage, and fisting the air. The Vivian's oft-harmonies balance the oft-rhythms that make-up their pretty punk-fumed world. There were tons of "yeah-yeahs," "oh-ohs," and beer swigs to keep them in the boyz club, and even more dreamy choruses to sing along with in the night's whisky humidity.

Headliners are headliners, and Times New Viking are headliners. The kids played over-long, but managed to blister through an EP's worth of next-step new tracks. They've always been of the mind-set of leave tehm wanting more, and still, we wanted more, but we wanted every bent neu-note Phillips could muster. The road has sharpened them to a lethal tip, and in a perfect world they would have played (KBD covers) all night when they run out of material.


King Tee Acted the Fool for All of Humanity

King Tee might just be the martyr of the g-funk era. But, as such, his best record, Act a Fool can be reduced to a handful of worthwhile tracks. Still he preceded both Straight Outta' Compton and The Chronic, even if this effort doesn't exactly stand the test of time and shouldn't be searched for besides a few 12". Then again, check the cover, he was the first serious joker from the soon-to-be world renown L.A. suburb of Compton. (cue mid-western white-teens in fitted all-black "Compton" hats).

This first photo shows Tee in a confident swagger with his sawed-off though all he's bound to do is kill the bottle of rum - no dead homies upon this backyard. In typical South Central fashion, at least for the time being, Tee is light-hearted (with plenty of comedy skits about mommas and getting too drunk), boasting about his DJ (deejay Pooh, who went onto g-funk fame), and at the precipice of violent revenge only if you can out battle him. His best weapon is his cadence, certainly not the breaks (that said, the duo was the first to sample a generation of recycled samples) -- here Tee shows exactly why he is quoted as wanting to be a East Coast rapper on the West Coast. There's a grunting eloquence and strident head-bop to Act a Fool's lyrical flow, a broken edge that follows the scratched-in corners more than a full-room. In other words, a get-in-your-face braggadocio with an boomerang voice.

King Tee was an outsider, maybe too clownin' drunk. The last legitimate time we've heard from him was Chronic 2001. There might just be a comeback on Detox, because Tee has always had the backs of those who came after him, and always been, at the very least, a shout-out away. Dumb and minimal, diluted ganster-rap before it's fermentation, Act a Fool has lingering charm -- even if his best single, "Bass" (let us not forget "Ruff Rhymes" from At Your Own Risk) is here given the remix treatment.

Oh I forgot...King Tee also did one of those awesome/controversial St. Ides commercials.


Troma on the Brain

Class of Nuke 'Em High Trailer y'all. The mid-80's Troma output was simply pure nihilism, you never really had a good feeling after watching one of these, like you were doing something horrible to humanity with your night. This one tends to be the one where I get the ickiest feeling of them all -- totally had nightmares about the imfamous "belly scene."

Am I regressing because I want to see all of these AGAIN?


Sgt. CDR's Lonely Singles Club Band

Not the first to report this, but certainly not the last judging from the overall awesomeness of it. Basically Columbus' one and only label at the moment (?) is going to give you one essential single a month (and there shall be no lapses or lates) for the next year. Basically Ron House returns to vinyl.

Not to say I'm not psyched about each and every one of these, just saying. Is it too much to ask though for verification that said label, Columbus Discount Records will continue to release some full-lengths (by at least a few of these bands) during this malaise?

The lurid details...

Columbus Discount Records is proud to announce CDR-SC-Y1! (Columbus Discount Records Singles Club Year One!). We've heard that some other grunge label is doing one of these things, but we been working real hard planning this for a long time now, so we ain't gonna let that stop us. We're mighty proud of it, and think you'll probably like it, too.

Without further ado, here's the roster for CDR-SC-Y1!, in no particular order:

>Cheater Slicks
>El Jesus De Magico
>Little Claw
>The Harrisburg Players (A comp of archival recordings from Harrisburg, OH featuring Tommy Jay & co.!)
>TV Ghost
>Guinea Worms
>Pink Reason
>Dan Melchior und das Menace
>Sandwitch (featuring Ron House of TJSA, Great Plains, Ego Summit infamy!)
>Psychedelic Horseshit
>The Unholy 2
>Mike Rep


To put your mind at ease, we want you to know that we're working very closely (and well ahead of schedule) with the participating artists and with our pressing plant to ensure that everything we promise you actually comes out and comes out on time. We're taking every measure to make sure that CDR-SC-Y1! doesn't become one of those singles clubs that takes twice a long as it's supposed to, or doesn't deliver products by the artists that were initially announced.

So how does it work? Basically, you entrust us (you trust us, right?) with some of your hard-earned cash (payment options and exact $$$ amounts are below) and we send you twelve 7" records that we will be releasing exclusively to CDR-SC-Y1! members over the next year.


Live at the Ohio State Fair 2008

By now I can virtually lead any group to the Butter Sculpture blindfolded. I'm tempted to propose myself a OSF guide at this point, for the mere pittance of getting into the inner sanctum I know exists at such a momentous event. I think it's more genetics that have drawn me to the fair -- not the overall show itself. This year we went with the parentals, lil' bro, and Aunt and Uncle Erbaugh (Bruce may be the smoothest man on earth. The Cuban never breaks a sweat, NEVER). The absence of mid' bro was an undiscussed void, especially during the pig races. We made the most.

That Butter Sculpture was a needed improvement to last year's "hunk of swiss cheese," featuring all of Ohio's presidents on a Rushmore type ridge. Might I say, this country's fourth best president, Ulysses S. Grant was included. In 2008, the lure of air-brushed Unholy Two shirts and free Zombies shows were not included. No more free shows and consequently no free ironic shows (saw that the Kentucky State Fair has a new-jack swing package for free. Boyz II Men, Guy, Ralph Tresvant!!!). Closest contestant, Melissa Ethridge (for $30, wouldn't go if you paid me though). That's the epitome of Ohio's integrity on a global scale I suppose.

And that inner sanctum? Couldn't be found. I was hoping for the Farmer's Only.com sponsored Swingers Orgy Tent or maybe the place where I could chug a beer in order to enjoy the scenery better. The art that dons the sides of chinky rides is paramount in such a place. Demons and King Diamond, next to Jennifer Lopez and Spongebob. The Cyclotron got a face-lift - and this year they carted in the "World's Smallest Woman," (direct off excommunication from Coney Island) who I coaxed relatives to go see for fifty cents. A bargain for the horror (they'll never go for that again). The carney subculture is alive and well, centimeters from the State Capitol, thriving with seediness -- a place that gets quarantined for smaller and smaller amounts of time each year.

Where else though, could you get a deep-fried-deep-fried pancake-wrapped-sausage-wrapped-twinkie or visit Smokey the Bear for the nth time? He still knows my name?


Jay Hearts Cox (And Vice Versa)

Yelping about this single is pretty moot at this point, though I'm thrilled with the amount of incest going on in the underground these days. Yes, I finally got one of these, due to the snafu at Matador. It's really a beaut, pink and black split vinyl -- who they hiring for the articulate pressings over there?

The track listing for the eventual collection of these limited singles has been revealed, and it's kind of astonishing that Mr. Reatard's cover of "Fluorescent Grey" would be included. With number four, novelty is the key, though it appears as if Jay and Bradford (of Deerhunter) are engaged in a sparked romance. They must love each other enough to cover each other's songs. So what we have is Jay screeching through, what is perhaps, Deerhunter's most excellent burner before the forthcoming Microcastle, and in many ways ruining my first impressions of the song. He needs to get back to basics, or at least the weirdly profound streak he's been on. And the b-side is Mr. Cox actually giving a nice addition to "Oh, It's Such a Shame," by slowing it down, ridding it of the sharp edges, and getting it cooled and mellowed. Not as bad as first thought. Surely though, these singles and their concepts, were mapped out months ago. These aren't just imagined and recorded weeks before their release.

I'm officially hooked (as are thousands it seems) on this serial mode of collector scum bait. Number Five? Who knows? Thank god for the internet (or thee comp. that comes forth in September)