Reviews by Music/Program Director Brian Turrner
ICKY BOYFRIENDS / A Love Obscene (Menlo Park)
Their first gig was in the late 80's opening for the Melvins and Thinking Fellers in their hometown of San Francisco, and they cleared the room. A guy who put out their first single had to live in his van for doing so. They starred in a film called "I'm Not Fascinating" which was about 500 times cheaper and 500 times better than the "Great Rock N' Roll Swindle". Thus is the legend of the Icky Boyfriends. Call it spazz rock, retard rock, panic rock, whatever, the Ickies were key players in SF's anti-scene scene in the 1990's and this overview of their 2LPs plus odds and ends is well overdue. Totally primitive odes to PCP, cops, hatred of Tower Records, guys who collect recycled bottles, and Nixon aides who were quoted as saying they'd rather have their toenails pulled out than rat. They have a sensitive side as well, and "Nervous Guy" (real audio from Terre T's show) speaks volumes more than your average college rock crybaby staple. We demand a Sockeye box set next.
COUNTRY TEASERS / Live Album (In the Red)
Meanwhile, in Scotland, the Country Teasers also care enough to bring you the very best, despite the fact they have as well been rejected by their scene, that is, the burgeoning rootsy-cowpunk-garage circuit that you would think might embrace them more than the indie rock world (see their 3.2 out of 10 rating in Pitchfork). Often making the Mekons look like Crucial Youth in comparison, the Teasers' main ambition is to entertain themselves while reaching deep down inside their plastered souls, and more
of than not, that is quite entertaining within itself as testified by this live disc. Between begging for drinks, responding to the audience screaming "you suck" while they disembowel Randy Newman's "Short People" (real audio). They also take on New Order, the Butthole Surfers (Real audio of "Moving To Florida"), and even Swedish brutes the Brainbombs, which makes perfect sense.
CONTEMPORARY JAZZ QUINTET / Actions 1966-67 (Atavistic/UMS)
Atavistic's Unheard Music Series continues to do wonders in tracing the geneology of American/European free jazz rarities, pulling from a rich well of out-of-print records that voiced unique indentities but may have gotten lost in the shadow of others, until now. The CJQ formed in Denmark in the late 1950's playing hard-bop until the doors blew open all over Europe with the advent of Ornette Coleman's records and all the American heavies who took up residencies on the Continent (and in particular Albert Ayler who came through Scandinavia). These 1966-67 recordings show a fiery unit in total harmony with what was going on not only in the formative FMP camp in Germany (where trumpeter Hugh Steinmetz would later wind up to record with Manfred Schoof) but with the rest of the free jazz revolution happening in the USA on labels like ESP. This reissue remains a stunning lost gem on par with much of both those labels' high point moments, and is especially fantastic due to the presence of a bonafide musical saw courtesy of Niels Harrit. Here's one track featuring Harrit prominently, "Action #VI" (real audio).