Mostly known stateside as IRS Records' gothrock hope once Doctor and the Medics tanked, Gothenburg, Sweden's Leather Nun put out three LPs in the mid-to-late 1980's and vamoosed. I recall seeing them circa 88 opening for someone and thought of them kind of as a slightly heavier and less dreadful version of the Mission or something, and I remember they were handing out black condoms in the lobby of the theater proudly boasting that the imprinted logo and skull and crossbones rubbed off during use. I also kind of remember a kitschy version of John Cougar Mellencamp's "Pink Houses" making the rounds on college radio. Before their first album in 1986 though, they issued a slab of completely ruling singles that took cues in a big way from Throbbing Gristle and the Stooges sped up, almost akin to Metal Urbain with a human drummer. They still sound killer, too; check out this one from 1981: "Ensam I Natt" (MP3), "Here Comes Life" (MP3), "No Rule (live)" (MP3). It should also be noted that LN's Freddie Wadling has gained some prominent fame as both an actor and a key component in Sweden's experimental scenes; Fläskvartetten were and experiemental string quartet with revolving vocalists, and Wadling has done some great solo records, one of which consisted of Captain Beefheart covers. He also fronted the punk band Cortex way back when.
Many FMU fans might have heard the great song "Comme à la Radio", done by Brigitte Fontaine and Areski (who collaborated together with the Art Ensemble of Chicago on the LP of the same name). Here's an MP3 of the English version from Un Beau Matin, whith lyrics even weirder than I had imagined it they would be (sample couplet: "At this very moment, thousands of dogs with be run over on the highway. At this very moment, an alcoholic doctor will lean over the body of a young girl and swear 'you're not going to die on me, you bitch.") Fontaine still continues to churn out her music, in fact a full LP with Sonic Youth has actually been languishing for a few years unreleased. Fontaine's 70's work is extremely stellar.
It's good news indeed that the mighty Siltbreeze label has returned to its proper spot on the bus as thee eminent purveyor of musical confusion, having brought us the Dead C, Harry Pussy, and Charalambides (back before "New Weird America" became a sticker for CD shrinkwrap and every kid started wrapping his or her CDR of introspective psychedelia in leaves). It's safe to say that anything that adds on to the label discography is sure welcome at any point in the timeline, even if the CEO has to take off for a few years to exotic animal-roasting culinary seminars in Europe. Rumblings began with a Times New Viking LP last year, and now a bunch of titles are set to rip in '07, with an LP from the mysterious Der Teenage Panzer Korps leading the charge. Der TPK are a sort of teutonicized Germs, barrelling head first into a crusty lo-fi Krautrock/hardcore hybrid in a way that slightly resembles some of those Metabolismus 7"s but with a bit more rotgut. CDRs on Pink Skulls (part of the west coast Jewelled Antler scene, and indeed "Edmund Xavier" of Der TPK is fabled to be Blithe Son/Thuja/Skygreen Leopards member Glenn Donaldson) led to a Skulltones 7" and now some of those tracks are reprised on this full length LP Harmful Emotions. Bunker Wolf's (pictured above with his other band the Nazi Dogs) German (or Germanic for all I know) barkings definitely reinforce the vibe being portrayed here on "Government Christians" (MP3), and I'm glad to see that the wide spectrum of ideas crammed into those little 7"s and CDRs continue to be in similar diversity here on the LP.
Here's a wrap-up of MP3-heavy posts in Beware of the Blog from the past month (scratched and sniffed by Liz Berg):
- Perhaps you've been hiding in a cave for the entire month of January? Hibernate no more! Otis Fodder has revived his glorious 365 Days Project, wherein you shall receive a new MP3 each day of 2007. Promotional music for bygone appliances! Evangelical family sing-alongs! College pep bands! Theft-prevention tracks! Catch up on the 365 magic right here. And keep checking our blog each day for a new nugget.
- Scott Williams has been posting a series of "Guess the WFMU DJ Personal Article" contests on the blog. Not only does Mr. Williams reveal sacred items belonging to real live WFMU DJs, he also peppers in a mystery MP3 track (or two, or three ) for your enjoyment.
- Dave the Spazz gives us the update on Question Mark (of ? & The Mysterians) and the tragic house fire that consumed most of his belongings along with a few of his pets. Find out how you can help ? and also grab a few MP3s while you're at it.