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Random Stabbings 10

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Mizar "The King of the Stars" (Mia Mind Music)
And God said, “Let there be fruitcakes.” Obvious piss-taker who, disguised as a cardinal at a large metropolitan church, fights for truth, justice and the right to make weird clicking noises with one’s tongue and teeth. Like an Olympic skater in free pratfall, the man’s… voice is Kip from Napoleon Dynamite trying to karaoke Tiny Tim, and the cheapo-keyboard music-like thingies underneath may have been played by chimps. A masterpiece. Order at

Grew Trio "It’s Morning" (Discus Records)
Wrapping this album (or any other Discus product) in smugly acquiescent verbage like “deconstructionist experimentalism” misses the mark and crashes on the landing strip. These old buddies explore bonked instruments and make a toddler’s mess, yes, but this is also a measurement of the members’ personal levels of – get ready – telepathy and their abilities to give non-verbal cues. Never a dull moment with profoundly nonconformist dada like this. Order at

House on a Hill "Lady Slipper" (Buttermilk Records)
Contrivance of jangly folk and arena post-punk symptomatic of Curve owing to singer “Sara” imitating Toni Halliday’s adenoids on “Arcadia”. The bulk of these doings are about as joy-inspiring as a kitten in a garbage disposal, the ho-hum melodies stuck in a holding pattern awaiting hooks from on high that never materialize, even when they execute some Yes-like harmoning in “In the Past.” Order at

Fr/Action "Last Man Standing" (Cohaagen Music)
Conceptual techno album with an EBM eye toward Mind in a Box’s “Dreamweb” album. For such an obviously DIY effort the orchestrations swoop well and the songs are decent enough to fill floors; Metropolis has signed much worse than this in the past. As with “Dreamweb,” we find our hero running around trying to hide something from people carrying guns and knives, keeping them at bay with the power of vocoders, one would assume. Order at

Ian Allen "Nova’s Lounge" (Nova 53 Records)
Ex-NFL offensive lineman Allen indulges in electro-jazz chill a la Massive Attack as far as all the subdued breakbeating he ladles out, and much of the record pegs the prog-o-meter, thanks mostly to dizzying time signatures that would give Neil Peart a headache. Only real complaints are owed to the freestyle jams, where a lack of experience with keyboard scale runs is evidenced, if not enough to inspire embarrassed cringes from his old football groupies. Order at

Joey Stuckey "So Far" (RGA Records)
Best-of compilation starring Stuckey’s Bruce-vs-everything strum-and-slash randomness. 
The human interest part is that Stuckey’s blind, which should qualify him as a long-suffering expert when it comes to mocking the dreadful mismatched gentrification coming from today’s oh-so-relevant mash artists. The Georgia native tosses blues, jazz, arena-rock and thrash metal in the genre grinder, hits puree, and hopes for a reaction other than pats on the head for versatility points, but it’s clear he’s a seasoned mudcat who’s hacked at everything but polka. The blues is where he’s most dangerous (“The Light That Guides”) thus he’s got a good if apathetic grip of John Popper lager-pop (“So Blue”). The experimental stuff is slapstick crossoverism, most profound in “My Sociology” in which a Slayer tangent interrupts a ballroom-standard walk in the clouds literally halfway through. Order at

Skeletons & the Girl-Faced Boys
"Git" (Ghostly International Records)
Despite this being released in mid-2005, it’s a relevant SXSW-bound crew heard from. Shoegaze electronica that maybe-possibly owes inspiration to fellow Ohio mentalcases Brainiac, but Air for sure, as far as their insistence on lo-fi Casio-plinking EKG textures.  Vocally and attitudinally it’s Lilys-like, high-pitched male stoner-zombie vocals wavering over shape-shifting weirdness, hummingbird-speed sample rattlings and a Martian’s-eye-view of 70s Motown. One value-add is that for the most part the ancillary instruments – flutes, horns, Rhodes, etc. – were played by actual people with skin and stuff. Order at

Indie label releases, spaghetti sauce recipes and silly questions are always welcome.  Email

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