For the first time in four years—after 200+ Monday shows in a row—I’ve taken some time off from booking and hosting California’s most obscure new bands, and I must say, it’s been great to catch up on the stacks of great new music sitting on my desk top. Here’s the best of the best for you, dear listener, combined into one end-of-the-summer mix…good things lie ahead:
Th’ Mole “Zombie Dance Mind Programme”
The DIY scene remains a refuge for the unabashedly eccentric, and ideas that are hashed out by underground artists now inevitably become accepted mainstream concepts in the not-too-distant future. That’s the whole reason we do this: “Tomorrow’s sounds, today!” And invariably, the more out-there the musical concept, the fewer the members the group will have. Case in point: Th’ Mole from Nevada City, California. Like other past Monday faves Militant Children’s Hour from Oakland or Agape from Salt Lake City Utah, Jonah Th’ Mole rolled up at one of my nights a stranger and left a hero thanks to his wild costumes, freaky stage antics, and his hip collages of dance and musique concrete elements that seemed years ahead of their time. Another thing that’s great about the underground is that you never know where these futuristic sounds will take root. Th’ Mole is playing Burning Man
next, so I’m curious to hear how that turns out.
Health “Die Slow”
I gave Health their very first show back at the dawn of the Sean Carnage Monday era, but I can’t get too highfalutin’ about it. These four L.A. lads were superstars from the moment they began jamming. Sooner or later someone was going to book this band (though I’m proud I got to be the one). Now I’m happy to report that what attracted me to Health in 2005 still compels me all these years later. Witness “Die Slow,” the first single off Health’s new album, Get Color. It’s noisy and avant-garde (but not to a degree that would be alienating), it’s highly textural, it’s strongly rhythmic (i.e., it rocks), and though the vocals are not the main element (they are very carefully interwoven amongst all the other aforementioned elements), the singing is actually in key. Health is also a band that has never gotten lazy; they were and are total perfectionists and never release new material until they’re ready. As a listener, I appreciate their devotion to the music.
Foot Village “Anti-Magic”
Speaking of perfection, I think I have included a Foot Village track on every Monday Megamix I’ve created for L.A. RECORD thus far. No, I am not taking kickbacks—I just love this band! That said, I’m not sure you can really capture the visceral excitement of four bashing and crashing drummers in the recording studio, which is why I included Foot Village remixes on my other podcasts. But here they are with the title track of their brand new album, proving me wrong. It’s like a pocket-sized version of the Boredoms or a more down-to-earth Crash Worship (to name two of my all-time, all-percussion favorites). Foot Village retains the voodoo that’s inherent in all-drum bands but leavens things with a big dose of fun.
Single Mothers “Untitled”
Single Mothers are transplants from Georgia, and they ended up being (along with Th’ Mole) one of the best new groups I booked this past July. Basically a solo outlet for Woodruff Foley (until he reconstitutes the band with local players), Single Mothers seem to be cut from the same cloth as Caroliner Rainbow, early Butthole Surfers and weird side of post-Syd Pink Floyd. I also hear audiophonic analogies to those jarring acoustic breakdowns that Kraut rockers like Faust used to throw into the middle of their albums. Hopefully this Single Mothers’ track functions similarly within this mix.
Hello My Name Is Red “Deadbeat”
Lest we get too deep into esoteric territory with this podcast, I thought I would bring things back down to earth with this very catchy track by Angelenos Hello My Name Is Red. This is as straight-up as it gets—guitar, bass, drums, and a great melody. Sometimes simplicity is quite revolutionary…
Skull Kiss “96 Tears”
…but simplicity doesn’t have to mean normal! Skull Kiss is the brain child of filmmaker William Burgess and his cohort Ignacio Genzon. This duo keeps the flames of rock insanity burning with spastic live shows in which they wear masks, become dangerously intoxicated, and destroy rock classics like “Last Caress,” “Let’s Twist Again,” and this one. With great underground rock, the psychotronic is never submerged too far below the surface. Raise a 40oz. (or two)…and celebrate the music of our lives!
Sean Carnage Mondays—a celebration of the best and newest cutting-edge music—returns to Pehrspace on Monday, September 7th, with I.E. and a slew of special guests. For more info go to seancarnage.com.