Posts Tagged ‘Gary War’

Sighting: The Prefab Messiahs, “Beyond All That”

Friday, October 28th, 2011


Thirty years ago, punk-Dada terrorists Seth “Xerox” Feinberg and “Egg” Al Nidle posted up Clark University’s campus with flyers proclaiming, “talentless guitarist and drummer seeking bassist and lead guitarist to form post-punk new wave pop pseudo-psychedelic band.” Mike “Doc” Michaud and Kris “Trip” Thompson replied, and The Prefab Messiahs formed as the agent provocateurs of the Worcester, Massachusetts underground. They denounced Regan-era consumerism and conformity, aiming to revolutionize pop music while simultaneously throwing a “plastic culture” back in its face. Beyond-ironically, they heralding Ronald McDonald and The Pillsbury Doughboy as the prefabricated messiahs of society at large.

Peace Love & Alienation, available next month from Taylor Richardson and Gary War‘s Fixed Identity (both also of Human Teenager), features eight newly remastered songs recorded in the years 1982-1983– two of which were produced by fellow “Wormtown” hero Bobb Trimble. The fuzzed-out mind-screws and tremolo riffs on “Beyond All That” make good on the flyer/manifesto’s premonition. In a voice of stirring intellect, Feinberg ridicules the meaninglessness of “cool,” and those masked subscriptions to conformity that still prevail as the social norm. With a slogan that sounds as relevant in 2011 as it did in 1982, he declares that “these times demand the evolving drone of the Prefab Messiahs.”

The Prefab Messiahs: “Beyond All That”

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Words: Mary Katherine Youngblood

Pre-order Peace Love & Alienation from Fixed Identity on November 1st. The LP is officially released on November 15th, exactly thirty years from The Prefab Messiah’s first show. Watch the 1983 official video for Bobb Trimble-produced “The 16th Track,” below:

Sightings: Human Teenager, “Whites (In General)”

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Human Teenager is the duo of Gary War and Taylor Richardson (Infinity Window), founders of the Brooklyn-based psych label Fixed Identity. “Whites (In General)” is a track from their upcoming debut LP, Animal Husbandry, slated for release in early 2012, label TBD.

A visceral, ambient/industrial, psych/noise, multi-layered speedball of analog synthesizers, drum machines, and samples, “Whites (In General)” buzzes us up while numbing us out. Adrenaline-pumping, high frequency oscillations, darting arpeggios, and sharply apocalyptic battle sounds juxtapose with warped vocal samples, slow drones, and slurred synths. The war of consonance/dissonance ends in Pre-Columbian America underwater ambience before returning to complete silence. Despite easy comparisons to both Merzbow’s psych-infused noise and Popol Vuh’s ethno-exotic ambient releases, this track is not an incarnation of the past, nor does it directly anticipate the future. “Whites (In General)” is about the present. With its derisive title, noxious vocal samples, and doomsday sonic imagery, it may suggest socio-political commentary– and its genuine immediacy calls for action now

Human Teenager, “Whites (In General)”

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Words: Mary Katherine Youngblood
Photograph: Fumie Ishii

Look for Animal Husbandry in early 2012. Check out Fixed Identity for War and Richardson’s label releases

Co-Premiere: Martin Newell, “Gamma Ray Blue”

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Among other exciting label news, we just caught wind that Gary War and Taylor Richardson (Infinity Window, Human Teenager, Purple Haze) have lauched their own Brooklyn-based imprint, Fixed Indentity — a “labor of love” dedicated to “next-level psychedelic achievements of the present, past, and future.” Kicking off this initiative, a remastering of British guitarist/songwriter/poet/author Martin Newell‘s 1985 limited-run cassette, Songs For A Fallow Land.

Newell — known alternately as the “Wild Man of Wivenhoe” and “Britain’s busiest wordsmith, tunesmith, and horitcultural assasin”– is a cult legend of sorts. He began his career in the glam-rock band Plod, and released a series of solo tapes during and after his stint as frontman for ’80s pop balladeers The Cleaners From Venus, which Big Troubles big-upped last year in an AZ guest post. Listen below to “Gamma Ray Blue” from this outsider acid-pop masterpiece, which, according to the Fixed Identity website, was recorded in an old stable building during a self-described period of “extreme poverty.” A must for fans of Ariel Pink, John Maus, Gary War (duh), and other contemporary failure-pop masters. (Altered Zones co-premiere)

Martin Newell, “Gamma Ray Blue”

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Words: Daniel Gottlieb & Emilie Friedlander

Martin Newell’s Songs For A Fallow Land will be available via Fixed Identity on February 28th (limited to 500). A Nick Nicely LP is also in the works for March

Sightings: Various Artists, “Regolith Vol. 1”

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Moon Glyph is a Minneapolis-based record label that is releasing a gem of a compilation called Regolith Vol. 1 on limited edition white vinyl. The comp. features a score of local acts in a wide range of styles. A throwback surf-pop song by Velvet Davenport, in collaboration with Gary War and Ariel Pink, chugs along with a beachy rhythm and goofball lyrics under the latter artist’s trademark AM radio fidelity. There’s also more psychy tracks like “Mystical Babe” by Daughters of the Sun, where touches of dark ambient sound combine with a driving tribal beat and hazy vocals into something truly “cool.” “Regolith Vol. 1” is a fun introduction to the Minneapolis scene and well worth the time for a listen… or ten.

Velvet Davenport (ft. Ariel Pink and Gary War), “Surfer Girl” (Regolith Vol. 1, Moon Glyph)

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Daughters of the Sun, “Mystical Babe” (Regolith Vol. 1, Moon Glyph)

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Horizons: What, if any, are the Politics of Hypnagogic Pop?

Monday, September 28th, 2009

huge.84.423296The first thing I did when David Keenan’s hotly debated “Hypnagogic Pop” article came out in The Wire last June was log on to the Terminal Boredom message board–not because I read it all the time, but because it was the site where that debate began, as far as I could glean from a preliminary Google search. And the first thing I saw when I logged onto Terminal Boredom was a question that would make a really big imprint on my subsequent readings of the piece, partly because it was written in all capital letters and tickering from right to left across the screen:
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