IT'S A LIVING… BUT IT'S NOT A LIFE #13.93
J Church / Honey Bear / Some Hope - Peak Travel Time - Death is a star...

 

MY DAD IS DEAD

And while I do love that band, I just found out the other day that my Dad did in fact die.

It's been sort of weird. I wasn't very close to him. My parents split when I was 4 or 5 years old. He went born again sometime when I was in high school and we completely lost touch after that. We had just started to email recently. But I hadn't actually seen him in over a decade.

That side of the family has always been a little strange to me. I didn't get invited to the wedding when my Dad re-married. I didn't find out about my Grandfather dying until a year or so after the fact. They didn't know how to reach me when my Dad died on Thursday morning. The only reason I found out was because a friend of mine from back in high school was in my Dad's church group. He tracked me down via the J Church website. Pretty crazy.

So now I've gotta find a way to get back to Hawaii for the memorial service. It's been set for about a week and a half from now, so I have a little time to figure out how I'm gonna get there and how I'm gonna afford it. I'm thinking I should plan to go back for at least five days. Man, flights to Hawaii and a week in a hotel in the middle of summer...

Anyway, that's where I've been lately. That's why nobody has heard anything. Like I said, we weren't super close. But he was my Dad and it is fucking weird...

I keep thinking about Pennyroyal Tea. I think that might be my favorite Nirvana song. The line "I'm so tired I can't sleep" feels like my theme. I can't sleep. Anxiety. Stress. Sorta tired of talking about my Dad's death. But not really bothered either. I'm really dreading going back to Hawaii for the services... It's like I've got a final exam in the next two weeks. I've skipped class all semester and now I'm cramming...

Not much to add at the moment, so here are a few older record reviews I've been meaning to use for something…

 

IN THE J CHURCH LISTENING ROOM

BLUE HUMANS, THE - Live ­ N.Y. 1980 LP

Not only is this record and excellent example of what the great Beaver Harris was doing towards the end of his life, it's one of the only clear examples documented actually combining the `60s avant-garde with experimental electric guitar. There has been so much talk of people like Hendrix jamming with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, you can only fantasize that that would be like. Today, there are so few possibilities in finding appropriate musicians who wouldn't come off as either self-indulgent or insulting or both to the point of racism.

Formed by ex-Red Transistor guitarist Rudolph Grey, the initial band was a two-piece coming up with No Wave cool kids Mars and DNA. But having seen Tenor great Arthur Doyle on a few occasions and having miraculously secured a one off duo with Harris, the official version of the Blue Humans was born. Seeing as jazz clubs wouldn't book this type of band, they wound up at old stand-bys like CBs and Hurrah. Recorded at the later, this document is crucial in both giving people a chance to see these great players really stretch out in a live situation as well as the groundbreaking and unique meeting between the No Wave guitar skronk and the expressionistic and experimental playing of the true avant-garde. The recording is as good as it needs to be and untitled tracks are complete and distinct thoughts capsulated in accessible segments.
(Audible Hiss)

 

BUDGET GIRLS - On A Tight Budget LP

Who has met Christen that didn't love her? She's great. She's the Busy Beaver button girl. She's also 50% of the Budget Girls. There's a bit of a Headcoatees thing going on, as I really don't think the girls play any instruments despite the provocative poses with guitars. In fact, I'm pretty sure that they simply sing their sweet poppy garage punk over the amazing Cee Bee Beaumont even though the credits claim to be the Morton Knights.

Recorded at the legendary Toe Rag in London, this is a great little garage pop platter with really tuneful upbeat songs with euphemistic songs like We're Tight, Two-Cheek Sneak and Master Cobbler. I know it was never a serious project. But I really hope they someday muster up the energy to do a follow-up LP.
(Damaged Goods)

 

CHRISTIAN DEATH - Only Theatre Of Pain LP
CHRISTIAN DEATH - Deathwish 12"

I really loved Bauhaus when I first heard them. While I was never a goth, and I think it's worth remembering that Bauhaus were a punk band and existed long before goth, I did like a lot of bands related to that scene. I also liked Alien Sex Fiend and Sex Gang Children. I even dug that first Sisters single for Anaconda. So, I thought it was really cool reading about how Rikk Agnew of the Adolescents had split to start Christian Death, SoCal's first serious death rock band.

Only Theatre Of Pain has an amazing guitar sound. Without using a synth, Agnew finds tones reminiscent of Keith Levine's classic work. What otherwise might have been identified as experimental punk was further obscured by the thick and almost campy vocals by Rozz. The highlight of this totally unique record was the melodic Romeo's Distress with its Kids Of The Blackhole type guitar work.

What betrays the creepy lyrics and the dark mood of this album is the cover art. The elements are in place but come off more like a Creepy Magazine version of death rock rather than a truly pagan effort. That was conquered on the Deathwish 12" released by L'Invitation Au Suicide in France. The eerie face painted on the cover is matched by the insert booklet with more unnerving images.

His last record with the band, Agnew plays some of his heaviest and most inspired guitar parts. With three new versions of tracks from the previous LP including a rocking version of Romeo's Distress, the title track starts with a huge riff worthy of Sabbath.
(Frontier Records, L'Invitation Au Suicide)

 

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