Z-Rock Hawaii

Holy Shit.

z-rockhawaii

Mindflaying collaboration between Ween and Boredoms.  If you’re even passingly familiar with either band, you’ve probably jumped out of your seat already.  It’s no gargantuan achievement; just an exciting smash up of the two groups’ extreme sensibilities, satisfying anyone remotely interested in such a project.  Scatalogical, free-associative lyricism pollinates a gritty crushing tribal punk garden, runaway train hyperactivity collides with relaxed stoner funk, and bone crunching guitar and drums fight it out under warped extraterrestrial sunny skies.

Picture a Venn diagram with Dean and Gene Ween in one circle, and Yamantaka Eye and company in the other.  The overlap, and then some, is what this album sounds like.  Turn this up loud and pay no heed to your exploding brain.

[get your paws on this via amazon or search in vain for a copy at your local record store!]

Nancy and Lee Again

Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood comprised one of the most inimitable duos in pop music history. Nancy’s wise-beyond-her-years little girl voice serves as a perfect foil to Lee’s grizzled-but-tender cowboy delivery in a perfectly balanced duet of sweetness and spice. Hazlewood’s still-relevatory electro-tweaked countrified pop constructions take the entire production to the next level in this slice of coed harmonic bliss, hot and fresh after four decades.

Nancy and Lee

Their second release, Nancy & Lee Again, may not contain the iconic Some Velvet Morning (expertly covered by Slowdive) or their superb take on The Righteous BrothersYou’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, but it’s the superior record to my ears. Here’s that cover:

nancy and lee again

The near epic Arkansas Coal (Suite) kicks off the set in dusky mysterious tones and quickly builds through an emotionally swerving narrative toward an anthemic horn blasted finale.

Mid-album highlight Down From Dover (prominently sampled by The Go! Team) is possibly the best showcase for Sinatra’s voice, a raggedly heartfelt turn which may surprise those who know her as a too-cool chanteuse from These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ or Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down). Capped off by the deliciously playful conversation of Got It Together Again, we’re privy to these final words:

Nancy: “I wish everybody would be quiet, and nice.”
Lee: “Yeah, and don’t throw rocks.”
“Yeah.”
“And don’t shoot guns.”
“Right.”
“And come home safe.”
“Right”
“Because we miss ya.”

This intimate exchange gives me a chill right down my spine. It’s exemplary of the whole album, an experience not unlike listening in on two sweetly adoring old friends as they sing like they’re the only ones who can hear, only for each other. We’re just lucky it was caught on tape.

[pick this right up on original vinyl at amazon (!!! yes!!!) or get it digitally via 7digital, as it’s not issued on CD. or you can get the excellent Fairy Tales & Fantasies collection, compiling almost every good track they recorded]

Tim Exile – Listening Tree

Tim Exile creates slamming dance-inclined tracks by pulling at the threads of several electronic movements and stitching them together into an inclusive parachute – escalating, enveloping, exhilerating high altitude drops over an expansive oscillating environment.  Listening Tree is a galaxy-surfing warp drive pop electronica extravaganza.

Tim_Exile_Listening_Tree_Warp_Records

Pouring the excitement of peak-era big beat into a swirling dervish of glitchy textured electronica and experimental hiphop madness, it’s difficult to pin down; which is perfectly acceptable, as head nodding, dancing, or driving too rapidly take precedence over silly genre name games.  The stunning percussion and breathtaking tone shifts keep a heightened mood throughout, unrelenting in its seductive energy.  Undeniably futuristic laser-guided synth lines and cavernous bass manipulations consistently serve up hook after wacked-out hook, while vocals on several of the tracks create an immediacy many of Exile’s peers lack, though they’re never so prominent as to overshadow the jawdropping sonic adventurism.  It’s basically the whole package.  This album hits on several important fronts and then takes the listener back to bed at the end of the night.

[check up on Tim at his myspace while snagging Listening Tree at bleep or amazon, which sells cd, digital and vinyl issues]