Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Owners of the world’s most tasteless band name, AIDS Wolf, and post-millennial blues unit Grampall Jookabox.
Listed: AIDS Wolf + Grampall Jookabox
AIDS Wolf formed during the great Wolf wave of 2003. Satirical and baiting, the Montreal foursome took immense joy in poking fun at the suddenly ubiquitous band name and pissing off self-righteous folks everywhere. Funny thing happened, though: tasteless as they were, AIDS Wolf made pretty decent music, too. Their brand of danceable noise-rock incorporated the sounds of Captain Beefheart, Voivod and Throbbing Gristle well enough to catch the ear of Montreal’s best radio station CKUT 90.3 FM, which has been a champion of their music ever since. And as you might gather from this week’s Listed, Yannick, Myles, Chloe and Alex are each rabid record collectors. The band’s latest LP, Cities of Glass is out now on Skin Graft Records, and you can catch their debauchery live on the following dates:
Oct. 30 – Danbury, Conn. (Heirloom Arts Theatre)
Oct. 31 – Brooklyn, N.Y. (Danbro Studio Warehouse in Goldenrod Brewery w/ DMBQ, Ponytail, Homosexuals and more)
Nov. 1 – Philadelphia, Penn. (WPW w/DMBQ)
Nov. 2 – Washington D.C. (Velvet Lounge)
Nov. 3 – Baltimore, Md. (Otto Bar w/Deerhunter)
Nov. 4 – Richmond, Va. (The Triple)
Nov. 5 – Greensboro, N.C. (Square One)
Nov. 6 – Atlanta, Ga. (The Earl)
Nov. 7 – Chattanooga, Tenn. (JJ’s Bohemia)
Nov. 8 – Birmginham, Ala. (The Bottletree)
Nov. 9 – Hot Springs, Ark. (The Exchange)
Nov. 10 – St. Louis, Mo. (Bluebird)
Nov. 11 – Kansas City, Mo. (Record Bar)
Nov. 12 – Oklahoma City, Okla. (Conservatory)
Nov. 13 – Dallas, Texas (Club Dada)
Nov. 14 – Austin, Texas (Emo’s)
Nov. 15 – Lubbock, Texas (The Foundation)
Nov. 16 – Albuquerque, N.M. (Launchpad)
Nov. 17 – Phoenix, Ariz. (Modified Arts / Trunk Space)
Nov. 18 – San Diego, Calif. (The Casbah)
Nov. 19 – Los Angeles (The Smell)
Nov. 20 – Sacramento, Calif. (UC-Davis Firehouse w/ AH Kraken, the Mayyors)
Nov. 21 – Oakland, Calif. (21 Grand)
Nov. 22 – San Francisco, Calif. (Hemlock Tavern)
Nov. 23 – Portland, Ore. (East End)
Nov. 24 – Vancouver, B.C. (Biltmore)
Nov. 25 – Seattle, Wash. (Vera Project)
Nov. 26 – Missoula, Mon. (Badlander)
Nov. 28 – Minneapolis, Minn.
Nov. 29 – Chicago, Il.
Nov. 30 – Detroit, Mich.
1. The University of Minnesota Marching Band - 14th Annual Indoor Concert 1975 (Mark Records)
Picked that up in a Minneapolis used shop. Contains probably the most staccato and jerky pieces of pink noise ever. Completely recorded in some incredibly reverby arena, where the crowd screams mix with the drum lines to increase the confusion even more. The songs are complete bullshit arrangements from traditional and other SousaSousa-like favorites, but the fun of it rests mostly in the crazy-assed blend of the percussion that ends up sounding like a hurricane of treble without any tone. The army-like feel and whistle shots increase the uncomfortable feeling of the whole recording (Yannick)
2. The Karate Party “1, 2, 3, 4,” (from Black Helicopter on S-S Records)
The bass goes on a descending scale in 8, while the drums go in 4 – following an extremely basic repetitive pattern, and the guitar is in 2, strumming two huge super atonal chords back and fourth, the guitar meets up with the bass in the chorus, while the drums goes in 2 – the whole thing sounds super alienated but keeps it catchy – a garage unit that is not afraid of churning out completely atonal pieces without sounding like goth-drenched no wave. Like a better, weirder Crime. (Yannick)
3. Moussa Doumbi - “Yeye Mousso” (from Lipa Kodi Ya City Council on Mississippi Records
This tune is amazing because it makes an extremely atonal vocal line very very catchy. 1960s distorted psych from Mali. Its inspiring because its heavy and driving and simultaneously very joyful. The bassline is undeniably North American sounding but the vocal tone and melody is very otherworldly. That particular bassline turns up in a modified form somewhere on Cities of Glass. The rest of the record is beautiful as well, the gospel song at the end of the first side is particularly gorgeous. (Myles)
4. Donna Summer - “I Feel Love” (from Live and More on Casablanca Records)
This one might seem out of left field but the slightly distorted vocals and bizarre harmonies from the back up singers take this version to another level. She introduces her sisters and orchestra during the synth breakdown, which is charming. The energy of the performance and the audience make this one great. And the synth tone of course. (Myles)
5. Alban Berg - Wozzeck: Performed by the New York Philharmonic, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Conductor (Sony Classical Heritage Masterworks Series)
Opera is so abstract. When you get into the 20th century stuff and the music becomes less tonal and you have ladies really getting into the upper registers it becomes bonkers dissonant. This one tells the story of a soldier who is brutalized by the system, experimented on by a crazed doctor, constantly belittled and berated by his military superiors and ends up murdering his mistress...all the while failing his wife and child in untold psychological ways. Harsher than any current p.e. noise. Herzog made a film version of this story. Berg’s opera is better...if you can sift through the German libretto. (Alex)
6. The Scenics - Play the Velvet Underground - How Does it Feel To be Loved (Dream Tower Records)
Recently released, unearthed tapes of some scrappy Ontario boys belting out VU covers in various Toronto clubs circa ‘79-80. No frills, no skills versions of all your faves by some no-name jammers from hogtown. Lovely. (Alex)
7. Felix Morel - Journey Through Quebec’s Weirdo Underground (Live CKUT 90.3 Montreal Broadcast)
Felix is an amazing poster artist in Montreal who does collage better than anyone in the current crop. He’s also in a great Montreal band called Panopticon Eyelids, who have stuff out on Our Mouth and Abandon Ship records. Here he plays two straight hours of absolutely bent Quebec underground music from the mid ‘60s to present. From psychedelic jigs to gutter punk songs in French about mescaline. So amazing. Grip mp3 here. (Alex)
8. Albert Marcoeur - Albert Marcoeur (Atlantic)
A few years back, when we were on tour, we played a show in Munich that was a bit of a disaster. Our set was capped with a huge fight with our then guitarist, Christopher, who stormed out into the fog with the keys to the van leaving us stuck at the venue. On top of that we’d spent the day at Dachau, so were all feeling pretty fucked up and moody.
Trying to lighten the mood one of our hosts , Herman, poked his bearded face into the room saying “I hear you guys like prog?” and waved a giant slab of records at us. So, we all stayed up all night taking notes. This was the best record he played us, and lucky for me I found a copy at a record convention in Belgium about a month later.
Albert Marcoeur is a french avant-prog multi-instrumentalist who writes some of the most off kilter tunes this side of Captain Beefheart. On this record he sings, plays drums, clarinet, piano, wood pipes and a bizarre homemade percussive horn made from PVC tubing.
On songs like “C’est Raté, C’est Raté" and "Tu Tapes Trop Fort" he gurgles, barks, screams, slows and speeds his vocal lines and uses heavy breathing as percussion. These are the songs I studied while coming up with my vocals for Cities of Glass. This album is so disjointed and discordant, yet manages to be downright celebratory. It’s avant gardism that is FUN. (Chloe)
9. U.S Girls - Bit + Pieces CD-R (no label)
U.S. Girls is one girl – one girl who tours by herself on a Greyhound bus, sings over backing tapes played on a tube-powered reel-to-reel and makes some of the most hauntingly original music I’ve heard in a long time. It’s a one-woman goth-noise-girl group that’s amazingly catchy, using weird percussive elements in both vocal delivery and in the backing music.
The call and response vocals of the title track (a Dave Clark 5 cover, FYI) is especially interesting, it’s auditory schizophrenia! A demented one-person conversation that playfully and scarily subverts the original context of the song, the way few covers can. My fingers are crossed that these tracks will find a proper (meaning vinyl) home in the near future. (Chloe)
10. Country Teasers – The Empire Strikes Back (In The Red)
“All human life must be destroyed!!” Yes, Ben , I agree. The world’s greatest living lyricist doesn’t pull any punches here. His satirical lines might cause some of your friends some discomfort, so ditch ‘em – they aren’t too bright anyway. You deserve much better, smarter and funnier friends.
Being less abrasive than much of the Country Teasers output, I was initially surprised at myself for liking this so much more than everything else they’ve done. And that’s saying a lot cause I’ve been obsessed with this band for 10 years. It works in an “avant” context because of the epic nature of the album. Song to song there are subtle shifts in tone, and thematically, there is more cohesion than found on previous albums. What we have here is a concept album on race relations and misanthropy. This thing is a fucking opera and B.R Wallers is the smartest person I’ve ever met. (Chloe)
Indianapolis musician David Adamson is the mouthful Grampall Jookabox. A child of hip hop, Adamson patches machismo, sound editing savvy and early 20th century American music into a dense, puzzling façade that’s, in the words of Jello Biafra, “either really good or really bad, I’m not sure.” Adamson gives off a backpacker vibe reminiscent of Northern California’s Anticon crew, but passes on the abstraction in favor of tightly-coiled sample-fueled rock. Sufjan Stevens liked it enough to sign Grampall to Asthmatic Kitty, which will co-release the new album Ropechain on Nov. 4 with Joyful Noise.
1. Ssion’s Weight Issues
Ssion is fat. They are graduates of Kansas City’s infamous and now dead Sleeper Cellar who are doing wonderfully gay things. They make me wish I was gay. Their tour blog makes me want to go on tour with them. I sort of know how to play the easy piano part from the sweet first track on Fool’s Gold. So I sort-of play it on every piano I am near. Their older stuff is boss, too.
2. The Andre 3000 Saga
I have been with Andre and Big Boi since grade school, and our relationship is complex and emotional. ATLiens was taken from me because of the "Parental Advisory" sticker, but I got it back. One of the hardest things about our relationship is that they have no idea who I am. That has been a big obstacle for us. Even before The Love Below, Andre’s main conflict has always been whether he is some player type character or just a sweet dude who needs one sweet babe, like granddad. So after all these years, when I finally saw the "International Players Anthem" video, I was thrown into a strange fit of laughing while my eyes teared up. It was a perfect ending to that story, "You sure?" "Fuck it." I like to pretend that Andre is still married to Erykah, because she’s such a mega-babe. It’s like in Batman: "Sometimes people deserve more than the truth."
3. The Wu-Tang Kitchen
What a perfect recipe and mind-boggling crash-connection. How are that many people in one group that good? It makes me believe in God. And then, other people tried to figure out the recipe, but the Wu had the only one that worked. So Rae is laughing! It was math. It’s a shame that I hate math so much. The knowledge tends to do me, but that works, too.
4. The Girl Talk Phenomenon
There has been a lot of fancy talk about this man. I’ll just say that he does it the best that I’ve heard. People need the fun dancing, right now and always. This is our controversial pop music of the future! Don’t fuck up and not get it, like some old person. I like the areas where things don’t work exactly right. It seems like this and other DJ mixes expose a lot of people to dissonance and weird new ideas. Sometimes I’ll be driving and listening to the Hot 96.3 Friday night Micky-Ficky mix, and I’ll be like, "Ahh, this is fucked up!"
5. Impenetrable Dragonforce
Any band that makes me want to live in a fortress of flames and pump my fist so hard and fast that I shatter the windshield while we’re driving to Iowa City is alright in my book. Is this fake? They must have assembled the fastest players in the universe and then had them practice with a Journey record playing at the wrong speed.
6. Records Playing at the Wrong Speed
At home I listen to all my records at the wrong speed, way sped up. The two records that I listen to most are The Rountree Records compilation and Marmoset’s Record in Red. Amazing things happen when you speed things up or slow them down, whole new fortresses of flames are exposed. These records are probably awesome at regular speed, too, but I know that they are awesome at the wrong speed, so I’m sticking with that for now.
7. Metallica - Master of Puppets
I think I was mad at this band for many years because I blamed them for the way I used to sing in high school. But I have had this on repeat lately, and it’s badass. They were way more dangerous when their music was mixed in this crappy way, and before Hetfield started to sing all pretty. I heard the new single. It’s OK.
8. Mo’Nique in the Afternoon (w/ Sonny Andre)
This show plays on the drive home from work on Indianapolis’ legendary WTLC. I cannot stop smiling and laughing when I listen to this show. Mo’Nique has a seemingly endless capacity to love and want the best for everyone. She’s like my mom, but black. She even makes those Lowe’s plugs a joy to hear. Sonny’s voice is like smooth velvet butter.
9. Ariel Pink Is For Real
Ariel Pink is not a throwback fluke. Ariel Pink’s songs would still be sweet if they were recorded in a more crisp way. He’s obviously not concerned about some concrete body of flawless work. I love that one about committing suicide or killing somebody. It’s funny, man.
10. Gary Wilson Is the Godfather of Bro
Gary! I cannot get enough of Gary. I took Mary Had Brown Hair from a reject bin at Flyer Radio in Dayton, OH. This was probably around the time that it came out. I just took it because I knew Stones Throw was cool. I was not ready for it at the time. I finally put it back in on a tour I did by myself, and then I listened to it for the entire tour. Now I have all of his records, and I don’t understand why the new one still isn’t out.
By Dusted Magazine