Nate Fitzbutler did a remix to Kanye West’s and Kendrick Lamar’s “No More Parties in LA” called “No More Parties in SD”. He said, "we made this track to try to bring some national buzz to our city that’s always been in the shadow of the LA music scene."

Niko Sitaras from the San Diego based dream rock band Paper Days says, "We just released our new EP 'Fun For Family & Friends'. Our release party is on Feb 19th being hosted at the Irenic (with The Bash Dogs & Splavender). 

Panic Is Perfect is an indie-pop group from San Fran and they are touring in support of their new album, Cellspace, which drops tomorrow on Strange Loop Records. They'll be playing at The Loft @ UCSD on Feb. 12!





Astro & Suzuki Junzo - Cosmic Blues Experience
(plunk's plan CD) Keith Boyd 02.07.07
I suppose you could write several books about Blues music. There are probably as many ways to approach the topic as there are authors who are willing to try. You could do a history lesson and start with Africa . You'd probably follow that line through the introduction of those two great nation nullifying forces; Slavery and Christianity. The music that resulted from this meeting was a blend of African call and response mixed in with Church music and then shaped by the dislocation of the Slave trade. From what we know of the time the music was a mixed bag of field hollers, work songs and early gospel music. From there it's just a hop, skip and secularizing jump to Blues proper and then onward to the various regional flavors and styles. So that's one approach. Another might be to examine the development of those various regional styles and what made them unique and who were the major personalities involved. I suppose another approach might be to consider the social and emotional impact Blues music had on it's generating and target culture, namely; Southern rural Black people. This approach would examine lyric content for signs of the concerns and psyche of the audience and performers. So, what does all of this mean? Does having several hundred books examining Blues music really get us any closer to the true deal? By knowing the history of a given phenomena I suppose we gain some vicarious experience and perspective but I would put forth that to truly get under the skin of the Blues you need to go deeper. I'm not going to argue Black and White issues here. I'm a white guy looking on a culture that isn't my own. So with that being said I'd still like to put forth my insight as to what gives the Blues at least a part of its vital heart. It's what I'll call "The Plaint".

The Plaint is a notion that underlies so many artistic endeavors that it can be oddly invisible at times. The plaint's more visible cousin is something that surrounds us daily; the COMPLAINT. While a complaint is mundane, the plaint is elevated. The Book of Psalms is one Plaint after another. Most forms of protest are based on a plaint one group has with some established norm or rule. The essence of a plaint is a deep longing of the heart for something or other. It could be a woman. It could be health. It could be spiritual freedom or a release from the bondage of poverty. Like the old song says, "It could be spoonful of coffee. It could be a spoonful of gold..". Whatever the plaint is about it is deeply felt and wished for. Given this small piece of the inner core of what makes the Blues the Blues, we can pull back our focus and consider other music in this light. Given that the phrase, "The Blues" is mainly concerned with people shouting out their particular lament I suppose it is fair to consider Astro and Suzuki Junzo's new CD, "Cosmic Blues Experience" as a real Blues release.

There are no 3 chord, 12 bar stompers here. You won't hear anyone talking about the crossroads, gambling, love gone wrong or booze. All of the trappings of Blues music are absent here. What fills in the void they leave is a scorching, white-hot lament for the universe. It all starts off with a longish passage of jigsaw puzzle sound pieces. They emerge, expand and float in space for a bit then succumb to the next tone. These scattered bits are a trance inducing visit to the intergalactic space port. They are beautiful in and of themselves and show surprising restraint considering what comes next. I love the length of these tracks. There are only three of them and two come close to the twenty minute mark. It takes this kind of length, I believe, to achieve the backdrop and storyline if you will, that pulls the listener along. Yeah, I know, I love Punk Rock too. I love that kind of brevity and to the point stuff but we need room for everything these days don't we? If not we run the risk of just gliding over the surface of things. So suspend your disbelief and let these sounds wash the bad karma from the folds of your brain. The overall effect of this disc is that of an enormous build. The spacey tendrils start colliding more frequently and the music takes on a propulsive and at times aggressive tone. Track two, "Galactic Joy" takes this musicy element and puts it out in front. With the addition of drums the track comes on like The Velvet Underground pumping away on the riff from the Batman show while heavily medicated at a gig in a Lower East Side alley on Mars.

So how is this "Blues" music? It's all in the margins friends. There is a tremendous longing to be heard on this disc. It's the plaint of the Earth dweller looking skyward and wishing for flight. It's the cry of the infant pulled from inner space to this cold, cold world. It's the long slow motion notes pulsing and crawling outward in search of anything or everything. This is a Cosmic Blues for the Microcosmos of your mind.


    Lotushouse MP3 Sampler
    Maquiladora - The Revenge of Becky Royal (New Piano)
    Tenniscoats + Maquiladora - Hours
    High Mountain Tempel - Processional (An Invocation to Thee Angelic Sister)
    Raagnagrok - HJD
    Beggars - Will We Call It Love
    Maquiladora - Termez 1936
    Maquiladora - Song 26
    Buzz or Howl - Sendhe Mortu Chin Rigore
    Earthling Tempel - Celestial Inhabitants of the Sun
    Buzz or Howl - The Sins Of The Flower Are Visited On The Shunned
    Maquiladora - Light of the Rain
    High Mountain Tempel - The Ascended Master (Hang Gliding in Heaven)
    High Mountain Tempel - Fluctuat Nec Mergitur
    High Mountain Tempel - Tempel Walk
    Buzz or Howl - 05 Oct 05
    Buzz or Howl - Sun as the Destroyer of Dreams
    Live version at the Make Room SF 2005
    Maquiladora - In This Life
    Maquiladora - Simply to See You
    Maquiladora with Kawabata Makoto - Nampasen
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Drunk and Lighting Fires (A Waltz)
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Ritual of Hearts
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Ankle
    Maquiladora - Mayday
    Loraine Loraine - Pasqually Old Pasqually

    Beggars - S/T
    by Pierro Scaruffi

    Maquiladora's Eric Nielsen and Bruce McKenzie joined forces with Skygreen Leopards' Glenn Donaldson to form Beggars, whose double-disc Beggars (Lotushouse, 2013) is a tour de force of ecstatic Eastern-influenced freak-folk. Mostly these pieces lean towards the traditional song format, although inevitably deformed by the musicians' pedigrees.

    The ghostly hyper-dilated drones of Ghost Coyote are imbued with quasi-Morricone western-movie guitar twang and even harmonica. The sweet lullaby and the trotting pace of Eureka My Love as well as the romantic honky-tonking Justine (with a refrain a bit reminiscent of Dylan's Blowing in the Wind) hark back to the heydays of country-rock. 2-3-74 Floating evokes the martial laments of the young Neil Young although diluted amid discordant guitar jamming and lulled by waves of funereal vocal harmonies. Berserker's Boogie is a lively and poppy almost-bluegrass tune. They even intone the singalong Queen Anne's Lace with drums, banjo and all.

    Thankfully, the spaced-out yodeling of Lullaby de Bourbon (memories of Aoxomoxoa-era Grateful Dead), the free-form quasi-jazz guitar and vocal interplay of Will We Call It Love, the seven-minute dreaming psalm Big Pink Sun and its sublimely disintegrating coda, remind us of what Maquiladora are best at. The 23-minute Midget Decapitates Clownis an ambitious concerto for suspense and agony. Far from being just a droning piece, it piles up sonic event after sonic event, producing the trancey effect out of a multitude of traumatic sounds. The chirping and tweeting that accumulates half-way into the piece decays into a nervous organic filigree and dies away in the most cryptic manner; one of the high points of Maquiladora's career.

    Earthling Tempel - Pilgrimage To Thunderbolt Pagoda
    by Aquarius Records

    Not sure if this is part 4, or just the first in a new multi part epic, hardly matters, what does matter is, this is another glorious expansive collection of meditative psychedelic abstract dronefolk ambience. Every High Mountain Tempel disc we're reviewed thus far has gotten played to death here, and this one doesn't appear to be any different. Well, at least in that respect. In one distinct way it is very different, HMT are not going it alone this time. They've assembled a pretty impressive collection of sonic alchemists and musical conjurers to help with this ritual, Isis Aquarian from the Source Family, Charles Curtis from La Monte Young's Just Alap Raga Ensemble, and two crews from the UK we've never heard of, Earthling Society and Astarism, but even with all those cooks in the kitchen, HMT and friends have managed to weave another dark minimal masterpiece, all hushed barely there guitar shimmer, drifting whispered vocals, delicate crystalline melodies, dense swirls of piano, warm swells of tape hiss, mysterious voices and field recordings, whirring organ, bowed steel strings... so lovely.

    If the liner notes are to be believed, two of the tracks feature Earthling Society on their own, and those tracks do sound different, much less free and sprawling, a bit more structured, like seventies UK acid folk, swirling and melodic and quite lovely. The final two tracks find the two groups in full on collaborative mode, and the gears shift to something much more space rocky and Hawkwindy, all blissed out and heart-of-the-sun, until the final track which is a strummy, delicate, moody chill out closer, a sort of dour doom folk drift, that makes a perfect ending.

    Super nice packaging, silkscreened oversized 4 panel sleeve, white on black, with the cd-r affixed to the inside. And of course, SUPER LIMITED!

    High Mountain Tempel - The Glass Bead Game by Aquarius Records

    Part three in the ongoing series of limited cd-r explorations from mysterious drone combo High Mountain Tempel, and like the two before it, the band continue to delve into some murky sonic underworld, again presenting loooong songs, each separated by brief sonic interludes, this disc seems feature more actual vocals, the opening track features a processed voice, that sounds a bit like throat singing, or a Speak And Spell, intoning some arcane message, interwoven with long drawn out tones, and a thick ropy buzz, super dark and intense and atmospheric. Elsewhere sampled voices surface, there are bits of chanting here and there, all peppered throughout the disc. But even with the extra voices, the focus here is still on dark, lugubrious, extended dronescapes.

    The sound of High Mountain Tempel is probably closest to Expo '70, as their various permutations of dronemusic seem to have a definite krautrock vibe, that gives the sound a sort of spaced out quality, and a subtle propulsion, but unlike Expo '70, HMT seem to have a distinct Eastern influence, much of the music is meditative and subtly dramatic, a bit soundtracky, and some of it sounds like it could be Japanese. Especially the way field recordings are incorporated into the sounds. Giving everything a definite texture, some of it sounding like it was perhaps recorded live in some hilltop temple. Which we would imagine is the idea.

    Not sure what else to say actually. This is indeed fantastic, brooding and malefic, but also shimmery and dreamy, sonically it has much in common with the first two installments, so definitely check out those reviews to read more about their 'sound'.

    Needless to say, fans of the drone and folks into the current crop of cd-r soundscapers will for sure dig this, but like the other HMT discs, this is more than simple drone music, this is ritualistic alchemical soundwork, one can almost imagine stumbling across a group of cloaked figures huddled around a fire in a forest clearing, tossing various powders into the flames, causing the fire to change color and cast beastlike shadows on the branches above, and this is the sound filtering through the forest like a black moonlit fog...
    SUPER LIMITED of course, packaged beautifully in a foldover silkscreened sleeve, gold metallic on red on the outside, black on red on the inside.

    High Mountain Tempel - A Screaming Comes Across The Sky - The Faultline Scriptures
    by Aquarius Records

    Record number two from this mysterious drone-kraut styled duo. Their last disc was a huge hit around here, so we were pretty thrilled to get our hands on this one, a logical sonic extension of the first, delving deeper into some murky tripped out twilit soundworld.
    The disc opens with shimmering clouds of gongs and cymbals, whirring and sizzling, suspended over a deep distant rumble, a delicate intro to a record at once hypnotic and lovely, dark and dense.

    The record is arranged into three epic tracks, interspersed with short sonic interludes, ranging from field recordings of crickets, looped chants (Elizabeth Clare Prophet if we're not mistaken), spirituals and mysterious liturgical songs, whirring drones, and backwards percussion, but it's the long tracks where the duo get to spread out, let their dense soundscapes sprawl.

    The three long tracks sounds like movements of a greater whole, clocking in at 15 minutes, 11 minutes and nearly 17 minutes respectively, each rife with creepy delayed vocals, churning guitars and smeared chords, roiling muddy whirls, which often dissipate leaving streaks of fragmented melody and haunting slowed down voices. Buried amidst the drones and whirs, are lullaby-like melodies, skittery percussion, streaks of grinding distortion, hidden voices, more field recordings, thick swaths of cavernous rumbles, little bits of electronic glitch and lots and lots of low end buzz.

    Packaged in a fancy navy blue fold over sleeve, screenprinted in white ink, with a photocopied insert with liner notes and song credits.

    LIMITED TO 150 COPIES! Each one hand numbered.


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