by Tony Rettman

Mac Davis looks on bemused and frightened as an anonymous Princeton Record Exchange employee performs a scene from his one man play 'I Am The Human Men's Room'.

Excuse me ladies and Germs fans if my beat is off or my shoes look funny. It's just that I have no internet access at my dwelling right now due to AOL's involvement in the sacrificing and blowing of young goats. Because of this, I am forced to deliver my column from the glorified homeless shelter known as the local library. My concentration is pretty much shot to shit from all the other non-DSL-having scum that surround and distract me. At the computer in front of me is a floppy moustached gent who looks like he's molested a nephew or two in his time. He's checking out what looks like some sorta mail order brides/singles/poor defenseless women site and scribbles down the laydeez vital statistics on a piece of official library scrap paper. I stare at him like the circus freak he is while he retaliates with primo creepo vibes shot through lots of fidgeting and pseudo snewty 'you don't understand' looks. The thing is, we're both lost in our own separate worlds of pathetic illusion and there's no stone Billy Joel could throw at our glass houses to shatter it. There's really nothing seperating us. Except for the moustache. And the molesting. And he probably doesn't dig Sick Pleasure, The Staple Singers, or The Numbers Band as much as I do. Other than that, we're spot on I tell you.

To my right, a three hundred pound Haitian lets off the finest in dead brainwave signals via his harassment of a librarian. It seems the savage is upset he can't (Read-'Doesn't Know How To') send an e-mail and keeps yelling at this poor fey bastard because of it. How does this guy know how to tie his shoes and even leave the house? Everyone here is unhappy with themselves and all they are . . . me included, sadly enough. The room is one big losing game of hot potato projecting. And outside it just gets worse. Snow won't stop falling, and another storm is supposed to hit tomorrow. So let's get this 'winter edition' of the column off the ground before I become someone's mail order bride or dinner. That's me, Tony Rettman, the warmest rainbow in the room. Now shut the fuck up and read this...

My first encounter with Chris Bozzone was of the complete unknown. About six years ago, I was stumbling towards a local bar looking for more booze to compensate for all the other booze already floating through my system. When I finally got in the dump, I was aurally assaulted from the tiny stage by two real young looking dudes creating a messed up whoosh outta four track machines, casios, effects, etc. I remember the sound to be this opaque barrage that was completly head cleaning...almost too head cleaning. In fact, it got to be so head cleaning that I bid a hasty exit to the upstairs area of the bar for more booze and chat. But the whole incident was something that stuck with me for-fucking-ever. I guess it was just the image of these wiry, spectacled kids up there making this heinous racket while abuncha turtlenecked oldsters tried not to spill their Tom Collinseses in horror. It was quite a hoot. Little did I know until a few weeks ago that the duo was named Laced Blue and one of the boys in the duo was (now everyone say it with me in their best Paul Harvey voice) a young Chris Bozzone.

The CD Chris has just released on his own entitled 'Bloodstained Butterflies' has pretty much got nothing to do with confrontational noise, but it'll still have you sitting up and taking notice as quick as any ear bleeding cacophony. In a day and age when everyone and their asshole cousin is going the one-manned Psychedelic folk route, Chris comes along with this thing to reaffirm there's still good to be found in someone sitting at home listening to Roy Harper, Chasny, Simon Finn, Pip Proud, Charalambides, Robbie Basho, Richard Youngs, etc. and trying to create their own object of inspiration/admiration for all the times the sounds kept them company. The CD is a collection of simply strummed acoustic beauties, sawed drone insanity and effected vocal pieces that come from the etheral gut of pure expression. This is a disc made for the simple need to create something with no intentions of joining anyone's social club. A rather revolutionary idea, no? Excuse my enthusiasm, but when a regular at my local diner does good, I get excited. Buy this thing by the bucketload from Chris at cbozzone@hotmail.

Just got hold of a bizarre single from a local (?!?!?) band who call themselves Buckets And Batteries. They hail from New Brunswick, a town about twenty miles north of here that's famous for drunken frat jocks, bad bar bands and hot wings (in that order) and I don't think they'll be axed to open for The Boss Jim Gettys at the Court Tavern anytime soon. The A Side of this is a stumbling weirdo folk mantra recorded right out there in the open air, complete with whizzing cars and children on the tape. The second side has three numbers on it. Two of them are bizarre beatbox fueled snippets with foggy electronics draped around them and the closer is a wrenching, stop-start rock improv number that sounds like Demo Moe trying out a new laxative. Wrapped up in a tar-caked manilla envelope cover, this is the type of thing that keeps me in the game. A totally out of nowhere blast of true freakdom, done for the sake of nothing but to unleash beauty and demons. The day I see these guys on the Troubleman society pages is the day I retire from doing everything for nothing and you read that here FIRST. Get one of these at bucketsandbatteries now before you end up buying one for thirty dollars later.

One band I saw over my summer vacation that did it for me was Rhode Island's Barnacled. Looking like a community college full of phoney luggage thieves and sounding like Henry Cow with a cock lengthening, they were one of the better memories from the season of sweat and cut-too-high cut-offs. Now, not only does this brand new 45 they've released on the White Denim label repeat that live set's pleasantness, but it looks swank to boot (and I don't mean it looks like porn ... unfortunately). The A Side sounds like Mingus' 'Cumbia and Jazz Fusion' played as a Venusian polka while the B Side is a free form tinkler with nasty bowing, digesting electronics and clattering/chattering percussion. All the while those elements kick up dust, saxes anchor down the sound from flying too close to the sun by blowing pure cement from their bells. It's quite a holy thing. The whole record seems to have some marriage theme going on that I'm sure I could figure out if I wanted to, but 'Law And Order' comes on in a half hour and I really should save up my brain power until then.

On the other side of the summer viewing coin, I saw Chi-Town's very own Plastic Crimewave Sound over the summer and boy did they suck. With the Psychedelic equivalent of Carrot Top at the front of the stage and an El Duce look-a-like at the back on drums, they showed real promise. But then they started playing this bad formless psych spew and I was reminded that Courtney Love murdered El Duce and traded his infamous porn-covered drumset for the body of a dead twelve year old. How could I forget that? So when Uncle Ed at the Eclipse label released their debut lp and was nice enough to send it to me ... well, let's just say I was happy I didn't have to pay for it. Once I threw the thing on, of course, I promptly kicked off my shoe and stuck my foot in my mouth while writing third party checks to all involved. This thing entitled 'Flashing Open' is a thugged out monster that actually sounds legitimate in all its intents, frustrations and insanities. Tracks like 'Caged Fire Theme' and 'Husk' are so stuffed with dense guitar sounds and random shooting sonics, it sounds like Japanese Psych heavies going down to the basement to drink a case of Old Style with Brucie Cole. Then there's the kitchen sink Eno stuff like 'Perfect Glass Orchards' and the demented come down of 'Roar Back And The Waves' ... it's a well crafted vessel. And of course like all fine stoner albums, it comes equipped with a fake out ending. Perfect. Hopefully I'll see them again and dig it. We'll see I guess...

Another Plastic Crimewave related disc is this Splendor Mystic Solis lp named 'Heavy Acid Blowout Tensions Live!'. When Mainliner came over from Japan to tour the U.S. in the summer of '99, Splendor Mystic Solis were a one-off heavy jam band that opened up for them and was centered around the triple guitar assault of Kawabata Makoto, Nanjo Asahito and Mr. Crimewave. The three long ass jams that make up this record get pretty twisted and shockingly all over the place, never getting into the psych sludge pits you'd think it would get into. The grooves go from sounding like Flipper jamming with Ash Ra at Winterland to pig-destroying levels of guitar excess at a pencil neck-breaking pace. Not bad. Not bad at all. But you're still not gonna get me to buy an Acid Mothers Temple record. Sorry!

I haven't heard the word 'Movietone' since those heady days of 1996 when everyone was under the throes of Flying Saucer Attack mania. Remember the trading cards? The reversable FSA rain ponchos? Or how about all those seven inches you bought because they had stickers plastered on them that read 'Features ex-members of Dave Pearce's bridge club'? Yeah, I remember Movietone being caught up in that haze somewhere, probably because Movietone founder Rachel Brock was a former FSA member. So you can understand why I approached this new Movietone CD, 'The Sand And The Stars' with both trepidation and salad tongs. As usual, my snewtyness was highly uncalled for. I should really cut that shit out. Exuding a melancholy that's distinctly English, these guys/gals lay out the always-effective third Velvets album vibe of hushed vocals and twinkling guitar and take it on location. Recorded in churches, warehouses, and beach front property (must be nice) these tracks have a warm breathy intimacy that I'm not ashamed to say has led me to slumber's gates many times this month. Rumour has it that all the 'on location' sounds of lapping waves and creaky church pews found on this disc are fake. Apparently, Movietone pulled the guys who provided all the crowd noise for 'Kiss Alive' out of retirement and had them do their magic all over this thing. If this is true, I'll be just as heartbroken now as when I was six and heard the crowd on 'Cold Gin' was as fake as my brothers' Canadian girlfriend. How pathetic and sad for everyone.

Another column, another Sunburned Hand Of The Man release to talk about. But it certainly ain't no chore to sit through their sounds. No Sir. No Ma'am. Julie Cope could hire them all as his personal valets (Prince Charles stylee) and Bobby 'Jackie' Thomas could become a professional moustache model and I'd still sing their praises. The thing I think is a real 'thing' about them is, you'd think they'd follow a gameplan of more cohesive releases as they get shunned out further into the spotlight. Instead, they seem to be sending themselves into this pantyhose-brown spiral of laying down on wax their most psychotic and disorienting work to date. I've always been a fan of not giving the people what they want, so you know I applaud their actions something fierce. This time around we've gotta very anonymous and plain jane looking lp that apparently was released as a 'bootleg' without the band's permission. If you believe this story, well, I have some swamp land up my ass you might be interested in purchasing. Interested parties go to -- Through most of this alb, Chad Cooper bedrocks the sound with dissident grooves pumped out of his electronics. All around these bumps and grinds, saxes squawk, maracas shake, and an array of unidentifiable smog clouds shoot above the upper area. At the risk of sounding like a total douche, this record sounds like what would have happened if Bernard Stollman double-booked a studio with The Godz and Frank Lowe's group and just said 'Fuck it, play something, I'll put it out'. And of course, he never did. Shit like this record makes even a fanboy like me stare into the walls and wonder what these clowns will do next. Which I guess is the whole point of what they do. I raise a glass of blood in salute and await their next jam with trembling toes.

And then we got this vinyl opus in sight and sound that is Brooklyn's Double Leopards' 2XLP 'Halve Maen'. Being fully qualified heads, DL understand a double LP isn't something you just fart out lightly. The image and sound has to coalesce tightly, providing an experience worthy for repeated drug-taking listens. As I expected, they've accomplished this perfectly. The swimmable jello spores that come from these two platters are exquisite electronic sounds that hiss and arch beautifully, making like molasses on an ocean floor. These emissions are the perfect soundtrack to the full color gatefolded glory that wraps these records together. A puzzling vision that will have you contemplating many of life's deep mysteries, such as 'Is that an old Powell Peralta logo on the front cover?' or 'Why is the Forrest Gump of free jizz Arthur Doyle thrown into the gatefold?' or 'Who's this Pam Anderson look-a-like in there?' And most importanly, 'Where are my car keys?' A few more listens to this and I might be convinced this is our generation's 'Zeit'. For now, I'm gonna keep digging for oblivion in these grooves. Are YOU up for the dig???

'In Luck' is a collaborative effort between Neil Campbell and Fencing Flatworm label head honcho Rob Hayler and it's a strictly stoned affair. The first half of this sounds like 'New Age' era Ash Ra getting a groove on. The cold and fuzzy locks onto your head like a bear trap and doesn't reliniquish until the thoroughly obnoxious and aptly titled 'Get Down', a track that makes me wanna put on snow goggles and forcefeed people whistles. The second half is a dense bed of electro-twinkle, just the kinda thing you would expect from Englishmen of this stature. I just hope Neil and Rob busted out their shiney silver suits to record this. I really, really do.

'The Singing Pubis' is a CDR re-issue of a solo Neil Campbell joint from a few years back and catches him in classic NC form. Sunk deep into the tasty brine of this whooshing dervish of tape hiss, uncontrollable electronic bleats/overloads and casios being used as pillows is a wonderfully unique form of English primitive beauty, right up there with the work of Magic Michael or Benny Hill. And I think that says a fuck of a lot. Whether or not these items were sold on the recent east coast tour of the U.S. done by Neil's combo (The Vibracathedral Orchestra) I don't know. That guy from Jackie-O Motherfucker was working their merch table and I heard he wipes his cock on everything he tries to sell and I wasn't about to risk catching something. But you can try going to

In between being in avant pluckers Enos Slaughter and leading the free jass ensemble Izititiz, Carter Thornton likes to lie and say he's a duo by the name of Zashiki-Warashi. He enjoys perpetuating this myth so much, he did up a two CD set of his abstract fibbery and titled it 'Floor Child'. He had some friends help him. Some you've heard of, some you haven't. I sure do wish I had heard of Z-W contributor/helper Fudge Bridges before getting this set. With such a kick ass name as that, he'd be more than welcomed at any of my cheese wizz parties. But anyway, these discs are a bold attempt at filling space with the most demented and personal sounds possible. Live and drugged guitar stumbling, weirdo snippets of vinyl being slowed, speeded up and stalled, horns wailing against flailing drums, police sirens speeding by open wondows, crude field get alotta confusion for your buck. And it comes off like a ragged photo album full of fractured moments, reminding me of the Vitamin B12 boxset or something. Go to and give it up.

I know you and I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, 'Whatever happened to J.F. Ryan? You know, the guy who used to shake bad apples and tree branches in The No Neck Blues Band.' Well, Jeff went off to spearhead a new thing named Excepter and Fusetron just released the debut lp, 'Ka'. I'm sorta guessing Jeff left his tree branch in someones' vag, because this is as far away from a hippy drum circle as you can get. And I dig that. This sounds like a new form of disco for the disturbed, presented in a foggy eyed manner that most Brooklyn floppyheads wouldn't even fathom. It gets down in fragmented beats and bleats and it keeps you bending your neck back ever so slightly. But this isn't just a jagged sophisto dance party. There's the disturbingly meditative vocal wash of 'Shattered Skull', and other random quivering moments that remind me if I had a gun, I wouldn't use it. I would just scratch at it a lot and hope it grows into a man soon.

And now comes the time in this column for Rettman's obligatory Hardcore re-issue, so all you grandma's can go suck cock and discuss folk guitar tunings while I delve into matters that are oh-too-brutish for you and your bandwagon kind. Uh hum...Urban Waste were certainly the best HC band to come out of NYC in the early 80's and anyone worth their weight in bootspurs will agree. Their eight song 7" from '83 is one of the greatest scratches in the wall of primitive hair pulling skree EVER. The thing has been re-issued a couple of times over the years, but this recent one done up by the fine fine folks at the Mad At The World label seems to be the nicest one yet. I've always envisoned UW to be the long lost brother band to D.C.'s Void. Guitarist Johnny Waste's phased-out, almost artsy guitar sounds just as out of place and fucked as Bubba Dupree's bizarre metallic heroics did back then and vocalist Kenny Ahrens sounds like he's as screechy and unhinged as John Weiffenbach. But these dudes weren't driving Volvos to the Wilson Center, know what I mean? I'm sure you do. When I think of honest, pumped-to-the-gills savage insanity, I can only think of Urban Waste, Void, Cyanamid, Child Abuse...I'm sure there's more, but I ain't got the time. Shit, Hair Police wishes they could be this non-mapped out and fucked up. Pictures from the OG insert to the 7" and great liner notes by the lovely Wendy Guillotine makes this the most historically relevant HC re-issue this year next to the Solger CD. Get this and 'skank yourself to death and destroy.' (Kenny's words, not mine.)

I guess the one record that gave me the biggest case of 'What The Fuck' syndrome this time 'round was the debut lp by a Chicago three piece with the name of Spires That In The Sunset Rise. There's a few ways to look at this record. You could say it sounds like the Golden Axes morphing into sloppy, manic druids. Or you could say it sounds like the daughters of Amanda Trees, Linda Perhacs and Graham Lambkin involved in a confusing and unexplainable daisychain. But I guess what it really sounds like is abuncha kids who got into some bad blood pudding while Comus plays in a garage down the road. I know it sounds great while snow piles up outside and you keep filling the pipe. Sorry west coasters, no hope for you!

Another thing to get 'cited about is this compilation CD that just came out on the Psych-O-Path label named 'Space Is No Place'. When I first got this into my mitts, I was delighted and thrilled to see some of my favorite NYC groups finally getting some tinfoil time, like Mountains Of Mata Llama and Jesus With Me. And hey, there's a No Neck track on here too...that's cool. But who are these other bands? Flaming Fire? Centuries? Breast Fed Yak? Seeing the names of these bands both humbled and confused me. I thought I know SOME of it all, but I guess I just pose hard. Luckily this disc came along to hip me to some truly fucked units who are operating right under my nostrils. Like the three piece on here named Naturally who offer this almost inaudible track consisting of a baby singing through effects and someone strumming a guitar five blocks away. Anyone who can track down more material for me from this unit will earn not only a half off coupon for a salad at Sizzlers but two bus passes! Then there's this other band named Axolotl who sound like The Sun City Girls on a cheap beer bender. And what about Las Molas Amistades who sound like Tyrannosaurus Rex with a little hot sauce thrown on their shoes. As far as the bands I've heard of on this disc go, Jesus With Me repeat the mind numbing Psych sludge molestation of their live shows and I thank them for commiting something to tape so's I can enjoy the sound without dealing with five dollar beers and people in general. Imagine the glory days of the Twisted Village label played with more honest brute force. A full length please? ElectroPutas sound like a funky Hawkwind on here. They're such a strange band. Mountains Of Mata Llama rock out a little harder than I've seen them do in their recent live shows. Their jam on here sounds like 90's U.K. psych heads The Green Ray diving down deep in the river to retrieve whiskey and the lost keys to The Avalon Ballroom. NNCK are at their most Beefheartian on the track they present here. Man, this compilation is the perfect portrait of the NYC underground today, completely free of any shit sucking floppy headed trustfunders raping the graves of Simon Topping and Lydia Lunch. Those two ARE dead, right?

The whole Jeweled Antler thing is something I'm pretty ignorant on. There's been a few things out of it I've sat up and taken notice to, but on the whole, the majority of what they do comes off real secondary when compared to the other communal units that have proceeded them. This Hala Strana CD on Emperor Jones is apparently the work of card carrying J.A.C. member S.R. Smith and it ain't too bad. In the press releases that accompanies this thing, Smith goes on about how this is his take on Eastern European folk music. All pretentious ass shitting aside, this is basically a decent weird rock record with folk elements. The throbbing lament in tracks like 'Spiring Plume' and 'The Strictness Of Beauty' sounds like The Dirty Three mourning over a cracked-in-half copy of 'Unhalfbricking'. There's other parts of Transylvanian folk music, trad folk turned into MBV like blurs and general coolness that has provided me with some artificial sunrises at moments when all I could sense was the lateness of the hour and the smell of my feet. So I guess I shouldn't complain, but I do want it known I enjoy my sunsets in real mode.

A few months back, I saw Texas' Primordial Undermind open up for The Suntanama. Aside from the stupid old hippy behind me who wouldn't shut up about being busted for smoking pot at a Monkees concert, I enjoyed the set. Hell, any band who can cover Blue Oyster Cult's 'Flaming Telepaths' is more than alright with me. Their latest CD, 'Tiny Shells Of Revolution' soars to pretty high points with enough psych guitar moves to make both Steve Miller and Nick Salomon proud. But there are moments here that sound like Steve Vai's lost 'Psych' record. And then when they open their mouths to sing...I wish I hadda a staple gun handy. But this is the sound of legitimate psychedlia, no one here was turned on by Bardo Pond or something. And their choice of Dead Kennedys and Dillards covers is a pretty dope and bizarre move.

Baltimore's Anomoanon continue to bring a big dummy smile to my face and why they aren't carried on haystacks around town for their efforts, I just don't know. Their latest 4 song 10" 'Portrait Of John Entwistle' is yet another ring toss into greatness. It continues their winning Crazy Horse/Meat Puppets hybrid but there's some weird movements afoot here. 'Cherries' is a weird murky psych move with droning organ and plodding rhythms. The record closing jam, an homage to the coked up corpse of the spider himself, starts out like a word perfect adaptation of The Who's 'Tommy' interlude 'Sparks' and then gets sucked into a weird ring of smoke and ends up sounding like a non-ironic Allmans-like jam. Good stuff? Great stuff. This is a band that rocks with full on hearts shown. No ironic fist pumping...No masks...No shoebox electronics...No mapped out aggro...Have I alienated everyone yet?

So, yeah there we go, another pile of sounds consumed and shat out in the name of 'something to do'. If you got something you think I'd be interested in writing about send it along to --Tony Rettman / 414 West 121st Street / Apartment 59 / New York City, New York / 10027. If I've written something and you'd like to make a comment towards me about it, come on over and I'll punch your damn lights out. Just kidding, send it along to -- Until then.....