Archive for Tag ‘sounds like a Tuesday‘

The State of Kuwait: One Grain of Sand In the World (Lean Back)

Photo: Aaron Defourneaux

OpEd: Richard Paul Harper, Jr.


It is on the night after the death of the great Pete Seeger and upon streaming Henry Mancini’s “Best Of” that I write this.

The duel purpose with which the occasion compels me to jostle my thoughts down can also be revealed in the opening sentence. I awoke this morning to read of the news that Pete Seeger – the legendary folk singer and activist – had died peacefully at the age of 94. This is the first monolithic musical figure that has passed this year, but in 2013 the world lost Lou Reed, Donald Byrd, Phil Everly and Ray Price, to name the smallest amount. All major figures, both in the music community and in the popular landscape as well. But none illicit nearly as much of a reaction from me as Pete Seeger’s death did. My initial thought was that stating he died peacefully seemed a bit ill-fitting, given that the current climate in which we live (double meaning intended) can hardly be navigated in a “peaceful” manner. As such, Mr. Seeger appeared to gracefully let go of the torch he (once) carried, while still maintaining his fervor for life. Either that or he probably asked himself every day upon waking, “are you fucking kidding me?”

My next thought immediately went to the onslaughts of tributes that were about to be poured out for the righteous man. A mental rolodex began to spin of all the people who claimed Seeger as inspiration or in his lineage: Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, etc. etc. and I vowed to skim everyone of them with a dull-attention span and to not go and do likewise. In fact, en route to my relatively yuppie job bar-tending at a locally-sourced burger joint (where I also am in charge of the music during the shift), I said to myself that I wouldn’t so much as even mention his passing to anyone and would play only a few of his tracks – exclusively deep cuts – as I queued up whatever jams for that morning shift. Yet here I am. Human beings are fickle, malleable beasts.

Den Rest lesen…

New Yorkleans 2,012.

Fly Golden Eagle are driving around and playing shows with our friends from Brooklyn, Clear Plastic Masks (listen to them here: ) and Banditos from Birmingham (and them here: ).

Everyone expects to have a sufficiently good time and you should come out and hang.

Po’ Me Granite

Obliged, thank you, gratitude, etc.

Here’s a “wrap-up” for you and yours via The Blacktooth Camp and co. We asked some rad people in town who we think do rad things to compile their top 5 records of the year (some released in 2011 and some they just dug the most in 2011). A diverse sprinkling, both in terms of records and choosers, it’s of interesting note that a lot of locals show up, as well as the absence (barring a few exceptions) of solely, new, released-in-2011 records. Maybe that has something to say, maybe it doesn’t.

At any rate, in addition to the top 5′s, we’ve culled together a mix from some of our favorites in town. The bands are entities that we’ve (mostly) talked about on here, one way or the other, as well as bands who’s records we’ve put out (or would like to put out. Or are in). This is a fantastic run of demos/unreleased/new songs from some of the most talented people in town (or, in the case of Dungen, who came to town):

You’ve got a Chrome Pony jam from their demo release (a song that wasn’t re-recorded for their Illegal Smiles EP); a new demo from Fly Golden Eagle; The Phantom Farmer brings hot fire, which is from Joel McAnulty’s (By Lightning) forthcoming solo release, Home On the Frequency Range: Alpha; James Wallace visits weird city with Jen Turner of Here We Go Magic; Jota Ese remixes the unflappable Mark Morrison‘s early-90′s slow jam, “Return of the Mac” and sends it straight to atonal hell; Natalie Prass shows how sexy mumbling can be on her demo of the slow, well-tempered-synth jam, “Bird of Prey”; John McSparran, puppeteer-extraordinaire, gives us a short introduction track under a misnomer (which should direct you to his very-rare project Cigarette Trees); a ghost by the name of Odessa chills all over it; the post-mortem Hepatitties give a demo from their progenitor days that never made it onto the now-cult-classic A Taste for Peaches EP;  a more sentient and palliative state is where you will find Majestico; and the nubile and raw-as-real-time-revolution men in Ranch Ghost cut a new track over at BIV town with Jitch manning the boards that acts as the auditory whiskey you add to your apple cider. (Speaking of Jitch, he recorded the Dungen-Sweedz when they came through town last year and Ben T. made it sound right.)

Download the mix after the picture below, and read on to see the top 5′s.

Nashville rules. Thank you. Seriously.

Download “blacktooth on Blacktooth” here: <click!>




Andrew Krinks (Editor, The Contributor):

Tom Waits – Bad As Me
Gillian Welch – The Harrow & the Harvest
Radiohead – The King of Limbs
James Blake – James Blake
Wilco – The Whole Love


Ben Trimble (Fly Golden Eagle, Majestico, Hepatitties, Blacktooth Records):

The Limiñanas – (S/T)
Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas – (Compilation)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – (S/T)
Serge Gainsborough – Les Annees Psychedeliques (1966-1971)
Natural Child – 1971


Sean Thompson (Nikki Lane, utility for anyone):

Michael Daves And Chris Thile – Sleep With One Eye Open
Nikki Lane – Walk Of Shame
Louvin Brothers – Satan Is Real (repress by Light In The Attic, I know, but this is a really important album that a lot more people will hear now.)
Charles “Packy” Axton – Late Late Party 1965-67 (Another Light In The Attic Repress but goddamnit this record rules.)
Kenny Vaughan – V


Chris Murray (Square People, Square People Jazz Maturity, Hepatitties, Toadies 2):

5. Dope Body – Nupping
4. John Maus – We Must Become the Pitless Censors of Ourselves
3. Fat Worm of Error – Broods
2. James Ferraro – Far Side Virtual/Condo Pets EP
1. LMFAO – Sorry for Party Rocking


Josh Habiger (Chef, The Catbird Seat):

Wugazi – 13 Chambers
tUnE yArDs – w h o k i l l
Tom Waits – Bad as Me
The Goat Rodeo Sessions
Lost in the Trees – Time Taunts Me


Graham Fitzpenn (Majestico):

The Mattoid – The Glory Holy
The Velvet Underground – Loaded
Bob Dylan – Desire
The Royal Greek Festival Company – Greek Folk Songs and Dances
The Breeders – Last Splash


Joel Macinulty (By Lightning, The Phantom Farmer, records everyone/anyone):

Matt Moody – El Baile de los Muertos
Fly Golden Eagle – Swagger
Wilco – The Whole Love
Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
Chrome Pony – Illegal Smiles


Richard Harper (Fly Golden Eagle, Majestico B-squad, Oh Dang Lo Mein, Hepatitties, Blacktooth Records):

Psalters – Carry the Bones
James Wallace and the Naked Light – More Strange News From Another Star
The Stepkids – (S/T)
Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
trog’low – Mellow Feats EP

Honorable mention for White Denim – D and Tinariwen – Tassili


John Stout (Jota Ese, Oh Dang Lo Mein, Day Old Records):

5 of my favorite albums of 2011 are:
Shlohmo – Bad Vibes
Charles Bradley – No Time For Dreaming
Samiyam – Sam Baker’s album
Blu – n o y o r k
James Blake – James Blake

5 of my favorite songs of 2011 are:

Panda Bear – “Last Night at the Jetty”
Radiohead – “Lotus Flower” (with the music video of course)
Tyler the creator – Yonkers
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx – “New York is Killing Me”
Heavy cream – “Watusi”


John McSparran (Puppeteer, Wishing Chair Productions, Cigarette Trees):


1) John Adams – Nixon in China
2) The Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
3) Washington Phillips – Spreading the Word Through Song
4) Leonard Cohen – The Songs of Leonard Cohen
5) Mike Patton – The Solitude of Prime Numbers


Matt Jernigan (Chicago-based artist):

The top five albums I played loud enough from the hours of midnight – 6 am to piss off my upstairs neighbors in 2011. There’s never any particular order from midnight – 6am.

- Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
- James Ferraro – Night Dolls With Hairspray
- John Maus – We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
- Richard Pinhas & Merzbow – Rhizome
- Hepatitties – A Taste for Peaches


Tommy Stangroom (Square People Jazz Maturity, Square People, Toadies 2):

Deerhoof – Deerhoof v.s Evil
Bird Names – Metabolism (A Salute to the Energy of the Sun)
Thee Oh Sees – Carrion Crawler/The Dream
Shannon and the Clams – Sleep Talk
Hepatitties – A Taste for Peaches

James Wallace (James Wallace and the Naked Light, Heypenny?, tons o’ others?):

Best Records of 2010-2011 (Released within these years)
1. Mr. Hazelwood – The Golden Age
2. The Parting Gifts – Strychnine Dandelion
3. Matt White – Something New From America Today
4. Ballpoint Pens -Calcutta
5. Kai Welch – Send it Down


Andrija Tokic (The Bomb Shelter Recording Studio):

Lee Hazelwood – Cowboy In Sweden
The Hives – Tyrannosaurus Hives
Fly Golden Eagle – Swagger
The Who – A Quick One
XTC – White Music


Davis Watson (Filmmaker, The Kodachrome Project, Good Piping, Saul Burke on the Radio):

T. Rex – (S/T)
Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline
Townes Van Zandt – High, Low and In Between
Paul Simon – Still Crazy After All These Years
Van Morrison – Common One

Blacktooth Warehouse Knockdead: Spots

The Home Front.

Blacktooth’s second throw-down at The Zombie Shop was an outlandish success. This year featured sets by:

Oh Dang Lo Mein\\\\

The Hepatitties\\\\


JEFF the Brotherhood\\\\

Fly Golden Eagle\\\\

Cy Barkley\\\\

Hans Condor\\\\


One is tempted to ascribe the quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth about an idiot signifying nothing when it comes to NBN/SoundLand/Sound-Town or the Nashville music “business” in general, however two other impulses/stories come to mind, and I avoid that route. My friend Michael told me a story last year during this Nashville Music Weakend. He was sitting at the bar at The End during a sold out JEFF show and next to him was his acquaintance that runs/puts on NBN/SL. JEFF made a pithy comment from the stage about NBN which provoked the NBN CEO to throw a bar stool at the wall of The End. Outraged and hurt. Fair or not.

One is reminded of Sartre’s comment regarding events in life. Either embrace it entirely and give it your best, or run and wash your hands of the situation. And if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t escape but do not agree with it, you can always kill yourself. Harsh, but probably true.

We here at Blacktooth are trying to exchange in the human currency with no ulterior motives. We try to have fun and be honest and accepting and understanding and attempt to seek out others in the same path who are obsessed and have a reciprocal fondness for the same thing. Without writing a manifesto it may be hard to understand, and seeing as I don’t believe in manifestos and am the one writing currently, you – the reader – won’t get one. Just hang out one time and you’ll probably get a sense of what wave we’re all riding (or at least which wave we aren’t riding). I’m not trying to draw lines in the sand or place my understanding of the cosmos/art/music on a higher platform – we’re all in this thing together – there are just things that exist and ways of existing that aren’t for us and we see no benefit in. That view may seem at odds with the threatening camera angles, but it’s our optic and we’re sticking to it (-ish).


The Warehouse party is – in some way – the progenitor of our energy and the locus of our desire, certainly as far as ideas go. It was fantastic to have groups that weren’t in our immediate circle playing righteous tunes and diversifying everyone’s sounds and minds, and hopefully this was a move with which many more could be made. Many thanks to everyone who played, came out, laughed and danced. We tried to bring energy to the Nashville scene and I think all of us succeeded. Some pictures are below as well as the Blacktooth releases. GO SEE all the bands listed above. Everyone of them love it and mean it. I don’t even know if we’re all on the same page, in fact, I can almost guarantee we aren’t, but everyone hit something similar and it resonated that night. We’re going to try and compile a video and we want more pictures , so if anyone has any, send them our way.

In the words of our friend who summed the night well: Love was everywhere! That’s why the air was so fresh (terbacky smoke aside). That old maxim, “to labor in the arts for any other reason then love is prostitution” was personified by all the bands No ‘tudes, tickets, excess of cool or cameras or phones, just booze and great goddang music and people. And D E M E T R I A’s four-eyed mug.

Oh Dang Lo Mein


JEFF the Brotherhood


Hans Condor


Here’s the Hepatitties album as well as !FGE’s:



Till next time:

Block party = Square People

Part espionage, part get-off-da-grid, part an Immediatist Potlatch (re: Hakim Bey) but all party.

The other week Blacktooth Records threw a Happening that was co-occurring with the Nashville moped chapter The Dead Ped’s annual rally: R.I.P. One-million solipsistic fractions came together after weeks of scouting out a location that would be hidden to those governing authorities, and made known to the appropriate sources only by its google coordinates. The individual tribal leaders communicated between each other and then to their people, and we all convened at the appropriate local in a psycho-kinetic skill known as Freedom. Hendrix blared from a radio, drinks were in hand, and no cars were present (save the one acting as a jukebox). 150+ mopeds, bikes, skate boards and pedestrians all dancing on the outskirts of Metropolis, surrounded by bricks and left to our own outpouring.

Pictures by Mary Nell Jr. and co. below.


More Happenings will be happening. Keep our feelers out.




meanwhile, in other realms————————

Square People will be putting out Cosmic Sans vol. 2 on Cicada Shell. This compilation acts as a “best of” for Chris Murray’s more recent, non-Jazz Maturity releases (of which there are many. One must be supremely fastidious or extremely fool-hearty to undertake this task alone). Adjoining the compilation is a video, shot by our good friend Drew Mayard and designed by Sam White, for the song Unfettered. As Square People’s official biographer, I’ve always said Unfettered was the hit that never was. Check it out below.

Square People – Unfettered

The State of Kuwait

When we get to drinking (anything), we the people get to talking. It’s a Monday morning, Friday night. No big deal. In this reoccurring segment here on Black Tooth, The State of Kuwait gets into the grind of the mind, or rather offers signs and symbols of people pushing and pulling it; political, illegal, fun, and radical (Latin:radix) in nature.

The first of two recent radar blips takes us to the ever-lovin’ border between USA and Mexico, where the insanely awesome street artist Ron English, who has been “hijacking public space worldwide for the sake of art since the 1980s,” struck on April Fool’s day. And did a damn fine job of pointing out the obvious to everyone who would never see it (or care, even if they did), which is basically what culture jamming accomplishes. But we love it here.


For those of you who are burnt out on all they hype and mainstreamitization of BANKSY, Ron English is your man. You too can feel cool again by liking subversive works that not everyone has seen a hundred times, having lost their semiotic pertinence and sensational shock, rendering a Duchamp-like indifference from the general public. Ron English is funny and pretty good at his job. The world is his cubicle and canvas. Check him out.

Our last stop today on The State of Kuwait is an important one: The Reverend Billy/Bill Talen.

Rev. Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping asks the great questions that leave us heavy hearted today:





In a fantastic article by Jill Lane – Reverend Billy: Preaching, Protest, and Postindustrial Flanerie – the moves and plays and semi-ironic acts that Talen sets off in the public sector are brilliantly expounded upon. Lane interprets Talen in such a clear-eyed, lucid way, no matter what your opinions are on the subjects the Reverend is tackling, one can’t help but be moved to an AMEN! and a wink after reading this article.

Reverend Billy: Preaching, Protest, and Postindustrial Flanerie – (click for download)

By entering into contested spaces, Rev. Billy stages things like “shopping interventions,” “Spatathons,” and (my favorite), “Cell Phone Operas,” risking the “poetics of Embarrassment” in the same Mise-en-scène that corporations do every day, breaking the routinely disciplined daily structure that they make for us (or we make for ourselves), and, literally re-members the stories and spots (and even lives) that are run over in the modern world and forgotten.

I can’t praise this article enough – as well as the work of the Reverend – because it’s more than the protesting of Globalization and Predatory-Capitalism, it’s more than an ironic rip at the religious right, and Jill Lane is brilliant as a guide through his world. It’s worth every minute you have to not shop and read this. You too can be delivered.


And that, friends, is the State of Kuwait. For today.