Weekly Distro Roundup with Jon Treneff!

distro

Why’s the man always tryin’ to keep us down?!  After taxes, social security, insurances, extractions, pet acupuncture, and new swaddling threads, we barely have two quarters to rub together for half a taco on the dollar menu.  It’s enough to make us wanna DROP-OUT.  For good!  This week we pay tribute to the weirdos, outsiders, and straight-up ahead-of-their-timers who didn’t give a flyin’ fig for the central scrutinizer and his rules – including the original WTF-er’s – creepy old white people!

Spike – Orange Cloud Nine
(Golf Channel Recordings)

Hot tamales! Just when we think there can’t possibly be anything left in the abandoned mine of forgotten/outsider/pop-weirdos…well, don’t look down – it’s a pit of SPIKE! Spike was a lone gunman in the profile assassination plot if ever there was one. An officially certified “fool” (by the Dutch government), Spike Wolters was a drop-out of all things drop-out-able. But instead of frittering away his unlimited free minutes playing Mario Kart, he got down to recording four home-made LPs of staggering originality and imagination. Orange Cloud Nine collects the best of these recordings and makes a pretty unimpeachable case for sticking it to the man, forever. Spike perfected a form of lo-fi, instantly memorable pop groove that brings to mind Ariel Pink, Cleaners From Venus, or Dire Straits on acid. Seriously amazing stuff here, and one of the more exciting, out-of-nowhere finds we’ve come across in awhile.

 

Various Artists – Anthology of American Folk Music Vol. 1-4
(Mississippi Records)

Big week for blowing it out of the water here! Mississippi went and did what they were born to do and reissued EXACT reproductions of Harry Smith’s indispensable Anthology of American Folk Music compilations! Each volume is two LPs – all sleeved in beautiful cloth-bound reproductions of the original packaging – including the booklets! That’s already three exclamation points, I know – but these records deserve it (!). Unavailable on vinyl for years, and never with the painstaking attention paid here, these are beyond essential documents of the Old Weird America. Highly limited, one-time limited pressings here. Get in touch with your haunted past before it disappears again forever.

 

Icecross – Icecross
(Rockadrome | Lion Productions)

Rippers Alert: Heavy shreddage on board! Icelandic skull-bangers Icecross unleashed their sole slab of raw power in the pivotal year of 1973 (the best year for music, according to sources). Neither punk nor metal were totally a “thing” yet, but this Arctic blast of insanity managed to channel the dark girth and complexity of emerging stoner bands like Black Sabbath while predicting the raw, fevered intensity of the punk scene to come. There’s also more than a hint of early Blue Oyster Cult and the Detroit garage contingent in here, somehow forging a totally unique take on all of these inter-related yet disparate influences. Incredibly obscure for decades, this is a heavy MUST for heavy heads.

 

 

George Brigman – Jungle Rot
(Obscure Oxide | Lion Productions)

The label describes this as “the sound of broken Baltimore,” and from the album cover depicting a young Brigman (monster doobie in lip) posed amongst the ruins of an abandoned building, to the fried sounds housed within, we can’t argue one bit. Jungle Rot was conceived in 1975 by the teenage Brigman as a conceptual tribute to British psych-blues band The Groundhogs. While the ‘hogs influence can certainly be felt, this is a distinctly American take on it – meaning way more punk and garage – and home-recorded. More psychedelic and blues-y than The Stooges, too raw and damaged for traditional heavy blues-rock fans, Jungle Rot also had the misfortune of arriving just a nose or two ahead of the punk movement – ensuring that the audience for this was limited to the pile of rubble on the album cover. Psych/Punk/Blues before you even knew!

All titles mentioned above are available through our online shop or at our Seattle record store (913 NW 50th St., Ballard).