Taking The Cure

Outsight brings to light non-mainstream music, film, books, art, ideas and opinions.

Published, somewhere, monthly since July 1991. Feel free to re-print this article.

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Ross Robinson is a producer known for his projects with Korn, Slipknot, Limp

Bizkit, Sepultura and more. Now, fulfilling a lifelong dream, Robinson signed

The Cure to his own imprint, I AM Recordings/ARTISTdirect Records. “They were

instrumental in my approach to production. It was The Cure that opened me up

to a more sensitive, heartfelt type of music, and I’ve been extremely loyal

to that feeling in every project I’ve done since then,” he says. The band’s

current lineup (vocalist Robert Smith, Simon Gallup on bass, Perry Bamonte on

guitar, Jason Cooper on drums, and Roger O’Donnell on keyboards) begins work

on its I AM/ARTISTdirect Records debut in London this July. They committed to

three releases. Robinson recalls, “I was backstage at KROQ’s Weenie Roast years

ago where I noticed The Cure’s road cases. I remember saying, ‘If these cases

are ever in a recording studio with me, and I’m producing these guys, then I’ll

just quit the business after that.’ What could possibly follow producing The




English band Dreamfield offer hazy trip-hop with female vocals and a lazy, after-hours jazz feel. Three versions

of the title track and “Alive” can be found on their EP Christopher’s Dream

(Dream Records). Fans of In The Nursery side project Les Jumeaux will really

appreciate this dark and beautiful music… From Vicki

Logan</a> we get understated, delicate and alluring piano melodies on Finding

my way Home</i> (Carvic, Inc.). The instrumental album, made for relaxation,

features Logan’s originals with renditions of “All The Way To Heaven” (Melissa

Etheridge) and “Only Time” (Enya)… Potion

looks back with a stylish flare to the brisk proto-electropop of Blondie and

cool ’70s European soundtracks. Check out the EP Circa (Blue

Orange</a>) by the retro keyboard pop duo featuring ice-cool vocalist Annie

Maley… Also hip in a throwback way is the ’60s- and ’70s’-styled self-titled

album from Lauren Braddock on the aptly named Love Child Records. While Lauren

tackles subjects like the environment (“Don’t Turn Away”), infidelity (“Lost

Dawg”) and murder (“Alibi Lounge”) she also uses her bright songwriting in

a style between Rickie Lee Jones and Sheryl Crow to imagine being caught in

the love crossfire between George Harrison and Eric Clapton (“Let Me Be Your

Layla”). Lauren is the daughter of Nashville songwriter Bobby Braddock (“D-I-V-R-O-C-E”,

“Time Marches On”, etc.)… Two Loons for Tea

is the ambitious duo of Jonathan Kochmer and Sarah Scott (vocals). On Looking for

Landmarks</i> (Sarathan Music), they create

sophisticated, layered pop music with the help of a gallery of guests: Trey

Gunn, Skerik, Eric Rosse, Eyvind Kang and many more. Many of their guests come

from sharply alternative backgrounds like Pigface, Mr. Bungle, King Crimson and

more. However, Edie Brickell is a better reference point for this accessible,

soft-textured album…</p>


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Logan: Listen to or Buy at Amazon.com</a>


Listen to or Buy at Amazon.com

Braddock: Listen to or Buy at Amazon.com</a>




The remaining members of Seattle’s The Gits are guitarist Joe Spleen (a.k.a

Andrew Kessler), bassist Matthew Fred Dresdner, and drummer Steve Moriarty.

Working with Seattle engineer Jack Endino, the group is remixing their two

LPs Frenching the Bully (1992) and Enter …the Conquering Chicken

(1994). San Francisco indie label Broken Rekids will release them with bonus

tracks not previously available on the original releases. Also, The Gits are

working with Director Kerri O’Kane and Producer Jessica Bender on The Gits,

a film about Mia Zapata and The Gits. Front woman Mia Zapata was murdered July

7, 1993. Her murderer is now in custody. A 48-year old Cuban native now living

in Florida, Jesus C. Mezquia, a fisherman and laborer with a history of violent

assaults on women, is being held without bail at the Miami-Dade County Jail

on a fugitive warrant for murder and violation of probation. Mezquia is fighting

extradition. But because Zapata was raped, it’s possible that Mezquia’s charge

could be amended to aggravated first-degree murder. Aggravated first-degree

murder can carry the death penalty in Washington state. Mezquia was linked to

Zapata’s murder through a DNA sample, which police at the time of the crime

had denied existed. The Gits can be found on the web at www.thegits.com.

More information on the movie can be found at www.thegitsmovie.com.


DVD REVIEWS ******************

Colin Andrews

Alien Sign: The Message

Waterfall Home Entertainment/MVD

For those yearning for a more scientific approach to the extraterrestrial theories

suggested by the Mel Gibson movie Signs, this is the answer. Colin’s

Niagara of data, fast-paced delivery and infectious enthusiasm will give even

the most jaded critic pause to think. Andrews differentiates between simple

circles “known” to be caused by the peculiar meteorological “vortex” effect

with more complicated designs of unknown origin and known hoaxes. Most explosive

in Andrews’ delivery is special photography to review invisible landscape features

aligned with crop circle formations, activities in the highly restricted Solsbury

Hill area and molecular analysis. The DVD includes a slow motion view of a vortex-induced

formation in action, but it is not made clear whether this is documentary footage

or a re-enactment. Just the plethora of circle formations Andrews presents with excellent photography makes this a wealth of art. There is a gallery of these images on the CD. (3.5) </p>


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George Harrison

The Quiet One

</i>Waterfall Home Entertainment/MVD

As both the youngest and most reflectively philosophical member of The Beatles,

the giants Lennon and McCartney and the character Starr overshadowed Harrison.

This DVD explores the role Harrison played in the mega-popular supergroup. As

an adjunct, as 32-page booklet includes numerous photos and quotes from those

who knew him. There is an audio CD, but it is not solely the words of Harrison,

taken from group press conferences, much from the Australasian

tour. Note: Music on the CD is not recordings of The Beatles, but instead preformed

by The Overtures. (3)



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Various Artists

The Sound of Jazz


This amazing live jazz document is taken from an episode of The Seven Lively

Arts,</i> hosted by Jon Crosby, that aired on CBS December 8, 1957. Crosby does

not get in the way while Count Basie, Coleman Hawking and more play some classic

ensemble blues. A highpoint of the DVD is Billie Holiday, with all-star backing,

singing “Fine And Mellow”. Before the performance is a moving voice-over from

Holiday on the delivery of the blues. (4)



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GG Allin

Live & Pissed 1988


1988 was a busy year for self-mutilating feces-throwing punk rock performance

artist GG Allin. During that year he made his debut San Francisco performance

with a five-song set at The Covered Wagon. Pre-show footage shows GG backstage

with fans. The entire clamorous, confrontational (but by GG standards, not highly

confrontational) set follows. Bonus section include a trailer for Hated,

nine songs from GG Allin & The Murder Junkies at The Metro in Richmond, VA in

1993 as well as a 1999 clip of The Murder Junkies performing “Freakshow”. (3.5)


Bob Clark, producer and director

Black Christmas

Critical Mass/MVD

This 1974 film preceded John Carpenter’s Halloween by four years, yet there is some remarkable similarity. The movie also predates the Friday

the 13th</i> franchise, which has its inception in 1980. This seminal slasher flick may very well have started the genre with women being killed willy-nilly by

a ruthless madman. Like Halloween, we get the serial killer’s point of

view, and he is an obscene caller calling from … from the very house the killing

is happening, as the police say to the stunned would-be victim. The caller’s

phone patter is perhaps the most disturbing part of the film. Brace yourself

by first watching Richard Kern’s Hardcore collection for suitable vocabulary

and image desensitization and listen to John Trubee phone pranks as preparation

for this caller’s audio production. (4)



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READABLES ****************************************

Jesus Muhammad-Ali

The Evolution of the Nation of Islam

JMA Publishing

Jesus Muhammad-Ali is the grandson of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation

of Islam from 1934 to 1975. As a Nation of Islam insider, Muhammad-Ali is unique

qualified to comment on the assassination of Malcolm X and the position of the

Nation of Islam in a post-9/11 world. The author does all this as well as illuminating

the story of the growth and development of the Nation of Islam organization.

For the outsider, Muhammad-Ali’s prose can be somewhat impenetrable and the

preface warns, “The reader should be aware this book is presented in my voice

and has not been grammatically embellished, for a number of heartfelt reasons.”

Note that the passive voice and run-on sentences are the least of the obstacles

in the writing that lies between slang and Islamic ornamentation. Still, the

story shines through, illustrated by first-person anecdotes and numerous photographs.

Reproductions of Jesus Muhammad-Ali’s oil paintings show he has great talent

in that area. (3)



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MK Ultra

September/October 2002

MK Ultra, with a cover price of $4, plumbs the depths of Goth fashion

with an approach like that of a men’s magazine. There is a cover girl (Tairrie

B of My Ruin), large-breasted centerfold and a video offering: Goth Girls

Gone Wild!</i> The professionally produced 55-page magazine boasts an impressive

array of interviews: Garbage, KMFDM, Nashville Pussy, Motorhead, Cradle of Filth,

Daniel Ash and more. The typical sections of news and reviews are included as

well as a sex advice column from “Lady Monster, Certified Sex Therapist.” Packed

with information and visuals, this is a good read. (4)


Farming Uncle International Journal

Issue No. 89

Box 427, Bronx, NY 10458

This photocopied, staple-bound serial is an “alternative network magazine” that

is “devoted to holistic living.” This means a myriad of one-sentence quips (“Purchased

bottled water from the store – It tastes like water!!!”) and ads. The advertisement

range from pen pal opportunities to Native American contacts to Wiccan covens

and beyond. Interspersed are short articles on such topics as the source of

veal, keeping roots in winter and a recipe for buttermilk biscuits. Farming

Uncle International Journal</i> is the publication for the alt-agrarian seeking

to exist on the fringes of economic life. (2)


Jo Fell

Improvisers 1988-1998

Bruce’s Fingers

This 34-page booklet is the photography of Jo Fell capturing improvisational musicians

at work. Among those pictured are Derek Bailey, Steve Buckley, Alan Tomlinson,

Trevor Watts and many more. For the pictures, a caption identifies personnel,

date and location. No other text suggests anything for the reader. Derek Bailey

sees this lack of opinionated representation as an asset to the book in the

foreword. Jo Fell’s introduction includes technical data on the shots. She works

without a flash and at somewhat of a distance to avoid intrusion. The effect

still captures personality and action in her well-composed pictures. (4)


The Whizzbanger Guide to Zine Distributors

Issue Six

Whizzbanger Productions, Shannon Colebank, POB 5591, Portland, OR 97228

This invaluable resource is an encyclopedia of zine distributors categorized

by country. Similarly organized is a related section on “Libraries, Archives,

Info-Shops, etc.” Zine stores and other, miscellaneous resources are similarly

grouped. A growing section lists reviewers that Shannon finds to be dependable.

A Bulletin Board section acts as a listing of free classifieds. While Shannon

does not review zines per se, there is a two-page spread on Shannon’s zine picks

for 2001. Shannon is a poet, and the editor’s poetry comes toward the back of

this annual publication. (3.5)

CD REVIEWS ** </p>

Sonny Landreth

The Road We’re On

Sugar Hill

Landreth plays a varied slide guitar style combining bottleneck slide, palm

and thumb-picking techniques for varied texture. This is the eighth album

from the blues veteran and features studio recordings of Landreth with a varied

cast of backing musicians including keyboardist Steve Conn, Danny Kimball, and

Joe Mouton. Engineer is R.S. Field, who first met Sonny when they were recording

with British blues legend John Mayall in 1990. The album features a sublimated

funk style and a big, booming sound perhaps picked up from the boisterous music

Sonny met with accordionist Clifton Chenier’s Red Hot Louisiana Band. Fans of music that includes not only Chenier but also Scotty Moore and Duane Allman, and

Clifton Chenier will definitely enjoy this rousing electric blues guitar album.




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Techno Lodge

Party w/Techno

Techno Lodge

This disc of relaxed but smiling techno takes no chances. There is a pronounced

keyboard delivery and measured punctuation of the bass lines that give the instrumental

music a deliberate feel that is dangerously close to plodding. Certainly tolerable

for ordering drinks at the bar, but this is not a serious contender for the

dance floor or a headphone aficionado’s closed eyes reverie. (2.5)</p>


Immortal Lee County Killers

Love Is a Charm of Powerful Trouble


Immortal Lee County Killers is an explosive alt-blues ensemble that delivers

a bold-stroked version of the blues. Songs like “Robert Johnson” and “She’s

not Afraid of Anything Walking” have no soft curves here, they are all rough-edged

and jagged like broken concrete. Another side of ILCK is evidences in their

take on Willie Dixon’s “Weak Brain, Narrow Mind”. Their measured, paced delivery

is in a deep soul groove. The group offers its own original as well as other

covers from ’60s like R&B giant Roosevelt Jamison’s “That’s How Strong my Love

Is” and on up to contemporary masters of the undiluted form, like R. L. Burnside

(“Goin’ Down South”). (4)



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Leah Stargazing

Leave it all Behind…

Telescope Records

Leah Stargazing is an enthusiastic and energetic group with most of its members

in their late teens. The group offers emotional, melodic indie rock where the

distorted guitars are restrained in the mix and the falsetto harmonies are up

front. (3)


The Zen Tricksters

Shaking off the Weirdness

Zebra Tango

Shaking off the Weirdness is a solid album from The Zen Tricksters. Special

guests on the album include Rob Barraco (Government Mule, Phil

Lesh & Friends) and Jason Crosby (Susan Tedeschi), both ex-Zen Tricksters. The

group began nearly a quarter-century ago and now delivers its bluesy rock with

a style and grace that comes from experience and maturity. Fans of Little Feat

and Phish, Grateful Dead and Blues Traveler will take to this disc. (3.5)



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Daniel Carter + Reuben Radding


AUM Fidelity

Daniel Carter (Other Dimensions In Music, TEST) performs on alto sax with Reuben

Radding (John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp) on bowed bass in this understated

disc of instrumental jazz. (The final track, “Occurrences, Places, Entities

and The Sea”, is a monster, though.) Daniel Carter is a master of his instrument,

gently coaxing an impressive spectrum of tones from his horn. It is also rare

even to hear him hold himself to this sole member of the reed family. Carter

has been a long-standing member of the improv jazz scene, having worked with

Sun Ra, and from the ’70s to today with William Parker. Radding comes to us more

on the fast track having broken with punk rock to indulge in the sophisticated

and extemporaneous. (4.5)



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David Zoffer and Adam Larrabee

Courage in Closeness: Live in Boston

Zofco Productions, POB 231055, Boston, MA 02123-1055

This disc of acoustic instrumental jazz captured the duo live on a Boston stage

at the New England Conservatory where both are professors. The pair’s piano-guitar

duets vary from intimate to lively on this exquisite recording. This varied

palette of moods culminates in the duo’s take on Joplin’s “Solace”, which is

both intimate and lively, that is, playful. This ability to deliver such an

artful joy through the two instruments (fostered by a ten-year relationship)

makes the CD excellent and uplifting listening pleasure. Think of Bill Evans

with Jim Hall. (4.5)



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Saint of Killers

Saint of Killers

Edgetone Records

Noise rock project Saint of Killers is about ominous crush tones with interludes

of guitar noodling punctuated by episodes of blood-curdling screams. This uneven

approach gives the music a creepy, unpredictable what’s-behind-the-corner feel.

Guest musician Matt Waters on saxophone wails cosmic freak-out jazz ratcheting

up the tension on this album. (3)


Fabulous Disaster

Panty Raid!

Pink & Black Records

The four ladies of Fabulous Disaster have a big, meaty sound on this guitar

punk album produced by the master of the fat-sound, Fat Mike of Fat Wreck Chords.

Some of the songs pick up a bright kick from keyboards added by one of the guitarists,

Lynda Mandolyn. This with the guitar focus and the group harmony vocals gives

an ’80s power pop feel to the music. Panty Raid! bridges the gap from

the first albums by The Go-Gos and the best albums by L7. (4)



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JP Saccomani / JLH Berthelot

Equilibre Thermique de l’Igloo en Phase de Fonte

Somewhere in Time

This collaboration between Jean-Pierre Saccomani and Jean-Luc H. Berthelot is

an opus of surrealist electronica. The otherworldly headspace is cinematic impressions

of asymptotes and metamorphosing rhinoceroses. Floating, disembodies synth drones

provide tonal coloring to detached episodes of angular electronic sounds on

this eerie album, full of texture. (3.5)


Gordian Knot


Laser Edge/Sensory

Bill Bruford gives the thunderous bottom end of some righteous percussion to

this seven-member post-fusion prog rock group. Bruford is one of the core members

of this group, and guests round out an array of seven. One of those guests is Genesis

guitarist Steve Hackett. The sound is fleshed out in the studio by co-producer

Scott Burns, known for getting the big, angry sound for extreme metal. Leading

the group in their instrumental forays is bass stick maestro Sean Malone. Some

of the keyboard episodes get rather pretentious, but overall this is a solid

record of both artistry and proficiency. (4)



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Lorna Hunt

Sentimental Bedlam

Hunk Records

Lorna Hunt is like a heavy-sounding Sheryl Crow with a blend of edgy indie rock eclecticism.

Some tracks are straight and melodic, like the fragile and beautiful “Mysterious

Reconstruction”. This progressive post-folk album blends Lorna’s vocal charm

with unexpected tempo changes and unusual timbres. What makes the album worthwhile

is that it rises above a formula that would be novel and trite to offer compelling

songs with style and verve. (4)



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The Crack


On the CD intro this group has a technique of vocal reverb and clamorous alt-blues

that recalls The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. However, “Cheap Cosmetics” is

a fusion of hyperactive spy theme guitar with a shade of Elvis Presley in the

vocals. “Big Fat Lady” is thunder-soul from Thundercrack with a raw primitivism

that could be a side of one of the highly sought seven-inch albums from The

Gories. A wide spectrum of sound and roots in the best styles makes The Crack

a winning album. (3.5)



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Various Artists

The Best of M.C. Records 1996-2002

M.C. Records

M.C. Records celebrates six years of putting out great blues records with this

compendium of 16 tunes for a budget price of around $10. This is an excellent

opportunity to check out Big Jack Johnson (four tracks), if you have not already.

There is some excellent representation from blues legends in songs by George

“Wild Child” Butler (“Gravy Child”) and Odetta (“Bourgeois Blues”). Modern delta

bluesman R.L. Burnside shows up for two tracks. The Best of M.C. Records

is an enjoyable parade of the excellent roots blues M.C. Records has made available

to the world. (3.5)



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Kevin Kling


East Side Digital

Kevin Kling is a warm and weird storyteller like a cross between King Missile’s

John S. Hall and Garrison Keillor. Kling’s comedic tales cover the motorcycle

accident and the recovery that marked his 2002 as well as other personal experiences

that Kling exploits to humorous and telling potential. “Demo Derby”, “Marathon”

and “Buying Art” are especially good. Go ahead and retell them to amaze and

captivate your friends, just give Kling credit. All eight stories here were

originally heard on National Public Radio. (4.5)



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Sound Tribe Sector 9

Seasons 01

Sound Tribe Sector 9

Sound Tribe Sector 9 is a source of mostly atmospheric, floating electronic

compositions with a touch of jazz guitar and bass. Going beyond the merely utilitarian

dance music possibilities this suggests, STS9 is sonic analgesic for the overtaxed

mind. The group’s full-spectrum ambient sound features intricate polyrhythms

on the headphone side of acid jazz. This is a 2-CD set and a soundtrack for

your inner space. (3.5) </p>

Cul de Sac

Death of the Sun

Strange Attractors Audio House

The title of Death of the Sun suggests the dusk that is but a rebirth

of a new day. The album is also a somewhat new direction for the group as Jake

Trussell joins in the creation of this album lending his talents in digital

sampling and sequencing. The intent of the band is to merge their music fully with sampled sounds. This succeeds wonderfully, giving us gently delivered

experimental rock nestled in a rocking cradle of looped samples. For instance,

the opening track is built on a small piece of a 1933 78 recording of The Comedian

Harmonists but is such an interwoven thread to the group’s playing that this

is nothing like a rock band lumbering along with a skipping shellac platter.

This is an amazing if tranquil record that is the result of three years of sophisticated

experimentation with sampling held to a high aesthetic standard. (5) </p>


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Steffen Basho-Junghaus

Rivers and Bridges

Strange Attractors Audio House

Mention “experimental guitar” and the natural reaction is to think electric

guitar. However, Basho-Junghaus is a rare bird in that he does his experimental

guitar acoustically. His talent was alongside other such rare birds on Henry

Kaiser’s 156 Strings compilation (Cuneiform, 2002). Now we get an entire

disc of his musings upon a Takoma Records style, ala John Fahey, Leo Kottke

and Robbie Basho. There is intricate and delicate interweaving of melody

lines and an understated syncopation for rhythm. This subtle album exhales delicately

an exquisite balance of artistry and technique. (5)



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High or Hellwater

High or Hellwater

High or Hellwater


This CD EP is a trio of songs from a trio in the Southern tradition doing fine

songs in a neo-Americana style. This is a foretaste of the group’s Living

the Good Lie</i> album, which came out in its entirety at the close of 2002.

Their no-depression style rings with roots-y elegance, a stylish country way

that makes the songs bouncy and catchy. (4)


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