Taking The Cure

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
we get understated, delicate and alluring piano melodies on Finding
my way Home
(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
) 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
(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…

Logan: Listen to or Buy at Amazon.com

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Braddock: Listen to or Buy at Amazon.com


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)

on this DVD from Amazon

George Harrison
The Quiet One
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)

on this DVD from Amazon

Various Artists
The Sound of Jazz

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

on this DVD from Amazon

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
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)

on this DVD from Amazon

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)

on this Book from Amazon

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!
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
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 ******************

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.

Listen to or Buy at Amazon.com

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)

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)

Listen to or Buy at Amazon.com

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)

Listen to or Buy at Amazon.com

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)

Listen to or Buy at Amazon.com

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)

Listen to or Buy at Amazon.com

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)

Listen to or Buy at Amazon.com

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)

Listen to or Buy at Amazon.com

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)

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)

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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
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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