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In which The Dauphin of Durham completes, once and for all, the long and complicated process of self-extrication from music’s No Exit—song structure. While his apprenticeship in that increasingly nostalgic moat was hardly time ill-spent and did indeed serve him well, Melchior’s current trajectory is elsewhere, as evidenced by his exquisite A Squirrel Could Never Be a Disappointment to Me and the astral crop circularity of Lloyd Pack. On Slow Down Tiger the forces of centrifuge, gravity and vacuums form a welcoming committee at the gates of dark plumbing otherwise known as Beyond. The first side-long piece, “Tongues” congeals into a grand mosaic, a kind of reverse Pangaea of mostly dissenting voices: Chilean poet Nicanor Parra; a clip from Sult, the Swedish film based on Knut Hamsun’s Hunger; Russian absurdist / surrealist Daniil Kharms; Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins; author of modernist masterpiece Briggflatts Basil Bunting; the eternally disenchanted Alan Dugan; Victorian heritage booster John Betjeman; and field recordings of the 1990 poll tax riots in London. It is a welcome new outpost in the cluttered frontier of found-sound tape composition that includes such lucid beacons as Daniel Steven Crafts’s Soap Opera Symphony, Frank Bedal’s track on the LAFMS comp Blorp Esette, Gus Coma’s double-CD on Paradigm, and Tempo Furioso by Martin Davorin Jagodic. On the flip, the obvious touchstone of yet another side-long track, “Hospital Poem,” is minimalist drone à la Basinski, Harold Budd or Tony Conrad, though Melchior’s very personal approximation of the subtlest of ectoplasmic melodies repeated over and...

LP $13.00


*27 LP 

The idea of a recording collaboration by Nels Cline and My Cat Is An Alien was born one day in Torino, Italy, while Cline was touring with Wilco in 2007. After two other intersections of their respective orbits (first at Victoriaville, then at a UK All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in 2006), Cline eventually mailed them a CDR of prepared and heavily effected electric guitar improvisations, recorded in a small studio in Los Angeles. He tossed them off with little concern about exactly what would happen to the recordings, though his familiarity with i fratelli Opalio and their work steered the technically proficient jams familiar to fans of Nels Cline Singers, Scarnella or L. Stinkbug deep into zones of space noise, bold cosmic disruptions and nattering squibs from decommissioned satellites.  Exploiting the carte blanche they were given to do whatever they wanted with his recordings, Maurizio and Roberto Opalio opted to maintain as much as possible the spirit of free improv and instantaneous composition; Cline’s recording remained unheard until the actual recording session in 2012. Upon recognizing the planets were in proper alignment, Roberto and Maurizio’s Alien Zone studio in the Western Alps vibrated with the first playback of the CDR and My Cat Is An Alien’s simultaneous real-time accompaniment, without overdubs or outtakes. The results throb like an Argento soundtrack for an astral perv lair, recalling vintage cassette gorp from the golden age of industrial, when field recordings of howling dogs were repurposed as documents of institutional degradation and mind control....

LP $13.00


*26 LP 

On June 17, 2008, the exhibition Sonic Youth etc.: Sensational Fix opened at LiFE in Saint-Nazaire, France, with a focus on their multi-disciplinary activities since 1981--collaborations with visual artists, filmmakers, designers, and musicians, as well as other works selected by the band. As part of the exhibition project, My Cat Is An Alien performed on stage with their long-time collaborator Ramona Ponzini (Painting Petals On Planet Ghost, Black Magic Disco, Z'ev) singing Japanese, Michael Morley of New Zealand's free noise band Dead C, and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth. As a non-programmed live act, My Cat Is An Alien were supplied with two guitars from Sonic Youth's memorabilia wall of old guitars. No MCIAA show would be complete without sounds and beams generated by space toy guns, which they liberated from a local vintage toys warehouse (including a toy microphone for Roberto's vocals). Exhibition curator Roland Groenenboom recalls: "Michael Morley joined My Cat Is An Alien and Ramona Ponzini on stage for an improv piece. They were already way into developing [it] when, to their surprise, Lee Ranaldo picked up the guitar that Maurizio had left lying on stage when he moved on to playing percussion, [which only] made the already phenomenal sonic achievement even denser." Stills from the live footage shot by Groenenboom appear on the color insert. During the performance, Roberto shot photos with a Poloroid camera supplied by LiFE's director Christophe Wavelet--what Opalio entitles "The Sensational Fix trilogy"--which are front and back cover and labels of this LP. Side B features...

LP $13.00



My Cat Is An Alien entered The Space Room in October 2000 and recorded a dark and concrete improvisation; previously released on LP, stretched over two sides of vinyl, it is restored here to its original state as a 30-minute monolith of caustic ruination. Beginning with a gloomy text entitled "The Sign" written by guitarist / lyricist Roberto Opalio, the track comes out of the smog with brother Maurizio's desolate, acoustic guitar scratches, Roberto's electric space guitar scribbles and spat-out words of urban alienation, and Viggiu Vortex on percussion. Piano toy and toy keyboard were added later to enhance the surreal lyrics inspired by ghosts, a sense of psychic, cultural and social isolation in their hometown Torino, Italy, and the infinite lightness and beauty between the cement and the sky. Il Segno is about the mark of chance, avenues full of dust and fallen leaves, the Torino skyline's abandoned factories and chimneys with the mountains all around, and the dance of swallows at twilight, just before the darkness envelops everything.  This CD reissue also has 23 minutes of extra screech—a pair of previously unreleased tracks recorded during the same sessions.  “[F]airly staggering … dominated by the reading of ‘The Sign’—a bleak poem of alienation, nothingness, futility and despair … snarled by Roberto in broken, halting phrases, sounding for all the world like Alan Vega on skag. As he wanders through a desolate cityscape, the poet finds manifestations of his misery in everything he sees—street signs, broken windows, malfunctioning lights. It’s a downer—a...

LP $12.00


ST 020lp 

CD $13.00

09/25/2007 655035302027 

*20 CD 

Text of Light was formed in 1999 to perform improvised music during screenings of films by Stan Brakhage and other American avant-garde filmmakers from the 1950s and ’60s. These should not be considered soundtracks for Brakhage’s works, which are intended to be screened silently. Rather, the group uses the films as an element to stimulate improvisation, like an additional player, juxtaposing film and music in a real-time performance mixed-media collage. Earlier free improv experiments by the likes of AMM and Derek Bailey are brought into an intermedia environment where records and turntablism are especially crucial. By changing playback speed, using effects processing, scratching, skipping, and looping, the turntablist bridges the gap between the predetermination of film and the spontaneous composition of instrumentalists. The result is a new chapter in free improv and mixed media. On this CD the group, in various combinations, includes: Lee Ranaldo and Alan Licht on guitars and devices; Christian Marclay and DJ Olive on turntables; William Hooker on drums and percussion, and Ulrich Krieger of Zeitkratzer on sax and electronics. They headlined the Victoriaville Music Festival in 2002, perform frequently in New York City and other East Coast clubs and cinema venues, and toured Europe in late March 2003.  • Film-stimulated free sound by rotating combo of NYC experimental improv travellers that includes Lee Ranaldo, Alan Licht, DJ Olive, Christian Marclay, William Hooker and Zeitkratzer’s Ulrich Krieger • Their debut CD and first widely available release • Previous limited edition platters on Bottrop Boy and...

CD $12.00

06/15/2004 655035302423 

ST 024CD 

The three tracks on Mommy Close The Door were all recorded live in France in late 2002 by Japanese vocalist Junko Hiroshige, whose murderous wail hypercubes Patty Waters, Yoko Ono, and the titular victim in Olivia de Havilland's 1972 crime flick The Screaming Woman, in collaboration with Yves Botz, Thierry Delles, Michel Henritzi, who extend the trad power trio into a Marclay mash with brutal rock'n'roll energies.  Hiroshige joined Hijo Kaidan in the early '80s, playing a pivotal role in the evolution of the group (whose initial performances resembled happenings and Fluxus actions and got them banned from numerous venues in and around Osaka). Their current extremist bruitism centers around Junko, her husband and founding member Jojo Hiroshige, and The Incapacitants' Toshiji Mikawa. In April 2002, they met the French trio Dustbreeders in Tokyo, who formed in the late '80s around the concept of anti-records, performances, exhibitions and other oblique strategies. They compensated for the absence of technique with mechanical instrumentation; with their instruments of choice -- walkman, tape recorder, and, as of 1999, when they began using old mange-disques exclusively (aka "slot-in record players," portable 7-inch phonographs from the '70s) connected to guitar amps -- mix quotations into a brutally indifferent stew in which pop, jazz, exotica, and hard rock sink into feedback and electrical noise. Yeah, baby, it's a saucy dialectical between the memory of the original works (carried in the popular melodies) and the band's violence turned against the discs. Let's be cruel!  * An...

CD $12.00

02/17/2004 655035302225 

ST 022CD 

***Over the last 17 years, The Dead C have produced some of the most strident, uncompromising and downright nasty rock screech to exit from their homeland of New Zealand, without sacrificing an ounce of the grace and finesse required of tamers of gigantic, wild sandworms. Their eighteen full-length albums and numerous seven-inch singles have garnered worldwide respect from vertebrates and invertebrates alike. The Dead C's improvised noise rock verges on disintegration with a trademark hazy disorientation, invariably evoking hypnotic and heavy moods. But The Dead C are no bummer. They have always sought liberation from shallow and easy rock conventions; amid the murk of cardboard box guitars, underwater vocals, and ramshackle drumming, a new consciousness emerges. The recognizable, sullen strumming, mumbling and lyrical ennui of painter and educator Michael Morley (also known for his solo work as Gate), anchored by percussionist Robbie Yeats and punctuated by the atonal bursts of writer and Corpus Hermeticum label boss Bruce Russell (also known for his solo work as A Handful of Dust), coalesce in a solid front that mocks the efforts of schmaltz-peddling hacks.  The Damned was recorded during sustained and intensive sessions from 2001 through 2003, at the Driving Range studio in Port Chalmers. Final mixing and production took place in 2003 at My Pit in Port Chalmers.  "The Dead C's The Damned is a rank, rank fairytale gone wrong" -Dylan Nyoukis, Decaer Pinga 

CD $12.00

11/11/2003 655035302126 

ST 021CD 

***The album that launched Richard Branson's Virgin Records and is virtually synonymous with The Exorcist, Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells has been revisited by the composer himself over the years in hopes of rectifying problems that still trouble him to this day-- elastic timing, dodgy playing, poor edits, changes in tone, background tape noise. Needless to say, such defects are tools of the trade for countless modern recording artists, especially at the bottom of the food chain. In this no-instruments interpretation of Oldfield's epic instrumental performed by Glands of External Secretion (side one) and Decaer Pinga (side two), deficiency is the cornerstone. By intentionally limiting themselves to prerecorded tapes, field recordings, electronic devices and effects, out-of-context musical passages, and anything else that did not require a musical instrument to be played - both bands interpret their respective halves of this legendary opus with methods that seem to run counter to the spirit of the original, yet paradoxically force it to shine through.or example, the instrument announcements by The Bonzo Dog Band's Viv Stanshall on side one have been replaced by Barbara Manning's recitation of some of the adhesives used in the album's making, captured via low-powered international telecommunication device. Likewise, Decaer Pinga recreate side two's Piltdown caveman segment by appropriating electronic beats and multi-octave vocalizations.   A no-instruments cover version of Mike Oldfield's early '70s epic Guests include Vibracathedral Orchestra's Neil Campbell, The Double U's Matt Hall, and Dave Cross of Arthur Doyle Electro-Acoustic Ensemble Limited edition 300 copies, vinyl...

LP $12.00


ST 019lp 

Interlude With Fun Machine by Cut Out

Cut Out

Interlude With Fun Machine
Starlight Furniture Company

***STEVE FISK (PELL MELL, PIGEONHEAD) and BOB BEERMAN (PELL MELL) approached Interlude With Fun Machine in a similar manner to their work in Pell Mell: set up a pattern, offset it with a contrasting pattern, layer on a counter-pattern, and so on. But where Pell Mell’s renown derives from a signature guitar-based sound, CUT-OUT relies on textures, patterns, found sounds, presets, rhythm boxes, inversion of background and foreground elements, and a very deadpan sense of humor.  Fisk and Beerman were first introduced to The Fun Machine’s charms when Pell Mell were recording the Star City album with Tchad Blake. Almost all of the tracks on Interlude With Fun Machine started with this arresting home organ’s built-in rhythm box and chord accompaniment presets. Anyone who gets buzzed from the warm glow of keyboards such as the Optigan and the Mellotron will find plenty to intoxicate here. Music performed by Fisk and Beerman in their other configurations has found temporary residence in diverse upscale audio trailer parks such as a Microsoft commercial, Kids in the Hall’s Brain Candy film, the short film Green Monster (shown on PBS’s P.O.V.), MTV’s Road Rules, Sex and The City, Six Feet Under, lots of NPR between-feature snippets, the film Joy Ride, ER, and others. Interlude With Fun Machine is similarly soundtrack ready.  The all-instrumental album was recorded in one week, and benefits from noticeable inspiration from Hematic Sunsets’ (aka Asmus Tietchens) odd combination of kitschy lounge and soundtrack-ish music and “modern” electronic sounds; the...

LP $12.00


ST 018lp 

CD $12.00

06/10/2003 655035301822 

ST 018CD 

Allure Of Roadside Curios by L.stinkbug


Allure Of Roadside Curios
Starlight Furniture Company

***Formed in 1997 by guitarist G.E. Stinson with bassist Steuart Liebig and guitarist Nels Cline, L.Stinkbug consciously chose to complete their line-up with a drummer who could groove—percussionist Scott Amendola. Both Stinson and Cline prepare their guitars with an assortment of springs, toys, paint brushes, an electric drink stirrer, enough clips to make a beautician queasy, an egg whisk (that's right—an egg whisk) and numerous other custom-made objects, and run them through a variety of effects, harmonizers and looping devices; same goes for Liebig - chopsticks between the strings, looping devices, extended technique, the works.  L.Stinkbug traffics in "instant compositions" packed with dynamics, textures and virtuosity. The Allure of Roadside Curios opens with an electro-orchestral prelude worthy of Sonic Youth on an exceptional night, building to a roaring, Boredoms-like overture that capsizes into some heavy grind familiar to fans of Lark's Tongue in Aspic-era King Crimson. Yet throughout the album's four tracks (plus a secret fifth one), all recorded live at Bruno's in San Francisco, the quartet's unpitched, heavily electronically altered wakajawaka sprawls like a spacy, permafrost delta in which an electric Miles Davis influence lurks at all times.  Because everyone in L.Stinkbug is involved with numerous other groups, they play together in this configuration infrequently and never tour (their handful of live appearances to date have occurred solely in California - Los Angeles, Ventura, San Francisco, and Berkeley). The Allure of Roadside Curios is a rare opportunity to hear world-class improvisors together at their best.  *...

CD $12.00

02/19/2002 655035301624 

ST 016CD 

***Originally released by Japan's G.R.O.S.S. label as a cassette in a limited edition of 88 copies in late 1994, Loop Circuit's Sound on Sound joins Akifumi Nakajima (also known as prolific noise artist Aube) with Dub Murashita together in an all-electronic self-hypnosis seminar. Basing each of his Aube releases on a distinct and singular source (e.g. water, medical equipment, etc.), Nakajima's "sound designs" range from subtle, ambient journeys to intense noise crash-landings; for this rare collaboration, he surfs a slightly different wavelength. The duo limit their source materials here to purely electronic sounds, loops and effects, creating a mesmerising, constantly shifting mosaic. Fans of early Kraftwerk or early Tangerine Dream will lapse into their usual trance-state almost immediately upon listening to Sound on Sound, while it should generate enough jittery mouth-breathing and Internet posts to last an entire weekend among noise collectors and other socially crippled dirtheads. Even stuffy Minimalism know-it-alls might take pause to thoughtfully stroke their goatees and speak Steve Reich's name aloud. Nakajima's sense of precision is legendary and respected far and wide; the original recording quality of Sound on Sound and vinyl remastering live up to his customary high standards.  * Limited to 222 numbered copies, making the original only slightly less rare

LP $12.00


ST 14LP 

(1982) It Was A Live Cassette by Pell Mell

Pell Mell

(1982) It Was A Live Cassette
Starlight Furniture Company

***The "instrumental" stigma has dogged Pell Mell since 1980, when the band was first formed in Portland, Oregon, by drummer Bob Beerman, guitarist Bill Owen, and Arni May, the other original guitarist who worked in a record store in Portland and brought in Jon-Lars Sorenson to play bass. It's not that any of these seemingly well-educated gentlemen were too dimwitted to consider sprucing up their drabby music with a provocative frontman; they auditioned singers in the beginning, and didn't like what they heard. And who can blame them? Singers, with their gaudy necklaces and their unzipped pants and their idiotic gestures, are egomaniacal distractions from the main event—the music. More than drummers, even. Whether Jimi Hendrix was correct in regarding surf music as a plague upon humanity, Pell Mell were nevertheless perplexed to be continually categorized as such. Truth be told the band's "vision" was nothing more complicated than the creation of music as cool as all the records coming out at the time by great surf bands such as PiL, Josef K, the Fire Engines, the Feelies, A Certain Ratio, Pere Ubu, the Contortions and others. Following the recording of the quartet's Rhyming Guitars EP in January 1981, Arni departed, leaving the band to continue as a trio. The following year Bob, Bill and Jon-Lars released the live cassette primarily as promotional and tour-booking tool, but also to distance themselves from the dual-guitar EP, with its newly unplayable songs (except for "Par Avion"). Intentionally designed to keep listeners on...

CD $12.00

01/23/2001 655035300726 

st 07CD 

Northern Exposure Will Be Right Back by Glands Of External Secretion

Glands Of External Secretion

Northern Exposure Will Be Right Back
Starlight Furniture Company

***A surreal scrapbook collage of songs, sounds, and manipulated noise by singer–songwriter Barbara Manning and founder of Bananafish magazine S. Glass. With many excerpts from Glass’s early ’80s radio show, and guest appearances by members of Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, CCCC, Masonna, The Dead C., U.S. Saucer, The Double U, Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble, and many of Manning’s bands.

LP $8.25


ST 04 

CD $12.00

01/08/2001 759718700428 

ST 04CD 

Together in one noisological bed (so to speak), Barbara Manning, S. Glass, and Dylan and Lisa Nyoukis donate an hour of full-on collapsing noise and tape loops of junk. Sweet, sweet bounty. With Doug Pierson on electronics. Produced by Tom Smith.

CD $12.00

01/08/2001 759718700626 

st 06CD 

***Oddly distorted guitars, mangled erhu, manipulated violas, unrecognizable African percussion, bouncy Hagemanizer™, bizarre noises, and found nonsense looped, stretched, chopped, sped up, and warped by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 guitarist (Brian, the cute one who stands stage right).

LP $8.25


St 05 

CD $12.00

01/08/2001 759718700527 

St 05CD 

Amarillo Ramp (for Robert Smithson) by Ranaldo, Lee

Ranaldo, Lee

Amarillo Ramp (for Robert Smithson)
Starlight Furniture Company

Sonic Youth's left-minded, and soft-spoken lead guitarist continues to wield a big stick on this solo outing of the highest sonic magnitude. First off is the title track, a 34-minute live recording from 1994 with after-the-fact wave-shaping and spectral improvement by Rafael Toral, followed by an instrumental "Anagrama" type frolic with bandmates Steve Shelley and Thurston Moore. Also: a couple of soundtrack excerpts and a John Lennon cover featuring the late Epic Soundtracks. As always it's a brilliant ride.

CD $12.00

01/08/2001 037613600822 

st 08CD 

Broken Circle / Spiral Hill by Ranaldo, Lee

Ranaldo, Lee

Broken Circle / Spiral Hill
Starlight Furniture Company

Five early ’90s tracks by one of the original lords of howling, including a Sebadoh cover. With cover art by Michael Morley (of The Dead C. and Gate), this is the flailing ultimate in rubberized, flatline wawaaarph.

CD $8.25

01/08/2001 759718700220 

St 02CD