SINGLES AGAIN / Chuck Eddy

Chuck
Eddy dusts off his old vinyl and scratches his head. We all win
.

 

Greetings,
BLURT readers. This column’s theme is fairly simple: Basically, I sort
alphabetic ally through my shelves for dusty old 7-inch vinyl indie singles
from acts that aren’t household names, and try to figure out why I wound up
keeping them in the first place. This is the 5th installment (first
two appeared at Idolator.)

 

 

***

 

 

DESTROY ALL MONSTERS “Typical Girl”/”Attack Of The Chiggers”
(no label flexi-disc, 1997): Slow slimy sludge-shtup shtick shtuck to the
bottom of some sadistic prison guard’s big boot, from Ann Arbor post-Stooge proto-punk
avant-garage performance-art legends, allegedly recording live in ’75; the
flexi apparently came inside a zine the band put out several eras later.
“Typical Girl” addresses its nastiness, in ways sickos may have found erotic,
to an unnamed “little girl”: “I know you so good like the back of my hand.”
“You look like everyone else! You’ve got no self respect!”  “You’re so typical like all the rest/ That’s
why I like my baby the best.” At least he can’t be accused of high standards. A
woman gets pulled onto the stage, sounds like, and starts squealing, “Don’t
touch me! Get him out of here!,” then gasping amidst rubbing noises from a sax,
or saw, or strings, or something. Maybe it’s staged, maybe it isn’t, but either
way you get the idea you’re hearing something you shouldn’t. Second song is
even slower, with a more distanced vocal; guy yells out “attack of the
chiggers!” as guitar makes itchy chigger-attack sounds. On purpose or not, the
“ch” word might easily be confused for an “n” word. (www.myspace.com/destroyallmonstersdetroit)

 

 

 

 

DJ BLAQSTARR “Feel It In The Air”/ BUSY P “Pedrophilia”
(Fader, 2007): “I can feel it in the air/I can feel it in the street/I can feel
it in my balls/I can feel it in my feet” – or words to that effect. DJ
Blaqstarr plays a variation of so-called “Baltimore
club music” (sort of a Tourette’s-inflicted distant relative of early Chicago house, Miami bass,
and/or Detroit
ghetto-tech), with skippity beats under a sample that goes “caw! caw! caw!”;
eventually the silly lyrics fall out, so the caws and skippities are all you’ve
got left. Busy P, from Paris,
makes an even more shapeless brand of hipster-sanctioned dance music – namely,
the squelchy, mildly rock-infused techno identified with French label Ed Banger
Records, from which Justice also emerged last year. Two electronic themes
criss-cross; one fades out while a voice squeaks “Busy P!” Eventually, it slims
down to a few isolated bloops. No idea how one would dance to it — seems kinda
slow. But I like the Southern Comfort joint venture slogan on the label: “Start
and end things right. Drink responsibly.” (www.myspace.com/blaqstarrmusic;
www.myspace.com/busyp)

 

 

DOILY “2000 Dumb”/”Welcome Home” (Broklyn Beats, 2001): The
martial rhythm sounds submerged – on a submarine, maybe. Springs and gadgets
and bellows (both kinds) succumb to nautical miles of deep-sea echo. Deadpan
spoken phrases, seemingly  from movie
dialogue, emerge out of the abyss: “Shot down in cold blood.” Gradually the
music turns into a busted pinball-machine on tilt, or better yet a firing
range, heard through static over a broken field radio in the back of a Jeep
with no doors. That’s the A-side; the B-side has not-quite-tuned-in shortwave
transmissions evolving into dub reggae, or some bassline’s recognizable
approximation thereof. The transmissions fade in and out, do backflips over
Pymgy of the Ituri
Forest drums, thicken
into quicksand until you start losing your belongings. Word is that some Brooklyn gal pieced it all together. (www.broklynbeats.net)

 

 

DYKEHOUSE “Chain Smoking”/”FYD” (Ghostly International,
2003): The label’s from Michigan and specializes in electro, but the A-side’s
music is almost a conventional indie guitar-jangle breakup song – guy makes out
with girl in backyard, tries to undo her pants, but now he’s chain smokin’
‘cause his heart’s broken, so he rhymes “frown” with “upside down” and “loud”
with “mushroom cloud.” His voice really does have some of that two-packs-a-day
gruffness to it, too, and the melody has some of the pop feel of mid ‘80s
Hüsker Dü, but more twee and British. “FYD” starts with a higher voice –
probably a guy attempting a Princely falsetto – and has more synthesizers, but
depicts a situation no less concrete: “At the club last Friday/You’re all done
up in black/I knew I had to have you my way/When I saw you arch your back.” So
he buys her a drink, drives her home in his Mercedes, takes her up to “Big
Daddy’s room,” where he brings out his “Dutch love broom,” whatever that is. (I
chuckled at it, I admit.) Then he switches into minstrel-boast mode, updating a
trusty old seduction growl from Isaac Hayes or Barry White amid wah-wah effects:
“Who’s the motherfuckin’ pimp? My big dick just won’t go limp.” Not as funny as
he hopes. Then simulated sex moans – maybe like fellow Ann Arborites Destroy
All Monsters years before. There was a minute or two there in the early ‘00s
when work from weirdos named Morel and the Horrorist hinted that techno might
turn into a new kind of singer-songwriter music; this’d be another example, I
guess, but the idea didn’t seem to stick around for very long. Maybe the
problem was that the mundane clubland situations depicted seemed too shallow
for listeners to care about them? Just a thought. (www.ghostly.com)

 

 

 

EL CAPTAIN FUNKAHO ”Space Slut”/”Bootay”/“My 2600”/”Evil
Goat Interlude” (Stones Throw, 1998): From a reportedly moonlighting San Francisco library
clerk, more cartoon pimp shtick, though of the outer-space variety this time.
Chipmunk-punked robot aliens seek booh-tay, harking back to Bootsy Collins and
Captain Sky and especially Jimmy Castor: El Captian Funkaho requests that you
hand over your tutti fruity, and soon it’s time for the post-Hendrix feedback
solo. “My 2600” opens with a mega-heavy riff out of Black Sabbath’s “Electric
Funeral,” then turns attention to old videogame brands, many of which I’m unfamiliar
with: Atari, Asteroids, Bezerk, Combat, Pong, Pac Man, and (in a possibly
intentional reference to the great 1984 Rebbie Jackson hit of that name)
Centipede. The artist starts rapping like he’s auditioning for Newcleus, and yet
more psychedelic freak-funk pours in. “Evil Goat Interlude,” named perhaps for
the Satanic inverted ibexes of black metal fame, is just a few seconds of
chattering and guitar growl. The 45 sleeve colorfully depicts a mad scientist
with star-shaped sunglasses and maroon Bozo the Clown hair, furiously
joysticking. There are also goats. What else do you need? (www.stonesthrow.com)

 

 

 [Photos, top to bottom: Destroy All Monsters, Dykhouse, Funkaho]

 

 

 

 

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