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Except where noted, all original text & art copyright 2012 Eddie Flowers

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VARIOUS ARTISTS
Red Snerts (Gulcher Records) $10

Reissue of 1981 Gulcher Records LP compilation of Indiana punk and new wave. Most of the bands fall roughly into two categories. The first is post-Ramones punk: Dale Lawrence's Gizmos ("The Midwest Can Be Allright"), the Panics ("Drugs Are for Thugs"), the Zero Boys ("New Generation"), the Jetsons, the Defekts, and Post Raisin Band. The other "category" is art-damage new wave, mostly of the post-Devo sort: Mr. Science, A. Xax, Dow Jones & the Industrials (kinda punk too), Last Four (4) Digits, and Amoebas In Chaos. The Dancing Cigarettes fit in there too, but you can hear a lot more going on with them: Canterbury prog, free jazz, Captain Beefheart. On the other extreme, teenage Phil Hundley does an inspired 30-second garage-a-billy tune called "30 Second Affair." The duo of bay-root offers up an effective, no-bullshit take on English-inspired post-punk. These guys came from the "scene" in smalltown Vincennes, Indiana that exported the Lazy Cowgirls dudes to L.A. For this recording, future Cowgirls Pat Todd and Allen Clark were the rhythm section; vocalist Pat played bass, with Allen on drums. It's the first recording by both, and Slippy Town fans might want to note that Allen was also a founding member of Crawlspace. Finally, there's Freddy & the Fruitloops doing a dopey ska tune that may or may not be a "joke."
VARIOUS ARTISTS
Simply Good Taste: The Sounds of Slippy Town (Gulcher Records) $10

Like a lot of things I like best in life, Slippy Town (the label) came about by accident. I had put together a bunch of cassette-only releases by Crawlspace in 1999, using the name Slippy Sound. When I bought a CD recorder the next year, I started doing the same with this new format, but using outsidetheanthill as the label name. After a few more of these, I released a Crawlspace CDR called Birds Of The Southern Regions using the Slippy Town name. Soon after, Tony "Fritz" Rettman asked if I'd be into releasing a CDR by Big Whiskey, the New Jersey improv group he had just joined with brother Don Rettman and Dave Bryson. I almost wrote back to tell him that Slippy Town was just another outlet for Crawlspace, not really a label. Instead, I said yeah. Almost immediately, I thought that Bruce Cole would probably let me release the cassette from 1973 of his duo, the legendary Screamin' Mee-Mees, jammin' with rock writer Scott Fischer. Bruce said yes, and I figured why not keep doing this! By the end of 2002, I had released 20 limited-edition CDRs, mostly as a result of people approaching me. "Accidents" keep it happening! Slippy Town has also released three CDRs featuring English improv outsider Phil Todd (Ashtray Navigations): Jarvis/Joincey/Todd, Blackthorne Stick, and since this Gulcher comp was finished, To Suckle The Pups. There was also early ('92) weirdness by English drone master Neil Campbell and erstwhile partner Stewart Walden; a great disc by Italian no-wave/noise gals Allun; early recordings from Scottish low-tech electronics dude Ian Middleton (a.k.a. Remora); a live set by Czech prog-punk band Lebedung; a short disc by Joe+N (a.k.a. Joe Tunis, who runs Carbon Records and plays in Pengo out of Rochester, New York); the debut by Swedish living-room psych-distortion "band" Joshua Jugband 5 (really Jakob Olausson doing everything on his 4-track); even earlier sounds by the Screamin' Mees-Mees & Scott Fischer (from '72!); reissues of the two Mee-Mees LPs from the 90s; Bruce Cole doing a kinda fill-in version of the Mee-Mees called Not A Sonata (from 1986); and more stuff by my band Crawlspace. Besides tracks from the various Slippy Town CDRs, this Gulcher comp CD includes a few unreleased things, including a couple groovy surprises. Allun mainwoman Stefania, boyfriend Bruno Dorella, and the rest of OvO contribute a wild slice of primo Italo-no-skronk; Joe+N clangs around for awhile on a new track recorded for the comp; and Crawlspace goes totally infantile on the pre-school rocker "Five." Adding to the timespacewarpage that always smells up Slippy Town real good are a couple unreleased 70s tracks from my personal past: the first take of the Gizmos' "Hey Beat Mon!" (with MX-80's Rich Stim on sax), and a no-fi crack-up of the Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things" done by Brooklyn's infamous O. Rex (Solomon and Jay Gruberger; Gizmos founder Kenne Highland; yours truly sittin' in on drums). Hope you enjoy 'em all as much as I do!

--Eddie Flowers
VARIOUS ARTISTS
Xmas Snertz: Have a Very Gulcher Christmas! (Gulcher Records) $10

Gulcher press release: "Happenin' holiday music from 16 Gulcher artists including Thundertrain's MACH BELL; GIZMOS Kenne Highland (Vatican Sex Kittens), Eddie Flowers (Crawlspace), Ted Niemiec, and Phil Hundley (back for his second helping of Snerts); the MX-80 SOUND Family of Angel Corpus Christi, Rich Stim, and MX-80 themselves; UK Power Pop from the STIFFS, MONSTERPOP, and the AUTOMATICS; Bill McCarter's STALINGRAD SYMPHONY; Ken Kaiser's X-RAY TANGO and, from '78 with Highland, THE KORPS; Bloomington's WALKING RUINS; and from San Francisco everyone's favorite queers, PANSY DIVISION!! Sixteen Holiday Rockers!! Thirteen Previously Unreleased!! Twelve Original Songs!! You'll have a VERY GULCHER CHRISTMAS this year!!" And here's what Slippy Town (Eddie) has to add on the subject: The Crawlspace track, "Christmas Time Is Here Again," is a very loose arrangement based on a little thing from the Beatles' 1967 Fan Club record (I was a member at ages 10 and 11). Original Gizmo Ted Niemiece gives us his first new public recording since 1978. MX-80 does "(I Spent) Christmas With the Devil." The Korps track is an alternate take of "The Blizzard of '78" from their 1978 HELLO WORLD! LP. The Stalingrad Symphony track is a section edited from their epic STRUGGLE CD, with a holiday title that suggests something I've yet to hear (eh?). Released December 2003.
 
KURT VILE
Constant Hitmaker
(Gulcher Records) $10

Gulcher catalog: "'kurt vile is the nom de plume of philadelphian kurt vile (!) whose shimmering home recordings reflect the artists admiration of everything from delta blues to the minimalist agro of suicide, the downer psyche of 39 clocks as well as the skiffle hum of strapping fieldhands. in other words, a real globe trotter. kurt has shared bills--as well as wiped the floor--with the likes of blues control, pink reason, clock cleaner, times new viking, magik markers, to name a few. this is his debut release. lend him your ears.' --tom lax, siltbreeze. 'its like when u wake from a long and glorious slumber, then u realize u dont have to go to work, then u fall back into long and glorious slumber. kv-brand folk pop psyche to make chicks cry & blow maleminds as well...this gulcher collection compiles some of my best home recordings from all over the kv map and one studio smash hit freeway (track 1). jam it! it is the dopest!! ok, peace!!!' --kurt vile on the kv sound & constant hitmaker"