Various Artists - Siked Psych: Not Not Fun Gold (Not Not Fun CD)
I'm so behind on records that while I'm reviewing NNF050, you can go and order NNF079 off their website. Whaaaat??? Either I'm superslow or they're supersonic, probably a bit of both. Actually I'm so slow that my second shipment from NNF came in, containing the first batch of Bored Fortress 7"s, yeah! So look for a review of those in April...2009. Ha ha! I wish I was joking. So yeah, the CD. Well you probably clued in on the gold/50 correlation right there but I'm basically under the impression that this is a sort of compilation wherein classics are dusted off and unearthed gems are, uh, earthed makings this an odds n' sods summary excercise in NNF's first 49 releases. In the blurb they bemoan the 75-minute limitation of the common audio compact disc (which is about where this one tops out indeed), but did you know that when the first CDs were being developped they were originally as big as a vinyl record and could hold something obscene like 37 hours of music? Of course that wouldn't have been practical so it was trimmed down to a length that could accomodate most popular symphonies (or at least where a lull in the action would be reached so spreading it across two or more discs wouldn't be such a bother). I relate this story to nobody in particular oftentimes because, although the costs would be exorbitant, can you imagine a world with 37 hour CDs? Do you want to? Right on...maybe I'll get to producing those sometime but for now 75 minutes is still a lot of gristle to chew on, especially if it's filled to the brim with 21 totally bizarre bands and groups and people most of us might not have ever heard before.
As you might expect this compilation runs the full gamut, from trashy low-slung noise rock/sleaze punk outfits to quirky/, Residents-inspired insanity to balls to the wall jamming to full-on noise to...you get the picture. A bunch of "established" groups pull through in the clutch and prove why they deserved to be established in the first place: Impregnable absolutely kills it with a jarring hyperblast of Prurient style noise walling on "She Left This Morning For the Endless Sea"; Raccoo-oo-oon's "Visage of the Fox" could be the best track I've ever heard them play, a perfect campfire/heavy metal thunder meld; Goliath Bird Eater do their best High on Fire/Lightning Bolt impression and it still sucks me in and ruptures my testicles; Foot Foot's sun-kissed folk whimsy is hitting the spot in a big way if that's yr game and likewise for Abe Vigoda's Teenage Jesus/Stooges marble garble. Can't say I was too wooed by D. Yellow Swans' cut "The Murder Of Two Men By A Young Kid Wearing Yellow Colored Gloves" (like a live amp and not much else) or Yuma Nora's off-kilter prog stylings in "Rundry" (bares a shocking resemblance to the Mars Volta - who I usually like! Go figure). As for some of the acts I'm less familiar with, the Wolf Tracks' "How I Feel About Going On Stage" is pretty charmful Animal Collective-besting euphoric clatter while Foot Village and Herr K nail down some pretty epic epics like Rush only without the Canada and the tiny glasses. Wasn't impressed with the stuff from NNF that doesn't usually impress me - the pseudo-noise (My Little Red Toe, Haunted Castle, Quem Quaeritis) and is-it-or-isn't-it-ironic indie ramble (Barr, Child Pornography, Mikamiko). Closing track "Little Raccoon" by Belly Boat may fall into the latter category too but the organ/piano weep is too solid for me to not be melted by...like so much (too much!) of what Not Not Fun often dabble in. You gotta have a sense of humor and playfulness about you to dig it all, and if you do than you're probably one of the ones pictured in the group photo on the inside and you've already got this CD in your racks so what're you still reading for? For the restivus there's still lots of choice cheese here and if you've got a slew of NNF oddities at your house already, you'll get a kick out of this too (especially for 8 bucks). Doesn't hurt either that the packaging is super nice - not only do you get scathing psychedelic doodles from Devon Varmega aka Hair Party but the innards are covered in sparkles (dust that CD off before you put it in) and it all comes wrapped in one of ten homestyle cartoons depicting a band from the CD. You can't tell from the picture I shamelessly "borrowed" from the NNF website but mine's about Abe Vigoda and even if I don't know the first thing about the band I still find it amusing. Because, c'mon, that's what life is too, right?
The Wolf Tracks - How I Feel About Going on Stage
Abe Vigoda - Here We Are Caves
Foot Foot - Pilgrim Hat on the Indian Summer