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coverpic flag US - Texas - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 30 - 03/31/99

Philip Gayle
pnbna
Fleece Records

As you probably know by now, or if not just sit there, stare at the monitor (who's it monitoring?) and believe me, Houston, Texas cranks out some pretty bizarre and enamoring music, be it the Red Crayola or the Geto Boys. And it really does span that wide a spectrum, as these two compact discs will prove upon you first touching down in their little neighborhood.

pnbna is Gayle's second release to date (the title sounds like the noise you make when you try to spit out a piece of tobacco stuck to your lip), and a term like sophomore slump really has no place in a place without relativity. Whose house is this on the cover anyway? There is refinement of course, but is it a more refined scraping, a dignified uncoiling and rebounding ballet of tortured artist guitar strings? No, but it is further down that road that Gayle has taken, since he have guitar with rattles stapled to it, will travel.

Fans of Eugene Chadbourne and Derek Bailey know what it feels like to have that old-fashioned acoustic refashioned into some weird acoustic amoebae, its buzzing octaves slipping and swelling all over the place, with some Eddie Lang-style phrases knocking at the door portal for a moment just to say welcome to the neighborhood; but do you know what that sounds like? And do you have enough walls to really hold it all inside? What will you do when the neighbors come along, reeking of "onion smoke", wobbling on "gallinule legs", asking you to join them?

Contact: Fleece Records, PO Box 70012 Houston, TX 77270, USA


coverpic Seth Paynter
(spice)

self-released

And just down the street lives Seth Paynter, an odd assortment of saxophones, Chinese flutes, dumbek, t'ae p'yung so, jing, billiard ball, and balloon strewn all over his lawn. Sometimes he marches up and down the cul-de-sac, real subtle step, shuffling sole, skronking shoe, and walking bass-like. But don't forget the screaming and trombone warbling in the second line. On some nights, there are some weird paeans to Bruce Lee, the tom-toms pounding against the Houston haze, and chants in some fuzzy woolen Muppet tongue. But whatever you do, don't go creeping around Tea Time, when things can get sorta Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter doing a helluva "Ba Bi"-type bellow.

So while you should try to score one of those old-style orange Houston Astros caps and allow the abyss of Rothko Chapel to stare into you (always a fine Kodak moment), these are some real doozies of a postcard to send out to the loved ones back home, especially if they know music and have heard it too.

Copyright © 1999 Andy Beta e-mail address

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