LP Review: “Hair” (Ty Segall and White Fence)

Release Date: 4-24-2012
Label: Drag City

Comments: The way to underground rock and roll stardom can be confusing sometimes. Not to mention that there isn’t much ‘star’ in the kingdom of balls out rock and roll. And nobody really cares. Ty Segall has been well on his way to worldwide recognition for a few years now but it has only been in the past two years that this is becoming more and more evident to people besides his Goner devotees and his West Coast pals and supporters. Another thing worth mentioning early on is that this isn’t solely a Ty affair. So starting off a review like I just did might have been more suitable for Goodbye Bread, but let me continue. Tim Presley of White Fence has been on a colossal pace in terms of releasing new material. Is it only in San Francisco where the self-proclaimed rock and roll warriors roam? Thee Oh Sees, Mikal Cronin, and now these two guys. Releasing stuff at a pace that would cause Jay Reatard to maybe even raise an eyebrow. Collaborations are rampant in the Bay Area as well. You knew that. That leaves us to Hair. Listening to this album from the get-go, it’s hard to not imagine the fun these guys had during this process. They create a pretty distinct setting on this record, which is near the geographic center of Ty’s most psychedelic Goodbye Bread stuff and White Fence’s are-you-sure-this-is-not-an-old-recording-of-’60s psych- stuff. Besides the rush of charged guitar solos and full-on drum bashing, this album isn’t totally different from say the Grateful Dead. Maybe I’m wrong, and there are only a couple examples (“Time”, “The Black Glove/Rag”) of this. Or whatever. “Crybaby” is the most concise example of rock and roll fever that I’ve heard from Segall since Bread. It’s incredible refreshing. There comes a point, too, listening to this record where you just have to wonder: what if rock ‘n roll was as popular as hip-hop and electro-pop? Not to turn this into a Nirvana kind of thing…I wasn’t around then (or at least not in the form of a capable, developed being) so to even ponder something like this is incredibly exciting. And yes I know Ty AND White Fence played on this record. It’s scary the talent that’s out there. Then there will be people who want to themselves Ty, they want their White Fence, their Oh Sees. Those days are over. Is that a bad thing? Ty and Tim have such a handle on things, that they can effortlessly fuck around with the left-right channels to make it sound like you are surfing through a TV set that only plays real RnR stations. An incredible TV set that is. That song is “Scissor People,” by the way. By the end of “Tongues,” all I’m left with is the sentiment of damn. This record is more of a statement than a batch of fun-loving ditties a la Matador Singles ’08 or Arabia Mountain, to name a couple. It’s a statement that things can be subtle and low-key or things can be brash and in your face. It’s all good! The un-expected ending of “Time” is case and point. It seems like most of the greats get around to realizing this — looking at you Jay. Another thing is that Hair probably didn’t take much thought. Not the little organ part at the end of “I Am Not A Game”, not the increasing chaos of the other two guitars. It’s crazy to think. I wasn’t the biggest “I Am Not A Game” fan when it was first released to the general public, but listening to it in context can really change things. “Easy Ryder” is like revisiting Melted, but with a new perspective on lead guitars and the guitar solo construct in general. Is that not amazing? Hair is insane. A KLYAMer would be crazy to not check this out. Hope you speak as highly of this as I do!

Grade: A/A+

“Easy Ryder”

Ty Segall “My Head Explodes” Video/ “I Am Not A Game” White Fence Collab

So the following may or may not be the official video for Ty’s outstanding Goodbye Bread track “My Head Explodes”. The video says it is official so we’ll accept that as truth. Either way, it’s less psychedelic and more carnage than the other Goodbye Bread vids.

Secondly, Ty has a collaborative album coming out in April with White Fence. It’s called Hair and a couple days ago a song on it called “I Am Not A Game” was made available for listening pleasure. Click to check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkL26bcfUG0&feature=related

CD Review: Have One On Me

Band: Joanna Newsome
Release: 2/2010
Label: Drag City

1. “Easy” – C+
2. “On A Good Day” – C-
3. “Soft As Chalk” – C
4. “Esme” – B+
5. “Have One On Me” – C-
6. “You And Me, Bess” – C
7. “81” – B-
8. “Autumn” – C
9. “In California” – C+
10. “Good Intentions Paving Company” – C+
11. “Jackrabbits” – C
12. “Ribbon Bows” – C+
13. “Go Long” – B-
14. “Kingfisher” – C-
15. “No Provenance” – C-
16. “Baby Birch” – C
17. “Does Not Suffice” – B-
18. “Occident” – C

Comments: Eh. Joanna Newsome is probably a folk prodigy of some sort, but to me she’s just the female offspring of Devendra Banhart and Regina Spektor. That means that this record is going to Album of the Month in March for WERS. “Freak” folk is pretty damn hit or miss. Sometimes it’s merely the case that the song that sounds the most fucked up is the best. God save the Queen if “freak” folk hits the mainstream. Joanna is too damn gentle. It’s not really even that. It’s just that my musical personality is anti-social when it comes to listening to this music. It’s bearable for a few minutes, but then can just get downright depressing. I don’t see how anyone could stomach something like this continuously. It’s pretty touching, blah, blah, blah, blah, but boring! She morphs into Peter Gabriel on “Good Intentions” and the result is an exotically freaky epic. Also, how do you tell any of these songs apart?

Grade: C (76)