Assumer Guide: Trustafarian Cowpokes And Woolly Sasquatches

noah | April 19, 2007 1:43 am

As Consumer Guide creator Robert Christgau once noted, there is so much recorded media coming forth every day, the idea that one would be able to listen to all of it is physically impossible. So we’ve taken the sage advice of gonzo rock writer Richard Meltzer to heart. Meltzer, ever the curmudgeon, considered promo albums precious commodities–provided you didn’t break the shrinkwrap on ’em, as doing so reduced their resale value. After the click-through, Andy Beta judges four new albums without even cracking open their covers.

keith.jpgPICK–Keith Hudson: Brand (Pressure Sounds) As David Allen Coe’s beyond-the-grave collab with Dimebag Darrell attests, cowboys do more dope than rockers. And yet trustafarian cowpokes from rasta country–like Keith Hudson–blaze twice that amount. Hudson died from lung cancer in the early ’80s, but he continues to unleash albums from that little shantytown honky-tonk in the sky. Subtitled “The Joint,” this countryman covers not just the branding of steers, but the pleasures of dub (pronounced ‘doob’) music. Hudson sinters the twin illiteracies of reggae and country (dig “Highter Hights”) while “My Eyes are Red Dub” details fighting glaucoma and being cashed like Johnny. A-


Sia: Lady Croissant (Astralwerks) The story of Canadian chanteuse Sia and her brief career is indeed a tragedy. Obsessed with Lady Day herself–going so far as to embrace her heritage as “Lady Croissant”–she was also hell-bent on following Billie Holiday’s downward spiral. Dying from self-asphyxiation (“Breathe Me” still chokes me up) late last year, her grave-digging record label pulls a Jeff Buckley, releasing this live album of songs recorded scant months before Sia went six feet under. Tone throughout is grayscale and somber, the selected numbers willfully morose, yet poignant and inevitable in hindsight (“Destiny,” “Numb,” “I Go to Sleep”). B


Tujiko Noriko: Solo (Mego Editions) Tujiko Noriko’s innocent debut Shojo Toshi was swaddled in pink, with the young Harajaku girl using a baguette gun against johns like bored business men and the G.I. residue from America’s military occupation. In the knee-socked underground of Tokyo’s Lolita-esque roricon obsession, though, calluses develop on both clitorises and psyches (see the films of Shohei Imamura or Seijun Suzuki), resulting in a tougher, more plasticized outer shell for Noriko. Getting old (28-ish) and wise, she now branches into manga branding and an obsession with surface (“Sun!” is about skin-bronzing), similarly sampling and pimping her new line of “soilo” panties from her bura-sera vending machines. B


DUD–The Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound: Ekranoplan (Tee Pee) Like Pearls Before Swine and Vocokesh before them, these unwashed dutch-smoking white psych dudes evoke that constant Dutch gardener of earthly delights, Hieronymus Bosch. Intending to pretend that Bosch’s two-dimensional ‘trip’-tychs of purgatory and hell somehow inform their mind trips in the 21stcentury, Ass-Head instead highlight that one detail from Earthly Delight: of music blowing out of someone’s buttocks. On a single visual plane, pine forests, woolly sasquatches, Futurama cityscapes, doom-metal storm clouds, hellish lava flow, bros with green laser eyes, and one of those giant wood gnomes co-exist. Like hell they do.C-