Music » In Rotation

In Rotation: Artist Heather Gabel on Lungfish's secret truths

Plus: The Reader's Kevin Warwick on Tweens' "nasty doo-wop" and artist Amanda Joy Calobrisi on Mazzy Star's consoling strength

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Tweens - COURTESY TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS PR
  • Courtesy Tell All Your Friends PR
  • Tweens

Kevin Warwick, Reader associate editor

Giuda, Racey Roller If this 2010 album from Italian glam-rock geniuses Giuda (pronounced "Judah") doesn't get your toe tapping from the first notes of thumping opener "Number 10," then I'm sorry but your descendents are doomed. It's show-offy, lick-heavy rock 'n' roll, with a glut of tambourine and enough hand claps to fill a football stadium—and every line of the lyrics could serve as the hook for a lesser band's anthem. I missed their recent visit to Liar's Club, and I cry myself to sleep about it every night. Luckily, TKO Records has re­issued Racey Roller with a cool Giuda patch slipped into the sleeve. Join the club.

Tweens This newish trio from my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, describe themselves simply as "nasty doo-wop," which is fair enough, but Tweens are at their most lethal when they're playing spastic, fuzzed-out bubble­gum punk. I finally caught them at a steamy DIY basement show over the summer, and watched front woman BB Tween tear through the band's catalog with a brazen sweetness that hooked the kids and urged them to shake off the sweat and dance. The band just finished recording its debut full-length for Frenchkiss Records.

The showmanship of John Reis Nobody can match John Reis. The guitarist and bandleader extraordinaire absolutely owned a dreary Sunday afternoon at this year's Riot Fest, mugging for the crowd and hammering out hard-nosed, Wipers-­influenced rock 'n' roll with Rocket From the Crypt—all while rain fell and mud gathered. As a result, I'm presently on a welcome jag through his back catalog, with Hot Snakes' Suicide Invoice occupying my turntable.

Kevin is curious what's in the rotation of …

Rudimentary Peni, Pope Adrian 37th Psychristiatric
  • Rudimentary Peni, Pope Adrian 37th Psychristiatric

Heather Gabel, artist

Saturnalia Temple live at Reggie's Rock Club on September 28 My eyes were closed for most of their set, but because there weren't many people at the show yet, I was right in the middle of the room and it sounded awesome. I swayed, I felt a phantom breeze blow my hair across my face, and I effectively disconnected myself from myself in some way.

Lungfish, A.C.R. 1999 These aren't officially demos, but since six of the songs ended up on the 2000 Lungfish album Necrophones after these versions/songs were recorded, my head is filing them in that category. The four other songs, previously unreleased, are, in tried-and-true Lungfish fashion, both grounding and entrancing. Seeing this band play was easily the closest I've come to a religious experience in a rock club. Listening to their records I am privy to secret truths, forging ever onward through a guided tour of creation/existence/destruction seen through the perpetually kaliedoscopic lens of Daniel Higgs's third eye.

Artwork booklet in Rudimentary Peni's Pope Adrian 37th Psychristiatric LP As someone who's aesthetically obsessed and a big enough fan of Nick Blinko's art (he's the singer of Rudimentary Peni) to have it tattooed on her body, I rejoice in this Southern Records reissue because the art is huge! When this came out originally in 1995, it was only released as a CD. Now I can see, with great clarity, every manic scratch of a line on each demented skull along the scythe of a black-veiled moon-faced mummified harbinger of death.

Heather is curious what's in the rotation of …

Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star - COURTESY HIGH ROAD TOURING
  • Courtesy High Road Touring
  • Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star

Amanda Joy Calobrisi, artist

Rowland S. Howard Since the 2009 death of Rowland S. Howard, the quiet king of teenage crushes, I've been unable to shake my obsession. From womb to tomb he conjured a world of the smoky sublime. Of the many discoveries I've found by wandering his web, two of my favorites are the 1987 Nikki Sudden collaboration Kiss You Kidnapped Charabanc and "She Cried," Howard's homage to the Shangri-Las' "He Cried," from 2009's Teenage Snuff Film.

Mazzy Star Hope Sandoval's breathy, determined vocals and David Roback's sliding guitars are the first sounds in my studio on any given painting day. Mazzy Star's second album, So Tonight That I Might See, was the first CD I ever bought. I was a high school freshman, and its sound was so far from what life outside my bedroom was like (and so much like what I longed for) that 20 years later it still feels like a best friend. I'm so glad to finally get the chance to see the band play next month at the Vic!

Mick Harvey Some cynical adult said to me when I was 19, "Why bother painting? You can't reinvent the wheel." It took me years to understand and accept that an artist's vocabulary develops via earlier artists' ways of speaking. Mick Harvey is the perfect example of this process in the way he uses cover songs to realize his language—including covers of Jeffrey Lee Pierce's "Mother of Earth," Tim Buckley's "The River," Roy Orbison's "Wild Hearts Run Out of Time," and Serge Gainsbourg's "I Love You (Nor Do I)" sung by Anita Lane and Nick Cave (or any of the other 31 Gainsbourg songs Harvey translated and recorded for 1995's Intoxicated Man and 1997's Pink Elephants).

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