A lot of festival activity this weekend, and Uncut’s legions have reported back from T In The Park, Live Earth and Cornbury over at our Festivals Blog. Every time I switched on Live Earth, I managed to catch something worse and worse: Paolo Nutini singing “What A Wonderful World” with what sounded like most of his internal organs rattling around the back of his throat; James Blunt joylessly dying on his arse; Madonna cavorting with the prize dicks of Gogol Bordello in the manner of a geography teacher after her annual joint at Glastonbury.
My thoughts, really, were in New York. At some park under one of the bridges on Saturday, my favourite live band in the world played what sounds like an astonishing gig, even by their standards. The Boredoms have been making insane and levitating records for about 20 years now, but for the past five or six, they’ve been configured as three drummers and Eye Yamatsuka on howls, lightbulbs and FX, playing in a circle non-stop for 90 minutes or so.
On Saturday, as the sun set over Brooklyn, they became 77 Boadrum, a significantly expanded outfit that involved 77 extra drummers (featuring a bunch of ace leftfield hitters like Brian Chippendale from Lightning Bolt, John Moloney from Sunburned Hand Of The Man and so on). I’ve spent this morning drooling with jealousy over a bunch of Youtube clips of this massive tribal freak-out: on this clip and this one, too you can spot the Boredoms themselves in the middle of it all. If anyone who went can send me a report, that’d be great.
In other psychedelic news, a brief shout-out to the new edition of Galactic Zoo Dossier, a very irregular and very enjoyable fanzine out of Chicago. There’s a great double CD with this issue, too. CD1 is called “Teenage Meadows Of Infinity: Rare Psychs And Stomps” and seems to be the product of an insane and fantastic record collection – lots of the tracks come from Chicago private press albums. One is so obscure they can’t find the name of the band, though the notes describe it accurately as “a fledgling Malcolm Mooney fronting The Shaggs”.
A nice Stooges track (“Cock In My Pocket”) is the big name amongst Gollum, the fantastic Sixth Station, The Ukuleles Of Halifax etc. My favourite, though, comes from The Wheeling High School Jazz Band, who sound like a cross between Sun Ra and Gil Evans and absolutely nothing like a school band.
CD2 is “From The Ashes: Perfect Attainment Shall Be Modern Freaked Sounds” and is all-new. The Stooges reappear – or at least their sax player does, in the shape of Steve Mackay & The Radon Ensemble. There’s a blamming Troggs cover band called The Trawgs featuring that ubiquitous San Francisco guy from The Coachwhips, and cosmic sludge from my new Bay Area favourites, Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound. Oh and a great strung-out woodland jam from Devendra Banhart (we’re hearing good things about his new one, incidentally). Hunt this down if you can, anyway.