Lucky Garage Record Company
I enter my third year of existence in 1997; two CDs and eight 7" are currently released; two EPs, a single, and a forthcoming CD are projects of mine, two EPs, three singles, and 2 CDs by artists from England, Los Angeles, and Australia. See theProofs of Existence section for up-to-the-month info.
My inclinations run from the clumsily sublime to the utterly ridiculous. I am an insane, out of control Fall fanatic, the same again for Pere Ubu. I listen to the Mountain Goats at least once every day. Diamanda Galas, Casals' 1937 Cello Suite, Skullflower, the Pop Group, Chet Baker's vocals, Glenn Gould, the Lounge Lizards' first record, 8 Eyed Spy, Zeni Geva, I'll spare you the rest.
I formed a zero-budget label because I truly believe that labor must control the means of production. As an erstwhile keyboard improvisor and bassist with strong noise and no wave roots watching the final stages of late capitalist technocracy collapse around me, it was really a very small but liberating step to abandon the cheap nihilism and defeatist trappings of my youth long enough to read "Releasing An Independent Record", which took about a half hour. I've been like a bear in a beehive ever since.
Well, well, ran across a bit of a dry spell while the IRS took almost everything we have in exchange for the sense of well-being that our nation's swollen, oozing chancre of an open wound that we call the Defense Budget gives us. Sorry kids, someone's got to police the fucking WORLD and we don't want the police to try doing it with old stuff like last year's tactical nuclear and chemical arms, do we? Oh, and while we're at it we've managed to brilliantly trim down on those wasteful social services, now THAT was taxpayers' money being thrown away for sure on such useless items as food and housing assistance for families living in poverty and deseperation, the disabled, senior citizens, and the cancer-stricken veterans of the past thirty years of illegal international armed conflicts which we have involved ourselves in. This is such an embarassing place to live. And yes, I am nationalistic in that I DO hold this country to a higher code of ethics than we have ever or will ever live up to.
Shocakabilly and far beyond... this month Lucky Garage welcomes yet another internationally renowned artist into the fold, none other than the great EUGENE CHADBOURNE has agreed to help me kick off the improv/noise vinyl series (The Crucial Seven Inchers) with a double 7" EP featuring the music of his latest European sextet, ELLINGTON COUNTRY - "FOUR HELLINGTUNES" (LGR EP006). Production has begun on this item, which will be available in an eye-catching full-color double-gatefold sleeve with a special bonus surprise included within.
Listen and look for The Ken Ardley Playboys CD (LGR CD001), it is being played and reviewed by all the finest radio and press. In London, the CD is being sold at the Institute of Contemporary Art, the New Serpentine Gallery Bookshop, and the Work For The Eye To Do gallery, as well as the usual record store-type venues. The CD hit #1 in Atlanta on WRAS, the 100,000 watt showboat of Georgia Tech; reactions have been really positive all around. The lads have already produced a second recording of 19 new songs which we'll hopefully be releasing in late summer - incredibly, they just keep getting better, hard though that may be to imagine. They've moved off-island for gigs in the past month in Baden Baden and will be playing in Amsterdam come September.
Speaking of the Playboys, another outstanding band of artists with whom they often appear, DIE KUNST, is bringing their rather more high-toned, not to say experimental, brand of loud noises to the Garage this fall as well; more on this CD project later.
The PURSE CD, "Ten Thousand Miles of Turntable Monotony" (LGR CD002) has been getting considerable airplay and press in Europe and various areas of North America. Frankly a masterpiece, unsettling and soothing at one and the same time. All originals, very scary and beautiful music, with a very handsome full-color jacket yet.
Next on the roster is the bizarre and irrepressibly wacky and irreverent CATKIN OF JAZZ CD (LGR CD003). Fans from the Thinking Fellers/Mr Bungle/Zappa cosmos will be happily rewarded by this intensely psychedelic, somehow madly epic, album.
The wonderfully strange and technically brilliant para-pop duo from Tokyo, ST+OD, are rereleasing their self-produced EP "GLUT" in cooperation with me, this time in full-length album form (three new tracks) under a new title in mid 1997 (LGR CD004). Lyrics in German and Japanese, sung by "od", a classically trained vocalist whose stylistic, dynamic, and pitch range is simply superhuman. Production quality on everything these two record is fantastic; real cello, violin, drums, analog synths, top-notch mastering, etc.
I am closing in on an agreement to rerelease, possibly with added live tracks, a CD by a great Russian performance group, the NEW ART ENSEMBLE of Chelyabinsk. Their music has an amazing 'theatrical' aspect to it, completely unconventional instrumentation and composition, all beautifully recorded live in performance settings. A truly complex and intriguing group; the CD release will contain a booklet in Russian and English with photos of the group in performance and offstage, and some historical and contextual information to help fill out the picture. Check out their homepage in Chelyabinsk
"The Crucial Seven Inchers" noise/improv series continues, after Eugene's megalithic double album has been released, with a 7" single by the Swiss conceptual artist JORG LENZLINGER and his ever-changing lineup of European noisemakers. They have cooked up quite a presentation of experimental/noise tracks from performances all over Europe, from Bulgaria to Normandy, so to speak, which may also eventuate a compilation CD later this year. Further experi/mental solo and collaborative 7" projects are being concocted as we speak, next being a spine-chilling ear-shredding solo Theremin and 'Ebow Snare' project from the Splatter Trio percussionist and improv star GINO ROBAIR, due out this summer. Next, probably hitting the streets in the fall of '97, will be a pair of solo experiments by percussionist Brandon Labelle, drummer for PURSE and FARFLUNG, and one half of the amazing ID BATTERY duo, who have produced two wonderful CDs independently in the past year or so, of their very fascinating ambient/found sound experiments. Also in the works is an improv collaboration between Bay Area guitar hero JOHN SHIURBA and our own TIM PERKIS. I've also reissued a second edition of the extremely popular TIM PERKIS solo violin EP, "FIVE", in a limited edition of 350 hand-packaged custom 60-grit sandpaper jackets, hand-labeled by Tim. Essentially my idea is to focus my vinyl efforts primarily on music that reacts well to the electromechanical qualities of vinyl, as well as its supposed limitations.
Also a long-term project will be culminating in a box set of 7" EPs sometime this year, each consisting of a spoken word piece by friends with cerebral palsy; a group of people who have waited a very long time to tell their life-affirming, not to mention mind blowing, stories. I'm hoping that the power and charisma that these people emit when speaking opens other ears and minds to the world we exist in as they have mine.
I suppose the most exciting news this year has been the establishment of a full mirror of this site during January 1997 in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Engineered and conceived of by Dmitry Latukhin, of the Information Service Group of FREEnet, it provides high-speed access to Lucky Garage and associates for all those Russian and Eastern European netsurfers who are still hampered by the remains of the Iron Curtain, which makes data transfer from "East" to West" and vice versa so frustratingly slow. Dmitry and FREEnet are developing new compression technologies and support for low-bandwidth multimedia browsing; I personally couldn't be happier to be a guinea pig for his experiments! For the record, the mirror site is at: Lucky Garage in Russia and presents a nifty introduction and overview of the mirror project there.
If you would like to take a look at the webzines, artists' sites, and other members of this cooperative site, hop over to: Lucky Garage Workshop Map
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This site authored and maintained by Steve Wight.
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